Archive for March, 2013

Happy Easter, one and all :)


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Writing week # 13/13

Double post for today :) I came across this writing prompt on another blog and just couldn’t resist.

Write Now Prompt for March 26, 2013  is “José sat down across from him…”  Here’s the link.http://todaysauthor.wordpress.com/2013/03/26/write-now-prompt-for-mar-26-2013/ Post your work to your blog and include a link back to “Today’s Author” so your readers can find other writer’s work, too.

This is my 5 minute effort…

At last they were getting somewhere, and not a minute too soon! He’s spent two sleepless nights with the team, going over and over the evidence.

His eyes scoured the street looking for a parking bay. Nothing. Pulling into a loading zone, José took the police card from the door and slid it onto the dash before getting out.

Knowing he could be seen from inside the café, José hurried up the footpath, trying not to run. The urgency of the situation must be played down at all cost. He didn’t want to scare the lad.

He pushed open the double glass doors and briefly made eye contact with Sophie as he passed her table. He could tell that she was worried.

The seven-year-old boy was alone in a window booth and José sat down across from him. He took a packet of M & M’s from his pocket and emptied them onto a napkin. The corners of his mouth turned up just a little. ‘Which colour will we eat first?’


Nothing was said as they took turns picking and eating the blue M & M’s. It was a good five minutes before the last piece of red candy was crunched down.

‘Your mother said you wanted to talk to me.’

There was no response.

The boy looked towards his mother, sitting two tables away.


(c) DJ Stutley 2013


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Came across an interesting quote on someone’s twitter page – only the last part of the quote was missing!

How would you end this?

Politeness is the oil which reduces the …

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Good Monday Morning to you all.

Today I thought I would post a link to one of my favourite songs. I picked a version that has the words on the screen so you can sing along. Enjoy :)


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Yes, we are in week 12 my friends :)

My diary is filling up fast with various structured activities and a few impulsive ones (like going to the movies with a friend yesterday). As the days get busier, I find myself coming home and asking, ‘Now, what will we have for dinner tonight?’ A frantic search of the freezer, pantry, refrigerator and my new favourite cook book usually results in something delicious. But I’ve come to realise that unplanned meals are such a waste of time that I don’t have. 

Many years ago when the children were all at home, I discovered a foolproof way of getting the kids to eat without complaining, planning the menu well in advance and taking the stress out of deciding on an evening meal.

At the start of each month I placed a calendar and a pen on the table. Each child chose a day and a meal they wanted for that week. It meant that working teenagers could pick a meal for when they were home and didn’t feel as though they were missing out all the time. With 4 children – sometimes 5 – creating the menu, all I had to do was make sure the food required was purchased at the right time.

carbonaraIt was a wonderful system and we had a huge variety of food throughout the month – from formal roast to Taco’s. I just might have to start doing it again. Let’s see… Monday, Spaghetti Bolognese. Tuesday, Spaghetti Alla Carbonara. Wednesday, Naples Spaghetti… I’d be in pasta heaven :) but my husband just might have different thoughts. 


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Tate Publishing in the US has just finished the cover design of book 4 in the Operation Series, Operation Tango Two-Two. What do you think?

1.1 MB cover photo


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Good Monday Morning to you all :) There is change in the wind… Summer in Australia is over, but that’s not the only change.

I’ve been blogging three times a week now for 9 months, had more than 5000 hits on my site since I started, and visits from 15 different countries in the last month.

It has been a lot of fun as I explored my personal pattern of blogging. I like my Magnificent Mondays, Writing Wednesdays and Family Fridays too much to drop any one of them, but I need to create more time for other things. 

So I’ve decided that I will only blog once a week. Depending on what is happening in my life, I will post in either Magnificent Monday, Writing Wednesdays or Family Fridays. 

This will allow me to spend more time doing school visits and writing workshops with students, have breakfast with friends :) , participate in other activities (that I will talk about later), sit out on my deck…

Thank you all for your support, encouragement and comments. 

Quote for the week: Until you can manage your time, it is impossible to manage anything else. Peter Drucker

Have a great week and I’ll see you all on either Monday, Wednesday or Friday :)


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Burnt Toast

Many years ago my husband and I were Hostel Parents to 15 children plus two of our own, all aged under 12.

toastThe morning ritual of breakfast was probably the most stressful. Can you imagine cooking toast for 19 people every day? We had a large 4 slice toaster, but it wasn’t reliable and inevitably there would be a couple of burnt pieces of toast.

I began taking note of where the most burnt piece was in the stack of toast and when the toast plates were placed on the table, I would pick through the stack and take the darkest piece before passing the plate on to the next person. Not because I liked burnt toast, but because it saved the other children fighting over who would have to eat the burnt one.

It wasn’t long before one of the children began looking through and picking the most burnt one. Then another and yet another child began to look for burnt toast. It became a race to see who could get the blackest toast and we were actually asked to burn more! 

I often think of the burnt toast, especially when I catch myself wanting something that someone else wants or has. Do I want the ‘burnt toast’  because someone else already has it? Do I really want ‘burnt toast’? Most of the time, by the time I answer those questions the desire for ‘burnt toast’ has begun to fade. Thank you, children, for teaching me a valuable lesson.




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