Monday, 31 January 2011

The Challenges of Being Creative on a Deadline

As most of you know, I'm in the midst of revising String Bridge for my publisher. My deadline is the end of Feb. That is a total of three months I'm going to have to revise my novel. Plenty of time you say? Yes, it is plenty of time, and I'm certainly not complaining, but have you ever tried to be creative on a time limit? It's quite a challenge. And it's been very tiring. Not as in bored/tired, but I'm going to nod off in the middle of dinner and fall face first in my bowl of chicken soup tired.
First of all, you have to know that these revisions aren't just any old revisions. These revisions are like writing a novel in its entirety within three months, with the added expectation of it being publishable. The reason for this is that my publisher wasn't happy with the state my book was in - the only thing she believed in was the story, but not the way I told it. But, she believed in me to rewrite it the way it deserved to be written. Basically, I'm using my original story line (so, let's say I have a very elaborate plot summary), maintaining most of the original dialogue (or dialogue gist), and rewriting the novel in a more literary style. So EVERYTHING is being reworded. This entails LOTS of creative juice, my friends! It's HARD. (But yes, I love it. And enjoy every moment even when I'm bawling my eyes out.)
I've had to commit to rewriting four pages a day (every day) from the beginning of Jan, to get this book done on time. That's revising approximately 1500 words of the original per day - consistently. And I'm tired. No, I'm not writing the first draft, but I tell you, I might as well be. Has anyone ever written a perfect first draft? No? I didn't think so. So I have this added stress that my new work is going to sound like a first draft. Although, logically it's not, because I already know the content. But, yes, I'm still insecure about my work. I'm STILL INSECURE and someone wants to publish me. Does the insecurity ever go away? Thankfully, I have a few wonder betas helping me through that.

Want an example of how things are changing? Here's a short one:

(And oh my God, how embarrassing. How come my writing was so bad and I didn't see it???)

Old version:
As I unlock the front door and step foot into my home, Tessa and the dog both come charging for me—Tessa with a huge grin on her face and Doggy with a massive pink tongue bouncing at the side of her mouth. It makes me feel so calm and content to be a part of such simple and pure happiness that I wish the three of us could sit on the floor in the corridor all night just hugging one another. Alex is sitting at his desk as usual looking quite sad. I walk over to him in my moment of calm and content and give him a soft kiss on the forehead, as I dream about the tour with Charlie.

New version:
I stand at our front door, sea salt burning a small cut in my nose. I hold my shirt sleeve against it, with my wrist, trying to sooth the sting — my handbag falls down around my elbow. My hair partly dry, stuck together in clumps like dreadlocks, tickles the back of my neck. Like a birthmark, the scent of ocean owns me. Smells like … freedom? — salt grains exfoliating pollution from my skin.

Tessa and Doggy come charging for me like bulls. Tessa clutches Doggy’s left ear. Doggy pants, her thick pink bouncy tongue hanging from the side of her mouth. I kneel down and hug them both at once. Warm wet drool splashes on my hand. I intend to scratch Doggy behind her ears, and stroke Tessa’s hair, but my wires get crossed and I do the reverse. I wish the three of us could sit on the floor in the corridor all night — in a cocoon of unconditional love, freedom from the world, no responsibility, no ache, simple pleasure at its best.

Alex is sitting at his desk, blank-faced. I walk over to him, unsure of what to say, whether I want to say anything at all, or even if I want to be anywhere near him. I stand by his side. Don’t utter a word. He doesn’t look up. I bend down; semi-consciously give him a peck on the forehead. I soar above images of my future on an imaginary flying carpet.

See the detail that has gone into these revisions? I'm revamping the WHOLE THING like this. Whoah. I'm sleepy just talking about it. And you know what else is a challenge? Going through all the emotions again. It's like someone saying to you now, when you're in a really good mood: Ok, act depressed - realistically depressed - convince me. Could ya do it? Perhaps you could, but it would certainly take it out of ya, right?

How are you when it comes to revisions? Do you struggle at all? If you're a published author, are you still insecure about your work? How do you deal with that?

Thursday, 27 January 2011

I was a goth, yes I was. I was punky, yes I was. I was into metal, yes I was. I was also a bit weird, yes I was. Obsessed with how I looked, yes I was. But somewhere in between then and now I changed, and don't really care how I look anymore. Is that a crime?

