Sometimes the Memory is the Story…

My love affair with books began at a tender age. My brother and I were allocated a space along our parents’ bookshelf to stack our collection of books. I’d spend hours thumbing through them and dreaming myself into the pages before rearranging their order in a way I thought just. Come evening, I’d select one, climb onto my mother’s lap and listen to her read a story I’d heard a hundred times over.

Hansel and Gretel, Snow White, The Three Little Pigs, Jack and the Beanstalk. These were just some of the stories I had come to treasure. To the child in me, there was something spellbinding about the notion of a child-eating witch concealed behind an alluring house made from gingerbread and candy. It was frightening yet exciting at the same time and I couldn’t get enough.

Moreover, my cherished collection of fairytales helped to form some of the fondest of my childhood memories with my mother. Those moments snuggling up with her on the sofa and gazing at the pages as she turned them have become a part of me. And the essence of those stories has become the foundation for my own journey as a storyteller.

My childhood obsession with fantasy tales didn’t stop at books. Long before Netflix and other streaming options were available, free-to-air TV was exciting. We had a choice of four channels and that was it. Sounds extremely limited to the Netflix junkie, but at least we avoided choice paralysis, which is a phenomenon I regularly face nowadays.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve scrolled through Netflix and clicked through to read a few blurbs only to become overwhelmed by the decision. This might sound strange, but I don’t like the idea of wasting “watch time” on a shitty show. I might spend up to 20 minutes scrolling, clicking, reading and procrastinating before finally giving up to move onto another activity – one that doesn’t involve too many options on offer.

Free TV in Australia back in the ‘70s and come Sunday, I’d curl up on the lounge with my mum and watch movies like Tarzan or an Elvis flick. My mother loved Elvis. Who could blame her? The guy oozed charisma. The best part about those years were the times my folks allowed me to stay up a little later to watch reruns of movies like Hans Christian Andersen, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, or my favorites, the original Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Wizard of Oz.

Miniature girls, flying cars, chocolate fountains and Oompa Loompas. Other worlds brimming with good and bad witches, talking brainless scarecrows, cowardly lions and a magic yellow brick road. Story heaven. That’s where I found myself while sprawled across the floor tangled in blankets and pillows before the telly way past my bedtime.

Midway through the movie I battled the tendrils of sleep clawing at me from behind my eyelids. I battled hard till the characters discovered their victorious resolutions and the credits scrolled across the screen. Then, I’d drop into bed feeling exhausted and satisfied, finally succumbing to sleep.

Looking back, I can see clearly how stories and books have played such an important role in my life. Stories have served as entertainment and inspiration. They have opened magical portals to unearthly realms and strengthened my imagination. They’ve taught me how to dream and about the beauty of love that exists in our world. They’ve also shown me the twisted depths of evil, vengeance and spite, as well as transporting me into the minds of characters I’ve come to love.

Stories demonstrate parts of the human condition we might otherwise miss because they stretch our perspectives, broaden our senses and nurture qualities such empathy and compassion. Following the journey of even a fictional character can impact us in unexpected ways, particularly when the story theme resonates.

The tween years saw me delving into the chirpy Sweet Valley High series. You know, the accounts of those gorgeous adolescent American twins Liz and Jessica? They had the most interesting life, what with their contrasting traits, boyfriends and other serious teenage dilemmas. For example, what to wear to the Prom night.

We don’t do Prom night here in Australia. We do the Formal. It’s probably something similar minus the corsage. My formal and I resembled an image not unlike Morticia – long black hair, red talons and a black velvety skin-tight mermaid style dress I bought in the city. Turned out, another girl wore the same dress. Oh, the drama! Not me, her. I couldn’t have cared less. She, on the other hand, took one look at me and ran into the bathroom crying. Lol!

Teenage dilemmas. Sweet Valley High eat your heart out.     

I was drawn to the dramatic, dark works of Virginia Andrews during my later teenage years. I’d read each book in The Dollanganger series several times over; the same holds true for The Casteel series. Ah, Heaven and Dark Angels. If there be ThornsSeeds of Yesterday. These stories are not of the feel-good variety that I enjoyed as a child, or a tween for that matter. They were satisfying nonetheless, even if they caused me to weep uncontrollably and feel an overwhelming sense of injustice and sorrow for the protagonists. How could Julian be such an ass?

Impact. 

