From a young age,
the mirrors were there.
Captivated at first glance.
A small child, so unaware.

My reflection was playful
Happy and carefree.
Then, came teenage years.
The reflection changed you see.

An awkward teenager emerged.
Someone I barely knew.
Never knowing what to say,
Never knowing what to do.

I would ask the mirror for her advice,
But she never even replied.
Then adulthood swooped in.
Swiftly, taking me by surprise.

The mirror grew reassuring.
Into a person I knew well.
A smile on her lips
Sometimes hid the tears to quell.

But would anyone else
ever see? Ever notice?
Or only a secret between
the reflection and me.

Sometimes we need to look beneath.
Be a mirror for others as well.
Sadness can hide opportunity,
Just like a smile can mask hell.

By Sarah ©2020

Challenges by Sarah, Mindlovemisery's Menagerie - Saturday Mix, Uncategorized

Saturday Mix – Unique Personality, 24 August 2019

Mindlovemisery's Menagerie

Welcome to the Saturday Mix – Unique Personality, 24 August 2019!

This week we are diving into the depths of PERSONIFICATION. Our challenge is all about the use of personification in our writing. You will need to use the statement provided in your response – which can be poetry or prose.

Our statement using, personification is:

The flowers were blooming, and the bees kissed them every now and then.

You may be asking yourself, How can I use personification in my writing?

Luckily, Literary Deviceshas some examples for you.

Personification is one of the most commonly used and recognized literary devices. It refers to the practice of attaching human traits and characteristics with inanimate objects, phenomena and animals.

Common Personification Examples

Personification is part of our everyday speech and is frequently used in writing and oral language.

  • “The raging winds”
  • “The wise owl”
  • “The warm and comforting fire”

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Music Challenge #45: “Scar Tissue” by Red Hot Chilli Peppers

Mindlovemisery's Menagerie

Firstly, a huge THANK YOU to mandibelle16 for hosting the Friday Music Challenge over the last 2 years. We have loved sharing her music with everyone on Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie and her contribution has helped inspire us to write many fabulous pieces.

We know we will still see her participating in our MLMM prompts, but for now, it’s time for someone else to take the reins. So, we are looking for a new Friday Music Challenge Host. (If you think this may be YOU please click HERE for more information).

In the meantime, I will endeavour to keep the prompt going. Please remember, the Music Challenge alternates with Dylan’s First Line Friday.

Cheers, Sarah (aka weejars)

For this week I’ve chosen the song “Scar Tissue” by a group who needs no introduction – Red Hot Chilli Peppers. What I enjoy about this song is the funky guitar and upbeat melody…

View original post 359 more words

Challenges by Sarah, Mindlovemisery's Menagerie - Saturday Mix, Uncategorized

Saturday Mix – Same Same But Different, 1 December 2018

Mindlovemisery's Menagerie

Welcome to the Saturday Mix, 1 December 2018!

This week we are diving into the depths of our thesaurus and exploring the world of synonyms.

Same Same But Different
Your ‘Same Same But Different’ task is to take the five challenge words and NOT use them in your writing. That’s right, you need to dig out your thesaurus and find a synonym for each word instead.

Your words this week are:

  1. water
  2. fabric
  3. polish
  4. switch
  5. floor

Your writing form is either poetry or prose.

Synonym Searching
Synonyms are words that are similar, or have a related meaning, to another word. They can be lifesavers when you want to avoid repeating the same word or if your word might not be the most appropriate. You can search for synonyms online at: http://www.thesaurus.com/

You may be asking yourself, What are some examples of synonyms?
Luckily, the nice folks at YourDictionary have some…

View original post 136 more words


Liebster Award No. 2

Thank you so much to syncwithdeep for nominating me for the Liebster Award. This is the second time I have received this award, and I am thrilled to accept.

Deepa is a working homemaker and blogger who loves to write about a range of topics, but overall, her blog has a fabulous vibe of love and happiness! Please check it out!

