Thought-Provoking Fiction


The honeymoon was wonderful! 

We flew into Paris and visited Versailles – drove up to Reims to explore the gorgeous villages (and cellars) of the Champagne region – explored some of the chateaux along the River Loire – stayed with a delightful couple deep in the Limoges region of France where we somehow managed a rich conversation with their patchy English and my patchy French – explored the medieval city of Carcassonne… dropped into Marseilles and Aix-en-Provence – met and stayed with wonderful warm and open-hearted family in Cannes – realised a dream in Monte Carlo and on Lake Como – and discovered the Swiss Alps via train on the final leg of our adventure.

D2 Reims to Chalon 08 Hautvillers Dagonet 4D4 Loire Chateau Villandry 20D5 Loire Chateau Amboise 02D5 Loire Chateau Amboise 05D5 Tours house 04D7 Carcassonne 09D10 Cannes beach 05D11 Monte Carlo harbour 04D12 Lake Como Vistilago balcony wineD13 Lake Como ferry 01D14 Bernina train 40

This is me with my French aunt and a pic of my knight in shining armour when we were having fun in the medieval city children's store:

D7 Carcassonne 11 L with her aunt D7 Carcassonne 23

It was rich, stimulating, busy, and challenging. (In true ‘Whole News’ style I will acknowledge the challenging things: the difficulties with a hire car; the awful one-way-street-mazes in some of the cities that swallowed our holiday time as we struggled with traffic and confusion; the scary near-misses (twice catching a train with three minutes to spare, our luggage already on one of them…); the difficulty finding good vegetarian meals in France; the crazy lady on our train to Zurich who harassed us for having luggage… She was an entertaining crazy lady, however, and by the end of the experience we had the whole carriage and conductor on our side, and had been defended vigorously by Walter, a genuine Swiss Alps tour guide.)

D8 Marseilles or AIx 06

I love this French sign re disabled parking: 'If you take my space, also take my handicap.' True balance, as explained in The Hidden Order.

 D4 Chalon Great parking sign 04

While away, my interview about compromise in relationships was aired. Sarah Findlay, an Australian publicist now living in California, has created a podcast entitled ‘Our Deepest Secrets Revealed’. I met her through one of my editing clients, Cheryne Blom – thanks, Cheryne! – and we spent an interesting 40 minutes talking about my journey, especially in relation to my new book Wanted: Greener Grass.

You can access the interview (Compromise in Relationships: the Female Perspective) via a number of platforms:

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/our-deepest-secrets-revealed/id1342335172?mt=2

GooglePlay Music: https://play.google.com/music/listen?authuser&u=0#/ps/I6s4ouu3fvedljpmayho6y3qn74

Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/our-deepest-secrets-revealed

TuneIn: https://tunein.com/podcasts/Relationship-Podcasts/Our-Deepest-Secrets-Revealed-p1094893/

Breaking news: And now also on Spotify!

sunset hands love heartLove and infatuation have often been confused. The giddy falling-in-love period is a delight and a rush, and at first it's sad when that stage fades away and we begin to encounter the fires and trials that mature our love. But if infatuation grows into a stronger, steadier, deeper love then the loss is really just a transformation, as anyone who is in or has been in a long-term committed relationship understands. 

Engagement ring'Greener Grass' was the working title I gave my new novel because I wanted to explore the idea that we tend to think something else will be better than what we currently have. No wonder I was taken aback when the new man came into my life and I found that my life was imitating art: my long-time dream of a life partner who would share my interests was being realised, just as it is for the main character in my novel. (If you don't know what I'm talking about, my blog about the new novel and my seismic life changes is here.)

I've since changed the title of the novel for something more unique since those two words are already in great use (for novels, books and lawn mowing businesses!), and I'll announce the new title soon.

separation coupleWe’re encouraged to be grateful for what we have, and that’s very good and useful advice. But there’s also a place for 'divine discontent’: often our dissatisfaction with aspects of our lives gives us the ‘kick’ we need to create necessary changes.

That dissatisfaction can be particularly confusing when there are enough elements in our current situations that we genuinely value. Should we risk losing the valuable aspects in order to take a risk and reach out for something that might be better?

Last year, when I was launching my Destiny Interview Series, significant changes were unfolding in my life.

tango couple pexelsI’d been asked to teach Novel-Writing at CAE in September 2016, and so I figured I’d do the right thing by my students: I’d do what I was asking them to do and write a novel. One of the ideas in my filing cabinet had been calling me for some time – it was a concept I’d jotted down some eight years ago, and I’d been scribbling notes and bits of dialogue for it ever since. As I was calling my students to work on novel structure and character development, I figured I’d apply the lessons to my own project at the same time.

One of my ex-writing students is a Marketing Manager and we’re doing an exchange of services at the moment. Something I really appreciate about Ellen is the cleanness of her communication style. In one of our early conversations she deliberately addressed the subject of our expectations.

‘Conflict Resolution Skills’ is a course I taught years ago, and Ellen demonstrated them perfectly. There’s a sliding scale of events that result in conflict from initial Discomforts and Incidents through Misunderstandings and Tension to outright Conflict. In other worlds, conflict doesn’t just happen out of the clear blue sky; it starts with little baby steps…

The Perfect Partner - Perfect for What?

A first-hand account of the retrieval of a drowning relationship.

“Describe your perfect partner,” someone asks you.

“Okay,” you say. “Tall, good-looking, riveting eyes, sex appeal, intelligent, sensitive, honest, good communicator, creative, spiritual, great in bed, fun-loving, financially independent, aligned with whole health and whole food, romantic…”


The list of glowing adjectives just spills out, doesn’t it? It’s not at all difficult to be a Pygmalion, dreaming up an ideal partner, but let’s just fast forward the film past those first few exhilarating years to when the rose-coloured path begins to look boggy... or even bloody...

Don't Look for Mr Right, Or Give Up on Him
– Create Him!

I recently read an article in which the author, Lori Gottlieb, believes that many women are too fussy in their choice of a life partner. In her opinion, they should settle for Mr Good Enough rather than holding out for a romantic fantasy. She advises her reader: “Don’t worry about passion or intense connection. Don’t nix a guy based on his annoying habit of yelling ‘Bravo!’ in movie theatres. Overlook his halitosis or abysmal sense of aesthetics. Because if you want to have the infrastructure in place to have a family, settling is the way to go.”

And she makes a valid point. We’re fed such a steady diet of Hollywood romances on TV – in fact, her article draws heavily on television characters – that it’s easy to compare real people with celluloid people who’ve had powder dusted on their blemishes, whose words and actions are backed by stirring music, and who’ve had to re-state their lines until the Director is satisfied. So, yep, if you want to be happy in a relationship, you need a decent sense of reality.

It's Anti-Bullying Day and kids are being asked to wear orange as a sign that they won't stand for bullying. I wonder, though, if what's really being promoted is Anti-Bullies Day, since the majority of public opinion seems to be on the side of the 'victims'?

I'm more in favour of Let's Get Conscious Day… Particularly that we get conscious of universal laws and how bullying fits into them. Because upsetting as bullying can be, it's not a sign that things are broken and dysfunctional; there's actually a 'hidden order' at work…