What is tone?

Physios mumble I have tone and, over time, I’ve personally experienced what tone means to me. Imagine a steel rod and trying to bend the rod and the rod unintentionally resisting … that is tone to me. I don’t mean it, stiff tone automatically happens despite my wishing it would stop. Try bending my knee if I’m not ready and my leg will fight to stay straight. My leg can cooperate but I need to move into the right position and I need time for my thought, “relax”, to register with my brain. Move my leg too soon and you could break your biceps.

The best remedy I have found for my tone is hydrotherapy or cycling (the FES bike). I don’t like taking drugs. After either session the tone in my leg relaxes quicker and responds almost normal but that doesn’t last long. Within a few hours, my tone returns. No wonder I like keeping up rehab. Whether I like it or not, tone is a part of my life and this is how I manage it.

A writing exercise

At the writing course I’m doing we were tasked with writing 500 words inspired by what we first heard on the radio. This is my effort:

I am ashamed to admit, water cascading over me in the shower, alone and staring at the blanket of white paint above my head in bed, sitting over the porcelain bowl and in the dancing golden grass fields by home – I just wanna keep calling your name. I am the solemn ghd-hair brunette at the front corner desk of our class with my nose in my laptop.

You are a God.

With your baseball biceps, sandy-blonde tousled hair and Roman nose. Girls vie for your attention at the back of the class, but not I – surely, if I approached, you would see and hear nothing, even if I wore my best purple sweater. You’d be worse than my Dad who never sees me half the time, like I were some apparition. People whisper I resemble my mother – luscious chocolate hair, coal eyes, hourglass legs and deep dimples. Personally, I don’t see any resemblance because my mum was drop dead gorgeous … something I most certainly am not.

A shadow shaded me, “Emma, there’s a party tonight. Wanna come?”

Pinch me. Is Chris really talking to me? The God? “W-with you?”

His smile blinded me. “Of course with me, silly.”


“Cool. Pick you up at eight.” He turned and half way to his desk the girls around it dissolved into fits of giggles. Curious.


The base thumped “doof doof” and raised voices hummed in a shoulder-to-shoulder crowd as Emma entered, wearing her hugging white dress, beside Chris. He ducked away to fetch drinks while she stood in the doorway like a lonely Nigel.

Without warning, someone spilled a drink over her, then someone else and another – red wine, rum and red “cordial”- an artist would be proud of the canvas her dress became. She fought a waterfall of tears as she glimpsed Chris’s ashen face emerge holding their drinks. Flicking the drinks from her arms, she stormed out the front door.

Emma stumbled towards the road, searching for a cab and ignored the pointing, hundred eyeballs and open laughter directed her way.

“Emma,” yelled Chris behind her.

She turned and accused, “You set me up.”

“Cut to the chase, eh?” he said and paused a moment. He shrugged. “Thought I could prevent it.”

“I hope you’re proud of yourself,” she said and turned her back on him. She scalded herself for not listening to her instincts and any illusion of a perfect Chris exploded to smithereens.

He rushed to her side. “I’ll drive you home.”

“Why?” her voice cracked.

“So you’re home safe?”

“I don’t mean that. Why set me up only to try stop it?”

“Um…” he contemplated and swallowed. “You’re nice and a freaking genuine girl. You feel me?”

“Why should I believe you?”

“I’m here, aren’t I?”

Death – why is it so?

A short poem:

Death fascinates adults worldwide

Hollywood treats death as entertainment

While doctors dedicate their lives to treat sick and injured

Babes, young, middle-aged and old – despite geography – deaths snatches undiscriminating

Why is it so?


Unconsciousness replicates sleep.

If we don’t fear sleep or unconsciousness, why fear death?

Death comes in car accidents, cancer, heart disease, stroke and a myriad of ways

Sometimes we expect death, sometimes death smashes and grabs

Why is it so?


Do we fear death, unbeknownst to even ourselves?

Hospitals teem with patients, their message falling on deaf ears

Every day is a blessing – do we perceive truth behind the veil?

Humankind exudes intelligence but we cling to bad food

Why is it so?


The news portrays death so fleeting, so blasé

Wars, accidents, freak weather and disease

We are horrified … but are we truly affected?

Life must carry on

Why is it so?


Sky diving, bungy jumping, walking a tightrope or countless other dangers

Thrills to make life worthwhile

Smudging the line beside death

What is our morbid fascination?

Why is it so?


Work consumes and possesses us

A true vampire embracing our lives

We work on the cusp of sickness or death

Our loyalty resolute

Why is it so?


I fail to grasp why.

