All posts by Kellie

About Kellie

(Blog Editor) lives way on the other side of the planet in her native Australia and gives thanks for the internet regularly. She loves books, her boys, panna cotta, collecting words, being a redhead and not putting things in order of importance when listing items. She credits writing at as a major contributing factor to surviving her life with sanity mostly intact, though her (in)sanity level is subject to change without warning.

Being the “Bad Guy”


Recently my oldest son and I watched a show on Netflix called Daredevil, and it lead to many weird and deep conversations.  Most conversations involved – at least to some point – the fact that we were strongly disagreeing with each other about a character called Fisk.  On first glance, Fisk (a rich guy with flunkies, body guards, car conveys and huge anger management failures) and his nemesis Matt Murdock (a blind freelance lawyer lying to his friends and also being a masked vigilante beating up criminals and thieves) both actively made their decisions and actions based on their total belief that they were doing it for the good of the city they loved and the people who lived there.  I think Fisk is a sociopath, or a combination of serious psychological diagnoses, whereas Patrick thought he was determined, focussed, using his money and power in intelligent, precise ways Matt was too poor and grass level to even dream about accomplishing.

The series is over, we still disagree about Fisk, and while I’ve forgotten most about the show, there’s one piece of dialogue that I can’t get out of my head.  I keep gnawing at what Fisk says, and it’s guided my scripture study and self-examination ever since.

Fisk said:

I was thinking about a story from the Bible… I’m not a religious man, but I’ve read bits and pieces over the years. Curiosity more than faith. But this one story… There was a man, he was traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho when he was set upon by men of ill intent. They stripped the traveller of his clothes, they beat him, and they left him bleeding in the dirt. And a priest happened by, saw the traveller, but he moved to the other side of the road and continued on. And a Levite, a religious functionary, he came to the place, saw the dying traveller, but he, too, moved to the other side of the road, passed him by. But then came a man from Samaria, a Samaritan, a good man. He saw the traveller bleeding in the road and he stopped to aid him without thinking of the circumstance or the difficulty it might bring him. The Samaritan tended to the traveller’s wounds, applying oil and wine, and he carried him to an inn, gave him all the money he had for the owner to take care of the traveller, as the Samaritan, he continued on his journey. He did this simply because the traveller was his neighbor. He loved his city and all the people in it. I always thought I was the Samaritan in that story. It’s funny, isn’t it? How even the best of men can be deceived by their true nature.

FBI Guard #1: What the hell does that mean?

Wilson Fisk: It means that I am not the Samaritan. That I’m not the priest, or the Levite. That I am the ill intent who set upon the traveller on a road…

I was floored by that sentiment, that self-study and awareness, and that scriptural angle. I often poke at myself: my persistent soft belly, evaluating how I’m doing as a parent, how much my calm is damaged in peak hour traffic, if my anxiety or depression needs professional help, which fictional character I’d most like to be… it’s all part of what I consider and try to be regularly aware of.  The same with scripture study – I try to liken the scriptures to myself, so that I’m the repentant prodigal son AND the oldest son AND the father waiting and watching the road… but I had never considered being the bad guy. Not the “before” guy, the ignorant, the uncaring. At least, not unknowingly. Continue reading Being the “Bad Guy”

Peculiar Treasures: Crunchy Goodness, Chewy Brain Food and Sweet Poetry


213H (1)While I do live in one of the deadliest-creature countries on earth I’ve never seen a coyote outside my tv, but if you live where there are coyotes and hawks, you may want this jacket to stop your dog being chewed on.  Protection comes inside and outside for buildings too this week – in particular these chapels that are being converted into temples.

If you are a big fan of Star Wars, maybe you’d like this to keep you warm, amused and practicing your impersonations?  In a remarkable reminder, The Oatmeal has shown how a moment can change lives in the immediate moment and for decades.

Have any old suitcases lying around? A 17th century suitcase of undelivered letters is being examined, and is giving an amazing glimpse into the concerns and lives of people in Dutch society.  For closer literary developments, have a look at how the latest Richard Scarry book has been updated to reflect our current times.

How would you answer this huge question – how do you forgive a murderer? With news cameras pointing to tragedies all around the world, remember goodness is captured everywhere too.

Here are some unusual tips for becoming more productive, and a heartfelt piece on how our words are waves onto our loved ones.  Check out how this grant is helping scientific people with their writing skills, in order to better teach students about science and keep more people in STEM fields.

This week’s First Draft Poetry is by Lara, in response to the centuries old letters now being read.

