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Monday, December 12, 2011

The Science on Climate Change is Unequivocal

Climate change is a topic which constantly surfaces in the media and provides much fodder for fierce debate. Today however, this debate has been taken one step further by Adelaide University’s Professor of Mining Geology, Ian Plimer with the release of his new book “How to Get Expelled from School: A Guide to Climate Change for Pupils, Parents and Punters”. The climate change skeptic has outlined 101 questions to ask teachers to challenge their collective environmental activist stance which apparently has no basis in science. This publication is being backed by ex Prime Minister John Howard.

I’m no expert in the field of climatology or environmental science, but since when were “environmental activism” and “science” mutually exclusive concepts? Also, moreover, why do some people feel they are above scientific fact and choose to disbelieve something for which there is overwhelming evidence for? It almost seems as though people are frightened that any research, reports or policies which are funded by a governmental body might be a conspiracy and designed to brainwash the masses into believing a specific agenda. The Chemtrail Conspiracy is a perfect example of this. Yet I for one find it difficult to believe that the world’s science professionals, who devote their lives and careers to research, and whom are trained to analyse and synthesise data using very specific methodology which accounts for all kinds of variables which can affect overall results, would be contriving research evidence to fit with government agendas. I’d go so far as to say I think science is the one thing we can rely on to be clear and evidence based.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) spend years researching and compiling reports based on “unequivocal evidence” suggesting that humans are impacting global climate trends more and more every year. The IPCC’s 2007 report stated that numerous experiments have been constructed (and many more since this publication) which clearly indicated that the steep trend in global warming cannot be explained by natural causes. Though there are, of course, natural trends such as el nino and la nina which occur irrespective of human activity, it is almost bewildering to suggest that human activity (namely the dramatic increase in carbon emissions) is not impacting the delicate balance of the Earth’s atmosphere and stratosphere. Really, how could it not be affecting us? The Earth’s population has increased in the last 50 years from about 3 billion, to 7 billion. Folks, this is an extra 4 billion peoples’ worth of waste, as well as use of utilities and services, and most importantly electricity. In this age of technology and more extreme weather, the use of electricity has probably quadrupled or more in the last 50 years. There is no possible way that this is not having any effect on climate trends.

In May this year Professor Kurt Lambeck of the Australian Academy of Science affirmed this notion of human contribution to global warming in science/health journal The Lamp.
‘The role of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is qualitatively well understood. It is known that increasing the atmospheric concentration of CO2 leads to higher mean global surface. It is known that CO2 has increased very substantially during the last century to the highest levels seen in the last 800,000 years,’ he said. ‘It is also beyond serious question that some CO2 from human activities remains in the atmosphere for a very long time, as is the message that unless greenhouse gas emissions are reduced, an upward trend in global temperature will continue.’
(No Doubt about Climate Change, The Lamp, 2011)

The global temperate has risen over 0.4 degrees Celsius since 1979, and 0.74 C in the last century. This means that more than half of this rise has been in the last 30 years. Eleven of the last 12 years “rank among the 12 warmest years in the instrumental record of global surface temperature since 1850”. If this doesn’t concern you, this is what our future could look like if we don’t act soon, and act big:

We need to act. We need to be open about how we can collectively make changes that will reduce our emissions of Carbon. The UNFCCC climate change pact is a great step in the right direction. And in my opinion, even the newly passed carbon tax has its positives. Small steps are better than none at all. But when are the naysayers going to admit that science is proving them wrong again and again?

What do you think about climate change? Do you think we are doing enough?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

When the wind changes...

It's funny how things change... but then again, so do people. Feelings. Desires. I guess life wouldn't be a journey if they didn't. I hate the word journey. Remind me next time to use the word quest. Or voyage. Ha! We are all on life's voyage to the Nether Islands of Infinity.

Ok sorry, I've kind of lost my point. I really just wanted to say that the following is a piece I wrote about when someone turns out not be who you thought they were, and when you wake up one day and realised that something has shifted and you've moved in a different direction to where you expected. Probably for the better. It is about that moment of wistful nostalgia. Or is that nostalgic wist? Wait is wist even a word? My trusty dictionary says the word is whist, meaning silence or hush. Well this would have to be one of the most random blog entries I've ever written. Maybe I'll write up a big spiel about the carbon tax next just to mix it up.

Here it is.

You used to take my breath away
You couldn’t have known how much I cherished you
I held onto your words like they were pearls
But the wind changed
Time flew
I used to give so much
That at night I’d dream of you
You were always inside my heart, my thoughts
But the wind changed
Who knew?
You used to get inside me, underneath my skin
You were something magical and new
You gave me hope, and vision
But the wind changed
And so did you
You used to be my reason to believe
A grain of integrity and truth
To love you was an honour
But the wind changed
Time flew
Now I don’t even know you
And you haven’t got a clue
Somehow I’m still submerged waist deep in this dream
But the wind changed...
Have you?

Saturday, October 29, 2011

A Little Body Love

“Right, that’s it!! I’m going on a diet!!”
“But Mama, are you coming back?”

That was the conversation that took place with my mother when I was just three years old. I didn’t know what a diet was, the word ‘going’ meant to me that a diet must have been a place. Oh how innocence is lost quickly. Mum was often on diets when I was growing up, she struggled with body image and the more she tried to control her weight, the harder it became, especially after having my two younger sisters.

We are not a lean family naturally, but nor are any of us big exercisers and we all love eating. I was always a smaller framed person and at 5”1 most of my adult years have been spent teetering between about 50 and 55 kilograms. I can’t honestly say I have ever been happy with my body, but I didn’t used to want to do any exercise to obtain my ideal body either. I hated the fact that genetically, even at a lower body weight, I’d always carry extra weight on my face and arms and I’d look like a hideous fat person in every photo because of where I carried that weight. I hated the ‘love handles’ around my hips and I hated my flabby arms.

