Book dedicated to sexual assault survivors

please-tell-someone-jpg

After a few setbacks, Please Tell Someone is now published and available on Amazon in ebook format for $5. It also available as a pdf for $5.

This book is dedicated to all survivors of sexual and indecent assault. It is a resource and a tribute to you all.

Here is an excerpt from the book:

Five months ago my mum told me how she had been indecently assaulted. I found out my sister had also been assaulted when she was younger and that she took action and reported it. My sister’s courage inspired my mum to report her assault, and my mum’s courage to speak up protected herself and others from the perpetrator. 

After talking to friends about her experience, she realised so many have had similar experiences but they’ve never told anyone. My mum’s courage to share her story prompted them to share their own stories. One lady went on to report her assault to the police. This showed my mum that the bravery is infectious. She was inspired to collect stories of sexual and indecent assault for a book to encourage people to speak up about this topic. 

In my mum’s words, ‘Not enough people are talking about this and not enough people know how powerful and affirming it is to report assault.’ She knows not everyone will have such a positive outcome as hers and my sister’s, but she believes people’s stories need to be heard. Her hope is that this book will create a snowball effect where the courage of people sharing their stories and reporting assault will inspire others to do the same. 

When my mum asked for my help putting this book together, I was immediately on board. While I’m not too familiar with the subject matter, as a writer I always love to encourage people to share their stories. I’m a big believer that everyone’s voice matters and that our stories will speak to people. Stories can inspire, encourage, teach, challenge, comfort, uplift, and most of all, stories can let people know they’re not alone.  

I don’t want a single person to feel like they can’t share their story. I don’t want people to feel too ashamed or too afraid to speak. I don’t want sexual and indecent assault to be taboo. This book is all about sharing our voices to help others. Survivors of assault may feel like they don’t have a voice, but I want them to know they do and it is powerful. It is inspirational and it can give something good to others. 

Not only do survivors tend to feel like they can’t speak up, but people who have never experienced assault can also feel like they can’t talk about this topic. We fear the awkwardness. We fear saying the wrong thing. We fear the unpleasant thoughts and feelings it may bring up. And all this contributes to survivors feeling like they can never talk about it. 

Let’s change this. Let’s push through the fear and awkwardness, and speak anyway because it might just help someone. 

In this book you will find courageous people sharing their accounts of sexual and indecent assault, encouraging messages for survivors, and some information about what options survivors have. These come in the form of stories, interviews, poems, blog posts, letters, and artwork. 

After almost 5 months of seeking contributors, there are 39 people from 14 countries, ranging in age from 18 to 62, included in this book. 

What I’ve learnt from collecting stories of sexual and indecent assault is this: 

  • Everyone’s story is different. Some stories involved strangers, some involved family members. Some were one-off occasions, some went on for years. Some were subtle, some were violent. I was surprised by the range of stories and it showed me that sexual and indecent assault can’t be put in a box. People might hear someone’s story and think, ‘oh, that doesn’t count,’ or, ‘that’s not as bad as…’ But I’ve learnt not to dismiss any person’s story. No matter what the circumstances, sexual and indecent assault is real, confusing, frightening, and a big deal.
  • Everyone’s journey is different. Some people have healed from their experience and moved on with their lives. Some are taking steps to walk forward and are on the road to recovery. Some are struggling daily and don’t feel they can ever recover or move on. It can be easy from the outside to think people should just ‘get over it,’ to wonder ‘why can’t they just know their worth,’ and to judge them, thinking ‘they’re not even making an effort to move on.’ But I’ve learnt not to judge any person’s journey. Every survivor is doing the best they can and they could do with support, not criticism. 
  • Though everyone’s story and journey is different, each person shared their voice because they have a heart to help survivors. They know the importance of survivors telling their stories and they have found the courage to share theirs. I admire their hearts and their courage, and I’m thankful for the insights they have given into what it is like for them to be a survivor of sexual and indecent assault. They have given me greater understanding and empathy for survivors. 

I hope their voices encourage many people.

Feel free to share this book on your blogs/social media to help us spread the word and help as many survivors as possible.

Thank you to all the amazing contributors for sharing their stories. They all received a complimentary copy of the book.

