Posted in blogging, Daily muse, Funny, Humour, Story, Writing

Attempted murder, a toaster and six ugly legs

Inspired by the WordPress Prompt

Locked or in this case STUCK!


Attempted Murder, A Toaster, and Six Ugly Legs



I awoke this morning in my usual fashion-barely able to balance on my feet-stagger, stagger-rubbing my eyes to achieve some kind of focus, grumpy that I was required to exit my bed at all and with a solid plan to avoid anything that resembled a human in case they attacked me with jobs and just stuff, during grump hour.

The kettle was there, waiting for me-same place as yesterday…and the day before…to assist me in dragging myself out of slumber, and into the day ahead. As I approached it, I was given an almighty jab of adrenaline when sitting casually in front of me, spread out completely relaxed on his banana lounge it would seem, was a King cockroach.

Now when I say King Cockroach, I mean King Cockroach. The half bug half cow variety, have you seen those? The feral thing was playing around with its feelers and sussing out my Kitchen bench.

As I knew the littlest kid was up, I proceeded to yell.


The response, no more than a grunt, was not promising. I didn’t muck around and ran into the lounge room.

“Xav, please come and kill this cockroach”

He looked at me as if it was way too much to ask of him, but decided to assist all the same.

“Oh, that’s disgusting” he said

“You’re telling me. Get him”

I’m not sure what he did next, but it resembled a stiff piece of plank, edging it’s way, less than a millimetre closer and launching a hand towel at it.

“What are you doing? It’ll run away, you’ve got to squash it.

He stood frozen for a second, staring at the creature, and was absolutely no help to me whatsoever.

As I was about to grab the other child, Xavier screamed…

“He’s run into the toaster”


“Oh good God” I blasphemed.

“I have no time, and now the thing has made home in the toaster…I need to cook my toast”

Xavier’s response?

“Well I can’t get him now, he’s in the toaster” -and just like that he wondered off, unfussed.

I immediately skipped plan B- grab the second kid-and implemented Plan C-out came the big guns.


Now Michael was out walking the dog, wasn’t he. Typical, although, strangely he replied.


He was outside.

I bolted out the door.

“There’s a cockroach in the toaster, and I’m hungry. Please can you get it out?”

“Are you sure?” He questioned

“Yes, We saw him run in there”

Twenty minutes later, after thoroughly inspecting the item, bashing it on the grass outside, pulling it apart, and staring at it for ages, Michael looked at me.

“It’s not in there”

“It is”

“It’s not”

“It is”

…and then we heard it. It was wriggling around inside.

“Told you” I said.

Michael thought for a bit.

“Let’s cook it”

“Noooooooo! Oh that’s gross. I’ll never eat toast out of it again. That’s disgusting” I could literally feel my stomach churn at the thought of toasted cockroach.

He pushed down the lever and the toaster began to glow.

I couldn’t stand it, so I left the room, but the burning smell was evident.

“Oh geez Michael are you serious?”


“Did you get him out?”

“Yep. Got him”

I could sense something. I don’t know what, but something in his voice smelled of lies.

I closed one eye, lent toward him…and whispered

“I want evidence”


“No really. I took the toaster outside….and ”

“Eeeew, was he cooked?”

“Nope, he was quite chuffed. He crawled out and ran away. Then I stomped on him on the road”

I didn’t believe him for a second. Not for one second. I could smell a rat. Excuse the pun…

“Where’s his body? Prove it” I said

I followed him to the road…



Posted in Deep, Mental Health, mindfullness, Photography, Stories, Writing

Escaping ‘The Funk’


Escaping ‘The Funk’

‘Time in the wild reminds me how much of what I ordinarily do is mere dithering, how much of what I own is mere encumbrance. The opposite of simplicity, as I understand it, is not complexity but clutter.’ -Scott Sander (Mel Leader)


The last few days, I’ve been in a funk.


Million dollar question.

Why is anybody ever in a funk? Who knows, there’s this and that and there are always a million different excuses, reasons, stories we all tell ourselves but at times it just IS, and it’s best to stay out of everyone’s way until this highly annoying mood has passed.

I am currently still waiting 🙂

For those of you who have been gifted with a smile from ear to ear from dusk until dawn, you may not understand this concept as you have quite clearly been created on the good mood planet-a place very far away from my planet, and I will forever admire, but never understand you.

