Modern day duel. Poetry duel, that is!

Who doesn’t love a yarn, as they used to say? I mean it’s part of life, no matter where in the world you live. People can’t stop talking, making conversation, engage. As little as a decade ago, the major way people kept it touch was via landlines, emails, snail mails, or good ole meet up. Not that mobile phones weren’t around. They were, they just weren’t as affordable, nor as social as they are now.

It’s amazing how easily and quickly we can engage in a conversation with someone on the other side of the world. Amazing. Because if it weren’t for current technology and the fascinating minds that created them, we’d still be carrying bricks with antennas which were used for emergencies.

Today, the wonder of social media is amazing me because as we speak (or you read, rather), I’m engaged in a micropoetry duel with another author going by @MsesseTweets on the Twittersphere, and it’s still going on as far as I can tell. But it’s like 1:30 in the morning and I’m aware I have to go to bed, so will know tomorrow morning whether the duel is still very much guns a blazing.

I started with a micropoetry tweet on my twitter @evacharya:

Why dream of flying
when you can soar?
Why dream,
if that is all?

And I got a micropoetry as a response in return from my dueller. Lets see who triumphs! :)

If you’d like to follow our battle, you know where to go.



This poem is something special, like it hit a cord deep. Take what you will from it, let the images guide you a little way at least.

Come spread your arms
like the birds of the sea
take a gander, won’t you wander
alongside me, up where heaven lay,

Perch, won’t you atop the highest trees
let the water flow through your fingertips,
leap as though air beacons, floating
through the maze of clouds, down through the rough dirt,

Feel the wind beneath your wings
they flutter, all a mutter like clothes
made from silken dreams, weaving
a life born free, amongst dirty deeds,

A bird will soar, that much is sure
those tired arms, let roar
beneath the Earth that grieves.
Fly – oh, let it fly, for a moment, ever brief.


Something to say ‘Thanks’

trial wacom copy 1

I’m just loving my new graphic’s tablet. It’s opening up things I can do as a writer/creative person. Here is just something I had wanted to say to all my blog readers and followers for such a long time, but always thought the ‘typed’ words wouldn’t have the same effect, or convey the gratitude I feel. Your constant support and likes have inspired me to write new pieces, observe the world with a wider set of eyes, and accept the different facets of being a modern aspiring writer in a world constantly shrinking.

I wanted to write to you all personally, and now I’ve finally had the chance. By allowing you to read my handwriting, it feels odd, yet somewhat inspiring. I have terrible handwriting, so I do apologise for that, but thanks again for the year of support and likes.

Character Driven Fantasy

One thing to always remember as a writer: you must have characters that are 3-dimensional. No excuses! These characters must feel the way we feel, say the things we say, do the things we would love to do if we weren’t so scared of doing them ourselves. These characters must befriend us, and we they. We must be willing to shut of the world for each other, at least till we meet ‘The End’.


Why is there such a buzz about ‘A Fault in Our Stars’? I really mean that because I just finished reading another blog which was literally about the experience of watching the movie surrounded by emotional teenaged girls bawling their eyes out. I mean, I’ve previously been in a movie theatre where the audience collectively ‘ohhed’ and ‘ahhed’ as characters burst onto the screen, but that was because it was ‘300’ we were watching and the chiselled muscles was too much to bare! But, all that outcry and immersion on a teen-movie?

It’s because the characters were drawn so well by the writers, and I say writers, which is to include the scriptwriters and not just John Green the novelist, because the three of them together took the 2-D characters of the book, which was very exclusively targeted at teen fans who wouldn’t mind a slightly less defined characters on the book because the aspects of personality shown was enough to swoon them anyway. If the actors didn’t embody the characters and breathed life into them, then again, I don’t think the hype would have been as big.

Lesson to take from the book and the film is to invest in our characters. They are not just for the purpose of telling a tale, but they are in fact the vehicles that move the tale forward. We have to learn from those that have gone before us and try to emulate their success but not copy what they have done.

