Monday, September 10, 2012

World Suicide Prevention Day 2012 Post

“Please stop talking about this. I don’t want to hear about it…” I have heard this in relation to both my battles with depression and my battles with looking for work in a world that isn’t fair or responsive to my applications. I kind of wonder if these people really know what they’re saying or asking? So, what could this be interpreted as? To a mind plagued by the muddle of depression and anxious, self doubting thoughts, they might perceive that their words are not worth being mentioned or heard, that people really don’t want to hear about it, lest they feel some sort of responsibility to help. Thinking along these lines, they may eventually stop talking about it altogether, for fear of constant negative comments to be thrown back at them. These comments are not helpful, and can sometimes cause deeper wounds than the person intends. For most people, their intention is not to harm, it is to present an aspect of the world that those in dark places cannot access, however harsh those words can appear. At what point though is this helping, instead of mere bullying someone into thinking the ‘right’ way instead of accepting that people need a place to vent, a place to express the light and dark that they feel plagued by. What happens when people stop talking about the darkness within them? Nothing. You think that they’re better, that they must be getting help, but it is nothing of the sort. They’re still dealing with it, away from your negative influence, still trying to prove that they have something offer to the world, but they’re still falling apart on the inside on a regular basis because they have to do it alone, believing that to ask for help is considered ‘wrong’ and it’s asking other people to ‘support’ them in ways they’re not prepared to. Even if your intention is to help, it can be the wrong thing to do to make this big presentation of what you think people should be doing to ‘get better’. You can’t possibly know the true depths of that person’s suffering, or of where they have been or the path that they may already been on, and your words might just be that extra push down the wrong way. It’s fair enough to say that I’m not good at asking for help with my mental health issues. I still have low self esteem, a self worth that, were it counted by numbers would be almost zero, and a history of self destructive thinking. And yet, despite all that, I still try. I try to make my life better. Yes, I still get frustrated when things don’t work out the way I had hoped they would. I make comments about it on social media, only to suffer a negative backlash and accusations of not trying hard enough, but these people only know a quarter of the story. They are looking through lenses at only part of the picture. The total solution isn’t as easy as they believe it is. They do not live the life that I have, they do not deal with harsh realities in the same way because they choose not to. They don’t know the true impact of their words because I don’t share it with them. I don’t talk about the true darkness that I go through because, simply put, I don’t want to burden people with it. I don’t want them to pity me because aspects of my life kind of sucks. This post was written in relation to Write Love On Your Arm day on September 1O. On this day, people across the world will write the word ‘love’ on their arms as an acknowledgement of the pain of the sufferers of mental health issues such as self harm and suicidal thoughts and to raise awareness of this ongoing issue.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The We: A Conspiracy

From the day that the Rise Up Program was created, nothing was ever the same again. Feeling a need to combat the rising unemployment rates, the Australian Government asked for tenders depicting programs that would create employment opportunities for the thousands across the country. From out of the murky shadows stepped United Front, a training facility. The whereabouts of its corporate headquarters remains unclear, as do the identities of its administrators. United Front Presented the Australian Government with a program that not only provided unemployed people with work skills based training opportunities, but also a rehabilitation and mental health facility to combat the other issues that plague jobseekers. This program was to be a not-for-profit run piece-of-good that United Front were prepared to administer. This program was Rise Up. Initial running costs for Rise Up were high. The reason for this was a one-of set up cost. There is nothing untrue about this statement. To engineer equipment to make such radical changes, the cost would have been quite high. High costs were paid by all, but perhaps none more so than the individual participants themselves. In their truly unfortunate existence, these people refer to themselves as 'we'. They have lost all personal identifiers of their former lives. Their time is spent in the endless pursuit of long term employment. This journey can last anywhere between three and six months, depending on the individual needs. If required, a participant is enrolled in a unit of study. Scholarly types may excel in such an environment, but many of the 'We' feel pressure to pass a course that they have no interest in. Their futures are pre-determined for them, filling industry gaps without care for individual wants or needs. At the time of publishing, it has been suggested that for those who defy orders, reasonable or not, plans for enforced conscription in the armed forces are already in place. The rumours of behavior modification have never been fully proved by this media outlet or any other despite effective searches. For every element of truth that we uncover, several lies surround it, thus making the truth all that more surprising and ridiculous. The truth of the We has been difficult to find. That alone leads questioning minds to wonder why

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


When I wrote the post about building a desk, I never thought it would get the amount of reads that it did. At the time, I didn’t really have a clear idea about how gender image, when discussed without referring to sexuality, could be seen. Anyhow, I did some research over the last week and I read this book called Delusions of Gender: The Real Science Between Sex Differences and it raised some interesting points about how we see particular genders and how those expectations of societal ‘norms’ can shape and damage us. If we see a child dressed in pink, we assume that the child is a girl, just as we assume the child dressed in blue is a boy, because that is the way we’re told to think, ever since we were children ourselves. It is what society and retailers expect of us as we see onesies in those pastel colours all over the place. To overcome any errors when talking to friends who have infants, I ask the parents what the child’s name is before making any out-loud assumption on gender. “Cross-gender behaviour is seen as less acceptable in boys than it is in girls: Unlike the term ‘tomboy’, there is nothing positive implied by its male counterpart the ‘sissy’. Parents were aware of the backlash they, or indeed had, received from others when they allowed their children to deviate from gender norms.” Page 2O3 I put a reference to this quote on Facebook to debate with my friends. The responses were interesting, with one person asking if Tomboy was ever used in a positive way. Possibly this was after my comment that it was semi-positive, though never having referred to myself of had it used to refer to my own behaviours, I may have the wrong end of this. I know of people who used this term as they were growing up to define themselves and their behaviour when it went outside of social expectations for females. I didn’t grow up with brothers. If someone needed to bring wood up for the fire, including cutting it up, my sister and I were expected to do it. My mother and father shared lawn mowing and cooking duties. If my car needed an oil change, my father taught me how to do it, so I didn’t have to rely on others to fix it. I will try to lift heavy items myself safely, but will ask for help if needed from anyone near me. I can put up a tent by myself. My use of manual tools to put together shelves and desks isn’t a thing of perfection, but the fault of that lies in my home-grown skills and not in my gender. I was even in the scouts briefly, leaving because I was made to feel uncomfortable because of my gender minority. This book discussed a lot of issues relating to gender stereotypes and how we can restrict our own choices because of gender expectations. Have you ever been put in a situation where gender stereotyping has stopped you/ restrained you from participation in cross-gender activities?