Now, before I show you my teen photos, I just want to let you know that Bryan Russell is posting one of my flash fiction pieces on his blog, The Alchemy of Writing, today! So do me a favour and shimmy over there, after here, to take a look. It's a quick read, only about 400 words, so it won't take you long :o) If you'd like to learn more about Bryan, you can also head over to Matthew Rush's abode to read an interview with him.

Also there are two awesome Blogfests coming up that you really don't want to miss!

Nicole Ducleroir's Bernard Pivot Blogfest, which focuses on getting to know each other better. Sign up. It's fun and easy.

Blogging From A to Z April Challenge 2011And Arlee Bird's A-Z April Challenge. I participated in the A-Z last year and it was a riot! Check it out!

Ok, here's me being brave and giving you a glimpse into my late teens, very early twenties. I changed the way I looked a lot, and really liked to go OVERBOARD with dressing up! Oh man ... tell me again, why am I showing you these?







Me, last year, boofy-haired, a little more chubby than I used to be, lazy to put make-up on or dress up, but hey, that's me and I'm happy to be me. I'll be 30 next month, and can't wait to see what this new decade brings!

Have a great weekend, everyone! See ya on the flipside!

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Your Questions Answered!

Wow! What awesome responses I got yesterday for those questions! Thank you all for being so honest and taking the time to comment. I really appreciate it!

Now for my answers to your questions. If you'd like to see the blogs of who asked me the questions, you can click HERE and locate their links in the comments section.

Alesa Warcan and Holly Ruggiero asked: What was that green thing that used to be next to your signature supposed to be? A photo shopped apple? A microscopic view of a spore?

Sorry to be boring, but I have no idea. My mother made it for my website :o)

Jen Daiker asked: What's your favorite condiment?

LOL ... um vegemite a condiment?

Matthew Rush asked: Have you ever based a character in your writing on yourself or someone you know?

Yes! Plenty. But I've changed a lot of attributes. Especially of other people so as not to encounter any law suits. LOL. Every writer bases characters on who they know, right?

Justine Dell asked: You have a bar of chocolate, a piece of copper wire, and a match, and you are locked in room. Your going to die in 20 minutes unless you can get out (and use all three items). What do you do?

Oh man, this requires brain power ... um ... does the chocolate bar say 'Eat Me' on it? I'm going to guess it does, so I would stretch the copper wire from the floor to the key hole. Use the match to heat the parts I want to bend, then eat the chocolate bar, proceed to shrink, then climb the copper wire, crawl out the key hole, and pray I don't break any bones when I jump on the other side. How's that?

Elena Solodow asked: If you could choose a penname for yourself, what would it be and why?

Hmm, I've never thought about calling myself anything other than Jessica. Ok, um ... probably I'd choose Carmen Urbach. Because Carmen is my middle name, and Urbach is my mother's maiden name, and I think they sound nice together :o)

Tracy asked: If an evil sorcerer was turning you into one of Alvin & The Chipmunks, whom would you rather be? Alvin, Simon or Theodore?

Simon because he looks like a cool rapper in shades :o)

Laura Marcella asked: If you could pick any career other than what you do now, what would it be?

Rock star, baby! I've always wanted to be rich enough to smash a guitar to pieces on stage, and yell and scream out of tune like Courtney Love. Can I? Can I? Can I?

Bryan Russell asked: What led you away from the sunny shores of Australia? To the, uh, sunny shores of Greece? (yeah, I'm sick of the Canadian winter)

Um, I'd really like to deny the fact that I fell in love with a gorgeous hunk-o-spunk during summer on an island, and avoid the cliche, but if I'm gonna be honest, I'm afraid I'm gonna have to tell you I fell in love with a hunk-o-spunk, and groveled for his attention with my tongue touching my toes. Oh man, I was so weak then. If I had met the guy now, I would tell him to take a hike. (And, oh my God, can you believe that I even dressed Eurotrashy for him??? *hangs head in shame*

Photo is of me standing next to 'the guy', ten years ago. Glad you can't see my ridiculous knee high boots!

Em-Musing asked: What's in the bottles?

They're old Ouzo bottles filled with small black pebbles and shells from Ithaca :o)

Karen Walker asked: Did you ever have a chance to read my memoir - you mentioned you had it - I'm afraid this means you hated it and are afraid to say so.