At my heaviest, after leaving a job that I hated and being unemployed for a period of time, then another job that made me unhappy, I think I weighed about 59kg. I was still only a size 10 but I didn’t like my body at all, I didn’t like where my life was going and I didn’t really like myself very much. For me, Body Love is all about a journey of gaining self-esteem and confidence. Something that has been a struggle my whole life. In 2008 I finally returned to full time study and though life is never easy, I think it was the best decision I have ever made. I believe in myself so much more than I ever did before. The last year has been tough to tell the truth. I have suffered with some depressive episodes that have forced me to actually face and deal with my tendency toward depression, anxiety and poor stress management. I’ve realised that you can’t hide from something living inside you.

I think for me, dealing with these things has been the catalyst for my journey to the land of Body Love. I have finally lost the dreaded few extra kilos that had bothered me for so long. I have learned to enjoy exercise and not give in to the chocolate cravings quite as often! I know, it’s a miracle! I’d be lying if I said body image was no longer an issue for me, I think it is for many women for their whole lives. At 47kg, I still have days when I look in the mirror and see non-existent fat and cellulite. Days when I feel myself slip. I think about how many calories I’m consuming often. And I worry that I’ll put weight back on.

And that is why I decided to participate in the I heart my body 2011 project. I haven’t had babies (yet), or a bad childhood or a chronic illness. I’m just “Lucy in the sky with diamonds”, often “elsewhere” as someone put it the other day, and I’m just learning to be me. And be okay with me… mostly on the inside. But on the outside, today, I am going to celebrate my little curves and my cheeky smile and realise how lucky I am to have a body that is healthy and works just the way it should at 31 years of age. What do you love about YOUR body?

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Come on baby light my fire...

Men. We love 'em and we hate 'em. I have had a lot of intense contact with a man I have let myself like too much in the last couple of months. We live in the same city,yet have had little physical contact because he has a girlfriend he is apparently unhappy with, yet not willing to leave. Our contact has been reduced for the most part to a mixture of light hearted and flirtatious banter via text messages and phone calls.

I know, I know. The alarm bells are going off right? I know this contact is not very healthy,yet I have just been rendered completely irrational every time I speak to him or see his words. The attraction is in the fact that he has never said a single thing that has left me wondering if he is the right kind of person for me. He ironically comes across as completely honest, he is kind, has a sense of humour so identical to mine that he has laughed at my jokes for five or ten minutes straight, even bad jokes. He is smart (a hippy environmental scientist)and articulate and very easy going.

He's not an addict, he's not suicidal, bi-polar or schizophrenic, he is not unemployed, he's not into prostitutes and he is not an arsehole or lacking social skills in any form. Unlike some of the creatures my poor friend Carly Findlay has happened upon lately!

Yet, he just doesn't quite seem to have it together.He would rather be with a girl he doesn't love and just flirt and play with fire on the side. Arghhhhhhhh!! I guess there comes a time when you just have to accept that he is just not that into you... and you have to walk away.

This kind of sums up how I feel:


If you want to feel warm
Then light a fire
Ignite the flames
And watch them flicker
Inside her hungry soul
If you want to feel free
Then roam like a lion
On the open savannah
Stalk your prey
Then pounce
At the peak, opportune moment
If you want to let go
Then dance like a shadow
A silken silhouette
Surrendering to the moonlight
And the rain
And the sunshine
Wait for her to mirror
Your every calculated move
If you want to feel light
Float in the ocean
Let the sun kiss your spirit
And the current drag you away
From life as you know it
If you want to dream big
Then reach to the sky
And hang your hopes on the stars
Hang your hopes on her
She lives on the moon
Waiting for a fellow moon dweller
To join her in holey matrimony
If you want to feel warm
Build a fire
Then watch the flames flicker
They’ll dance inside her
Like an orchestra of sweet scented words
Dazzle her
Then stand far away
Safe from being burned
And watch her get away
Just like you’ve done a million times before

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Persmission To Give Up

Sometimes all you want to do is run. From the task in front of you. From the problems in your life. From other people. From yourself. I can hear the collective sigh of everyone reading. We all feel like running away and giving up sometimes, and the general consensus of the world we live in today is “never ever give up”, because giving up is failing. It is losing face. It is letting ourselves down. It is showing weakness. But is there ever a time when it is okay to just give yourself permission to give something up and let it go?

I had a good talk with my mother last night. Like all mothers, she always knows better even if I think I’m managing to hide how I feel about something. A mother’s intuition I guess. It has been a difficult year, financially and with my studies and trying to take that step into the next chapter of my life, in a nice, easy, smooth glide. But life isn’t about smooth, easy glides from one thing to the next. It is bumpy, often blind, and sometimes scary. I have been to the edge and back a few times. I have crumbled. I have hit some low points this year much lower than I ever believed my circumstances would have warranted and felt so unlike myself I didn’t particularly want to look in the mirror or face the day at all. Crying spells unfortunately featured quite a lot this year.

For the uninitiated, I have invested the better part of four years into my university degree and really am on the cusp of becoming a teacher and leaving the long nights of study and caffeine overdose far far behind me. I have also invested two years into dragging my feet along with my honours thesis, trying to find a way to make it all come together and make sense. I have spent many an hour sitting in front of my laptop staring at the screen, writing 3 sentences, then deleting them, then researching some more, reading, writing another 3 sentences. Delete. It has been the death of me really. The research topic kind of fell into my lap at the start. I wanted to do research in the area of literacy and the use of multiliteracies and popular media in the classroom. So when a professor at the university walked into my research class looking for people interested in doing a literacy based thesis focused on a literacy program called MULTILIT and the perceptions of how effective it was in making gains in academic literacy achievement in one school, it seemed like the stars were sort of aligned.

