Tag Archives: Featured

Creative writing practice – speed writing #1

I recently signed up for a creative writing course, and as part of it I have to keep a writing journal, so I thought I’d kill two birds with one stone and use some of entries as blog posts.

We did a speed writing exercise last night, and I’d forgotten how much I enjoyed them. If you haven’t done them before, you take a few prompts and write a short story in ten minutes. The prompt for this one was an out-of-control pet, the fall of a king and climate change.

Continue reading Creative writing practice – speed writing #1

Is it ADHD or is it a migraine? How chronic migraines can screw up your personality.

I haven’t written anything on this blog for a long time, for more than a year in fact. Mostly, it was become after I got back in 2020 from living in the US, after for months of lockdown in LA, straight into the series of lockdowns in Auckland, I didn’t have much to say.

I put it down to lockdown induced lethargy, but about six months ago something astounding happened. I started on a migraine preventer, which I’ve always avoided because I was worried about the side-effects, and I have been migraine free since then. But more than that, I understood for the first time the ongoing damage chronic migraine does to your health and personality.

Continue reading Is it ADHD or is it a migraine? How chronic migraines can screw up your personality.

How to change your brain (and why it’s so hard)

A few years ago I was fortunate to interview American  neuropsychologist and author Dr. Rick Hanson.  He has written a number of best-selling books that draw on his scientific and clinical knowledge of how the brain works combined with Buddhist concepts to teach people how to shape their brain for greater contentment, love, and wisdom.

Essentially, he teaches how neuroplasticity – the brain’s ability to create new neural pathways – can be used to create change in our lives. One of his comments stuck with me as it is a fundamental concept for understanding human behaviour. Continue reading How to change your brain (and why it’s so hard)

William Travilla’s stunning costumes for Marilyn Monroe

The 1953  musical comedy Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, starring Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell, screened at the Auckland Film Festival a few years ago, so I took my mum and daughter along to watch it on the big screen. There is a particular scene where Marilyn and Jane enter the ship’s ballroom and literally bring it to a standstill as they look so stunning. It had the same effect on the movie audience, who actually gasped as they appeared onscreen.

Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell render everyone speechless just by walking into a room.

Although they are extraordinarily beautiful women, seeing Marilyn on the big screen brought home why she was such a massive star. No matter who she is with, she just steals the screen with a luminous beauty and presence that I don’t think has been replicated since. Continue reading William Travilla’s stunning costumes for Marilyn Monroe

Things to do and see in Los Angeles

This may not be the best time in history to be writing about travelling to the US, but my recent trip to Los Angeles was great – I had a fantastic holiday. I spent two weeks in LA and one week travelling around.

Before I left, heaps of people told me I’d only need two or three days in LA, as it turned out I ran out of time to do all the things I wanted to do. The biggest surprise was the outstanding art museums and architecture. LA is so much more than theme parks and Disneyland, although I had fun there too – so here is my list of things to do in LA. Continue reading Things to do and see in Los Angeles