Shaylie Roach of Woman Journal on reading books with flowers in backyards

At Summer Stories, we've asked our favourite changemakers for their best summer story. 

My favourite beach read is The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart by Holly Ringland. I've always had an affinity for blooms (when I was 19 I had a bouquet of lavender, peonies and ferns tattooed on my arm) and so I’m drawn to stories that feature them. The novel explores themes of trauma, violence, nature and ultimately—freedom. I read it at the beach, on the train and at home in bed, but the most poignant memory I have of reading it, was in the backyard of my boyfriend’s mum's house. We had a little picnic on the grass and their golden retriever Buddy was laying at my feet. I remember the shade of the trees wavering as the afternoon went on and snacking on delicious cheese and crackers. The story will stay with me for a long time.

While we have you, can you tell us about Woman Journal and how you started it. 

Woman Journal is a series of conversations with inspired women concerning their practice, values and daily rituals. I work in the creative industry and so I'm always looking for ways to extend my own practice and learn about others. It’s a hobby that combines my love of design and writing with my admiration for creative women (who often don’t get the recognition they deserve). When I first started I wasn’t sure if anyone would be interested, especially because it wasn’t some huge editorial platform. However, I have a really engaged community that values quality over quantity, and slow content—the type of content you snuggle up in bed with a cup of tea and read. In the future I’d love to extend the journal to in-person events, a panel event is a work in progress!