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Roller Derby Training Musing

I was watching roller derby training last night, seeing how skaters whipped off of each other when I realised, not for the first time, that since I began roller derby several years ago, a lot has changed in the evolution of the roller derby whip, at least for my league. I'm not an expert or anything remotely cool like that. I choose not to do contact now that I'm not aiming to get my star levels of minimal skills, but as I watch, I do notice how things have changed. It used to be that, as the person giving the arm whip, that you weren't allowed to hold onto the other skater. You were just there to give up some of your momentum to help them. I can see the point of directing skaters on the right path though, but sometimes it seems a little less powerful. It's more noticeable, to me, watching them give and take booty whips. It used to be that you really pulled on another skaters hips, really almost pulling them to a backwards stop, now it's almost a gentle caress of their hips as people skate past. It is probably just a change in the way that we're training as opposed to a genuine fear of whipping properly for fear of hurting your own team-mate. It's also possible that I'm just rambling because I haven't blogged in a while.
Image for this blog piece taken from:

Monday, July 9, 2012

Muse Missing InAction

I haven’t written anything new in ages. It all seems to be rethinking old ideas that flourish brightly but never make it past the whole ‘idea’ stage. It’s the dreaded Writer’s Block, here with me in all its nasty blankness. Even writing this is like a trial, feeling like I’m using up space on my computer where something else might go. Instead of writing I’ve been thinking, stressing and making fun of reality tv and the people that populate them because that seems to be the extent of my brain capacity lately. Even putting together a submission for a publisher takes me forever, thinking about what to write instead of letting my instincts take over my fingers. There isn’t much else to say. Other than: “Hey Muse, come back! I want to be a writer again!” Please come back muse. I miss you and the work we create together.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Simply The We

It all began with a simple, united voice speaking to me of identity loss and other painful things. It all began as a way to stay awake while sitting in Parliament House during debate time with the youth parliament. It looked like, to the casual observer, that I was taking notes about each bill. I was really writing a story. Elements of that original story still remain in future drafts, the words a powerful reminder of where things began. It's simple. It's The We. Actually, it's not that simple. Nothing ever really is though. It is a social commentary that is my way of exploring the issues that have plagued me while I have looked for work. The lack of control over my near future is something that I have fought against, along with the fight to maintain a personal identity. I didn't even realise when I first started writing it how close in theme it was to George Orwell's 1894. Over the years, it has overgone many reworkings. One of the things that I struggled with as a writer was maintaining the universal voice. By intercutting it with articles and a single voice, I have been able to better explore themes and ideas that, while writing as a universal voice, would not have been done so. The paranoia that the characters feel is very real. In reality, jobseekers are monitored closely, though not as closely as represented in the story. I believe it speaks to those very real fears we all have that someone's watching our every move, looking for us to make an error. Security cameras watch us in public. We are aware of their placement. We know that if they are watching us, if is likely that if we do something wrong, they will catch us. This story is my way of venting my frustrations as a system that sometimes seems unfair and unjust, While some of the thoughts expressed are my own, most of which is simply exaggeration.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

A Writer Growing Up

Let’s take a step back in time. Not a massive leap or anything, just ten short years to look at what I was writing back then. This time ten years ago, I was halfway through my first year of university. I’d almost finished my first semester doing a uni course [as opposed to a TAFE one] and realising that I might actually be able to make it. My stories were dark, horror noir, slasher types without any real insight into the whys or hows the attacks were happening. Or they were ghost revenge stories. There was no real depth to them. Just straightforward exposition/dialogue/description pieces that were a filler to the anthology my Diploma course put out at the end of each year. I was still in that whole ‘oh my god I’m at uni’ mind-space. It was a big step for someone that no one else expected to leave home, let alone my home state! At the time I was experimenting with the ‘slice of life’ type stories that didn’t need to have a beginning or a conclusive end. My characters rarely, if ever, got a happily ever after. My central female characters had a bit of Buffy in them, because of how much time I spent rewatching old episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and marvelling at Joss Whedon’s story creation. I think, at that time, I was working on a piece that surrounded a central female character with telekinesis who was working in some sort of factory with her friends, each one possessing some ‘supernatural’ ability. Then they all went to a training facility to teach them how to use their powers. Then The X Men came out and I realised that, even without knowing about this world, I had created something similar. So I put mine aside while I worked on other projects. Flash forward to now: I experiment with different genres. I wrote Ferris Wheel in the magical realism genre. Dark Destiny is a horror with supernatural overtones. I’m currently working on a dystopian noir fiction piece that is a speculative look at the unemployment system. Now though, I understand a bit better about the psychological insights into each of my characters. I want their motivation for their actions to be clear to myself as a writer, and to the reader. I understand the need for action that progesses the story as opposed to brings it to a screeching stop. Growing as a writer doesn’t mean that you have to necessary let go of what you know to create something new. It’s a lot about building on what you already have within you to create something else. Something different. And not being scared to show another that this piece came from within your mind, dark and scary as it might be.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Drawn to Writing

I’ve been thinking about what I write, why I write it etc. Not altogether riveting stuff to some, but I thought I’d share a bit of it anyways. Genres: I’m drawn to writing genres like speculative fiction, gothic horror, fantasy, dystopian fiction because there are elements in them that connect to me at a deeper level. As a reader I’ll read anything, but as a writer, I get pulled towards the darker aspects. I studied each of these genres in depth at uni, connecting with them on a larger scale than other topics possibly because I understand the depth and darkness that these stories can encompass. Characters: Every one of my characters is flawed because humanity in itself is flawed. If I were the religious type, I might say that we’ve been flawed since that day in the Garden of Eden when Eve ate the apple. In Ferris Wheel, Sasha and her co-workers are all so flawed, each one seeking out a way to make the world better for themselves without care for anyone else’s desires. Themes: I have a slip of paper next to me with the themes of my next book, which echo throughout all of my story drafts. These include power, control, conformity and the exploration of human’s darker nature. It disturbs the reader, makes them uneasy, which as a writer, I understand, but keep pushing at those boundaries. In my life, I struggle with each of these things on a daily basis, fighting against the idea that I have to be what another person tells me to be. I fight against conforming to the concepts others present to me, and I do constant battle with my inner dark demons which, as I’ve stated in facebook statuses of the past, are nasty little bitches willing to put up a fight of their own. As a reader, we are drawn to things that allow us to connect and escape from our mundane realities. As a writer, I am able to explore, in depth, those things that challenge and scare me on another level, bringing out a lighter or darker outcome as I choose.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Hitting the highs and the lows

I hit the highs and I hit the lows. I pretend that I’m okay, When all I want to do is cry. I fight the darkness that surrounds me, Telling myself it isn’t real. I scream inside while my mouth remains silent, A placid look of disturbed peace across my face. Can you tell what goes on inside? Do you feel the way I shatter, Only to be remade anew in a day’s time, Pattern never the same as before. Prey on the weak, Pray to your gods, Tell yourself it’s for my own good. You don’t have the scars. Aphorism 1 The good moments are not as permanent as we would like. Reality merely creates the illusion of happiness and pleasure which covers like a plastic plaster the fractured darkness within. What we must do is understand this and grasp the moments of light, cherishing them for the promise of hope they present to us. Then when we inevitably experience the fathoms of the dark, we appreciate the preciousness of the light. Aphorism 2 The giving of advice should only be done by one with real knowledge and/or experience in the area causing discontent. Those who recite what they see on television in an attempt to help another may cause more trouble than they intend.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Sickly Mess

