author, poetry, writing

Winter Again: A Poem

The fire roars,
the snow falls.
I’m behind closed doors
and solid walls.

Winter came again,
the best time of year.
I never complain,
I only cheer.

Winter is amazing,
there’s no downside.
Fireplace blazing,
rugged up inside.

Hot cocoa in my mug,
book in my hand.
It feels like a warm hug,
just as planned.

Winter, I adore
each and every year.
Winter is no bore,
it is comforting and dear.

I find comfort in the cold,
away from summer heat.
Winter will never get old,
it is always a treat.

The fire roars,
I’m happy and snug.
I love to be inside,
sitting on my rug.

Winter is comforting,
it feeds my soul.
Winter is supporting,
it makes me feel whole.

The fire roars,
the snow falls.
I feel comfort inside
my hallowed walls.

author, University, writing

Getting Ready to Head Back to University: Bring on Another Semester

Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.

Robert Collier

Last week was the start of the new semester! Technically it was Orientation Week so no classes actually started but it was still intense. As an online student, I have to wait until orientation week to get all my class times which can always be a little stressful.

For the most part, I won’t be able to attend my classes live. It’s a bummer, but with a hyperactive toddler and limited nap time, I don’t have much of a choice! I can’t sit on my laptop and focus on a class while my toddler is wanting my attention, so I’ll have to skip the live classes.

Thankfully my University is amazing with their online accessibility! I’m able to watch the classes back at a later time so I’ll be watching all my classes at night once the toddler is in bed. It means my days will be long and exhausting but I’m determined to power through my final year of University!

I have 4 classes this semester. I only have 7 total classes left so next semester I’ll be doing 3. I’m so close to finishing and graduating but it also feels like a lifetime away! I’m looking forward to writing for Uni again and also delving into some more literary studies. This semester is very theory heavy with plenty of research into the history and literary theory which is going to be fun.

It’s definitely going to be a crazy few months. I have a toddler, am going through some of my final Uni classes and need to start writing my thesis! It’ll be busy and full-on but I know it’ll be so incredibly rewarding. I’m not one that likes to sit still and do nothing anyway so I’m happy to be busy.

Success isn’t overnight. It’s when every day you get a little better than the day before. It all adds up.

– Dwayne Johnson

I’m planning on continuing my weekly blog throughout the semester! I really enjoy having the creative outlet of my blog and although I do like having a break every so often I am more than happy to keep blogging away!

Plus writing some short stories and poems to post up is always so rewarding! Sometimes I’m able to post my Uni work once it’s been graded and finalised which feels like a feat of accomplishment. Something I worked hard on for Uni is out in the world! Always a good feeling.

I’m going to leave the blog here or I’ll end up rambling for pages! I’m really excited to see where this year leads and I’m excited to be ‘healthy busy’ over the next few months!

Recipe for success: Study while others are sleeping; work while others are loafing; prepare while others are playing; and dream while others are wishing.

William A. Ward
author, Short Story, writing

The End of an Era: A Short Story

Nature slowly changed from orange hues to pure white. Winter was closing in faster than she thought it would. It felt bittersweet. She’d always enjoyed winter, always loved the cold and the snow. But this year it felt wrong, and she was filled with despair.

Margot wrapped her arms around herself as she trudged through the snowy footpath and headed back to her small apartment. She used to love her apartment, but now it was filled with memories she wanted to forget. Her beanie was pulled tightly around her head, a desperate way to block out noise and possible nosy neighbours.

She quickly darted up the narrow stairwell and unlocked her apartment door, flying inside before her closest neighbour could emerge. She’d recently become a shut-in, and the neighbours were always stalking around. She didn’t have the energy to deal with them today.

Warmth greeted her, and she shed the winter clothes, shrugging out of her jacket and leaving it sprawled on the ground. She slowly entered the quiet apartment, tears welling in her eyes as they fell on the empty pet bed. She knelt down, cradling the collar in her hands for a moment as the tears spilled out. “Oh, Cocoa,” she murmured, clinging the collar to her chest. “I miss you so much.”

Margot tried to collect herself. She placed the collar back in the bed and turned away, wiping the tears from her eyes. Her mother had been harassing her about mourning for too long. But it had only been a few weeks. How was she mourning too long?

