Purgatory in Paradise Cove

They say that the best travel stories are the ones that go supremely wrong. The train that leaves the station with all your stuff aboard while you get a gelato on the platform. All you have left is a handful of kopecks and a mango ripple cone.

The toxic tummy bug that strikes you down when you have three flights and a complicated transfer — Milan has two international airports, what poor planning! — and you are down to zero clean laundry. Just a pair of flight socks to hold the tide.

Young woman sunbathing in bikini
Paradise peek (CC by micadew)

This wasn’t like that. The travel was perfect…

Quora: Questions

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

Why are all the governments around the planet Earth able to gather accurate statistics on Covid but are not able to accurately track the stats on illegal migrants who are not legal Immigrants into any country?

This is what they call a false equivalence. The two things are not the same.

Consider the librarian. They are given two tasks:

  1. Count the number of red books on the shelves.
  2. Count the number of books by Scottish-born authors.

One task can be completed quickly, the other involves a lot more work.

Determining Covid infections is not a difficult task, so long as…

Social Media: Scams

Photo by Chris Karidis on Unsplash

Tell me if this sounds familiar:

The bait

My Facebook feed — that endlessly entertaining stream of fun and information from family and friends — comes up with something interesting. A map of the world and a list of cities.

How many of these places have you been to? Most people won’t get past five!

My mate Karen has already answered the question. They got a score of ten.

A long list of places. Hell, there’s six easy ones: New York, Chicago, Miami, Washington DC, Toronto, Los Angeles, Seattle…

Plus all the good ones I’ve enjoyed. Paris, Barcelona, Osaka, Edinburgh, Istanbul. God…

Photo by Aaron Lee on Unsplash

Today the world mourns. Today the world remembers. Today the world pauses.

Today the news channels are full of it. Like that day twenty years ago, we cannot escape.

Twenty years. No teenager remembers that day. For a baby born now, the event is history, as remote in time as Pearl Harbor or Hiroshima is to us.

It is Gettysburg, days of horror and blood and death in the distant past, meaningless in its bleak tragedy to all but a few.

And yet.

Abraham Lincoln spoke a few words there. He did not dwell on the horror. …

The eternal con

Snow job by Pietro Mattia on Unsplash

When I was a girl, I’d read the newspapers — remember them? — from end to end. Words in a row; just couldn’t get enough.

In between the cartoons and the sports pages were the classifieds. Most of them pretty heavy going, though the “Personals” were always a lucky dip.

There was one sort of advert that came up again and again, and I’d contemplate sending in the money they asked — a solid investment for me at the time — in order to receive the certain wealth they promised.

Send off for the advertiser’s sure-fire racing system and the…


Photo by abolfazl ranjbar on Unsplash

I’m a member of Quora, the “answer any question” site. It’s one of the channels we use at ILLUMINATION to boost visibility for writer posts but it’s also a lot of fun and one can make money by providing solid questions and answers. Um, not that any has flown my way, but it’s a theoretical concept.

I’ve long been interested in philosophy, so I joined the “Agora” group, to discuss some of the topics that press my arcane buttons.

There was a young sardine called Mark
Who went for a swim in the park.
He made some new friends
But there the tale ends
When he swam off for lunch with a shark…


Photo by Alex Kotliarskyi on Unsplash

September is a time for writers to gather to share their stories, their wisdom, their magic. Take a seat at our writer’s convention where the masters will entertain and inspire you!

Here are our authors for this month, with new books, fresh chapters in their ongoing stories, and writerly advice on how to succeed. Enjoy!

Susan Alison


Gold Coast (photo by author)

I spent a couple of weeks in Queensland last month. It was so heavenly to escape Melbourne’s drear winter, where the days are about five minutes long and raining. Threading the needle of lockdowns and border closures and canceled flights was no fun but at least I wasn’t stuck in an AirBnB unable to enjoy the outdoors.

Queensland is a kind of anomaly in Australia. It’s where the right-wing gun-nut conspiracy theorists live, and the average political complexion is deeply conservative redneck.

When I was a girl, the Union Jack still flew over the Queensland State legislature and Queensland considered…

Philosophy: believing in the city’s gods

Every culture has some abstract notion of the divine. It comes about because the cosmos is too large to cram between our ears. We must necessarily have some things that we do not know, and they might be small things such as the colour of rocks on a distant planet orbiting a star on the other side of the galaxy or they might be big things like why if there is an absolute zero in temperature, is there an absolute highest heat or is it infinite?

Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

But we like to have an idea of what we don’t know, so we…

Britni Pepper

Britni Pepper has always enjoyed telling stories. About people, places and pleasures.

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