Wednesday, October 12, 2011

'Tweaking and Printing'

Writing to me has always been fun and infectious. What I have found in trying to complete my assessments for Uni is that sometimes writing becomes a chore. I am not completely satisfied with how my writing is progressing and I think when I do write something worth my own praise, it needs tweaking so much that I become disheartened by the process.
Knowing the way in which I work at my best, printing is my only answer! I must print the piece of writing (Draft 1), go over it with a fine tooth comb; edit all the mistakes; rewrite it again (draft 2); go over it again and hopefully not find any corrections, but if I do I must go through the whole process again.

I know that all writers do this, but I really find it difficult to separate my Uni assessments with my own writing. My novel has been put on the 'to do pile' and I now am delving into the assessment pile of the work that needs to be finished within six weeks.

I have come to realise that to even come close to getting everything done, I will have to grow another pair of arms; never sleep; type at a hundred miles an hour; wear a grazing bag (like horses) and somehow have toilet breaks (don't want think about how or what to use).

What I do know is that I need to stop stressing and concentrate on one thing at a time and hope that when the semester is over I will have completed what is important; what needs to be done and maybe just maybe, I may have become this 'superwriter' (sounds like a superhero) that I have always wanted to be.

In the meantime I will keep chipping away at the overgrown list of assessments!

Happy writing!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

'Reading! Reading! Reading!'

It has been a while since I wrote anything tangible for this blog! I am finding this year to be a bit overwhelming, but I think I am gaining momentum and can now move forward enough to finish what work I need to get done.

I've passed the 'feeling sorry for me' stage and now I have a second wind!
At this very moment I have been reading, reading and reading more! I have set myself a task to read as much as I can and hopefully gain as much knowledge about this writing caper as I can.

It helps to be a volunteer book reviewer who gets free books to read and write about.
I am excited to say that although it is an unpaid job, I am looking forward to having the chance to extend my writing abilities and to gain some valuable experience that can only benefit my writing career.
I found it to be a wonderful opportunity that I could not pass up and combined with my Uni workload and writing my novel, my life is now very busy (Not that it wasn't busy before!).

The Ballarat Writers Festival  (Saturday 3 September) was an inspiration for me to keep forging ahead and I look forward to the day when I may be lucky to be paid for what I love to do!

What is more important to me now is that I keep reading and keep writing and hopefully someone may see what I do and like it.
So back to reading! I must now read the final eight chapters of my first gig and then sit down and write two-hundred words! I do not always say that I am happy to sit at my computer; but 'Woo Hoo' I am!

Happy Reading!

Friday, August 5, 2011

'Purchasing Short Story Compilations'

I was dropping off some secondhand goods to a local charity shop when I came across a box full of short stories including some on CD. I picked it up, took a glance at the marketing lingo and scanned for the price. $4.99 what a bargain! Well it wasn't till I got in my car that I realised that they were short stories for truckers and travellers.

I ripped off the plastic cover and proceeded to place a CD in my in-car player. Interestingly enough they weren't too bad but my son was in the car and he commented that they were c---p! Well I didn't think they that boring but he certainly did. The silence in the car was deafening as we rolled along to the male voice reciting the adventures of a cockroach. It was almost unbearable to my son but I thought it was a great medium for short stories.

After I got home I thought I would have a look at the four anthologies inside the box and came across a wonderful story about a mother's frustration with her young son. A journey to her parents turned out to be an attempt to amuse her son whilst driving across town.

Doesn't sound so interesting but it was written from the mother's point of view as she answers her annoying son's continuous questions. She tries the game eye spy and she tries to tell him to sit down, stop moving about in the car; leave his sister alone and many more funny answers to a very energetic mind.
I laughed till I cried and I could completely relate to trips in the car with young children.

Finally I was able to get my son to laugh as I read it (through my tears) out loud to him.
The moral to this story: Somethings are not always what they seem! My $4.99 was worth it just for that short story alone.

So to give credit where credit is due, the author is Marica Salpietro: Are We There Yet? was printed in the collection called Slippery When Wet: published by Australian Roadside Services in 2002.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

'Tweaking Those Words'

What I find interesting about being a writer is trying to find new words for those ones that creep into your writing. You know those ones that you always use and somehow think are okay. It is not until you get someone else to look at it for you (it has big red marks from the red pen corrections) that you realise you need to change them.

