All posts by Jo Bryant

I was born in the land of Banjo Paterson, gum trees, and weather extremes. I am a freelance writer. I live in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand, but still like to claim my Australian heritage. I graduated with a Bachelor of Communications in 2008. I am writing my first novel. I love to write poetry, short stories, and also write for the web. And there is nothing that is on a par with a sunny summer's day spent at Waihi Beach.

Prawns are such a yummy ingredient…

So tonight I am making Basil, Lemon & Prawn Pasta.

Oh yes I am…

Now we all know that recipes are difficult…so have some patience with me please.

This one is just for one person.


  1. A handful of pasta. I quite like the spinach fettuccine, but folks anything you fancy goes.
  2. Prawns. De-veined. I like them with tails on, which I chuck off once cooked. Now really I am kinda crazy about prawns…so I like a lot. 2015-09-24 17.43.33You may like less. Figure it out how many you feel like !!!
  3. A handful of chopped basil.2015-09-24 17.43.03
  4. A handful of drained capers.
  5. A tablespoon lemon juice.
  6. A tablespoon extra virgin olive oil.
  7. Salt & pepper to taste.
  8. Enough baby spinach leaves to cover your plate.2015-09-24 17.41.26

And here we go…

Cook the pasta until almost al dente. Then throw in your prawns for about three minutes. While all this is cooking wash and lay out your spinach leaves on the plate. Chop the basil. Me personally…I have so many lemons I squeezed the lemons while I waited.

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Once the pasta and prawns are cooked…throw them in a bowl. Add the lemon juice, capers, basil & olive oil. Toss your little old heart out.

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Then place them on top of the baby spinach leaves.

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Add salt & pepper to taste…and away you go.

Heaven for your tummy !!!!

Forsaken Feathers – Part 4

Mama did not seemed to have noticed how late I was when I arrived home, probably because as I glanced at the clock on the stove I realised that something was off. I took a closer look, tapping it to make it keep time again. At Mama’s odd glance I wandered over and turned her wrist to face me. Her watch registered the same time as the stove clock. I had arrived home at the exact time I always did from work. I pulled out the feather from my pocket and stared at it while Mama continued to sneak glances at me.

‘Where did you find that?’ she asked. I couldn’t think of an answer so I just shrugged and headed for my room. For weeks after, I stopped at the griffin rock, peering as far as I could without actually going in to the forest to see if there was any sign of Amduscias. Other than the feather that I kept hidden at home, I found none. Until a few more weeks passed.

I began to spend every moment I could on research. Although I found Amduscias listed, other than that he was an angel, looked like a unicorn at times and caused music to play there was not much more to go on. For the first time since our meeting I began to be afraid. I had seen Mama’s pregnancies progress. There was no denying that I was probably pregnant, which kind of pissed me off a bit. How many girls get pregnant their first time? And besides he is an angel. Surely though his bits looked like human bits if somewhat larger, he is another species.

Then I remembered mules, and ligers. Somewhere in all this craziness I came across a word I would begin to dread. I began to also research nephilim. Not that that did a lot of good. Except make me fear I was going to have to birth a giant.

It wasn’t long before Mama had no choice but to confront me about my somewhat obvious weight gain. Not that an unwed mother was anything new to our community, but I knew how disappointed Mama was that it had happened to me. Especially as there appeared no way for her to rectify the situation after I lied and told her that I had a one night stand with a biker who I could not really remember and had not seen since. I remained as vague as I could on dates. I had no way of knowing how this was going to progress. It wasn’t that long ago I was with Mama on the whole angels thing. I thought of talking to the local priest, for about a minute and a half. I figured he would either have me locked up as insane ,or locked away in some nunnery waiting to get their hands on whatever I spawned. Neither choice seemed like a good idea. This left me floundering.


So I floundered and I grew larger. Larger than I thought possible, which meant I began having scary visions of giant babies taking up most of my thoughts. It seemed as if life became a heat haze that warped everything I knew, or thought I knew. I found myself being drawn with more intensity back to the forest as the pregnancy progressed. At first I fought the urges, much like I fought the urges for pickled ice cream.

