Tuesday 14 May 2024

WRITING CHALLENGE 2024 #WC24

 It’s that time of the year again! Thirty days of dedicated #writing!  From 1st June to 30 June 2024, we’ll dedicate ourselves to #writingeveryday Start thinking about your #SMART #GOALS and join me on my Instagram or Facebook orofules or more info.

 


Monday 8 April 2024

Today is the Day!

At last, I'm pleased to announce the publication of my latest book, THE SAND PEOPLE, a collection of magical realism and other stories. I'm writing under the pen name  J A  CROOME now, so  remember to FOLLOW J A CROOME on Goodreads for updates on new book releases. Here's a teaser of what some of the stories in THE SAND PEOPLE are about:


If you enjoyed the teaser, rush out and buy your copy of THE SAND PEOPLE on Take-a Lot (South Africa) or on AMAZON (International)


Writing the short stories in THE SAND PEOPLE was both challenging and rewarding. Between nearly two years of major eye surgery, crushing self-doubt about my writing, and learning to live without my beloved Beric, reaching for every word was a struggle I could not have won without the generous support of several key people.


At nearly ninety years old, my mother, Dawn Heinemann, took over all practical housekeeping duties when I disappeared into my cave to wrestle with my writing demons. Her fierce spirit of independence gave me the gift of freedom to write, while the example she set and her unconditional mother’s love gave me the inner strength to complete this book.

My family and all my friends (old and new) enrich my life enormously, as does that cat extraordinaire, Mighty Mr Mittens, the sweetest, bravest familiar any writer can ask for.

I am incredibly grateful for the presence of Dr Joanne Pautz,  Jess van Herwijnen, Chris Hajec, and Gary Chapman in my life. Joanne’s unfaltering friendship and support; Chris’s unconditional acceptance and understanding; Jess’s uncanny ability and willingness to provide wise guidance whenever needed; and the lengthy debates with Gary on everything from philosophy to fishing make me happy and emphasise the importance of human connection in the necessarily introverted life of a writer.

No acknowledgement is complete without honouring my ancestors and loved ones in spirit, in particular, my late father, Isaac Benjamin Heinemann, a gifted clairvoyant and dowser, and my late husband, Dr. Beric Croome, whose brilliant intellect and deep spirituality made him unique. Always remembered, always at my side.

My cherished writing friends for over twenty years, Leonie Anderson, Janet Chamberlain, Debs Valentyne, and Liesel van Wyk, have, once again, improved my work with their editing skills and insightful comments. 

While the creative expression of all stories in this anthology is mine, I must thank my brother-in-law Ian Cockerill for his technical advice in “Where the Wind Talks.” Any error of fact is due to my creative interpretation of his extensive mining knowledge.

I am also grateful to Wendy Bow of Apple Pie Graphics for the beautiful cover design and to Dave Henderson and his team at My eBook (South Africa) for their technical expertise. 

Judy Ann Croome (2024)

Johannesburg South Africa



Saturday 23 March 2024

Watch This Space!

What’s happening on Amazon Kindle April 8, 2024?

After a long hiatus, I’m thrilled that my latest book will be available for sale on Amazon.

A collection of magical realism and other short stories, this book is a departure from my previous writing and my pen name is now J A Croome.

Stay tuned for more information.



Tuesday 2 January 2024

BEYOND

 My compass word for 2024 is BEYOND:


* moving BEYOND fear (in my writing)

* moving BEYOND fat (finally mastering the binge eating disorder/body image issues  I've struggled with for over 50 years)

*moving BEYOND invisibility (being fully, authentically I AM WHAT I AM, with all my passions, my flaws, my strengths, my craziness)

The YEAR COMPASS is a movement that helps you look back and reflect on the past year and then look forward to gaining direction in the new year. Complete your form by downloading it here, and then share your discoveries with the hashtag #yearcompass


2023 was a year of hard inner work, leaving little time for outward achievements. Despite this, 2023 saw me gain many breakthroughs on personal traumas that have drained my energy and kept me from living my best life.

The best of 2023: my youtube channel with my 1 minute tarot readings gained over 200 new subscribers. Thank you to each and every member of our little community for sticking with me, for tuning in and for your comments.

The worst of 2023: I missed the deadline for publishing the book of short stories I'm currently working on (still 25 000 words short)

What's waiting in 2024? 

The opportunity to move BEYOND - to leap over the past traumas, the obstacles, and the fears that keep me from embracing this life with all the passion I've lost over the past thirty years.

Come and join me on what's sure to be an emotional rollercoaster of a year. 

You can find me on:

Instagram - Judy Croome or Chthonic Tarot

Youtube - Judy Croome

Facebook - Judy Croome 

TikTok - Judy Croome

Linked In - Judy Croome

X (formerly known as Twitter) - Judy Croome

I'm looking forward to meeting you on this journey that awaits.

Sunday 25 September 2022

Our Lost Humanity: Death of a Queen

We are in a global pandemic far worse, and far more dangerous, than the Covid19 pandemic.

This pandemic could be called The Cult of Victimhood (or, The Loss of our Humanity).

There have been signs simmering under the surface of society for a few years; since 2020, these have bubbled ever closer to the edge until, with the death of Queen Elizabeth II, the deadly virus boiled over into society’s consciousness.

This virus has bred a society of victims who celebrate the death of an elder, a woman so old that there are 101 years between the birth of her first Prime Minister and her last.

One hundred and one years. Think about that for a moment.

How can any of us born in this modern era know or understand the personal cost she paid to meet the demands of a Head of State in an era that spanned an unprecedented amount of social change?

