…the one where my girlfriend was peeing in the bushes and the cops showed up.

Some memories of high school still make me roar with laughter.

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Picture this: Alice Springs, a small outback town in the middle of the desert, nineteen eighty something.

When there isn’t a lot to do in a dust bowl of a town like the one we were fortunate to grow up in, you make your own fun. And this night it happened to be in the form of ‘cruising around.’ Where hapless teenagers would drive from the Truck Stop to the Golf Course, to the Speedway or Drive-In on an endless loop, hooting and hollering at other kids from the same school indulging in the same activity. Aimlessly wandering the streets in a car said that we were free! To have a car was a massive status symbol… and my Mum’s Mercedes Benz was the biggest statement of all – especially filled with a four-pack of gussied-up teenage girls.

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We call it cruising around because not only did we partake in the automobile activity, but it was usually accompanied by Vodka Cruisers, Goon-bags of wine, or in our case, West Coast Coolers. But before you get your fingers out to waggle at me, I was the designated driver, so no alcohol for me. If my parents had gotten a sniff of trouble, or I so much as sullied the shine of the Merc, my car privileges would be revoked until I was a hundred years old. That meant no freedom, no flaunting for boys, and nights filled with lame video marathons and grumpy parental chaperones.

As it sometimes happens when you’re driving about with a car full of four buzzed pubescent girls, someone needed to pee. Real bad. And we were ages away from the nearest facilities. Being Alice Springs, it’s just a case of pulling over on the side of the road and you can sneak into the bush to do your business – So that’s what we did.

I had to angle the cars lights off the road so my friend could see where she was walking, and while she ventured into the scrub we turned up the radio and proceeded to dance in the headlights – as you do when you’re feeling the chemical rush of half a West Coast Cooler in the middle of nowhere.

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Just as we bust a move, hear the trickle of pee splash from behind a shrub, a cop car pulls up. Great!

One of my friends freaks out, dives into the car and is desperately shoving our coolers under the seats – yes, we were drinking under the legal age. She’s a bit of a goody-two-shoes, so to say it looked like she was in the throws of a heart attack is an understatement.

I’m a little shocked and dumbfounded to see the men in blue show up in the most deserted place in Australia, one friend gyrating in the headlights, another hyperventilating inside the car, as another stumbles out of the bush yanking up her jeans. What must they think?

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They do what cops back then did – posture a little, have us line up and invade our space… no doubt trying to detect a waft of booze on our breaths. Luckily we all managed to pull it together long enough for the boys in blue to believe our story that we only pulled over for an emergency toilet stop. I didn’t know it at the time, but they had actually suspected that we’d stolen the car and were out joyriding (another activity of the local youth in this armpit of a town.)

Just as they were about to leave, headquarters radioed them back, a check on the licence plate number had yielded a result, and wouldn’t you know – my parents hadn’t paid the latest registration fee.

Needless to say the night ended with my father coming to collect us, screaming at the cops because they wouldn’t let him drive an unregistered car. But like hell he was going to leave a luxury car sitting on the side of the road waiting to be stolen. My friends were dumped home, and, like ninjas, my parents collected the car in the shadow of night while I kept a lookout for the police as we sneaked the car home.

I don’t know when they found the bottles of booze under the seat, the next time I checked, they were gone. But I didn’t get into trouble, or have my car driving privileges revoked… thankfully they were too embarrassed at having my friends and I hassled by the police for driving an unregistered car.

That’s what I call a lucky break! And that’s how we roll in country towns 😉

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© Casey Carlisle 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Book Review – Anything Could Happen by Wil Walton

Authentic as hell.

Anything Could Happen Pic 01 by Casey CarlisleGenre: Y/A, Contemporary, GLBT

No. of pages: 288

From Goodreads:

When you’re in love with the wrong person for the right reasons, anything could happen.

Tretch lives in a very small town where everybody’s in everybody else’s business. Which makes it hard for him to be in love with his straight best friend. For his part, Matt is completely oblivious to the way Tretch feels – and Tretch can’t tell whether that makes it better or worse.

The problem with living a lie is that the lie can slowly become your life. For Tretch, the problem isn’t just with Matt. His family has no idea who he really is and what he’s really thinking. The girl at the local bookstore has no clue how off-base her crush on him is. And the guy at school who’s a thorn in Tretch’s side doesn’t realize how close to the truth he’s hitting.

