My husband told me last night that the government is hoping to begin a staged re-opening of society in three weeks. I understand the necessity of getting the economy up and running again. I live in the UK where the messaging has been abundantly clear: Stay Home. Protect the NHS. But how long can we pay for the NHS if we don’t have any revenue coming in? At some point, the coffers will empty and inflation will rise. Modern civilization wasn’t built to allow for this level of global unproductivity. We need to return to work to create goods and services that generate revenue to pay off debts, to put food on our tables, to purchase things we don’t need as well as the things we do. And I can’t lie… the idea of going out for a meal again excites me. …


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Growing up in the ’80s and ’90s, the hustle is what your uncle was known for. He was invited to every picnic, family reunion, and Thanksgiving dinner, but everyone knew — even down to the kids — that he was always trying to “holla at-you for a minute.” He was friends with the kinda guys who could get you some new Nike-s fresh off the back of the truck for a discount. “Nobody goin’ to notice the swoosh’s the wrong way round, youngin.” He seemed to be in perptual need of money to kickstart this idea that was going to make millions. …


In a world where humans are evolving, people are more curious than afraid. They look for answers from a handful of scientists who try to uncover why some develop abilities yet the vast majority do not. For most humans, it’s an exciting time, but for the Evolved Ones, it’s a game of hide and seek that ends with far too many of their kind disappearing, permanently.

Singapore: Get your copy from Kinokuniya | LocalBooks.SG | Time Books.

Rest of the World: Preorder from BookDepository (10% off and free global shipping) | Amazon (UK) | Amazon (US).

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Sometimes, the only way out is through.

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It all began in Venice. It was the summer of 2018, and hubby and I planned a trip to Italy (sans kids). As we were walking down the canals, completely lost and loving every minute of it, we found a bench in a park with a man feeding the pigeons. It might sound picturesque, but he wasn’t your Disney-character type. He wore no smile and threw stones at the much larger seagulls whenever they got too close. (He never actually hit them, but he did get his point across.)

Hubby and I sat on an adjacent bench, watching him alternate between throwing stones and bread, just soaking up the sun without the humidity or any child-induced interruptions. It was then in one of those rare moments of complete silence that we both experienced a shared epiphany. What would it be like to downshift? What if we left the cosmopolitan lifestyle of Singapore where time was money and everything was connected, if not by MRT then by WIFI, and a government surplus approaching $5 billion allowed buildings to be torn down and rebuilt as a pastime. …


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“We’re out of trashbags” shouldn’t be a call to battle stations.

In most homes, it’s merely a reminder to update a list of some description. But in our home, my body tenses at those words.

“Shit,” my mom says. “Did Daddy hear?”

I look at my little sister whose job it is to take out the trash this week. In her defense, it’s not her fault. She’s done nothing but inform us that we need to place an order — we don’t “go” to the grocery store — but I’m annoyed at her because she shouted.

The floorboards creak overhead.

I look at mom and nod. …


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We all wear many hats. I’ve never met anyone who is just one thing: we are friends, siblings, spouses, children, parents, employees and entrepreneurs. We are multifaceted and all of our lives are complicated.

But I’m writing this article with mothers in mind. Mothers who are also creative writers.

I often find myself asking how on Earth do we succeed at creative writing when we’re perpetually pulled in so many different directions?

All the advice out there about writing sounds great, but it don’t actually fit into my reality. And I can’t change my reality to fit their recommendations.


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The other day I was helping my daughter study for her spelling test. It was the week she had words in addition to dictation. I was getting frustrated because all week she’d been struggling with the same word (“answered”), and the more she kept getting it wrong, the more she was spiraling down into spelling everything else incorrectly.

At the root of my frustration was the fact that I thought her words were quite difficult, and then the day before the test, she was assigned additional homework. I was annoyed at all she had to do and how much time it was taking her (us) to do it. Of course she could sense my annoyance and on top of that she was getting upset by her mistakes. …


How changing my relationship with sleep helped my anger.

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The school year is underway, and 6am and I are getting reaquainted. I’m not a fan of 6am or anything that happens at that time. And because I’ve told him as much, 6am doesn’t like me either. I’m convinced he arrives early just so I can begin my day cursing him.

I didn’t always hate 6am. There was a time when I didn’t even know he existed. Well, I’m sure our paths crossed once or twice. I mean, we must’ve attended the same party at some point — after all, I am a mother — but I’m certain we never spoke or acknowledged one another’s existence. …


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This year has been an interesting one. My eldest started local primary school in Singapore. It has been a steep learning curve. There were a lot of tests. Way more than I can ever recall during my primary school years. And I can’t imagine American teachers calling out individual grades in the classroom so that every student knew what everyone else received, let alone ranking them so that each student knew where they fell against their peers. (I’m sure some parent would’ve sued for emotional trauma.) But we got through it. Her grades were good and I was very proud. …


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I’ve been so lost after having kids that it might be sad if it weren’t so damn funny. I never wanted children — yes, I was one of those. I suppose I felt like I had too much to do with my life, and children seemed to take you on a detour I wasn’t confident you could get back from.

I still remember how my husband and I arrived at the decision to have our first child. The discussion on my 35th birthday went a bit like this:

Hubby: You still want that dog.

Me: Yes! But you said you wouldn’t walk it. …

About

Natasha Oliver

Inspiring the hero in all of us. Author of The Evolved Ones series. Follow at natashaoliver.com

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