Getting sick sucks. It’s a pile of snotty, cold tissues in the bin lost in a haze of medication to stifle the illness until it finally dissipates. Okay, so I maybe sick, but I’ve at still at least got my usual way with words. Bright side to everything, which has been a bit hard to find for me lately. It’s pre-winter by at least 1 ½ weeks. Already weather has hit zero degrees and I’m wondering if I can find a pair of gloves that I can write in. My nose hasn’t really stopped running since Saturday morning and I am close to reclaiming my title as Mucus Queen. I am epitomising the word ‘gross’ at the moment. The hard hitting cold and flu is coming at me, and so, in return I’m doing as much as I can now so that if I do get laid up with it, coughing my guts up, at least I’m ahead on my work. Then I can dose myself up on cold and flu tablets and really kick this thing in the guts. At the moment, I just feel weak, overtired and achey, but I’m not sure how much this can be aligned with the upcoming cold and flu as opposed to the darkness in my life that I’ve let get to the point where it’s out of hand. I spent Saturday morning in tears, feeling like a complete and utter failure because I didn’t meet my goal of selling ten books at the trade show I attended the night before. I don’t believe this was due to my ineptitude as a writer or retailer, it’s simply that the people there weren’t interested in the depths to which this book seeks. It didn’t help my mood that I was informed on the night that I had sold a book a few weeks ago, but hadn’t been informed of the sale. There’s an angry email in the internet 1s and Os at the moment trying to clarify what exactly happened. Fortunate for the person whose fault it was, I didn’t name names, not did I use the word ineptitude to describe how this person acted. Bleagh. I need to go blow my nose again!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Finding my Sporting Home

I’m not a netball player. I haven’t been since primary school when it was about numbers as opposed to talent that made up a team. Our team was made up of three or four small schools in the district. We never really trained together as a team. We hardly ever trained at all apart from the occasional throw of the netball at lunch or recess if we didn’t have anything else to do. It was the same for my playing hockey/ minkey… we didn’t really have the numbers to make up a team of girls at our school. In my year level there was me and two other girls. I made up for my lack of talent on the turf with a lot of raw enthusiasm. Once we got to high school the school teams focus was on talent as opposed to enthusiasm. If you didn’t have the best skills, you were left to the sidelines while others were allowed to play. Outside of required PE classes, I didn’t participate in any sports. By year 11, I convinced my mother to allow me to stay home and study instead of going to a swimming or sporting carnival because it was a better use of my time. Plus there was a lot of social issues going on in the background too, but mostly I just didn’t want to be around all that sport-fever. I come from a small town where the sports focus is football, soccer, motor-racing and cricket for the guys and netball and hockey for the girls. Lacking in talent myself, I could have become a supporter, but I never had the urge to go to a game. Most sports bored me. Football and cricket still bore me. I only half-heartedly watch them if I’m at home, spending my time with my father, who watches them. Instead of spending time on the sidelines of a cricket pitch or a football field [apart from backyard games], my childhood instead was spent in the canteens of our local motor racing track with my mother while my father either competed or participated in officiating duties. It probably shaped my thirst for sports that were a little more on the dangerous side. Sports where you cannot have complete control over what the wheels beneath you will do. I know it shaped my attitude towards participating in my local roller derby league on a volunteer/ official basis. I’m not cut out for the actual playing of roller derby. Too many psychological issues hold me back from really getting in there and giving/taking a hit. But it is a place where raw enthusiasm is encouraged. Yes, you have to be a good skater, or better than good, in order to compete, but if you’re willing to learn, people are willing to teach you. I help out in other ways. I don’t have money to give but I do have time. Helping out at league events is a major part of my assistance when I’m not refereeing or officiating. As a referee I am encouraged to skate at all sessions to increase my rules knowledge and skating skills. I’ve found a place where I can call my ‘sporting home’, if such a place exists. How about you?

Monday, May 7, 2012

Fashionable to be unfashionable

Is fashion important? I’m the first to admit that I have no ‘fashion’ sense. I wear clothes that are comfortable and in colder weather I add layers, irrespective of colour clashes and flaws. I used to read Cosmopolitan and Cleo, before they got too expensive. I would look at the women splashed across their glossy pages and think ‘If I had the money” or “If I had the figure” type thoughts. I rarely read these types of magazines now, and if I do, I read them at the library. They put an unnatural focus on fashion, making us believe that it is the be all and end all of everything. What is ‘in fashion’ today will be sneered at in a few months. Even the 8Os style came back in for a while, people forgetting the fashion-mistakes of those eras to all dress alike. Fashion isn’t important. Let’s face it. Reality is that if you have the compulsive urge to buy the latest fashions to feel good about yourself, you’ve probably got deeper issues that a psychologist will happily help you with. My own taste, if I could ever afford it, would trend towards the rockabilly/ burlesque style, because that is what I’m drawn to. Instead, I sit at my computer, wearing [outside of underwear type things] long over the knee socks with skulls printed on them, leggings under track pants, a sleeveless top, a long sleeved top that’s dark green and a bright pink wool jumper over the top of it. I’ll hardly make the cover of the next fashion magazine, but I’d rather be comfortable and cozy than cold but fashionable.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Computer Dependency: Are we going too far?

In the past, a computer was a household luxury. If you had one, chances were it was to play games on or to do basic letter writing. The first computer we had at home was a Commodore 64 from my old primary school, complete with games and a word processing program and a dot-matrix printer. No program ran automatically. We had to type in LOAD “PROGRAM” and then respond to the questions. If you saved any work it was on a disk the size of an adult’s hand. It wasn’t absolutely necessary to have a computer at home. We were taught how to use computers starting in primary school, beginning with the aforementioned brand, as well as an Apple Mac and then a desktop not to dissimilar to what we have now. As we were educated, we saw shifts in how we did things. In the early years at school, you borrowed book using a stamp in/ stamp out process. Then came computers and suddenly it was easier to track who had borrowed books when. By high school, everyone was required to at least know how to use a computer. As we advanced in years, we learned how to use different applications because we’d need them in the years to go on. We began to be required to hand in typed assignments, and so our dependence grew. The inclusion of the internet meant that information was no longer just what was printed in the books at our fingers. We could access anything in the world. Now, a computer is a necessity. If you run your own business, you need a computer to keep track of your finances. The art of book-keeping as our grandparents had done it has gone away. I remember when my dad first started sub-contracting, I did his work time sheets on our computer because it was neater and easier. Not many of his co-workers did this. Now, everything is to be passed in on computer page. As a writer, I can’t imagine having to use a typewriter to write my manuscripts over and over again with new revisions. And yet, you have people like my paternal grandparents, who do not own, nor will they ever own a computer. They do own a mobile phone, but it is only turned on if they are going somewhere and it is only to receive and make calls on. For them, a computer is not a necessity, it isn’t a luxury either. It’s just something that they do not think they need. We are dependent on computers. It would be totally ignorant to say otherwise. But as to whether we are too dependent, I think that is really an individual thing. I use mine to edit a manuscript, yes, but it isn’t on the whole day. I print out my manuscripts and edit by hand, before beginning to change the on-screen version. I use it to check emails, social network updates, pay bills or do genera research if I can’t get to the library for some reason. Yes, I am dependent on my computer, but I know that I can turn it off when I need to.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Get them reading

