literature, Topaz

Topaz Fun Facts : Inspiration

When we write, whether poetry, short stories, or novels, inspiration can come from anywhere, at anytime, and an urge to get to a piece of paper, a computer, a laptop, or often for me, the notes app, pushes us forward almost uncontrollably. Because we know the idea can slip away as easily as it came. We have to get it down, asap.

A gentle place where inspiration often comes is while journalling. Some years back, I was on a creative “diet” prescribed in Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way”. It was during the reading and carrying out of the activities in this workbook that I finally decided to take the plunge and write a novel, because even though I’d been writing forever, I’d never given myself that permission. She helped me realize I actually wanted to, and that I could go ahead and just do it.

Now any parent can understand that it’s hard to keep routines such as morning journalling, yoga or meditation with the busy life that comes with having kids. I try to journal somewhat regularly now, but when I chose to write Topaz, I was very disciplined.

The idea for the book had come from the page itself. The inspiration for Mirth’s whiteness was the whiteness of the lined paper I was writing on. (I journal longhand in the ugliest spiral notebook I can find. If it’s too lovely, I can’t bear to mark it with my messy scrawl.)

The idea of the belly button portal to another world, and also the idea of the orbiglass worlds, was taken from a story I wrote in my twenties for a graphic novel called Gravitée. You can say I stole my own idea. It was a project that never got past some sketches and minimal research.

The main idea of the graphic novel was that of a society de-evolved to the point that everyone had claws and tails, and a small community of rebels were left with old clues from their deceased astrologer ancestors to help them save their world after the earthquakes. Saved, that is, from the charlatan priests that led them and took advantage of fear and ignorance to pretend the gods needed appeasing. Gravitée was the name of the main character, who is now Topaz, and in her “umbi-pit” world she would meet a a guide, who became Mallo. The original idea was that the the center of the universe was in her navel. It was inspired by an expression in French “le nombril du monde” which is usually negative, implying someone thinks they are the center of the universe. In this case it was true. She was the centre.

Topaz’s premise is completely different, one of a girl who sets off from an absurd dystopian society in search for authenticity and happiness, but the magical components of Gravitée fit her like a glove.

Never throw out old ideas! Who knows when they can be of use. Like a box of sewing scraps, you can explore it and find lace to add to a hem, or fancy buttons to sew down the front of your home-made garment.

Have you ever salvaged old ideas, whether with writing or otherwise? Tell me in the comments!

Have a good week! 🖤

See: for info on this high fantasy!
book quote, literature, The Nirvana Threads

tiny suns

“[…] the inked words. How meaningless they could have seemed a few months before, and somehow rich with parallels now. Impressions of how they related to her existence sailed her mind, passing through in waves. Like tiny suns of understanding bursting at the crest of each ripple, the longer she sat with the words, the more intense became her clarity. And then, quite suddenly, as if stepping out of a cold sea, Carlie felt wide awake, washed clean of the dirt that had been pulling her down.”

The Nirvana Threads

A magical realism book that dreams of making it to your tbr 😆🖤

Check for goodies and highlights on my instagram account for reviews 🖤


silver antennas

Georgia’s antennas were made of the finest silver. They picked up the tiniest of signals, vibrated at the faintest of sounds. Georgia would set herself up in the grass on her front lawn and pick up whatever she could from the people walking by. And there were lots. Lots of people, and lots of things to be caught by her sensitive apparatus. Fidgety fingers, sluggish feet, fake laughs, infuriated sighs and quiet, broken-hearted sighs, heart palpitations, fluttering eyelashes, and even the cracking of smiles triggered from the secret thoughts that no instrument could ever pick up.

Georgia never missed a thing, but no one ever noticed her, sitting in the grass with her silver antennas, observing the world blow by on a wind of drama. Because that’s all it was to her: a stage. The backdrop, the trees against the sky, and the lighting, no less than the sun or the moon. The curtains, her drooping eyelids, were the only thing that pulled her away from the show and the myriad feelings it evoked. The empathy within her grew day by day, year after year, until she was no more than a puddle of emotion, spread low and wide, shapeless and soft, the silver antennas steadfastly trapping and transferring data from out there where her front lawn ended and the world began.

For more of my flash and poetry:


Stop eating the leaves, Stan

“Stop eating the leaves, Stan!”

Stan stopped chewing and turned to look at me, torn pages dangling from his mouth.

“I should have know you’d be trouble,” I said, flipping through the accounting records. “It’s been a rough few months, we’ll have to close if we keep this up. We need to draw more people.”

Stan spat out the pages and walked over to the blackboard in one big step, ducking to avoid the fluorescents. The chalk between his teeth, he began to draw a stick figure.

“Not that kind of draw, you long-necked twit.”

The giraffe dropped the chalk and went back to nosing through the books on the highest shelf. Wth his tongue, he opened a cloth-covered, vintage edition (they tasted so much better with age) and ripped out a page, slowly, so as to not be heard.

“I told you to stop eating the leaves, Stan!” I slammed my hands on my desk and glared at him.