I have been trying to edit a story which includes a lot of repetitions. It has been workshopped and I looked at it and thought, 'why didn't I pick that up?' It obviously takes a new set of eyes to find those silly mistakes that annoy you. I am getting there now but I hope after changing a quarter of my text, that it still works. I want it to engage the reader and leave them with a thought or two.

Trusting in my ability as an editor  is another story. I find that I am a writer not so much an editor, but I feel that I miss many corrections because I get so involved in the story. I must remember to slow down and take the time to perfect my craft.

Tweaking those words that somehow appear in my writing is a job worth doing well, so I need to take the time to edit and re-edit my work.

I am sure I will still miss the obvious!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

'Tweaking My Office Space'

Isn't it hard to dispose of all those magazines you have been accumulating over the years? I have been trying to organise my office space so that it becomes more efficient for my needs. I have been buying magazines for so long that I even went out to buy folders to keep them in!

So I thought to arrange my space with more workability I had to purge all that I did not need. I got rid of about fifty or sixty mags that were starting to become dreaded 'clutter' and then I moved to my ever consuming piles of work that have taken over my unconventional filing system. I kept thinking that what looks clean is clean! I emerged from my delusion and thought that it was important to do something to gain back some control!

After spending a whole day going through all the individual pieces of paper, I finished no better off than I was before. My desk is still not clear but I now have put it down to the end of semester and all that comes with trying to get assessments in on time.

Oh well, I am back in that delusional state! Maybe I can finally get it cleaned up during the break!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

'Carbon Tax'

I don't know about you, but I am feeling a little disillusioned by the 'Carbon Tax' that the Labour Party is trying to implement. It is clear now, that this is simply a tax to cover the spending that the government embarked on; to save us from the 'Global Financial Crisis'.

I am all for conserving energy and trying to lower the damage already done but this is turning into a farce. If we are to achieve anything from lowering our carbon footprint then all businesses whom emit enormous amounts of carbon into the atmosphere need to pay the tax. We cannot just pick and choose who pays and who doesn't.

What is surprising to me and to many Australians is the idea that businesses such a steel producers (who emit the most carbon emissions) will be exempt from paying this tax; while the average household will be taxed highly!

If we are to move forward in preserving what is left of this planet including our beautiful country, then everyone needs to pull their weight! Including those businesses who are crying poor; that keep saying: economically they cannot afford to pay the tax.

It is always the humble working population whom suffer the most; we don't see the politians in Canberra giving up their chaffeur driven cars and their tax-payer funded dinners and presentations. Instead we will be gaining yet another tax to add to the already highly taxed country that we are!

Yes this is me venting, but I am sick of not being able to move forward without the government (whom is suppose to be working for us) making us pay for their mistakes! They make a mistake and we have to pick up the tab!

What happened to the ideals of this country?

There must be a solution to the government's over spending and lack of surplus problems, without penalising the general public.

What is lost in amongst this fight, is the people of Australia whom are still struggling without their homes after the Victorian Bushfires and now the people in Queensland and Victoria whom have no homes due to disputes over insurance claims!

Climate change problems; YES; but what about the Aussie battler; the ones whom always get a raw deal! Isn't the government voted in by these very same people?

The solution: Change the rules for voting! If a government promises something they do not keep, then they can lose their place as the ruling party! No more highly marketed PR stunts to gain votes!

As for the highly suspect 'Carbon Tax' maybe it should be scrapped just like the 'Smart Meters'!

Let's find a better solution!

Monday, March 14, 2011


Editing; what can I say about this subject? Well although it is interesting, I find it so time consuming and sometimes to be honest boring!

I am starting to think, maybe this wouldn't be the job for me! I do like to edit my own work, but I guess, if the authors work you are editing is somewhat not interesting, than it becomes mind-numbing!

I am editing a book at the moment for class that is actually quite a good book; however, it is not for the 8-12 year-old age range, that it is suppose to be for. It clearly is for a young adult to adult readership.
There is no sexual content but it is written in third person; viewing sometimes from the central protagonist, who is a mother of three. It is an historical based narrative that just doesn't fit into the world of an eight-year-old.

