Medium has been a great place to consolidate and expand my portfolio, but now it’s time for me to go solo. To that end I’ve created my own website called, you guessed it, Pauline Montagna, Author.

I’ll be transitioning material from Medium to my website week by week, as well as adding new material as I go. Each week I’ll post a Weekly Roundup on the site, introducing the new stories going up that week. If you’d like to get the Weekly Roundup directly into your inbox, subscribe here to my email list.

Do come and visit me. I look forward to seeing you there.

Lieutenant Uhura at her station.
Lt Uhura at her station.

They say the world is divided between fans of Star Wars and Star Trek. I come down firmly on the Star Trek side. While Star Wars might be more action-packed, colourful and noisy, Star Trek gives you a lot more to think about…and to write about. In fact, I devote a whole section of my publication Screen Captions to Star Trek.

Not that I’m a Star Trek nerd. I don’t see the Star Trek universe as a real entity that must have internal logic and consistency. As a writer, I see it as a construct, a work-in-progress that is being…

Detail from The Accolade by Blair Leighton
The Beautiful Princess

Medium might be best known as a platform for non-fiction and commentary on the latest news, but it’s also a great place to publish short fiction. Well, I think so, anyway, so I’ve devoted one of my publications almost entirely to it. You’ll find short stories, both fictional and factual on …and other stories.

Today I thought I might introduce you to a few of my more light-hearted stories, not all of which are confined to …and other stories.

In one of my writing classes, we were asked to write a modern fairy tale. When I was young, my favourite…

Photograph of Mrs Mabel Freer and another woman
Mrs Mabel Free (left)

Mark Twain once said, ‘Australian history… does not read like history but like the most beautiful lies… but they are all true, they all happened.’ I discovered this for myself several years ago and decided to write up a collection of these stories which I would call Scandals and Sensations. They would not only be titillating, but give an insight into Australian society, culture and politics of the time.

Of course, there were lots of stories I had already heard of, but I thought I might try finding some more obscure ones. I began my search in my local library’s…

Poster for film Anonymous

In 2012, I published Not Wisely but Too Well, an epistolary, biographical novel narrated by William Shakespeare. This was intended to be the first volume of four and covered Shakespeare’s early life until 1593, just before his name first appeared in print. Unlike the subject of my first novel, The Slave, Shakespeare was virtually unknown to me until I picked up a book in my library called Who Wrote Shakespeare? by John Michell which introduced me to the fascinating Shakespearean Authorship Debate. …

Etching of Shakespeare and contents of First Folio.

When the First Folio of Shakespeare’s plays was published in 1623, half of its thirty-six plays had previously been published individually in quarto or octavo format. The terms quarto and octavo refer to the size of the booklet, quarto being a larger page folded in four, while for octavo the page is folded into eight. However, in Shakespearean scholarship the term ‘Quarto’ has taken on a life of its own.

Some of the quartos are so close to the First Folio version that it is evident the Folio text was based directly on the quarto edition. Many of the plays…

Stylised image of a large brick suburban house.

A mysterious girl on the train has a way of enticing men into her thrall.

So here I am, going around and around in circles like the trains I can feel every few minutes as they rumble through the Loop. I have so much time now to think about how I got here, since I’ve given up trying to work out how to get out. But I don’t have to stretch my mind too far to find the cause. It all started when I first saw her — the girl on the train.

It was her hair that first caught…

Stylised image of a brick block of flats.

Bill has held onto his memory of seeing a UFO for thirty years, but there are those who want him to forget about it.

Bill signed the letter, folded it and forced it into an envelope. But as he lifted the flap to his tongue he stopped, drew the letter out again and read it one more time.

The Minister of Defence

Canberra, Australia

Dear Sir,

I am sure my name is familiar to you as I have written you and your predecessors many letters over the years. Unfortunately, every approach I have made to your department has been met…

Stylised image of a single-fronted brick house

A retired schoolteacher is beset by vandals and it’s up to Constable O’Connor to find out why.

This wasn’t the sort of call out I would have expected when I was first posted here. This is one of those quiet middle-class suburbs still pretty much occupied by the people who bought their houses in the fifties and sixties — elderly widows and retired public servants — the classic self-funded retirees whose main interest in life is the internal politics of the local bowls club. The streets are narrow and lined with grass verges and plane trees. …

Stylised image of a brick suburban house.

A novelist suffering from writer’s block finds that his friendly neighbour is his worst nightmare.

I was staring out the window again when I saw old man Nicholson from next door being taken away in a Patient Transport Vehicle. I presumed the poor old bloke was going to a nursing home. I’d seen his daughter a few days before when I went out to get my mail. She was crying. It seems the old man had fallen and spent two days on the floor before she’d found him. It was the first time she’d been away for a long weekend…

Pauline Montagna

Writer and Self-Publisher. Author of The Slave, Suburban Terrors and Not Wisely but Too Well. You’ll find my books on and me on Facebook and Twitter.

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