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September 15, 2017

Today we’re going to experiment with personal pronouns. As you work through this exercise, notice how altering these changes the tone of your writing.


Find a picture of a stranger. Now write something (approx 2-4 paragraphs) from that character’s point of view, in first person (“I”, “me”). 

I’m the best in my ballay class. Mums always telling me not to go around saying that, but its true. I know its true becorze I herd Mrs Deaken say it to Mum when she was pikking me up after class one time. Mrs Deaken is my ballay teacher.

You shoodnt have been lissening is what Mum says when I say this, which is dum becorze they were talking rite in front off me. But Mum says it was still a privatt grownups convosayshun because they were torking in soft low voyces so the other girls woodnt hear.

Mum says the other girls will get discurraged if they think Im better than them. But I say its ovbious anyway becorze I allways get pikked for the leed rolls in our resitals. Then Mum sies and says if I go around bragging I wont have any frends.

little girl yellow dress


Now rewrite the passage, still from the character’s point of view, but in second person (“you”). 

You’re the best in your ballet class. Your mum’s always telling you not to go around saying that, but you know it’s true because you heard Mrs Deaken, your ballet teacher, say it to your mum one time when she was picking you up after class.

Your mum says you shouldn’t have been listening, which you think is dumb because they were talking right in front of you. But your mum says it was still a private, grown-ups’ conversation, because they were talking softly so the other girls wouldn’t hear.

She says that the other girls will get discouraged if they think you’re better than them, but you say it’s obvious anyway, because you always get picked for the leads in the recitals. Then your mum sighs and says if you go around bragging then you won’t have any friends.

little girl green dress


Now write the same passage, still from the character’s point of view, but in third person, and in a different tense; if you wrote the two first passages in present tense, switch to past tense, or vice versa. 

Jacinta was the best in her ballet class. Her mum was always telling her not to go around saying that, but she knew it was true because she’d heard Mrs Deaken, her ballet teacher, tell Mum when she was picking her up after class.

“You shouldn’t have been listening,” Mum said, when Jacinta brought it up in the car on the way home.
“That’s dumb. You were talking right in front of me.”
“Don’t be rude. It was still a private, grown-ups’ conversation. You’re old enough to know the difference.”
“We were talking in soft, low voices, so the other girls wouldn’t hear. They’ll get discouraged if they think you’re better than they are.”
“But they all know anyway. Mrs Deaken always picks me for the lead parts in the recitals. It’s ovbious.”

Mum sighed, but Jacinta could see in the rear-view mirror that she was trying not to smile. “Just don’t go around bragging about it. You won’t have any friends if you do.”

little girl red dress






Short Film Fundraiser: Bachelor Auction

August 13, 2017

Don’t miss this fundraiser with a difference! All proceeds go to the pickup shoot to complete my first short film/mini-webseries, Keep Me In Mind.

KMIM Bachelor Auction Poster


Check out our Facebook page to meet our bachelors!



August 11, 2017

I’m encouraging my class to develop their skills creating  consistent metre and rhythm in poetry. We started with one of the simplest poetic forms – the limerick.  
I confined myself to suburbs in my home town of Melbourne. 

A certain composer from Coburg
Desired to see a real iceberg.
She sailed the Atlantic
Till she was so frantic
Her concertos resembled Schoenberg.

A certain young lady from Brunswick
Made puns till her husband was pun-sick
He cried, “Please desist
Or you’ll no more be kissed
For this knot we have tied I will unpick.”






New VODville sketch by me!

August 10, 2017

The first sketch I’ve both written and directed for VODville is out now.

If you’ve ever been sat next to a manspreader on the tram/bus/train, seething with irritation as your arse-cheek slid off the seat, you’ll love this.

I’m a sketch comedy writer now!

June 22, 2017

I’ve recently started writing material for comedy sketch channel VODville, created by Maddy Butler. 

See my debut here, catch up on all VODville’s excellent previous sketches at and keep checking their Facebook page  for more comedy gold –  a
 new sketch every fortnight! 
Still_Adopt a Tiger_VODville

Michaelle Muir and Meerna Yousif in ‘Adopt a Tiger’ by Mileta Rien

Shadow Selves

June 14, 2017


Today I returned to an old favourite text, Susan Wooldridge Goldsmith’s inspirational poemcrazy:


The psychologist Carl Jung suggested that when we’re about seven we separate from and then bury or repress whatever parts of us don’t seem to be acceptable in the world around us. According to Jung, these unacceptable parts become our shadow … To become more fully who we are, it’s a good idea to invite our shadow to speak now and then.