THE OFFICIAL RULES OF THE LIEBSTER AWARD 2018 (as seen on The Global Aussie) are:

  • Acknowledge the blogger who nominated you and display the award logo.
  • Answer 11 questions that the blogger sets you.
  • Nominate blogs that you think are deserving of the award.
  • Create 11 questions for your nominees to answer.
  • Let your nominees know about their nomination!

My answers to Deepa’s questions:

1. Tell me about yourself in 6 Words
Zany, thoughtful, loving, caring, generous and anxious

2. What are the 2 qualities that connect you to someone new?
Energy and honesty

3. What is your blog all about?
It’s not really about anything…more a creative outlet for my crazy brain, which consist of mostly poems and short stories, along with a sprinkling of musings.

4. Technology – Is it a boon or a curse? What excites you most about the current advancement of technology and what makes you most wary? Why?
Both! I can’t believe the changes I have seen just in my lifetime. Technology has certainly made things easier, but I’m not sure that equates to better! The whole smart home thing scares the pants off me and the series Black Mirror pretty much sums up all my fears.

5. Do you have a memory that follows you still?
Many. But my most favourite is meeting my husband.

6. How did your blogging journey begin?
On another blog! I first started blogging with “Person in the Mirror” which helped me to make sense of some major depression and issues I was going thought at the time (back in 2012). I started “By Sarah” in late April, 2017 so this blog has recently turned one!

7. What is your favourite food?
Pizza and pasta

8. What do you like about WordPress bloggers?
The real sense of a writing community and the people that you connect with. I can’t believe how lovely and supportive everyone is. I have made some great friendships with people all around the world.

9. Share something that you like. You can share an experience, a quote or poem or anything that appeals you. The space is all yours!
“Everything will be ok in the end. If it’s not ok, it’s not the end.”

10. Do you prefer hard cover books or ebooks? Why?
Hard cover. Nothing beats the feeling of paper pages and also, I don’t seem to remember books read as ebooks compared to the paper versions!

11. If you want to convey your Thanks or Sorry to someone, you can do it now.
Thank you to my mum 💕
With Mother’s Day here in Australia this Sunday, I am so grateful and thankful for all she is, and all she has done.

My nominations:
I don’t nominate specific blogs, as many are award free or have limited time to participate. If you have read this post and want to spread the love, consider yourself nominated. There is never any obligation to respond. If you can’t participate for any reason, please accept this as a gesture of my appreciation.

I’d love to hear your answers to my questions, below:

  1. What is your favourite animal and why?
  2. What do you love to do (besides blogging)?
  3. What is a special talent that is unique to you?
  4. What is your favourite motivational quote?
  5. Share a photo of where you live that gives us an insight to your daily life. Be creative.
  6. What is your favourite post and why? Include a link.
  7. What is your most popular post (by views)? Include a link.
  8. What is your favourite colour and why?
  9. What is your proudest moment?
  10. What song title would describe your life and why?
  11. What did you eat for breakfast today?

Reflections on Anzac Day

Anzac Day is a national day of remembrance here in Australia and, also in New Zealand.

It commemorates those who served and died in wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations, from both countries. Anzac Day was originally held to honour the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (hence the acronym ANZAC) and is held on 25 April each year, a date, which marks the landing of those troops in Gallipoli in 1915.

As I have grown older (and debatably wiser), this day has grown in significance for me personally. In our immediate family history, we didn’t have any family members who never made it back from war. My mother’s father was deemed “unfit” for service, and my other grandfather was shot and discharged from service, early on in World War II. We were fortunate.

I recall, as a child, walking in the marches with my school, but not really understanding why. Later, as a teenager and young adult, I saw this day purely as an extra public holiday, and welcomed the day off. I am ashamed to admit that.

But as I entered my 30s and 40s, Anzac Day began to really affect me on both a spiritual and emotional level. I started attending the services and something happened. I now truly realise the full horrors of war; the gravity of the sacrifices made by thousands of Australians; and the enormous debt I owe these people, for the freedom and lifestyle I enjoy today. I do not ever want to take that for granted again.

