Finding the lost art of letter writing

Penpals were totally my thing as a kid. I had penpals from all around the world. Literally, hundreds of letters were painstakingly written over the span of my childhood. I loved receiving envelopes in the mail with stamps from exotic places like Zaire or Missouri (my 10-year-old self thought any destination other than Australia was exotic!)

When I reached high school, letter writing was still something I enjoyed, but my penpals dwindled down to just one. Jessie and I were both the same age when we first became penpals. She lived in America, which is where I dreamed of travelling…

It was a disgustingly funny experience

It started off as a joke. Actually, there were multiple jokes involved. About a year ago, my then eight-year-old son thought it would be funny to tell me his latest collection of disgustingly funny jokes.

Q: What’s black and white and red all over?
A: A sunburnt zebra.

Q: What’s brown and white and red all over?
A: Poop disguised as a sunburnt zebra.

I countered with my own fart-themed joke.

Q: What’s silent but deadly?
A: A ninja’s fart.

We then got into a joke competition, of sorts, with each joke out-stinking the next. …

It has more to do with how you think than what you write

A little while ago, I had a chat with the founder of an online writer’s academy I attend. We talked about writing goals. Specifically, how to succeed with your one-month writing goals.

My first goal was to finish a chapter of my junior fiction novel I was writing with my son. I achieved that goal by the end of the month.

My second goal was to succeed in online writing. So, how did that go?

I have to shuffle back in time to answer that question.

When I first started publishing online in 2019, it was to improve my writing…

You might be surprised by the benefits of reading a simple children’s tale

My bookshelf is crammed full of children’s books. There are picture books, middle-grade fart-joke books, tween adventure books, and young adult coming-of-age books.

Sure, I have actual kids living in my house, so that’s one of the reasons I own a lot of children’s books.

When visitors come over, they marvel at the children’s literature that fills my shelves, tables, and floors in my house. They tell me how lucky my kids are to have so many books to read. I nod in agreement. Sure, those books are all for my kids.

To tell you the truth, I purchased more…

Who made the rule that cereal should be eaten at breakfast only?

My mother visited my house the other day. When she opened the kitchen pantry, she let out an audible gasp. She stared at me with a perplexed look.

“Why on earth do you have so many breakfast cereals in here?” She asked, flabbergasted.

I shrugged. “Well, I eat granola for breakfast, and the kids eat Weetbix and Rice Bubbles in summer and porridge in winter. I’ve got Nutrigrain for after-lunch snacks. And then there’s Coco Pops Chex for dessert. Oh, and that box of limited-edition Unicorn Froot Loops is just for fun. …

I learned about my own self-worth after I quit teaching

This story isn’t an unusual one. It’s quite common. I grew up in Australia, but this story could be universal. This is the story of a teacher who failed.

And there lies the problem.

Are teachers put under so much scrutiny and stress today, that in the end, the hopeful, bright-eyed newly graduated teachers end up quitting after just a few years?

Or is there something else that makes them quit?

I lasted eight years as a teacher, but during that time, I stopped for almost a year to raise a baby. So, I guess you could say I was…

Am I a bad parent to want to help my child create their own channel?

My nine-year-old son recently asked if I could help him create his own YouTube channel. I thought it was a great idea. He’s a bit shy and I figured it would be a good way to bring him out of his shell. He’d also learn valuable skills by creating videos, editing them and sharing them online with his friends.

Then I stopped and thought about what a YouTube channel really means. I asked my son why he wanted a YouTube channel so badly. …

We all possess writing superpowers and now it’s time to find out what yours are

One of my favourite online writers has a writing superpower. She has the ability to suck me right into her stories and make me feel like I’m the only person reading them. As if they were written just for me.

It’s like she’s my best friend and she’s spilling all of her dirty secrets to me.

I can almost imagine sitting in her lounge room, both of us digging into a big bowl of popcorn while a soppy romance movie plays in the background. She leans over and says, “you’ll never believe what happened to me yesterday…”

She has me…

Age is just a number, right?

Last weekend my girlfriends and I went away to a winery to celebrate our shared milestone birthday. This year, we all turned forty.

Well, two of us have hit that milestone, while our other friend can say she’s still a spring chicken in her 30s for the next few months. But who’s counting numbers these days?

It certainly was a milestone birthday. Forty years old! But what makes turning forty so special? And why did I feel a sudden sense of apprehension in the years and months leading up to it?

There’s no need to worry. Seriously. And to make…

Finding the pleasure in sticky hands and dirty feet

Toddlers are like old, drunk people. You can’t understand what they’re saying half the time. They fall over a lot. They get cranky for no reason. They poop their pants. But in the end, you can’t help but love them.

Before I had kids, I’d heard about the “terrible twos,” and witnessed a few odd temper tantrums in shopping centres. But what I didn’t know and wish someone had told me earlier are some less obvious things.

Toddlers are like puppies

After having kids, what struck me as weird was how toddlers follow you everywhere. It was kind of cute at first. …

Lana Graham

Aussie mama of 3 sons. Lover of tea. Planner geek with a cereal obsession. Say G’day:

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store