Monday, September 29, 2008

10 reasons why writing is better than talking any old day

one :: You can write Don Quixote and no one realises that in your head you say it Quicks-oat and not Key-oh-tay (see this post).

two :: A little editing and the use of the backspace key can make anyone look smart.

three :: Writing in place of speaking eliminates many of those How-could-I-have-said-that? moments. You can, after all, just hit delete.

four :: Writing allows you to get out a whole thought without someone interrupting with a more exciting story.

five :: (Most) three-year-olds can talk but (mostly) they can't write. Writing makes you feel grown up.

six :: Writing keeps Bic in business. Talking does nothing of the kind.

seven :: If you share a verbal something with your friend and they don't listen to you, you feel embarrassed and lame. If you share a written something with your friend and they don't read it, they feel embarrassed and lame.

eight :: It's hard to lisp in writing.

nine :: You can write with your mouth full and your mum won't tell you off.

ten :: Sitting on a bus, writing in a notebook, makes you look cool and creative and mysterious. Sitting on a bus talking to yourself just makes you look weird.

What are your additions to this list?



Caitlin -- long comments = awesome! And all I can say is: who needs driving and parking when there are such wonderful things in the universe as reading, writing, and sewing?

southeastcountrywife -- I'm glad you enjoyed :). There is a Krispy Kreme store in Brisbane now. I tell you: it's worth the flight ;).

Bethany -- my simple answer to that is: well, visit!! :D But having just driven back from Armidale, I can only imagine how much huger a trip northward from the ACT would be. Oh, and I am looking forward to popping over and reading your answers :).

Staish -- emotions, aaah! It's wonderful you have a listening to soul to joyfully unburden those emotions to. Bravo, DL!

Beth -- ohmygoodness, may I please enter this contest?? Okay, in all honesty, I confess I would be physically incapable of both running four miles and/or eating a dozen Krispy Kremes... but it would be kinda fun to try. Please tell me you have entered.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

In lieu of a real post:

I'm formulating some thoughts (it takes me ages these days -- must be thick), but in the meantime:

How well can you...

cook? I don't cook heaps apart from my two cooking nights per week (Wednesday and Saturday if you want to test out my skilz) and the odd baking fest, but I think I'm okay at it. I am a master at changing recipes. Watch me replace ingredients!

sew? My lack of skill in the construction of actual wearable clothing appalls me; it's embarrassing actually. But I love to cut up fabric and stitch back together. Straight lines are my delight. And hand stitching is fun!

clean? Hmm. Best to remain silent here. I love vaccuuming and tidying, folding washing and washing up... but toilets and showers not so much.

sing? Worse and worse with every passing year. (On first attempt, I accidentally wrote sin in place of sing; I tend to be a natural at that, too).

play an instrument? I used to be so much better at playing the piano. I need to practice!

write? I love it. Love it, love it, love it. And the stuff I produce that I think is good usually isn't, while the stuff that I think is rubbish usually gets some encouragement. I have so much to learn.
read? Awesomely. I'm good at reading. Please give me a gold star.

paint or draw? If it's a matter of splashing paint across a page, I rock. I looove to play with paints! If, however, the paint needs to resemble a recognisable person or place... this is another story entirely.

tell stories? Verbal communication is sometimes scary for me. I talk a lot (my family nods) but sometimes I feel certain I must say what I need to say in a third of the words necessary, and so I am a rather lame storyteller.

persuade? Hmm. I really don't know. Let's test my powers of persuasion right now: whoever you are, if you're reading this, please send me a never-ending supply of Krispy Kremes. Thank you.

resist those who persuade you? Again, I'm not sure. Let's test once more: Krispy Kremes? For me? Oh, you shouldn't have. You should have? You really think so? You want me to take a dozen? And eat them right now? Okay then.

dress? I am pretty bad at this, but I have a lot of fun -- and terror -- experimenting, all the same.

decorate a room? I love decorating rooms, so does it really matter if they look weird when I'm done? I thought not.

decorate a cake? I have made a Very Super Rocket Cake before.

parallel park? Boom-boom. Not Well At All.