Stan stopped chewing and turned to look at me, torn pages dangling from his mouth. After a few moments, he began to chew again. I sipped my bitter coffee and went back to flipping through the accounting records.


crow’s feet

His body was blocking the door. I noticed only as I turned the handle. I could see him through the door’s window. I rapt on the glass with my knuckles. And again. He didn’t budge. My shoulder up against the wooden frame, I put my weight into it. A crack opened wide enough for me to squeeze through. The door fell back again. The man was now flopped over to his side, eyes half open, mouth slightly agape. I knew if I looked hard enough I would see the needle somewhere. I stood watching him for a few moments, considering pulling him up and sitting him out of the way. But I left him there. I didn’t want to touch him. Especially not knowing where the needle was. Twice that day I had seen people in the same state. On a park bench, a girl. Half her back and half her ass exposed, her head hanging between her legs and her dangling arms. In another park, an old man’s head lolled to the side like a dead man’s. Was he old? They all looked old. And not as in elderly. Old as in worn out. The beauty of life sapped from their shells. That’s all their bodies were: battered shells. Housing need. I watched the man’s chest rise and fall. And again. A woman walked by pushing a stroller. Her eyes dropped to the man, and then lifted to mine. She smiled, and I smiled. Our crow’s feet didn’t wrinkle.

(Check out for more flash and poetry)


death before decaf

He thinks differently at night. He’s more dramatic. More far-seeing, perhaps, but often to the expense of his optimism, his soul drooping from the weight of the world upon it. Problems become disproportionately big, and the shadow they create even bigger. But when morning comes, the corners of his mind that had grown dark and grim are filled with the sun’s radiant promise of fresh possibilities. Every new day is a fresh start and a chance to make the choices for himself that seemed impossible under the oppression of night.

Perhaps, the alarm goes off, and the hand that finds the snooze button still lingers between worlds; between the night that tormented, the dreams that freed, and the morning that reminds. But his feet know better than to listen to his hands. They are the ones that take him places, whereas hands merely press the snooze button over again. So they drag him out of bed, trusting that if they walk him to the right place, the hands will know how to brew the drink that will revive him. As he shuffles his way to the kitchen, the dreams he had in the night pop their face in and out of his consciousness. There is much strangeness there. He’s wades in it with dull curiosity. Behind it lies the soundless memory of the eve. He approaches it until he stands right at its edge, with great risk of slipping back into the mirky pond of hopelessness. He loses his footing, more than once; he almost falls in, but the hands reach the jar of beans just in time. And with his brain on automatic pilot, he opens it and pours some into the grinder. But, no, life is too much, he thinks. He should just go back to bed. With weak intention, he holds down the button and the beans crack and crinkle in a lovely way. A glimmer of wellness sparks within. But it dies just as quickly when the grinding stops, and he wants to quit everything he ever started, to rot away in his bed where he can just go on sleeping forever. The kettle whistles and beckons to be emptied onto the grinds he’s just put in the reusable cloth filter. His dreams have died but he still needs to save the planet. The liquid tar streams into the cup with the broken handle, the cup that has been loved to pieces because it is just the right size, and his eyes widen. The steam rises, bringing joy to his senses. He wants to go back to bed, but his sleepy mind is sharp enough to know that just a few seconds away, there is salvation for his shadow self, forewarned by the heat seeping into his palms through the walls of the handle-less cup. A stir of sugar to sweeten the bitter awakening, a drop of milk to smoothen the ride, and meaning is brought back to living. He sips. He remembers the night, still, but it shrinks to a dot in a sea of light. It was a false alarm, there is no need to panic. He feels good about staying awake. At this rate, his whole perspective could be revolutionized, his purpose in life rediscovered, even, if he could just make it to the shower.

(Check out for more flash and poetry)

book quote, literature, The Nirvana Threads

glittery flats

“It all felt very familiar to Carlie yet so different. Like a worn-out pair of shoes that have been stashed in the closet for years, and when finally put back on feel funny because you just don’t wear glittery flats anymore. She was not the same person as when she left.“


A quote from my book The Nirvana Threads released this past June


book quote, literature, The Nirvana Threads

green eyes

“Carlie noticed only now how green his eyes were. She thought it funny how quickly a person could change in someone’s eyes. For better or for worse.”


The Nirvana Threads (👈 click for more info + goodies)

book quote, literature, The Nirvana Threads

The Nirvana Threads : book drop

Today’s the day! 🎉❤️🤟Official book drop for The Nirvana Threads


Check TNT’s webpage for some goodies (But no guacamole lol) like a song playlist, a graphic novel, excerpts and links to buy!🍭🍬


Read on 🤟

book quote, literature, The Nirvana Threads

a ton of bricks

“The first guitar chord felt like a ton of bricks in her rib cage, vibrating from the inside, filling her completely. The bass drum kicked in, resonating up and down her body, and then it was the snare, tightening her skin with each whipping snap. In seconds, they had made her body feel alive with new vigour; only seconds, and the song was at full speed. And just as quickly the whole floor became a soup of thrashing, wriggling punks.”

The Nirvana Threads is a love story, a spiritual adventure, a nostalgic time travel to the 90s, a playful exploring of the magical.

Check it out • officially drops tomorrow