Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A blogger date with Laura:

After the happy success of our first ever meet-up (success mainly being, Laura pointed out, that I did not prove to be a fifty-year-old man masquerading as a slightly nerdish blogging lady), last Wednesday was high time for Laura and I to hang out again. We met at our halfway point (I like to think of it as Asia-in-Brisbane) in order to see The Three Musketeers, eat lunch, and chat.

I'd already seen The Three Musketeers and had thought it was merely okay. This time -- perhaps both because I knew what to expect and because I wasn't expecting something else entirely (as I was the first time round) -- I really enjoyed it. A rollicking adventure, long-haired men wielding swords, entirely anachronistic air travel technology... what's not to love? Also there was a rather cute romance between the adorably goofy king of France and his sweet queen, plus a 'hey it's that guy!' moment with the great Craig from Doctor Who. And the soundtrack is beautiful; it's gone straight onto my iTunes wishlist.

The movie, however, was just one part of our happy hangout. We were also somehow imbued with amazing new friend attraction skills that day. While Laura was elsewhere, a burly tattooed guy outside the cinemas struck up a conversation with me about movies, and when I asked what he was going to see, he said gruffly, 'That Twilight thing.'
'A bit of a romance lover, hey?' I asked.
He looked surprised. 'Is that what it is?' and he grinned -- possibly embarrassed?

In the ticket queue, we fell into conversation with a grandmotherly type who was seeing the latest Twilight installment -- for the second time. We were suddenly glad we hadn't let loose any Twilight snark because she was a rabid fan -- a true zealot. She spent the entire queue time defending her choice -- and the choice of everyone outside the typical demographic of sixteen-year-old-girls -- to love vampires. She was definitely entertaining.

Then as we hit the food court, a strange small girl came up and attached herself to us -- I mean literally attached. She grabbed hold of my hand and began walking along with us, occasionally turning to stare at me with somewhat unsettling seriousness. We finally delivered her to her (possible) parents, but not before we had broken away once and she had joined us again. I don't know what was in the air that day.

In spite of our random encounters with strangers, we also found lots of time to talk. We covered a bunch of kindred topics, ranging from books to movies, from 3:10 to Yuma to Doctor Who, from blogging to Shakespeare, from study to church, from the excellence of our mums to the geeky chic that is Ira Glass. It was so much fun that I basically forgot I was supposed to be writing an essay, and I only yanked myself out of the cafe chair at the latest possible minute. Thank you, happy little world of blogging, for introducing me to such a lovely new friend!

PS. Laura has written about our blogging date -- or, to use her cool neologism, blate -- over at her blog. I made sure I wrote my post before reading hers, just because it's fun to see how two people record the same event.

PPS. Please note Laura's beautiful long hair. I'm somewhat jealous.

* * * * *


Jessica -- I imagine I might go back someday because ultimately I like the idea of facebook; I just don't like how I use it. So I guess I won't be waiting for facebook to change. I'll be waiting for me to change before I head back. Right now I'm appreciating the freedom of this boundary :).

Thelittlebluefishy -- Hey there! I love meeting new blog peeps (also, your username is just adorable). I know what you mean; facebook is definitely one of the best ways to keep in touch with overseas friends. I think that's why it was such a big deal for me to leave. I miss that! But you're right; sometimes it can feel like such a time-sucker.

Laura Elizabeth -- that's absolutely what I miss most about facebook, too: those little everyday things (I love reading status updates! Probably why I like twitter so much). And here's a confession: I tracked you down on facebook! Of course, such a course of action is now irrelevant to me. Lucky we have email (and texts and blogging and livejournal...). PS. Yes! I did make the little cottage. Only now I want to smash it and let everybody eat bits of it, and it's supposed to hold out till Christmas!

Rebecca Simon -- just do what you feel is best for you, your communication, your life, and your friendships. Facebook is an awesome tool and a magical land of communicationly joy. I'm just not that great at it :).

Katie -- that's my biggest complaint. Facebook isn't the problem; my laziness is. It's too easy for me to observe without interacting. But I love that facebook turns everyday friends into internet ones, and vice versa. It's such an easy way to communicate info bites.

Meaghan -- thank you for getting my dorky sense of humour. I love you!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Oh, facebook.

Two months ago I decided to switch off facebook. In all honesty, I thought it'd been longer than that. It feels longer. But it's been an interesting experiment, and one I've really enjoyed. I haven't noticed productivity levels increase in incredible proportions. I haven't evolved into an internet hippie (tumblr, twitter, blogging, livejournal... it's all still there). But I do feel simultaneously more connected and less connected to my friends.

If that confuses you, don't worry. I'm confused, too.