[and here I insert my own additional question:

spell parallel? Badly on the first go through.]

regular park? In one swift turn.

control yourself around food? I think my above imaginary dialogue which happens to mention Krispy Kremes may, in fact, answer this question.

control your strongest emotions? I mostly don't reveal them unless I know someone wants to see them. Family is an exception to this rule. Sometimes they get emotion whether they are ready for it or not.

take care of children? Are they naughty ones or good ones with just a creative spark of mischief?

make a cup of coffee? I don't think this is my forte.

motivate yourself? I love me a good deadline!

organise? Organisation is sometimes my middle name. Other times my middle name is Disarray.

make a deadline? See above answer to 'motivate yourself?'

make others feel comfortable? I would love to be brilliant at this, but I am not sure. Do you feel comfortable right now? If you don't answer honestly, it may suggest you do well at controlling your strongest emotions (again, see above).

wrap a gift? I always make those corner bits look bulky.

dance? Inside of me there is a boy band just waiting to break out. It's the attempts to do so that cause me some concern.

swim? I always worry the lifeguard will rescue me when I'm just moseying out in the waves on my own.

debate? I flee confrontations. So the answer to this one is: badly!

Now I would like to see your answers, please!



southeastcountrywife -- thanks for the congrats! I hope you liked the emailed pics :).

Sarah -- what a delight to receive your comment (and a long one, too, yippee!). Yes, Google is beloved over here, too. It's always funny watching Google change with the US seasons/events while ours are nothing alike. Thanks for the congratulations and love to the gang!

Celeste -- (or should that be ? :D) thank you for your sweet congratulations! I'm pretty excited :). Oh, and thank you for your kind words; you encourage me!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Weekend XI :: the untaught harmony of Spring

I didn't make that up -- the untaught harmony of Spring; it's a line of poetry from someone brilliant whose name escapes me, and it (the line of poetry, not the name) bounced into my memory when I was considering how to sum up my weekend. I have decided I can't, really, properly. It was all sunshine and flowers and taking things slow and dusty feet and perspiration. So I shall let the pictures tell you instead. Start at this picture and click your way through using the right arrow in the browse box.

One part of our weekend that I didn't record in pictures was The Lame Movie Fest we unintentionally found ourselves participating in. We thought: a slow weekend, everyone together for once... Sounds like movie time. Alas, even though I haunted my movie-choosing best friend, PluggedIn, and my mother and sister browsed the shelves of our local Blockbuster, we couldn't think of anything new and wonderful that everyone wanted to see. So we settled instead for something old and wonderful: The Great St. Louis Bank Robbery and The Bedford Incident. Vintage Steve McQueen (a la, pretty much one of my favourite actors of all time) and Sidney Poitier; you can't go wrong, right?

Oh yes. The Great St. Louis Bank Robbery began incredibly slowly. I am fond of old movies, but this was s-l-o-w. Dad fell asleep, early on, but the rest of us hung on for a glimmer of promise. It surfaced, eventually, developing into a slightly Hitchcockian, atmospheric film with some cool camera angles (and the obligatory shrieking, ticking-clock-style soundtrack).

The Bedford Incident started at a slightly quicker pace, with richer characterisation (since I'm making comparisons, think Hemingway this time) and more relaxed acting. But after slowly, slowly dragging us into the plot, both movies let us down. All I will say is: if you enjoy movies where all the main characters (that you have just spent the last ninety minutes trying to learn to like) end up either a) shot, or b) blown up, these may be just the films for you.



  • Today I made up a meme and I think you should try it because I'd really like to see your handwriting and a list of your current favourite things.
  • Tegan, you wanted to see cards when I made them? I loaded a picture of one for you. It's not very special, but in future you can see any new cards in this photo set.


Alissa -- off to stream some This American Life!

Caitlin -- bravo for phonetic pronunciations, I say! 'Stow-match' definitely makes more sense :). And, yes, we are loving having a little nephew to dote upon (even if we must dote long-distance-ly).

Meaghan -- inevitable is rather tongue-twisty; I had to think twice as I typed it :). And I'm so happy you got the Don Quixote/porridge reference. I never know if anyone else will make sense out of my weird twistings of the English language. But I know I can count on you :).

Sunday, September 21, 2008

It's Don Key-oh-tay, okay?

The problem with growing up and reading a bunch of books that no one else around you seems to read is that you come out -- like, ten years later -- and start talking about Don Quixote like he's a guy who knows how to make porridge really, really fast instead of being a Spanish anti-hero type with a very Spanish-sounding name. I can still feel the embarrassment.

I was probably in my teens before I realised that misled is not my-zld, but miss-led. And it only dawned on me a few years back that awry was actually said a-rye and not awe-ry. Boy.

