Friday, 8 May 2015

STELLA - my mum ( and book offer )

I want to celebrate Stella Violet Kinnear, my darling mum, on Mother's Day. She is now with the Lord but still remains in my heart.

Did I receive my writing abilities from her? No. Stella was one of those active on-the-go wives and mothers who didn't have all that much time for reading. But she soon realized I loved reading and encouraged me.

Her mother, Beatrice, was a real dreamer and always to be found with her nose in a book. Oh, yes many a time wisps of smoke came from the kitchen where a nice dinner was sacrificed to the arts. Thinking back, I wonder why my mum didn't resent that and make sure her daughter would follow a more practical turn of mind.

Stella was also an artist (from her father, Harrie Mackie Kinnear, a Scot.) It came to the fore when, during the Second World War with Dad in the RAAF, money was scarce. She hand made jewelry from bread! Beautiful little flowers coloured and baked in the oven. She also designed patterns for Patons Knitting Company and I was the recipient of lovely little jumpers, cardigans and hats. All this was enough to make a deposit on a small house.

By that time she'd become a savvy business woman and some years later she sent me to art school and began a ceramics studio in our backyard named Gymea Pottery. Dad cast various shapes of clay, and we two women decorated it with Aboriginal Art and Australian flowers and fauna. Then it would be fired to the bisque state, glazed and fired again to 1,000 degrees Centigrade. It was a real hit with American business folk who were involved in the Kurnell Oil Refineries at the time. Many would come to buy and ask about the stories behind each piece. I loved telling those stories!

But similar to the book business today, the markets became flooded. How could we compete with cheap pottery from China? Never mind that it wasn't authentic Australian Art.  We closed up and gave the big kilns to Gymea Technical College. (They had the expense of hiring a crane and removing one of the walls.)

The full book cover
My darling mother was never able to read even one of my books, because she'd gone before they were published. Oh, that still hurts me, because in her later years, she too had taken up reading. But there's a lot of my life with her and Nan among the Aboriginal folk in my first book, Fire in the Rock. All changed of course in its fictional sense. And now my new book, The Tie That Binds, is a stand-alone, but it follows on from Signed Sealed Delivered.  I became aware that the heroine's longing to find her mother is a part of my longing for my mum who has gone to be with her Lord.

It's hook and theme is: Everything can change in a heartbeat.  This statement has now become my brand and logo represented by the little open heart of  Rita Stella Press  soon to go online.

That is such a truism in all our lives. We are all just one heartbeat away from changed circumstances whatever they happen to be - wonderful or tragic. Is there any one of you who have been estranged from your mother? Please dear ones, change that situation before you'll have to live with regrets for the rest of your life.

BOOK OFFER: Can you share in a few sentences what your mother means to you? Either by her encouragement or her memory. If you leave your email - right up to Sunday night - I'll send a copy of Signed Sealed Delivered or Fire in the Rock - your choice, to those three that most touch my heart. Narelle to announce those chosen next week.
* Rita Stella Galieh has two historical romances published and been a contributor to several US nonfiction books. Now taking pre-orders for The Tie That Binds Email:  ritagal(at)optusnet(dot)com(dot)au

Coming next from Rita Stella Press:  A Parcel of Promises: Windsor Castle, mid 1800s. He is an aristocrat, she is in service. Do they dare cross this invisible barrier?

15 comments:

  1. Loved reading about your mother, Rita, and your growing up years. So ... when is that memoir going to be written that I remember talking about with you once before?! Sincere congratulations on those next two novels of yours though--very exciting for you.

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    1. Thanks Jo. Oh I reckon I'll wait til I'm longer in the tooth for a memoir!

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  2. What a lovely tribute for Mother's Day, Rita, and beautiful photo of your mother. She sounds like the sort of person who never wasted a moment. To be able to achieve a house deposit from knitting patterns is astounding. Good for her. Thanks for sharing, as I love to hear about days gone by, and their rich history.

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    1. As the years pass I miss her even more, Paula. We were very close.

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    2. Lovely post. Understand how you feel, Rita. I miss my Mum too.Hard when you are close to them.

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  3. Rita what lovely stories about your mom! I'm glad you had such a great relationship with her :-)
    My mom was my rock too! We have wonderful relationship, she just means the world to me! I don't know if I really have a story, but I can share that at a time in my life when I really needed my family, she was there for me! Years ago I had made the choice to leave my abusive marriage and flee with my then-young daughter. My mom (and step-dad) didn't hesitate to take us in their home. She helped me walk through a very difficult time and gave me ways to pull myself up and get my life back in order. I truly believe God lead me back home! Although she's not walking with the Lord (I pray everyday for her), she still is a great woman to talk to. She has such an easy smile & laughter just bubbles out of her. The only thing I wished, is she lived closer! She lives in New Zealand now and has been since 2001. She was able to come out last year and is planning on being at my son's graduation next year. I don't think I ever went without feeling loved by her :-)
    So there you have it, my mom :-) We love to talk via Skype every week or so and that helps ease missing her so much. Thanks for letting us share about our mothers and for learning a bit about yours! Happy early Mother's Day :-)

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  4. Thank you Trixi for sharing your mum with us. Keep on praying for her, she sure has been blessing in your life.

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  5. Rita, what a lovely tribute to your mum.Thank you for sharing it with us. Rita Stella Press sure has a good ring to it. And happy Mother's Day for Sunday.

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  6. Thank you so much Ian. I kind of forgot it was my day, too

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  7. Lovely post, Rita. Thanks for sharing your special memories of your mum with us :)

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  8. Thanks, Narelle. She has never faded from my memory!

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  9. What a beautiful tribute to your mother, Rita. She would be very touched by your words, I know.

    My mum lives in NZ and will be 85 next Sunday. Although she has battled with lupus and other ailments ever since I can remember, she has always gone out of her way to do things for other people. Her love language is very clearly 'acts of service' and although ill-health may have slowed her down at times she has never let it get in her way. In fact, I tell her that even though she's a Kiwi through and through, to me she's an 'Aussie battler' :)

    Congratulations on your new book. Love the logo and the sound of Rita Stella Press too.

    (I know I'm a bit late but here's my email, just in case: andreagrigg@live.com)

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    1. Thanks Andrea, my reply is late but I've taken note of your email. You have to appreciate the way our mums stood strong even through ill health!

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  10. My mother died a number of years ago but I still miss her. She was a dear friend as well as mother.

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    1. That's so true, Dale. There are so many things we'd have loved to share with our mums.

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