Forthcoming – Collection of Novellas

December 7th, 2017  |  Published in Dark Tales, Horror, traditional gothic

Dark Elixir

3 smouldering supernatural stories in the vein of traditional Gothic

The Compound blends steampunk with horror when 6 young people are subjected to a terrible experiment that ensures an unfamiliar horrors.

When the Bilsleigh family in House Hunters flee the city for a better life everything seems perfect until they unearth a mysterious object, setting off a series of catastrophic events.

Changeling, a darkly wicked Christmas horror story, where nothing is as it seems.

Dark Elixir distinguishes as a more varied compilation of stories from Voice in the Mirror by blending more mixed genres.

Voice in the Mirror includes 3 tales of haunting and possession. Each protagonist is a male. Dark Elixir explores more varied territory. The Compound hosts a female protagonist: Charlotte one of the victims of a horrific scientific experiment. The Changeling is an ensemble cast of family members who are confronted with dreadful truths about themselves. House Hunters features a middle aged professional male and father who is already dealing with family crisis when his children open Pandora’s Box.

VCE English and Literature Information Session

February 22nd, 2017  |  Published in e-news, English teacher resource, Secondary school education, VCE English teaching, Writer and Research

Upcoming event was publicised on Steve Martin’s breakfast show at the ABC Ballarat studio Tuesday 21st February.
This is a free event

Hosted by the  Ballarat Mechanics Institutes (BMI). Closer to the event The Courier (local newspaper) has offered to promote this event as a Media Flash and ABC Ballarat are interested to further publicise this event.
The first session will be held @ the BMI, Wednesday 22nd March 2017, from 7 – 8.30pm
The presentation includes:
• Finding the resources you need
• Tips on how to develop crucial research skills
• Learn the essentials from an Experienced English teacher who operated a successful tutoring service to VCE students for 12 years.
• Skills and advice learned at this session are applicable to other VCE subjects and tertiary studies.
• Find out how to best tackle each aspect of the course and address the key criteria of each area of study.
• Gain a head start for your exam preparation.
The idea for this event was prompted by my experience as an English teacher and private tutor.
Beyond the school setting education services and resources are readily available and for many years have been big business. However, many parents and students are often lost in terms of finding the best assistance and how to gain the most from the resources that they purchase. Many students and their parents are unaware that many of valued added VCE resources are free.

Cosmo’s Factory Revisited

November 22nd, 2016  |  Published in music appreciation, music history, Reviews, Writer and Research

Review essay available November.

cosfaccover1Cosmo’s Factory Revisited is a tribute to John Fogerty and Creedence Clearwater Revival. A review and appreciation of a classic rock album.

“Cosmo’s Factory is the fifth studio album by American rock band Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR), released by Fantasy Records in July 1970 and released as Fantasy 8402, the same month as the single release of “Lookin’ Out My Back Door” b/w “Long as I Can See the Light”. The name of the album comes from the warehouse in Berkeley where the band rehearsed early in their career. It was dubbed “The Factory” by drummer Doug “Cosmo” Clifford, because bandleader John Fogerty made them practice there almost every day.” – Wikipedia


Mildred Pierce (Paperback)

August 18th, 2016  |  Published in Amazon reviews, e-news

Mildred Pierce is an engrossing deconstruction of American society. Much as Raymond Chandler portrays the dark, seamy side with classic noir tropes, Cain does the same with a more intimate, domestic setting and characters. Read the rest of this entry »

The Conjuring 2

August 18th, 2016  |  Published in Amazon reviews

This is a must watch for horror fans, but would also interest viewers who enjoy period dramas set in recent times. The Conjuring 2 is set in working class 1970’s England. Read the rest of this entry »

VCE Tip 5 – The Research Essentials for Area Study 2

August 18th, 2016  |  Published in e-news, English teacher resource

The Context


• You need to ensure you produce a bibliography, have followed appropriate protocols as set out by your school and that your style is consistent.
• As you undertake your research ensure that you take notes and think about how you might use material for SACS and the Exam.
• Your research needs to be both broad and focused.
• Avoid falling into the trap of becoming fascinated by an area of interest and manipulating the material to address your context.
• Research is difficult and time consuming, can seem fruitless, and progress slow. However, constructive research is never a waste of time. You are required to study texts outside school prescribed texts used as stimulus for your SACS. Ultimately, you need to familiarize yourself with a broad range of ideas and discussions within other texts. This will stimulate and add to your understanding of your context.
• You are expected to draw on your own research, ensure that it is relevant to your context and to use your material with style and originality. This area of study does not lend itself well to students who expect ready-made answers from teachers and tutors. Even when you demonstrate a sustained effort and thorough understanding of your class texts you are likely to produce a text type essay.
• If you are planning to attend a university be aware that a large component of your studies will require individual research. Read the rest of this entry »

VCE Tip 4 – Whose reality prompt

August 18th, 2016  |  Published in e-news, English teacher resource

‘Our subjectivity imprisons us in distorted, partial views of reality’.

Expository Model
Introduction Only

Each of us suffers from the partiality of our own vision of the world. We understand and interpret our experiences in individual ways because each of us is a unique individual. Hence, the world can only be seen with compromised objectivity and clarity. Read the rest of this entry »

VCE Tip 3 – Whose Reality

August 18th, 2016  |  Published in e-news, English teacher resource

Prompt: Our understanding of ourselves and our world is more dependent on illusion than reality.

Key ideas and words – Understanding of ourselves, Illusion, Reality Read the rest of this entry »