Until I realised that MULTILIT was an acronym for Making Up For Lost Time In Literacy, and was actually a Direct Instruction based phonics program and nothing to do with Multiliteracies. Still, I thought, it is a topic handed to me on a platter and there is some hands on research in there which is good. It sounds interesting enough. It could work. Then time passed and life’s stresses and the sheer complexity and involved process of applying for ethics approval to conduct research in a school, especially with Indigenous students sent me into flight mode. Eventually the study was reduced to a document study with MULTILIT still as the main focus, but more a genealogical study of literacy instruction. I was a long way from my initial interest in using multimedia, pop culture and technologies to enhance literacy learning and instruction, and I was stalling with it more than ever. After my final practicum turned upside down and left me facing doing it all again with no Austudy payments to support myself, my Thesis became even harder to focus on despite the tiny window of time I had to complete it in. When my laptop recently decided it was time to call it quits and go to computer heaven, I could have given up there and then quite easily. Fortunately my parents did come to my rescue and I have a new laptop for which I am very grateful. Though I can only admit that it did cross my mind that if I didn’t have a computer then I had a good excuse to give up. Still, I kept going.

So the question I am asking myself now, is, is it time to give up? Can I give myself permission now to let it go and move on? Because I no longer qualify for Austudy, I am on unemployment benefits and under massive financial stress. The stress of knowing that time is of the essence and that I need to find work as well is impacting my health. I bemoaned my health issues on Facebook last night and claimed I must have diabetes or be a hyperchondriac. But even on Facebook, where everyone else struggles to know how to interpret things other people have said, mothers can read between the lines immediately. She phoned me and told me I was too stressed, not eating properly and getting thinner (I’d have debated that but weighed myself this morning and found I was 46kg). So after a good talk with my Mum, I think I can finally give myself that permission.

I will give myself one week to make some significant gains on my Thesis and if I can’t, then it is time to say goodbye to the task which has become unenjoyable and not the piece of writing I thought it was going to be. When have you given yourself permission to give up? Do you regret it?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Sound of Silence


Sometimes it is a dirty word, a thing better off being swept under the rug.

Sometimes it is hard to talk about, both for the person suffering, and the person trying to help the person they love.

Sometimes it is the darkest and most isolating place you could imagine being trapped.

But it is always better to reach out than suffer alone, or let a loved one suffer for lack of knowing how to help. "Speak" is the mantra for those caught in the horrendous web of despair that depression can weave.

"Speak" is something I want to do. For all those that have suffered and are suffering. I have a in my precious little mind, a novel which I hope one day will speak to those people who might feel they have lost their voice. I intend to write it. And, as a believer in raising awareness, I have set myself a goal to become an ambassador for Beyond Blue ( within 2 years.

Here is a little teaser for my book:

The Sound of Silence

Four people. One song. One tragic link buried in the past is about to resurface. Will history repeat itself? Or does someone have the power to stop it?


Felicity Free is a twenty-something, unlucky in love girl, who tends to march to the beat of her own drum. Struggling to build up her PR consultancy business in her not-so-flourishing North Queensland hometown, Flick seeks business from a wide range of clientele. Excited to take on rising local band Venus Fly Trap, she soon discovers that there is more to the eccentric rock outfit than meets the eye, especially the charismatic young lead singer who has an obsession with performing an old Simon and Garfunkel song that seems to silence his audience every time.

Jack Darling lives for his pub. Set against a spectacular tropical backdrop, the sleek and stylish bar is all Jack has left of his late wife Maggie. But business is hardly booming and Jack is desperate to get more punters through the door to save the dream he and Maggie once had together. When a cute-as-a-button PR consultant and quirky up and coming local band burst onto his radar, it seems as though his prayers have been answered. But things are never as they seem and it isn't long before Jack is suddenly faced with the demons he has had locked away for years.

School teacher Lexie Morgan has everything she ever thought she wanted. Recently relocated to one of the most sought after areas of North Sydney, her husband Andy has been offered a once in a lifetime opportunity as the senior graphic designer for Sydney's leading communications firm. With their two beautiful children and perfect home overlooking the beach, life should have been sweet for the Morgans. Yet for Lexie, the skeletons in her closet have always been lurking in the shadows. Now, with her ever troubled brother in danger of going over the edge, it seems those skeletons are about to be pushed out into the harsh light of day where Lexie can no longer hide from them.

Evan Sykes is a rock star from his hat to the tips of his toes. He has the talent to take him to the moon, but enough troubles to take him to Mars. When playing regular gigs at one of the coolest new revamped venues in town leads to interest from a major record label, Evan believes his troubles are over. Even the prospect of leaving behind his latest fling, PR queen Felicity, and moving to Sydney couldn't dampen his spirits. But all great things must end and a distasterous reunion with his estranged father is about to set Evan on course to repeat a tragedy that his family has already seen before. It is too late to change the past, but for Evan the future is still unwritten. The question is: what future will he write?


Four souls. One song. One sound they've all heard before, about to unravel and stop them in their tracks. A sound so quiet, noone dares speak of it's existence. One which has potentially catastrophic consequences. Dark and unrelenting, it is a sound like no other... The sound of silence.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Flutter By

I feel strongly about the lack of awareness in this world about mental health issues and emotional disorders. Depression affects something like 1 in 3 people at some point of their lives. Anxiety disorders are just as common. There seems to be an increase in the mortality rate from suicide, particularly in young men. Just recently a young 13 year old boy in Cairns, who had been missing for over two months was found dead about 200m from his home. Noone knew he was depressed. He was popular and always smiling, and he achieved well at school and had an active social life. How long had he suffered in silence?

And only days ago, Jay Dee Springbett, an A&R executive for Sony music – but best known for his stint as a judge on Australian Idol – was found dead in his lounge room. It appeared he had suffered cardiac arrest. He had prescription drugs nearby. By all reports, he was a good man, full of cheer and good humour. He was bright spirited and his untimely end is a devastating loss to his friends and family. His funeral was held today in Sydney. How long had he suffered in silence?

Too many people suffer in silence. I know what that silence sometimes sounds like... and there is no denying that the silence people suffer in leads to way too many lives ending much too soon. For Jay Dee, for Declan, and for all the people who left this life prematurely, this poem is for you. For anyone else who has or is suffering in silence, please speak up. No-one should ever have to suffer in silence. Depression is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign of feeling things more intensely than others. If you hold out your hand and ask for help... that is a sign of strength. This poem is for you as well.


