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A writer and dad. From Northern Ireland, based in Australia. Trying to make sense of the world through writing.

Deemed as one of the best day hikes in New Zealand

Image by Ricardo Helass from Pixabay

“Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.” — Joshua J. Marine

The Tongariro Alpine Crossing in New Zealand is a must for adventure seekers wishing to test their mental and physical strengths. It’s a challenge rife with reward.

Leaving The Shire

Standing in Mangatepopo’s gravel car park with Mount Ngauruhoe looming in the distance — Mount Doom for all you Lord of the Rings fans — myself and Jeff (friend) performed the final checks to our backpacks to ensure we had everything we needed;

  • Plenty of water
  • Food/snacks to keep us going
  • Warm and wet weather…


It’s easier to do nothing and accept failure than it is to try something.

Photo by Braxton Apana on Unsplash

So, this is it then, life. Not exactly the grandiose jamboree you had in mind when you envisioned your future as a young teenager full of ambition, is it?

As a kid you had dreams. You dreamed big. In your mind you had it all figured out. The perfect job, a wonderful partner, a house to marvel. Money worries? Of course not, that kinda thing doesn’t exist for people as successful as you.

Ah, the naiveties of youth. Those were the days. Not now though, now things are different.

Everywhere you look it seems as though people are smashing their…


Using Sunday as a day to prepare for the week ahead.

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Sundays; as a kid, I used to hate them.

Back then all they were to me was a signal that the weekend had ended and school was only a matter of hours away — I wasn’t a huge fan of Mondays either.

However, times have changed.

Nowadays, as a mature, forward-thinking adult (said in jest), Sundays are more of an enjoyable experience — and I’ve actually come to tolerate Mondays a little more as well.

I like to spend my Sundays taking it easy. Maybe go on a family walk. Play some video games. …


And tell you the membership costs upfront.

Photo by MART PRODUCTION from Pexels

Here’s a story that perhaps you can relate to:

You’ve finally done it!

After months of sitting around, binge-watching, binge eating and binge drinking you’ve somehow rediscovered your drive to get fit and healthy again. It’s been a long time coming but you’re ready.

Excited, you fire up the laptop.

As you wait for all that technical mumbo jumbo to disappear from the start-up screen, then type in your login details, a mini montage, similar to that of a Hollywood movie, plays out in your mind.

This time your gonna do it right. You’re gonna clean up your diet. Only…


I certainly am and something’s got to change.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Every night, after my evening meal, I sit down in my favourite pale timber and navy cushioned reclining chair, set a steaming cup of golden brown English tea on the rainbow coloured makeshift table beside me, pull out my grimy, fingerprint smeared smartphone and begin to read.

I read the news — local and international — to get a grasp on current affairs. Afterwards, I check in on the sports world — mainly soccer and MMA —to catch up on the latest goings-on in the English Premier League and the UFC. …


By Ryan J

Image By Christopher Johnson

Nowadays, Edward Christopher Sheeran aka Ed Sheeran is known as one of the most famous pop stars in the world.

With an estimated net worth of $200 million, sold-out tours around the world and over 150 million records sold, it’s fair to say Ed Sheeran is living the life of his and many other young singer’s dreams.

But life for Ed hasn’t always been glamorous.

As a young busker and up-and-coming artist, it’s reported that Ed spent many a night sleeping rough.


By Ryan J

Photo by Sound On from Pexels

I love an audiobook as much as the next guy.

Audiobooks are convenient. You can consume a book on the go. Whilst driving, at your job or even when working out you can indulge in the written word without having to put your life on hold.

But are audiobooks real reading? I don’t think so.

Recently I’ve rekindled my appetite for reading and I tell you, there’s nothing quite like the physicality of a book.

A book is something you can see, touch and feel. It’s real. The words are right there in front of you. In plain sight. …


Hmmm, fuck if I know. But eventually, I’m gonna find out.

Photo by [ik] @invadingkingdom on Unsplash

Every day I see writers of all genres celebrating their wins online.

They post about how much money they’ve earned from a single article. How their piece got accepted into a major publication. How they gained thousands of followers and views on their work.

And while it’s great to see fellow artists making progress towards their goals, I’d be lying if I said i didn’t feel a teeny tiny bit of writer envy.

Why can’t my articles make hundreds of dollars?
Why are my pieces not accepted into major publications? …


To keep your writing momentum going.

Photo by Min An from Pexels

Writing is all about momentum.

You’ve got to turn up every day. Get those words down on the page/screen and keep moving forward, or else risk falling into a slump of procrastination — which is not a great place to be as a writer.

“Write every day. Writing is a muscle that gets stronger with use.” — Abbi Glines

But sometimes picking up the pen or tapping those keys isn’t always convenient. Sometimes (almost always) life gets in the way.

You’ve got to work late. The kids need fed, bathed and put to bed. …

Ryan J

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