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Thought-Provoking Fiction


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Nicky Manning

Last blog I mentioned that I have a new Mastery Club Facilitator on board. Nicky Manning first contacted me five years ago expressing interest in training as a facilitator – but life had other ideas! (No straight lines…)

When her family decided to start home educating in 2019, she contacted me with plans to begin the school week with a Mastery Club session. The group would include her 12-year-old daughter, her daughter’s friend (also home-schooling), and her 24-year-old daughter-in-law, and we’d meet via Skype due to the distances.

We scheduled our sessions for 9 a.m. Mondays and, aside from the odd technical issue, soon I was visiting their lounge room via Skype and leading them through the 10-week course.

The beauty of this program is that it combines powerful information about the mind and universal laws (via video clips, stories and activities) with a goal-setting support group. Each person chose a goal to achieve by the 10th session.

There are no straight lines in the universe! We set a goal and are typically challenged in the process of achieving it. Like the old saying, ‘Love brings up everything unlike itself’, we soon find ourselves dealing with all the personal limitations that stand in the way of us quickly and easily realising our goal. So the process can detour this way and that, and sometimes we find that we choose a goal that we aren’t, after all, particularly committed to.

So hooray for this valiant team of women! Hannah set up her healing room and is now taking clients, Nicky quit smoking and is feeling healthier, Summer taught her pony to canter, and everyone learnt a lot about themselves! 

Soon after the program Nicky said she wanted to train as a Mastery Club Facilitator and her first program is currently underway with eight women and two men! The perfect way to educate and support our children is by creating home cultures that set a brilliant example by living and sharing empowering ideas. The family is the prime Mastery Club: a place where we inevitably support and challenge each other in achieving our goals.

Nicky already has a waiting list for a new program to begin early 2020 in Mt Evelyn. If you’re interested, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. (I think one of her new-year goals will be to treat herself to a bigger and better marketing picture!)

As for the 'no straight lines' dictum, I began teaching Mastery Club programs back in 2007, reached a peak of achievement with courses running here and in several other countries, and then experienced a lull in activity. So it's wonderful to see it kick on again!

Meanwhile a couple of reminders:

Saturday October 26th I’m speaking with my sisters in the inaugural ‘Bent Sisters’ presentation about literature, family, trauma and more at the Mentone Public Library from 12.30 pm following an 11-12 pm presentation by my sister Anita Bentata, author of The Wolf In A Suit, long-time psychotherapist and domestic violence educator. She is speaking on ‘The 7 Secrets Inside Relationship Abuse’ and ‘Fairy Tales and Truths for Women, the Community and Professionals’.

To RSVP: 9583 5648 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

That same day my writing client David Gillman is launching his book, ReWrite Your Life about his journey in not killing himself, aged 12, and the strategies he used to get his life back on track after years of bullying and depression. The location is Dromkeen Homestead, Riddells Creek. (I plan to catch the end of it!)

To RSVP, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 0421 694 243.

excited audience bigI’m delighted to announce a new Mastery Club Facilitator – more about her and her first course next blog! Meanwhile, here’s a snippet: 

Nicky Manning completed The Mastery Club 10-week program with a small group of daughters + friend earlier this year via Skype. She loved it and signed up to facilitate her own programs – and is beginning her first 10-week program tonight in Mt Evelyn with nine women. This lady is a mover and shaker! The plan is for those women to learn some skills and then empower their children. Such a great approach, since we know that family culture is a critical factor in our success and wellbeing.

masked manHave you followed the news story about Canadian PM Justin Trudeau’s apology for blackening his face as part of an Arabian Nights costume some years ago?

He’s been criticised for invoking racist and offensive stereotypes that signal to people of colour that they are second-class citizens.

I have never understood the need for racial slurs. To my mind all people are worthy simply because they are human – and that applies to all life forms: I’d like to see all humans, animals and the Earth itself treated with respect. But something that troubles me about Trudeau’s apology is the increasing weight of political correctness.

If you think you need a cracker up your bum to start taking money more seriously, watch this 3-minute video that features Camilla Mendoza, the passionate creator of Money Mastery For Teens and the instigator of the Quest For Riches novel, in which Swedish students talk about their relationship with money and what they are learning from Money Mastery For Teens and Quest For Riches.

MMFT video image

(NB. If you'd like to recommend Quest For Riches to your school, you can share the book review (below) by Ann Ruckert of the South Australian English Teachers Association (SAETA).)