I am sort of biased here. Ever since I was a little kid I was a voracious reader, reading anything and everything that I could get my hands on. It should be no surprise that I ended up being an author later on in life… which also contributes to my bias I suppose. As kids we learn to read, but for some it is chore, something to endure until the ‘fun stuff’ can begin. Reading is a necessity, we are told that and we accept it as truth because of our dependence on language. We need it to read menus. We need it to pass through our education. We need it to communicate with other people. But for some, reading just isn’t fun. For those of us that devour books, reading offers us an escape from the mundane reality. It takes us out of our lives momentarily and takes us to other worlds where our problems are not the central issue. Instead of books, most teenagers worship glossy magazines and reality television shows. How many of them would know that the term ‘Big Brother’ originated as part of George Orwell’s dystopian classic 1984 and not just as a title for a television show? In my teen years we worshipped Ten Things I Hate About You, and those of us who were wise enough to know, knew it was based on the Shakespeare play The Taming of The Shrew and that there are several references throughout the movie to that very play. J K Rowling got a lot of kids reading again with the Harry Potter series. Kids who weren’t inclined to read lined up at bookstores at all hours to read the next instalment. Then came the movies, which as far as movies based on books, are good enough. The Hunger Games series is another that people apparently can’t put down the books, though I am unsure if it is something that I would be willing to read or go see the movie. The Twilight Saga, books and movies, brought even more readers in. Even my own sister, who used to make fun of my Buffy the Vampire Slayer collection, devoured the books and movies. I have the first book, brought to see what all the fuss is about. I’ve read the entire series, but I can’t really get into super shiny, friendly vampires without being too cynical. I also went to see the movie at the cinema, using a freebie ticket from a volunteer thing in the weeks before. I think, when it comes down to it, yes kids do need to read more, but it’s also about finding the books and stories that best engage them, as opposed to throwing books at them constantly and expecting them to find a love of reading that way.
Image taken from:

Monday, April 23, 2012

Beauty Pageants: Exposition of Exploitation

Are beauty pageants exploitative? Absolutely, but to a certain degree, those who participate in them choose to do so. If they’re okay with being objectified, put through pointless competitions to assure themselves that they are prettier than the next person, then who is to stop them? Pageants have been around for years, centuries even, in which the focus of them is to put a spotlight on those who shine just a little brighter than the rest of us in some aspect. In Australia, there doesn’t seem to be the pageant sub-culture as there appears to be in America. We see the occasional baby pageants, where parents dress their infant children up in ridiculous costumes for a chance to win money, accolades and assurances that they have birthed a beautiful child. I remember being back at university, on a Saturday afternoon when my friends and I were channel flicking. We found a broadcast of the Miss Universe pageant. I immediately went on a verbal tirade, spelling out why these pageants were out of date and how fake it all was… And no, I didn’t even go into the surgical enhancements [of which I am sure there were many]. The charitable contributions of these women are off kilter. On the one hand they give their time to charities so, you know, good for them, but part of me wonders if the whole point of their charity work is to make them more appealing to the judges. I love movies that make fun of pageants. From Drop Dead Gorgeous to Miss Congeniality [the 1st movie, not the 2nd], they showcase the worst of the worst, and the best of the best behaviours of pageant administrators, contestants and support people. Are they exploitative? Yes. Should they be stopped so that people can focus their energies on more important things than being known for being ‘beautiful’? Yes, but they won’t be. It’s where the money truly is. From dresses, hair, make up, staging, advertising. People would be out of jobs if there was suddenly an international abolishment of beauty pageants. And don’t even get me started on child beauty pageants. Any time I see images on tv or in magazines of heavily made up children, it creeps me out. It’s unnatural. Kids should be kids, and not focusing on being able to fit into that pretty dress to impress a couple of judges. It’s not really any different from reality TV ‘talent’ competitions in that way. People train for them like they are the Olympics, putting their whole lives on hold just for this one moment in front of the cameras.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Blog it out

Nothing is ever as it seems to be.
If I have learnt nothing else over the last five or six years, it’s that.

I’m a well educated, intelligent human being whose skills tend to flow towards the creative. I’m driven, determined to reaching my self-set goals. For the last year I have run a small media support/ writing business in my adopted hometown. I haven’t run it successfully. Let’s be honest about that. When I started it, I truly believed that I would succeed, but I forgot that people prefer not to have to pay an external business for professional services like mine if they do not have to. And if they do, they are really quite indignant about the cost, believing that they alone need to find the money to pay for things. Heavens forfend I provide a professional service and expect to be properly compensated so I can meet my living costs.

In just over a month, or possibly just under, I will be removed from the NEIS program to be placed once again in the Jobseeking one. And I am dreading it.
Once again I will have to place my direct future into the hands of those who won’t support all my career goals, only those that can help them get money. Once again I will have to submit to government-sanctioned-slave labour that hides under the ambiguous term of ‘work experience’ because to refuse to do so equals punishment. I will lose my self-worth and self-esteem, if I ever had those to begin with. I will truly believe that I am worthless, that I have nothing to offer the world because I have chosen a career path that includes writing instead of something simple and straight-forward. In moments of my first meeting, my resume will be attacked so that it fits in with their form, eliminating any individuality or personality from the pages. What I’ve done will be minimised or hidden so that I appear ‘employable’. When I refuse to fit in with their world view, when I point out that it is my future, that I should have some say/control over where it goes, I am ridiculed. I am reminded that these people know what is best for me, that they are only trying to help me. They don’t try very hard.
I have been in the system for about six years. I’ve been through two job networks who shredded my self-belief so much that I thought that there was nothing good about myself. I have had countless case managers, all believing that they will be the one to break my record of unemployment. They will try to recommend self-help courses to help me with the anger issues I may display, not realising that they have no actual qualification to do so. Nor do they realise that it is the environment that I am placed in that causes my behaviour shifts. Hell, I probably have a higher understanding than most of them on psychological issues, simply being that I am a writer and need to constantly research these issues.
I will leave meetings in tears, angry and resentful at those people who, in their belief that they are trying to help me, have failed to see that they are merely just stripping my life from me, making it something that I borrow, not live. Not mine, just something that I rent at the extremely high cost of my sanity.