Memoir – An update

My memoir is shaping up nicely. It’s been edited and a friend has proof-read and provided further amendments. Now it’s ready for the eyes of an agent, for I need an agent and can’t self publish because I did years of legal work to appreciate specialists and navigating contracts, front covers, hopefully overseas rights etc is too hard with one finger on my left hand.

Only the agent recommended to me is closed presumably all January, so I’m concentrating on the fiction writing course I’ve enrolled in and my fantasy. I’m not thinking about my memoir for the time being.

A break from the bleakness of Stroke

A short poem I wrote today inspired by a friend:

My mind. Invisible chains encase me imprisoned and alone.
People converse but I croak the barest unintelligible response.
Years of one-sided conversations in my mind.
Desolation and loneliness despite the crowd surrounding me.

My life. Exploded to smithereens by a stroke.
People hug me but I cannot hug back.
Years unable to even kiss.
Unrequited basic human needs rip my heart to shreds.

My body. A lump – concrete in a wheelchair.
People cannot imagine the weight I carry.
Years sleeping on one side.
Crushed to the bed, unable move or share a marital bed.

Our government before. Dollars dictate everything.
I drink but I only drink if a carer is here.
Years of squeezing drinks in a tight budget.
Afternoons alone unable to drink a drop.

Our government now. The dollars unlocked.
People cannot understand the complete abandon I feel.
Years ahead – please let this freedom continue.
The cage opens and sets me free to drink as normal.

I do not know myself.
I love this feeling.

Happy New Year!

I came across a short story I wrote in 2009 and thought I’d share. It was second or something in a Library competition.

The story is inspired by this picture, The Lady of Shallot, J.W. Waterhouse, 1888:


Nino’s Glow

You do not see him the way I do.  You do not know how deeply noble he is.  You cannot see into his soul, not in the way I do.  You do not know him, not in the way I can.

We sit, comfortable and at ease.  My eyes cautiously caress the crisp white collar that peeps over his well-cut suit, drawing me to his clean exposed neck.  I imagine my fingers smoothing his full beard and cigar-thick moustache, my fingernails stroking the line of his strong jaw as I am drawn to his compelling eyes.  I secretly devour the creases between those dark, focused eyes.  There, I see a scabby raw edge, and a softness, that manifests a true path to his rent soul.

Watching him watch me, I can tell he is obsessed with every minute detail.  And yet, he is calm with the passing of time.  Occasionally, his head tilts as he contemplates me.  Always, he gazes at me and absorbs my aura.  Rarely, he meets my eyes.  I am terrified of the moment he will recognise my burning desire.  Sadly, he sees only what he needs to see.

I believe he is one of a kind.  He is the kind of man who is dignified and devout.  He is kind and private and quiet.  He is loved, adored.

He is the man with whom I want to spend the rest of my life.

I watch him and I want him.  I cannot have him.  He is unattainable.  I am not worthy of this timeless man.

I watch his delicate wife as she lightly steps through the garden where we sit.  I am not deceived.  I draw the same level of attention from him as the surrounding shrubbery.  He rarely acknowledges her presence, though I am acutely aware of the way his breathing changes whenever she draws near to him.  His breathing is normal for the duration of my presence.

Honestly, I am humbled to be invited into their lives.  I do not deserve this attention.  I flatter myself.  It is not I who receives attention from him.  It is my face, my figure, my genre.  I am the facilitator of his need.

Lately, I have seen too much of them and it breaks my heart.  The sitting has taken longer than usual.

When the sitting first began, his smile made my heart skip a beat.  Please understand that it was a smile between them.  Not for me.  It had a glow, a glow of anticipation.  Each smile was worth the sharp pain I felt.

There are dark, crushing moments in life that no person deserves.  I was there, the day his glow died.  The day their child died.

Nino, I say to myself, the world may believe you paint a poignant Lady of Shallot.  I know the truth.  I know my heart.  You paint my aching heart.  I ache for you.  I ache for your wife.  I ache for your lost family.

Great Wealth

Well said… brilliant perspective 😊

R Munro

“…and the Great Fog … lifted!”

Morgan Freeman’s voice narrating “Cosmic Voyage”? Actually, perhaps that too, but for me it’s the result of my head responding to the cessation of taking medication for depression.

So I’m back to being depressed? Actually yes and no. During my medicated period, I researched alternative methods of dealing with depression, and one technique I came across time and again was “write”. During deep bouts, nothing could be further from what I wanted to do, and yet even scratching out a creative sentence could have enormous positive effects.

The thing preventing me from writing however was the medication. My imagination was nowhere to be found. I could write factual sentences. I could describe real things around me and in me, but when it came to soaring off on fanciful tangents, hammering out metaphors and similes on my anvil of creativity or even dreaming up…

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