Although I was not yet approaching my due date, as far as I could reckon in human terms, I knew that my time was near. And as it drew closer I drew closer to the forest. Wandering in its cool shade I found myself drawn to the place where I had seen Amduscias. Curling up on the ground where he had once curled I again felt a connection. As the days passed I spent more and more time in the forest. Often sleeping, sometimes dreaming of wings and baby soft skin.

And so it was that I was back to the beginning when the first pain hit me. It did not give any warning like I had seen with Mama. This went from zero to full on in the time it took for a leaf to fall to the ground. There was no rest in between. Just constant pain. Until he came once more to me. He padded up the path and curled up on the ground, watching me as he once again switched in to his more human like form. Though the pain did not recede, his presence helped me to focus on something other than it.

I felt his arms lift me upright and cradle me against him and once again his wings lifted us in to the sky. The pain was an abyss I drifted in and out of, seemingly to the rhythm of his wings as they beat the air around us. I heard his voice. Amduscias whispered to me of what was to happen. He told me the reasons for the pain that I was to suffer both now and the rest of my days. Tears ran once again, this time landing on my face. How cool they were. His sorrow seemed almost as heavy as my pain. I fought to hold on, to stay, but once again I awoke on the forest floor. Alone. Completely alone. No Amduscias. No child. No pregnancy. Only a memory. Enough of a memory to condemn me forever. Just as he’d said. And a new feather, smaller than the other, but no less forsaken. It would have to do.

The End

Relevant posts:

  1.  Forsaken Feathers – Part 1
  2.  Forsaken Feathers – Part 2
  3.  Forsaken Feathers – Part 3

And just in case you are interested…here is a competition I entered where you can win a GoPro Bundle. Quite cool I thought.

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A Photo a Week Challenge: Unusual Clouds

Nancy Merrill Photography has as this week’s challenge unusual clouds. Seeing as I love clouds I couldn’t help myself but join in.

So…here are two images I think are unusual clouds.

  1.  Can anyone see what I found in this cloud ?


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2. I think these clouds are just downright pretty !

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Okay…I am done. It is a very wet Sunday here in the Land of the Long White Cloud. The fur babies and I are cuddled up on the bed and fully intend to waste the day away snuggling.

Day 5

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seek what you need

no more

no less,

for nature

will provide for you

if you provide for her

Here are the rules for the “Five Photos Five Stories” challenge: “Post a photo each day for five consecutive days and attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction or non-fiction, a poem or a short paragraph and each day nominate another blogger for the challenge.
(Sporadic posting is alright if you’re unable to post each day.)

Once more I must step in to the WorldWideWeb and pluck a name for this challenge. My last time. Thus I must choose wisely…Sharon. Again…feel free to ignore my request if you will.

Related posts:

  1.  Day 1
  2.  Day 2
  3.  Day 3
  4.  Day 4

Forsaken Feathers – Part 3

Sounding no louder than a gentle rustle of leaves, his wings opened and the trees parted allowing us access to the sky. One hand he kept between my shoulder blades while the other cupped my buttocks, deftly parting my legs as we soared higher. I silently hoped neither the Careys nor the Hudsons were out and about and looking up. As Amduscias slid his erection inside of me his eyes changed colour. Bright as pumping blood, their red glow seemed to reach inside me and warm me against the air that grew chillier as we continued to rise.

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Amduscias flew with abandon. Rising straight up, with me impaled on him, then slowing down and spiralling deliberately on the air currents, he rode me in to a stupor. His skin was sleek, and softer than a baby’s against mine. Mama was a bit of a breeder, so I had a lot of baby skin to compare him with.