I have recently written a feature-length script which was, even at its crudest stage, compared to the likes of ‘A Fault in Our Stars’. I was asked if I’ve watched the movie yet, which I haven’t and immediately was assigned a task of watching it, if nothing else than to observe how each character was cast. It feels absolutely intimidating to be told there is gold in your crude child, and that it’s time to ‘kill the darlings’, kill the parts that aren’t shining. All sound advice. Even though ‘killing your darlings’ might be the hardest things to do, it is absolutely necessary to sketch a well-rounded fantasy!

I’ve elicited some tears out of readers, but it’s time to roll the sleeves up, and get the hands dirty so that I can hopefully reduce a large number of you into a blubbering mess! Yes, that’s the mission of Characters, they need to take charge and drive the reader ahead on a journey.


DIY Trial Book Cover

trial wacom comparison

I recently bought a Wacom tablet, just so I could do trial covers, storyboard my scripts etc with ease and have the info straight onto a computer for easy sharing. This is my first time using the tablet against a concept drawing. Obviously I need to practice more. But either way, how does the design look?


A Million Smiles for June: Chapter 5

We continue, from the time when Chad’s just heard an awful news on the radio and dashes off…



5. A Forgotten Man
The entire way to the park, to that old bench where it all started, Chad couldn’t help but think again and again that the man on the news was Bax. Even though he’d promised June he’d leave them be, he had made no such promise to Bax. One way or the other, he needed to know. The hour it took him to emerge from St James station and step onto Hyde Park, he couldn’t help but feel panicked. Like suddenly all the oxygen in the world wasn’t enough. He wondered whether he was going to end up at an empty bench, or whether he’d see a friendly face or two. He was hoping for the latter.

Chad saw a figure hunched over on the bench from meters away. It was June. That bode ill, and for a brief moment he stopped approaching her. Those remaining few meters to her felt charged somewhat, and he glanced back at Elizabeth Street, and to the traffic that flowed without a hint of that morning’s tragedy. It was almost lunch time, and the park was getting crowded with dotting of people taking their lunch on the greens.

He had to weave his way through several lunching on the lawn before he reached June with her head in her palms. He came to a complete stop in front of her, suddenly feeling several pairs of eyes watching him as he approached the homeless girl.  “June…” he called. She looked up with red and swollen eyes. It almost took his breath away, the grief visible on her face. “So that was him?” She nodded, dropping her gaze at his shoes till Chad sat down next to her.

“I was trying to stop him…” she shook her head vigorously, staring across the park towards the main road. “Stop him from going there to ask about…”

Chad followed her gaze and eyed Tyler’s Café.

“He missed you…” she finally managed before sobs quietly took over her once more. Chad moved closer, taking her by the shoulders, and felt her body tremble at his touch. “I’m so sorry. So sorry!…None of this would have happened but for me.”

Chad took her in his arms. “It was an accident, June.” But June’s sobs got the better of her, causing several people eating their lunch to turn to the two with disdain. Someone even called out ‘Get a room!’ which made Chad loose his cool. The next person walking past them and glaring, he yelled at. “What are you staring at?!”

June suddenly shot up straighter, pushing herself away from him. “You came.”

“I had to.”

She wiped tears from her tender eyes and edged a little further, aware of the stares. She felt very awkward, very exposed, and suddenly, all she wanted to do was turn off the Sun and dive behind, under the bush and hide for all eternity. What was she doing waiting in the park for the man she’d told to leave them alone? What was she doing bearing her soul in front of all those people? People who stared at Chad as if he’d lost all his senses hanging out with her, the homeless girl who’d just lost the one person close to a family.

“They all seem so angry…” she sighed heavily, looking at the people around them, rather than focusing on Chad.

He didn’t care for the change of subject. “Let them stare if they must.” He rose, all his attention on her. “Let’s get you out of here.”
She stared at him, taken aback. “And go where? Where will you take me?” There was a hint of panic and accusation in her tone. “I don’t need you to take care of me. That’s not why I was waiting.” She almost yelled. “I lost someone I cared about today…” she said the words with much struggle.

Chad stepped just a little closer. His voice tender, “I know.”

She looked on at him, and couldn’t fight the tears once more. “I just needed to not feel alone for a moment at least, you know…”

Chad blinked his own eyes dry, determined not to cry in public. “Like I said, let us get you out of here. Will you come with me, June?”

She shook her head, shying away from passersby that gave her the dirty look. She wiped the moisture from her cheeks. “And where do we go?”

