The answer to that nagging question about whether there is good in our broken world is found in Story.
I love stories. I love watching them unfold in the lives around me in my Indonesian home, love shaping them in novels, and when I'm feeling especially brave, I enjoy figuring out the ones in my own life through writing my blog posts. Stories have a way of allowing us to struggle one moment and grow the next; question everything, then watch a miracle unfold. When I read to my daughter, she often asks, in a tense moment of the book, "Why did that just happen? What's going to happen?" I tell her, "Well...we just have to keep going."
“The heart wants to hug a mountain, but the arm is not long enough.”
— Indonesian proverb
Many know the challenges Indonesia has faced: its tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanoes. But this place in which I've lived for twelve years has shown me so much more: creativity, bravery, hope. As I embrace those themes personally, they also influence the stories I write from my Borneo home.
The Story behind the Stories
I was a journalist before moving to Indonesia twelve years ago, with a love for asking questions, listening to stories, looking deep below the surface. And I was a third culture kid before that--growing up peering into subcultures around me, learning from them, wondering if there was space for me in the many different places I lived. I brought those passions with me when I joined my relief pilot husband to make a home in Borneo.
In a word, writing from my adopted Indonesia home is deeply personal to me.
After I'd been in Indonesia for three years, I was pregnant with my first child and lost a close Indonesian friend, Yuli, in a motorbike accident. I had more questions than ever. In my grief, I spent many afternoons drinking tea with Yuli's mother (my young son playing beside us), as she picked up where Yuli left off, teaching me about her Tidung people, inviting me into intimate family and cultural moments. I fell in love with her people. And my love for looking for stories in the hardships around me grew. I started writing my first novel in that year of tragedy, watching the hope unfold from the questions I was afraid to say out loud.
I continue to listen, ask, enjoy friendship, drink tea, research, write, rewrite, learn, grow, change and keep going on the writing and Indonesia adventure on which I live. Join me?