Flutter by my butterfly
Dream of the deep blue sky
Fly like an eagle
Way up high
Listen closely to the ocean’s sigh
Fight like a warrior
With a spirit bright...
Flutter by...
Beautiful butterfly
Open your arms to forever
And fill your heart with a smile
Don’t cry
Just flutter by...
Let the truth do the talking
And your smile whisper to the sky
The secrets of the heavens
Let there be no question why
Close your mind to the darkness
Let life not pass you by
For the world is much too precious
And the stakes are much too high
Flutter by my butterfly
Dream of the deep blue sky
Open your arms to forever
...just flutter by

Friday, June 24, 2011

I can see a restless soul always itchin' to run...

This week I had my final week on campus at uni before graduating, all five days filled with sessions with various people from the education industry speaking about all the vital things we need to know and do before going off to be teachers.

Mostly I erred on the side of boredom. So I drew pictures. Here are my three favourites.

This is my interpretation of Wes Carr's forthcoming album title Lions.

This is magical flower, or a cosmic flower.

Actually it kind of matches my Cosmic Flower poem from a while back. Here is the poem again just for fun.

My Cosmic Flower

Deep in the cosmos you glimmer
Next to the starry sea
Like a lurid dream
Awash with fantasy
There's no sunshine there
No rain, or day or night
There's no awake or sleeping
And there' no wrong or right
On the jagged edge of this perforated universe
All looks convoluted and dismissive at first
Yet right on the banks of infinity
Murky, vast and bare
Nothing has it's limits
Not even the darkest despair
But there underneath a solitary beam of moonlight
Stands still, the most perfect precious sight
Untarnished and emitting
An other worldly glow
Your silhouette exquisite
A kaleidoscope rainbow
Never has there been anything so beautiful
Just standing quietly there
As you my cosmic flower sacred love so rare

And this picture is a serpent which lives in your chest and sometimes threatens to squeeze the life out of you. It represents fear, anxiety, doubt and restlessness. And when he tightens and tries to take over your mind and body, it sometimes feels like you just want to run... the art is based loosely on Wes' song lyric "you can see a restless soul always itching to run".

Monday, June 20, 2011

An Open Letter To Spidey

Dear Spidey

I was quietly on my way today
From A to B poste haste
When silently you crept with stealth across my unsuspecting face
The fear, it froze me to my bones
What was I to do?
I was driving along a winding road
And I hadn't invited you!
Oh uninvited guest, I nearly swerved into a ditch!
Dear Mr Spidey, I thought,
You inconsiderate son of a bitch!
I almost crashed, I could have died,
My life flashed before my eyes
And it was all your fault dear spidey
You were not a good surprise!
But as I calmed I realised
You were simply a restless soul 
Just like me, you were itchin to run
Screaming to rock and roll!
A friend was all you needed
A friend, I surely can be!
But next time dear spidey, if you want to say hello
Please don't creep all over me! 


Monday, June 13, 2011

Always Believe...

“Lean in closer” you whispered
So I leaned right in.
I almost fell into you
“Smile just a little” your heart begged
So I did.
I beamed, and suddenly the night wasn’t so dark
“Close your eyes and listen” you soothed
So I closed my eyes and opened my heart
I heard you like a bell ringing in the night
“I’ll tell you a story” you promised
So I waited. I believed you.
“Surrender yourself to your dreams” you seduced
So I let go of the solid ground beneath me
And looked up to the sky
“Feel your toes curl like magic has infiltrated your body” you winked
So I felt it. I trembled in a coma of bliss
“Open your eyes and see it for yourself” you sighed
And so I looked. And I saw the sweet, tranquil wonder I’d missed
“Let me show you the secret” you offered
So I took your hand and never looked back
“Lean in closer” you beckoned
Your hands cupped, outstretched
So I did. I leaned in. I saw it
It was breathtaking
You showed me something mystical
Something majestic
Something full of spright
You showed me, not the whole world
You showed me just the light
“And the secret” you whispered,
“is not to let it guide you – let your heart do that..”
“the secret” you said with a glint in your eye
“is to bathe in it”
“For if you do, you will always shine like the brightest star in the sky”
And I believed you
...I always have

Friday, April 22, 2011

Words (channeling Dr Seuss)

Words can seem far, so tiny you miss ‘em
Some are so close, you could practically kiss ‘em
Some words are empty, a jar on a shelf
But when they’re full up, they're all for myself!
Some words are quick, they’re found just like that!
They roll off your tongue at the drop of a hat!
Some words shine like a star or brilliant moonbeam
But fade rather quickly, just like a dream
Words are your friend but they’re also your foe
At times they might tell you what you already know
They get you in trouble if you don’t choose with care
Words can be cheeky, go on say it if you dare!
Words are the glue that hold your thoughts all together
They help you make chit chat ‘bout stuff like the weather!
They’re shady, they’re sunny, they’re hard and they’re runny
Some are quite bitter, and some sweet like honey
Words are the fuel that takes us to a far away place
Where wild words are aplenty, and some go to waste
Words can heal wounds, they can make us feel warm
They can help us hang on while we weather the storm
Words are the things which open your heart
So love your words! They’ll set you apart
Choose them when you’re happy, or even when you’re sappy
Choose them when you’re sad, when you’re bad, or even when you’re mad
Choose them just for you! Old words or new! Made up or true!
Choose them everyday... choose words just for you.

Copyright Lucinda Douglas 2011

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Lovestone's Destiny...

Some time ago, I watched this YouTube video. The song is written by a well known musician who was hit with a spark of inspiration after seeing the busker in the video at the Portobello Markets in London. Both Marvel and the Jonesteens are fictional.

After I watched it, the inspiration seemed to be paid forward. To me. I suddenly had the urge to write a biography/ background story for Marvel Jonesteen and his band. I felt the band was made up of Marvel, his two brothers and his sister. They were a quirky family, each with their own set of issues and challenges.