Impact enough that I named my first born after one of the characters – and my Julian isn’t an ass. Well, most of the time. Nor is he a dancer as far as I know.

It wasn’t long before the racy and perverted pages of a Jackie Collins novel found itself in my hands. As in, all of them. I reread them a few times over too. God, how I loved Chances and Lovers and Gamblers. Gino Santangelo was like an Al Pacino in my mind … let’s not get into how much I love Pacino. He’s der bomb. Enough said.

“To live in the hearts we leave behind is not to die.”

  • Harold Robbins from A Stone for Danny Fisher.

A Stone for Danny Fisher is a story that looks at the effect of the Great Depression on a lower-middle class Jewish family. It’s also a story that will stay with you long after you finish the last page.

Captivating. Heartbreaking. Interesting. Inspiring. Impacting.

Some of my most comforting memories belong to bookstores. Real books with real pages. I can think of nothing better than to step into a bookstore and blend into the aisles for some serious book hunting. Rarely can I resist walking past a bookstore. The low-key independent ones are particularly alluring. They seem to emit a sense of warmth with their overstuffed shelves and nooks and crannies existing among the smell of real books wafting through the air. Much like hippie shops that are crammed to the brim with interesting and exotic items as the scent of incense curls into your being while you’re browsing.

Hippie shops stock some great reads, too. Usually, it’s where I head first – to the book section at the back of the shop to flick through the works written by some of our most enlightened philosophers and spiritual teachers. The Tarot cards and crystals are cool to look at too.  

Back to the traditional books and I have many authors to thank along my reading journey. Each book that has found me engrossed within its pages has laid the groundwork to create the writer I’ve become and the writer I will become as I continue to plow out my own writing career.

Authors like Anne Rice, David Baldacci, Sally Beaman, Dan Brown and Bryce Courtenay have made their mark, along with Thomas Harris, Jilliane Hoffman, John Grisham and Patricia Cornwell. I’ve enjoyed works by Julie Ellis, George R.R. Martin, Alice Sebold and Elie Wiesel. More recently, Elizabeth Hunter and Julie Kagawa. There are many more, but I’m afraid I might be here all day if I were to list all of them.

My reading tastes vary. I’ve never been one to stick with any genre. The same is true for my tastes in music and movies, although I am clear about my dislikes.

For instance, most American comedy flicks make me want to bang my head against a wall – it has to be pretty distinct and special from the standard to grab and keep me around. Which, let’s face it, rarely happens. I’m not into Bond movies and or anything that remotely resembles a Bond. And I don’t like Marvel movies much either (don’t hang me, Spiderman!).

I enjoy movies and stories that grip me, that make me feel something and that can keep my interest all the way to the end. I’m into stories that show me something different, entertain and teach me or stretch my perceptions in new ways. Mostly, I’m into stories that manage to etch a new memory I can’t forget.

Sometimes the memory is the story. Other times, it’s the moments in which the story is experienced. Either way, it becomes special.

Real books are like real people. You cannot replace the experience, the authenticity or the memories they create upon your life and imprint upon your soul.

What would we do without stories?          


Soul Purpose & Connections for Creativity

“There are no accidental meetings between souls.” – Sheila Burke

At some point we’ve probably all contemplated our purpose during this lifetime. It is not unusual to find ourselves pondering the big stuff:   

  • What is my purpose?
  • What can I share and contribute to the world?
  • What is my legacy?
  • How can I make authentic connections?
  • What is my life’s meaning?

Sound familiar? It is logical that we reach a stage in our lives when we yearn for something more and meaningful—a time when we set out to seek answers about our world, our existence and soul purpose. In Maslow’s five-stage hierarchy of needs, this self-discovery phrase of life rests at the top of his five-tier pyramid model in motivational psychology. Self-actualization is the process of realizing personal potential and self-fulfillment, as well as seeking personal growth and peak experiences. It is the desire to become everything we can become.

Creative writing is a soul-calling or soul-urge. I have yet to meet a writer to have stated otherwise. I mean, just look at what we put ourselves through – We choose to sit for prolonged periods at a time to slave (and sometimes procrastinate) over words. It is like homework. To most people it sounds like tedious homework, and let’s face it, sometimes it can feel that way. It is during those doubtful moments that remembering why you began writing that will help to bring you back to your truth. Your why. For what reasons did you begin writing?

