That Apple

Second person works perfectly in this top literary piece. Powerful.

Fictive Dream

by Laura Besley

Everyone knows that the one thing the daughter of a single mother cannot do is get pregnant at a tender age out of wedlock. It is drummed in from very early on. ‘Yes, yes,’ you always reply and roll your eyes at your sister, who has also been hearing the same lecture for as long as she can remember.

Now, as you stand in the bathroom with a white plastic stick showing two blue lines, you hear those words over and over again running through your brain, like a mouse trapped in a wheel. And you also know that this is when it’s all still okay. This is before you have to walk down the stairs, sit at the kitchen table and try to act as calmly as possible when you tell your mum that unfortunately the apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree.

You expect your…

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Poetry Prompt #24

Australian Children's Poetry

Get set to create! It’s poetry prompt time. Monday certainly comes round fast, doesn’t it? I’m receiving a wonderful response to these weekly poetry prompts. If your poem hasn’t appeared on the blog yet, please be patient. And do keep your submissions coming in. It’s such a treat to check my emails each day and see what’s turned up. I’m looking forward to what this week’s prompt will inspire. Keep in mind you’re writing for children and cast your mind back to how you felt as a child.

Email your poems to me at as a Word or Text file attachment and add a line or two about your writing process.

Happy writing!


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Book Review: “Treasure Island” by Robert Louis Stevenson


Treasure IslandTreasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was prompted to re-read this classic after hearing the poet Paul Muldoon naming it as one of the greatest books he ever read. Muldoon says: “If I could write a book like Treasure Island, I wouldn’t bother with this stuff (poetry).”

It must be over 50 years since I last read “Treasure Island”, and re-reading it was a gripping pleasure. Here are all the pirate tropes which have launched pale imitations such as “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “Talk like a Pirate Day”. To name a few: “Agh Jim lad”, “Pieces of Eight”, “Fifteen Men on a dead man’s chest”, “Shiver me timbers”, the one legged pirate, the marooned lunatic etc.
It is still a great yarn, and an incredibly well written, colourful yarn. Here’s a sample of Stevenson’s writing skills:

“Did any of you gentleman want…

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Memo to the women of the world: we don’t really see your vagina..

the moderate midwife

I think there is a drastic misconception about midwives. This comes from the very private nature of birth giving and the intimate space and time we share with women. Often women say things to me like, “well you’ve seen everything”, “when you come to have a baby, your dignity flies out the window”. This couldn’t be further from the truth. And because we midwives spend a lot of time around naked women pushing babies out of their incredible bodies, I get the idea that they feel like we analyze or remember their anatomy. I once cared for a woman that I later became friends with through our children going to the same school. Long after her birth I noticed a tattoo on her leg and said, “that is a nice tattoo”, to which she replied something like “didn’t you notice that when I was having my baby”. Uh, no I…

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Killing Whores; Killing Madonnas

Succinctly put. Totally agree.


When I’m not negotiating the hall of distorting mirrors that is on-line dating, I indulge in the watching of crime documentaries. Gazillions of them. And I can tell you that these shows have their own particular language and style. Certain phrases are heard on a regular basis. Certain methods of description are a constant.  We appear to want to wrap some of the most heinous and unimaginable acts in a comforting blanket of predictable narrative. Mostly, this seems to be healthy: a kind of healing comes from describing the victim as “a ray of sunshine who lit up a room” or the perpetrator as “a monster who showed no remorse”.

But one paragraph of this narrative is far from healthy. And every time it pops up I become enraged, and shout at the television. The narrative goes something like this:
” Late in 1992 X began his killing spree, murdering…

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