To those who have returned broken, either physically or mentally, and to those who will never return; the immense sadness it all weighs on me. I am eternally grateful for your service. I cannot even begin to imagine what it must have been like.

Today, I spent Anzac Day in quiet contemplation. On my own, and thankful.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

Lest We Forget.

Image credit By Sarah
Image credit gerard4170 via Pixabay

* The Ode comes from “For the Fallen”, a poem by the English poet and writer, Laurence Binyon. It was published in London in The Winnowing Fan: Poems of the Great War in 1914.


Mystery Blogger Award

What is the Mystery Blogger Award?

“Mystery Blogger Award” is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging; and they do it with so much love and passion.

– Okoto Enigma

You can find more information and all the official rules of the Mystery Blogger Award on Okoto Enigma Website.

A huge THANK YOU to Fantac Cisse at JGC.COM (aka “Journalist-Geo-Cultures”) for nominating me for the Mystery Blogger Award. I am extremely excited and humbled to receive this award and am just tickled pink that she thinks so much of my blog – especially since I do believe I write with love and passion.

Please check out Fantac Cisse’s blog at: https://journalistgeocultures.com

You won’t regret it. She writes on a range of interesting and eclectic topics. I really enjoy her writing and know you will too.

5 Questions for me, from Fantac Cisse

1. What is the best love quote you ever read?
This one sums up how I felt when I met my husband

2. What’s your favorite color?
Red of course (it goes faster)

3. Is there a book or a song that truly changed your life?
A book that changed my life was “It’s Called a Break Up Because It’s Broken“. I am never usually into self-help books, however after a divorce and series of very bad boyfriends, this book completely revolutionised the way I viewed relationships and my own self-worth (and helped lead me to my husband 💖). Gee, picking a song is a tough one though – there have been so many that influenced me in my formative years. I can narrow it down to two (see the YouTube links below).

4. What is your favorite food?
Pizza and pasta…closely followed by Pavlova

5. Where would you like to travel this year?
I have a holiday to New Zealand coming up in just 2 weeks. I am travelling with my youngest sister and we are starting in Wellington on the North Island and getting the ferry across to tour the Marlborough region of the South Island. I am very excited about this trip.

In September I am going on a two week holiday with my husband to a beautiful beachside village on the mid-north coast of NSW, called Scotts Head. We have a beach front cabin booked and are looking forward to some rest and relaxation.

Three things about me:

  • I am a 40 something year old primary school teacher
  • I live in north-east Victoria in Australia
  • I once won a “truck pulling” competition at the Castlemaine Show

My favourite / best posts:

By likes and views, my all-time best performing post is Tasi. Luckily, it’s also one of my favourites!

Other favourite posts are:

My nominations:

There is never any obligation with my nominations. If you can’t participate for any reason, please accept this as a gesture of my appreciation.

I don’t nominate specific blogs, as many are award free or have limited time to participate. If you have read this post and want to spread the love, consider yourself nominated.

I’d love to hear your responses to my questions below:

  1. What is your favourite animal and why?
  2. What do you love to do (besides blogging)?
  3. What is a special talent that is unique to you?
  4. What is your favourite motivational quote?
  5. Share a photo of where you live that gives us an insight to your daily life. Be creative.

Please share a link to your “MYSTERY BLOGGER AWARD” post in the reply section below so that other people can visit your site and check out your answers.

Also, please visit Fantac Cisse’s blog “Journalist Geo Cultures“. You won’t be disappointed!


1 Put the award logo/image on your blog.
2 List the rules.
3 Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
4 Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well.
5 Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.
6 You have to nominate 10 – 20 people.
7 Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog.
8 Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question (specify).
9 Share a link to your best post(s).


Seventy-Five Years

Reblogging this is memory of my Nanna, who passed at 10pm last night. Together with Bill. RIP Edith

By Sarah

Image credit By Sarah ©2017

Holding his lady.
Married seventy-five years.
On deathbed he lies,
vows honored until the end.
A portrait of love, endures.