The story of Marvel and the Jonesteens began in Bali some twenty years ago. Like many stories of inspiration and triumph, it is steeped in a volcanic eruption of challenges, tragedies and melancholy. The three Jonesteen brothers and their younger sister Destiny were drawn to music from very early on when their father managed a bar and nightclub in Ubud, Bali for several years. Marvel remembers fondly the Indonesian and Balinese bands his father had playing in the bar, and was also fascinated by a street busker in town who called himself ‘Tutti’. Tutti would sit cross legged with his front teeth missing, playing his bamboo xylophone ‘rindik’, creating percussion with a rainstick, and sing all day, every day. All the Jonesteen children stopped to watch and give him money regularly.

But it wasn’t until the Jonesteen family relocated back to Sydney Australia, that their musical talents would show themselves. A troubled thirteen year old Marvel soon picked up a guitar and began to write songs that were often somewhat conflicted in content. Marvel would frequently say that “Frank” wrote them, which both baffled and concerned his family. Three years later, Marvel was diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder, and the song “I don’t want to die this way” was born. Marvel can proudly recall when “Frank” was upset with him for taking medication for his illness and wrote the song out of desperation. Apparently “Frank” had no intention of dying this way, and eventually Marvel discontinued the medication. Marvel and Frank still live side by side, in a somewhat volatile existence. Nevertheless, they make a great musical team.

Marvel’s traumatic story isn’t the only story in the Jonesteen family which is extraordinary. The youngest of the siblings, Destiny, was a keen pianist like brother Jacquin, until, at age 15, she had a nasty run-in with the in-sink-erator and lost her right hand. Sadly after a long fight with infection , gangrene set in and there was no choice but to amputate. Devastated, Destiny sunk into deep depression until one day her father brought home a drum kit. It was then that she took matters into her own hands.. well actually, hand. With her one hand, she attacked those drums with fiery valour. The drummer from Def Leopard may have only one hand, but so does Destiny watch out!

The story of Jacquin Jonesteen, is no less extraordinary! Jacquin, nicknamed “Froggy” was born with a congenital defect that left his arms deformed so that his hands were nothing more than stubs. Life has always been a major challenge for him, but the determined lad never let anything get him down. Jacquin would spend hours of his youth stretching his toes apart with paddle pop sticks and clothes pegs to acquire the necessary flexibility to carry out everyday tasks. It was his widespread toes that quickly gained him the nickname Froggy. This unbelievable keyboardist plays only with his toes, a feat not even Destiny could manage after her accident! With his naturally stretchy and flexible toes, Jacquin Jonesteen can do anything! Except climb Mount Everest! Although this is a sad fact for Froggy, he openly admits that climbing Everest is not worth the risk of getting frostbite to his toes and being left totally helpless. He prides himself on the fact that he can open a stubby with his toes.. a skill worth hanging on to!

The eldest Jonesteen brother has had a somewhat less eventful life. Prior to joining the band, Xenos (otherwise simply known as Xen) was a painter by trade. Sadly Xen lost his job for excessively sniffing paint stripper and mineral turps on the job and still battles this addiction today. But every cloud has a silver lining, just as every sniff of paint stripper burns a few hairs out of one’s nostrils. Xen picked up the bass guitar for the first time in two years and chipped away at it, rediscovering his undeniable passion for music. Xen insists that the inhalation of toxic liquids has enhanced his musical vision and gives him a head start over his brothers and sister, creatively. Marvel and Frank fully disagree.

Marvel and the Jonesteens have been on a strange and tragic, yet epic journey, and they invite you to join them. From Bali, to Sydney, to the planet Mars, this is a ride through some wild unpredictable terrain, but one you will not forget. With musical sounds combining the mellowed out Indonesian vibes from their humble beginnings in Bali, and an obvious influence of greats such as Led Zeppelin, The Doors and The Beatles, this is one band that will leave you salivating for more.

I pondered and dreamt up many other background facts about the Jonesteen family, all of which are very silly and over the top. For obvious reasons, I will never be able to use the name Marvel, or Jonesteen if I ever write the story and I will have to streamline the ideas and make sure that I write about any disabilities or mental health problems in a sensitive way. I envisaged a mock up of a memoir mixed with rock and roll autobiography written from Destiny’s perspective. I also think the subject would be better targeted to teenagers, which means the content would need to be toned down.

It has evolved a little since the original spark of inspiration, but I wanted to share it because I think it is a story I would one day really like to write. I am playing with changing the family’s name to Lovestone. Marvel will be Merlin. Yep, Merlin! I imagine his given name will be Neil after his mother’s love of Neil Diamond. Destiny will be the only one who goes by her actual name, as all three of her brothers have chosen to give themselves silly names. Merlin, Xenos and Titan (which titan are you then, douchebag? “Beeros of course! God of the almighty golden ale!”). The characters will be a little younger than I originally dreamed up, probably teenagers except for the eldest, Xen. Destiny, despite being the youngest, will be the “responsible” one. I imagine arguments over the name of their band, which is going to be born one day in the family garage. Merlin would like it to be Merlin’s Apprentices, Titan votes for Titan’s Warriors even though he plays keyboard and doesn’t sing. And Destiny and Xen both vote for The Lovestone’s Destiny with Destiny up front on lead vocals.
The winning name, and working title for the book, since it’s an interesting play on words is The Lovestone’s Destiny.

Now all I have to do is go on tour with a band and hang out with them to see what happens for research!! So what do you all think???

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Oddball Ballet Duo and other stuff

I was looking through a pile of stuff of yesterday from years ago and came across a folder which I used to use for note taking when I had retail skills training for a retail traineeship many moons ago. I was pleasantly surprised to find this picture of the "Oddball Ballet Duo" and another picture I will show you in a minute, amongst the rubble, because it reminded me that my inattentive mind has been dreaming up stories and living in the world of my imagination for a long time. I'd forgotten that I used to do things like this.

I'm sad to say that these are some of the very last remnants of my creative mind from years ago. I once had a very weak moment and ripped up all the old diaries and notebooks I had kept from about the age of fourteen, after deciding it would be really good "therapy". I had thought that I would rather not read through them ever again and nor did I want anyone else to if I happened to get run over by a bus or something. Some of the stuff was definitely enough to make me cringe! I have done the same thing a few times with my computer files - purged them and made the decision that they need not be read again, or kept. It is water under the bridge now, but I regret it a little bit, because my head has always been a minefield of words and stories and thoughts and poems and little doodles and pictures, and some things should be held onto and cherished.