I would try to publish this piece elsewhere, but no one would print it. Simply put, because no one wants to tell the truth, especially not the big one. Unemployment isn’t a big laugh. Most unemployed people do not lie, for fear of getting caught and punished. Most unemployed people are looking for something long term, but want it to be a job that they can be happy in. That isn’t something that agencies are really concerned about. I’ve been told that directly from one pompous ass who thought that I should trust him with my future, even though he accused me directly of being a liar because he got fed ‘bullshit stories all the time’ from other clients so why wouldn’t I be the same. [If I could have proved this little discrimination through the use of stereotyping I would have]
I blog because I have nowhere else to express these words. I find it hard to verbalise my feelings at the best of times, even to those I am close to. I find it extremely difficult to ask for help because these agencies have shown through verbal and non-verbal communication that I am not worth helping, simply because I refuse to conform.

To the unobservant it appears that we live in a world where very little care is taken to help people who need it. Our world is one where self-esteem, self-worth and anything resembling dignity is pulled away from us, out of reach until we are deemed worthy by someone else, a person that claims to play the role of a ‘devil’s advocate’ but uses that role to bully and belittle others who do not have the power to fight back.

Is it any wonder I’m depressed at the thought of my imminent future?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Response to article "Corset Controversy"

I use the internet a lot for my research when I'm working on a new book. My current project is not any different. In order to understand fashion in the 1900s I had to look up images of what people wore around then.
In my search, I ended up on the Wikipedia page that discussed extensively the "Corset Controversy ().
I know, I know, Wikipedia's not the most reliable source of information, but as a fiction writer I use it more as an idea jumping off point to get the creative juices flowing.
Or the angry juices flowing as it was when I read this piece. My anger wasn't so much directed at the writer of the piece in general, but rather the attitudes expressed in the reference materials throughout the piece. So much so I inundated facebook with bits of trivia that I found, which ended with my observation that I'm glad I grew up in the 1980s instead of the 1880s. Our fashion mistakes were many, but enforced tight lacing of corsets was not one of them.

From the above image you can see that corsets were marketed for infants as well as developing girls and women.
One reference is: "A friend of mine has a wonderfully slender figure, which she says is the result of her mother putting a flannel band round her, when she was only a year old, to mould her soft bones. At six she wore a corded corset with whalebones, and at thirteen her mother had her tightly laced, making her waist only fifteen inches"... A one year old, barely old enough to know how to get their feet working properly is wearing an article of clothing that binds them, all for aesthetic appeal later on in life.

Also the appeal of bondage seems to be in popular thought at this time, as an endeavour to keep teenage girls from cutting the laces on their 'stays' to be able to sleep at night...
"I have a very simple plan to prevent my children cutting their laces at night when they are first put in tight stays, to obtain a temporary relief from the pain which is undoubtedly severe at first. When one of my girls disobeys me by removing her stays, I adopt this plan: — After retiring I fasten her wrists together with a silk handkerchief. This keeps her hands out of mischief, and she soon gets accustomed to the stays."
"I positively smiled at the plans suggested to prevent girls under training removing their stays, such as whipping them or tying up their hands. Mothers, listen to my plan. I get a small chain and a little padlock. When the stays are laced, I put the chain round the waist and fasten it with the lock, and put the key in my pocket, and there the stays have to remain until I remove the chain. Is not that simple?"
The cost of a tiny waist is that you won't get much sleep, but that's okay?

For those who were sent away to boarding schools all over the world, parents also paid for 'Figure training" as part of the girls' tuitions because it was essential to finding a suitable husband.

One woman expressed the opinion that "For the first month the pain from the continued compression was very severe, but nature soon accommodated itself to the pressure and I began to enjoy the sensation of tightness. I have continued tight-lacing ever since, and my health has in no way suffered and the charm of my figure is more than compensation for the amount of suffering I had to undergo.
I have not been without a pair of stays, excepting the few minutes I spend in the bath, for over seven years, so I think I can speak with some experience."
As long as she looked pretty, being in pain was a suitable cost.

Doctors were strictly against tight lacing, citing health risks against it. In this quote, I wonder if he's hinting that a woman's fertility may be at risk... "A girl who has indulged in tight lacing should not marry. She may be a very devoted wife, yet her husband will secretly regret his marriage. Physicians of experience know what is meant, while thousands of husbands will not only know, but deeply feel the meaning of this hint"... Of course, (according to this doctor), being a woman I may be on the wrong track.

Husbands weighed in with their opinions, most coming down in favour of corsets and tight lacing. "When I married my wife she did not wear stays, but I soon induced her to improve her figure and before long, she had a nineteen-inch waist instead of one measuring nearly twenty-six inches, and though it is many years since then, she still retains a charming figure. At the age of seven, my girls were each placed in corsets and they are growing up with small waists that I can nearly span. Putting girls into corsets at a tender age before the figure is formed saves them from the pain induced by lacing at a later period. But I quote the case of my wife to show that even with a girl is grown up she can obtain a good figure with a little pains." Then again, if men had to wear corsets to ensure that their waists were tiny and had to endure the 'little pains', surely the practice would have never reached popularity.

I know this post is a little clumsy, a little unsteady in places.
Maybe my brain needs a corset (she jokes)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Freedom of Speech, Not Hate

The freedom to speak as we choose is one that we take for granted. We can open our mouths and say what we're thinking and no one can stop us. We can sit at our computers and type long diatribes about how we're feeling and who we think is to blame for that.
In some countries, even in 2012, some countries do not have that freedom, which saddens me. I know that there is nothing I can do to change it for them, but I still wonder what an existence is like, where public opinion is the only one that matters and voicing your own would lead to serious punishment.
Ever since the invention of the internet, people have been using it to share and re-share opinions of theirs and of other people. We know so much more than we could have 20 years ago simply by being able to go on a computer with an internet connection.
But when people take the freedom of speech too far, hiding behind it as an excuse to share hate speech, it makes a mockery of everyone else who is trying to make change to the world through the written word.
Just because you have an opinion, doesn't mean that it should be shared. Hate speech is taking the freedom to speak our opinions too far.
The kind of speech that I'm referring to is not simply voicing a dislike of something, but rather a full on, negative verbal/ written assault on another human being whose difference should be celebrated instead of being the thing that we shun them for. Hate speech creates a culture of ignorance where people believe, because somewhat reputable people write/ speak on, such topics that it must be truth instead of opinion.