If you would like to buy a copy, just go to the Amazon website for your country for the ebook. For the pdf book, pay $5 to wrodslikesilk@gmail.com via paypal. Send me the receipt with the reference Please Tell. Direct deposit is also accepted for Aussies, contact me for details.

Survivors of Sexual Assault Book Deadline: 30th September

Hi all,

Just an update about the sexual/indecent assault book.

We are now opening it up to both men and women, boys and girls. Any age, any country. If you have any experience with sexual or indecent assault, please tell your story.

Let’s not keep it quiet or taboo. There is nothing to be ashamed of. You are not alone. Let’s show others they are not alone by sharing our voice.

Let not one person feel like they have to hide themselves.

Share a story, poem, lyrics, artwork, letter, list, blog post or anything to do with your experience. You can also answer interview questions if you find that easier.

To submit, send your entry as an attachment to wordslikesilk@gmail.com, along with your name (or you can be anonymous or use a pen name), age, and country.

Copyright remains with the authors.

All contributors will receive a complimentary pdf copy of the book, and and eBook (and hopefully a print book) will be available for sale.

For more info on, check out this post: Book about sexual assault survivors. Check out other recent posts for more info as well.

Feel free share the word and reblog to help us get as many contributors as possible.

We hope this book provides a helpful resource for victims of sexual abuse.

Feel free to email with any questions or suggestions.

All voices welcome!

Sexual assault book update and some more ideas for how to contribute

Photo credit: Pixabay
Photo credit: Pixabay

So we have about eight entries so far. A few poems, a couple of interviews, and some blog posts. Artwork is also coming and about four other contributors will submit entries.

We’ve got contributors from Singapore, Canada, USA, the Netherlands, and Australia, and we have a range of different experiences.

Each girl has a different story and I love their courage and their heart to share it to help others.

We’re still looking for as many contributors as possible. Your voices matter.

So, some other ideas/prompts for ways to contribute include:

  • A list of things people should and/or shouldn’t say to a person who has been sexually assaulted
  • A list of things you want people to understand about your experience of sexual assault
  • A letter to the perpetrator
  • A letter to yourself
  • A letter to people letting them know how they can support you best
  • A drawing of how sexual assault made you feel
  • A poem of your thoughts and feelings surrounding your experience
  • Your biggest struggle in dealing with sexual assault
  • How society can help people who have experienced sexual assault
  • How you’ve healed from your experience
  • What you learnt from your experience
  • How would you encourage other girls and women who feel like they can’t share what happened to them

You can write in response to these prompts directly or use them as jumping off points. You can submit as many entries as you want.

Submit your entry to wordslikesilk@gmail,com with your name, age and country and if you’d like to be anonymous.

Copyright stays with you and you will receive a complimentary copy of the pdf version of this self-published book.

For more info, check out this post: Sexual assault book

Feel free to email with questions or suggestions, and please share this post with anyone you think might want to contribute. And if this resonates with you at all, please reblog so as many people as possible have the opportunity to be part of this project.

Thanks heaps! Let not one person feel like they can’t share their story. Let not one person feel shame for what has happened to them.

Everyone’s stories and experiences matter and can help others.

Interview with artist Alana Bosgra

Baggage
Baggage

Thank you so much to Alana Bosgra for this interview about art and life. She is launching her brand new website and online store today, and so I wanted to spread the word by posting this interview on the same day. Congratulations Lani!!!

Why are you passionate about art and why do you think it is important?

I am a visual person so I am drawn to colour and drawn to interesting looking things. On that level I am passionate about art because it’s beautiful. I am also passionate about communicating a story and art is a platform to do that.

What inspires your art and what does your drawing process look like from idea to finished piece?

Life inspires it. I overhear parts of conversations and sometimes write down random phrases I think are cool and I have a huge note on my iphone that I always add to. It is full of weird bits of writing to build ideas from later. When I actually start a drawing I first need to really connect with the concept. Then I don’t think too much and just do very quick outlines. I never plan the colour scheme or details beforehand it just happens as I go.

You Can't Be Useful If You Aren't Sharpened
You Can’t Be Useful If You Aren’t Sharpened
What do you love most about working with pencil and black biro?

