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Changing the world one word at a time. Find me at: http://amazon.com/author/mariarattray or: https://ponmyword.com

No better time to promote, than right now…

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A few years ago my husband and I spent some time living in Penang, Malaysia. There I met the most beautiful man, who to this day is a very close friend. We share similar concerns about the environment, about materialism, and the lack of care for the planet. The galloping and frightening pace of change from where we were less than three generations ago, to where we are today, we discussed at great length.

When I first struck up a conversation with him I asked about why the tides around the island…


And through that, being born again…

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There’s no interview. The position is challenging and fierce. It comes with no salary. It leaves you absolutely exhausted every day, deprives you of sleep, and the free time you once enjoyed, but you wouldn’t trade it even for free access to the biggest bank in the world.

Welcome to the World of Motherhood, where love begins and ends. Welcome also to the longest and most fulfilling chapter in your life.

It might be physically impossible to count the ways a mother expresses her love. Where loving warmth meets a teachable moment, that’s where you’ll find a mother, confidently wielding…


Celebrating the birth of a friend’s little boy…

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The inspiration comes from the poem, ‘Oh, the Places Youll Go!’ It’s all about seizing opportunity, and being open to adventure.

Dearest William,

CONGRATULATIONS!

Today is your day,

You’ve landed on earth

And now you must stay.

Today‘s your ‘birth’ day!

And you’re perfect, we think.

But we know that the years

Will fly by in a blink.

So from feasting on milk,

Over which you now drool,

Soon you’ll be shopping

For clothes fit for school!

Oh the things there you’ll do,

Oh the people you’ll see,

The teachers you’ll have,

And the student you’ll be.

The friends that…


To look in a mirror and like what they see…

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It was a Friday night. Late opening in our city, a night when it is de rigueur to shop after work, and then enjoy a simple meal out.

My husband needed some business clothes, and we went down to the basement of a large store in the men’s section. It was a store where he always found clothes that he liked, so we spent a fair bit of time looking. Our daughter, quite young at the time, perhaps three or four, was with us.

She was always a good little girl, well-behaved, and patient for the most part.

We duly…


It’s not about always behaving perfectly, but more about leaving no room for compromise.

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When I was quite a young teacher I had a boy in my class who was invariably late for school. Sometimes he could be as late as one hour, and that is almost always the time in the classroom where important information, or teaching, takes place.

As the eldest of five children, his father was in the army and often away from home. I felt for the mother. She seemed constantly on edge, as was her young son. He would slope into the classroom, and though I greeted him and quickly explained what he had missed, without judgement, I could…


Three fingers of lightning…and a fast-fading star…

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Last lines of Chapter Four:

‘And then she felt it, just a gentle breeze across her face, and the tiniest touch on her shoulder, enough to assure Allie that support was a given.’

Brad had just arrived home from work, a little early, hoping for a quiet night. Allie had been super-busy in the last few weeks, engaged in some research that he was not privy to, and so, he’d brought home one of their favorite reds, a Vasse Felix Cabernet Sauvignon, a bit of a luxury, but she deserved it.

But when he stepped inside it was clear that…


My students are bursting with excitement, and can’t wait to interview you.

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In this article, I imagined Einstein coming back to our times, responding to an invitation to talk to the children in my class, and delivering a message of what peace looks like, feels like, and is.

You will recognize many of his quotes, deliberately massaged by me into the text. His belief that imagination is worthier than knowledge, I still believe holds dear, as does his belief that standardized tests are not readily reflective of intellect.

If my interpretation of Einstein doesn’t concur with yours, that is fine. We are all different, and that is a good thing. My aim…


The more teachers build on creativity, the more a child’s creative river will flow. Creativity is never finite!

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‘Creativity is contagious. Pass it on!’, said the one and only Albert Einstein! He wasn’t just a scientist, but also an observer of life.

The way in which you live, and share, and speak, and react, is a level of your creativity. It’s the harsh reality of who we are, and where we can improve.

It’s a word that’s bandied about, a buzzword in most schools, but what exactly does it cover? And as teachers, should the creative aspect of what we teach be front and center?

Creativity is much about the generation of ideas, developing imagination, about reciprocating the…


Its also Gayana Day for one plucky girl! She happens to sell flowers here in Canberra, and she loves to give hugs for free.

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There was a knock on my door, and when I answered it, there she stood with the largest bouquet of flowers, and with a shy smile, extended the flowers to me.

‘Happy Mothers’ Day,’ she said and wrapped me in her arms, just for good measure.

‘Thank you Gayana. These are beautiful. Thank you so much, and Happy Gayana Day to you.’

‘It’s not my special day,’ she answered.

‘Really? I think it is. …


The reveal….

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End of Chapter Three: “Okay, so it looks as if we have lots to catch up on. Let me give James a call… I’ll get back to you shortly.”

James could hardly believe the coincidence, and was more than happy to meet up the following day.

“One minute we’re talking about a ghost, the next would seem to be a confluence of events, allowing us to meet up with the one person who might shed light on her, and with any luck, give us all a semblance of peace. The sooner the better I say.”

The weather had turned fine…

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