Thought-Provoking Fiction


Countryside

I was walking Sammy and Coco, our two Maltese Shitsu dogs, in my new suburb and heading toward my favourite street, a lane that borders paddocks, when they were attacked by two bulldogs that came hurtling out of a driveway, barking aggressively.

Angry dogsI pulled Sammy and Coco backwards, trying to get away from the attacking dogs and shouting for their owner, but no one came. Instead, the bulldogs launched themselves at our small white dogs, who were darting here and there on the end of the leads trying to escape their snapping jaws. To my horror one of the dogs sank his teeth into Sammy’s hindquarters, lifting him right off the ground, and the two of them tore the lead out of my hand as the attacker chased and bit and Sammy ran and was grabbed and escaped and was grabbed. 

Little Coco, who is tiny, was seized as well, and lifted off the ground by a powerful set of jaws. And through it all, as I screamed and screamed for help, my crazed thoughts ran from fear that they would be killed, to terror that those teeth would be set on my bare legs too, to amazement that no one was coming - neither the owners nor any neighbour, even though I was screaming my lungs out.

Only the most shocking elements of this experience remain clear in my mind. The rest of it is a blur. I felt as if I’d been screaming for five minutes before the owner finally came out to call his dogs off - defensive, blustering - while I gasped, still trembling, and reminded him that it didn’t matter if his dogs had never done this before - once was enough for them to be considered dangerous! 

Eventually his wife came out, and two other women, and they sat with me and Sammy and Coco on the asphalt while we calmed down. The wife apologised profusely - her three year-old had opened the front door while they’d been out the back… We sat there stroking my dogs and soothing them and talking around what had happened - the shock, the regret, the fear, the reassurances, the apologies… 

Coco had shat herself and Sammy had hair missing on his lower back and red marks where teeth had broken skin. But they were both all right, to my immense relief. When we could trust our legs, we began to walk home slowly, and I began to wonder why this had happened.

Had I somehow attracted this attack? I scanned my ‘emotional body’ but couldn’t find anything that resonated with it. However a memory immediately came to my mind of my ex-partner’s escape from Melbourne to the ‘greener grasses’ of Bellingen a few years ago. He had thought life would be better in the country, and when he arrived he found that there was the same aggression (vandals) and waste (ride-on mowers going all day somewhere) in the idyllic hamlet of ‘Promised Land’ as there had been in Ringwood.

The lesson came home with a bump! I had been feeling thrilled about my new country environment – the expanses of land and sky, the bumpy green hills, the paddocks and sheep and cattle, the gravelly laneways, the wind in the trees… and then some of that lovely wildlife attacked our precious dogs! 

It was such a shocking experience that I had a croaky voice (from screaming) for a couple of weeks and avoided their street for even longer… I also walked warily, not quite feeling safe. So where is the divine order?

I think it is purely and simply in the centering effect. People sometimes think that there’s something nasty about the universe ‘bringing us down’ when we’re too high, but the point isn’t that it brings us ‘down’ per se, but that it brings us ‘to centre’. If we are too high, we are brought down (to centre); if we are too low, we are brought up (to centre)

I was a little too high, too elated and excited, and this was a sobering experience that grounded me. I still love living in the country but I’m less rose-coloured about it now, more conscious of the ‘dark side’.

If you find yourself longing for greener grass, remember to stay conscious of the drawbacks – and check out my new book, WANTED: GREENER  GRASS - a novel about love, envy, and a crazy kind of courage. Or read THE HIDDEN ORDER for more insights into that whole dynamic. I learnt so much while writing it.

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…)

Some of you will remember me hinting at a new book for youth that I’d be bringing out soon. The hint came several years ago, and the delay has been one of those ‘First Force, Second Force, Third Force’ situations that I describe in The Mastery Club!

QFR 3D cover

However the delays are sorted and I’m delighted to announce that the new book will be available for purchase very soon. I’m actually speaking at two events this month where I’ll have a few pre-launch copies for sale - you are welcome to join us - but the official launch event will be in the second half of the year when I’m back from my honeymoon (this June).

The title is Quest For Riches - 4 teenagers discover the keys to wealth and prosperity.

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.

– Two words that balance abuse, violence, humiliation and paralysing fear.

Rabia Siddique

On Friday my new husband and I were part of the opening ‘ceremony’ for the Professional Speakers of Australia National Convention. We were there as dancers in a fun presentation with the ‘grandfather' of professional public speaking in Australia, Winston Marsh, and his lovely wife Lauris, who has supported both Winston and the speaking industry for many years. For most of the rest of the weekend we were at leisure - a mini honeymoon since we haven't had ours yet after marrying three weeks ago. (It's coming up! Europe this June...)

But we were also invited, by conference convenor Glenn Capelli, to sit in on the Saturday morning session #PSABraveHearts.

Five women shared their stories of extraordinary bravery:

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. 

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.

I was very touched by the turn-out for the launch of WANTED: GREENER GRASS, and especially delighted by the response from the first readers who are now finishing the book, such as:

'Enjoying so far... It's one of those books you have to keep reading... I love it. I found it hard not to highlight sentences I loved. The ending is so up my alley. You asked at your launch if we would like to know what happens next. Hell yes. Do it.'

'Started and finished your book today. Love it.'

Thank you to everyone who came along to celebrate with me!