His voice was gentle, not much louder than the sound of his wings. As he sent me further in to oblivion he told me his history, much like a parent telling a bedside story. I learned of his joys, his fall from grace, his now ever present sorrow. He asked for my forgiveness, before admitting he would not forgive himself for crossing this last barrier in to what he called the abyss. All the while he spoke so softly, he drove hard in to me as if to lose himself. I felt my own self drift in to an abyss of another kind as we tumbled from air current to air current.

I awoke back on the path in the forest. Alone. I might have believed myself carried away with a rather delicious fancy were it not for my clothes strewn about beside me. As I looked over my naked body tiny goose bumps began to form. Dazed as I was it took some time to dress myself and find my way back out of the forest. Other than one glossy feather I found forsaken under my clothing, there was no sign that Amduscias in any form had existed.

To be continued…

Relevant posts:

  1. Forsaken Feathers – Part 1
  2. Forsaken Feathers – Part 2
  3. Forsaken Feathers – Part 4

Day 4

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In the peaceful order of reality


the serene disorder of reflection

a place for me exists

Here are the rules for the “Five Photos Five Stories” challenge: “Post a photo each day for five consecutive days and attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction or non-fiction, a poem or a short paragraph and each day nominate another blogger for the challenge.
(Sporadic posting is alright if you’re unable to post each day.)

Once more we go…eeny, meeny, miny, moe…and pick another name out of cyberspace [which you should feel perfectly free to ignore!]…Sue.

Relevant links:

  1.  Day 1
  2.  Day 2
  3.  Day 3
  4.  Day 5

Wordless Wednesday


Forsaken Feathers – Part 2

‘Because I am forever lost to my home’, he replied. As he spoke the pool of tears became clearer and in its reflection was what I knew instinctively to be an image of his home. I understood his tears.

‘Why is it lost to you?’ I asked.

‘I was foolish to believe in one who was not truthful. Those of us who trusted in his light were led to ruin, to exile.’ Gazing in to the reflection he seemed to actually smile a little. ‘But his light was as beautiful as the fresh morning, and just as hard to resist.’ As the question began to form in my mind, he answered. ‘My name is Amduscias,’ he said and as he spoke his name, a glow began to form behind him. Within the glow large wings unfurled and a trumpet wailed, kokako like, its music settling mournfully around us. With each new note the trees bent and swayed opening up a space for his wings to spread wide and high.

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He leaned back in to his wings and raised his head. As he brought it back down the eyes with which he regarded me were now similar to my own in both their size and colouring. His cheekbones were pronounced and his chin covered in fair stubble. Matching tresses hung down his back and strayed over his shoulder reaching past his nipples. He shined, and with each shaft of light that flashed around under the canopy he seemed to draw me closer to his light.

‘Come,’ he said. Again music filled the air. ‘It is too late now for you,’ he smiled, as he stood upright. The hand he held out to me, no longer misshapen and clawed, was twice the size of my own. I lay mine upon it and it seemed to disappear as he folded his fingers, claiming it for his own. Pulling me up, his gaze held my eyes. ‘You should have left when I told you to. Now, I shall condemn myself even more. I shall condemn you, and we shall both be lost forever.’

Another thing Mama got wrong. Angels have all the bits, and they work. Oh dear God do they ever. Not that I had a lot to compare it to, being the town’s only 19 year old virgin, but his bits were every bit as impressive as the rest of him.

Amduscias’s wings enfolded us and there was no mistaking the fact that this angel, because I had tweaked to this being the only possible explanation, had an erection. I felt my first twinge of fear as I contemplated the size of it. It just kept growing and now Amduscias had a definite smile curving his lips. I wish I could say I know how he managed to make all my clothes disappear; I guess angels just have a knack for it. Like Joey on Friends, with his ability to undo any bra any time.

To be continued…

Relevant posts:

  1.  Forsaken Feathers – Part 1
  2.  Forsaken Feathers – Part 3
  3.  Forsaken Feathers – Part 4

Day 3…

Spur Winged Plover and chick.
Spur Winged Plover and chick.

