As most of you know, I am responsible for the Newcastle leg of Noir at the Bar – and I love it. One of the best things about hosting NATB is how many new writers I get to meet. Thanks to my friend Chris Ord, I was introduced to Sue Miller, another local writer.
Sue read for us at Noir at the Bar earlier this year and I’m delighted to host her on the blog. Sue likes to use her writing to affect social change so she’s here today to talk to us about trying to make the world a better place.
Thanks to Sue for sharing her insights with us.
Sue Miller on trying to make the world a better place.
The title: 20/20 Vision: They didn’t see it coming isn’t just a play on words. I fully expected 2020 would be the year of the next election.
I thought about writing articles. I worked hard to make things better in my community. I cared as best I could for my family and friends. In the end I thought I’d try to bring my concerns together into a story. Maybe that would be a way to be heard because:
- we always have choices.
- if we don’t address issues of what’s fair and what’s right now, what are we bequeathing to our children?
- there are enough resources to go round, if we manage them responsibly
- I sensed a growing narrative with winners and losers, where ‘rights’ were becoming ‘entitlements’, borders and barriers were going up between ourselves and those we labelled as not ‘like us.’
I was in a very dark place, struggling to find optimism for the future, despairing of the choices of cuts, the short sightedness of activity around me. Not that I was perfect.
This was before Brexit and before Trump. Before the calling of an election designed to ‘strengthen our hand’ in negotiations with people that were once partners and friends. I didn’t see any of those coming.
The worlds of traditional and social media are currently full of the noise of pre-election promises. I’m weary of it already. What I’m hearing are promises, when history teaches us words are cheap, it’s actions that cost.
People who know me well were shocked by just how dark 20/20 Vision is in places. The story reflects where I continue to be every time I turn on the news, tune into social media; Facebook-there’s a mixed blessing. One of my book reviews says we live at a time when people think they’ve done their bit simply by clicking on ‘like’. In a country where free education is available for all I’m aghast at the low level of some of the commentary there. Words are easy, the real challenge is to think, listen and act.
History tells us it is hard to hope, we will always snatch those resources to which we believe we are entitled. We can choose to take from those we think of as ‘different’ to preserve those we perceive as ‘our own’. What of fairness? What of love?
My next book has a working title: Border Control. That’s all I see coming now.