Born in Croatia, my family moved to Australia when I was 2.5 years old. Thirteen days after landing, mum gave birth to my twin brothers. They were born premature, and for a while, there was a chance we’d lose mum and the twins. Thankfully, all lived. Mum and Dad had my youngest brother Steve a little over a year later. So, by the time I was barely four, Mum and Dad had four children in a foreign country. A month after Steve was born, my maternal grandmother came from Croatia to live with us and Mum joined Dad in the workforce.
Though my beginning was difficult, I started school without being able to speak English; a factor which has impacted on my entire life, Nana had wonderful stories to share with us. We didn’t own a TV for several years, but I don’t recall missing it. Winter evenings were spent on the veranda watching thunderstorms as Dad told us about The God of Thunder “Perun” and his chariot flying through the thunder clouds, while summer evenings were for star-gazing.
During the day, Nana baked bread and cookies and made wonderful chicken soup and as we ate, she’d regale and often frighten us with scary stories with magical Slavic creatures, igniting in me a life long fascination in Slav mythology.
As a teenager, I won several writing competitions but decided to pursue a safer career choice, however, no matter what I did; I was constantly drawn to the arts. I am both a painter and writer. I have exhibited several times in Australia and Paris, where I lived for a period of time. As a writer, some of my poetry has been published. I came ninth in a worldwide short story competition in 2013 and I have several manuscripts at various stages of completion and am about to publish a Chapbook of poems, sonnets & short stories.
In the past 5-6 years I have learned a lot. I also learned I could not work full-time and write. So I left my full-time employment, took my life savings and decided to dedicate myself to my craft. And while there are times when the “cheques in the mail,” I have not regretted my decision.
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