“Grab your bags,” he said, and she obliged, even letting him carry one of her belongings. Chad started walking ahead of her, towards the closest station, and she followed close behind, feeling very vulnerable walking past strangers who gawked like they were seeing the unthinkable. Ahead of her, Chad barked at the nearest huddle of people on the grass.

“Anyone ever tell you staring is rude?!” causing people to turn away and mind their own business, or at least until the two had passed them by. June just wished wherever it was that Chad was taking her had better be people-free, but it wasn’t to be. Chad, few steps ahead was quietly heading into the train station, down a set of stairs and into a tunnel beneath the park. Finally, when they’d entered the tunnel where the concentration of people lessened significantly, June felt safe enough to talk.

“Can you tell me where we’re going, please?”

Chad turned, allowing people behind them to walk on ahead. “I’m taking you home.”

June stood almost losing the grasp on her bag. She tightened her grip before the bag hit the floor. “I can’t.”

“Why not?”

“I can’t,” she said again, taking a small step back from him. “I can’t ask that of you.” She couldn’t very well tell him she had little trust in men, especially having had to fend for herself sleeping rough on the streets.

Chad was baffled. “You’d much rather stay up there? On the streets by yourself?”

She didn’t answer for a long time. “It wouldn’t be right.”

Chad suddenly took a step in her direction, making her more nervous than he’d realise. “June, I’m not leaving you out there alone.”


“Because, it’s the right thing.”

“You don’t even know me…”

“No, but I’d like to.”

She shook her head. “I’m not that kind of a girl.”

Chad laughed, his laughter echoing down the tunnel, causing people to look back at them. “I’m not that kind either.” He dropped her bag on the ground and gently took her by her shoulders. “I’ve just come out of a very long relationship, and I’m still getting my head around it.”

June just blinked at him causing him to crack a smile. “I’m just asking for companionship, that’s all. The house gets awful quiet, and I can’t concentrate on my work when I feel like I’m the last man alive.” When June remained quiet, he went on, “You need a space that’s safe and warm, and I need someone I can say hello to when I bump into you in the morning for breakfast.”

June shook her head in disbelief.

“And I really wouldn’t forgive myself if something were to happen to you too,” he trailed off.

“You can’t just take all homeless people home,” she said in a small voice.

“I’m not.” He picked up her bag again. “I’m taking home a friend.” He started walking further into the station. “You coming then?”

“I won’t sleep with you, you know!” she called to him, following him despite all her apprehension still standing. After all, what could be worse than being completely alone on the streets, vulnerable to all elements.

Chad laughed ahead. “Good! I don’t have to say no then. I don’t like hurting people’s feelings otherwise.”

June couldn’t help but smile. She couldn’t help spare a thought for Bax as she watched Chad buy tickets for wherever he lived from the ticket machine. She couldn’t imagine whether she’d have ever seen Chad again if it hadn’t been for Bax’s accident. For some reason, Chad felt like an angle in disguise to her, and so did Bax.

“What?” he asked, catching her lost in thoughts.

She shook her head, taking the ticket he offered. “I don’t know how to thank you. For today, or the last month…” Chad shrugged, but June wasn’t done. “Thank you, for giving Bax something to look forward to all those days.”

Chad nodded briskly, for he didn’t want to have that conversation just yet. He turned to the electronic gates and felt tears prick his eyes.

“Chad…” June called, but he walked on ahead. “I shouldn’t have taken that away from him,” she followed him through the gates and onto the platform, which was sprinkled with few people. “I shouldn’t have asked you to stay away,” she finally managed as a train pulled up alongside the platform, almost drowning her out.

Chad stepped into the carriage and headed for the upstairs section with June close by. The ride to his station was short, and in that time June was distracted by the sights. It had been a while since her last train ride. When the train started pulling into their station, Chad rose. “This is us.”

June followed him out, and as they approached the gates, she was stopped by a ticket officer wanting to see her valid ticket. The man eyed her from head to toe, and she couldn’t really imagine what a sight she’d be since she’d avoided her own reflection like the plague for quite some time now. She held her ticket to the man and had him scrutinise it a while till Chad came back.

“Is there a problem?”