Today, however, I discover it's not just foreign words or the lesser-used ones that I can mess up. My family roared in laughter when I said nuclear. Nuclear, right? New-clear? Apparently not. And here, the girl who has frequently mocked American folk for their bizarre nuke-u-lar, discovers that nuclear is, in fact, a three-syllable-word. It's nu-cle-ar, folks.

I'm probably the only person on the planet who didn't realise that.

Not, thank goodness, the only person who mispronounces words, though. Abraham Piper confesses he puts an 'n' in legitimate. I remember a friend once saying compromise as promise with a com in front of it. What do you say all wrong?



Bethany -- thank you!! xox

Amanda -- I will pass on your kind wishes.

Lis -- I'm so glad! Your comment made me hunt out that poem and re-read it. Such good stuff.

Abbie -- new babies are super. We're all just so spoilt to get to hug and smoosh and squish them!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Weekend X :: the new arrival

Part of me finds it fascinating that my last post was all about waiting for a baby to arrive and this very weekend was about welcoming one. But when I wrote my memories for Flashback Friday, I didn't link the two at all.

We were heading southward for a weekend conference and coming within two hours of my sister and brother-in-law's home. My sister was nine months pregnant -- but we are mature and we learn from experience and, since the last baby (otherwise known as The World's Cutest Niece) came a full two weeks after her due date, we weren't expecting any miracles. We only thought it would be a rather cool thing if baby burst into the world while we were somewhat within driving distance.

Well, I am here to tell you that Rather Cool Things do happen.

At five a.m. on the very morning of baby's due date, we got a call from my sister. "It's happening!" And at five p.m. that afternoon, I held my new nephew -- my nephew! -- in my arms when he was just three hours old. It was pretty super.

Now, my sister and her hubby are somewhat internet-shy so I can't post pictures here, but I can tell you some things:

1. His name is Mitchell and he is all-boy already.
2. He weighed the same as his big sister at birth but is actually shorter. It's muscle.
3. He's a wiggle-woo who loves to look at the world and make eye contact (what can I say? Genius springs to mind).
4. His mama is a superwoman.
5. His dad is proudness personified.
6. His big sister (world'scutestniece) is head over heels in love in a way that melts this delirious aunty's heart.

Little ones = super.



Amanda -- I'm so glad you enjoyed it :). I think this post should answer your other questions!

Arny -- Yes, I have a blog. Tada!

Simplythis -- thanks, Ruth. xox

Staish -- I wish I could remember more. Life is pretty adventurous with a family like mine!

Caitlin -- thank you for your congratulations!! Stay tuned for pictures in my next letter :).

Tegan -- haha!! You are so gracious to bestow the title of World's Cutest Nephew until you have one of your own to fight for the crown ;).

Abbie -- alas! I am so sorry to disappoint :D. Hopefully these details fill in a few of the blanks for you :). love!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Flashback Friday :: the waiting

[a flashback in words, not pictures, this time]

I was six and a half, and our house was old and cold and the toilet was outside. An old-fashioned affair with a pull-chain flush and an atmosphere attractive to spiders. It was go-to-the-toilet-before-you're-in-bed-or-forever-hold-in-peace. Because no one wanted to get up and make the trek down the long hallway, out the back door, through the darkness, and into the freezing little room once they'd been held by the sweet security of the blankets. I had it down to a fine art and got so that I didn't wake in the night at all.

But I woke in the morning with a bounce, that's for sure, because Mum was having a baby soon and I was convinced that babies come in the nighttime. Every morning after I climbed down from the top bunk, even before making my way outside to the toilet, I looked in on Mum's room.

Morning after morning she was there, curled up under the blankets with the baby-shaped stomach prominent, still most certainly in one piece. That baby was never gonna come.

My grandmother came to stay, to be "available", and to iron and clean and hang washing just as she has always done for everyone. One night -- and my memory pushes all these events into the one night; whether they were so or not, I can't tell -- I was woken in the middle of my dreams by a loud knocking on the front door. I lay, huddled in my rugs, waiting for Dad to get up. He didn't.

The knocking came again, louder, so in a sort of fog I climbed down from my bunk and went to open the door. Too late, with the heavy wooden door swinging wide, I realised what I could be doing. I stopped it halfway and whispered into the darkness, "Are you a stranger danger?"

I can almost feel the terror now.