I think it gives me that sense of control; somewhat. A painting needs a lot more pre-planning to work out, same with most other mediums. With pencil and pen I can stuff up and easily change what I was doing and make up bits and pieces as I go and it’s no drama. It feels less final. I love the black to contrast the colour as well.

What are your favourite colours of Prismacolor pencils?

Any pastel blues are gorgeous, the reds and oranges are beautiful, and yeah in general I guess pastel shades are my fave! But in particular there is a light blue, I don’t know the exact name, that I go through so much. It’s like a powder blue, ahh so nice.

You’ve mentioned in the past that you use art as your therapist. How does art help you in your life?

It gives me an outlet to have a decent vent about my experiences. It is an abstract way to say what I might otherwise say in a therapist’s office. It is what I might say to a friend but to give my friends a day off listening to me – because I know it can be heavy – I use art to get it all out.

The Pencil Speaks
The Pencil Speaks
You share your story, your thoughts and emotions through art. How do you find the courage to share them?

Honestly, it isn’t that I have courage to share stuff like that. To me it is absurd not to share that stuff. I probably do run the risk of being an over sharer, let’s be honest, the moment anything happens to me I tend to inform literally all of the people in my life I love and then continually I need to debrief because I am dramatic – but one of the things I aim to do in life is be an open book. Sometimes it hurts when people read a few pages and put me back on the shelf but I feel like I was designed to be open and honest even in crappy things. It’s not brave.

Have you ever received negative responses to your art? How do you deal with them?

People are usually fairly kind to my face but I used to show my art in churches and someone once told me that my work was “a little too creepy” for church settings. Also, people often tell me that the only good art is realistic art and I am like oh nooooooo you didn’t. Nah, I have a pretty thick skin about my art though. Not everyone likes art; people won’t like my style, that’s cool with me. I like what I do, luckily.

You’re open about your struggles which encourages others to be open with theirs. What is your biggest struggle in life and what advice do you have to others who struggle with the same thing?

I am realising my single biggest struggle is battling this disabling anxiety I have. It’s unrelated to things that happen, and it only exists in my head. It’s like I have a piece of string connecting me to the outside world/reality and sometimes that string frays so badly I feel like it might snap and so I freak out. I circle the same invisible unnecessary existential worries constantly when this gets the better of me and I’m aware of the irrationality but I still end up in such a state it is hard to pull myself out of it.

My advice to others that struggle through mental health issues is to be kind to yourself through it – don’t set your expectations of yourself too high. You are worthy of love even at your most irrational or weakest moments. Bad days happen, doesn’t mean it’s a bad life.

I'm Still Trying To Find My Feet
I’m Still Trying To Find My Feet
Who is your favourite artist and what is your favourite artwork?

Salvador Dali. Ah, so many of his works! Hard to choose just one. I probably will go with one of his best known, ‘The Persistence of Memory.’ Those melting clocks!

What movie, song and book have had the biggest impact on your life and why?

Movie: Probably Alice in Wonderland – the cartoon version. I didn’t even see this until I was maybe 19 but I love the imagery and I identify with Alice feeling as though she somewhat makes sense and her frustration with the characters who don’t seem to listen or understand her. There is this underlying sense of fear in Alice in Wonderland – fear of unknown, fear of the unfamiliar, feeling like you don’t know who you are or where you fit, and I connect with that and at the same time love the hilarious nonsense of it.

Book: Probably be the Catcher in The Rye actually. I think I re-read it a bunch of times when I was about 15 and at that time Holden’s character resonated so much with me in terms of getting lost in your mind and finding so much about others to be fake. I read it now and it makes me sad that someone is so unhappy and lost but at the time I first read it I felt like somehow he was reflecting how I felt.

Song: Where Is My Mind by The Pixies (this is the ending song in Fight Club which I also love and this song hit me right in the emotions and it’s good for sad or reflective moods). Also anything by Tame Impala is a favourite.

Do you have a life motto that you live by or a favourite quote that speaks to you?

There is a poem called the Desiderata which a friend of mine once showed me and it’s pretty long but full of really, really common sense advice. My favourite part of it is good if you’re feeling a bit ready to give up: “With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.”

