5 reasons why John Marsden is awesome.

5 reasons why John Marsden is awesome.

1. Because he seems to believe kids – including teenagers – are better people than adults.
2. Because he’s one of Australia’s most popular and successful YA authors and still makes other writers feel hope due to his success, not despair that they may never reach his level.
3. Because he’s had a heart attack and still hiked up a damn hill faster than me. Respect, man.
4. Because he said fuck at our high school talk. He doesn’t pretend teenagers don’t say fuck, or that people shouldn’t.
5. The Tomorrow When the War Began series. Nuff said.

Check his stuff out – in case I didn’t explain well enough, he is awesome. http://www.johnmarsden.com.au



It is difficult – some say impossible – to decipher the difference between poetry and prose. In the following essay I have attempted to analyse then compare and contrast two pieces of writing. I will class them poetry. The first thing I do when analysing poetry or prose is to read through the piece several times then translate it into ‘my’ language. This can prove quite difficult, but even harder is my second step of attempting to derive the underlying subtext Continue reading

Romance versus Realism – Essay

The following is an essay I wrote back in 2007 as a student at Victoria University. It’s semi-literary, so a little unlike my regular posts, but still something I put thought and effort into.

The reason I have posted this particular essay is to point out that I am not what I define as a ‘stuck-up’ reader. I like certain books for certain reasons, and I refuse to judge others based on what they choose to read.

I personally don’t think something has to be a ‘literary great’ to be considered a ‘real’ book. I believe people read for two main reasons; one, for entertainment – and escapism. And two, for education. These two things can overlap, but essentially each individual reads for their own reasons, and no-one should feel they are in a position to judge this. As a librarian, I see how many people borrow Mills and Boon and Western novels, and it is a lot. Some of these borrowers openly admit they know these stories are repetitive and predictable and some feel the need to justify this choice, by saying the balance them by also reading biographies and other more serious books, and calling them ‘easy’ and ‘fluffy’ reads. I always inform them I need no explanations, it is their choice to read what they want, and it is not up to me to make judgements.
Continue reading

Crazed Fowl…

For this writing activity, I asked the wonderful people from my ‘Melissa Black’ Facebook group to help me out. I requested they supply me with the following; a phobia, music genre, day of the week, kitchen utensil and Australian animal. I chose one of each randomly from the answers I got. We had hypnophobia (fear of sleep), rock music, Tuesday, measuring cup and kookaburra. Then I got them to choose between the words ‘and’ and ‘the’, one of which I could not use in the story. We landed on ‘the’. Following is the story I came up with, please feel free to comment or write your own along the same guidelines! Let me know if you see the word ‘the’ anywhere!

Not many people understand why I am how I am. I don’t like it, this fear of sleep that I possess, it’s debilitating and frustrating, and most certainly not purposeful. I get a few hours a night – awful broken sleep patterns full of terror and paranoia – this is my rotten routine.
It all started on a Tuesday, that fateful horrible Tuesday afternoon, and every night I’m dragged back to what I can describe only as ‘Freddy Kruger Land’. Enter sandman? Enter mind screw more like it. I fight as hard as possible, I don’t want to sleep, but apparently humans need it to survive. Continue reading

The days of the Balls…


It’s official, I’m actually part of that older generation now. You know, the one that says to kids, ‘Oh, back in my day, we didn’t have that…we did things like this…’ Blah, blah, blah.

A 16 year old girl was describing her debutante ball dress to me the other week. It sounded gorgeous, green, detailed, strapless, knee-length, she didn’t have to carry flowers, it seemed there was no guide lines for this event. In my day our dresses were all white – maybe just off white if you were lucky – floor length ball-gowns, we wore elbow length gloves, matching flowers and in no circumstance could you have a strapless dress.

Nevertheless, I enjoyed my debutante ball immensely and still put the night down as one of the best I’ve ever had. It could have been disastrous though. As girls do, I had my hair done by a local hairdresser during the day. Even though the shop was only three blocks from my house and I asked my Dad to come and pick me up, lest something awful happen to my hair on the way home. He told me not to be so lazy and walk the whole 7 minutes. Continue reading