Hi there, dear person on the other end of a screen. If I squint, I feel like I can just see you. I’m so glad you’ve decided to linger and spend a little time in this space. May you find words that extend a warm hand of hope to you here.
My name’s Nikki, sometimes Nik, nearly-never Nicole. I’m Australian, we like to shorten things around here. I’m a writer, creative-writing teacher, book-eater, chronic over-thinker and Jesus-follower with treasure in a clay jar. My jar has lots of cracks, collected over the years in the shapes of grief, anxiety, and the experience of being a human (and a highly sensitive one) in a wear-and-tear world. I use words to trace these out, and to dig in deep.
For the past eighteen years I have been married to my best friend, an absent-minded-professor of American history who knows how to play a delicious guitar riff and cook a melodic meal. I call him Dr M. Two pieces of a puzzle, our lives collided when we were barely grown and we have kept growing toward and alongside one another ever since. And in case that sounds natural and easy and smooth, it hasn’t been. But it is good. And I am grateful for his tall presence beside me every day.
Together, we travel the tumultuous seas of parenting three beautiful, complex miracles, referred to here simply as E, W, and J. They make me smile and ache every day.
Below are some photos taken of us when I first started blogging, around six years ago now. How do I know that? That baby is now in his first year of school. Time hey!
Together with our kids, our books, and one extremely affectionate, eternal-puppy called Pippi, we live close and crazy under the beating sun in Queensland Australia, where land meets water and the sky is always impossibly high and wide.
Why I Write
After completing my PhD in literature, I started this space as a place to write without anyone looking over my shoulder with a red pen and somewhere to explore terrain so close to my heart that I had failed as yet to touch it with words.
The avenues I wander down here are those closest to my heart, with a particular focus on the intersection of faith and the fragile places, because this is where I have found myself living, and I know that I am not alone here. I have a particular soft spot for the hard stories with rough, unfinished edges but that still hold hope at their core. Here is a taste of what you will find here:
The more-than-spilled-milk sadness and struggle of grief and anxiety.
When I was nineteen I lost my brother Greg in a car accident and met for the first time the cruel face of grief. This was followed with a subsequent meeting with one of grief’s close cousins, anxiety. I write about that here, meeting the Big A: anxiety.
The hide-and-seek game of infertility.
We weren’t always parents of three. For many years we scratched ‘0’ in any form that required information about children. You can begin reading about all that here in our epic journey to parenthood part one. It was so epic it required two parts to tell it.
If these are issues close to your heart or even those of your loved ones, I’d love to have you join me on this journey. I’ve prepared some extra resources to help you along the way.
The simultaneous wonder and paradox of parenting.
Part comedy, part drama, parenting is a soul-scouring domestic adrenalin sport. We need to be reminded that we are all in it together, and though we may never get it completely ‘right’, it’s still alright. This is something I need to remember again and again, so I write about it: Here I am, I’m a Mess: Why it’s okay not to be perfect
Words of faith amidst the fragile
I first saw Jesus in the kindness in my older brother’s eyes when he asked me this question: How can I love you more? We were still almost kids then. The years that followed panned out a lot differently than expected. The life of faith is not a grab bag of victory but rather an up and down, hill and valley hike. We need to learn to take Jesus seriously when he says we can bring it all to him and he will carry it. It also means trusting even when it seems like the darkness won’t break. I write to remember to walk more gently, and to set my blinkers on hope.
Nikki has an MA in creative writing and a PhD in literature from Macquarie University, Sydney. She currently works as a sessional lecturer in Creative Writing at the Australian Catholic University, Brisbane. In the past she has served as tutor in literature and writing to undergraduate students at Sydney University, the Australian Catholic University, Sydney and Macquarie University, as well as teaching a creative writing course at a community centre.
Nikki’s writing and research has appeared in a variety of places including Fathom Magazine, The Mighty, Growing Faith, CASE magazine, Millenium Publishing, Cadence Media and Olive Tree Media publications and projects.
She is currently working on a book manuscript, a memoir about her journey with Anxiety and Jesus.