She sighed, plonking herself at her desk, staring at her laptop screen. It was 8:45 am. She had gone out for a coffee before work and ended up wandering around aimlessly instead. Cocoa was always her rock, her guide and her best friend. She felt hopeless without her constant companion.

When the clock clicked to 9:00, Margot signed in for work. Work was a welcome distraction now. It distracted her from dwelling on her loss, and she focused all her energy on the work. There was nothing else for her to do anyway. No more walks to take, cuddles to get or food to give. It was quiet and lonely.

Her laptop pinged, and she sighed. Another email. She scanned the contents, a deep frown settling on her face.

It’s been one year since your last password change. Please click here to reset your password.

A lone tear escaped her eye. She knew this was coming; she had to change her password for work every year. It was currently set to Cocoa13, and she couldn’t imagine changing it to anything else. Her 13-year-old puppy was gone. How could she possibly change her password?

Margot aggressively closed her laptop, grief and anger melding together. She needed air. She needed to get out of the suffocating apartment. She grabbed her coat on the way and stormed out of the apartment building, trudging along the snowy footpaths with no destination in mind.

She didn’t know how long she’d been walking. Her anger fizzled with each step while the grief grew. Her heart ached as she clenched her hand, missing the familiar feeling of the leash she’d always held.

A small whine caught her attention. Margot spun around, looking for the source of the whine. It came again. Pitiful and weak, emerging from the dumpsters nearby. She drew closer, searching for the culprit. She was sure it was a dog whine, but it took her time to find the small malnourished dachshund buried beneath the trash.

She cradled it in her arms and rushed to the vet. She hadn’t been there since she picked up Cocoa for the last time, but she couldn’t leave this puppy to die alone in the cold. She had to help it any way she could.

The vet saw the small dog immediately and promised to call with any updates. Margot left the little dog in the vet’s hands and slowly returned home, worry consuming her as she thought about the small innocent dog that had clearly been suffering. She called in sick to work and waited to hear the news.

The vet called over the next few days. The dog had no identification and appeared to have been abandoned. Possibly a tossed-out Christmas gift. The vet asked if she wanted to take the dog home with her and possibly adopt it. She was reluctant but eventually agreed. The only other option was the pound; she couldn’t live with herself, putting the small, shivering dog in the lonely, loud pound.

She called it Marshmallow, often shortening it to Mallow. She initially didn’t want to be close to the dog, the pain of losing Cocoa still raw on her sleeve. But the small dog melted the ice around Margot’s heart. It didn’t take her long to adore the small affectionate dog. It avoided Cocoa’s bed and seemed to keep it as a shrine to Cocoa. Respecting the previous owner that had occupied it.

Margot patted the little puppy as it slept on her lap while she worked. She still grieved Cocoa, but Mallow had opened her heart again. She felt less hopeless and lost. When her email pinged again, she knew what it was for.

Please update your password.

She clicked on the link, a smile crossing her face as she typed in her new password.


author, holidays, mental health

Taking Time Out For A Break

“Taking a break can lead to breakthroughs.”

Russell Eric Dobda

I’m back!! It’s been a little while, but I really needed to take some time out and rest for a while. My mind gets overwhelmed so easily, and I need to take some longer breaks sometimes to calm my brain down and be able to get back into the creative groove.

I spent a few weeks over January doing next to nothing. I am a stay-at-home mother, so it’s not like I did ‘nothing’, but I took a break from writing and spent time with my family and catching up on some reading. It was calm and peaceful, but I am very ready to get back into writing!

I’m looking up some short story competitions to enter in the coming months. Uni kicks back up in March, so I will have my priorities shifting a bit then, but I really want to keep entering some competitions and refine my writing more. Of course,, my degree will keep refining my writing, which just happens when you do a literature degree, but I want to keep writing outside the coursework!

I’ve got a lot of ideas for short stories, but I also have an idea for a new novel! I finished editing my first fully written novel, and I’m putting it aside for a while so that I can revisit it with fresh eyes later in the year! For now, I’ll shift the big project focus to a new novel project!

This year I have some goals I want to reach. I’ll see how it goes because life definitely gets in the way, but I will power through and do my best! I’ll see you all next week with my first short story of the year!

author, holidays

Welcome to 2023!