Freedom of speech, YES. Hate speech hiding under the guide of Freedom of Speech, HELL NO!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Facebook rules the world

Facebook rules the world, right?
MySpace became passe` the moment that Facebook became the new 'it' site for social networking. Even Twitter cannot compete with the ruling surpremety that is Facebook.
You got something to say, longer than 140 characters, you say it on Facebook.
It's addictive, telling people, some family members and others complete strangers what is going on in your life and letting them comment on it (or 'like' it). We can show them photos and videos about what our life is like in the moment and even check into places we go to.
And if someone isn't on Facebook, or doesn't live for it's status updates, we look at them in wonder, amazed that they choose to stay away from it.
Facebook rules so much of our public opinion. If someone shares something personal, it's immediately open for celebration and ridicule. And ridicule it people will...
As with all popularity, Facebook does have it's nasty underbelly. Bullies are able to use it to torment their victims in new ways, making public humiliation go to new extremes. Teenagers need to feel accepted so they will automatically be'friend' everyone they think they know, and when it backfires, it happens on such a higher scale.
Groups use Facebook closed groups to keep people in the loop, small businesses can create pages to promote themselves and, like on twitter, Celebrities can interact with their fans to whatever level they feel comfortable with.
Over several million people use Facebook, which means, in terms of a network for businesses, it's a market that they should, and do, tap into frequently.

It's safe to say that Facebook rules my world. I use it for work and for play. I have pages for my self-published book and for my business. I update somewhat regularly and comment/ like/ repost where appropriate. If someone tells me something I have already seen on Facebook, I tell them so. I think I know people better when I read their status updates, even though some I haven't had much verbal interaction with, but I never make the assumption that we're the bestest of friends (or in some cases, friends at all) because one of us clicked 'accept' on a friendship request. When I share things, it's because I find them genuinely interesting or because it's related to what I do, not because of a Facebook friendship compels me to.

So yes, Facebook does rule the world, but it is up to it's users to use it's power responsibly.

Facebook logo taken from:

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Alien Interaction

Are there really little green men out there? If they are out there, does this make us the science project for alien students, to be studied, poked and prodded? (Of course, in this instance, it would make those that study us possibly slightly less intelligent than those they answer to)
When it comes right down to it, we cannot be the only beings in this universe or any other that is somewhat capable of "intelligent" thought processes.
Deep down, I believe that we possibly want there to be aliens, because it means that, once we destroy our own planet (come on, let's be realistic, it's coming), there might be salvation on another one somewhere.
- Meanwhile, an alien race out there is probably thinking the same thing... -
There are common elements to every alien abduction story, whether it's due to constant re-telling that implants itself into peoples' minds or truth, is simply too far out of our reach to know. If aliens are abducting people, are they purposefully choosing people with a predisposition for paranoia, or is that simply a by-product of alien interaction along with the ability to maintain cohesive memories and partial repression of being probed by inquisitive alien minds.
Growing up in the 80s, I was inundated with the friendly alien types like ALF or E.T, who just wanted peaceful things (or in Alf's case, pieces of cat). There might have been aliens out there, just looking for friendly safe harbour before they can return home.
Of course aliens could also be like those that featured in the movie Mars Attacks... Those guys were not looking for peace of any kind and were definitely more intelligent than those they came up against.

For any type of argument against their existence, I simply ask this.
Why not? Why can't they exist?

This post is dedicated to my late grandfather, Robert Charles Kent, who passes away 10 years ago. I truly believe that interest in sci-fi can be passed along the bloodlines.

The original image used for this post was taken from

Image manipulation completed by blogger

Thursday, March 22, 2012

A sketchy type day

So, I've been working on a new book of blogs. I may have mentioned it earlier. Basically it will be a zine type publication that I can offer as a freebie to places like libraries, coffee shops, etc. It's been an interesting experience re-educating myself about how to use Publisher, but then the discovery of an online image manipulator a couple of days ago really helped me with my work. I spent yesterday, between putting together bookmarks (another project), sketching and scanning my book illustrations.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Easter Comes But Once A Year (but the chocolate stays on the hips much longer)

It's only a few weeks till Easter. Or Eostre. Or Zombie-Jesus Day. Or just simply Chocolate-Related-Holiday-That-Causes-Shops-To-Close-For-Fear-Of-Religious-Attacks.

Seriously, it's freaky. Shopping centre car parks become a ghost town where few cars fear to roll their tyres. If any store is open, they are met with derisive looks of "I can't believe you're open on this weekend" from passers-by.
As you might have been able to tell by previous posts, I'm not religious in any real way. I've dipped my toes in different religions and not found the answers that I'm looking for.
But I do love chocolate, as well as the highly discounted easter eggs that appear on shelves after it's all over. And really, isn't that what they've made it all about?
If you're Catholic it's the time when Jesus rose from the dead (hence why some people call it Zombie-Jesus Day).
If you're Pagan, it's Eostre, where we celebrate fertility (which might be where the origin of the 'Easter Bunny' came into being...hmmm).
If you're on facebook, you see multiple posts about zombies and chocolate
Anf if you're a kid, or a kid at heart, you just want those expensive foil wrapped, chocolatey treats that stores with their crass commercialism tell us are the way to show love.
I've witnessed a shift in the last couple of years. People are slowly pulling away from the pressure of the religious few to open their stores on these, their most holy of days, because if they do not follow that religious dogma, why should the closing hours apply to them?
After all, if they're open, they can sell more stuff.

However you celebrate it, Happy Holidays to all! Stay safe on the roads if you go away for the long weekend.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Valerie - Glee Cast

Okay, so this is a bit of 'getting to know you' fun from facebook. I did it several years ago so it will be interesting to see what changes.

1. Put your iTunes, Windows Media Player, etc. on shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
4. Tag AT LEAST 10 friends (including me so I can see your results).
5. Everyone tagged has to do the same thing.
6. Have Fun!

The best damn thing - Avril Lavigne

Big Mistake - Natalie Imbruglia

Who we are - Hope Partlow

Sweet Transvestite - Glee Rocky Horror

Loser Like Me - Glee cast

Disconnected - Kelly Clarkson

Don't Rain on my parade - Glee Cast

Fear - Stop Making Friends featuring Pauley Perrette

Prisoner of Society - The Living End

Technicolour - Paloma Faith

WHAT IS 2 + 2?
Are you going to be my girl - Jet

One way or another - Blondie

Hold - Superchick

Game of Love - Michelle Branch and Santana

Hey Hey - Superchick

Checkin it Out - Donnas

Alive - Superchick

Theme to St Trinians - Girls Aloud

Something in the water - Brooke Fraser

Raise your glass - P!nk

Coz I Can - Ana Johnson

HIt me with your best shot/ one way or another - Glee Cast

Valerie - Glee Cast

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

An Ode to Picnic At Hanging Rock

This is is. I've reached Blog 100 and to celebrate, I'm talking about one of my favourite books of all time

Picnic at Hanging Rock. The title alone evokes a sense of awe in me. A book, written in the seventies and made into a movie around the same time, still has the power to shock me at its nature.