Perhaps I should be rocketed away to my very own planet when the ‘funk’ hits me; that way, I could grumble and moan to my hearts content, feel sorry for myself, and flounder within the ‘big fog’ in my mind for as long as I wish until the curse has been thoroughly flushed out of my system in a completely anonymous and harmless way-Happy days, I think this would work wonderfully.

So how have I dealt with it this time?

Still dealing with it-excellent-but I popped myself in my little car, said ‘ta-taaaaa’ to my relieved loved ones, and drove to some random, random place I’ve never been somewhere in the back of a township close-by, and snapped some shots of what seemed like a boring old paddock.

Staring down the lens to re-focus my mind.

Here are a few of my ‘funk’ shots-

…and now, as I view them, I realise

‘The overwhelming large when shrunk down to the simple small is sometimes all it takes to transform the grey back to the blue.’




Sugar Cane Far North Queensland


Sulphur crested cockatoo
Sulphur crested cockatoo



Posted in Dogs, Stories, Writing

I will walk with you forever







Nicole Martin

The above illustration breaks my heart.


It’s me and my Jasper.

My dog.

It reminds me that one day he will leave me- as everything does eventually-and walk his own doggy road

-but I can’t think about that.

“Come here baby, you are JUST a dog”

He waddles up to me, tongue out, backside wagging, always smiling and grateful for nothing. 

It reminds me of his loyalty despite my laziness and grump days, when I know all he wants is to go around the block, and play with some buddies in the field. 

“Hello buddy, hello friend, my name is Jasper and I have a tennis ball”

It reminds me, that my husband loves him too, and so do my boys, and so do I, and so does the universe and everyone in it. 

Just look at the illustration. 

Four feet.

Two feet, two paws walking side by side. 

To where? 

It doesn’t really matter now does it? I know my dog just wants to walk…the destination is simply a means to an end. 

His name is Jasper, he’s 6 years old. He’s a black Labrador, and he’s a gift to me. 

Everyday, I learn from him. 

Everyday, he softens me. 

Everyday, he reminds me what’s important

and what’s not important.

With no words, he teaches me.

So many lessons, so many values, so many simple, simple truths, that humans wouldn’t know about, now would they?

His innocence is what I love about him the most. We often say

“Shame, he’s just a dog”

Ignorance is bliss is it not?

The not knowing. 

Living a reality where hatred and evil are an unknown entity.

Living a world where his happiness is directly proportional to the number of revolutions his tail does in a minute, and that’s the only measure. 

The past is simply a misspelled word missing an ‘a’ , and the future, the whole future, is captured in its entirety in the next five minutes. 

He owns nothing, yet parades around like he’s the King of Planet Boonga. 

Every tree and every lamp post is worth his attention.

It is irrelevant to him, if I’m ugly, or if I am unliked, or if I only have one friend, or if I have or have not brushed my teeth this morning, or if I am hopeless at my job, or if I am an Olympian who broke the world record last week. 

All he needs is to chase his tennis ball every now and then, to frolic with his buddies, and the LOVE of us. 

I think I would like to be born as a dog next time.





Posted in Elephant Journal, My wordpress, Story, Wordpress prompts, Writing

Dealing With Change

Black and White anime couple:

‘Change is the constant, yet life confronts me and I am dragged forward, many times over’


Dealing With Change



Nicole Martin

There have been times in my life when ‘change’ has been warmly welcomed-a breath of fresh air, one could say.

Occasionally a bright new opportunity has presented itself resulting in a newly challenged, motivated me.

But change has also been brutal-knocking me off my feet, leaving me empty, heavy-hearted and fearful. The resentment and frustration I felt at the time, caused me to challenge the situation and fight in desperation to hang onto what was already gone- but eventually, the denial was corroded by the call for acceptance.

I remember so clearly the day my son graduated from Junior School. His friends, the brotherhood, were united in the anticipation of this momentous occasion. When it was time for their goodbyes, devastation hit the decks. Heartfelt tears rolled forward as they clung onto each other, their young souls aching.

As I watched from a distance and felt their pain one slow minute after another, I knew that they were fearful.

They were now stepping into the unknown, fearful of a future without their friends close by. Sorrowful at the loss of their past and resistant to accept the change that was closing a chapter in their lives, never to be re-lived.

‘With age, comes wisdom.’

How do we let go of what is gone forever?

Once gone, there is no possible way to bring back the past-this shocking truth can wound the strongest of souls-but our most loved memories are never completely lost.

 It’s within this epiphany that they key to letting go is hiding.

