Thought-Provoking Fiction


sick in bedDuring my novel-writing course one student explained her absence the previous week with the excuse that she had ‘the plague’. Quite acceptable in the middle of winter. 

Another student justified her lack of writing progress with a blush and the comment that a past lover had come back into her life – they’d been burning the candle at both ends. The whole class thoroughly enjoyed this excuse – there was lots of laughter and envy. feet in bed

But then this student capped her explanation with the very impressive declaration that she has booked tickets to and accommodation in the Maldives for this October to finish writing her novel.

We were all stopped in our tracks, and her comment brought to mind a lesson I learnt many years ago in a personal development program that if you personally can’t follow through on a promise, at least take responsibility for making sure that a Plan B is in place. (Or in this case, if you can’t do it now, make sure you have a solid plan for later.)

It’s not always easy. Sometimes the thing we’ve promised falls away because we were depending on someone else who didn’t come through. Sometimes our plans are derailed by events so overwhelming or so beyond our power to change that we simply have to go with the flow until the tsunami lets up and we can gather the pieces of our lives together again. Sometimes our excuses are actually glimpses of truer values – we intend to do A, but B wins out because it’s actually more important to us.

Only you will know where your ‘reason’ lies on the continuum between ‘dignified’ and ‘pathetic’. :-)

PS Having said that, the interview I promised has been indefinitely delayed due to my not being able to reach the interviewee… :o

self harmingI had an unexpected realisation today. A friend has been taken ill and it struck me that a pretty good detox would probably handle much of the issue. This person is a meat-and-potatoes kind of guy who has only lately begun to eat a few vegies. He’s dealing with a case of severe inflammation. 

A mutual friend asked me what I’d recommend for him, and while I’m no health practitioner, I know from experience the cleansing effects of a plant-based diet - and getting those old offenders out, at least for a period. (I.e. meat, dairy, sugar and soft drinks, alcohol, coffee, refined carbohydrates…)

yin yang cricket ball 500pxI thought I’d weigh in with some thoughts about the cricket ball tampering issue. Given my value on 'The Whole News’, I’ve been pleased to see that the latest conversation about this issue has questioned the punishments imposed on the ‘guilty trio’.

I don’t follow cricket at all, and I’m no sports pro but I do have an appreciation of universal/natural laws and I don’t believe that any event is one-sided - either good or bad. It seems to me that there’s quite a bit of scapegoating happening here because we humans, we Australians, are loath to be completely honest or completely responsible.

festive mealOn Boxing Day we had lunch with friends and one woman, who had just read WANTED: GREENER GRASS, commented that my new novel would be a raging bestseller if it weren’t for the ‘personal growth bits' in the book.

‘People don’t want that sort of thing,’ she said.

Xmas gift

If you’ve ever received a Christmas or birthday gift that was wrapped so beautifully that you didn’t want to disturb the packaging you’ll know that, much as you admired the presentation, you wouldn’t dream of keeping the thing sealed and intact – you just naturally rip into the sticky tape and open it up. 

It struck me, as I was wandering around Woolworths this morning and listening to Christmas carols, that intuition is like a surprise gift.

Terror responseWe’ve been keeping an eye on terrorist activity in the northern hemisphere because our three children are travelling through Europe at the moment. It’s quite unsettling as news of these crises emerges, sometimes only a day after our kids have been in one of those locations; I have to remind myself to trust that they have much too much living to do for their numbers to be up yet… 

That might sound irrelevant considering that plenty of children die in these attacks, but I remember my editor Tim Marlowe saying that if you really looked into it, you’d find that those who passed had chosen that at some level.

If you read my blog of a few weeks ago (‘Watch a human being emerge from a cocoon’) you’ll know that I was in the process of rethinking my life! Well, I’ve scratched a hole in the chrysalis and I’m peering out. Here’s what I discovered in the process of being ‘liquified’…

I've emerged from my cocoon with the realisation that my core area of mastery is writing and teaching writing. Duh, right? 

The phenomenon of the caterpillar constructing a chrysalis and secretly transforming itself into a butterfly is a powerful and wonderful metaphor that inspires most of us. 

- What a beautiful illustration of the idea that nothing is destroyed or created but simply changes form! 

- What a beautiful symbol of transformation. 

- What a stunningly elegant demonstration of the fact that some degree of struggle (the squeezing out of the cocoon) is necessary to develop strength (without being squeezed, the butterfly would be too moist and heavy to fly).

But have you ever wondered about that process inside the cocoon? What is actually going on in there? And what parallels can we draw from that process to our own lives?

A friend of mine reckons that water is only good for washing dishes. His beverage of choice is champagne, and his life philosophy is that he’s 'here for a good time, not a long time'.

It sounds good and it’s very amusing but I suspect that when his body starts to fall apart he might have second thoughts. On the other hand, his great attitude to life is such that I’m sure it’s providing him with some pretty decent immunity. At sixty-odd, he’s fitter than many a younger man. I’m going to be interested to see which wins out, physical laws or the laws of the mind!