The officer shook his head and walked away, leaving June feeling relieved.

“Come on, let’s go.” He said, escorting her towards the gates, waiting for her to be through the gates first, before following. Once outside, he turned sharply to her, “I’m sorry about that. Are you okay?”

“Not the first time, Chad.” June laughed.

He nodded. “Right. Follow me then.” He turned down the street, his walk fairly brisk, and June had to almost shuffle along to stay at pace with him. “It’s a ten minute walk.” He was saying.

When they happened upon his front door, June was quite taken aback at the quaint centennial house. She wasn’t expecting it, not for Chad anyway, and watched the façade in awe, at the two storey house, ones she’d always wondered about in terms of what they’d be like inside. “It’s cute,” she cried, gazing up at the small terrace.

“Wait till you see the inside!” he laughed, turning the key.

What June entered into was nothing more than a smallish lounge room with a dusty grey two-sitter sofa and the blandest of bland coffee table. “Did you get robbed?” she asked timidly stepping into the room, afraid to potentially disturb any forensic evidence the police might need.

“What? Why?”

She looked around. “It’s practically empty!”

Chad laughed again, a hearty laugh as he shut the door. “This is all I have.”

June smiled wearily, “Why?”

“It’s a long story, but like I said, it gets very lonely wandering around the house alone.”

June smiled. “Now you have someone to say hello to.”

He nodded, throwing his keys on the coffee table. The two stood there awkwardly. Chad hadn’t exactly planned to bring June home. In fact, there had been no sane thought in his head all morning till that moment he’d seen her absolutely devastated on the bench, and he couldn’t just walk away this time.

June bit her lip. “Can I use your bathroom to clean up?” It was such a hard question for her to ask, but in the super sterile room Chad called a lounge, she felt for the first time, very filthy. Like if she were to take another step into the room, she’d contaminate it and they’d have to burn the house down and everything in it.

“Yeah, sure.” He placed her bag by the sofa’s foot and walked off, up the narrow stairs to show her where the bathroom was. “Do you have anything clean to wear?”

June felt embarrassed, stopping on the top of the stairs. Her cheeks flushed red.

“I didn’t mean it that way!” Chad quickly recovered. “Just that, I’m sure you’d feel better in fresh clothes and I wasn’t sure whether you’d had a chance to clean your clothes out there.”

June’s jaw slowly dropped with every word.

Chad swore. “That totally came out wrong, didn’t it?” June nodded with a shrug. “All I meant was that, I could give you something in the meantime… that doesn’t help either huh?” he stepped aside from the bathroom door.

While June shut herself in the very clean bathroom, washing her face and brushing her teeth, Chad simply knocked lightly on the closed door. When she opened it, he was gone, but he’d left a small pile of folded towel, trackies, t-shirt and a jumper. June smiled shyly, picked up the offering and closed the door again.

Downstairs, in the kitchen, Chad wanted to bury his head in sand. For all his writing skills, he really lacked in the social front. Regardless, now wasn’t the time for sand diving. He needed to recover from his lack of empathy, so he set about making fresh coffee for them, and saw the stack of dishes days old. He pushed up his sleeve and dug into them while the sound of a shower turning on upstairs filtered down.



A Million Smiles for June: Chapter 4

Keeping Muse

So you’ve just had the most brilliant idea for a story, and you’re pretty sure it’s unique and riveting. What’s next? Why, writing it down of course before you meet the terrible trio called, boredom, time, and pace.

If you’re writing a poem, maybe you don’t need to worry about the first two, but you might come across any of the three or all three if you are writing it as short story, novella, book-length, or scripts. So how do you keep the flame of the idea alive till you finish writing the whole thing from start to finish? Here’s a hint: Keep your ‘muse’ alive!

How do you do that? Well, first thing is first, find out what inspired you to think of the story in the first place. Was it an image you saw, was it something you heard, was it something you felt, or perhaps a scene for the story? What was it that inspired you in the first place? Find that out and you are half way there with knowing how to keep your muse!

Here are some examples: during my first novel, it was the image of seeing four students walking around on the deserted school yard. Every time I needed to kick start a session of writing, that was the image I conjured to mind, and viola, I was at that place once more!

