Category Archives: A 2017 Story of Life

Black Mamba

Today we meet Sarah Turland who shares why she writes. Sarah’s story, Black Mamba, appears in the 2017 Stories of Life anthology, The Gecko Renewal.

Listen to Sarah read her story:

Sarah Turland
“I write, because writing helps me make sense of my world and my emotions. Black Mamba was the story of my experience of intense fear, shock and relief, for me as a mother, worried about my daughter being bitten by a snake. I wrote this long before I entered it into the competition, just for myself. Then two years later, I heard about Stories of Life a few days before the competition closed in 2017. I sent Black Mamba in, just for fun, and was excited to be short-listed as a finalist!”
Sarah Turland
Do you remember a time when you experienced intense fear, shock and relief? Did you write about it? Why not jot down a few words and consider submitting it for the 2018 Stories of Life competition that will run from 1 April to 31 July this year.
Also look out for announcements here and on our Facebook page about a free writing workshop on Thursday, 12 April, in Tabor Adelaide at 7p.m., that will be live streamed. We want to help you present your stories in the best possible way – we’re excited about your stories because we believe 2018 is going to be a great year for sharing stories of life and faith.


God Believed in our Dream

Claire’s story about her Hawaiian dream appears in the 2017 anthology, The Gecko Renewal. Hear her read her story here:

Claire by her computer
Claire at her writing desk

Here is the backstory to how Claire entered the Stories of Life competition last year:

I love Stories of Life! Christians giving witness to God at work in their lives is powerful – strengthening faith, sharing insight, giving us a sense of being in it together. As a storyteller who has known Jesus for over forty years, I have many experiences I would love to share, and this competition and anthology gives me that opportunity.

I have to confess to leaving my run a bit late this time, submitting the story in the last hours before the deadline! I am grateful that ‘God believed in our dream’ was given a place in the anthology. And then the opportunity came to share it over the airwaves so that more people could be encouraged – that was irresistible! It was my first time recording. I like reading aloud, but I felt nervous. I stood in front of an old-fashioned-looking microphone alone in the room, seeing the recording engineer and his bank of equipment through a window, while I tried to hold the book where I could see it without turning away from the mic.

We all have stories to tell, and we need each other’s stories. I don’t live an adventurous life but even in the ‘ordinary’ of my life, God does extraordinary things that are worth writing about. 

Claire is also the author of a short, taut novel about identity, trauma and transition, The Golden Hour.



When Andy met God

Each week, we will feature an author reading his or her story from the 2017 Stories of Life anthology, The Gecko Renewal. These stories have already been broadcast on Life FM in Adelaide.

Today we meet Ester deBoer, who wrote the powerful story, ‘When Andy met God‘. Listen to the story:

Lady at desk
Ester’s creative workspace

This is what Ester says about the backstory: Andy’s story is, as much as memory will allow, told almost verbatim. He had no agenda- we asked him and he simply answered. He wasn’t trying to convince us. What makes it so profound is not that God appeared to an intellectually disabled teenager with no religious upbringing or instruction, but the way that Andy just “got it”-  uncomplicated by religion, culture and intellectual analysis… In Andy’s words, “God came to me… God helps me… Now God comes with me everywhere.”

Ester is an author and a children’s book illustrator. If you feel like having a good belly laugh, have a look at some of her work. Her cartoons brought a smile to my face.