Monday, January 11, 2010

Blogger & Writer Extraordinaire - Kerry Grier

The bloggy world is full of some amazing people!

Kerry is one of those individuals.
Her story is unique.
Her travels and current location exotic.
(Just look at those lions!)

Please welcome Kerry!

Why Write?

I have recently been driven to write by the people and stories I carry within me like so much ballast. I believe it is every human’s right to be seen. My stories are a small way of saying “I See You”.

Teasing and tugging the knots of stories out of people, really listening to what they have to say lays down layer upon layer of proof of our sameness and interdependence. For all the sorrow I have experienced in my work, the courage and humor I have come across makes me feel privileged to be part of this wondrous world.

All my stories so far have been based on true characters or events. I intend to continue with this. I find the layers that make up a story fascinating. Sometimes a pause or an unconscious picking at a piece of imaginary fluff says more than a rush of words.

Writing is a form of sharing that follows the paths of our ancestors. We can learn from each other, our stories setting off sparks of recognition. I like to write the stories of people you walk past every day, the woman who is always complaining at the post office, the quiet man who occupies the seat in the corner of the library.

I like to write the stories that would otherwise go unwritten. Bit by bit I want to reveal the stories of the every day heroes I have met in Africa. “Losing Patience” is one such story. In sharing it with you all out there I hope to have raised awareness about the problems facing the hard working women of Africa.

Stories are great facilitators. They are the friendly person at a party putting people together, introducing like-minded individuals to each other and just knowing they will get along.

I am rapidly learning that as with any craft, writing requires discipline and hard work. It is all very well to gather pretty stones together in a basket but you also need to consider having to dig them out the ground, clean them up and then carry them around to show your friends, even when they get heavy and that basket starts to chafe.

I had never read or written a blog until two months ago and am so encouraged by the wonderful writing groups such as this one. I am delighted to be participating in my first guest blog but must admit to feeling a bit of an imposter as I am not yet a published writer.

I believe that writing is not the action of putting words on paper but rather a way of observing the world. I have delayed writing for many years because it involves taking off armor and letting the world permeate you. There are risks involved. Noticing something means having to respond to it, even if that response is not to respond. Putting words to things means living them. In writing about the stories which have touched me I feel I am spending myself in the best possible way. And now that I have started there is no going back. There are stories I have to tell. I am nothing but a conduit laying myself at your service.


I am a third generation Zimbabwean and lived there until 10 years ago. I am a human rights lawyer specialized in international criminal justice. I left the country of my birth due to political strife and have lived in the south of France for the last 10 years. I have five children and a cat called Jules. We are moving to Canada in summer 2010 where I plan to retrain as a midwife. I have a children’s book coming out in spring and I am currently working on a series of interviews with ordinary people who I find extraordinary. Writing is my first love.

Please visit Kerry at Kerry Characters


Beth Blair said...

Congratulations on the launch of your blog and book! It sounds like 2010 is going to be a year to remember for you. Keep up the great work!

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

Those lions appear to be such tame little kitties, but I'm, guessing they weren't:) I'm looking forward to reading some of her stories.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Beth and Jane. These were adolescent cubs at the Antelope park breeding program in Zimbabwe. They look tame but were being trained to be released into the wild so we needed to be a bit wary! I am grateful for this opportunity to meet you all.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I would've been so tempted to rub their bellies!

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

I bet you'll have some really vivid settings for your readers! Good luck with your writing and book launch.

Mystery Writing is Murder
Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen

Rebecca Wear Robinson said...

Your stories are so evocative of the people and places that I feel that I know them after I've read your blog. I look forward to reading more and to reading your books!

Helen Ginger said...

Hi Kerry. You talk about wanting to tell the stories of people you know. Your own life seems like one begging to be told, as well.

I'm sure it will be very interesting to read your books when they do come out.

Straight From Hel

Anonymous said...

Thanks Helen, I think I will stick to writing about other people's far more illustrious lives!

The Old Silly said...

Glad to read and learn some about you Kerri - best luck and congrats on your book launch, and keep blogging - blogging is a good discipline and tool for writers.

Marvin D Wilson

Jemi Fraser said...

Wow! Very interesting life - you'll have lots of fodder for stories :)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Thanks for visiting today, Kerry!

Mason Canyon said...

A very interesting post. Good luck with your writing and you blog Kerry.

Nancy J. Parra said...

Hi Kerry, great to meet you here. Love the photo-how cool!

Hi L. Diane, thanks for show casing another great blogger/writer. cheers~

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

What a wonderful blog idea. I shall go by to see it. I've long written little vignettes about people I've met when I travel. What fun this is.
Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Blogging at Writer's Digest 101 Best Website picks

Anonymous said...

I'd like to thank you Diane for the opportunity to be your guest. I look forward to visiting you all!

Creative Chronicler said...

Con't wait to check out your blog.