V. E. Patton & Veronica Strachan
Ever since I learned to read as a child I’ve wanted to write poems and stories, and the stories in my head have almost always had magic and mythical creatures.
As V .E. Patton, I spent as much of my childhood as I could lost in a good book (it was a great way to hide away from chores and siblings). My favourite place in the world was the local library.
I read voraciously, devouring the likes of C.S. Lewis, Ursula LeGuin, Anne McCaffrey, Julian May & J.R.R Tolkien. I dreamt of telling stories like theirs and transporting people to other worlds filled with fascinating characters, strange worlds and happily every afters.
But, I spent most of my adult life lost in a good job as a nurse, midwife, CEO, coach and facilitator (amongst other things). Even after getting married (now Veronica Strachan) and becoming a mother, reading was my escape, and any kind of speculative fiction: fantasy and sci-fi were my favourites.
My dream of a writer’s life was interrupted by the realities of life, death and grief. It was almost 20 years after the passing of my 4 year old daughter, Jacqui Bree, that I finally wrote and published my first book. Breathing While Drowning: One Woman’s Quest for Wholeness is about hope, courage and finding your way home – almost sounds like an outline for a epic fantasy but it isn’t – and it’s a memoir detailing my return to life from grief. Through sharing journals that I wrote to Jacqui throughout her life and for a few years after, I reflect on the lesson I learned as a young mother who gave birth and then lost a child who had a fragile hold on life.
With my memoir done I was finally able to unleash V. E. Patton – the creative fantasy writer – and let out the flood of words that had been building for years. Ochre Dragon: The Opal Dreaming Chronicles Book 1 is my first fantasy (in a book). I hope you get lost in it.
I also coach people IN HOW TO LIVE AND LEAD THEIR best LIFE.
I’m heading confidently towards my dreams, and my path is clearer and clearer to me. I still love my work in health, and these days I balance my writing with coaching individuals and teams in leadership and change. My personal discoveries empower my working passion for enabling individuals and teams to grow and to make their own difference through my coaching, change and facilitation work.
I take the whole of me, fabulous, flawed and fully living into workplaces at True Dialogue where I work in health, aged and community care with people and teams who are ready, willing and able to make their difference. I love to watch the spark ignite in people when they realise they can choose differently. Through my Practical Leadership Program (of course it has to be practical) I help people plan and take radical action to do whatever they want to do, and to be whoever they want to be.Working in health, aged and community care is tough, unrelenting and not for the faint-hearted.
I founded Women Who Care with Dr Cathy Balding to inspire, instruct and involve women leaders in health, aged and community care — and to raise money for Very Special Kids through my family’s philanthropic fund with the Australian Communities Foundation. We run regular events designed for you to connect with people who are working to make a difference in health, aged and community services.
I’m committed to helping women in the caring professions achieve their potential, and at the same time helping Very Special Kids achieve theirs.
I feel incredibly grateful to have found my purpose.
And for you, right now?
No matter who you are or where you are in your life quest, you can go confidently in the direction of your dreams and live the life you’ve imagined. Trust your intuition; you know exactly what you need. Stop searching outside for who you are, look inside and take the most dangerous adventure: the journey to you.
Maybe you just need someone to show you where the signposts are.
My wish for you is to have a remarkable life; a life worthy of attention, your attention.
May I invite you to gift yourself an easy first step?
Read about my signposts and how I found my way home in Breathing While Drowning: One Woman’s Quest for Wholeness. Take time to complete the accompanying workbook and begin to map your new future.
If I can find my way back, so can you.