A friend contacted me after noticing a pair of Spur Winged Plovers had made a nest near our local golf course. So day after day I went out and watched and of the four eggs three hatched. Plovers are quite territorial and on more than one occasion Mama and Papa Plover let me know my presence was not appreciated. They have now moved on to an adjacent paddock thank goodness. I was having attacks of panic at the end when I would go there and see the chicks on the road. Hopefully they will live a long and wonderful life.

For more about these gorgeous birds visit New Zealand Birds Online.

Here are the rules for the “Five Photos Five Stories” challenge: “Post a photo each day for five consecutive days and attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction or non-fiction, a poem or a short paragraph and each day nominate another blogger for the challenge.
(Sporadic posting is alright if you’re unable to post each day.)

So for today I think I will nominate [which you should feel perfectly free to ignore!]…Isobel.

Relevant links:

  1.  Day 1
  2.  Day 2
  3.  Day 4
  4.  Day 5

Forsaken Feathers – Part 1

Mama always said that angels were a load of hooley balooley. I was 19 when I found out that Mama sometimes didn’t know what she was talking about.

Riding my bike home from work usually found me daydreaming about some fantastical creature. Except for the small forest between the Hudson’s and the Carey’s farms the landscape was flat, often brown, and boring to look at. Daydreaming let me turn those browns in to lions hiding in wait for their prey, or great desert dunes where the camels outnumbered people. At times I imagined them so large, the camels I mean, that I knew the ridges between the dunes must have been left as they ran in great herds searching for humans to trample and drive from their lands.

One day as I rode, I was imagining that the giant rock that stood at the entrance to the forest was perhaps a griffin, lying in wait to pounce if I got too close. Behind the deathly still griffin I felt rather than saw movement. I placed my imagination firmly behind my curiosity so that any danger would be minimal. After all, my reality was a slash of greenery in a landscape drowning in dreary.

Throwing the bike against the rock I headed towards the trees. Perhaps there was an animal injured. Although, if I brought one more home to Mama she might make good on her threat and make me move out to the woodshed.

After the heat of the afternoon ride, stepping under the trees, the shade felt wonderful. A small path covered with tiny fallen branches, leaves and moss announced my journey and I ventured further in to the damp cool.


My brother Jared always muttered about his spidey senses after seeing Spiderman. For the first time I figured he might be on to something. The back of my neck tingled from more than my hair brushing against it. Once again I felt movement. My head turned in the direction it registered. No other part of me moved, not even to breathe, for at least a minute. Then, as I gasped in some much needed air my legs took over and began running. Not as any sane person would expect, in the opposite direction of what I was seeing, but towards it.

It focussed on me as I approached. As far as I could see, or feel, it did not seem threatened by my fast and ungainly approach. When I was close enough that I could reach out and touch it, which my hands were twitching to do, with a grace I had never imagined, the unicorn curled up on the ground, tears flowing down its face like melted silver. As they dripped on to the forest floor a pool formed. As the pool grew so did its turbulence, eddies of mist circled out of it before dropping back in to it only to rise and fall over and over again.

With the cool, the forest now seemed to be bathed in a dark and damp sadness. The weight of it made drawing a breath difficult. I did the only sensible thing I could think of, and curling my legs under me lay my head against the unicorn’s neck and closed my eyes.

It should have been shocking but when an arm slid around me all I felt was peace. Opening my eyes I lifted my head and watched with such fascination as the transformation ran down the limbs. Gone was the softness of the fur, replaced with smooth fair skin. Long nails protruded from both his; yes this was definitely a male, misshapen and large toes and fingers.

All that remained from my unicorn was his head. The large eyes still flowed with tears and the horn glowed softly in the dappled light.

‘It is best you go,’ the unicorn said.

‘Why do you cry?’ I asked. Of all the things happening it seemed the most important question to have an answer to.

To be continued…

Related Posts:

  1. Forsaken Feathers – Part 2
  2. Forsaken Feathers – Part 3
  3. Forsaken Feathers – Part 4