I was in my early teens when my mother introduced me to the book, a battered second hand copy that she’d found in a Salvation Army store. I read it within a day, caught up in the mystery of the missing schoolgirls in rural Victoria. It was a story that had an ending, but not a conclusion, something that I would carry into my own writings later on in life. It has in fact, become a bigger influence on my writing than I first realised.
My own style is over-descriptive, pulling my readers into the worlds of my characters, and I prefer to write stories where the conclusion is only one of many possibilities, leaving the reader wondering what’s going on.
Back when Joan Lindsay first wrote the book, there was a final chapter that explained what had happened to the missing girls, along with why Irma was left behind. On her publisher’s advice, she left that chapter out of the final draft of the book, that would them go on to become a best-seller, loved by many.
That final chapter was later released in novella form, titled “The Secret of Hanging Rock”, a book that is impossible to find, even with the internet at our fingertips.
I’ve read it once, I was lucky enough to find it at my local library and I read it before it became lost in the library system never to be found again… Little bit spooky, huh? I have to admit, I wasn’t one-hundred percent happy with the conclusion, though it did give me an answer to those niggling questions I had. And because it was written by Lindsay, it couldn’t be disputed as false later on. I won’t discuss here what happened in the missing chapter, leaving it to the reader’s imagination seems better.
What might have happened if the book, in its entirety had been published? Would there have been a movie made out of it? If the movie had been made, would it have been the success it was? Would it still evoke feelings of awe, unease and wonder at the potential fates of the characters.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Late February Poetry

I wish that I could easily let go,
I wish the slightest thing didn't remind me of you.
It would be quieter,
More easy to step ahead without thinking of you
and what you might think of me.
Our paths haven't crossed in a while,
I'm beginning to forget how you look,
the way your voice should sound.
Maybe I'm beginning to let go.

~ ~ ~

Strang thought swirl through my head.
They twist
and they turn,
Taking me on a wonderfully weird adventure.
Jump and sprint from one idea to another,
Random ramblings of a confused mind.

~ ~ ~

How do we know if what we think is really true?
So many versions, tales told long ago.
Maybe our role is simple.
It's your story, tell it your way

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Today, I am hanging out at the Australian Active Aim Business Achievement Centre, running my media and creative support business from their reception desk.
Come in and see me any Tuesday over the coming weeks to talk about:
~ media and press coverage for your event/ business/ community organisations
~ To buy/ pre-order a copy of Ferris Wheel
~ To get a consultation on your publishing project from first draft to pre-submission

Reasonable rates
Quality service

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Pre-BLOG 100 post

I'm coming up to BLOG 100. It's a milestone for any blogger, even a semi-regular one like myself.
Over the years since I started this blog, a lot has changed. And a lot hasn't. One of the major changes is that I've taken charge of my life and I can now say with pride that I am a published author of three titles.
This blog has allowed me to have a space to share my words of wisdom, wit, anger, love, and weirdness with the world. I've tackled topics like obesity, censorship, unemployment, the creative process, halloween, football fixation and, of course, burning tiaras.
(It still makes me laugh that that particular post is listed among the highest read. It was a random post that should have slipped under the radar.)
I'm wondering what I'll write about for BLOG 100. This is number 98, so I have another to go yet.
Better think on it some more.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Poetry (again)

It looms above
If flows below
It welcomes and is feared
Every step,
Every breath,
Reminds me of the fight,
to find my life
I scream
I shout
but no one hears my voice
The dark's sharp talons scrape at my skin.
Ony I can see it's fangs


Fear screams,
Pulls us to pieces.
It shatters our copnfidence,
Breaks our grasp on reality.
Close your eyes,
Tell yourself that it isn't real,
But your imagination keeps on getting in the way.
Control what you can,
let go of what you can't.
Will you let your fear rule you,
Or will you rule it?


How many hits will it take to break me?
How long, is too long
To suffer for crimes I never committed.
Is the pain and emptiness I feel ever going to end,
Or is it all
Just too much?


Being scared is normal
It helps us work out what is safe
And what is not.
To deny its existence,
To refuse its entry into your life
Is to deny you exist at all


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Dark Destinies: An Explanation

I've tagged a lot of posts in this blog with the name 'Dark Destinies' but I've never really gone into detail about what it is, the genesis and progression of the story.
The Story as it stands today:
Explores 1900 rural Victoria where central character, Matilda Morgan, witch/ pagan/ possible feminist resides in a fictional town. She clandestinely practices her craft, until direct accusations bring her to the fire.

An obsession with learning all I could about witchcraft trials started me on this path. I read Gallows Hill by Lois Duncan when I was a high school student and the story stuck with me. Lots of research later, specifically on Salem equals a lot of useless information to someone else, but I knew I'd use it one day.
In my 2nd year of university, I wrote a short story about a witch being brough back from the dead and wreaking havoc on the town that burned her. The story should end there, a mediocre short storythat probably would have ended up in a file, never to be read again.
I never passed it in to my teacher. Instead it became the basis for my short filme manuscript for my scriptwriting class. Back then it was called "Calling up the Dark", yeah, when I created the novel, I made sure to change the title. I passed in a complete manuscript at the end, but I couldn't let the story go.

Returning to the well countless times:
Over nine years I've gone back to it several times. Each time I've explored different angles, adding and deleting to it. At first Matilda's story was going to be told in the prologue and through other character's interpretations. That ended up being not good enough for me. I wanted to tell her story, show readers what her life was like. So it became two parts. Then, as of last year became just one part, focused entirely on Matilda's life and the people populating it.

Change is inevitable:
Before it's ready to publish, it still needs a lot of work. More stuff needs to be added/ deleted to it. I still have theories, ideas, characters, motivations that I want to explore

I can't wait to tell this story

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Blame game

Running away from your problems is easy. It's just as easy to blame another on your life path. If you're not to blame, then you don't have to be called into question and held accountable for what has gone wrong.
I've come to accept the darkness andthe light within myself. I am accountable for everything I saw and do (or don't do), making choices within the limitations that I have imposed upon me.
As a ruile, I don't say something behind another's back that I wouldn't say to their faces. I accept that I'm a bitch, I don't try to hide it because denying that part of your personality makes it seem as if you've got something to be ashamed of

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Fiction Pieces are fun to write

Because I'm at the library and I'm supposed to be working on something, I wrote a little fiction piece and sharing it here.