I’m going to assume that you write books because your soul urges you to create stories to share with the world. Writing is a soul-driven occupation navigated by the wings of passion. Each writer is driven by an unknown force to create and release their messages to the world. It is through creating literature that we find meaning and purpose to our lives. It is through the creative soul connections we encounter along the way that we find ease and divine symphony as we fuse together to create for a higher purpose.

I have discovered so much about myself since I began writing. I can vividly recall the feeling that encapsulated me when I sat before a blank screen to begin writing my first book. It was like nothing I’d ever felt before – an acute rush of tingles and exquisite surges filled my being. It was as if my soul rejoiced in the moment. It was a confirmation that I’d finally discovered my soul purpose; my life purpose. 

My writing journey has been a wonderfully fulfilling experience that continues to nourish and feed my soul. I still haven’t stopped learning about myself, others and the world. Since I began writing, I have almost become a different person. What I mean is that while I had been living an authentic life prior to writing, the act of producing words has somehow reinforced and cultivated my self-perception, driving home my beliefs and values. Below I have listed some of the points that have come to light and/or strengthened within me since I have been writing: 

  • I am worthy of having a voice and expressing myself.
  • What I have to say counts.
  • To value myself as a writer, a woman and a human being.
  • Not everyone will like what I create and that is perfectly fine.
  • Not everything I create will work and that’s okay too.
  • To own my truth and be proud of those truths even when others judge.
  • Living in fear is a life half lived. 
  • It is okay to give the kids a frozen pizza every now then. This will not harm them, and it doesn’t make me a bad mother.
  • Sometimes the tooth fairy is forgetful, but she always makes up for it the following evening.
  • The words I create have power to uplift spirits an inch at a time.
  • I can make a difference and I am strong and tenacious enough to keep trying, no matter what.
  • Regardless of what I am working on, I have an unlimited resource of creativity available to me that I can access any time.
  • Connections are important to soul growth and creating. I have learned to cherish, honor and appreciate those connections.
  • I am not perfect and that’s okay.
  • People will appreciate and respect my imperfections as well as the honesty I bring to my work.
  • Writing from the heart will attract the right audience for me.
  • Believe and trust in myself and the universe.       

 Can you relate to any of the above? Do any of these points resonate with you?

Words are power

Everything begins with words – our stories, thoughts, messages. Each word has its own vibration too. It is these vibrations that create the reality that surrounds us. Words create more than just stories; they inform our universe, our lives and our reality – and they teach us. Through creating words, I have managed to reacquaint myself more fully with my soul and to live a more authentic, love-driven and passionate life. In turn, embracing these rich inner layers will produce an unbridled fever that shines through my fictional and non-fictional writing.

Aside from the inner-growth, self-discovery and enrichment that your writing can bring to your life, we must acknowledge that our words can be extremely healing and enlightening to others. Too often we underestimate the power and importance of creativity. Therefore, there is a certain amount of responsibility that accompanies our work as writers. A certain amount of faith the universe has entrusted to us. This faith is also apparent within the connections that cross our paths throughout our writing journey. 

We meet many people in our lifetime. Some are good and others are not. People cross our paths all the time, whether it be through social meetings and mutual acquaintances, work opportunities, meeting someone by chance at an event or some other scenario. They come and go, and mostly they may drift into the background of your past, barely summoning enough effort to be thought of again.

Then sometimes our paths collide with someone special – a kindred spirit that seems to stir something deep within us as if our souls have known that person long before we encounter them. Perhaps long before this lifetime. Often, people will come together to create something profound and important. It is through these crucial soul connections that our own creativity is renewed and energized, which can bring positive change to the world. 

How do we know when we’ve encountered a profound creative soul connection? 

Have you ever met someone with whom you feel an inexplicable connection? Upon meeting them you may have felt an instant pull that defies logic or reason. Even before getting to know them, you sensed a special dynamic that you felt compelled to explore. I have been fortunate enough to have encountered a kindred spirit or two during my writing journey. These special people have come into my life for the purpose of collaborative creation and to produce change at a deeper level within myself. Personally, I think that is how you know when you’ve met someone crucial – you unite for the sake of creation and their presence in your life somehow evokes a personal change.