Example two, for my second novel, it was the idea of a woman tying to keep from falling in love desperately. Any time I needed a kick to get the story moving forward, that was the thought, the idea I used to get me back on track.

For the third book, which I’m currently writing, it’s an image that first inspired the story, an image of a homeless man on a rainy street side, and the poem I wrote that felt incomplete. Every time I need to set a writing mood, get in the headspace I need to re-enter that world and continue constructing it, I go back to that image and the feeling I was trying to convey through the poem.

You see, the trick to keeping your muse is to keep that initial inspiration tucked away in your mind as alive as the day it inspired something in you. Believe me, it has an endless source of inspiration to slap you with whenever you’re in need of it. It’s what will get you writing word after word till the tale is done!

I say this sincerely as I write this post straight after a session of writing the 5h chapter in ‘A Million Smiles for June’. I wish you luck. May you keep your muse too!


Beast and the Fading Beauty

This poem is an adaptation of ‘Beauty and the Beast’. Hadn’t set out to base it on something, but here it is. How does it read?

Beast and the Fading Beast
In the grand old house
under the glitteringly lit ceiling of century old
steered someone, no, something,
like the rising of an old ghost
rising from delicately carved throne
at the head of a grand but empty hall.
The figure strolled, tall
the cape gliding across the floor,
soundless, but for the wind hitting the walls outside.
Along the long abandoned hallway of old
with its river of flowing velvets,
and richness of vintage brass wall lamps
the figure passed without rejoice.
Somewhere in the vastness,
music soared like an orchestra
higher and higher and he halted
breathing in the painful tune, unable to move, nor return.
He watched, the beauty that was, appear before him
and she laughed, extending a hand.
‘Won’t you dance once more?’
He heeded, though he bled inside,
for he knew what came after, after it all.
Yet he danced, with his lady of chance,
till in his arms she aged and withered into air again,
gone, wrenching his heart once more.
The Beast, lonely once again.


A Million Smiles for June: Chapter 4

For those of you who have loved reading this quirky tale so far, here is the 4th chapter.

Hope it is liked!



4. Days of June

And so passed another couple of days waiting around for June having breakfast with Bax, making conversations and sometimes not a word at all, instead they’d be watching funny videos on Chad’s tablet or laptop, whichever he had at that moment. The morning June ambled along with her hands pocketed deep and a frown on her face, Bax and Chad were doing just that, watching silly cat videos with Bax almost snorting out his coffee through his nose. She came and stood right in front of them, and it took them a while to notice her finally.

“Hey June!” Chad smiled wide, holding up an offer of coffee her way, but she didn’t take it. Instead, she glared at him, a glare that wasn’t friendly.

“What are you doing here?” she asked.

Chad could hear the seriousness in her tone and slowly closed the laptop screen down to Bax’s protests. “Having breakfast and watching funny videos?”

She turned to Bax. “What have I been telling you, Bax?”

Bax sulked ever-so-slightly on the bench. “To leave him alone.”

What? Thought Chad, immediately turning to look to Bax, then June, and Bax again. “Why?”

She ignored him, her eyes locked on Bax till he rose from the seat and stood up. He turned to Chad, but could barely make eye contact with the man. “Look, Chad…” he began, his words heavy and hesitated. “It’s been all great and that…but it’s probably not good for you…or us to keep this going…”

“We can’t keep taking advantage of your kindness and generosity!” June added sternly. “Look,” she turned squarely to face him. “I know you mean well, and we really appreciate it. Bax here, even thinks of us as friends, and misses you, but really…we live here, you, God knows where. For us, this is life, but it doesn’t have to be so for you, Chad! Go home. Get back to your life!”

Chad put down his laptop on the bench and stood up slowly. “Nobody is making me do this, you know that right, June?”

Bax suddenly tensed, sensing June looking his way. He stepped back and nodded to Chad. “I’ll see you another time maybe, mate.” He turned and went back to chasing the Sun as it were before the two of them had started watching funny videos. “Leave you two to sort it out!”

June waited till Bax was out of earshot before she turned back to Chad. “What the hell do you think you’re doing anyway? Bringing us coffee and pastries in the mornings?! What gives you the power to be the only good thing either one of us has in our lives, Chad?”