The key to moving forward comes with the understanding that precious memories very close to our hearts are entwined within our Journey of life.

Sure, it is necessary to keep rolling forward, but at the same time, we carry inside us all the pieces that represent our lives lived so far-and there is no need, to ‘let them go’ or ‘erase them.’

Ironically, the key to letting go and moving happily forward, is in NOT letting go of those memories we cherish, but in taking them with us and allowing them to live forever in our minds,  as we move through change.


All Relationships Change-with the exception of a select few-the keepers

For me, circumstances changed and friendships changed with the cycle of life whether I liked it or not.

People sauntering in, people fading out, each and every one of them serving a purpose-all playing a part in my journey of life.

Over the years, reflection has brought me to the realisation that some have walked with me for a while, and have then parted as they’ve discovered their own path.

There are those that have taken great pleasure in filling my path with obstacles and confusing signage, in a desperate need for me to lose my way and walk ‘their’ journey-yet it never really feels right though does it?-Like a square peg in a round hole-yet strangely, we all do it in hope of holding onto something we care about.

Others have left but a tiny footprint in the sand, one of pure perfection and endearment, a fleeting visit but an impression all the same.

There are those that have caught a ride on my back- I willingly carried them, but they weighed me down, and I slowly sank into the depths of the sand until I eventually found the strength to shake them off.

Some came screaming up behind me, with limitless energy and promises of tomorrow. They offered gifts of exhilaration and excitement—a welcome change to my seemingly mundane path. I snatched them like an excited child, only to find they didn’t exist, the promises were hollow, and they were never really walking beside me in the first place-but I was blinded by my own masterpiece. I only saw, what I desired them to be.

Many were ghosts in the night, crossing my path briefly and then vanishing as quickly as they came, their images too faint to make a memory.


And then there are the keepers

The ones who lay down a thousand lamps so that we may see

The ones whose fingertips are laser beams, showering infinite rays of color over our journey

The ones who blow the cool breeze our way when we swelter

The ones who stand back when we need to run

The ones who hold our hands when the path becomes rocky

The ones who carry us when we are bleeding

The ones who get back up, when we push them away

The ones whose arms are there when we reach out

The ones who always see the real us, despite our disguise

The ones whose footprints remain, right beside ours, throughout the billowing storm, until all the pieces have been placed and the puzzle is complete.


So in times of change and uncertainty, I always try to turn around and face my path. I look for the keepers that will always be there, patiently waiting to take my hand and shed light on the journey ahead.

And I look for the beloved footprints behind me, taking comfort in the fact that they can never be erased.

They will always be part of my life, and they will always be a part of my journey.

Together we travel towards wisdom.

Post Inspired by the Daily Prompt

Mad Libs

When consulting a friend on post ideas, she declined to provide an adjective, noun or article specifically. She simply said, please write something on  ‘Dealing with Change’

So I spent some time heavily editing an old story of mine, and brought it back to life.

I hope you enjoy it.



Posted in Elephant Journal, Inspiration, Published work, Stories, Writing

My Four Walls


Where do I feel the most comfortable?

What do I love?

My four Walls


Writing about them…

‘The worn shutters hang faded and broken, but all I see are a decade of sweet seasons, bursting into life as they penetrate my windows, and shed their light.’


Published in



Nicole Martin

My four walls. My palace. My private sanctuary.

This is where I am who I am. Where the mask is peeled off, where the walls that surround me, see me uncensored, in my most natural state.

It’s behind these walls that my soul is anchored.

A shiny silver spider web glistens in the sunlight and dances with the breeze outside.

I can see it, right there within an arms reach, gripping for dear life to my lounge room window.

I really should clean it away—perhaps I’ll leave it there a little longer—for what is a window, without a web?- A lifeless piece of glass.

The worn shutters hang faded and broken, but all I see are a decade of sweet seasons, bursting into life as they penetrate my windows, and shed their light.

The walls, splashed with scuff marks could do with a paint, but all I see are two little boys, full of the joys of life, crashing into them with sheer delight. Smudging their dirty shoes, school bags and food filled fingers obliviously across their cream coloured surface, with a beautiful sense of childlike freedom.

All I see is my much loved furry companion collapsing against these walls, his tongue falling out of his mouth, gasping for air after he’s run with the wind, and sniffed and played and chased tennis balls, all afternoon with his family. The wall, serving as a support for his well exercised bones.