Tretch has spent a lot of time dancing alone in his room, but now he’s got to step outside his comfort zone and into the wider world. Because like love, a true self can rarely be contained. 

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An awkward tale that is so sweet. It rings true to how we can all feel a little out of step as we battle through high school and adolescence. Even though this is a contemporary romance, I felt it had more to do with finding a happy place with who you are – accepting yourself – rather than finally getting the girl or guy; or a coming out story. Even though it’s all of those things, the undercurrent with Anything Could Happen is like a resounding boom. I loved it. It’s upbeat, quirky, and written to a familiar soundtrack. Halcyon (by Ellie Goulding) is featured prominently, and you can hear the lyrics singing up at you from the pages.

Anything Could Happen Pic 04 by Casey CarlisleWith an easy to read narrative, this is one of my favourite GLBT books at the moment. I’ve read half a dozen in this genre in the past month to experience a protagonist apart from young heroines – and it’s been fun. Walton’s book is a positive story, much like a warm hug, but oozing realism. A totally authentic account of Tretch’s journey. I particularly loved how he danced without abandon in his room… so cute!

The cast (notably Tretch’s family) are beautiful and very prominent in the story line and not in the periphery like in much of YA. And while there were some surprises around their story, the plot is a little predictable. But in a good way.

I’d definitely recommend this book for an afternoons reading in the sun – something to leave a smile on your face.

Overall feeling: I’m happy to be me!

Anything Could Happen Pic 02 by Casey Carlisle

Anything Could Happen Pic 03 by Casey Carlisle

Critique Casey by Casey Carlisle

© Casey Carlisle 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

She ain’t as flexible as she used to be… by Casey Carlisle

 With some family visiting for a couple of weeks recently, they were doing the usual peek through the photo albums and frames on the bookshelf. It’s funny how as your interests change, file away past obsessions into that cobweb infested part of the mind. Every now and then you pull out pleasant memories and wipe off the dust, smiling at all the fun you used to have. I wish it was that easy with dancing – just a quick buff and you’re fit and limber once more.

A combination of Auntie marveling at the number of trophies adorning the shelves from my youth (as Aunties always do, doting and squishing your cheeks in familial admiration) and some holiday weight gain, resulting in fitness as something I’ve been trying to get back into form recently. So, up before the crack of dawn, decked out in my sweats and sporting a positive attitude I began to stretch. Well, a more accurate description would be bend; and more often than not, accompanied with a grunt, wheeze or groan (not to mention an unsavory clicking or grinding in my joints). When did I get so old?

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But I’m determined to get back some of that vitality! It is working, I’ve been eating clean,* working out, and “bending” a little further daily. I’m not aiming to get back to the days where I would be flying across the floorboards in a skimpy latin outfit with precision footwork blurring underneath an unwavering smile. Or even effortlessly gracing along in a massive ballgown, the long extended lines of my arms and legs defying gravity and exuding elegance and romance. I’d actually just like to be able to last a couple of song-lengths in my workout without feeling like I’m going to pass out, or puke, or pass out while puking.

ImageBack in my hey-day I’d competed in the Australasian Dancesport Championships, I was training most nights of the week and had a job hairdressing, so I was always active. Now I’m a slave to my laptop, always in a seated position (or lying down – okay, don’t judge). It’s not essential that every day I am coiffed to perfection and boasting impeccable make up. Maybe if I’d been wearing my pencil skirts more often I’d have felt the waist band constricting more and more before so many kilograms had snuck on my tummy and thighs. Curse being a writer! Maybe I should buy one of those treadmill workstations?

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Pfft! Who am I kidding. I’m happy with my body shape and as long as I’m strong enough to carry an armful of books and my laptop.

*eating clean refers to a diet of unprocessed (natural) ingredients. So fruits and vegetables, meat, chicken, fish, (no mince meat, sausages, etc) nuts, eggs, etc. Basically anything that comes pre-packaged is a big no-no. Don’t add any dressings or sauces to your food. Bread is not really included, but you can get away with an occasional whole grain brand. Substitute sugar with honey where you can. There are various descriptions and for this diet, but I’ve found these general rules work for me.

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© Casey Carlisle 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.