Reader, writer, storyteller

Unofficial Bits and Pieces

Quick Quirky Facts (also known as the good stuff!)
I don’t have a dominant hand, nor am I ambidextrous. Instead, I have what is called “mixed hand.” I am naturally left-handed but was forced in primary school to use my right hand. I use my right hand for handwriting and other fine motor skills, but I can do all other tasks equally well with both hands. I don’t have a backhand for tennis or squash, but switch the racket between hands.

I like my music unusual, in makeup with a side dash of Al. Which is code for Cyndi Lauper…

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I have two main topics I write about — Books, Reading, & Librarian Life and Cystic Fibrosis & Organ Donation, although I’ve always considered myself a Fiction writer first.
I also write about Dogs — Because Dogs Are Good For the Soul.
Occasionally I write about Relationships along with a blast from the past that brings History to life.
Writing in multi-genres and topics means I have learned some valuable Writing Advice and Tips.

Everyone has a favorite child — and of my personal essays, this is mine:

And I really enjoyed researching these stories:

Subscribe to my newsletter &…

From a slush pile reader to a judge for a major literary award

The Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) is the peak body for children’s literature in Australia. The CBCA is a volunteer-run not-for-profit organization and has held its annual book awards since 1946. The Book of the Year Award celebrates high literary and artistic merit in children’s books.

CBCA book week — held in August, is a celebration of children’s books in schools and public libraries across Australia. Book week is timed to coincide with the announcement of the Book of the Year Awards.

As a librarian being a CBCA judge has always been a bucket list item. When my application…

Genetics made him my father. Love made him my dad

“Mummy, do I have a dad?”

I was five when I asked the question that my mother had probably been dreading, but she handled it well. “Your dad’s name is Harry. After you were born, he married another lady. We don't see him, and he doesn't come and see us.”

My mum rummaged through a drawer then pulled out a photo of a man with blond hair wearing racing silks. “You can keep this photo,” she said as she handed it over.

I had a name and a photo, and at five, that was more than enough information to satisfy…

With a little help from Harry Potter

Children’s hands holding homemade Harry Potter wands
Children’s hands holding homemade Harry Potter wands

“Book Club” Was a Very Loose Term

I used the term Bookclub to describe the Thursday lunchtime activities in the library, but it was a very loose interpretation of a traditional book club. With a cross-section of readers from Year Four to Year Six, they were all at different reading levels. Finding one book to suit everyone would be tricky. Instead, the concept of our book club revolved around talking about books, making book craft — pretty much anything and everything related to books without actually reading in the allotted time.

Of the nine members, eight were avid readers. Their keen interest was the sole reason I…


Hoarding doesn’t constitute a plan

The worldwide pandemic showed the necessity for critical clear thinking when panic buying. As if by osmosis, everyone instinctively knew there was only one item to purchase to ensure survival. And thus, the toilet paper crisis arose.

Human ingenuity was at its finest, and boxing matches in the supermarket aisles became normal. Yet despite the masses hoarding reams of loo paper, no one seemed to know quite what to do with their stash in apocalyptic conditions.

Luckily you’ve got this trusty guide to help.

1. Forget Big Brother. Skynet is watching

Despair not, your loo paper is one of the most important tools in the fight to…

The story behind “Pepsi the Problem Puppy”

Dog wearing reading glasses with a book
Dog wearing reading glasses with a book

Pepsi bounced into my life, a bundle of energy full of mischief. Her behavior was (mostly) my fault. I couldn’t help but spoil her and laugh at her antics. The previous year was tough, and Pepsi was the perfect dog to help my recovery.

I’d undergone major surgery — a double lung transplant — and my body was slowly healing. Pepsi kept me active and focused during the many months I spent at home, avoiding the germy world as much as possible while my body adjusted to being immunocompromised.

As Pepsi bounced about with great abandon, I noticed that I…

Also known as the Gene and Paul show

Girl with birthday cake showing Paul Stanley’s face
Girl with birthday cake showing Paul Stanley’s face

I was part dancing, part jogging on the spot in time to the beat. It was 1979, and I was seven. I’d used all of my pocket money to purchase my very first music cassette, and the music had been pumping since I’d returned home.

Was it the beat? The makeup? I honestly can’t recall what the first attraction was. It was clearly different from my mother’s musical tastes. She liked Racey and other popular tunes from the top 40. …

Abe the A Block Owl

A Block is home to the admin building along with the Year 1 and Year 2 students — it’s one of the busiest and noisiest areas of the school I work at. Despite this, one hot February day, a Boobook owl was found perched on a tree in the small garden.

Abe’s visit became a teachable moment for the students.

  • Signs were placed to remind students to be quiet — owls are nocturnal.
  • Features of the Australian boobook owl were discussed.
  • Owl books were on frequent rotation in the library.
  • Stories were written.

Although the noise level reduced to a…


Welcome to Australia, where our animals are as strange as they are deadly.

Unfortunately, our kangaroos don't hop down the street on command (they are wild animals, not trained monkeys). But you can get up close and personal with them at various locations. A petting zoo will provide you with a vanilla Australian experience and lots of happy snaps. However, for a truly authentic Aussie experience, having a beer with a roo ticks all the boxes.

At John Forrest National Park Tavern, the kangaroos will hop on into the beer garden and pose for your happy snaps — while these roos tolerate people, they are still wild animals and should be approached with…

Sandi Parsons

Sandi Parsons lives and breathes stories as a reader, writer, and storyteller. Newsletter subscribers receive my free ebook The Last Walk →

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