Their Own Words . . . real life histories about growing up gay in Australia

As I mentioned a while back, one of the projects I have been working on for my new Vocal.Media page is a series of real life histories of LBGT people I have known, covering growing up gay in rural Australia, coming out, personal experiences and anything else they wanted to share.

These experiences were largely from guys who have responded to my stories online and I have subsequently corresponded with. All of these people had one thing in common – at various stages of their lives they have struggled with their sexuality and with coming to terms with what that meant.

My original idea was to compile these stories and publish them in book form, with the subjects permission of course, but I think these need to be shared and so I have begun the process of publishing them online instead.

I posted an introduction to this project on August 6th, followed a few weeks later by the first installment; A Better Man – Part One.

A Better Man – Part Two has now been posted today. Please now find below links to each of these posts.

Thank you.


Their Own Words – An Introduction | Pride ( (posted 06/08/21)

Their Own Words – A Better Man | Pride ( (posted 28/08/21)

Their Own Words – A Better Man (Part Two) | Pride ( (posted 09/10/21)

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Up for a challenge…

One of the reasons I decided to give the Vocal.Media site a try was because it offered so many opportunities, including the chance to participate in challenges, at least in part aimed at helping to improve our writing.

I recently noticed a challenge called Coming of Age and figured I should give that a go, even if only to get something down in writing. I found it to be an extremely interesting exercise and one that I very much enjoyed tackling.

Hers is my effort: Fair Girls and Grey Horses – Life lessons my father left me with


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Gold, Silver, Bronze and Rainbows

With the curtain now having drawn to a close on the celebration that has been the (somewhat delayed) 2020 Olympic Games, the feats of those athletes who identify as LGBTQ are being celebrated like never before in history. There have always been gay athletes who have excelled in their chosen sports, and won Olympic medals, but for the most part it wasn’t until they had finished their careers before they would show their true selves to the world. (Read more)

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A little something . . .

Here’s a little story I had started ages ago (like, about 8 years ago) that I dusted off recently and have posted on my Vocal.Media page.

Have to say up front that it’s not an LGBT themed piece, but who knows what may happen in the future? I see it as a possible opening to a YA type book. Your thoughts and feedback are most welcome!

Thank you, and enjoy!

Stay safe people!

A Very Fine Line | Fiction (

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Updates for my Vocal.Media page

Hello all. Just following on from my last post, just wanted to let everyone know that I have been chipping away at creating some new posts on my Vocal.Media page recently. I have really enjoyed getting back into doing some writing, even if it hasn’t actually been my usual offerings of fiction.

I have added one of my previously published stories, along with some new items, including a book review and the beginnings of a new series of ‘real life’ histories about growing up gay in Australia, titled ‘Their Own Words’.

The really interesting thing is my already receiving a ‘tip’ from a mysterious, anonymous benefactor, for which I am extremely surprised and grateful. So to whoever you are, thank you! 🙂

Please take a look at my page. I hope you enjoy it. There will be more updates to follow.

In the mean time, I hope everyone is keeping well and staying safe. Take care.

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Trying something new…

Howdy!  I guess most of you had given up on seeing anything new from me . . . and understandably so! Sorry about that. Life has been busy . . . and then there is all the disruption being caused by Rona, which seems to be the gift that just keeps on giving *sigh*

I hope that all of you out there are well and that you and your loved ones are staying safe?

Anyhow, despite all that has been going on in the outside world please be assured that I haven’t forgotten you. I have been extremely grateful for the continued support and the lovely messages coming from readers following the posting of some of my older stories on a couple of other sites, which seems to have sparked a flurry of activity within me. So, while the iron is hot, I figure it’s time to do something about touching base with you all.

Just to let you know, I have continued chipping away at a few projects, but I would rather wait until they are complete before I will start posting. I’ve made the mistake previously (well, on many occasions actually) of starting something and posting as I go, only to stop midway through the project and not get back to it. I have promised myself that I wouldn’t fall into that trap again, so am doing my best to resist that temptation, as annoying as that may be for some of you. Sorry!

There is one secret that I can let you in on, however. It is a new web-based forum that I discovered some time back which I am keen to try out, called Vocal.Media. It is designed to allow creators to post their works and receive some financial reward for doing so, based on the number of reads. The concept appealed to me, so I thought I would give it a try, and in doing so I seem to have kick started my writing again.

Here’s a link to my Vocal page:

As you will see I have already added a couple of posts. I’ve also added a new page to Ponyboysplace which will contain an index of all posts added to the Vocal site (necessary as the Vocal page doesn’t currently have an indexing option apparently).

What I am hoping to add to this page will be new stories as well as including reviews of books and movies, and maybe some personal views and opinions on topical subjects or current events which relate to or affect the LGBT community. I will also be adding a new series of articles to be called Their Own Words, which will include the personal stories of a number of guys I have met and known over the years, as told to me and shared with their permission. This has been a project I have had in mind for some time and I am grateful for those who have contributed by sharing their stories with me. I hope that some of my younger readers in particular will be able to get some benefit from hearing the stories of others who have already trodden the well-worn path of coming to terms with who you are.

Thank you all for sticking with me and I look forward to catching up.