Happy New Year!

It’s officially 2023! Where on earth did 2022 go? It seemed to absolutely fly by! I can’t believe we’ve made it to 2023 – another year but not much is changing right now.

I don’t really do resolutions often. I think New Year’s resolutions often lead to disappointment and feelings of failure if they’re not met. Sometimes resolutions work, and it’s amazing when they do, but more often than not they fizzle out (the gym is always packed the first few weeks of January and then quite rapidly dies down again, just for one example).

I can’t even remember the resolutions I made last year. I know I made some, but honestly, I have no clue what I did. But this year, I’m doing things a little differently. I’m not making any resolutions this year. I’m going to make some goals for the year but no resolutions for me!

I have two main goals for the year. One personal and one professional.

First: I want to be more present for my family. This year I felt out of touch and a bit scatterbrained. I have ADHD which doesn’t help but I feel like I want to be more present with my family. Date nights, family adventures and spending more quality time together is a goal of mine for this year. I still have writing goals and aspirations but I’m going to prioritise my family first!

Second: I want to commit to the last year of my Master’s program and come out the other side with an amazing novella. I’m determined to see through my last year and I am excited to write my novella and see what my supervisor thinks. I really want to be able to publish my Master’s novella and I have a goal to put it forward to a publisher at the end of the year!

These are the only two goals I’ve set for this year. If I don’t completely meet them, that’s absolutely fine. I find that the term ‘resolution’ often leads to disappointment in myself so I’ve rebranded and I’m going to aim for my goals and work on them both throughout the entire year. Any improvement will be achieving my goals!

I love hearing about other people’s goals/resolutions for the New Year and I hope everyone succeeds where they want!

author, holidays

Holidays Are Always Crazy Times

December – January is always wild! There’s so much to do over this month-long span of time and honestly not enough hours in the day to get it all done! There’s decorating, present shopping, present wrapping, food prep and so on before Christmas even arrives! Not to mention wrangling a toddler around!

I do love the holiday season though. Something about Christmas brings me so much joy. I love the music, the decorations and of course spending time with my loved ones! Christmas Day is always busy for us but it’s so much fun. We have lunch with my side of the family and dinner with my husband’s side so the day is very full! Full but exciting.

It’s been even more fun this year with a toddler. Last year he was too young to participate at all but this year he was running around, getting into mischief, eating the food and, of course, ripping open all the wrapping paper. He had an absolute blast.

It’s been an exhausting time but I’m grateful to be able to rest now and recuperate. It’s almost 2023, which is just crazy to believe, and we don’t usually do much for New Years. We might take the little boy to see some early fireworks but other than that we’ll be enjoying a New Years meal at home and reigning in the New Year together.

With that, I’m going to sign off for 2022! See you all in 2023!

author, holidays, poetry, writing

Holidays: A Poem

Holidays are always so fun,
bringing laughter and joy.
I love time with my family,
it’s something I enjoy.

Christmas time is always so great,
as I can sit and play.
I love to see my child’s pure joy,
with his new gifts today.

Christmas is about family,
at least it is for me.
I love to spend time together,
it makes me feel so free.

I know Christmas can be so hard
for so many people.
And I wish them joy, love and peace
though it may be feeble.

author, Short Story, writing

DragonFire: Chapter 1

The villagers knew to never venture into the forest unless they wished to meet their end. Their small village was nestled in the mountains, overseeing nothing but the thick forest below. The forest was known to be the domain of a dragon. To their left was the Kingdom of Ayr, and to the right was the Kingdom of Zeya. Neither had claimed the small village in the mountains, but it was only a matter of time. They bordered two kingdoms and would hold a tactical advantage for whoever dared claim the spot. The villagers believed that the dragon stopped the kingdoms from invading – that it had claimed that village as its own territory, forbidden to both kingdoms. They had never dared to provoke the dragon.

The small village knew that the Kingdom of Zeya had declared war on the Kingdom of Ayr. They took no sides, but they knew the soldiers of Zeya would be upon them before long. The villagers believed they were safe in their village. They believed they were valuable commodities to the Kingdom. They were willing loyal subjects to whomever finally claimed their town and stubbornly refused to leave. Surely, if the soldiers wanted a tactical advantage, they wouldn’t kill villagers aligned with either Kingdom. Surely no Kingdom would massacre innocents. Human ignorance facing down human greed. A recipe for slaughter.