Find a quiet place, sit down, shut your eyes and ask your shadow to appear … Begin a conversation with your shadow. If you’re willing, invite him or her to become part of your life … Ask what your shadow needs from you to have a positive role in your world. Where can you meet? What would your shadow like you to do together? … Let your shadow write a poem.

My reason for choosing this exercise was that my own ‘shadow’ visited me the previous morning; while I lay in bed still half-dreaming a character sprang fully-formed into my mind. I got up and wrote page after page about her.

The experience reminded me of another classic inspirational book, The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. Like Wooldridge, Cameron advocates writing as a  ‘pathway to a strong and clear sense of self’. Here she describes her daily practice of ‘morning pages’, three pages of stream-of-conscious journal-writing  – a practice which I’ve recently taken up again after a long lag: 

Living in a small adobe house … I sat at the wooden table looking north to Taos mountain and I wrote … the mountain dominated my view and my morning pages as well. What did it – or anything – mean? I asked page after page, morning after morning. No answer. And then, one wet morning, a character named Johnny came strolling into my pages. Without planning to, I was writing a novel. The morning pages had shown me a way.

I don’t know whether I’ll use my new character in a novel, or anywhere else, but today during my class I wrote a poem that distills her essence. 


my shadow knows

My shadow sings
like Patti Smith in a gritty
thrash-pop band. Like me,
she’s a brunette, but she
bleaches her choppy bob
platinum, then lets the dark
roots grow. She eats bloody
steaks, smokes Marlboro
Reds and drinks Wild Turkey.

My shadow has a tattoo of an eagle
on her right shoulder. She loves
rollercoasters and dreams
of one day

My shadow drives a cherry
1984 Holden Commodore.
She can read a map
and change a tyre.
She never went to uni
but she can read between
the city streets.

She never needs
to fill a silence
with nervous chatter.
Instead she leans back
in her chair, blowing smoke rings, and lets
people come to her. My shadow knows
how to walk in stilleto boots
without stumbling. She knows
how to ask right out
for what she wants
without apology
and straightaway
get it.









June 4, 2017

Recently I took my paint swatches into class again. It’s always a popular exercise. I recommend going into your local hardware store and starting your own collection, as it’s almost impossible not to be inspired by the creative colour names.  


Purplicious is my my favourite flavour of bubblegum, mostly because of the pretty wrapper. I’ve been collecting them for ages. When I have enough I’m gonna wallpaper my room with them. I haven’t told Mum, but I’ve already started gluing them to the wall, in the far corner behind my bedside table.

Whenever we go to the shops I ask her for another packet of Purplicious gum.
“You haven’t finished the last packet,” she says today in Kmart.
“But I’ve only got one piece left.”
“Simone, I said no. You’ll rot your teeth will that stuff.”
Kmart has to be the most boring shop in the world. Mum makes me wait for ages while she tries on bras. I used to kill time in the toy section but I’m too big now and I’d be embarrassed if anyone from school saw me there. Instead I head to the makeup section and muck around with the testers while a security guard gives me the evil eye. There’s an greeny-yellow eyeshadow I really like called Cintrino, but Mum won’t buy if for me because she says I’m still too young for makeup. I cover my eyelids with it, then go all the way to my eyebrows. I look older, like maybe fifteen or sixteen. I check out the lipsticks and find a black one. Black lipstick. Awesome. Now I look like an alien, a teenage alien. I’m just about to wipe it all off again when Mum comes out an catches me.
I wait for her to go ballistic, but instead she just kind of crumples. “What am I going to do with you?” she sighs, and gets a tissue out of her bag, spits on it and starts scrubbing my face, pressing down hard.
“Ow,” I say, but I say it softly. This is a hundred times more embarrassing than being seen in the toy section.
“Don’t you know how many germs there are in those testers?” she says.
I want to point out that there are probably at least that many germs in the saliva she’s rubbing all over my face, but I’m not gonna push my luck.

She’s quiet on the drive home. It’s not her dormant-volcano quiet, when she stews over something I’ve done and plans my punishment. It’s more like the quiet just after Dad left, when she went around doing all her regular things but in this kind of trance, and if I spoke she’d blink and ask me to repeat it. I never knew what to do then and I still don’t, and I feel bad that I’ve tipped her back into sleepwalker mode but I don’t want to make things worse so I just lay low.
To cheer myself up I think about the secret corner of my room with the purplicious bubblegum-wrapper wallpaper. I know if I asked Mum for permission she’d say no, so what I’m gonna do is, when I’ve covered the space behind my bedside table and my bed I’m going to show her how pretty it is, and then maybe she’ll let me finish the wall. I just want one thing to be all bright and shiny, like the whole world used to be when I was younger and we were all together.