By Sarah ©2017

Author’s note:  This piece is dedicated to my nanna, 95 years old, and my grandfather “Bill” who passed away in June 2015. They had a truly remarkable and inspiring love; married more than 75 years! I can’t even imagine the bond they shared. Nanna claims he still visits her every night in her dreams, asking her when she will join him 💜💙💚

Prompt: Ramblings Of A Writer, Weekly Tanka Prompt Challenge, Week 59 – portrait and lady

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Interview with Mandibelle16

Reblogging this interview, in celebration of reaching 500 followers 😃

By Sarah

Thanks to Mandi for taking the time to interview me about my life, blog and writing! I had a lot of fun participating and you can check it out here, via Interview with Sarah Whiley: Writer, Blogger, Teacher, & Future Author #interview #nonfiction #amwriting #nonfiction

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500 Thank Yous

Today I hit the 500 followers milestone. I can’t believe it.

Just over 10 months ago, I started this blog as a creative outlet and for stress relief. I feel so humbled and grateful that 500 of you feel I’ve done a good enough job with my writing, to come along for the ride. I never expected that my blog would actually “grow”!

I have loved “meeting” so many talented friends in this wonderful WordPress community and have felt immense satisfaction blogging with you all (nearly) every day.

Five hundred thanks yous and blessings to you all.



Sunshine Blogger Award

I am thrilled to have been nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award by Elsie Hagley (aka Kiwinana). Elsie lives in one of my favourite countries, New Zealand. She hosts a weekly poetry challenge and loves gardening and all things nature. You can find out more about her here.

Thank you, Elsie. I truly appreciate the nomination and you have made the sun shine for me today.

What is the Sunshine Blogger Award?
The Sunshine Blogger Award is given to bloggers by other bloggers who are positive and inspiring, while spreading sunshine to the blogging community.

Sunshine Blogger Award Rules
• Thank the person who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.
• Answer the questions sent by the person who nominated you.
• Nominate new blogs to receive the award and write them new questions.
• List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or your blog.

Elsie’s Questions For Me:

1. What inspires you to write?

Anything and everything! I am a curious and observant person and feel that I have a vast smorgasbord of inspiration from my everyday life and travels. I often use prompts and challenges to help focus my thoughts and creativity. Otherwise, I have trouble reining in my imagination and don’t know where to begin.

2. How many times a week do you post a blog?

Ideally, I would love to write everyday. But, since I am a teacher and have many other demands on my time, I write 3-4 times a week and if I can’t write, participate in photo challenges instead.

3. How would you describe your blogging style?

Eclectic! I never know what I’m going to come up with, and often, my posts almost write themselves – “stream of consciousness” style. I love writing short stories (and always have), but recently, I have also enjoyed experimenting with a range of new poetry types. In fact, Elsie introduced me to the Tanka and it is a form I really love writing.

4. Have you ever thought about quitting blogging?

I have quit before, with my old blog, Person In The Mirror. It ran its natural course and I no longer needed the cathartic purpose it served dealing with a range of personal issues. I can’t imagine quitting By Sarah – it gives me so much in return and though I may take breaks here and there, it has become an integral part of my life.

5. Where do you want to be five years from now?

Hmmm, tough question! Aside from still being happy, healthy and madly in love with my wonderful man and dogs, probably still here in Wangaratta, north east Victoria! It’s an amazing part of the world. In terms of my career, I am hoping to be in a principal class role, somewhere in the area.

I plan on teaching for maybe another 10 years and then dream of escaping to a sleepy beachside town with my hubby, where we will relax and work “lifestyle” jobs…perhaps at a cellar door, or local cafe. So saving lots of money over the next five years will be key to achieving our long term goal.

My Nominations:
There is never any obligation with my nominations. If you can’t participate for any reason, please accept this as a gesture of my appreciation.

I don’t nominate specific blogs, as many are award free or have limited time to participate. If you want to spread the sunshine, consider yourself nominated and join in the fun. I’d love to hear your responses to my questions below

1. I’ve always viewed people as colours (I’m a weirdo, I know!) So…if you were a colour, what would you be and why?
2. What do you do when you aren’t working on your blog?
3. Everyone has a favourite/least favourite post. Name yours and why.
4. Who are some bloggers you look up to or admire?
5. What is your favourite quote/saying and why?

