Nana Naoko’s Garden – Michael Gardner

I pushed the little girl on the rope swing, guessing she couldn’t be more than seven, knowing she was my mother. The swing groaned as it arced forward, then back, the rope twisting against the bough of the mulberry tree. We were on the periphery of a country garden that surrounded a large, off-white homestead. Beyond the house were barren paddocks — dry grass, sheep, the odd gum tree. I knew this place from Nana …

Yet another question for Michael Gardner

Q: If you could talk to your novice-writer self, what bit of advice would you give?

A: I still feel like a novice-writer. My advice to me right now is to write better, to learn to articulate your ideas with a little more poetry and elegance, maybe buy a cat – all of the best writers seem to own a cat.

But I’m guessing the spirit of this question relates to what advice I would provide to my younger self when I first began writing fiction.

I only wrote sporadically when I was younger. And for that reason, I’d tell my younger self not to waste so much time. I’d tell me to write more often, to get into a routine and practice as much as I could as early as I could. I think doing so would have helped me learn a lot more about story telling by now.

I think one of the main reasons I didn’t write as much as I would have liked was because I didn’t know what to do with the stories I produced, other than force some of my friends to read them. So I’d also tell my younger self about these wonderful online magazines that might, one day, actually buy one of the stories you’re writing and publish it.

Writing is foremost about my own enjoyment, but I get such a buzz from realising others might read them, and hopefully enjoy them. And I’m grateful to magazines like Metaphorosis for publishing some of them.


Michael Gardner’s story “Nana Naoko’s Garden” was
published on Friday, 12 October 2018.

Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.

Even more about Michael Gardner

Michael Gardner is a public servant living in Canberra, Australia with his wife and two kids. He grew up in a small country town in Australia, which continues to find its way into his stories. His work has been published in the anthology Reading 5X5: Writers’ Edition, in Aurealis and, of course, Metaphorosis Magazine.


Michael Gardner’s story “Nana Naoko’s Garden” was
published on Friday, 12 October 2018.

Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.

It came from Michael Gardner (again)

Michael Gardner’s story “This Side of the Wall” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 19 January 2018. I read an amazing short story called ‘The Wombly’ by K. L. Morris (Shimmer Magazine, Issue 32). Womblys are strange things that attach themselves to people, turning those people into soap, or metal, or glass, depending on the type of Wombly. A Wombly can be passed to someone else to bear and, once they are, they can’t be …

It came from Michael Gardner

Michael Gardner’s story “Renewal” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 15 September 2017. Before writing “Renewal”, I’d read a short story about an immortal couple who were both hundreds of years old. This got me thinking about common fantasy depictions of immortals – vampires, Highlander – where they don’t age, they live forever, and every once in a while they change their identities so they can continue their lives without raising suspicions. Of all the …