You thought you had a bad day

You thought you had a bad day


Check into life… ask if everything is OKAY!

Check into life… ask if everything is OKAY!


The Change

Ashlea wrote this tonight when I gave her a 5 word challenge… What do you think?

Julie sat, noncommittal, at the dinner table with her family. The spaghetti in front of her lay untouched and didn’t appeal to her one bit. Her stomach twisted as she went over the speech she had been preparing for the better part of the morning.
Noticing her mother eyeing off the uneaten food in front of her, Julie forced down one mouthful of food. Trying not to choke on the guilt she could feel building up inside, she swallowed her food and went on to avoiding the eye contact of her family members.
Chelsea, her older sister, was twirling spaghetti on a fork when they made eye contact across the table. Chelsea was the only one Julie had told her plan to. She knew that Chelsea was the only one who would understand why she has to go against her mothers morals.
In her pink tracksuit, Julies mother Fiona was the picturesque mum. She believed in order and nothing less than perfection. Losing a husband and son had toughened her up but had in no way affected her kind heart.
As much as Julie loved and respected her mother, she couldn’t help but blame her for the decision she knew was inevitable for either herself or Chelsea to make. Growing up as a child that was very much involved in the Change had exposed her to a different way of life. Seeing her brother and dad live so happily as part of the Change had given her a positive outlook towards it.
“Well, I’m finished! I’ll do the dishes.” I knew that my willingness to do the dishes I had argued over doing since the day I could hold a plate would make my mother suspicious.
After I had gathered the dishes from the table, I walked into kitchen and set them down in the sink. I turn on the tap and add in some dishwashing soap. I turn around when I hear someone enter the kitchen. I smiled when I saw it was only Chelsea and not my mother as I had feared.
“You’re going to have to face her sooner or later Jules.” She reprimanded me.
“I know Chels, believe you me I know. Can you come talk to her with me?” When she nodded they both headed towards the living room where the sound of the tv alerted them to her location.
The dishes lay forgotten in the sink as the two girls walked out. In the end, Julie knew, dishes that weren’t done would be the least of her issues. With every step she took, her worry grew. Julie took a firm hold of her sisters hand as they entered the living room together.
“Mum, I have something to tell you and I want you to promise not to freak out.” Something in her expression must have been a tad too serious because she started to laugh.
“What? Are you joining the Change?” Fiona then threw her head back laughing to the complete displeasure of her daughter.
When Julie didn’t respond the negative at once, her mum silenced and her features grew concerned.
“Please tell me you aren’t joining the Change!” Her voice had taken on a slightly panicked tone. Julie was sure that she was reliving the days of her late husband and sons days with the Change.
“I uh… did.” Julie only looked her mum in the eye for a moment but it was enough to see the anger that boiled beneath the surface.
“Wha- Why? Why would you do that to me?” Her voice dripped with venom and Julie almost flinched at how angry her own mum sounded at her.
“This was about me, mum, not you. I made the decision on my own for me and only me.” She tried to sound confident in her answer and not make it sound pathetic like she knew it was.
“You know how much I hate the Change so why would you go behind my back and join them?”
“Mum it wasn’t behind your back! I was joining them right under your nose you just didn’t care enough to pay attention!” Julie was mad now. She hated her mother for always making everything about her, especially when she wanted for a second for it to be about herself.
“You’re only eighteen! I am not letting my eighteen year old daughter runaway to join a cause that killed her family!”
“I leave for Hawaii on Wednesday.” She almost whispered this sentence knowing it would break her mums’ heart.
“Well then you are no longer my daughter.” Turning away from her, Fiona focused her attention on anything but her daughter.
Seeing that there was nothing she could say that would tell her mum that she wasn’t purposely trying to hurt her, Julie walked out of the living room and straight out of the house.
“Julie!” she turned and saw Chelsea. “Good luck!” Julie nodded her thanks for her concern and with one last smile, stepped out of the house. Looking around she saw the world the Change was trying to fix. As well as this, Julie saw her brother and father smiling at her as the sun went down.

