enjoyed reading and writing from an early age.
She recalls her weekly trips to Mosman Library in Sydney with her father,
who is an avid bookworm. Though she
wasn’t gifted with her father’s almost photographic memory, she was inspired
to start writing.
written her first short story at the age of seven, Jeanette’s teacher was
impressed with her efforts and invited her to read the story to the class.
Later in high school, Jeanette came top of her class in English.
finishing high school, Jeanette studied a secretarial course and for some years
held secretarial positions. During
these positions, she became an excellent letter writer and was frequently asked
by employers to write correspondence for them saving them time for other
business. In later years, Jeanette
also became efficient preparing and writing reports.
moved on to become involved in marketing and promotions and for over a decade
has provided marketing services for shopping centres, tourist attractions and
event management organisations. During
this time she has written hundreds of media releases, most of which have been
successful in obtaining publicity in all forms of media.
After her son
was born, Jeanette wrote an article about Karitane Mothercraft Hospital, which
was published in Australian Mother and Baby Magazine in 1988.
She wrote a weekly advertorial column for Niecon Plaza in Gold Coast
Newspapers for twelve months in 1994.
accomplishments include writing advertising copy for brochures, TV and radio
commercials, newspaper and periodical advertisements plus websites and posters.
She has a natural creative flair that has provided her inspiration for
ideas both during her career and her writing accomplishments.
believes that learning stimulates the mind and has studied a Public Relations,
Publicity and Promotions Diploma; a wide range of Marketing Diploma subjects;
Creative Writing; Writing for Children and the Certificate IV in Workplace
Assessment & Training.
In addition Jeanette has been invited to write and deliver speeches, training notes and seminars on various subjects. She has written a collection of poetry and short stories.
Richard raced across his room and
peered through the bright sapphire blue blinds that framed the large window of
his room upstairs. No sign of Jacinta yet. Richard was small for his age, lots
of people had often thought he was a year younger than he actually was and he
found this very irritating. He had olive skin like his mother and his hair was
brown, a little straggly in parts and he had bright blue eyes.
It was Richard’s birthday, twelve
years today ‘WOW! Mum can’t believe I am twelve already’ thought Richard.
Jacinta, Richard’s best friend was coming over for lunch to celebrate his
birthday with him. Richard’s mum had bought him a new crystal painting, which
he hung in his room and he was longing to show it to Jacinta. She had a new
crystal to show Richard too. Jacinta had bought it with her pocket money.
The painting Richard had received
was like no other painting he had ever seen. It wasn’t actually new; it was an
antique. Two months before Richard’s birthday, Mrs Webster had decided to go
shopping and, to Richards disappointment, had noticed a new antique store on the
corner of Galloway and Tallow Streets.
‘Oh, there’s a new antique store
Richard and it looks quite interesting. I must have a little look around. Would
you like to wait outside or come in and have a look too?’
Richard was reluctant; he did not share his mother’s passion for
antiques, though he decided to wander inside to have a look anyway.
Richard never liked the smell of
antique shops. The combination of old wood, moth balls and that dreadful musty
smell taunted him to hold his breath so he could not smell the air. When he
finally drew a breath, Richard realised this store was not as bad as some he had
been to; perhaps it was too new to take on those terrible smells just yet. It
also looked even a little interesting. Well, it wasn’t too bad considering it
was a boring old antique store.
Richard wandered amongst the old
furniture hardly taking any notice of much in particular. He sidled past the
bulky items and squeezed past a couple of people browsing the store. ‘Why did
they always pack these stores so tight that you could hardly move around
them?’ he wondered.
There were some pictures on the far
wall, so Richard ventured down the back of the store to take a closer look at
them. He was thinking that when he finally got a place of his own, it would
definitely be decorated with modern furniture.
As Richard got closer to the back of
the store, he glanced across the rows of paintings, mirrors and prints. It
looked depressing; the wall was painted a deep burgundy colour, a dark contrast
compared to the other walls that were painted a soft cream.
Suddenly something strange happened,
something actually caught Richard’s eye and sparked an interest. In fact
Richard was moving in for a closer look. It was almost lit up, about halfway up
and positioned two-thirds towards the right of the wall. It was approximately
three feet wide and five feet deep. It stood out against the darker, more dismal
surroundings and was so out of place. The frame was an intricate leafy design of
gold with a fine silver trimmed border along the inner edge.
