Author: Anna Spargo-Ryan

Scaffolding

Last Sunday, as the day slipped into dusk, I had a panic attack. I have different kinds - sometimes I just feel like I've breathed too quickly, or like I've slipped on a bit of wet road, and I can sit in a quiet place

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grass and grass and grass

I miss standing on a verandah and seeing the way the world reveals itself. Not the neighbours' patio, or the dog across the street, or the chime of the level crossing. Distance. I miss distance. Horizons. I go to the beach every day and they

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2016 in writing

Not a lot about 2016 is worth reflecting on, let's be honest. The state of politics worldwide is enough to send a girl hurtling into space, I can't even watch Love, Actually because of Alan Rickman, and the hayfever's been so bad I've resorted to sending

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The sometimes terminal nature of mental illness

Content warning: suicide, the state of mental health support in Australia I read that when creative writing students are starting out, one of the things they write about most is suicide. It’s a "gimmie subject," professors say (their words, not mine!), "like the Holocaust." It’s easy

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Free writing – 19

We had a party when I turned 19, in the backyard of my friend’s dad’s, who was a church minister. The night before, I’d caught the train from Melbourne to Adelaide, all night in the smoking car with a man who thought he was Jesus

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Four-times tables

8. I was eight when I realised my hand was on backwards, standing in a car park with my friend Fleur, who was a violinist. ‘Isn’t it crazy,’ I said, ‘how you just think about moving your hand and then it moves?’ But it wasn’t strange

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Stop it, Mother Nature!

This originally appeared on the now-gone JustB website. Mother Nature, we need to talk. The thing is, down here in the most southern part of the most southern hemisphere, our bones are frozen. We are grey, cold, tired and stiff. Our joints creak when we walk to

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Book club: The Dry

I feel almost as though The Dry needs no introduction - it began life winning the 2015 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript, and has been a top 10 bestseller since its release in June. I must admit to not being a crime reader

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