It Began At The Beginning...
It was C.S. Lewis’s The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe. (and my fourth grade teacher, Miss Amiet, who read it to the class) that ignited my love of reading. And that love of reading led to my love of writing. But it was around age fifteen that I read S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders, and that was the first book I read that inspired me to want to become a writer.
Studying Writing (But Not Actually Doing Any Writing)
My childhood love of reading and my teenage dream of becoming a writer stayed with me through to adulthood. However, I never attempted to get published (except for a Q&A in Dolly Magazine from when I did work experience there in high school and a movie review for UNSW's university paper whilst I was at uni). This was because - although one of my university majors was English Lit (the other was Sociology) - up until my mid-twenties I didn't have the confidence to even try. So I prepared myself the usual way a book nerd does: via study.
Over several years I did correspondence courses through the Australian College of Journalism and gained diplomas in the following: Freelance Journalism, Health And Fitness Writing (now Sports Writing And Photography), Professional Children’s Writing, Creative Writing, and Professional Editing And Proofreading.
Finally, The Confidence To Write
While I was teaching and performing Bellydance full time, I also became brave enough to approach my colleague and mentor, Amera Eid (of Amera's Palace) about writing for her Bellydance magazine, The Palace Magazine (since bought by Bellydance Oasis). Amera gave me my first published writing opportunity in 1998. By 2001, I was editing her magazine and did so until the end of 2005. I've also written plenty of articles about Bellydance for my website, so for those interested here's the link: Bellydance Articles.
Editing and writing for The Palace Magazine for several years lifted my confidence, but it was the acceptance of an article (If You Were A Wolf In The Wild) and a short story (Corina's Hair Goes Wild) in 2004 by The School Magazine that gave me the impetus to forge ahead with my writing. It was the first time someone who didn’t know me personally wanted to publish something I’d written, and it was a real confidence boost.
For the next several years, I wrote many children’s article about animals, and the occasional short story and poem. As is the way with writing, most of my stuff got rejected, but many pieces got accepted (although nowhere near enough to make anything that resembled an income). Check out the list below to see what I've had published.
My First Attempt At A Book
Late 2007 to early 2009 was spent writing a book called Little Dog In A Big City. In 2010, I had the good fortune to acquire an agent (Sally Bird of Calidris Literary Agency) to represent it, but unfortunately all the publishers she sent it to turned it down. Apparently it was "too specific" (specific to whom? To all the millions of city-dwelling people all over the world who have dogs??).
Anyway, such is the life of the writer. Still, I wasn't going to let all that hard work go to waste, so I created a free online book for everyone to enjoy: Little Dog In A Big City. Here's the link: www.littledoginabigcity.com - please pass it on!
Writing For Animals And Kids
In 2010 I shifted my priorities from wanting to be published to wanting to use my writing skills to help animals. One way I'm doing this is through articles: Animal Thoughts and short answers to FAQs: Animal Rights Q&A.
Then in 2012 I started writing non-fiction about animals for children again, and quickly had some articles accepted. That was both exciting and a relief - I was worried after such a long break that I may have lost my knack. Apparently it's still there - phew!
Writing For Yogis And Yoginis
In 2011, I had my first Yoga article From Coma To Yoga published in The Art of Healing (Vol 2, Issue 35). Here are some other Yoga articles I wrote for my website: Yoga Articles. Those interested in reading about Yoga might also be interested in reading about Pilates, so here's the link: Pilates Articles.
Then in 2013 I was asked by a publisher to write an eBook on Yoga. I completed the manuscript but, as the contract was not right for me, I decided to not go ahead. I’m now considering what will be my next step.
My Published Work
Published In The School Magazine (Australian Publication):
Whale Of A Time
Of The Insects
The Hermit Crab, The Octopus And The Anemone
Kings And Queens Of The Jungle
Published In School Journal (New Zealand Publication)
Tigers On The Prowl
Published By Pearson (Australian Publishers)
Republished By Proquest (US E-Publication)
Published By The Art Of Healing (Australian Publication)
From Coma To Yoga
Published In Stories From Inside The Mirror (US Book)
A Chat In Cyberspace
With Jennifer Anthony-DeGoursat
Bellydancers And Their
Partners - Part 1
Bellydancers And Their
Partners - Part 2
Published By Wameda (US Publication)
Teaching A Beginners
Course In Bellydance: The Dropout
Published In Fernwood Club News (Australian Publication)
What Can You Expect If
You Go To A Yoga Class?
Published By The Palace Magazine (Australian Publication)
A Chat In
Cyberspace With Jennifer Anthony-DeGoursat
A Sit Down
With Jrisi, Part 1
A Sit Down
With Jrisi, Part 2
Video Taping? Absolutely!
Interview, Part 1
Interview, Part 2
Bouzouki And The Best Of Glykeria
Interview With Amera Eid
Travels With The Bedouin
Telling It Like It Is
Dancing In The
Holy Land: An Interview With Sarit Krcmar
Dina In Monte
Carlo, Dandesh, Noura and Fifi
Eating Out At
With The Flow
Ethics, Part 1
Ethics, Part 2
Ethics, Part 3
Yourself From A Job
Sydney Bellydancer Rabiya
Tony Ishak From Radio 2Moro
Aadel Amin, Egyptian Percussionist And Teacher
Bellydancers And Their Partners, Part 1
Bellydancers And Their Partners, Part 2
Overseas Dance Adventure
Living By The
Emerging Star: Soirse Flanagan
Dance Festival Is Coming Again!
Dancing Straight From The Heart
Her Own Words
Annual Sydney Middle Eastern Dance Festival
Wax Up Doc?
Cairo Website Launch
SAY NO TO PUPPY MILLS! SAY NO TO ANIMALS IN PETSHOPS! SAY NO TO BREEDERS!
Adopt a homeless animal instead - they all deserve a second chance
It's estimated that 130,000 dogs and 60,000 cats are killed every year in Australia because there are not enough homes for them all. And the global numbers amount to millions upon millions every single year.
Puppy mills are a major contributor to the terrible problem of overpopulation. Puppy mills are essentially 'dog factories' where dogs are forced to churn out litter after litter, with no thought for the welfare of the dogs and all thought for profit. The dogs live in appallingly dirty, cramped conditions all their lives, and when they no longer serve their purpose they're killed, dumped or sold to vivisection laboratories.
Petshops fit into the picture because puppy mills are generally where petshops get their animals from. Furthermore, having animals in shop windows encourages impulse purchases, and adding an animal to your family should be a conscious, careful decision - NOT one to be made while shoe shopping.
Breeders contribute enormously to the tragic statistics above too. And it doesn't matter whether they're professional breeders or backyard breeders, and whether they breed for profit or not, because while there are homeless animals sitting on death row in shelters, any and all animal breeding is utterly irresponsible.
Now, here's where you come in. You can either be part of the problem or part of the solution. You can either buy animals from puppy mills, petshops or breeders and be part of the problem. Or you can adopt from a shelter or rescue organisation and be part of the solution.
If I haven't convinced you, visit your local shelter to see the homeless animals. Let their innocent faces convince you that adopting is the only responsible choice to make.
All information and photos are copyright © Despina Rosales.