I'm not sure what was going through my head when I thought of the Oddball Ballet Duo! But I do remember they were an eccentric pair of brothers who were inspired by eighties glam rock/punk/pop. We'll call the black-haired one Jonno and the red head Jimbo. Jonno was a multi-tasking man who could dance, play a keyboard and smoke a cigar at the same time. Apparently, by the looks of his star of David pendant, he was a jew. Or maybe he just thought being a jew would be cool. His brother Jimbo is a cross dresser and thinks that is part of his appeal. It looks like he must be catholic. Oh the sins he has committed in this one picture!!

The other picture I found was a picture of a little girl begging. She has darker tones and green eyes... maybe she was middle eastern (Persian)? I'm not sure, but I think she was looking at rich people walking past, heavily laden with gold jewellery, and amazing silk clothing and knowing already that she was never going to have what those people had.

I'm not much of an artist... but it is kind of cool to look back on this kind of thing and wonder where the inspiration came from.

Be careful about what you choose to throw away guys. Once it is gone, you can't get it back.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Wigglin' Wesley and the Jitterbugs

I wrote a story quite a long time ago. It is still undergoing editing whenever I get around to opening it up and looking at it. Writing in verse is difficult. The lines never seem to sound quite right - what sounded right yesterday sounds wrong today, and sometimes what sounded wrong yesterday sounds much better than you first thought, now that you read it today. I have amazing respect for any author who writes in beautiful, perfect verses. It is a special skill.

This is a story about following your dreams and being yourself. Wigglin' Wesley is a worm who loves to dance and wiggle about the place, and when the Jitterbugs dance troupe come to town, he wants nothing more than to dance. But a lifetime of being bullied by two scorpions for the way he moves without any legs has left him hurt and scared to be himself. Until now...

Here is an excerpt:

‘Twas an unfashionably cool morning in the middle of June
The leaves glistened with dew and the birds chirped their sweet tune.
The wind whistled soulfully, to the winter’s blithe song...
And the sun blazed warmly, ‘twas though nought could be wrong.

‘Sweet Mystique’ was the fragrance of the flowers in bloom -
The Jasmine and Ginger, and the Orchid’s perfume
The big fig tree’s branches swayed in the breeze
And the forest folk hurried about, as busy as bees!

It was though a spell had been cast over the canopy, far and wide
Excitement crept over the trees; Honeydew Forest was alive!
The air felt enchanted, none knew what was in store,
Except the teeny tiny critters, down on the forest floor

The commotion in the forest, at its bottommost layer had begun.
The bugs were in a tizzy about the night about to come.
“Oh what shall I wear?” squeaked Gretel, distressed
Said her gruff green ant husband, “You’ve a million things Gretel, and you’re always well dressed!”

Piper the paper wasp, turned perfect pirouettes in the air
“I can’t wait” she sighed dreamily, “what a splendid affair!”
Piper’s friend Juno, agreed, “What a magnificent do!”
And he flicked his damselfly wings, of bright, electric blue.

Madame Tempura, with her golden orb charm
Sipped her tea and leaned in to tap Mr Whirlygig’s arm
She told him excitedly about the night’s great barrage
Of amazing entertainers and their full entourage

But not all were in high spirits, or bouncing with glee
In fact, one quite the opposite, sat very quietly.
Beneath a beautiful ribbon fern, luscious and green
Wesley hid from the fuss, where he couldn’t be seen

An earthworm all sullen, Wesley cried in despair
He was totally woebegone, and felt life was unfair
“I just want to go tonight” he sobbed, “But I feel like a fool”
“The others will laugh at me, they’re always so cruel”.

Tears streamed down his face; his heart broke in two
Wesley was miserable, and not a single soul knew
He was so full of dreams; he hung his hopes on the moon
But little did he know, life would change VERY soon.

Tonight was Honeydew Forest’s great annual shindig
Everyone would be there – even cheeky Mr Whirlygig.
Special guests were to appear, as part of their tour en route.
They were famous forest wide; the “Jitterbugs” dance troupe.

Wesley was ecstatic when he first heard the news...
Until he saw Sally the Stag Beetle polishing her shoes
More than anything, dear little Wesley wanted to dance
But with no legs at all, he was sure he didn’t stand a chance!

Wesley could wiggle and squiggle and jiggle and squirm
But couldn’t jump, skip or hop, for he was only a worm!
When the others played games, he was always left out
And teased by nasty Scorpions, Saxby and Scout

They pointed and laughed at Wesley’s wormy wiggle
“Wigglin’ Wesley!” taunted Scout with a sneer and a giggle
Saxby joined in with Scout’s cruel hearted fun
“Hey Wesley”, he squawked, “Let’s see you run!”


copyright Lucinda Douglas 2011

Thursday, April 14, 2011

You Can Change The World

I'd like to change the world. I would really like to spend time in a disadvantaged community, and in an under developed country like Cambodia or somewhere in South America as part of a volunteer program. New Hope Volunteers has a great program available. I really want next year to be THE year for it.

We can ALL change the world in our own way, just by doing small things. As an aspiring children's literary author, I am writing a story about doing that. Changing the world, one thought, one day, and one step at a time. It is still a work in progress, but here is an excerpt. Tell me what you think.


Stella worried about the world. It was so very big and there were so many things to worry about, her heart couldn’t hold them all in. There were sad people, bad people, angry people and sick people. There were people who were hungry, who had nothing to eat and some without homes who lived on the street. Stella worried about them all! She worried far too much!

Sometimes Stella wondered how she could help, but the world seemed so big it was impossible.
“How big is the world Mama?” asked Stella
“Almost as big as your heart” said Mama, “but not quite”.
“How big is my heart Mama?” asked Stella
“Bigger than you could possibly imagine my darling” said Mama “with a heart as big as yours, anything is possible!”
“Mama, do you think I could change the world?”
“Stella, my darling”, said Mama “You can do anything you imagine.”
So Stella imagined...

