Posts Tagged ‘imagination’

The darkness before dawn. The mumbling of prayers. Feeling alone when thousands are by your side. Last thoughts of family and friends. They sit in silence, waiting. Now the moment is upon them. Even the wind stops so there could be no mistaking the instruction that was about to be given.

Then the ramps lower and they charge forward, pushing aside anxiety and fear, letting courage and pride lead them by their hands and their hearts. Immediate flashes from an invisible enemy and the thunderous rattling, cracking sounds of gunfire rain down. Agonising screams of despair cutting through the now howling winds. The sun, finally peeking its head, brings light to those fallen, their tumbling bodies caressed to shore by the gentle hands of the waves. The smell of gunpowder doing little to mask the stench of death. The metallic hope of weapons, clutched with white-knuckled hands, offer no defense to an advantaged enemy. The red spray of saltwater touches lips and faces, mixing with tears, before rolling down the faces of a young nation. But it’s their will to keep moving forward, their courage and determination to fight for what they love and believe in … that true ANZAC spirit that never gives up and defines who we are and that makes us proud to be Australian.

Today on ANZAC Day we will stand and we will be proud. They will always be our heroes and we will forever be grateful for their sacrifice. We will acknowledge the past and we will celebrate the future. We will give thanks for our privileges and who we are as a nation. And we will remember and salute them … lest we forget!

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Any man who keeps working is not a failure. He may not be a great writer, but if he applies the old-fashioned virtues of hard, constant labor, he’ll eventually make some kind of career for himself as a writer.


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Definitions for stultify – verb [stuhl-tuh-fahy]

  1. to make, or cause to appear, foolish or ridiculous.
  2. to render absurdly or wholly futile or ineffectual, especially by degrading or frustrating means: Menial work can stultify the mind.
  3. Law. to allege or prove (oneself or another) to be of unsound mind.

He seeked her mercy. He was late, so, so late. And he was drunk, so, so drunk. He managed flowers and chocolates, but no matter how straight he stood or how sober he tried to look, the vomit stains down his top would stultify him. He opened the door and wondered if he would see another anniversary.

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It is perfectly okay to write garbage—as long as you edit brilliantly.

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Definitions for conciliate – verb [kuh n-sil-ee-eyt]
  1. to overcome the distrust or hostility of; placate; win over: to conciliate an angry competitor.
  2. to win or gain (goodwill, regard, or favor).
  3. to make compatible; reconcile. 

They flexed and snarled and paced liked caged animals waiting for him. There were two. An audience gathered at the prospect. Conciliate or fight? He shrugged. The choice was an easy one. Smiling, he rolled his sleeves, balled his fists, and moved in.

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Take note, it’s our job to listen and our job to learn,

to follow where life leads, around every turn.

It’s our job to see the world with a curious eye,

to dissect and analyse and find out why.

It’s our job to hear what hasn’t been said,

from a look or a nod or a pat on the head.

It’s our job to pause and smell the fresh air,

ahhh … a trigger of memories everywhere.

It’s our job to taste life’s luxuries, to absorb its flavour,

to be present and focussed, so our lives we can savour.

It’s our job to accumulate, then blend it to share,

a part of who we are, our souls laid bare.

Take a sprinkle of imagination, and add your experience with a shake,

let your ideas cultivate your soul and words your destiny make.

So, note the green at your feet or the blue of the sky,

feel the wind on your face, observe the plane up high.

Note the expression from a child, ‘Where is my dad?’

a mum’s lonely silence … an ache to fix their sad.

Note the idle conversation to keep issues at bay,

from a new forbidden passion, a couple’s love gone astray.

Note a twinkling of a star, to the rising of the sun,

from the mundane activity, to a child having fun.

Note the sparkle of a rainbow, the gentle kiss of snow,

the churning of the sea, a full-moon glow.

From mountains and valleys, from places hot and cold,

learn who you are from the young to the old.

So take note of it all, it’s the little things to observe,

and note-take this advice for your legacy to preserve.



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A friend—an angel—spoke and I listened. This is what I learnt.

‘Problems create doubt, uncertainty and the illusion of difficulty,’ she said, adjusting her glasses with a strong point of her finger. ‘But,’ she paused, taking a deep breath, a faint curl at the corner of her mouth indicating, to the acute observer, a smile.

We were focused on her and she relished the attention. She always did. Deliberately, she held us, delaying her words so that her wisdom would not be easily discarded, but savoured like her sweet biscuits she so often shared on our monthly workshopping meetings. She removed her glasses from her face and swiftly produced a handkerchief from the waist pocket of her red blazer, dabbing softly at her weeping eyes. It wasn’t sadness or weakness that caused this uncontrollable weeping but rather courage and strength of a problem once faced and the only visible giveaway of the major surgery that she’d once been through.

In the months after its return, her problem grew to be a daily challenge and her journey to overcome it would be met each day with renewed determination and her best effort to beat it. There was no other way. It was her positive outlook on life that shaped and carried her, helping to steer her through the years to a mature age and into a time and place and that circle of teachers that were destined to cross paths with my life and to influence me … and she did. Her wisdom was worth her weight in gold and we listened intently. There was much to learn if you paid attention. She watched us, her warm brown eyes alive and interesting, examining us as though we all have secrets, and she was extracting ours, before continuing, ‘if you change your mindset and consider a problem not as a problem but more of a challenge, then success is already yours. A problem will discourage or stop you, if you let it, but a challenge is something you instinctively recognise as a test and you will rise to meet it. So dismiss problems and accept challenges, and triumph in your effort … because your best is good enough!’

So, from one writer to another, and now to a few more, listen and learn and let her legacy live on.


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Prose is architecture, not interior decoration.

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Definitions for jeremiad – noun [jer-uh-mahy-uhd]

  1. a prolonged lamentation or mournful complaint.

It was his beloved team’s fourth thrashing from crosstown rivals that sent him to the pub stooped in anger and frustration. He indulged his thirst for a while before finding his voice, launching into a jeremiad to anyone who was close enough to listen.

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I try to create sympathy for my characters, then turn the monsters loose.


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