His eyes watched me every step I took. I couldn’t account for his sudden and regular attention. He didn’t know me, didn’t know a thing about me. I had given my skirt a bit of a tug to bring its hemline closer to me knees and subtly pulled at my top to reduce the amount of cleavage I had on display. Actually, by my own dress standards, I was showing a lot less than I usually did if I had been just dagging about at home. My hair wasn’t flying about my face, having been pulled back into a semi-serious attempt at a ponytail/ plait thing.
I looked at my reflection in the glass. A transparent image of myself looked back, wearing the same quirky, curious expression on its face that I had seen in many reflections and photographs.
My heart began to beat a little faster when I realised that I could see him in the reflection too. He was watching me as he looked over the top of his computer screen. There was amusement in those eyes, which pissed me off. Who the hell was he to be amused by me? I really hoped that he was enjoying himself, getting a giggle at my discomfort at his consistent attention.
I sighed and turned back to the stack of books on the desk in front of me. I really needed to get this research done before the library closed. I still had to go home and work on my essay outline. Inhale, exhale, I reminded myself as I turned my attention to the first book and picked up a pen to make notes on the scrap paper beside me. He’s there and he isn’t going anywhere. You might as well get your work done. Just ignore him.
I made it through the first two books when the sound of someone sneezing nearby brought me out of my study hypnosis state. For some time, I had forgotten that someone was watching me. I sighed, and stretched my arms out behind me so that I could see if he was there still. I’m just making sure that he’s not still watching me, I told myself as I saw that someone else was sitting where he had been before.
Well, that’s a relief, I thought as I turned my attention back to the books. I looked above them and saw him looking down at me.
“What are you watching me for?” he demanded as he glared at me.

Feel it coming

I know that there's something not right with me.
Yesterday, I fell asleep with my head on the desk for a couple of minutes and when i am awake, I feel constantly drained, complete with the CBF attitude.
I feel teary when I read books that I have read 50 times before. I'm just happy that I'm not watching soap operas at the moment. When you cry during a scene on Neighbours, you know that there is something seriously not right.
My thoughts, when i have them are darkly tinted and heading deeper down into the black.

I know that a breakdown is on the horizon. I can feel it. I can read the signs.
For me, a breakdown is a release of all repressed emotions and feelings, knowing that once it's over, it's done with for a couple more months.
Until then I'll do the weird thing with my hair, the bold coloured clothes and assure myself that there isn't really anything that wrong with me.
Also, I'll stock up on tissues so I'm prepared when that critical moment hits me.
Yeah, solving my issues with tissues again. Lots of sodden, snotty pieces of nothing filling a bin that no one else will see.
This somehow proves that I'm human.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

why is it so hard...

I never thought I'd say this, but I've forgotten how to apply for jobs.
Well, not really in those words, but still, I had forgotten how hard it is to write a coherent application letter based on a few lines of duties. Give me a detailed position description to work with any day people. At least if I have that I know what I'm getting in for.
Of course, not all jobs out there have a detailed position description to give to applicants. All they're interested in is hiring someone that can do the job based on what's written in the application letter.
I suck at writing application letters. I'll admit that freely. My ultimate suckage does come from a place of low self-esteem/ low self worth though. I mean, after a few days worth of rejection letters filling your mail box, all you can think is, am I really worth it?
Of course, you can't show any personality in your application letters. Heavens forbid that you write anything original, you wouldn't be taken to be serious about the job.
In my days as a job seeker on the dole, I had to take many job application classes/ one-on-one tutorials that tried to wring every bit of originality and personality out of my letters and resumes because 'employers don't want to see that'. It's all about making the job of hiring someone as easy as possible for the employers.
I remember feeling anger at the suggestion that, in order to make things easier for potential employers to understand, I lie about completing my VCE. I never completed my VCE, because I completed my SACE. Of course, I was advised to write VCE or VCE equivalent because that way my potential employers would know what I was talking about. And here I was assuming that they would have the capability to understand that SACE was probably the same thing as VCE already.
I can't remember what I was ranting about now.
Oh, right, the job market.
I want to work. At the moment, I'm working for myself but I could use a little extra cash, which I want to earn.
Why is it all so hard?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

If I had paid attention in high school... I probably wouldn't be a writer now

When I was in high school, I used to write stories to keep my mind occupied during lackluster classes. If I wasn't connecting with the subject, I'd look like I was writing notes when I was really writing a story. I did it for my own entertainment as much as I did it for my friends who, when they realised what I was up to, asked to read the latest installments. These stories all shared a similar vein - the isolation of the outcast and the feelings that could cause when pushed to extreme situations. It was high school and I was watching a lot of slasher/ horror movies with my friends so it's fair to say those stories were not light and cheerful in any way.
At university, I steered away from this past-time as I was being constantly challenged to think in innovative ways about subjects that had only been hinted at before in high school classrooms. Though, if I did have an idea that I knew I'd be exploring at a later time, I'd write it down immediately (and simultaneously disturbing the attention of the person next to me - who had been paying full attention to the lecturer).
It was while I was in a 'preparing for work' class as a jobseeker that the basis for my novella Ferris Wheel ran from my mind to my hands where it started typing it into a word document (which seemed to always minimise whenever my teacher would come to check on the work I'd completed). It started with something simple, watching a belly dancing performance, and the feelings that it brought to its observers.
It became clearer to me than any other time since that that I am a writer. I can't shut out my muse, tell her I'm taking a break for a little while, or I'm working on something else. It's still there, knocking at my door with a new list of ideas and genres to explore.
When I self-published Ferris Wheel, I did it as part of the NEIS program, a snippet of a wider creative business. It was my way of showing the world that I was there and that I had a story to tell.
Over the last year I've done things that I never thought I would. I've pushed myself to use the skills I have to benefit a wider audience than my peer group.
Quite simply, I made a change and I can't wait to do more

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Why I love what I do :)

Today has just become print day.
That's right I've just completed another copy of my Dark Destinies (*working title*) manuscript. It has gone from 50 pages to 56. That's around about another 3000 words approximately. And yes, I do take into account all that stuff. It might not be altogether mentally healthy and partially obsessive to think that those things matter but it all does.
Because I'm all technically self-employed now I have to use my own printer with MY ink and MY paper instead of a government agency, but these are things that I choose to accept as that which I cannot change.
Anyways, I just wanted to share how much I love what I do. I really do. I create worlds where anything can happen. I get to explore the light and dark parts of the human psyche while keeping my own relatively safe. I take a simple thing and give it layers, depth and motivation. My darker characters aren't "bad guys" just because they have to be or because I need someone to create conflict with my central character. They have reasons for being that way and I love working with them, finding that moment when I realise what it's all leading to.
And that's a major part of my own being. I need that to survive.
In another job, I'd be still writing, still creating characters or dialogue. I'd just be writing it on a scrap paper that I then take home and put into a file and probably never follow it up because 'reality' would overtake me, pushing aside the need to create my own stories. In the 'real world' I would sit at a desk with a vacant look on my face because I'm there physically but my mind is constantly elsewhere, creating new stories.
Why wouldn't I love a job like mine

Though there are days when I feel like this picture about(like today now that the main part of the work is done)
Original image from:

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2012 resolutions

A new year, a whole heap of resolutions:
- as usual, I will lose at least 10 kilos through improving my diet and exercise routine
- I will publish another book
- I will attend TGSS
- I will smile a lot more
- I'm already a pretty great friend to have, but I vow that I will try harder to be more understanding of what other people are going through
- I will get my finances under control
- I will get a job and/ or run my business to it's full capabilities
- I will write more blogs that are more interesting than this is