After numerous false starts and the painfully slow production of some thirty-five thousand words, my memoir of my nearly thirty years as a Zoo Keeper, both in England and Australia, is now an ongoing, full-time project!
Writing this memoir has been an unexpectedly daunting task, but after taking the time to scan many of the photographs of my zoo career, a process that helped to reacquaint me the memories and honest feelings I have of those happy and difficult years, I was fortunate to discover the guidance I so desperately needed.
This came in the form of ‘The Art of Memoir’ by Mary Karr, which very quickly made me understand why this process has taken so long and what was needed to make this book the honest memoir that I had always hoped it could be.
Mary Karr is the author of her own New York Times best selling memoir ‘The Liars’ Club’ ‘The Liars’ Club’ by Mary Karr and two further volumes:
‘Cherry’ ‘Cherry’ by Mary Karr
and ‘Lit’ ‘Lit’ by Mary Karr
Read them all.
I intend to read every word she has ever written 🙂
And, as an endnote, while scanning my photographs I came across the first publicity photograph of myself and ‘Jess’ the male Wedge-Tailed Eagle from Healesville Sanctuary in Victoria, Australia, taken on the 29th November 1984, just two months after I started as the Keeper-In-Charge of what was then known as the ‘Reptile Section’.
Jess celebrated his forty-fourth birthday on September 16h 2015 ‘Jess’ the Wedge-Taile Eagle turns 44 and was the first bird to fly in the free flight program, originally called ‘Where Eagles Fly’, but more recently known as ‘Spirits of the Sky’ Spirits of the Sky
I cared for Jess between 1984 and 1993 and my close relationship with him will be one of the many highlights of my forthcoming book. Watch this space for more news!