What do you want to be known/remembered for?

Being someone who makes others feel comfortable to be themselves and being someone who helps others feel understood. Oh, and also to be remembered as an artist would be BRILL.:)

What is your dream as an artist?

To keep using art as a means of communication and keep being myself because art is what I love the most.

The Inescapable Desire to Be Elsewhere And Live In A Vacuum
The Inescapable Desire to Be Elsewhere And Live In A Vacuum
What is your message to the world?

Life is too short to focus only on yourself, I think that’s what I would love everyone to see. You are important but you also have things to offer that people around you need. It’s not even my message, pretty sure I kind of got that off Jesus. But still relevant. Love others from the depths of who you are.

What advice do you have for the beginning artist?

Something my community development lecturer recently said was this: ‘Anything that is worth doing, is worth doing badly the first time.’

No-one ever starts off great. Don’t be afraid of 1000 “bad” pieces of art. Start somewhere and improve on your starting point.

* * *

Local Artist Hosts Exhibition At Mango Tree Cafe to Promote Online Launch 

Artist Alana Bosgra, aged 22, better known by her art moniker “Lani,” is hosting an exhibition at the Mango Tree Café on Jane Street in West End.

Lani has been a professional artist for the past four years, two of which were spent travelling to every state of Australia and sharing her unique art in schools and community groups.

Lani uses her colourful, whimsical style of art as a vehicle to promote discussion around mental health, particularly highlighting issues such as depression and anxiety. Using her personal experiences and thoughts to drive her creative process, Lani focuses heavily on her belief that there is hope no matter what circumstance or challenge arises in life.  

Lani is currently completing a social science degree and aims to link her therapeutic knowledge with her arts practice, with plans to study art therapy.

Lani’s art has been described as reminding others of Alice in Wonderland or surrealist themes seen in the works of Salvador Dali.

Lani published an illustrated collection as a book in 2015 with a focus on resilience and using art to guide the conversation around overcoming challenges. The book will be available for purchase on the exhibition night. 

The event, held at the Mango Tree Café at 91 Jane Street on the 5th August starting at 6pm, promises to be a celebration of Lani’s art journey and new step into the online market. There will be a chance to win a framed A3 original drawing as well as opportunities to take home Lani’s watercolour works.

“I love using art, not just as an enjoyable activity, but as a way to connect to something bigger than myself,” Lani said. “Art should be accessible to everyone, and should celebrated in the community.” 

For more info contact: alanabosgra@gmail.com or see Lani’s art at facebook.com/lanisarty

Lani’s new online store is accessible at lanisarty.squarespace.com.

Be sure to check it out!

Who wants $52?

It’s that time of year again: I get to donate my monthly $52 to a fellow blogger.

For those who don’t know, in 2014 I made a commitment to donate at least $50 a month to a different charity/cause/person.

The goal is to increase this amount by $1 each year until ideally I’m giving away at least half my income every year.

Since it’s now 2016, I donate at least $52 a month.

For more info on why I donate, check out this post: Donating Every Month

Each year I like to dedicate one month to give to a fellow blogger. Ideally I’d love to support and encourage someone in their dreams and their creativity because that’s something that resonates with me.

So you don’t have to be in need in any way. You just need the courage to accept a gift.

In the past, people passed on the opportunity because they wanted someone who needed the money more than them to get the donation.

In 2014 I gave the money to a blogger so she could give it to her mum to help support her little sister’s education.

Then in 2015 I gave the money to an overseas missionary in need of some extra financial support due to life circumstances.

Who knows where the money will go to this year.

Is there a book you really want? Let me give you the money so you can buy it. Is there a course you want to take? Let me help you out. Is there a dream you want to pursue? Let me support it by giving you some cash to go towards making it happen.

Or if you do have a need, feel free to leave a comment as well.

Anyone who is bold enough to accept this gift, just leave a comment with how you’ll spend the money. At the end of August I’ll choose the one that resonates with me most and transfer the money via paypal. All I need is an email address.

