We are pleased to acknowledge Dimity Powell as our current guest writer.
FAWQ are always looking to encourage those writers we feel contribute to the writing community not only in Queensland but throughout Australia. In this way we hope to acknowledge and promote what they have given to the Australian Writing Community .
We have included a profile of Dimity along with a sample of her writing ” Park Ride”
Dimity Powell Profile
Dimity’s past life included a lot of travel, a lot of people, and a lot of boats. She enjoyed working in the People Industry for many years but finds it more interesting juggling motherhood and writing full time for children.
She loves eating cake with ice cream, sailing on the beam and writing in her diary although combining all three makes her nauseous.
To Read, Write and Inspire, especially for Children, has been her passion for decades. She’s been actively indulging in it since 2008 by writing picture books, chapter books, and short stories for kids.
Her work appears in school magazines both in Australia and Ireland, online and in several anthologies for children and adults including the Short and Twisted anthologies. Many of her stories have won or been shortlisted in numerous writing for children competitions.
She is an enthusiastic voice in the Kids’ Lit world and regular reviewer of children’s books for Boomerang Books online Blog.
“PS Who Stole Santa’s Mail?” was her debut junior novel published by Morris Publishing Australia in 2012. Her first picture book, “The Fix It Man” is due for release early 2017 through EK Books.
When not busy penning her own stories Dimity can be found hanging out in schools, libraries and literary festivals presenting writing workshops for tomorrow’s eager young scribes.
Dimity lives just around the corner from Bat Man on the Gold Coast, where dreams are created.
Discover more of her story at www.dimswritestuff.blogspot.com.au/
The humid air slaps me in the face, shoving me back unexpectedly. Sweat beads appear on my top lip faster than teenage spots. I lick them away, enjoying the salty taste. It feels hard to breathe out here compared to the Arctic-like hotel lobby. Mum must think so too. She sucks in a bit of the damp morning air with a noisy sigh.
‘Not far to go now, Jadie,’ she says more to herself than to me. I hope not, although I already know where we are going. Four hours on the bus just to get here, then the ride to the hotel in a taxi reeking of onions and stale sweat. Urgh! My first trip to Townsville is not turning out how I expected.
She grasps my hand and squeezes it tightly as we reach the lighted-crossing. I gaze up clutching Pinkie to my chest with my free hand in spite of the heat. I’m probably too old for stuffed rabbits but Mum said it’s okay, for times like this. I bet she wishes she had one too because after that taxi ride, it feels like one of those times.
The hospital looms in front of us, large and dirty-grey like a fat, sleepy lizard with row upon row of scale-like windows. That’s where Dad is, in there, somewhere in the guts of the lizard.
Inside, the clammy air stinks of pee. Dark patches of sweat stain my t-shirt but Mum doesn’t notice.
‘Will Daddy be awake now?’ I ask in more of a baby’s voice than a nine-year-old’s.
‘I don’t know.’
We make our way through snaking corridors and in and out of dark, hot elevators. I’d never find Pinkie if I dropped him now. I have to trot to keep up with Mum. I steal a glance at her face. Her mouth is set in a grim, straight line. It means she is in no mood to talk. She stares hard at nothing.
‘You can wait in there if you like,’ says a nurse from the Intensive Care Unit. ‘He’s not out of theatre yet.’
We enter a small room. Frightening posters full of blistered faces and sad eyes cover the walls. They look worse than that zombie TV show I’m not allowed to watch any more, only more real looking. A television sits on a metal trolley, blank and ignored. In another corner, a tall shiny hot-water urn hums. My tummy rumbles. We haven’t eaten anything since breakfast, just before Dad waved goodbye to us from his trolley bed. That was four hours ago. I look past the urn, wondering if there is any food in here.
I give Mum’s hand a tentative tug. She tightens her hold on me and drags me to one of the blue vinyl chairs that line three sides of the room. Sharp shards of vinyl cut into my bare legs. Four other people slouch opposite us. They look blank too. No one says anything. I gulp in the stifling air as if that will fill-up the emptiness inside me. My legs twitch like nervous rabbits.
I’m filling up on bad feelings and questions I want to ask Mum, like; why is Dad taking so long to be operated on? Is that a good or bad thing when you have a brain tumour? Will he still remember me when he wakes up? And when can we get something to eat? My tummy growls again, lurching like an unbalanced see-saw. I hang on, feeling queasy.
Mum’s hand strangles mine. I try to pull away but her hold is hard and rigid like her entire body.
She looks as miserable as I feel. I dab my eyes with one of Pinkie’s ears and concentrate hard on swallowing the boulder-sized lump stuck in my throat. She lets go of my hand for a minute as she wipes her nose and tucks a loose strand of dark brown hair behind her ear. She grabs my hand again, squeezing it harder than ever.
‘Here he is!’ A woman wearing a bright, pink theatre gown and a hair cap covered with green, smiling frogs shatters the silence and turns to Mum. ‘Everything went well. Give us a minute or two to hook him up inside then you can come in and say hello.’
Where exactly is he? I catch a glimpse of the trolley bed she is pushing. It is covered in oxygen tanks, tubes and beeping machines that look like portable TVs.
Mum’s nails dig deeper into my hand as she pulls me off the chair and leads me down a dim corridor to a closed door marked ICU. The doors whoosh open; I squint against the blinding light.
The room is lined with beds along one side, each surrounded by dozens of machines. The machines hiccup and wheeze as if they are trying to breathe. Large tubes like the one on our pool creepy-crawly coil out of them. The tubes disappear somewhere into the beds. I want to know where the tubes lead to but I look away, frightened of what else I might see.
An alarm pierces the air. I jump and press myself closer to her, trembling all over. I pull Pinkie in front of my face but the glare of the room still fills everywhere I look. The see-saw in my tummy pitches violently.
It is freezing in here. My damp t-shirt clings to my chest like an icy second-skin. I look up longing for Mum to pick me up and hug me. I want to bury my face in the warm, familiar scent of her hair, instead of breathing in this awful tang of medicine and floor cleaner and wet sheets.
But she doesn’t seem to care that I am here. Her eyes shine like glass marbles as they search the room. Dad is lying in the last bed against a mountain of pillows. His eyes are puffy and shiny. They look like they have been glued shut. The bandage wrapped around the top of his head looks like an oversized tennis headband. Spikes of hair poke out from the top of it. I want to tell him, ‘Your hair is still there!’ But I’ve lost my voice somewhere on the long walk from the door to his bed.
Strangers surround him; nurses, doctors, those theatre people in their colourful gowns. They tweak tubes, tuck in sheets and fill out forms stuck to clipboards.
‘Your wife is here,’ a kind-looking male nurse says to Dad.
Mum’s hand tightens on mine again as she takes a step closer. Dad’s eyes split open.
‘That’s not my wife!’ he croaks.
Everybody freezes. The see-saw plunges to the bottom of my gut. Pinkie dangles uselessly by my side. How could he not remember her? Has the operation killed his brain?
‘I married a blonde!’ he murmurs.
The hospital staff stare from my brunette mother to my bandaged father. I see a ragged smile seep across her face for the first time in days. Her grip on my hand relaxes and her shoulders sag as she leans forward to kiss him. His eyes finally find me.
‘Hello Jadie,’ he smiles weakly, pleased with his joke. ‘Have you been a good girl for Mummy?’
The teetering see-saw settles gently, balancing itself as I smile and nod, yes.