I couldn’t burn them,
though we were cold,
so much tragedy and passion,
so much urgent communication.

She wanted to throw them out,
but I would not move in my
and so she feigned disinterest:
maybe they will come for them
maybe they will pay
that would make them worth it.

My son, a starling’s mind like his mother
tried to burn them
when my job passed to him
but my daughter, with her dreaming mind—
A curse! She gets this foolish fancy from you, husband—
took them home with her
and emptied out her wedding chest
and taught her children
that the stories mattered.

Peculiar Treasures: Beauty In Lines, Words, People and Unexpected Places


We have a varied collection of treasures this week, from comics to doctoral dissertations, giraffes to Austen apps, giraffes to keeping Mums in your gardens… let’s get started shall we?

Let’s start with some advice from the creator of Calvin & Hobbes, illustrated by the remarkable Zen Pencils, and then see the comics Peanuts creator sent to a sister missionary and the reason behind them. Then, for something marvellous and unexpected, consider this doctoral dissertation that was delivered as a graphic novel.

If written word is more your style, Continue reading Peculiar Treasures: Beauty In Lines, Words, People and Unexpected Places

A Punnet’s Worth (and Then Some)


After significant accounting, historical research, graveyard excavation and gnawing introspection, I have come to a decision that has shoved my world off its axis, and is still rattling my bones.

I am worth $6.99.

This discovery was prompted (in all its complicated monstrosity) by a punnet of raspberries. A “punnet” is the packaging size of fresh raspberries here in Australia – a fragile, tiny plastic clamshell to carry your hairy rubies home… if you pay about $6 for the ransom privilege.   The punnet weighs about 125 grams (a quarter pound), so it’s not a whole lot of bang for your bucks, so the cost:benefit ratio has always been hugely ridiculous… until a couple of weeks ago.

Previously, every time I saw them I’d stop, look at their plumpness, (stealthily suck in the scent of them) and – weighing up a running tally of and scrolling logarithm of if/then/else/and/therefore, continue past to more sensible fare.  But that particular week, raspberries were on special, and their siren call was spectacular.  So I bought a punnet, babied it through the cartons of milk and bags of potatoes required for the feeding of giants, into the car then ate every single one before I got home 10 minutes later.

Home, where I had raspberry breath and guilt thick around my shoulders. What on earth was going on?  History, that’s what. Continue reading A Punnet’s Worth (and Then Some)

Peculiar Treasures: A Smorgasbord of Tasty Delight


We found so many treasures this week, we hope you enjoy the shine and sparkle of at least some of them.

First of all, some unexpected artistry, not only in cinematic miniature by the hundreds, but also evidence that many of the painted hands on cave walls were made by cavewomen, not men.

For wonderfully unexpected events, what about President Obama and Marilynne Robinson almost interviewing each other in conversation, or Emma Smith’s copy of the Book of Mormon being found?  What if we get rid of all borders? Have you read some of the new Mary Oliver poems set for release soon? Check out these limits to the human body.

Now to looking through sisterhood slant: a wondering if there is a downside to idealising motherhood, an examination of how women make groups smarter, and recollections of Young Women’s camp from multiple memories (I snorted laughing with this piece!) titled “Girls camp, diet coke, & Satan” and a piece on creativity, mothering and being a playwright.

This week’s First Draft Poetry is by Lara, inspired by the limits to the human body link.

Limits of the Human Body

The nurse looked stark and warm into my mother’s eyes and said

A hundred years ago you’d be raising this baby yourself

And my mother, still blanched from the quarts of blood on the

Delivery room floor, held my sister, and they couldn’t even cry.


When another nurse brought, not soon, a report that the doctor had

Saved me in the nick of time, my husband’s exhaustion was

Overshadowed with fury—they didn’t even tell us it was serious, that I

Might not see you again, that you might not wake up, and I hadn’t said goodbye.


The nurse gave me a drug which causes amnesia, because the first thing the

Doctor tried when my placenta wouldn’t let go isn’t usually done to a conscious woman

Without pain meds in her system. I held my baby and then remember nothing until I was

Awake, but unable to open my eyes—I come out of anesthesia quick and loud—


Where is my baby? Give her to me right now—I want my baby.

I could hear the nurses’ conversation, where they said I was a talker; we’d better take

Her back to her room, the vigil-room where I touched my baby Bird’s fingertips,

And when the doctor came to follow up and said you lost as much blood as a person 


 Can and still live.