As I said in my email, no I haven't read it but have every intention to. So, don't worry! :o)

Lenny Lee asked: You mostly don't say so much bout your boyfriend. i could wanna know more about him like what he does how he looks why he loves you.

Aw, Lenny. Unfortunately he doesn't like being splattered all over the web, so that's why I don't talk about him. He's an events manager here, and so has a kinda, 'mysterious reputation', so I don't post pics, etc. But he did do a guest post for me last week. You can see how much he loves me from that :o)

Candyland asked: When you're not working/writing/being awesome, what do you do in your spare time (if there is such a thing)?

I read, and watch ridiculous amounts of TV and/or go see live gigs, and/or sit on my balcony with a bottle of red wine and nibble of pickled octopus and dolmades! :o)

Carolyn V asked: What's your favorite dessert? (I'm a little hungry right now.) =)

Lemon Tart, or Lemon Meringue Pie!

Samantha Verant asked: If you had to choose one of the following professions (life or death) which one would it be and why? A telemarketer or a sewer inspector?

Are you kidding? Telemarketer. Why would I want to sit in stink??? LOL

Elizabeth Mueller asked: So, how do you feel about self-published authors?

I think it's great, as long they don't rush into it. If they take the time to make it the best they possibly can and invest the money on someone to edit it properly, then I say, go for it.



gideon86 asked: What's you favorite book of all time? ONLY ONE.

Easy! Housekeeping, by Marilynne Robinson :o)

Nate Wilson asked: From which author would you be most thrilled to get a blurb for String Bridge?

Oh my God, Marilynne Robinson, or Margaret Atwood. My dream!!!

Nicole Ducleroir asked: How do you feel about the rising e-publishing industry, both from your viewpoints as a writer and as a reader?

I hate ebooks! I like the feel and smell of real pages. I dunno how I'm going to cope!

J.L. Campbell asked: If you had to live anywhere else in the world, where would that be and why?

Probably the UK or America, so that I can have access to all the wonderful writer's workshops and conferences!

Arlee Bird asked: If you only could pick one, which would you choose as a career: Music or Literature?

Literature. I've decided. Yep, definitely literature. I figure if I'm good enough, I make my words sing :o)

Hart Johnson asked: Imagine you end up with an international best seller and the financial means to do anything you want. Where will you throw your giant follower party and how will you entertain us?

Haha! I'd fly you all out to Greece and have a party on Santorini! Entertain you? Um, ... check out all the hot Greek guys there, I won't need to entertain you at all! ;o)

Shannon McMahon asked: Select one moment from your past that you feel defined your path. What was it and how does it impact your choices today?

The day I got straight A's in English Literature, and E- in Math! LOL Also, when I realised how happy I was when vegging around at home all day. That led me to seek freelance editing jobs I could do at home. If there's a will there's a way. And I got my way! hehehe ;o)

Thanks so much for all you awesome questions! Whoah, this took me over an hour ...

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Questions For You ... Questions For Me? (caution: possible offensive content ahead)

I have a few questions for you:

1. Does abundant cursing in literature put you off reading the book? If so, why? 'Fuck', nowadays is used as much as 'hello'.
2. What do you think distinguishes between a real poem and just a bunch of flippin' sentences chopped up into different lines?
My name is Jessica
and I can write poetry.
How cool.
Look at this awesome
line break
I'm a genius!
3. Do you put pressure on yourself to read a specific number of books per year? If so, why? Isn't that unessesary stress? Man, isn't there enough of it in this life? Just enjoy reading your book, instead of reading it to start the next.
4. What makes you buy a fellow blogger's published book? Your friendship with the person, or the fact that you're actually interested in reading it? Honestly now, folks ... :o)

5. Do you shy away from buying books from Small Presses? If so, why? *tsk tsk* *slap slap*

So, I'm going to follow Candyland's suit and ask you, to ask me, anything you want to know. And tomorrow, I'll post the answers. Go on, embarrass me if yer like. Ah got tough skin ;o)

Monday, 24 January 2011

The Top Ten Countdown Blogfest! So Hard ....