QFR smaller high resThis is a sJacob egg pichout-out to artist This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for the brilliant cover he illustrated for Quest For Riches. The captivating egg is of one of his other ‘practice illustrations’. He was experimenting with light…

I’d actually first asked Jacob to create a new cover for The Mastery Club,

All booksI often hear people say that they don’t read fiction – it’s too ‘fictional’! They prefer real-life content and books that focus (seriously) on current issues or research rather than ‘made up stuff’. 

But what they don’t realise is that more and more studies are finding that reading fiction develops the brain and awareness in ways that non-fiction doesn’t.

Any reading is good for us, of course – it develops our vocabularies and general knowledge – but reading meaty, character-driven fiction enables us to share the minds and emotions of others and to ‘live many lives’.

I’m absolutely chuffed to announce that Touch Of Spirit Tours is hosting a Creative Writing Tour through North India – with me as the writing facilitator!

QFRLaunch MelaMela Joy, the founder of this company, was one of my sources when I was researching India for Quest For Riches. Right after the book launch she came to me with the idea of a trip that would be interwoven with a creative writing course.

I was particularly delighted because I just love the way that my life echoes my art!

Schools around Australia are celebrating books and writing and authors and the imagination starting tomorrow for the Children's Book Council of Australia's annual BOOK WEEK! 

If you're the parent of a younger child, you've probably been roped into making a costume of one of their favourite book characters. I was very chuffed a few years ago to receive a photo of a girl dressed as Nina from The Mastery Club! A green wig was the key to that costume :-)

This week an article in the Herald Sun declared that 'Aussie kids were scammed out of more than $170,000 last year according to the latest Australian Competition and Consumer Commission scam activity report' – significantly up from previous years. Suncorp behavioural economist, Phil Slade, said 'Kids were particularly susceptible to being ripped off by dodgy operators' and 'One of the best ways to help our kids avoid being scammed is to teach them financial literacy skills at an early age, to help them question things when dealing with money.' 

bookcase booksProbably one of the questions I am asked the most often is, 'How are book sales going?' 

Those who ask are genuinely interested and caring and want the best for me, but when book sales are trickling it's an uncomfortable question to answer.

Sales for the majority of self-published author are usually quite low; I remember my printer of The Mastery Club telling me that it was rare for self-published authors to return for multiple print runs in the quantity and frequency that I was doing. Even more rare are the international bestseller results. These low sales are why the average Australian self-published author earns about $11,000 per annum...

So let me give you the best question you can ask a self-published author. Banish 'How are book sales going?' and instead ask, 'What can I do to help?'

I promised to give the backstory to Quest For Riches, so here it is:

Camilla2Camilla Mendoza had been working with divorcées as a mortgage broker when she realised she had to do something about the number of women telling her that they left all money management and financial decisions to their husbands. Determined to change that dynamic, she created a workshop called ‘Money Mastery For Women’. Before long, those women were asking her to create a similar workshop for their children – and ‘Money Mastery For Teens’ was born.

Ludwina redSuccessful entrepreneur Ludwina Dautovic was one of the guest speakers at the launch of Quest For Riches. I wanted to share with you more of her comments as they are so pertinent for anyone who wants to teach their kids the value of money. Ludwina kindly gave me her entire talk to publish here. Enjoy! If you'd like to share, please give credit. Ludwina Dautovic:

My adult children are 27 and 24. As a young mother I didn’t have a good example of how to teach our children about money. There was a continual message in my childhood home that we couldn’t afford things. My parents were generous with what they had, but they struggled financially and expressed that often.

QFR launchSunday’s launch was a blast! We had a packed room, a great vibe, some compelling speakers and yummy food. Thank you to all who came to support, whether you were helping set up, or speaking, or buying books – or whether you were a supporter in the research phase! I am very grateful. 

We began the event with a few sobering statistics: 

The four teenagers in Quest For Riches head to India on a school trip. I haven’t yet had the opportunity to do the same – although if my Mastery Club/Hidden Order/Greek Islands experience is any indication, it won’t be long! – so I sought out Indians and people who have spent sustained time in India to guide me.

You’ll have an opportunity to meet some of those generous people at the launch on 30th June, but meanwhile I want to give them a big shout-out here: 

Details in the 'Read More' but meanwhile the names of these generous people are:

Himanshi Munshaw-Luhar of Beacon Holidays and Foodie Trails
Mela Joy, Founder of Touch of Spirit Tours
Rose Witherow
Carmel Scaringi
Surya/Guy Coape-Smith
Shyam Burman, Director of Primary Toys

and I'd like to thank Shyama Sasidharan for a great interview on Malayalam TV!