                   

Prejudice is a race-less, gender-less and faith-less human condition and thus every human being, regardless of our race, gender or faith, possesses the capacity to be blind to our own inviolable prejudices. Those who are unable to separate the woman from the symbolism of Queen to the extent that in her final hours wish her “excruciating pain” or who celebrate her death are as prejudiced as the worst colonisers human history has seen.

I began to lose hope in the ultimate goodness of humanity in 2016, when Trump was elected President. Now, with the vicious, and at times downright evil, rants surrounding Queen Elizabeth II’s death, I fear humanity is entering a collective dark night of the soul. We have never been closer to the abyss that irrevocably separates good from evil.

The moral debates around the collective’s past norms must and should continue: slavery; colonialism; reparation; economic, gender and race inequalities — there is still so much that needs to be addressed before each of us can live up to our highest potentials as unique individuals contributing to the greater good of all. We are not free from suffering until all of us are free. 

But one of the dangerous side-effects of this cult-of-victimhood virus is a sense of entitlement that justifies a rage allowing no other suffering and pain except one’s own to be heard.

Is this brave new world, this world that iconic figures such as Martin Luther King Jr dreamed would be a place where people are not “judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character”, merely the flip side of the old world with a new kind of “vicious racist” that by their very nature create, in turn, new injustices in an attempt to redress centuries-old injustices of an outdated and flawed system that perpetrated unspeakable cruelties against humanity?

The vindictive behaviour of so many on the death of Queen Elizabeth II begs the question: are we as a species any more civilised than those blood-thirsty crowds baying for blood as gladiators clashed in the Colosseum? Are we any kinder than Shaka, that most powerful of Zulu Kings who, on the death of his mother, was so filled with grief that he ordered any woman who became pregnant to be executed along with her husband and unborn child?

Surely, surely, in the name of our humanity, this necessary narrative on how to create a better world for all could have been suspended to acknowledge the decades-long personal sacrifice and effort of a young woman who did her best to serve her country and her peoples under the accepted norms of the day?

Just as no-one consciously chooses to be born into slavery or poverty, or black or white, or male or female, the Queen did not consciously choose the role that was thrust upon her at the young age of 25.  Yet, two days before her death at age 96, and seriously ill, she held steady and performed her final state duty with a smile on her face.

There is nothing humane, or just, about the appalling viciousness of Prof Uju Anya’s tweet, or the EFF’s official statement on the Queen’s death, or Irish football fans or Irish ex-pats celebration during Queen Elizabeth II’s final days and death. Professor Anya is in the position to mould the minds of her young students; the EFF is an influential opposition political party.

What kind of world is their prejudice, anger and hatred going to create? It's worth considering that history shows us, while King Shaka’s pain and suffering were no doubt the root of his cruel actions, that moment of savagery led to his downfall.  

To those who, like the self-styled “anti-racist” Professor Anya, try to justify their cruel and merciless behaviour as “fair and just” because of the history of what the Queen symbolised, I ask this: if, with retrospective moral judgement, you condemn individuals who lived to their highest potential within a system that, when it existed, did not know it was horribly flawed by present day moral standards,  how will a more evolved future society judge your actions around the suffering and death of another human being?

Under the categorial imperative of moral rectitude, what is unjust when done to you, is also unjust when done by you. Nelson Mandela intuitively understood this. Despite his suffering, despite his humiliation, he rose above his pain and was able to separate the role of apartheid jailer on Robben Island from the man Christo Brand, and an unlikely friendship was forged.

My dear friend Elizabeth

How much more powerful it is to bring about the changes you want in the world through love rather than through a hatred that leaves no place for our common humanity!

To those who danced at the Queen’s passing, I leave you to consider the words of my late husband’s mentor and friend, Judge Bernard  Makgabo Ngoepe. In his recently published memoir, Rich Pickings Out of the Past [Juta Law, 2022], the Judge says “How did we, as humans, reach a point where the [death] of a head of state, a fellow human being, became a cause for celebration? …for change to occur we foolishly tend to embark on ways that will inevitably lead to our demise.”

When future generations, still wounded and in pain from aeons of cyclical ancestral pain and suffering, look back on how our society responded to the death of Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor, an elderly woman — a human being — who also happened to be called Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, what will they think of the loss of our humanity?

 ***

NOTE: King Charles III has been an advocate for climate change and an environmental activist since the early 1970’s. In 1975, the King established the Prince’s Trust, which has helped more than one million young people of all races, genders and faiths improve their lives. Long may his work continue. #GodSaveTheKing

 

***



Thursday 25 August 2022

Daily Tarot for Seekers - Playlist

I've been busy building my Youtube channel with and planning some writing projects for 2022 - 2032 - a collection of new short stories, a collection of meditations, a trilogy of novels, and 2 stand alone novels and finally, another non-fiction. 

Exciting times ahead!

My Youtube DAILY TAROT SHORTS is building nicely - slow, but steady. I post a daily "shorts" tarot reading - that's a tarot reading of less than 60 seconds. Quite a challenge getting everything said in less than one minute. Learning new reading skills every day! You can subscribe to my youtube channel for your free daily tarot guidance. Here's a sample of what'll you'll find:




Looking forward to having you join us !

Monday 1 August 2022

South African Poet Judy Croome Writes to Change Perspectives: An interview with The Hawk newspaper

Last month I spent a delightful few hours with journalists from THE HAWK newspaper of St Joseph's University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the United States of America. Over smoothies and hot chocolate, journalist Leslie Quan, photographer Mateo and I discussed a wide range of topics from the Ancient Greek poet Korinna and her focus on women's experiences being written for women  to how the listening to the Truth and Reconciliation Committee in the 1990's as South Africa transitioned to a democracy affected me. 

You can read the full interview here or an excerpt below.

Thanks to Leslie for her thought-provoking questions and Mateo for his photography skills, and wishing both Leslie and Mateo great success in their future careers.