The colours of the image were
magnificent and Richard was completely drawn to the painting as if it was
sending out vibes to attract him to it.
‘Richard, oh there you are. Well
my goodness, something has actually attracted your attention in an antique
store,’ laughed Mrs Webster. ‘That is a sight to see.’
* * *
‘Good afternoon, we have breaking
news!’ Richard’s TV snapped him out of his daydreaming,
‘An amazing event has happened today, scientists and astronomers around
the world have observed the planet Saturn has moved out of alignment from the
other planets. Researchers are attempting to find out why this sudden change has
occurred. It has not had any impact on anything else and the rest of the solar
system remains unchanged. In other news a jewellery shop was robbed in
‘Knock, knock!’ a small voice
said and Richard looked up to see Jacinta’s long brown wavy hair, soft fair
skin and pretty green eyes waiting by the door.
‘Oh come in’, said Richard as he
switched off the television. Jacinta entered and sprung over to the chair by the
‘Wow!’ she said, ‘I see what
you mean about your new painting, it, it’s simply magical.’ Jacinta sat in
the chair; her legs curled up under, her hands on the armrests and just gazed in
awe at the picture.
The painting was enchanting, the
colours and design were almost magical, Jacinta was right. The two
children sat quietly for ages and just looked and looked into the picture,
totally mesmerised. It was all sorts of colours that flowed into each other yet
with a definition that was bright. It was a cave, and instead of stalactites and
stalagmites, as usually found in a cave, it had crystals shaped like stalactites
and stalagmites. Some crystals were bright iridescent blue, some were green as
an English countryside, some were yellow, like daffodils, plus there was orange,
purple and pink. The painting was almost 3-dimensional. There was a hole in the
top of the cave, a skylight and where the light was shining through from the sun
above, it reflected off the colours of the crystals. In the foreground, on the
right hand side was a dog, of a reddish brown colour. Jacinta was thinking how
real the dog looked.
Richard and Jacinta had formed a
fascination for crystals when they were five years old. They were playing in the
park next door to Jacinta’s house and noticed a shimmering light by the
swings. As they moved closer its aura seemed to grow. The sun reflected on it
and made it brighter and brighter. They’d raced over to see what it was. As
they bent down to pick it up they felt some sort of energy coming out of it. It
was clear, and as they held it to the light, it reflected all the colours of the
rainbow. It was too pretty to be a rock and not the right colour to be gold, as
they had hoped.
‘Maybe it is a diamond,’ said
Jacinta ‘my mum has a ring with a diamond and it is so pretty. Perhaps we
could ask her what it is.’ It had turned out to be a small piece of crystal
quartz. They thought this discovery was so beautiful that from then on the two
children had started a collection of crystals. They read and studied books on
crystals to find out more. Later, when he was about seven, Richard decided to
become a geologist when he grew up. He found rocks and minerals and the study of
their origins fascinating. Now, Richard and Jacinta had a great collection of
crystals, books and ornaments with crystals in them. Richard’s favourite was a
dragon ornament; the green malachite dragon perched on a blue base of lapis
lazuli. He particularly loved malachite as it represents courage, strength and
endurance. Jacinta’s favourite ornament was a white flying horse whose massive
yet elegant wings were tipped with tiny pieces of rose quartz. Jacinta
particularly liked rose quartz for its nurturing qualities plus it entices
Richard’s mother felt they were
too old to still be playing with rocks. They should be playing computer games or
basketball, anything but collecting rocks. The only time Richard went near a
computer was to look up information on rocks. ‘They’re crystals Mum,’
Richard had informed her ‘not just rocks’. ‘Crystals have very special
powers and energies. The people of Atlantis had really special crystals that
gave them great power.’
‘Oh yes,’ said Mrs. Webster
‘and look where that got them, they sank.’
Mrs. Webster was smiling, though not the kind of smile that was mocking
him, just an understanding smile that made Richard realise that she wasn’t too
bothered really. In fact Mrs. Webster was quietly appreciating that her son had
not grown up too fast and was still enjoying being a child and loved collecting
things instead of being out causing trouble.
