• Waking Neighbours & Eating Cake Pops

    It’s the 6th of December and just after 5am. The house is silent and outside, it’s still dark. I’ve only just woken up when my family barrels into my bedroom. They’re already singing Happy Birthday when I lay eyes on them. Mom’s leading the pack, waving her hands to direct the traffic of bodies into my room – like some sort of conductor. My brothers are close behind, followed by my father who is flanked by our dogs and the one cat that cares enough to join in. Crumb (9) (not his real name) and Nugget (5) (not his real name) lead the singing. Their voices carry through our otherwise…

  • tea and autumn leaves on wooden background: 5 useless skills I'm great at

    5 Useless Skills I’m Great At

    We’ve all got things we deem ourselves to be great at; skills that aren’t particularly useful – but we’re kind-of-sort-of proud of them nevertheless. Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I’m kind of good at these 5 things (and they’re almost entirely useless).  1. Quoting Dirty Dancing I’m not ashamed to admit it: I’ve seen the 1987 version of Dirty Dancing 9 times (and counting). I can quote a large portion of the film – not just the famous “nobody puts baby in the corner”  line. And, in case you were doubting my dedication, I’ve got a plant named Frances. There’s something about the film that I…

  • title graphic, flowers on white background: thank you

    Thank You

    Last week I set out to write a thank-you note a day. I knew it wasn’t an ambitious undertaking by any means, and that it’d be easy to achieve – but that’s wasn’t the point. The point is: I wanted to appreciate more. And I figured a good way to do that was to write thank-you notes. It didn’t really matter what I was thankful for on the day – little things like clean bed sheets and chocolate filled croissants or, bigger things like the dinner on my plate and the clothes on my back. It only mattered that I took some time to identify them. By the middle of…

  • Storm on the Horizon Title Image: How to be above average

    A Beginner’s Guide To Being Above Average

    The truth is: we can’t all go to space or, climb Everest or, write a one-hit-wonder that catapults us to fame overnight. But you know what we can do? We can throw away the empty toilet roll. And sometimes, that’s all that’s needed to improve someone’s day. On a day to day basis, it’s often the little things that count most. So here are 15 bits of unsolicited advice about kicking everyday mediocrity to the curb, from an 18-year-old who a) has a lot to learn about life, b) (probably) gets too little sleep and, c) is happy spending all day in her pyjamas.  “Great things are done by a…

  • title card - Storm on the Horizon: you're going to be fine

    To Summarise: You’re Going To Be Fine

    Dear Storm At thirteen you think you have everything figured out. You’ve got these big dreams and even bigger ambitions. Your future plans are typed out, taped into a notebook – your equivalent of set in stone – and you think you’re ready for whatever’s coming. The plan is to finish high school with all A’s and then dive right in to a journalism degree. You think you’ll work for a newspaper, write words that change the world, live in an apartment with French windows and a view of the ocean. You want to meet a boy who likes symphonies as much as you do and sip caffeinated drinks until…

  • title image for Storm on the Horizon: I didn't sign up for this

    I Didn’t Sign Up For This

    I was 9 when my mom sat me down an announced we’d be getting an addition to the family. Instantly, I was overjoyed. A puppy! A kitten! I began brainstorming name ideas – spot, meow, moo, fish? Then, I considered how much negotiating would be necessary before I got permission for the animal to sleep on my bed. That’s when mom popped my bubble. “How do you feel about having a little brother or sister?” A little—what?? I’d been an only child for 9 years (and it’d been great, by the way: no sharing my room, parents, toys, treats or cake). “Storm? How does that sound?” I’ll tell you the…

  • Title image. Notebook, pen and laptop.

    I Wrote A Book When I Was 7 (it was awful)

    When I was seven, I wrote Standing in the Night: a four-page catastrophe, riddled with spelling errors and based (heavily) on a TV show my parents were watching at the time. Unsurprisingly: it’s not good. But despite its many (many) flaws, it will always be my own personal masterpiece. This story marks the beginning of my deep-rooted love for writing and has the sort of charm that can only really be created by a seven-year-old with high ambitions, and a stomach filled with cupcake icing. Since then, writing has played a key role in my life. While my friends played make-believe at school, I was hunkered down with pencils and…