Focus, I scolded myself, focus, or you’ll screw it up. In my imagination, I saw two books floating towards me, the author’s names flashing like neon lights, bright and impossible to miss, Enid Blyton and D. H. Laurence, Enid Blyton and D. H. Laurence, Enid Blyton and D. H. Laurence. Stop, stop, the vision deteriorated, and I snapped back to the present.

Dr. Carrol Sims, my practitioner, sat opposite me, smiling. “How can I help you?” She asked.

I cleared my throat, “Life is getting to me,” I said, jumping right in. “I feel old and tired, and, and…”


Photo by Milton Wiklund Unsplash

When plotting a story, a writer needs to have a clear idea of what the inciting moment in their narrative is. The incident from which point everything changes. I have personally experienced such an event in my own life.

It was the summer holidays. I had come home to Sydney to spend time with my parents, and brothers, Josh and Brad. My visit would be short-lived. I was a dancer with The Australian Ballet Company in Melbourne and couldn’t take much time off. My older brother, Josh, was in a similar situation. He lived on campus at Sydney Uni, studying…

A writer’s personal story

What to do when your writing dreams go up in smoke

Do you scream and shout? Do you smash your computer up against the wall, vowing never to type another word? Or do you pick yourself up and carry on?

My Writing Story

In an attempt to write the perfect manuscript, I spent years tip, tapping and click, click, clacking, on my keyboard. Sadly, when I gave my manuscript to friends and family to read, they didn’t give great feedback. They said it was lacking something, but were unable to tell me what.

It was a bitter blow. I had put in so much effort. …

A short story

Photo by MadMax Chef Unsplash

It was my foster mother, Irene, who told me Betty Barker was dead. Midway through applying my night time moisturizer, she appeared in my bedroom, stopping smack bang beside my chest of draws. I swiveled in my vanity chair to observe her better. Her complexion, I noticed was a shade paler than usual, and the skin around her eyes, taunt. Wow, if I wasn’t such a level-headed person, I’d say a creepy ghost had tapped her on the shoulder, startling her witless. Before I could utter another word, she sat on the edge of my bed. ‘Sit,”…

Photo by Lopez Robin Unsplash

The man’s blue eyes focused on my face, how cold they were. I suppose it was to be expected. He wasn’t Santa Claus after all, no, he was more like the grim reaper. For a moment, I considered begging for mercy, but it was futile. Death was inevitable.

Oh, how I wished I could turn back time, back to when I first heard I was going to die. Maybe then I might have been more careful. A scene sprang up in my mind, and I suddenly saw my fourteen-year-old self. I was in a tent, sitting opposite an old woman…

S. E. Hinton

When I stepped out into the bright sunlight from the darkness of the movie house, I only had two things on my mind, Paul Newman and a ride home.

As a teenager, The Outsiders was one of my favourite books. The story is about fourteen-year-old Ponyboy Curtis. It is a narrative about boys growing up in a cruel world that keeps shoving them back down.

Ponyboy is portrayed as a daydreamer who enjoys reading. Odd characteristics for a greaser growing up in a poor neighbourhood. All he’s ever known is how to be an underdog to the wealthy Socs. Ponyboy and his two older brothers Darry and Sodapop are without parents. Sadly they were killed in a car accident. …

Photo by Alice Alinari on Unsplash

Recently I wrote a short story titled Heart Attack, which I published in Storymaker. I mentioned it to a colleague at work, and she asked about the genre. I replied it’s a thriller — with a what goes around, comes around story-line. Even to my ears, that sounded dull, what I should have said is my story is based on what my father famously calls The Bad Fairy Theory. Way more interesting.

The Bad Fairy, What’s that? Who’s he? The Bad Fairy is like a folklore creature. …

A short story

Photo by Ashkan Forouzani

Hi, I am an Australian writer. The idea for my story ‘Heart Attack’ came about because of a happening in my neighbourhood. Although the heart attack scenario is completely fictitious the part about the teenagers knocking on people’s front doors and harassing the occupants inside is based on truth.

Leon was the first to go, heart attack. Died in his sleep. He was only eighteen. I knew Leon from school, both primary and high school. We were friends. He lived up the street from me, only a one-minute bike ride away. It was my buddy Max, who told me about Leon. Not in person, by text message. I heard the beep, checked my phone and read Leon was dead, shocking, unexpected. For a while, I sat there, stunned. Leon dead, heart attack. At eighteen. High blood pressure, so I was told. I went to his funeral…

Photo by Whoislimos on Upsplash

Who of you has ever found themselves having to do something they don’t want? All of you, is my guess. Sadly, that’s life, but don’t fret for I am here to help. Below I have shared a personal story that highlights the do’s and don’ts of coping with unpleasant events.

The Toothach:

Some years ago, I developed a toothache. It wasn’t bad at first, so I ignored it. As the weeks went by it became steadily worse. I began avoiding hot drinks and ate only on one side of my mouth. Then the headaches started…

My Tip — Don’t Ignore Issues: Ignoring…

A Pulitzer Prize Winner 1997

Frank McCourt

A Memoir

When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I survived at all. It was of course a miserable childhood: the happy childhood is hardly worth your while. Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood, and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood.

Angela’s Ashes is a memoir told through the eyes of Frank McCourt the oldest son of Malachi and Angela McCourt. His story is breathtaking. Littered throughout the pages are personal antidotes, some of which will make you cry and laugh, while others will make you angry. There are not many storytellers that can pull off what Frank did… to get inside the head of his readers and provoke three or four different emotions on just one page. They do say though, that the Irish are gifted storytellers. Frank is clearly an example of this.


Ashley Noel

Writer searching for my big break

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