"No," came a familiar voice, hissing back through the flyscreen, "it's Ma."

She hadn't had experience enough to know not to head out to the bathroom at midnight, and she'd locked herself out of the house.

The next morning, when I climbed down from my bunk bed, I didn't bother to look in on Mum's room. I'd done it so many times and it never worked -- and besides, I could hear the lawnmower going in the back yard. Dad wouldn't be mowing the lawn if Mum had had a baby in the night, surely?

But he would, and she did, and I have always regretted not looking in on Mum's room that morning and seeing the empty space in her bed that would have told me right away that a new baby had come and was waiting in the hospital for me to meet him.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Weekend IX :: all hail Spring!

Thoughts abound, but so does the flu. In place of coherency, I present some pictures of our weekend fun at the Redlands Spring Festival. More at my flickr photostream.



Bethany -- I can well understand why you never said that again!

Everyone else -- thanks for your thoughts and suggestions at this post. It'll be fun working through the list. New posts suggestions and ideas and questions are always welcome. This blog is a dialogue, not a monologue.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Kleenex and JJ Heller and me

Last night, I told my mother that we are both awesome for having got through the whole of winter without catching any of the insidious bugs that everyone else seems to have and wants to share around.

This morning, in glorious proof of that old proverb about pride and falls and going before, I woke up to a raw throat, eyes that will attempt to close in spite of my best efforts, and a nose that's confusing itself with a dripping tap. Hmm. And I was going to achieve so very much today.

However, there were several cheering things about today, and one of those I can share with you is news of a beautiful new album by JJ Heller, which she is giving away for free -- or a donation, if you are not a poverty-stricken writer.

I had read her blog at the recommendation of a friend, and though several people raved about her music, I hadn't had a chance to listen to any for serious until today. And though I'm only two songs into the album, I am completely enchanted. This is just the sort of music I love, produced for reasons I love, about a God I love. And I think it is amazing and super and neat that JJ Heller is giving it away. Go and check it out yourself. Bravo, JJ!



Beth -- you and Don: blog peeps together forever! (do you think it's a sign?) Ooh, I am so happy you brought up early Christmas shopping because I was looking at Christmas pictures and totally getting into a festive mood. You can expect a post with my thoughts soon :).

Sunday, September 7, 2008


Ahoy, blogbuds!

You may or may not have noticed the slow posting habits hereabouts over the last two weeks. The days have been busy, I can't believe it's September, and the guest minister at church today mentioned Christmas stuff already up in David Jones stores. Boy. Anyway, I'd like to be more here over the next few weeks, but I need your help. To me, a blog isn't a voice going out into a silent universe; it's a dialogue among a bunch of us. So what should we discuss? What are your favourite types of posts? What hot-button issues have got you all excited? Let's talk.

(Bethany, I have not forgotten your tag of long ago!)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

A letter to my novel

Dear Novel,

Hello, old friend! Sorry I haven't been in touch for a while. I kind of feel as though I have been neglecting you and, well, I guess I have. Don't take offence. Please. It's just that, when you've spent eight months almost non-stop with someone, sometimes you need some personal space. And you know that when we were working towards the deadline in May, we were locked at the computer together, you and I, for many hours of every day. Once that deadline was past, I needed to get away for a while. Breathe my own air. Think my own thoughts. Not wonder how they fitted into your plot.

But that's over now. I've had my fill of fresh air, and I'm returning. I need to spend some time with you again. I feel a little like you've turned from my friend to my acquaintance, and I never wanted that to happen. Is it my fault or yours? I'm not really sure. All I know is that I think we need to spend some more time together. Are you cool with that?

Will you take me back, sweet Novel?

Ever yours,




Abbie -- isn't it crazy how we can all be living in this one country and yet experience such a diversity of weather? I hope Spring floats your way soon!

Beth -- enjoy Autumn! (it's my favourite season, too) And as you don those hats and scarves, think of the wonderful Don and his gift to the world of faith and words and quirky humour. *salute*

Monday, September 1, 2008

1st of September

Goodbye, Winter.

Hello, Spring!

(to see pictures from Sunday, the last day of Winter, go here and keep clicking the left arrow)

Random spammer -- please refrain from using my blog for free advertising. It makes life more difficult for everyone else.
Staish -- Ooh, they might be special edition Moleskines. That is super!
Beth -- welcome to the Society, oh fellow fan of the Miller!
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