The tiles are dated—but they’ve had my children’s footprints growing on them for days and weeks and years. They’ve carried the weight of their childhood, as they’ve metamorphosed from babies to young lads, one fast growing step after another. An invisible canvas, warmly holding in its possession, the history of a zillion footsteps.

The washing machine is tired and rusty, but I am thankful for its hard work. Tirelessly, it throws around our laundry, that bares the evidence. The evidence of our existence. Our clothes are clad with experiences. Spillage of a blissful coffee had with friends, sweat from a wicked workout, dirt, spare coinage, pens forgotten in pockets, buttons that have escaped, grass on white shirts, mouldy towels, wet shoes from camp. It labours, to wash the memories clean, so that we may make more.

Six million pairs of well worn shoes lay strewn at my front door. Each one telling its own unique story. A long stroll on the beach? A grueling training session? A trip to the park? A holiday miles from home? They belong there, exactly as they fell, in perfect disorder.

The front door key, it sticks.

We should probably fix that—but one click to the left, one small lean to the right, push the glass just a tiny little bit, and it opens. Like clockwork. The answer lies within the secret code and that’s all we need.

The passageway is adorned with old wedding photos. Moments of the past boxed in a frame, to remind us that we have lived. I haven’t looked at them for so long, I’d almost forgotten they were there. Oh look, there’s Granny, and Mum and Dad in their younger years, all spruced up, smiling at me, as they hang up there. They are leaning, the wire that carries them is a little off centre. A tiny adjustment, and they are perfect, once again.

My favourite couch is sinking into its boots, but it is still warm from where the dog took up position a few minutes ago. He sleeps blissfully unconscious on many an occasion, in that very spot. It’s a place to rest our weary heads after a long day, a sick bed for the unwell, a front row seat at the movies, a meeting place for family discussions, a stand-in trampoline, a secret hiding spot, and centre stage for the wrestling match of a lifetime, that echoes the laughter and giggles of ages.

The aged dining room table has mismatched chairs, but all I see is the heart. The heart that beats to the drum of time. It has hosted many a nail biting card game, precious stories told only once, celebrations, dinners and banter, it’s where secrets and grievances have been revealed and dealt with, timetables learned, it’s seen Christmas dinners, Easter egg feasts, and fairy bread and chocolate crackles for umpteen sequential years.

I look around me, and quietly observe the imperfections inside my four walls. However it occurs to me that it’s the imperfections that contain the most character. It’s the imperfections that make my four walls uniquely mine, that represent a life lived, that represent the growth and uniqueness of my nearest and dearest.

Imperfect? I say perfect.

For the real value, at the end of the day, is not in the four walls themselves

but in the life lived behind them.


In response to the Daily Post’s

Money for Nothing

Posted in anxiety, Mental Health, Story, Writing

RED-An exerpt


To anyone who has been the subject of bullying, has felt like they’re different, or has felt completely alone, I wrote this for you…EVERYBODY has value

with love


An exerpt taken from the story RED



Nicole Martin


‘…He felt the warmth of her on his shoulder. Her hand was resting there.

“Would you like a Strawberry? I have many, look…”

He kept his head down, but she lent over and smiled.

“They are the best strawberries in the world- I promise”

He tilted his head ever so slightly, and gazed at her kind expression. His face turned sour as he dispelled the contents of his mouth. Blood, tears, dirt, despair.

She was a little older than him. Sixteen maybe.

He took a strawberry and examined it carefully before devouring it’s sweetness.

‘Thank you”-He whispered, as he proceeded to stare at the bloodied pool he’d created at the foot of his boots.

“You know…” She said quietly;

“Only the strongest soldiers are given the toughest jobs”

She handed him a tissue and he took it to his mouth in deathly silence.

“Look at your blood.”

“Pardon?” he questioned.

“Your blood…It’s RED”

This time, he lifted his head and looked her in the eyes—–Oh God, she was not from this earth. Just another person to love and lose, he thought.

She took the tissue and dabbed his lip gently.

“When life gives you lemons, always remember…your blood is RED”

He nodded, and held his gaze, giving her his full attention.

“…and as long as your blood is red, it means there’s oxygen it it…

and as long as there’s oxygen in it, it means you are breathing…

and as long as you are breathing, it means you are alive…

and as long as you’re alive, you must fight.

You must fight, for your right to live.

When you are dead, your blood is blue…

but YOUR blood is RED, just like these Strawberries.

Ok?” ‘


For the full story CLICK HERE

Photo credit: JLM Photography. via / CC BY-NC-ND