Archive for the ‘writing’ Category

Homeless

Posted: August 12, 2018 in poetry, writing
Tags: , , , ,

Today the magpies are singing

through the shards of ice outside.

The wind is rattling the door frames,

shouting, ‘I was always here’.

Inside the heater thrums, its warmth

dispersing, immersing, inside comfort.

Cold against warmth; warmth against cold.

Intellect versus heart.

Outside and the streets are cold.

A man addled by drink is turned away,

as the nearby heaters thrum,

and hearts are stones of ice.

Compassion thaws the heart

of a weary world, doesn’t it?

Advertisements

It’s been a good start to the year. Health wise, I’m ok but like all cancer warriors I touch wood when I say that. I’m feeling much better than I was at this time last year however it’s been a long road back, rehabilitating my immune system following chemo and radiation, and also building strength and overcoming physical setbacks. That is cancer for you…the gift that keeps on giving.

I have my last CT scan coming up in the next few months; part of the surveillance oncologists implement following cancer treatment. It will be three years since diagnosis. After the CT scan, providing it’s clear, I will be handed over to my GP for six monthly blood tests, and that’s it. So getting on with things beyond cancer, and working within any limitations treatment has left me with, is a priority for me this year.

Cancer leaves many legacies – good and bad. One of these is an inbuilt ‘I don’t muck around anymore’ mantra. Dysfunction, things that aren’t working out, and old patterns that aren’t in my best interests, are dealt with swiftly and decisively. You learn there simply isn’t the time ‘to much around anymore’. Which brings me to my fight with the sulfur crested cockatoos that visit my home every year, to feast on my pear and apple trees. I love pears. They are soft, full of good stuff, and I eat them every morning. I’ve been waiting for them to ripen, conscious of the cockatoos’ arrival. They came again this year, but I was determined to get them out of my pear trees.

For years I’ve been talking to the birds that nest in the many trees surrounding my home. Call me what you will but I enjoy communicating with them, and they’ve become friends. I have a group of magpies that stand guard around my house, two crows who go walking with me, plenty of parrots who fly close by me, and the cranky plovers who grudgingly accept my presence near their nest because I faced them one day when they were swooping and angrily shook my fist at them. (Sure I might look like a crazy bird person to outsiders, but I don’t really care!).

I decided to try a bit of attitude on the thieving cockatoos, so I looked them in the eye and yelled at them to get off my tree. My partner and sons laughed…the ‘mum’s being random again’ thought crossed their minds. I was undeterred. Next I got a riding crop and waved it in the air at them, making a whooshing sound, and telling them to stay off the pear trees. The cockatoos flew off screeching back at me. For the next two days, it was back and forth until only a solitary bird would land in the tree. I would stare the bird down until it flew off.

Then the cockatoos thought I was a potential friend and began appearing in the gum tree outside my window every morning cawing, not screeching; kind of like saying ‘good morning’. And so my ‘friendship’ with them developed. The pear trees? They by and large left them alone, however I haven’t dropped my guard because they will have another go at trying to get what they want, and I’ll have to try and keep what I have. It’s just the way it works, but they do make me smile.

Anyway, enough mucking around with the cockatoos. It’s time to finish the many writing projects I have outstanding now. That, and a bit of exploring…wherever that may take me this year.

Heading back to the 80’s

Posted: April 23, 2015 in family, movies, writing
Tags: , ,

My youngest son and I have taken to watching movies at night that I’ve missed seeing on the big screen. Last night we watched Guardians of the Galaxy. Even though I didn’t think I could be entertained, I was; the story is simple, the acting amusing and not overdone and there is terrific music.

We listened to all the 1980’s songs on the film; Ain’t No Mountain High Enough among others. I had to laugh because it’s not the first contemporary film that’s used the hits of the 80’s. It was a good decade. I was travelling overseas with a backpack and a few pennies to my name and experiencing working in London and travelling across Scandinavia with a Norwegian girl. I was ‘shown’ Paris by an expert, Danish boy Klaus, who visited the city often. We went off the tourist trails in most places I visited and it was an intense time.