Copyright Lucinda Douglas 2011

Wednesday, April 13, 2011



If you dream about something enough, how long before it comes true? Does it ever?

It seems like I’ve been dreaming forever... should I wake up now, or just let the tide sweep me away to Neverland?

In Neverland you never have to grow up... or do you?

Dreams become visions, and visions become great achievements. But if you keep dreaming, do you risk staying suspended in another time and place with nowhere to go?

Just a thought... what do you think?

That One Destructive Thought...

This was written while I was listening to a lot of The Doors and reading Jim Morrison poetry a while back. It's about dwelling on that one thought that can transport your mind from a good space to a negative and unproductive one.

It doesn't make very much sense. But then again, neither did Jim Morrison and I love him anyway!

Repercussions swirl
That omen
That pinnacle
That gust of wind
The unpleasantries will inevitably rise
You're here: now it begins

I didn't see it, it's a metaphorical cringe
I'm waiting
I'm calm
But I'm hanging by one hinge.

Must things be lost?
Must they change?
Will I drown in myself?
Soaked to the bone
It's leverage.
An extreme sport
Or nothing of the sort?
What is the cost...
...of that one destructive thought?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Self Help Book... could I write one?

So, I visited the counsellor/psychologists office at my university the other day for a brief session on the recommendation of my Honours program coordinator due to the fact that I was having difficulty finding the momentum and motivation to write my thesis. I was being clouded by a hundred thoughts about all kinds of things every time I tried to concentrate. Thankfully, since the session I have begun writing again and am feeling positive. For the time being anyway!!

But anyway, I came home afterward thinking that I really had a lot to learn about controlling my own chaotic thoughts,or rather, just being okay with them and letting them go. And I got to thinking that if I mastered this control, maybe I could tell my own story in a self help book. I love self help books after all haha. And so I started to write... and this is the excerpt that found itself in my page. Tell me what you think...

Leaves on a Stream
Paddling your way through life’s challenging thoughts...

I’d never seen a counsellor or psychologist before. I saw myself as invincible and strong enough to get by on my own terms, and I wasn’t convinced that a perfect stranger would have anything really useful to offer me. Or maybe I just felt I didn’t deserve help. What reason did I really have to feel the way I did about myself? My poor self concept was a reflection of my own weakness as a human being, right? My life was okay, and I should have been okay too. Yet I felt somehow out of balance. Like something had become distorted inside. My view of the world didn’t seem as clear as it once was.

I sat in the consultation room at my university and tried to breathe deeply as the counsellor carried out a meditation exercise called Leaves on a Stream. I had to imagine I was sitting by a stream listening to the water trickle peacefully and concentrate entirely on my breathing and feel every part of my body. My toes, my fingertips, the backs of my legs, my nostrils, my lips... everything. I had to think about that stream and the water bubbling over the rocks and imagine leaves and any other debris I could visualise, floating by. Those leaves would be the vessels which would carry away my negative thoughts. I put all my thoughts, both negative and positive onto those leaves and flowers and twigs and bits of algae and watched them float away downstream. They looked so graceful, swirling and moving along effortlessly. And then they all backed up against a large fallen over tree and got stuck. I watched them in my mind’s eye turn into a gluggy mass of pulp against that tree trunk like a clogged up pool filter. I didn’t tell the counsellor. I just told her they floated away.

Then I was to focus on my body. Feel every part. Did any part feel different to the rest? Did it feel tense? Was it tingling? Did it feel warm or cold? My mind was still at that stream and I was busy listening to the birds and watching a blue tongue lizard crawl across the rock I was perched on. I was wriggling around thinking my bottom was itchy because I’d been sitting in one place for too long. And then I felt a bite. On my right bottom cheek, in the bit where it meets your leg. I stood up, and wiped it over, dislodging a green ant. Great, I thought, still in the moment at my imaginary oasis, green ants. Glancing down at the rock I’d been sitting on, I saw about twenty other green ants all marching their way up the slippery moss coated side to the now vacant spot I’d been sitting. Suddenly there were green ants crawling up my leg inside my shorts, and I was impatiently trying to brush them away, cursing and jumping around on the spot...

Here I was, sitting in a chair listening to a psychologist talk me through a relaxation technique, apparently becoming acutely aware of my thoughts and my body and everything in my present space... but deep in my imaginary world I was doing a green ant dance and scratching my butt til I just about tore the skin off, all the while distracted by birds, a lizard and a fascination with floating debris sticking like papier mache to a rotten old log. That was when I realised. I definitely had ADD. But more importantly, my head was a jungle and my thoughts were like a wild stampede, constantly threatening to knock me down and steam roll me into oblivion. I had to somehow learn to tame those thoughts. I had to learn to focus on one task at a time, right here and right now in the present. It may have been all well and good to blame it on having a high tendency toward inattentive ADD, or my mother for giving me that genetic tendency, but I couldn’t live that way forever. I had to rein that stampede of thoughts in. And the time to make that change was now.

The Little Old Homesick Blues

I wrote this last year, imagining love like in the old days when the man went to war to fight for his country, far away from his home and his love.. And his girl existed, completely in hope and anticipation that would be reunited one day soon. The days of the old fashioned letter and waiting for the mail to come each day, and of looking up at the stars, knowing that the other was looking at the very same sky and that you were both thinking of each other every day.

Okay, so I am totally hopeless. But this was my very own hopeless take on that kind of love and separation..

The Little Old Homesick Blues

She stared out the window
She was thinking of him, of how lovely he was
The way he looked with the storm in his eyes
They were filled with dreams and they were overflowing with desire
Yet drenched with fear, they were bittersweet
They were a thing of beauty, a thing of love
When he stood right next to her, his hands had never been empty
His hair was unkempt, awash his face; it half hid that smile which sent her to the brink...
The world somehow stayed perched on his shoulders, and his heart on his sleeve
Though her love would always give him faith.
He was one of a kind
He was her truest love...