Mrs. Webster came into the room, lightly knocked on the open
door and suggested that they go to the park for an hour while she prepared
lunch. She handed them a small white plastic bag. ‘OK, let’s go,’ said
Richard and he took the plastic bag and strapped it to his belt.
Richard and Jacinta raced down the
stairs, along the hall, out the front door, hopped on their bikes and set out to
the park. The park was huge, it had tracks and footpaths running through it and
there was a large pond in the middle with ducks and swans. They rode around for
a while and propped their bikes against a park bench. Richard took out the bag,
opened it and handed Jacinta some bread. They sat down on the grass by the pond
and threw some breadcrumbs into the water. As the bread floated away, three
ducks swam towards the bread. They quacked and pecked at the bread then two more
ducks came closer. A short time later, a swan resting in the banks on the far
side of the pond, stretched up her neck, headed for the water and gracefully
slid in and floated towards the ducks.
It was very peaceful at the park and
the children often came down to feed the birds. They loved watching the birds’
antics when they where feeding and fighting over the crumbs.
The children had not noticed anyone
behind them. An old man had stumbled over to the bench and sat down beside their
‘Hey!’ said Richard, ‘you
still didn’t show me your new crystal. What sort did you get?’
Jacinta took the purple satin bag strapped over her shoulder, opened it
and took out a small green crystal. ‘It’s Nephrite, from New Zealand; it
aids forgiveness and takes away anger. It also releases fear,’ explained
Jacinta went on, ‘You know the
‘Yeah the ones that were obsessed
with dead people!’ said Richard laughing.
Jacinta smiled at Richard’s
attempted humour. ‘Did you know they used crystals and stones for make up:
lapis lazuli for blue eye shadow and malachite for green. Mum has just bought
some foundation that has tiny crystals in it too. She says the crystals diffuse
the light and make her look younger, or something like that.’
‘Wow,’ said Richard; ‘I
thought the Egyptians only used it for jewels, paintings, coffins and stuff,
that’s really cool. I did know that not only the Egyptians used lapis lazuli,
they also used it in Afghanistan because it was superior to other materials and
its colour represented the heavens above.’
‘Also,’ Jacinta went on, ‘did
you know that in Ancient Rome, they engraved small gems and used them to make
rings? Imagine carving a piece of amber or cornelian or jasper. That would be
really hard to do, so intricate.’
‘I hear you speak of crystals,’
boomed a deep shaky voice from behind them. ‘Have you heard of Crystalia?’
Richard and Jacinta jumped, they hadn’t even realised anyone was behind
them. They swirled around to see an old man sitting on the bench. His dark shiny
skin was black as coal and he was dressed in old ripped blue jeans that were too
short for his long legs. He wore a black t-shirt and even though the weather was
warm, a thick grey jacket that matched his long grey hair. The soles of his
white shoes were hanging off at the sides and his short black socks were frayed
at the edges.
‘Uh, there is no such place,’
‘Oh but there is, been there
myself. What about Atlantis or Lemuria, have either of you heard of them?’
said the man.
‘Yes,’ the two children said at
the same time.
‘Although nobody knows for sure
about them either,’ said Richard.
The strange man stood up and walked
towards them: ‘Crystalia is what Atlantis and Lemuria should have been. Well
it was until the Black Onyx took over and started doing his dirty work around
the place. He has turned evil and someone must stop him, if it is not too late
already.’ Richard and Jacinta felt a little nervous, then Richard gave Jacinta
a nudge and they started to get ready to leave. They didn’t have to say
anything to realise with an instant glance at each other they should be a little
wary. The stranger had piercing eyes; it was as though he looked straight
through them and he kept coming closer until suddenly the children became
transfixed by him, it was like they were frozen to the ground with fear yet
curious at the same time. Then the man produced a small wooden box, heavily
engraved, and handed it to Richard. ‘Happy birthday,’ he said boldly,
‘these will not do me any good until the Realm of Crystalia is put right. Just
then Jacinta noticed the white stick by the park bench where they had left their
bikes and suddenly realised the man was blind. By this time, Richard was totally
bewildered, ‘How could this stranger know it was my birthday?’ he asked
under his breath.
Richard hesitated, then opened the
wooden box and peered inside. There was a small collection of crystals placed in
the box. He showed Jacinta who looked as astonished as he did. As they both
turned towards the park bench again, he was gone.
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