Girls ♥ Talk

Girls ♥ Talk

My daughter is sneaking out at night and I don’t know how to confront her about it. What do I do?

First off, figure out exactly why she’s sneaking off. I don’t mean go through her phone, ask her directly, using more subtle ways of finding out the information if you need to. Secondly, you need to actually approach her. Having never snuck out before [I promise mum] I don’t actually know the best way to approach the situation but I do know if you are angry it will make things worse. Calmly explain to her your predicament and how you want her to react. Suggest to her that she should be able to ask you to be able to go out and not have to resort to sneaking out. Remind her that you are with her, not against her and try to gently persuade her to see your way. Ashlea xx

Having never snuck out myself when I was younger (I promise Mum), I can only look at this from a mothers perspective. A mother has so many fears for their children and try with all their power to keep their children safe. Sneaking out of home means the protection is no longer there and the child is at the mercy of the outside world. By explaining to your daughter your fears, your concerns, your worries, maybe she will understand the vulnerable position she puts herself into by sneaking out and not letting anyone know where she is. Tell her that if she wants to be treated like an adult (by being allowed to go out), then she needs to act like an adult at home and that begins with mutual respect. When she respects you and your rules, you as the parent can respect her needs to venture out into the world and gain some independence. Natalie xx

Reaching and revealing: Rachel Robertson’s memoir is nationally shortlisted

A link to my studies at OUA

Claude Crowe, Writer

“I’m trying to not write a sequel.”

Dr Rachel Robertson, lecturer in Professional Writing and Publishing at Curtin, smiled as she said this, before adding, “but maybe my son can write it – it will be about the next stage of his life after all.” Rachel has been shortlisted for the National Biography Award administered by the State Library of New South Wales on behalf of the award’s benefactors, Dr Geoffrey Cains and Mr Michael Crouch AO.

Dr Rachel Robertson provided a structural assessment of my novel KITTY BLUE and uses the novel as a case study in an Open Universities Australia editing and publishing unit.

BLACK INC BOOKS are the publisher of Rachel’s critically acclaimed memoir: Reaching One Thousand.

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A daughter is just a little girl….

Friends are precious

Friends are precious


5 Tips on surviving school camp

School camp can be the highlight of the school year for some people but something others dread the most. For me, I’ve always loved school camps. I don’t know whether this is because I love socialising with my friends away from school or just because I’ve grown up in a big camping environment, either way, school camps are awesome.

I know that some people don’t look forward to camp as much as I do. This may just be because they are worried about the unknown or just hate camping in general. Whatever the reason, there is nothing to worry about when it comes to a school camp. You are in a secure environment surrounded by your friends,what more could you ask for?

If you are really worried about going on camp, follow these few simple steps and you will have a blast in no time.

  1. Don’t over think it. Things may not be exactly as they are like at home for you but don’t fret. Going on a camp is like going on a holiday. On a holiday you try new foods, stay in different places and do cool and exciting things. Camp is just like this. If you don’t over think the whole camp experience things will be fine.

  2. Relax, it makes things so much easier. If you spend the entire camp stressed out or worried about every little detail, you won’t enjoy yourself. Take a step back and a deep breath and let go of any worries you have. Try and live in the moment at camp and not stress about tomorrow or yesterday.

  3. Focus on the positives. So the food isn’t that nice, look on the bright side, you get a few days off school and homework and get to spend time with your friends! Looking at every negative that shows up will turn you into a ‘party pooper’ and trust me, no one likes people like that, especially on a fun camp.

  4. Lighten up. I know that for some people, going on camp is stepping outside of their comfort zone but take it as a challenge. Don’t be the person in the group who always sits out on the activities and misses  all the fun. Step up and test the boundaries of what you know. For all you know you might have a natural talent that you didn’t even know existed.

  5. Finally, have fun. I know it is cliché but the best way to enjoy camp is to do that, enjoy camp. It’s only for a few days so you may as well make the most of it. Some of the best memories I have from school are the camps and I am still making more to this day. Camp can be fun if you put your mind to it.

see ya Ashlea xxxx


I support Purple Day…. because my daughter has epilepsy


Surfing through life….

Surfing through life….


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