Happy reading and stay safe!


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Just a quick message . . .

. . . to offer all my friends and readers my very best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Safe and Happy New Year, along with my thanks also for all your support and encouragement over the past year, despite the fact I haven’t been able to post anything new for a while.

As I’ve said before, sometimes life gets in the way of being able to do the things we love, but rest assured I do still have new stories in the works and old stories to complete, so please stay tuned! 🙂

Twelve months ago we had come to the end of a truly trying year here in Australia, with drought and bush fires taking its toll. Our prayers at the time were that 2020 would be a turning point and that life might be able to get back to normal. In some respects the year started on the right note, with much needed rainfall extinguishing fires that had been burning for months and filling up dams that had long been dry!

So, what happened next? Along came Covid-19 . . . and what a year this has given us! Sheesh!

Hopefully the world is now getting on top of this scourge, with the beginning of the roll-out of vaccines, so despite the ongoing fight in many countries, including my own, there is some light at the end of the tunnel. We can only hope that by this time next year life will finally be back to normal for all of us, no matter where we live in the world, and we can all once again enjoy life as we have previously.

In the mean time, however, please be sure to follow the advice of your local medical professionals so that you can stay safe and keep your loved ones safe!

Wherever you are in the world please enjoy your holiday season, no matter what your religion or traditions dictate, and I hope to see you all in the New Year.

Thank you again for your continued support and please take care!

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Bravo! Magnifico!

This week I had the great privilege of attending a concert event from an artist that I had been waiting years to see . . . Sir Elton John!

It was everything that I had hoped for . . . and so much more! I’m so glad that I made the effort to get a ticket, particularly given that this is his final world tour. If you haven’t had the opportunity to see this great artist and gay icon in the flesh, and he is visiting your part of the world, then I strongly suggest that try and go. You certainly won’t be disappointed!

For over two and a half hours the man was on stage, from the energetic opening with Benny and the Jets, all the way through to the encore and the very last songs, being Your Song and Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. Just amazing!

For me it was something of a surreal experience, as the city in which he performed – Coffs Harbour – was one of the two cities on which I modeled my fictional city of Macquarie Harbour in my Thompsonville series of stories (the other being Port Macquarie). These two cities are on the mid-north coast of the state in which I live and I have visited each on many occasions from the time I was a kid, so when it came to creating my fictional world that part of the state seemed the perfect place to start for me.

What made it even more surreal was that the support artist for Elton was a lad who grew up in Port Macquarie, so it was a real buzz. The support acts name was Tate Sheridan and you should check him out . . . he plays and sounds just like a young Elton John! He was fantastic.

And to top it all off, one of my stories was named after an Elton John tune . . . Song For Guy.  All up it was kind of freaky . . . but in a good way! 🙂

Anyhow, I just wanted to let all you know that I’m still around and suggest that if you get half a chance you should definitely try to see this show! You won’t be disappointed!

Here are a couple of snaps taken by some friends who were also there!

Take care of yourselves!

Mark xxx

elton 1

elton 2elton 2020 belton 2020 a

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Ooops . . . I seem to have missed a year . . .

Hi Folks

It appears that it has been like, forever since I’ve been on here. My only excuse is that real life has been getting in the way again. Sorry about that!

Firstly I would just like to say that I hope everyone had a happy Christmas and the the New Year has started off well for you, and continues on that way for the rest of the year.
I have had a few worries on the home front, with bush fires and drought and lack of water on the little farm causing much angst, but the new year has started well, with some rain and a green tinge across the bare paddocks. Things are on the up and up it seems.

On the writing front you’ll be pleased to hear I haven’t been entirely idle in the past year, even if the proof of this hasn’t been posted yet. I have been working on some new chapters for the Sandmen series, which will be posted once back from being edited. In December I also decided I wanted to try a story that fitted with the Christmas season and I eventually managed to finish it . . . only a week and a bit late! lol

Traditions has now been posted under the Thompson River Tales series.

I hope that you enjoy this, even if it is a little late.

Happy reading


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All the latest . . .

Hi folks. So, just to prove I haven’t been totally idle in recent times, here’s the latest update on my publishing exploits … or experiment … or whatever you want to call it! 🙂

After having ‘The Mardi Gras Murders’ published locally it has proved a bit difficult to be able to distribute this, especially outside of Australia, due to the incredibly expensive postage rates we have here. I think it cost me something like AU$13 just to post it within Australia, but to get it to the US it was going to cost almost AU$40. And that’s without the cost of the book itself! Sheesh!!!

So, we’ve had a bit of a rethink on how best to handle this and we have now created an online store thru, where they can be printed and distributed much more economically, particularly for people outside of Australia. (and even if you live inside Australia the postage on bringing one from the USA – my test copies at least – is around the same as internal postage within AU. Go figure!)

So, having done that I’m pleased to announce that the first two titles have been set up on Lulu and should now be available. Please check out my store!

marks store

(Please note: prices shown here are in US dollars)

From time to time I will also have some signed copies of books available, which I have had printed locally (such as the copies of MGM which I currently have on hand) and will advise on how they can be purchased once that has been finalised.

Thanks very much to everyone for your continued support!

Take care.


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