Ok, I literally just signed up for this right now :o) I got an email from Stephen T. McMuffin (Ok I made his last name up), telling me to do this. But he made me a promise, that he wouldn't haunt me with his political yahoo for the rest of my life. Yes, I am politically inept and everything goes over my head, my eyes glaze over, and I appear to be the most unintelligent being on this planet. Go check out the other entries too at Alex J. Cavanaugh's. So, without further ado, here are my top ten off the top of my head in no particular order:

1. I Want You, Elvis Costello

2. River, Joni Mitchell

3. Wise Up, Aimee Mann

4. Sweet '69, Babes In Toyland

5. Silence, PJ Harvey

6. Seether, Veruca Salt

7. Hey Man, Nice Shot, Filter

8. Henry Lee, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

9. Myriad Habour, The New Pornographers

10. Say Yes, Elliot Smith

So there ya go. My (almost) all time faves. :o) Well, no, there are so so SO many more like, Prince (back in the day before decided to become a sign), Madonna, The Tea Party, Nightmares On Wax, Portoisehead, Magic Dirt, Kate Bush, Janis Joplin, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Jeremy Enigk, Smashing Pumpkins, Live, Nirvana, L7, Luna Chicks, Nine Inch Nails, Afghan Whigs, Pornos for Pyros, Jane's Addiction, DEF-FX, Alana Myles, Patti Smith, The Kinks, Dirty Three, Goo Goo Dolls, Pixies, Gordian Knot, Tori Amos, Chemical Brothers, Radiohead ... I could go on forever!

Here's my runner-up :o) Groove Is In The Heart, Dee-Lite!

Friday, 21 January 2011

Tada! The Significant Other Blogfest!

Be sure to check out everyone else's entries by clicking the link above!

My partner's text is in black and my comments are in purple:
PS: English is my partner's second language so excuse the short post.

I'll start with writing habits. She spends too many hours in front of her computer and I’m really worried about her eyes,  actually – given that I love them! I would do anything to change this but I know that it’s not going to happen. She loves her computer more than me!

I do not! I love your eyes too, Sweetie. :o)

I know it’s always difficult to catch your dream. I was exactly the same. You need to sacrifice things and be absolutely devoted to it. If you have been through it at least once in your life, you are able to understand why someone does everything possible to get there. It is hard to realize that they are somewhere else, not here, beside you –most of the time at least - but it’s quite understandable :)

It frustrates me when she keeps asking me to read the stuff she wrote! And it's hard for me. It takes me twice as long as it would someone who speaks English fluently. I wish I could. And I wish she'd understand when I say I can't and not get upset and start yelling and crying and bringing up all the things she does for me and makes me feel guilty. I will read your book when it's published, baby, I promise! No matter how long it takes, I will do it. I love you.
I love you too! I'm sorry I get so upset. It's just that I want to share my joy with the man I love. I'm sorry it's so hard for you.
So there you have it. Can I just add something kinda funny about sharing a life with a man whose second language is English? Just for a laugh: One day we were sitting on the balcony, discussing some odd jobs that needed doing around the house, and he said,
"We need to get the pimps fixed."
"The pimps."
"Yeah, they're leaking."
"Oh! The pipes!"
:o) Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Taking the day off. Tune in tomorrow instead!

Due to signing up for the Significant Other blogfest tomorrow, I'm taking today off. In the meantime, here's a photo of me using a felt pen as a microphone.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

I don't know what I'd do without you.

I've been hit with gooey and mushy love and appreciation for a few bloggers I've come to rely on for writing support. So this post is for them. These three people are helping me get my upcoming novel String Bridge in pristine shape before submitting to my publisher. I'm going to be doing rewrites until the end of February. Perhaps I'll finish a bit earlier. I'm actually hoping I can have it complete by the 26th - my 30th birthday.

These three people are Nicole Ducleroir, Dawn Ius and Shannon McMahon. Ladies, you are my crutch! Thank you, thank you, thank you for being available to share and help me through all sorts of excitement, angst, crisis, doubt and hope I have been feeling through all this. And thank you so so much for all your confidence boosts. I appreciate them as much as the fingers I'm typing with. If you're a writer, you're sure to know how much these boosts are needed to keep up your momentum.

Ladies, you are amazing. All I need to do is holler and you come running. I don't know what I'd do without you. So THANK YOU. When I'm finished with this book. I'm all yours, for EVERYTHING and ANYTHING (as long as it doesn't involve weird sex scenarios or murder, that is) :o)
I love you guys!!!!

So, peoples, tell me, do you have a crutch? Could you imagine your life without them?