Azur’s ears twitched as screams echoed through the silent forest. She rose from the ground, green eyes peering into the darkness. Flames flickered beyond the mountains, soon engulfing everything in sight. The smoke bellowed across the sky, blocking out the stars. One of the kingdoms had finally made a move. Azur stretched her wings out, green scales momentarily glinting in the moonlight before the gentle glow disappeared behind smoke. She knew the forest would soon be overrun with soldiers, pawns in the game of some greedy emperor. She would have none of it. Her peaceful solitude within the forest was over; it was time to move on and avoid the humans and their issues.

She flapped her wings, ready to leave, when a small whimper stopped her. It was so quiet that no human would have been able to hear. Azur lowered her wings, golden eyes scouring the forest floor for the source of the noise. She soon found it. A small child was stumbling through the trees, burns coating the petite frame. The child’s clothing was tattered, crumbling with each brush of a branch. Charred blonde hair framed the fragile face while emerald green eyes squinted to try to see in the darkness. Small whimpers escaped the child’s mouth as it stumbled sightlessly through the forest. Azur could not fathom why a child was here – had the parents escaped without it? A child would slow them down as they fled, and humans were innately selfish. It made sense. The young child had been abandoned by selfish parents. A strange sensation overcame her as she watched the child walk without direction. She admired the determination and sheer force of will in such a small child.

The inevitable weakness of humans caught up to the child. It made some distance from the mountains but soon collapsed in the forest, doomed to be trampled by enemy soldiers when they raided the forest for survivors. Azur didn’t know why, but the child seemed to call to her. Perhaps she could imbue her knowledge into this small human. Maybe she could change one human from their selfish ways. She had no chicks of her own, no family of her own. Maybe this was meant to be. She scooped the unconscious child up in a talon and deftly flew into the sky. She soared past the small village, glancing down at the flames that now consumed it. The soldiers never intended to keep villagers there. No one would survive the occupation.

Azur flew high in the sky, carefully keeping the child cocooned within her talon. When she reached the haven of the high mountains, she slowly lowered the child to the ground. A bright glow engulfed her, and her dragon form melted aside, leaving the figure of a young woman. Azur cracked her neck, grimacing uncomfortably as she stretched the new form. She rarely took human form; it was too much energy to maintain and far too uncomfortable. But she would not be able to care for this child in her true form. Emerald hair whipped behind her as the wind rushed past. The fog was thick, swirling around each crevice and hiding the mountain from the humans below. Trees were thick and the grass long, still untouched as it had been decades ago. It had been a long time since Azur had been on this mountain. It had been her home long ago until she had been forced to leave. It felt strange to be standing on the mountain again. Especially with a human.

Azur glanced over at the child. Blonde hair spilled over the grass, still long despite the burns. The thin arms were badly burned, and the face scorched. The child was clearly malnourished, likely thrown aside in favor of another. She crouched beside the small child, focusing on the small frame. She could see the power within the child, a power she had not seen in generations of humans. There was a fire burning within – it was powerful, almost dragon-like. Perhaps this was what called to her. The fire burned brighter, slowly turning greener as it grew. Dragonfire. It had to be. Azur had only seen Dragonfire once before and the selfish human had reigned destruction on the dragons. That could never happen again.

Azur needed to stop it. She needed to prevent another human from destroying the dragons. But something within her halted. She couldn’t bring herself to end the life of a small child, especially one who had suffered so much. Maybe she could help the child master her power and use it for the good of dragons rather than devastation. Azur tilted her head and stretched her fingers out, lightly brushing the child’s cheek. A golden glow engulfed the small body, healing every physical injury. When the light faded, the child’s eyes were open. Wide and confused.

“Do not panic,” whispered Azur, clearing her throat. It had been many years since she had last spoken the human language. “What is your name?”

“Elnora,” muttered the child. “Where am I?”

The child had a slight stammer. “You are safe. You are a female? How old?”

The child nodded. “I was born…” she paused, frowning as she concentrated on her fingers. “Three moons ago.”