What I'm possibly learning from all this is that being away from facebook cuts me out of the little everyday odds and ends of my friends' lives. I miss lurking my friends' pictures. I miss knowing who is dating who (whom?). I miss getting invitations to events like barbecues and parties and church things and whatnot (because everybody is totally on facebook right and so why would we email or text or GASP send a paper invitation?). I miss watching hilarious comment conversations swing back and forth. Basically, I miss eavesdropping on my friends' lives.

On the other hand, even though I've been pathetic at emailing (and visiting and calling and letter-writing and texting), what little communication there is has been of a higher quality. It's like my friend-scope has narrowed. I see less, but I get to see it in more detail. I know who my closest friends are because they're the ones I contact outside of facebook. And to tell you the truth, I'm realising I don't need four hundred friends. My immediate and extended family, my little handful of best girlfriends, my buddies, and my long-distance friends whom I treasure: these are enough-and-more for me.

It doesn't mean I don't sometimes wish I was back on facebook. It's fun being in the loop! And I will probably be back looping it up again someday. But not just yet. Last week I felt my resolve slipping. I'd made contact with some friends from uni and they suggested keeping in touch via facebook. I took a great photography class and the instructor said there was a closed facebook group only open to workshop participants. I got scared that people would forget I exist if I'm not right up in their face(book)s. But then my friend Carla posted this and it reminded me all over again why sometimes it's good to do without, even if only for a season.

The end (for now).

Oh, and I didn't have any pictures of facebook laying around my computer, so I took this. That's my face, with a book. Har har you see what I did there? I'm obviously so funny.

* * * * *


Un -- I've had a hard enough time keeping up with my own socialness! I think I did so much last week, though, that this week is going to be very quiet by comparison.

Lauren -- hahaha! You little lurker. I promise there will be more pictures soon.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Project 52: twenty-five

-- happy candy-covered gingerbread houses!

PS. Sorry I think I fell off the world and it's taken me six days to clamber back on and oh my almost-holidays can be quite exhausting I had no idea but I do have things to blog to you all about etcetera etcetera.

* * * * *


Laura Elizabeth -- YES! That is a brilliant idea; I'll work my way through my holiday to-do list. And I still have pictures from our blogging date/blate to post!

Lauren -- done. There WILL BE PICTURES.

Katie -- I agree; it's fun to see how others view the world through their own lenses :).

Un -- yes, her teeth are so adorable! Dad said last night, "They suit her" :).

Carla -- I haven't met your baby girl, so we're even in our sadness :(.

Cara -- yay for holidays!

Samantha R -- looks like pictures are everyone's favourite :).

Rach da Axe -- dude, CONGRATS on being finished for the year. Isn't it such a great feeling?

Monday, November 21, 2011


-- well, virtually done, and I feel as happy as my precious little niece looks. Also, allow me to digress for a moment and point out those two teeny baby teeth. I defy you to show me anything cuter.

So yes, uni for the year is basically finished. I say basically because I do have one more essay due in a fortnight, but it's not too long and (I hope) not too difficult, and all the really big papers and deadlines were done and dusted on Friday. It's a nice feeling, and you can tell I've turned my self-editor off for the holidays (or a few days, at least) because there were four 'ands' in that last sentence alone and I'm leaving them there.

That's (almost) that, and my self-imposed short&sweet blog pseudo-hiatus is over, leaving me free to post as much as I want. Of course -- because there's always an of-course -- I now have blogging stage fright and can't remember all the marvellous things I thought I really positively had to tell you.

So while I find my feet again, the floor is yours, friends. What should I chat about? What do you want to know? What do you want to see pictures of? This is my little wooden chest of letters to you all; feel free to demand posts on anything you like.

* * * * *


Mothercare -- we really do. There are some pretty cool spots around here.

Un -- we'll have to go there!

Lauren -- that's one of the better ones; it was fun to learn more about my camera.

Samantha R -- it requires more forethought than more spontaneous snapshots, doesn't it? Plus you need your tripod handy and all that jazz.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Monday, November 14, 2011

The mystic portal (of writing opportunities) awaits:

This afternoon, I got an email from a friend-of-a-friend who is newly free from the shackles of highschool and is looking to develop her craft and expand her exposure to good writing opportunities. Some of you are at a similar stage in your own writing journey, so I thought I'd share with you a few avenues you can venture down and explore, particularly if you are somewhat new to the game.

Hunting out the opportunities and resources that are right for you can provide awesome experience for you to grow and develop your craft. Entering competitions and submitting your work to a variety of different publications and media is an excellent way to mature as a writer. Writing to strict guidelines will really hone your work, help you develop your voice, and teach you that boundaries don't always stand in the way of creative freedom.

One of the best resources for a writer of any level is a membership with your state writers' centre. State writers' centres stand apart from other writerly educational environments (like, say, online workshop businesses) in that they are just as dedicated to the development of craft -- or more so -- as they are to actually running a business. Many of them offer student or concession memberships, and most memberships include access to a print or emailed newsletter. This can provide you with regularly-updated information on a whole array of writing opportunites, contests, and workshops, as well as some good meaty articles. Check out Queensland Writers' Centre (which I love because I know and appreciate it) as a good jumping-off point.

