How Regular Meetings With an Imaginary Advisory Board Helps Me Write Better, Faster, More – No Zoom Required

Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

Editorial meeting minutes. Private and Confidential. Present: Steven Pressfield, Guyon Espiner, Simone de Beauvoir, Marie Colvin and Sitara Morgenster. Notes taken by Sitara Morgenster. Subject: Sitara’s work and journalism career.

Stranger than fiction? Oh, yes, it is. The only person in the meeting not imaginary is me. It’s a sunny…

The New Zealand Government Is Failing To Protect Rarest Dolphins

Illustration by the Author. Maui Dolphins and Map by D.O.C., via Wiki Media Commons.

In an attempt to help protect the now critically endangered Māui dolphin, Sea Shepherd hopes a US court will ban New Zealand seafood. New Zealand’s government is not doing enough to protect one of its native dolphin species. The country’s seafood exports to the US amount to about NZ$200 million.

On The Heroic Task of Existential Joy

The Forest From My Cabin. Photo Credit: Sitara Morgenster.

Never have I done anything heroic in my life. At the same time, it can be said that each and every newborn baby is a hero. You and I managed to be born against so many odds. Apparently the chances of our biological mothers and fathers getting to know each…

Free Food Found Near You, By You

Photo by Kari Shea on Unsplash

It started when a friend and I were leaning over my veranda railing and looked down on weeds taking over the grass, sown by the previous owner of my house. Not mowing my lawn had given a whole lot of ‘weeds’ a chance to pop up and present themselves to…

About The New Zealand Artist Fiercely Dedicated To Expressing Her Visual Intelligence

Rita Angus. Photo Credit: New Zealand Archives via Wikimedia Commons

The United States has Georgia O’Keeffe, the Netherlands has Vincent van Gogh, New Zealand has Rita Angus. Well, that’s how I see it and feel when I see Rita Angus’ paintings. Had she lived elsewhere in the Western world, there would by now be a museum dedicated to her.


Photo by Eric Prouzet on Unsplash

If anyone would scroll through my previous stories, they might notice gaps in time. I pretended it would just look like I was working on other pieces elsewhere. Although I was doing heaps of “research for future pieces” (the classic writers’ procrastination trick), that was literally not the whole story…

A True Story of Off-grid Life

Freedom Is Too Flighty to Be Photographed by Me, So I’m Using This Photo by Jonathan Kemper on Unsplash.

I’d never seen a pig in my forest until a new neighbor bought the house across the road and befriended piglets from the woods behind his property. Five years of no pigs; only birds, mason wasps and other insects, spiders, geckos, frogs, mice, worms and, occasionally, a possum. …

How to hold a Pencil between Your Teeth For an Instant Shift in Happiness

Photo by Sam Manns on Unsplash

It’s annoying to be told to cheer up and smile, especially by a stranger in the street. But imagine someone telling you to put a pencil between your teeth, promising it will lift your mood in ten seconds.

There’s no shortage of advice on how to be happy and have…

9 Easy Writing Prompts, Opening Doors to Your Imagination

Image Created by the Author, from Unsplash Images in Canva. [Credits For Each Individual Door Below.]

Doors have been in my life recently. I guess doors are everywhere, but I didn’t mean it literally. Neither in terms of the clichéd ‘when one door closes another always opens’. Even though that is true, as clichés often are.


7 Hacks for Creating ‘Magic’ and Productivity in a Chaotic Life

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

I don’t have much of a daily routine or work structure. For years I tried to create them in all kinds of ways. Just to fail at them and feel there was something wrong with me.

I read plenty of articles and tried other people’s methods. Did the ‘get up…

Sitara Morgenster

I specialise in not knowing, I find out by writing. * Off-grid in New Zealand native forest. * You can support what I do at

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