“That’s right. All you can ever say to me is ‘I’. Ever thought about what this is doing to us? Ever thought how we will feel one day when we turn up here expecting to see you and realise you’re not coming, ever?”

He shook his head, and could almost feel the tears that were fighting her.

She stared at the ground, and when she looked back up, there were indeed tears in her eyes and her harsh demeanour had softened. “It’s making us dream, Chad…and that’s a bad thing for people in our…” she broke down crying, unable to stop the tears from streaking down her cheeks that cold morning. It was bad enough she felt bad telling Chad to stop coming to visit them, she hadn’t really wanted to show him how much it was actually ripping her apart inside that she was the one to tell him. Fighting every fiber in her body to tell him that this was the best thing for everyone involved, she didn’t need her tears to make a liar out of her.

Chad couldn’t help but take her into his arms. It was the first time he’d ever touched her or she’d ever allowed him to. She didn’t protest. The sobs came in faster and faster. Chad didn’t care for the looks he was getting from people passing them by. “We can’t afford to dream…”she was saying in between the hiccups.

It took June a moment to gather herself and when she had, she pushed Chad away, wiped her eyes, sniffled her runny nose and toughened once more. “We need you to go, Chad. Let our lives get back to their normal, or this life, what we have will destroy every last shred of our dignity…”

Chad nodded, barely comprehending what she was saying. He was trying to ignore what she was saying, but he couldn’t really ignore her tears. “You want me gone?”

She shook her head, but said, “Yes.”

Chad nodded again. “So this is it, huh? We say our goodbyes?”

It was her turn to nod. “Is that why you’ve been avoiding me?” She nodded, and Chad suddenly felt like the breakup with Setal was nothing compared to this. He’d never realised friendships were harder to loose than relationships.

“I can’t do this, Chad,” she said. “I can’t! You don’t know how hard this is for me to say, but I just can’t…”

Chad could feel tears stinging his eyes and his throat knotting. “Can I come visit?”

She laughed, and shook her head. “No, because this is what you call visits.”

He nodded. “I’m guessing call is out of the question too.”

She sniffled, wiping her nose on her sleeve. She stood on her tip toes and gently kissed him on the cheek. “I do hope you will have a good life, Chad. I sure do hope for that.” With those words said, her footsteps retrieved away from him, leaving him standing alone in the middle of the park, friendless. Of course he had Terry, and his family whom he occasionally visited, but this was different.

Chad was stunned, and he had waited around for an hour or so before he realised they weren’t coming back to and tell him it was a joke. It left him with nothing better to do than go home. When he walked in through the front door, he froze, just on the inside of the threshold and looked around the place. It was almost as empty as he felt, bare, and not good for anything but resting a weary head at night. At least he had this, whereas God only knew how June and Bax spent their nights out in the cold.

That night, he couldn’t sleep as usual, worried about his friends and how they were doing. Could he really keep away from them? Could he really sit without a care in the world at Tyler’s café anymore and not feel a thing looking out the window to the Park? No, he couldn’t really. With all these thoughts swirling in his head, Chad sat on his bed and decided to try and distract himself. After all, he always had written better when he was emotional, and that night he couldn’t even describe how he was feeling.

So he sat, in the dark gloom of the room with the clock ticking closer to midnight, his legs stretched out before him whereupon his laptop rested, opened to a new page on the screen. It’s small black cursor blinking expectantly at him like an old friend, one who would never tell him to go away. It was a strange feeling for him, as he stared at the old object with new found appreciation.

He posed his fingers atop the key board, and breathed in the moment, his fingers resting on their homes out of habit. He closed his eyes, feeling the cold keys beneath his fingertips. He started typing without much of a thought, nor a plan. It had been weeks since, but as he started the words simply poured out. Words that started as random thoughts, and Chad was just happy he’d written something, but as he went over it in the next hour, he couldn’t help look at it and sigh. He clicked his tongue and closed the laptop and threw it aside. He’d just begun to write a journal entry and that never bode well for him. He’d decided he needed to see his psychologist soon and get all the junk out, junk that had the potential to pour themselves into creative works which could do without it. The last time he’d let his own feelings infuse into his book, it hadn’t gone down well with the fans. He didn’t need that again.

