Jaclyn Moriarty grew up in Sydney, Australia and studied in the United States and England. She spent four years working as a media and entertainment lawyer and is now writing full time. Jaclyn is the author of bittersweet teen bestsellers FEELING SORRY FOR CELIA, FINDING CASSIE CRAZY and BECOMING BINDY MACKENZIE.
Sparkles - 14 days ago
Night beach - 5 months ago
Box of new stationery arrived in the mail with no note. Only a... - 6 months ago
Box of new stationery arrived in the mail with no note. Only a card from the stationery company congratulating me on my excellent order. But I didn’t order it, I said to the card, and I worried that the correct thing to do was to send it back. First, however, I wrote a cryptic email to the Canadian friend who gave me the red notebook and coloured pencils that inspired the Colours of Madeleine trilogy. I mentioned that something marvellous had arrived in the mail with no note and then I sort of whistled and looked at the sky. She replied apologising for having sent me an anonymous gift of stationery. Misplaced congratulations and apologies in the mail. I love my new stationery so much and have been using it to plan next book.
Hula Hoop in TreeIt’s been months since I posted anything to... - 6 months ago
It’s been months since I posted anything to Tumblr! You’re not supposed to do that. You’re supposed to post regularly. I break all the online rules. As a child, I was very good. As an adult, I’m so DEFIANT (online)! See, I broke a rule right there. SHOUTING.
But I promised to keep posting, and breaking a promise does not give me the same giddy, reckless feeling as BREAKING A RULE!
Do you know, I have 38 draft posts here? I’ve started talking about so many things! A festival in Bendigo, the fact that my sister’s book has been made into an HBO TV series called “Big Little Lies” starring Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shaelene Woodley, Zoe Kravitz, Laura Dern, Alexander Skarsgaard, Adam Scott and MORE, the fact that I WAS THE FIRST PERSON IN THE WORLD TO READ ‘BIG LITTLE LIES’ (trying to make it about me), my search for the pirate cafe.
And this one. The picture of the hula hoop in the tree. I remember when I saw this hula hoop in the tree, I photographed it because I was doing a blog about ‘circles’. The circles you see in your everyday life. I loved that blog. It didn’t say much, it was just a bunch of pictures of circles I’d seen in my everyday life, but i loved it. I posted it on a whole other platform.
More recently, I saw this photo on my desktop and was enchanted by it. The greens, the branches, the twist in the hoop. I decided I would post it to Tumblr, and would add some kind of clever caption. Maybe Tree Attempts Hula Hooping, or Tree Buys Hula Hoop on eBay, regrets Purchase. Ha ha. But not really ‘ha ha’. Nothing I came up with was clever or funny. Eventually I realised that I was like one of those parents trying to use teenage slang. I was trying to get in on the Tumblr vibe.
But I am not a Tumblr viber, I’m me! And you should always be yourself. So I gave up and left it as a draft, adding to the stack of drafts. Now I have decided to start going through my drafts, tidying them up, and posting them. I owe it to past Jaclyn, past hula hoops, past trees, and I owe it to you, past readers (hopefully present and future readers too if I haven’t lost you by breaking promises). Here, this is for you: A Hula Hoop in a Tree.
New Toy - 9 months ago
I guess other people are also saying this, but it really seems like he’s a boy with a new toy, a big new toy, something his little sister asked for years before. She saved her gold stars for years, hoping to get this toy, but just before Christmas, he suddenly decided that he wanted it himself. So he started shouting for it.
He had temper tantrums, stamped his feet, was so loud and blustery, wore his hair with such a flounce, that his parents, at first amused, then bemused, eventually looked at each other and said, ‘Well, I wonder if maybe we should give it to him? He really seems to want it!’ They couldn’t quite hear his little sister any more, standing just over there by the stove, quietly listing the reasons it should be hers. When she did pipe up, tried to be heard, when she pointed to her row of gold stars on the chart on the fridge, the big brother jumped in front of her, shouting and bellowing, stabbing his finger at the black marks she’d collected on the way to her hundreds of gold stars, knocking magnets and postcards from the fridge to the floor with great clatter and noise, so that the parents widened their eyes at all the chaos and laughed.
And when the sister pointed to her brother’s own behaviour chart, its rows and rows of black marks, he became savage, incensed, tore up the charts, said she’d invented them, said they weren’t there, pointed to the kitchen window, ‘Look! A cow!’ and when the parents turned back, confused, ‘What cow? I see no cow,’ half the black marks had been scribbled over, and the big brother was chanting rhymes and songs, half-rhymes, half-songs, entirely bamboozling the parents, who stood scratching their heads.
Here, the sister began to make her arguments again, having stayed up all night preparing a Powerpoint presentation of arguments. The father said to himself, ‘Oh God, she’s always doing homework, she’s a real little bore,’ and the mother said, ‘I’m not quite sure I trust her,’ and the father sighed, ‘If only we had another, livelier child,’ while the brother opened the cupboards and threw out all the glassware. Smashing everything on the linoleum. So again, the parents were distracted by the noise and broken glass.
Exasperated, the sister considered stamping and shouting herself but she knew the brother would crow, ‘There! See! Look at her!’ while the parents pursed their lips in disapproval: ‘This is not how ladies behave.’
So the boy got the toy. It’s in the driveway. He’s circling it, it’s bigger than he thought it would be. The instructions are confusing, he’s swearing at them and tearing them up. He’s circling the toy. It’s making odd noises at him, and the levers are not where he thought they would be, so he’s stamping his foot, kicking it, picking it up and throwing it against a brick wall. He rolls it back to the centre of the driveway and sniffs. He’s already getting bored. Soon he will want another, bigger toy. The neighbours watch him from the street. ‘The last thing that child needed,’ they mutter to each other, ‘was that toy.’ Meanwhile, at night, the little sister whispers to her parents while they’re sleeping: ‘I’m not nasty. I’m not a nasty girl.’
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