I have finished the chapters assigned to me, however I know I have probably missed a lot of mistakes. I do like how it is written, because it is the type of story I like to read! It's setting and historical content interest me; but if I am to edit it and keep in mind it is for an 8-12 audience, I just don't think it is possible.

The setting; the characters; the storyline I just don't think will appeal to this age range.

Anyway, I will continue forward and try to assume that if it was for this demographic, then it cannot possibly get published. As we know already it did not get published!

Editing; is a hard job and I think it needs to be a very special person who can do this for a living!

Maybe I need to gain more skills before determining its not for me!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Reminder- 'The Man From Snowy River'

I just slipped out of a lecture with the tune to 'The Man From Snowy River' in my head. I was humming it all the way home! After seeing a few scenes from the film, I now think it is about time to see it again!

That famous scene when Tom Burlinson's character rides his horse down the mountain in pursuit of the wild brumbys. So good to know that a real bushmen road his own horse for that incredible scene.

It was also amazing to get a quick glimpse of Sigrid Thornton (she is so young in it) and of course the wonderful Australian character, Jack Thompson! I did forget that Kirk Douglas was in it though!

Anyway, I will have to 'russle-up' a copy so I can relive many of those beautiful scenes of the high country. It is by far, one of the most iconic Australian Films!

We need more 'Aussie' films that incorporate the vast country, we call home!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

'Back to Classes'

Oh well! The break is over, spread forth those wings and head off to classes.

It is that time again, I am getting ready to head off to Uni again. Although I have started back at TAFE, it still doesn't feel like I am back yet. Before I know it I will be snowed under with an enormous amount of work which will take a lot of energy and mind power.

The break has been too long! Everyone I asked has said they thought the same thing. I guess it is just that you are go, go, go, whilst the academic year is in full swing, and when the holiday break comes, you are stumped as to what to do with all that extra time.

So although my head is currently in the space of 'TAFE', it will have to get into the space of Uni as well! I am trying to prepare, but like me it has been all in the last few weeks.

So, to all my fellow students, I say good luck for the very near academic year; may all of you get HD's and CD's for all your assessments!

That's my good luck prayer!

P.S Don't forget to 'tweak' all your work!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

DVD: 'The Ghost Writer'

The Ghost Writer Directed by Roman Polanski, R.P Productions (2010) and starring Ewan McGregor, Jon Bernthal, Pierce Brosnan and James Belushi.

This film was an enticing thriller that took me on the journey of a writer(Ewan McGregor) who is called up to take the place of another writer, who mysteriously dies. Pierce Brosnan's character-Adam Lang is an ex-U.S President who has written his memoirs with the help of a Ghost Writer.Ewan McGregor's character finds himself in the middle of a conspiracy that he cannot escape. As most thriller's go this one kept me guessing till the end.

The concept of this film was amazing, although it did scare me a little, about becoming a ghost writer!

As films go this one was slow to start but the twist in the end was not what I was expecting. So if you like thrillers than see this film. For all those writers who are contemplating becoming a ghost writer; although fictitious, this could put a damper on those dreams.

Just a question: Could you write a memoir of 624 pages in two weeks?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

'Catching up on Reading'

I am now having to catch up on my reading after spending the holidays being lazy. I had all these grand plans to prepare for the up and coming classes by reading the set texts for each subject. Well of course I didn't!

I have, however,caught up on some of the text: Joseph Furphy's Such is Life-Chapter Five; Barbara Baynton's The Chosen Vessel; Henry Lawson's The Drover's Wife and The Union Buries It's Dead; That There Dog Of Mine; Mitchell: A Character Sketch and I have also started to read Kate Grenville's The Secret River.

So I am desperately trying to catch up, so I am prepared for class for the week beginning the 1st March.

It has been such a rush to read through each story that I now find they are blurring into each other. The themes represented are all similar, yet there are subtle differences. I did find the languages represented in Such is Life quite difficult to grasp. Sometimes I found it easier to try the accent, but still I found trouble reading it.

Anyway if I hadn't been lazy; all would be finished now.
Note to self: Don't be lazy next Christmas holidays! Read! Read! Read!

Monday, January 24, 2011

'Preparation Is The Key'

My mind is running with ideas for a class assessment beginning this year. I have the overall concept ready but I am keen to get stuck into the practice and writing involved in bringing this project together.