For those who aren’t sure if this is the real deal, check out the where I’ve donated so far:

Looking forward to reading lots of requests, I hope. My love language is gifts so this makes me happy! Don’t worry about looking needy or arrogant; it takes great humility to accept a gift.

And even if your request isn’t the one I choose, it still may resonate with me enough to donate the next month.

So, give it a go. This is for real. Give me a gift by letting me give you a gift.

What would you spend $52 on?

Some ideas for how to be part of our book about sexual assault

We have three contributors from the blog world for the book so far. Each has a different story and are from three different countries.

Thank you to these brave girls. They are thankful for this project to help other girls and women, and I thank them for being part of it.

Each of the girls are willing to be interviewed as well, so I thought I’d share the interview questions here if anyone else would like to be part of this project.

You can answer them directly Q&A style or use them as jumping off points to inspire blog posts, your own stories, poems, lists, letters, artwork, etc. that you can contribute to the book.

Answers can be as long or short as you want, and you can be anonymous.

Please email your entries to wordslikesilk@gmail.com and include your name, age, and country. Please indicate if you would like to be anonymous.

For more info, check out this post: Working on a new book.

Here are the interview questions:

What experience have you had with sexual/indecent assault?

How did it make you feel about yourself?

Did you tell anyone? Why? Why not?

Did you take any action? Why? Why not?

If you took action, what happened/what did the process look like?

Do you wish you’d done anything differently?

Have you managed to deal with the experience? Have you been able to move past it and if so how?

What would you like other girls/women to learn from the experience?

What would you now advise your younger self?

What do you want people to know about sexual/indecent assault?

How can/could people help/support you best? (E.g. What to say and what not to say)

 

Have you ever been sexually assaulted? You’re not alone.

I’m working on a book with the working title: Please Tell.

This book is about giving a voice to girls and women who have been sexually assaulted.

It’s about letting them know they are not alone and there is no shame.

It’s about providing them with information about what they can do.

It’s about giving them the boldness to do something about it to protect themselves and other girls and women.

It’s about encouraging them to share their stories so others will be inspired to speak up about their own stories.

It’s about helping others through our stories and our voices.

I’m looking for contributors to share their stories (written/artwork). How did it make you feel? Did you tell anyone? How did you cope? What advice do you have for other girls and women?

If you’re interested in being a contributor or would like to know more, I’d love to hear from you: wordslikesilk@gmail.com

You can be anonymous and I want you to share only if you feel safe and comfortable to do so. Any identifying details can be changed, and if you have any concerns, don’t hesitate to email and have a chat about them.

Thank you for considering being part of this book. Your story matters. Your voice matters. You matter.

The inspiration for a book addressing sexual and indecent assaults (contributors welcome)

Hi there – I’m JD’s (very proud) mum.

Recently a man who is a leader in my local community manipulated circumstances so that I was alone in the bush with him in his car. Over the course of a couple of hours he indecently assaulted me & refused to take me home when I asked him to. It was pretty unpleasant, but I guess it could have been much worse.

The few weeks immediately after the event were probably more challenging than the assault itself. I felt violated and unable to talk to my friends about it because I was concerned about being sued for defamation. Eventually I reported the assault to the police. With my consent they questioned the man about my report & he agreed that the assault occurred as I had described. He stepped down from his leadership position.

This is a simplified version of the story – it was far more stressful and drawn out than I can describe in a couple of paragraphs.

What has struck me since then has been that whenever I’ve told any of my girlfriends or family about my experience almost everyone has said ‘I’ve never told anyone about this, but…’ and they’ve gone on to tell me about their experience of sexual or indecent assault.

I can’t believe how many girls and women have had similar experiences but we don’t seem to talk about it!

Until this event occurred I was unaware about the current, very helpful reporting laws we have in Australia. These days it’s much harder for blokes to get away with this sort of behaviour, but none of the girls or women I’ve talked to have been aware of the new laws or the advantages of reporting the assault to police.

Girls and women need to be more comfortable talking about these matters and more familiar with how to manage them.

So, I asked Juni to help me put together a book of accounts of sexual and indecent assaults. We’d love to have your contributions.

Please tell. We’d like to hear about your experience. What we’re looking for is not so much a great deal of detail about the event necessarily but rather what happened afterwards.