Chad could feel the throbbing of his temples and welcomed the pain. At least, for the moment, they were distracting him from his real problem. He’d lost two people he’d kind of came to care about all in one day. In the dark of his room, like that, he fell into an uncomfortable sleep where his thoughts turned into violent dreams.

When he woke, the Sun had forgotten to come out, hiding like a shy child behind the heavy blanket of clouds. He could smell the wetness lingering in them before it even began to rain. He forced himself out of bed and changed into street wear, and for some reason, he left the house, on foot and minus an umbrella. He needed the walk, to feel the cold against his face, to feel the hard ground beneath his feet. Eventually, the heavens did open up as Chad completed his first lap around the block. He contemplated walking into his house and grabbing an umbrella, but by this point he was soaked, and there would be no point. Besides, he was sure the one umbrella he remembered might have been Setal’s and therefore no longer inside his property. So, he spun himself around with a new spring in his step at the thought of dodging that bullet and powered on down the street determined to complete another lap. When the rain became too much, he found himself sheltering beneath a quaint little store’s awnings.

The door behind him opened and a small lady appeared, she held out a foam cup towards him. “I made you tea…thought you could do with a cuppa” she smiled as Chad reached out for the offering, and just like that, she disappeared back inside the store. And suddenly it hit him, as he sipped that cup of tea while rain poured down all around him, how June and Bax must feel every time he went to meet them. It was a mixture gratitude, disbelief, anger and shame. He was a little closer to understanding why June sent him away now than he had been the day before.


It was a hard thing to do, keeping away from Hyde Park or Tyler’s café for the next couple of days for Chad. He just couldn’t bring himself to walk to the station, catch a train, get to Tyler’s café and sit there, as if the last three weeks had simply been a dream, or worse, figment of him imagination. As if June and Bax didn’t exist anywhere other than the realms of his mind.

On one such late morning, few days from their walking away from him, Chad sat on his kitchen bench top, legs folded beneath him, eating from a bag of red-seedless grapes, still in his pyjamas. He had turned into a recluse, even more so than before. This was what he’d been reduced to in an attempt to respect June’s wishes to be left alone. He sat there, listening to the radio cranked up high, his only human contact for the last 48 hours, but he wasn’t really paying attention to it until a news bulletin sent him flying off the bench top and pouncing on the radio. He listened intensely.

It was a breaking news: A bearded middle-aged man, who seemed to have been one of Sydney’s many living on the streets, has just been pronounced dead at Royal Alfred Hospital after coming under a bus in the early morning traffic outside St James station. It seems the man ran straight into oncoming traffic and sustained injuries that eventually proved fatal. The police are urging anyone with information regarding the man or his next of kin to come forward.

A chill coursed again and again through Chad. Something told him that the man wasn’t a random, not to him. He quickly changed into whatever clothes he found around his bed, not caring to take a shower, or comb his dishevelled hair, or address the three-day shadow on his face. He grabbed his coat and ran out the door, leaving the radio on behind him in the empty house.



A Million Smiles for June: Chapter 1

A Million Smiles for June: Chapter 2

A Million Smiles for June: Chapter 3


The Third Wheel

How often do you plan something or other in life, be it your next hour, day, week, month or year? Or better yet, plan you entire life, that if you were to, you could conjure up images in your mind of what you’ll be doing in 5 years time. Yet, things happen, people, places, weather etc can interrupt, change, or let your plan run off a cliff and high dive into unknown territory?

I had a plan for life, and somewhat still do, still working on it, still striving for details. For example, a short term plan was to try and write a chapter at least each day for the book, A Million Smiles for June, I’m writing. Have I been able to do that? Nope. I’ve had a third wheel grab the rudder and stir me else where or on a detour. That third wheel? Life! There are so many elements in a day we cannot control, and eventually, it’s like a small shock wave passes through the system on the otherwise and confuses the hell out of people. No one can guide us…

Anyway, the point is, there will always be distractions in life, minor or major, but we all have to navigate through it, forever, reaching for the original vision. So, will try once again the aim. 4th chapter of the book should be done tomorrow and posted up so you all can catch up on the happenings of Chad and June. It’s the most moving chapter yet in their journey!

Night night. Take charge!


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