The 80’s also marked my eventual buckling down to study at uni in Bathurst. Wow, did we have some fun there. Between being ‘enlightened’ by knowledge and meeting and forming firm friendships with overseas students – shout out to Kezang and Jean – and my Australian bestie Jackie, we had a blast. The seasons were full and breathtaking with new experiences.

And then I came to Goulburn in the 80’s and met my future husband. A rebel without a cause, I think I quickly became his cause and despite the ups and downs of marriage, more than 25 years and three sons later, we go together like ‘peas and carrots’, as the line in my favourite movie Forrest Gump goes.

Music and good memories. They’ll cheer you up any day and I’m all for sticking my head up over the parapet and getting on with things.

If you would like to check out any of my books, head over to my author page at Amazon or visit my website.

Driving home from Sydney today the lightening arced downwards to a point in the landscape I was glad I was still far enough away from. The skies opened up and the rain came down hard. It reminded me of a storm I struck on the way back from my Canberra daily commute about seven years ago. That storm was equally, perhaps more ferocious, and hammered my car to the point where I had to pull over and stop.

The storm was directly over Lake George, an eerie and mysterious place, full of myth and legends and considered a sacred place to Aboriginal people in Australia. After the lightening and rain, came the hail and only after it abated did I consider driving on. The funny, well actually it was quite a spooky thing, was that once I negotiated the length of the lake, the storm abruptly ended and I drove into sunshine.

Some time before that I had an unnerving dream about an old Aboriginal man and Lake George. He was walking across the lake landscape and there were felled trees all around us (Lake George was turned from a natural setting into Soldier Settlement blocks – small farms – in the 1950’s or thereabouts). I got the impression that this man was very powerful because I knew instinctively that I wasn’t allowed to look into his eyes. Nevertheless, he motioned that I come with him and we negotiated the scarred landscape, walking toward the water in the distance. I also knew, instinctively, that his message for me was that the landscape needed to be traversed, even though it was difficult terrain, and that once I reached the water I would be OK.

Such is the power of a dream that this has stayed with me over the years, ready to be conjured at the memory of an afternoon storm.

I have often wondered why I had this dream at that time but my best reasoning is that it was a portend of the future. There are times in life when a hard-edged challenge threatens to derail you but you just keep walking, one foot in front of the other. You keep walking until you reach the water where life begins again.

If you would like to visit my author page on Amazon, head to http://www.amazon.com/Maryann-Weston/e/B00HSH0OXQ. There you’ll find books from young adult fantasy/paranormal, to women’s fiction, and my latest collection of horror/paranormal short stories, Evil Imminent.

Bloggers share a lot of information with their readers. They share the good times and the bad and they invite people into their most intimate thoughts, feelings and fears.

Over the years I’ve written columns for newspapers, about my experiences with juggling motherhood with work and even a column called “Chinwag”. More recently, my columns covered diverse subjects from legal rights to parenting and good health.

This blog is dedicated to exploring what it takes to be human and a writer. It gives me satisfaction to touch on subjects we’ve all experienced and to find a common ground. Today, I’m feeling sorry for all those who are going through tough times. Whether it be ill health, emotional despair or grief, the one thing you need to know is that Iphone4 794you’re not alone.

If that’s the way you’re feeling, take a look around at your family and friends and see just how much they care about you. Sometimes people don’t tell you nearly as often as they should that they care, but they do. And it’s hard to interpret someone else’s feelings when you are sitting in the lonely corner.

There’s a way out of that corner. It’s simple; it’s just love.

So remember next time you feel you’re alone, you’re definitely not. There’s love around you for sure. You just need to open your eyes and see it.

I’m venturing outside now to play with my dog Koster. He’s a wonderful companion and a real member of our family. Dogs are unequaled. As animals they have evolved to form a unique relationship with humans. They understand love, loyalty, affection and companionship.

They give and they respond to love. I think they learned that from humans.

I’m sitting here pondering whether to have eggs for breakfast. It’s a huge decision for a Saturday morning. Huge. This is the one day of the week when anything goes. There are no rules on Saturday – you can sleep in as long as you want and there’ll be no: ‘Are you up yet?’ You can also stay in your pyjamas until lunch time if you want. I’m giving you my permission.