How did it make you feel about yourself? Did you tell anyone? Why? Why not? Did you seek redress? Why?  Why not?  Do you wish you’d done anything differently?  What would you like other girls to learn from the experience.? What would you now advise your younger self?

Anything along those lines…

Thanks for thinking about contributing. It won’t be easy for everyone, but maybe telling our stories will make it easier for other girls.

How to submit your story

Girls and women of any age may share their story in any format: story, poem, lyrics, blog post, artwork.

You can be anonymous and you can change names or any other identifying details in your story. It doesn’t matter how long ago your experience with sexual assault happened; all stories welcome.

  • Email your story to wordslikesilk@gmail.com or blog it and share the link to the post with me.
  • The working title is Please Tell, so in the subject line, please write ‘Please Tell.’
  • In the body of the email please include your name, age, country, and title of your entry.
  • Attach your story as a Word document or your artwork as a jpg file.

If your entry is accepted you will be notified by email and an entry form will be sent to you for you to sign giving us permission to publish your words. Under 18s will need parental permission.

You will receive a complimentary copy of the book as a pdf if your entry is accepted. An ebook will be available for purchase and possibly a print book.

If you have any questions/suggestions, please don’t hesitate to get in contact.

Feel free to share this post and pass the word around. We’d love to have as many contributions as possible. Your voices matter.

For more info about this book, check out this post: Working on a new book: Request for submissions

Working on a new book: Request for submissions

I believe everyone’s voice matters. In this next book I’m working on, the importance of people speaking up and sharing their stories is even greater.

This book will be in the same sort of style as my last two books (Fall in Love with Writing and To and From: Mother) where I included over 100 contributors as they shared  their experiences with writing and motherhood.

In this next book the topic is sexual and indecent assault. The aim is to:

  • Encourage girls and women to speak up about their experiences so they’ll know they’re not alone
  • Provide information about what options you have if you are assaulted.

The Inspiration

My mum was inspired to create this book after she had an experience of sexual assault. She found the courage to take action to protect herself and others by speaking up about it and taking it to the authorities. After sharing her experience with other women, she was surprised by how many of them said things like, ‘I’ve never told anyone this, but something like that happened to me too.’

She realised so many others have gone through similar experiences but that no-one is talking about it. We would like to change that.

Sexual and indecent assault can be a taboo topic but when it is kept in silence, people who have experienced it can suffer. They might feel hurt, confused, ashamed, scared, and, most of all, alone. We want to create a book where girls and women who have been sexually assaulted can safely share their stories and let others know they’re not alone.

Mum hopes that this will create a snowball effect and that not one person will feel like they have to keep what happened to them a secret. The hope is that by you sharing your stories, it will inspire other to share theirs.

Mum also wants girls and women to know what options they have so they can do something about it if they would like. I imagine this book being a great resource for anyone who has experienced sexual assault.

Share Your Story

So, I know this is scary territory for some, but for any who connected with this post and want to share their stories to help others, I hope you will have the courage to send us your story. By sharing your story, I hope it will also be freeing for you, too, as you realise you’re not alone and that you don’t need to feel any shame.

We are looking for stories from girls and women of any age (under 18’s will need parental permission). You can express your story in any format: story, poem, essay, song, artwork. You don’t need to go into detail about what happened if you don’t want to, as we are more interested in how it made you feel, what you did afterwards, who you told, what advice you have for others, etc.

You can be anonymous and you can change all identifying details, including names. The most important thing is for you to feel safe and comfortable to share your story. It doesn’t matter how long ago the event occurred, we just want your voice to be heard.

How to submit your story

  • If you would like to enter your story, you can email it to wordslikesilk@gmail.com or you can blog it and share the link to the post with me.
  • Our working title is Please Tell, so in the subject line, please write ‘Please Tell.’
  • In the body of the email please include your name, age, country, and title of your entry.
  • Attach your story as a Word document or your artwork as a jpg file.

If your entry is accepted, you will be notified by email and an entry form will be sent to you for you to sign giving us permission to publish your words.

You will receive a complimentary copy of the book as a pdf if your entry is accepted. An ebook will be available for purchase and possibly a print book.