Meeting Catherine was like that. We met when I attended one of her workshops during the Wollongong Writers Festival. I remember looking over all the workshops on offer prior to booking. I was immediately drawn to Catherine’s. I took notice of the underlying feelings that accompanied me when deciding whether to attend the event, and honestly, cannot fully articulate why, but I knew that something profound and important would result from attending. Specifically, there was a deep sensation surrounding Catherine, and that was before we had met.

Catherine is unlike anyone I have ever known. What I mean is that from the start it felt as if Catherine was someone I already knew before we even met. She was familiar to me. There exists a unique and special bond between us that we are both aware enough to recognize and appreciate. Our union has brought change to both our lives in positive and meaningful ways. The combination of us may appear highly contrasting on the surface – we often find a sense of amusement in contemplating our union. We think in different ways and our work is distinct from each other. Yet, it is those offbeat divergences that complement one another, and it seems to work. It has resulted in writing Creative Writing Energy together; a title we are excited about because the topics are a shared passion. Moreover, we are honored to share the culmination of our connection to bring that positivity direct to you in the form of these words.        

Keeping that in mind, let’s look at some of the signs to be aware of that may signify a profound connection has entered your creative world:

1.       They change you on a profound level. You will gradually sense that there is something about you that will never be the same. You may begin to feel a significant shift in your inner landscape that often reflects in your outer life.

2.      The energy exchange that you have with a soul connection on a professional level will ignite your creative flow and bring a sense of “inner-knowing”. In short, these connections will make you want to be a better writer and person.

3.       They bring contemplation to your life and make you aware of the things you love and hate about yourself. These individuals will always mirror your own qualities. In the creative realm, embracing these qualities will bring more passion and integrity to your words.

4.       You know that you won’t forget them. We meet so many people over the course of our life. Our memories fade over time but soul connections cannot be easily forgotten. The imprint they leave on your soul, your work and life cannot be erased.

It is delicious, is it not? Soul work and life’s mysteries. The most important thing to remember when it comes to our creative soul connections is that when it happens, you will know. Writing doesn’t always have to be a solitary process. There is no mistaking the divine phenomena that exist when two souls come together to create for a higher purpose – you feel it all the way from your crown to the tips of your toes and it feels wonderful.

Therefore, the next time you sense something different or profound about someone you encounter along your writing journey, don’t be too hasty to push it aside. Allow yourself to submerge in the feelings and sit with the current of energies and acknowledge your intuitive powers. It is often these special connections that reveal to us more about ourselves and begin to shine a light on the path leading toward our higher-creative minds. It’s amazing what soul connections can help us to achieve as artists and as human beings.


Excerpt from Creative Writing Energy: Tools to Access your Higher-Creative Mind.


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Dreamtime Stories: The Sacred World of Creative Energy

Seven Sisters – A Dreaming Story

Since the beginning of time storytelling has played a vital role in the evolution of humanity. It is no secret that storytelling originated through visual drawings, such as cave depictions and paintings, before shifting into oral traditions that passed down through the generations. It is through stories that we seek to learn about the world and the universe, and it also helps us understand relationships.

Dreamtime Stories

The Australian Aboriginal culture is one of the world’s oldest cultures. Throughout the ages, this magnificent race of indigenous people has used Dreamtime to help them better understand the natural and mystical elements of our world, their people and their culture, as well as their history. Aboriginal children are told early in life about the structured and detailed stories embellished with valuable lessons about their elders’ journeys and accomplishments. In turn, as their children grow into adults, passing the Dreamtime stories to the younger generations becomes their responsibility.

The Aborigines believed that Dreamtime was the very beginning, and that the land and the people were created by the spirits. They believe the spirits were responsible for creating all that exists, including their totems and their Dreaming.

Dreamtime stories are more than myths, legends or fables. These fascinating spiels are far from fairytales. They are the Aborigines’ accumulated knowledge, spirituality and wisdom. The storyteller’s role is really that of cultural educator, channeling their spiritual Dreaming, which is demonstrated through visual art, oral storytelling, dance and music, as well as totems and lore. Together they form an all-encompassing mystical whole – The Dreaming.

Spirituality and Story

Aboriginal spirituality is deeply linked to the land. This ancient race of earthly worshippers believe that all objects are living and share the same soul or spirit as the people. A feeling of oneness, interconnectedness and belonging rests at the core of their beliefs. They learn to see with their “inner-eye” and view the world through the lens of their souls – which means there is no sense of separateness between the material world and the sacred world of creative energy. These relationships and the knowledge of how they are interconnected are expressed through their sacred stories.