Please share a link to your “SUNSHINE AWARD” post in the reply section below so that other people can visit your site and check out your answers. Also, please visit Elsie’s blog “Ramblings Of A Writer“. You won’t be disappointed!


Liebster Award

THANK YOU to Gloria at We Are Holistic for nominating me for the Liebster Award! I am honoured to accept this award. I have been blogging on By Sarah for four months now and am loving the journey of writing and developing a community of blogging friends.

What is it exactly?
The Liebster award is given to bloggers by other bloggers. The idea is to welcome new bloggers into the blogging world and help them to get noticed. However, it seems that anyone established or starting out can be nominated. The word “liebster” originates from Germany and has several meanings; welcome, sweetest, pleasant, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, valued, cute, kindest and endearing.

The blogger who nominates you asks 11 questions and then in return you nominate 5-11 bloggers with your own 11 questions. There is no obligation to accept, but since it’s nice to be asked, it’s nice to keep it going.

My answers to Gloria’s questions:

  1. When are you at your happiest? When I am with my husband and my two dogs Bella and Archie, usually out and about bushwalking or at the beach.
  2. If you were to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, whose would it be? Another teacher’s. I’m always interested in how others do things and different approaches to teaching and learning.
  3. What’s usually the first thing to pop into your mind when you wake up each morning? If it’s a weekday its usually, Nooooo! I don’t want to get up!” Seriously though, I usually check in with my blog and mentally make a list of priorities for the day ahead.
  4. What’s your biggest regret in life? If any! Not travelling more when I was younger. I waited til I was thirty before really starting to see the world. So I missed out on the opportunity to work abroad under a working visa. 
  5. If you were to be reincarnated as an animal, what animal would you like to be and why? Definitely a dog…especially my dogs. Maybe I’m anthropomorphising, but they seem to experience so many human emotions and have real character. They seem to really enjoy the simple things in life and are the best friends you could ever hope to have.
  6. What’s your favourite smell and why? The ocean because there’s nothing like smelling and tasting the salt air at the same time.
  7. Are you a slow writer or can you whip up in a good post in a couple of hours? A bit of both. Some pieces I have worked on for months, whereas others, flow really quickly. Usually ones in response to prompts are more of the “stream of consciousness” style of writing and can be refined within a couple of hours.
  8. What household chore do you hate doing most? Or is there one you actually enjoy? Definitely the bathroom, and especially the toilet – for obvious reasons. I actually don’t mind sweeping and mopping – there’s something rhythmic and repetitive to it that I find soothing and satisfying.
  9. What colour dominates your wardrobe? Lots of earthy tones – reds, orange, brown and black.
  10. What’s your laugh type? More of a giggle/chuckle but when I really get going I have a whooping cackle!
  11. Are you a romantic? Never thought I was until I met my husband. Now, definitely yes because he makes it so ♥️♥️♥️

The rules I’ve found that the rules vary slightly but they’re all similar…

  • Thank the person who nominated you and link to their blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions the person asked you.
  • Nominate 5-11 people (comment on their blog to let them know).
  • Ask the people you have nominated 11 questions.
  • List these rules in your post.
  • And most importantly…HAVE FUN!

My nominees and questions: There is never any obligation with my nominations, just sharing great and new blogs with my readers. If you’re unable to participate for any reason, please accept this as a gesture of my appreciation.



  1. Why did you start blogging?
  2. How long have you been blogging?
  3. What is your favourite post and why? Include a link.
  4. What is your most popular post (by views)? Include a link.
  5. What is your favourite colour and why?
  6. Toilet paper – folded over or under?
  7. What is your most embarrassing moment?
  8. What is your proudest moment?
  9. What song title would describe your life and why?
  10. What did you eat for breakfast today?
  11. Beer, wine, whisky or water? Why?