If you have any questions/suggestions, please don’t hesitate to get in contact.

Feel free to share this post and pass the word around. We’d love to have as many contributions as possible. Your voices matter.

In the next post my mum shares some of her story and more about the inspiration for this book: The inspiration for a book addressing sexual and indecent assaults

Supporting a creative project

I like to donate to a Kickstarter project once a year to help support people’s dreams and creativity.

This year I discovered Girl Noticed through their blog and straight away I was on board with their vision. All about valuing girls.

Love art and love using it for others.

Check out the project and if you like what it’s about, donate to keep it going.

Girl Noticed Nationwide Mural Project

My Faith Journey Written in Scripture

Each of these scriptures have played a role in my life. They track my journey with God. Together they are like a mandate for my life. As I live longer, I add more scriptures. Here’s what I’ve got so far:

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds of the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and all the creatures that move along the ground.”

The Lord took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.

“Am I my brother’s keeper?”

And God said, “This is a sign of the covenant I am making with you and with every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth.”

“All peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”

LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! What is man that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor. You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet: all flocks and herds, and the animals of the wild, the birds in the sky, and the fish in the sea.

Jesus replied, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

“Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.”

You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not demand or cling to his rights as God. He made himself nothing; he took the humble position of a slave and appeared in human form. And in human form, he obediently humbled himself even further by dying a criminal’s death on a cross. Because of this, God raised him up to the heights of heaven and gave him a name that is above every other name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding, seek his will in all you do, and he will direct your paths.

Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.

The joy of the Lord is your strength.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you.”

Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you; I have called you by name; you are mine.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you, and when you walk through the fire, you will not be burned.

No weapon formed against you shall prosper.

He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

“Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”

“And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds.

It is written.

Supporting an amazing artist: Alana Bosgra

Wonderland
Wonderland

This is the artist who inspired me to get back into drawing and to draw my stories. So thankful!

Check her out!!!

Local Artist Hosts Exhibition At Mango Tree Cafe to Promote Online Launch 

Artist Alana Bosgra, aged 22, better known by her art moniker “Lani,” is hosting an exhibition at the Mango Tree Café on Jane Street in West End.

Lani has been a professional artist for the past four years, two of which were spent travelling to every state of Australia and sharing her unique art in schools and community groups.

Lani uses her colourful, whimsical style of art as a vehicle to promote discussion around mental health, particularly highlighting issues such as depression and anxiety. Using her personal experiences and thoughts to drive her creative process, Lani focuses heavily on her belief that there is hope no matter what circumstance or challenge arises in life.  

Lani is currently completing a social science degree and aims to link her therapeutic knowledge with her arts practice, with plans to study art therapy.

Lani’s art has been described as reminding others of Alice in Wonderland or surrealist themes seen in the works of Salvador Dali.

Lani published an illustrated collection as a book in 2015 with a focus on resilience and using art to guide the conversation around overcoming challenges. The book will be available for purchase on the exhibition night. 

The event, held at the Mango Tree Café at 91 Jane Street on the 5th August starting at 6pm, promises to be a celebration of Lani’s art journey and new step into the online market. There will be a chance to win a framed A3 original drawing as well as opportunities to take home Lani’s watercolour works.

“I love using art, not just as an enjoyable activity, but as a way to connect to something bigger than myself,” Lani said. “Art should be accessible to everyone, and should celebrated in the community.” 

For more info contact: alanabosgra@gmail.com or see Lani’s art at facebook.com/lanisarty

Lani’s new online store is accessible at lanisarty.squarespace.com

The Pencil Speaks
The Pencil Speaks

Drawing a mandala

Mandala draft

Here’s another work-in-progress and a behind-the-scenes look at my drawing process.

This was inspired by a writing exercise in the book One Year to a Writing Life. I had to choose an image to place in the central circle and let it guide as to what I filled the big circle with.

Usually I draw an outline in grey lead then go over it in black fineliner. On this picture I’ve also written down the colours I’ll use for some of it. I’ll rub out the grey lead then start colouring it with my Prismacolor pencils.

I don’t always do an outline. Sometimes I just go right in with the pencils with an idea of what I’m drawing and see what comes out.