While stories have been used to articulate the experiences and tribulations of our earliest ancestors to guide, teach and inform, and have existed to provide cautionary warnings to their predecessors, it also through storytelling that we have searched for the sacred dimension of life. We need to be ceaselessly reminded of the authentic nature of our lives, and we need our artistic inspiration to propel and transform those energies within and between us into messages that will continue to uplift and influence the generations.

It is well-established that when we raise our level of vibration, we attract influences from higher realms. While we don’t know for certain where artistic inspiration originates, this wonderous resource is available to us all and is the cornerstone of all creation. This is not a vague, mystical conundrum as many might think. In fact, just as the ancient race of Aborigines have practiced seeing with their “inner-eye”, thus, connecting with the source of all creative energy to produce their sacred Dreamtime stories, similarly the higher realms are available to every human being.

It is at this higher level of the creative process that we become a transparent agent for another intelligence to pass through us. From this perspective, we receive fragments of intuitive revelations and become hosts to energies much larger than we are, originating from mysterious and spiritual realms. Simply put, God speaks to us through art; and I’m not necessarily talking about God in the sense of any identity espoused by religion, but that deepest sense of God in the formless existence of the eternal perfect.

All people of the world are offered this unique gift to increase our perspective of the human condition, and these insightful nuggets are often left behind in the form of works of art, including stories. The connotations of this phenomenon are significant. It is when artists reach into those higher realms to express deeper levels of the human experience that art transcends art and has the potential to help awaken something within us.

So, how as modern-day storytellers can we raise our vibrations and establish a connection to the higher realms and use those mystical currents to inform our own version of Dreamtime stories?

The answer lies in a time before our lives became a fast-track series of fleeting experiences and modern innovations – the past.

Dreamtime Story Tools

Ground yourself and connect with the earth

The Australian Aborigines believe in their connection to the land. Humans have always been in close contact with the earth, but our contemporary lifestyles have served to disconnect us from the earth’s energy, making us more vulnerable to stress and illness. The Aborigines use the earth to recover wellbeing. By doing so, they pay attention to all four dimensions of our being – mind, body, spirit and land.

Aboriginal beliefs tied to the earth have been reinforced through modern research. Dr. James Oschman, biophysicist and pioneer Earthing researcher, states: “The moment your foot touches the earth, your physiology changes. An immediate normalization begins, and an anti-inflammatory switch is turned on.”

Aside from the physiological benefits to get barefoot and dig your feet into the earth, connecting with earth’s energy reminds us of our connection to the creative source energy. When we can quieten our thoughts, feel and connect with the earth, we can harness that energy to propel us through the invisible doors to higher realms.

Live from the Heart

Aboriginal spirituality is so incredibly diverse, but at the heart of their spirituality is an emphasis on caring and sharing. Being kind to others significantly improves our lives. I am not just talking about a polite exchange of courteous behaviour here; I am talking about the real stuff. Being authentic in every facet of your life, to yourself and those lives you touch along the way, creates a ripple effect from the inside out.

When we express love for ourselves and others, we are demonstrating love for all of creation. Practicing kindness and appreciation raises our vibration to a higher level, allowing the divine, eternal currents to flow through to us.

Release Your Dream to the World

The world needs its artists. Your Dreaming through story is a gift to the world that has the potential to change and uplift lives. By raising your own vibration and embracing the mystical currents and allowing them to flow through you and into your stories, you are helping to transcend the human condition into magical realms.

Like electricity flowing through wire. Only the zap is a remedy.


It’s time for You to your raise your vibration!

Tips like this and so much more can be discovered in our upcoming release, Creative Writing Energy: Tools to Access Your Higher-Creative Mindwhere you find a wide range of alternative methods and ideas that you can use to access your higher-creative mind and get those words flowing. 

Creative Writing Energy: Tools to Access Your Higher-Creative Mind is the first in a series for authors from bestselling and award-winning authors, Kim Petersen and Catherine Evans.

Click here and be the first to get access to Creative Writing Energy: Tools to Access Your Higher-Creative Mind as soon as it’s released – plus, join our clan and you’ll get more than just a book – you’ll receive a weekly writing prompt in the form of a wonderful Oracle Card that we’re creating for authors as part of our series, and you’ll become part of a loving writing community interested in maximising your highest-creative potential!

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