My preparation skills have kicked in and I am frantically piecing together the bits of research needed to get started; come the start of semester one.
I will need a lot of ideas and alot of research items; which at times I have found difficult.

It is clear that I have been extremely lazy this holiday break; let's reflect: I have read a chapter of one book; I have written one short story; I've entered one competition; I have purchased a prop of sorts for my project and I have put together some research. Although it sounds like alot, it really sums up my inability to get motivated.

I hope that when classes return I can get straight back into a routine. I do believe that preparation is the key to success. Maybe by the end of this year I will have prepared myself for some interesting but productive writing.

I need to learn to bridge the gap between lazy holiday experiences and prepared and productive writing!

Oh well! Two weeks to go and atleast I have started preparing!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

'The Utterance Of A Word'

It is interesting how the evolution of a single made-up word can creep into everyday language. Last year in class we were talking about this very subject; expressing how we thought some 'text language' would journey into our lives and make its mark on society.

Well, I was watching a little TV whilst enjoying my lunch, and an advertisement popped up, which entailed the very thing I hoped I would never see! Yes everyone, dare I say it; embed it in my life forever; allow it to be a part of my blog, indefinitely!

Well I must tell you that with protest, I reveal the 'word' or 'letters' that was strewn across the screen as 'LOL'.

I couldn't believe my eyes as I nearly choked on my salad sandwich. Some of you may think that this is just the evolution of language, but I do not. I guess that it may have a place in text messaging; allowing for emotion to creep into the very impersonal technology, but it doesn't have a place on our screens.
Are we to see in the near future all text language being used to advertise products or television programs? That all laughter in ads will be expressed via the letters 'L O L'?

Does it mean that to appeal to 'Gen Y', we have to abort proper language skills; distance ourselves from the importance of grammar, until we have one-on-one conversations that include these letters as real words?

We all know the power of the Media (including advertising) on how we perceive the world; especially for the young. What is considered 'cool' can be attributed to what we see on the TV and the internet.

Some may say this is progress. I think it's not giving 'Gen Y' the communication skills needed for their ever approaching adult lives.

One day we will be asking ourselves this question:
What happened to the sound of laughter?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

'Short Stories Verses Novel Writing'

Although I have all these ideas for novels, I find myself thinking of short story topics instead of trying to develop my book. Lost in the world of short stories, I risk working on my novel ideas, which, if I do not put down on paper soon, I will go crazy.

Maybe these ideas haven't stop brewing yet. At the moment I am spending a great deal of time procrastinating (as we know I am a big procrastinator), rather than doing.

I like writing short stories and I am sure no matter what I write, it all contributes to my development as a writer. However, this can be annoying!
I sometimes think 'I get in my own way' hoping that the story I am working on will be perfect. I must learn to keep writing instead of thinking of the perfect story; or what I think is perfect!

My desk is full of notebooks that are consumed with ideas that one day may see the light of day; I just want to concentrate on one thing at a time!

I did say I wanted to treat my writing as a job so that I could make sure I would write something every day, but at the moment I don't have a quiet environment in which to work.

Obviously, short stories, is where my head is at this time and I need to follow it to see where it takes me.

Edward Young (English Poet 1683-1765) said:
'Procrastination is the thief of time'

Monday, January 10, 2011

'A New Year of Writing'

It is upon me to embark on another year of studies and most of all another year of developing my writing skills. I am looking forward to getting my hands dirty this year; pushing my pen to the limit and rescuing those tid bits from my brain that can be the starting of a great story.

What's in store; I haven't a clue! I will however try to do my best and hopefully come out of it with some good results.

I heard a young writer say once that she treats her writing as a job; my New Years resolution is to do just that! I want to spend as much time creating as possible and I hope that I can juggle all the study as well.

If I proceed with this concept, I will have to work at my writing everyday. This is going to mean a lot of sacrifice. My family will have to get used to the added noise of my keyboard as I try to put into practice this philosophy.

It has been hard to get into a rhythm over the break, but I am hoping to conquer my demons and proceed with vigour. Look out! Triumphant I will be!

Norman Vincent Peale (American Writer and Minister-1898-1993)once said:
'All successful people have a goal. No one can get anywhere unless he (or she) knows where he (or she) wants to go and what he (or she) wants to be or do'