Humans didn’t understand years or how they passed. They didn’t understand the planet’s rotations, but dragons had seen it all. They knew it all, unlike the humans. The sun disappeared completely behind the moon once a year, giving the moon a halo. This event started each calendar year for the humans. Simple, but it worked. She was only three.

“Why were you in the forest?”

Tears started to trickle down Elnora’s cheeks. “Momma. Momma said we’d be safe there. But momma… momma left me there. She said my little brother was more important. I would only slow them down. I’m too weak.”

Azur frowned. It was exactly what she thought. A small child was abandoned because humans were too selfish to try to take her with them. Pathetic. No dragon would ever leave behind their child. “You are not weak,” said Azur, straightening up. “I would not have brought you here if you were weak. There is strength inside you, child. The strength of a dragon. I would recognize it anywhere.”

Realization crossed Elnora’s face. “You’re a dragon,” she whispered. “The dragon of the forest?”

“That is what the villagers called me. My name is Azur.”

“You look like a human.”

“I can take human form, but it is uncomfortable and hard to sustain. I cannot maintain this form for long, so you must learn to take care of yourself. I will teach you all I know and protect you from the humans.”

Elnora stumbled to her feet, gripping Azur’s tall frame. “You won’t leave me?”

Azur gently patted Elnora’s blonde hair. “I will not abandon you,” she said. “You are now my child; no dragon ever abandons their young.”

“Thank you,” she sobbed. “I won’t let you down.”

“I believe you,” said Azur. “Now come, we have work to do. There is much to teach you before I must return to my natural form.”

Elnora gripped Azur’s hand tightly, almost as if she feared it would disappear. Azur led her further into the mountains, determined to find a place of complete seclusion for herself and her new child. She would raise this child and teach her everything she knew. She would bring forward the fire within, bring out the power within Elnora. She could be a powerful human destined for a better path than other humans. Destined for a path to revive the dragons. That is the hope Azur had.

author, nanowrimo, writing

NaNoWriMo Is Over Again!

It’s over for another year! Honestly, I did not do too well this year. I spoke about my obstacles in the last blog and nothing got overly better over the past week.

For the first time in like… 10 years I did not complete NaNoWriMo. Feels crazy that I didn’t but it’s not the end of the world.

I’m planning on recovering over December and getting my health back on track for January. Sickness has been ravaging the house and I need to feel better, and have my family better, in order to effectively write again.

December is always busy. The holiday season is a mad-rush time and so much is happening. I’m planning on doing some small writing here and there but after the month from hell that was November… I’m excited to rest a bit and recover more.

When January kicks off I will be smashing out the writing! I wrote the first few chapters of my NaNo novel and I’m eager to share the first chapter here with you all next week! Just gotta edit it a little first.

author, nanowrimo, writing

NaNoWriMo: When Nothing Goes To Plan

Honestly, this month has been pure torture for my family. We went through a serious bout of RSV, felt okay for a few days and now we’ve been knocked out with gastro.

My husband is diabetic, so we’ve had to be incredibly careful with him with gastro and we’ve been to the hospital and bed-ridden and it’s been insane.

Somewhat thankfully I caught it first so I’m like… 60% recovered while he’s struggling in the pits of it. But our toddler doesn’t stop and it’s been pure chaos (thankfully no sick toddler yet!)

I am so behind on NaNo that I don’t even want to think about it at the moment. I’m a bit of a perfectionist, and that coupled with my ADHD has had me feeling like a failure this past few weeks.

Obviously, I am definitely not! I know it logically and I know it’s okay to not complete a NaNo one year but it is a major bummer. I was really excited to spend the month bunkering down with my writing but it’s ended up being a dreadful November for me and the fam.

I took a step back last week to calm my mind and anxieties and remember that sometimes other things come up and that’s perfectly okay. Writing is always there for me and when we’re all better I can return to writing at my own pace.

I’m going to continue to write a bit for NaNo if we all turn a corner soon. I have a few chapters done but I’m obviously nowhere near the 50,000 word mark and there’s next to no chance I’ll hit it!

And that’s okay! Being the perfectionist I am, it took a bit to be okay with that but there’s nothing wrong with not meeting this deadline. There’s always December or January to make my own deadline and there’s always NaNo next year! We’ll see where I’m at next week when NaNo ends!