His mind meandered through the night
She was in all his dreams
Flitting around to the rhythm of the clock’s tick tick tick
Or perhaps time stood still where she lay, under the ambient moonlight
Her laugh was like music, a joy to his soul
He heard it, and he heard it again. The music played on.
He remembered her touch, the softness of her fingertips
He could almost taste her sweet lips, and feel her delicate skin
He knew it so well, it was all he desired
She was a warm blanket
A comfort in this cold unforgiving world
She was his one and only
She was his truest love...

They lay in bed
Not side by side
Only a million miles apart
But they dreamed the same dream
And they saved their best smiles
For the day that seemed light years away
He remembered her touch
The taste of her lips, the feel of her skin
And she thought of those eyes
Those dreams in his heart, his heart on his sleeve
And they held hands in spirit
And though oceans divided them
They held on so tightly, the universe could feel the weight of their love
Their kisses, drifted through time and through space
It was an age away
Yet so close they could smell it
They would feel as though they were never apart
For he was her one of a kind
And she was his one and only
...truest love

The Wasted Heart...

Another one from last year... just about remembering those who had your heart in their hands... once upon a time... (usually unrequited haha)

There's no pain like a wasted heart
Charred and beyond repair
If you will, just tear me apart
Look inside, if you dare
Last night, you know I saw your sweet face
A gem, radiant, perfect, and rare
I stood quite still and breathed you in
It was almost too much to bear
So I sang a languid tune
Wondered "does the world even care?"
"Will all this end soon?"
"And isn't love made to share?"
I heard a distant voice answer my cry
"Time knows no despair"
"It has no mercy, it won't ask you why"
"It hasn't a moment to spare"
Then the old grandfather clock chimed in
"It's true life is unfair"
"Give in. Give up... you'll never win"
Then it stopped, silence flooded the air
I laid with my soul inflated that night
Inflated, but really quite bare
There was nothing left to put up a fight
Only my armour, not a suit, just air
My wasted heart, it only loved you
Til it was beyond repair
Oh how I wish that you knew
Oh how I wish that you'd care..
I cried inside, "please tear me apart"
"Please look inside if you dare..."

Tis All I Ask...

I wrote this one in August last year. It is about staying postive and hopeful. And patient...

Tis all I ask
That I become rich, not in wealth
But in love, in spirit and in fulfilment
Tis all I ask
That I may be shown the way
To the light of tomorrow
And leave the darkness behind me
Tis all I ask
That your smile continue to shine
And your heart lift me up to the greatest height
So that I may hang from the stars
And find strength I never knew I had
Tis all I ask
That the sweet melody shall never stop
And that the flowers continue to bloom
That I shall find the endurance and the stamina
To persevere
To radiate sunshine
To find the spirit and joy in every day
And to make every day momentous
Tis all I ask
To not just hear, but listen
And to always have someone to listen to me
To not just be loved, but to love eternally
To give
To trust
To hope
To believe
For it is you I continue to believe in
Just as I believe that a new day will always come
Tis all I ask
To hang on, even if shall it be by a thread
To feel, even if shall it be pain, fear, loss or abandonment
To be embraced always
By your warmth and promise that everything will be okay
Tis all I ask
To share your joy and laughter, your sorrow and your tears
To share this beautiful gift...
Of love

A couple of old ditties...

So many of you know I love Wes Carr. Here's a couple of Wesley inspired poems...

This one is a Valentines Day Poem inspired by Dr Seuss 2 years ago.

A Valentine's Ditty

Oh Valentine’s Day please go away
I do not, do not, like this day
I do not like it, not a bit
All this love, it makes me sick
Heavens above, a day of love
I think I’ll give this day a shove
Single is as single does ma’am
V-Day’s just a couple’s sham
But then again it’s such a pity
To spend all day feeling shitty
It’s so much better to be all witty
And write myself a clever ditty
Especially when that long haired brute
Is in my loop, by gosh he’s cute!
How could I not be filled with glee?
He’s Wezzy! Oh Wezzy McGee!
Although he’s someone else’s boy,
He’s like a toy, my endless joy
And there’s no one else I’d rather annoy.
So what I propose, to banish my woes
Only shows, what he already knows
But on this day of the year, with a great deal of cheer
(until later when I drown my sorrows in beer)
Wes, I send to your heart, a smile from mine
Whizzing through space, in the form of this rhyme
I could send a big kiss, as well if you wish
Not that you do, just saying....ish
And along with the smile, and the kiss with real style
I’ll send three words said only once in a while
Dear Wesley, today, it’s fairly safe to say... you’re my favourite!

And this one is from a couple of months ago. Wes tweeted to his now Fiance that she was his "cosmic flower". I initially scoffed and thought it was slightly dorky, but I adore Wes' softness and eventually asked where a cosmic flower was found - "in wild clusters on the banks of the river of love?" I asked. "No, on the banks of the convoluted universe" he replied back. And so I got it... and this is my take on what a cosmic flower is...

My Cosmic Flower

Deep in the cosmos you glimmer
Next to the starry sea
Like a lurid dream
Awash with fantasy
There's no sunshine there
No rain, or day or night
There's no awake or sleeping
And there' no wrong or right
On the jagged edge of this perforated universe
All looks convoluted and dismissive at first
Yet right on the banks of infinity
Murky, vast and bare
Nothing has it's limits
Not even the darkest despair
But there underneath a solitary beam of moonlight
Stands still, the most perfect precious sight
Untarnished and emitting
An other worldly glow
Your silhouette exquisite
A kaleidoscope rainbow
Never has there been anything so beautiful
Just standing quietly there
As you my cosmic flower sacred love so rare

I'm always in the sky somewhere... I'm trying something different. I have tried more than once to start themed blogs - they seem to feel like they have more of a purpose than a higgledy piggledy one. But I never continue them, because my brain just does NOT function in a themed fashion.

Actually, it's all over the shop! And I like writing silly poetry and stories. So I thought an airy fairy, whatever-I-please blog would be more appropriate. Let's see how I go this time!!

Hope you all enjoy ;)

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