The Australian Writers' Marketplace is like the bible of national writing opportunities. It's a fat book bursting with brief submission guidelines and details for hundreds (thousands?) of periodicals, newspapers, and webzines. It also has a section listing national competitions and entry guidelines (or where to go to find them), as well as information on writers' centres and educational opportunities. It's a hefty book and a bit of an investment, but most libraries will carry a copy (request they get it in!) or put it on your Christmas wishlist. You could really go crazy with this one.

Podcasts are a great way to learn and be inspired without having to fork out dough or commit to a six- or twelve-month course. Currently I'm really enjoying The Sydney Writers' Centre podcast. I've had fun finding some great resources on iTunesU as well. Search the iTunes store and see what you can discover. There are lectures online by great professors at such excellent universities as Yale and Harvard -- all for free, too.

Sign up to mailing lists at your local library, your state library, and your favourite bookstore. Libraries are (obviously) passionate about literacy and this often carries through into great literary and literary education events. Book talks with authors are, on their own, a fascinating way to get inspired and learn from people who have already made it. What's more, attending events like author talks can introduce you to other local writers (and sometimes even publishers), all of whom you can learn from and network with. Writing is a lonely craft; it's nice to have friends.

Finally, I must toot a horn for Katie's frequently-updated list of writing opportunities. Be sure to check it out -- then go write something.

Project 52: twenty-three

-- agapanthus (plural or singular? I don't know!), bursting from its bud.

Friday, November 11, 2011

[lately] life in instagrams II

1. biblical literary analysis; 2. bayside picnic with favourite people; 3. bad hair day; 4. camellia from mum's garden; 5. a "cruel king Herod" (by his own admission) lurks at my window; 6. happy bunting! 7. endings; 8. bedroom corner.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

[short + sweet] nano ohno

Are you taking part in NaNoWriMo this year?

And let me pre-empt you by saying that I'm not. It's a dream of mine which means that I definitely want to do this someday, but every time November rolls around, I am newly convinced that in the southern hemisphere, November is the worst possible month to attempt such a project. Okay, December would be marginally worst, because, you know -- Christmas insanity. But said insanity begins in November, coupled with the onset of the first really big hot days of the year, a sudden burst of summery social engagements, not to mention the winding down of school and music lessons and all of that. In an email I just sent to a friend, I proposed June as a far better southern month for NaNo -- which sounds dreamy, but would probably feel lonely and dull when everyone else is immersed in the November frenzy. And having said that, all my excuses just make me feel small when I read this.

Whether you are taking part in NaNo or not, you must check out the StayInTheRoom community at Dreamwidth. During November, they're posting fresh writing prompts every single day. Throw one of them into your novel, or work on them individually as a way to get the writing juices flowing. They're really lots of fun.

Oh, and one last thing. I just started imagining the fun of doing NaNoWriMo and Movember -- squeezing out words and facial hair at the same time. If there is any man doing both, I want to meet him and bestow upon him a cape and a superhero outfit.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Project 52: twenty-two

-- I took a grand total of four photos on my DSLR this week, none of them
brilliantly-lit or well-composed. Nevertheless, here is
Lady Abby the Gumworthy, slowly eating her uncle.
You see, Abby is not content with the so-called
Five Love Languages, so she invented a
sixth: eating. If Abby loves you,
she will eat you.
That's all there is to it.

* * * * *

In other news, I've very much missing replying to your comments via Conversations. I had no idea how attached I was to interacting back with you all in that way. Never mind -- just a few weeks more of intense schoolishness, and I will turn my attention to such niceties as blog comments (and actually reading all your wonderful blog posts). Thanks for being my friends, even ones I've never met.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

[short + sweet] summertime wishlist

Once school is over, I plan to work from home fairly steadily through the holidays. However, there will of course be more scheduling flexibility so I've slowly been making a mental checklist of Things I Really Would Love to Do over Summer Break. In no particular order:
  1. read and comment on my friends' blogs on a regular basis
  2. write letters!
  3. plan a really good daily menu
  4. go garage saleing
  5. spend some sunsets out on the Point
  6. read Crossed by Ally Condie
  7. continue working through Wreck This Journal
  8. start reading Finish this Book
  9. blog about them both!
  10. write an end-of-year-newsletter (it didn't happen last year; boo!)
  11. call my niece and nephew on the phone more
  12. do chores in the mornings rather than in odd snatches here and there
  13. look at Christmas lights!
  14. go to a carols evening
  15. watch a movie in the middle of the day
  16. cook meals for my family
I'm sure there'll be more on the list. I'll just keep adding to it. Is there any time over Christmas when you get a break from the usual and can spend time on the unusual? What would be on your list?
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...