If you feel like running a movie marathon while your behind is parked on the couch…that’s fine too; equally a marathon run, bike ride or swim. Saturday offers the kind of freedom of motivation and action that is condensed into ouimagesr two day weekends. It’s all the more vital because we know the time is precious…to do exactly what we want.

Shame really. We should be living more deliberately every day of the week. There should be swims and bike rides, and movies and staying up late on all the days of the week, but that’s not how it works is it?

During the week we fall into that haze where the days blur into the next. We work too long and our thoughts focus on the immediacy of our surroundings, rarely straying beyond that funny, unreal cocoon we’ve lulled ourselves into. It’s safe to go to work each day and go through the same machinations. Drive, get in, coffee, check emails, knuckle down, look up and talk to colleagues, knuckle down some more. Perhaps at lunch you chug down a burger and a cap (great nutrition) while at your desk, and muse about what you’ll be doing on the weekend.

Then there’s hump day as it’s known. That’s Wednesday because you’re halfway there; halfway to the golden chalice…the weekend. Then Friday comes and there’s spring in the air, and in your step. More work, more coffee, more stress, but hey you can just about smell the weekend, can’t you?

Imagine how many weeks of your life have rolled by like this. Too many I guess.

I think there should be an inbuilt filter in everyone that triggers an alarm on weekdays when you’re working too hard and too long. It should be connected to a message on your iphone or tablet that says: “Do one thing today that you’ve been wanting to do for years”. That’ll be enough to poke you right out of that working weekday haze and reignite the rebel in you, ’cause when you’re rebelling against what you think you ought to be doing but are not, then you’re living.

Happy days folks and enjoy your weekend.

One of the characters in my short story collection Evil Imminent is fascinating me still. It’s been six months since I created Sybilla, ghost hunter extraordinaire. I remember creating her as a young, almost arrogant woman who, with the supreme confidence of the foolhardy, takes on one of the most haunted houses in Newtown, Sydney.

Despite the advice of her local paranormal group to stay away from the Mason House, she goes there alone. Well, I won’t give away anymore because that would be a real spoiler. Instead, I’ll satisfy my curiosity about Sybilla by interviewing her.

What attracted you to ghost hunting?

An experience I had as an eight year old girl. My parents moved to Berrima, a little town outside of Sydney. The thing about Berrima is that it’s very old and there are a lot of buildings that are haunted there. I was lying in bed, listening to my MP3 – really loved Green Day back then – and I felt like there was someone in the room with me. We’d only just moved into this house, so I suppose I was on edge a bit. Anyway, I rolled over and tried to ignore the feeling. It was then that it happened. It felt like a cold hand had grabbed my foot. I drew my feet up and started to panic. There was something…someone in the room with me; that much I knew for sure. I started to shake and shiver but then something just clicked. I thought I’ll be damned if I’m going to cower in a bed. So, I got up, and went and got the bible mum kept in the drawer in the hallway. I started to recite the Lord’s Prayer over and over. I put my hand on that bible and walked the perimeter of my room. It just came to be to say “Begone, back to where you came from.” I said that over and over til I couldn’t feel that presence anymore…I felt empowered then, even as an eight year old.

So what was it…the presence you’re talking about?

Oh, that. Yeah…turned out that our new house once belonged to the governor of the local jail. He was one hell of a cruel dude as the story went. He ended up dying in that house…in my room actually…trinity of terror

And you moved out of that bedroom…?

Nah. I enjoyed the suspense after that…and the game. They…spirits think they can scare you but the truth is they’re just dead. They can’t hurt anyone.

Ummm. So why did you join the Newtown Paranormal Society?

Just couldn’t get enough of ghost hunting. I love it and I’m pretty good at it really. I mean why should human beings be scared of the non-living. Just doesn’t make sense. We are way more powerful than them and I enjoy showing them who’s boss…

What’s your next big project Sybilla?

The Mason House of course. Everybody’s heard of it. That’s where Marcus Mason murdered his sister and his parents. He’s one evil son of a bitch and guess what?

Ah…what?

I’m gonna make that dude pay for what he did to his little sister. She was only eight years old.

Evil Imminent is a collection of horror/paranormal short stories and can be found on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00QRE42J8. Trinity of Terror featuring ghost hunter Sybilla is one of seven stories in the collection.