Many of you will recognise the name of Avril Sabine, maybe not as an author (yet) but as a regular contributor and poster on our Book Club group The Cwts on Facebook. She has very kindly sent us two guest blogs for use here, we hope you enjoy the first and look forward to the second.
Avril is a fiction writer who lives in Queensland, Australia. She mostly writes young adult speculative fiction, but has been known to dabble in other genres. Along with her family, Avril lives on acreage with various animals. Late at night and early mornings are her most productive times and she’s seen many a sunrise before heading to bed.
As readers, it’s so easy to think our lives are ordinary, especially for those of us who read speculative fiction filled with the extraordinary. I’m guilty of filling my books with things like shape shifting dragons, demon hunters, Fae, superheroes and ghosts. But that doesn’t mean they are completely unrealistic. I have based some of their characteristics on human traits, particularly that of never giving up in the face of adversity.
You don’t need to be a superhero to have an extraordinary life. Nor do you need to save lives, catch criminals, overcome natural disasters, invent amazing things or discover cures for the world’s ills.
The world is filled with quiet heroes, people who often don’t realise they are one. People who do things because they think it’s the right thing to do, or because it needs doing. That doesn’t make them any less a hero others can admire and say they wish to be more like them. Nor do these everyday heroes need to be perfect and have no faults. How can you aspire to be someone without at least some faults? It would feel like you were aiming for the impossible.
When I was seven-years-old, my younger brother and I went to a private school that segregated boys and girls during morning tea and lunch breaks. I couldn’t see a reason for this so I ignored their rules and continued to hang out with my brother. Some of my friends joined me in our games.
After all, our mum didn’t make us play in separate rooms when we were at home. Unless of course we were fighting, but that is another story altogether.
I didn’t see it as breaking the rules, or as standing up for my rights or fighting for equality. I only saw it as there being no reason for me to change something that wasn’t a problem at home.
The next year we went to a different school and I forgot all about that minor incident that had made very little impact on my life.
You can imagine my surprise when many years later, a woman came up to me and asked if I remembered her. She also told me I hadn’t changed at all. I apologised and told her I didn’t and she told me about how she’d looked up to me when we were kids because I fought against the old fashioned rules and joined the boys in their games. I was amazed at how different her perspective of the situation had been and how something so simple on my part had made such a big impact on her life. She learned there was no need to ignore inequalities and that you can stand up for equal rights.
I don’t see myself as a hero and I especially don’t see that seven-year-old girl, I once was, as one either. I was stubborn, determined and not going to do something that made no sense. But to others my actions meant so much more.
It’s possible to make a difference in the world by being yourself and to be someone’s hero even when you can’t see it yourself. We need the quiet heroes in all of our lives. Those who are willing to follow their own paths because they know it’s the right thing to do. Friends to be there for you when times are tough. Parents to catch us when we stumble. Friends who have our backs and strangers who offer a smile and a hello when we feel like the world has forgotten us.
Who are the people who have made an impact on your life? Who are your quiet heroes?