In ways I don't entirely have the words for, an experience, thought or a lesson isn't real for me until I've written down.
In retrospect, I have come to recognise just how astounding my mother was during our childhood. She kept a woodwork shop and made beautiful furniture, as well as raising the pair of us in a society dominated by men. There really is nothing like war to reveal the power of patriarchy, but she always retained her independence.
I'm a working writer; this is my job. So it matters to me that it's good. I sweat over every word. I don't just vomit this stuff up. It's agony. The only thing that comes close is childbirth, except it's like being in labor for eighteen months.
For a memoir to really succeed, the author has to do such hard work before they come to the page. They have to do a brutal self-examination of everything they believe to be true.
It seems very clear to me that we, in the West, cannot afford to continue assuming propriety over the world's resources in a careless, greedy way without paying for it - not only with the lives of our loved ones, but also with our souls.
I remember Karoi as a very hot, flat place, but in reality, it is all hills. We just lived next to an airstrip - the only flat piece of land around. That was my world as a three-year-old and sums up the indelible power of memory to a young child.