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

International Romance, Sponge Bobish & Greek Goddesses

I'm guest posting over at Carolyn's blog, Serendipity, today, as a part of a series called International Romance! Go check it out! :o)

You can also read the first two posts in the series HERE and HERE.

PS: I'm at the recording studio ALLLLLL day today to do voice overs for very weird characters - Sponge Bob-like imitations mixed with Greek Goddesses (Aphrodite, Demetra, Athena).  Yes, I'll come back with a craoky throat. Luckily for the Internet I won't have to speak to read and comment and reply to comments, etc. :o) See ya later!

Monday, 17 January 2011

What Is This Thing Called Poetry? A guest post by author & poet Mark Van Aken Williams

Today I have the pleasure to introduce Mark Van Aken Williams, an amazing author and poet, who has generously accepted the opportunity to guest post about writing poetry today. I couldn't resist asking him after reading a wonderful collection of his called Circus by Moonlight.

What Is This Thing Called Poetry?

Mozart claimed that his letters came from God. Seamus Heaney said that his poetry came from a metaphorical dig, to uncover the hiding places of his power. For each, the result could be referred to as the source of creative inspiration.
So what is it and where does it come from? There are concepts of poetry that developed in separate ancient civilizations, which had no contact with each other. Yet their ideas and notions about poetry had similarities.
From the beginning in Western culture, there has been a dual attitude toward this source. The poem is made not only by the poet, but it is given to him by a deity or spirit. From this tradition, we still equate inspiration with divine gifts or with some sort of spiritual enlightenment. We think of the very best poets, as those who submit to influences stronger than they are, because what they perceive to see seems inconceivable to them (things that as humans we can only have an inaccurate and vague notion of).
In the New World, the Mayan culture believed that poetry enraptured man, and intensified his emotions and perceptive powers. It enabled him to perceive what he (as a human) ordinarily could not. Once enraptured, the poet would speak the only truth on earth.
I do not subscribe to the influence of an enlightened spirit or Muse, or God. I see poetry as a way to plumb the depths of my imagination, through what I have experienced (especially childhood), and what I have read (here I’m talking about development of the intellect). For me, a poem is something that says more in a few words than a novel can in five hundred pages, with wit and word-play. It has an extraordinary mixing of music and thought. The job of the poet is to choose the right words, not only for sound (the music of poignant language) and connotation (landscape), but even for the countenance of them.
The poem corresponds to a centrifuge of sound, alliteration and rhythm. The reader will be walking into a world for the very first time; a world of terseness and parsimony. True poetry is derived from the poet’s peculiar type of knowledge, which is the fruit of his authentic inner experience, the result of intuition (perhaps this is the part many mistake for spiritualism). So the poem becomes a profound expression, through symbol and metaphor, of what the poet has intuitively and mysteriously discovered.
Sylvia Plath wrote in her journal, when discussing the creation of some new poetry, “I feel my mind, my imagination, nudging, sprouting, prying & peering.”
I could not have said it better.
Another person said, “What makes a good poem? A good poet.”

Thank you so much, Mark, for this wonderful post! If you'd like learn more about Mark and his work you can do so by clicking the following links:

So how about you? Do you dabble in poetry? How do your ideas come about?

Thursday, 13 January 2011

I hate clothes.

I don't like to wear clothes. Ever since I began working at home and have accumulated at least a weeks worth of jersey clothing to wear over and over ... and over again, I don't like to get dressed. Jersey, or some soft equivalent is all I wear in the house. It's comfortable, soft, and it hardly feels like I'm wearing any clothes at all. Because, I hate clothes.
I hate when things are too tight and feel like they're cutting into my skin. I hate when things are scratchy and make me itch. I hate when things are stiff and I can't bend my limbs without hearing my clothes shift. I hate when its winter and I have to wear a million layers to keep warm and it makes my body feel weighed down.
Also, if I could spend my life in a loose summer dress, in winter temperatures, I'd be a happy girl. Oh, did I mention I don't like summer much either, but love summer clothes? Bad luck for me, I guess. See, jersey has turned me into an eccentric. Embarrassing. But at least online it's entertaining, right?

I hate jeans, turtleneck sweaters, tights, stockings. I hate clothes. I hate getting dressed. Um ... any chance I could just spend my life naked and free? Hart? Got any ideas?
So, do you like clothes?

Have a great weekend everyone. See ya on Monday!

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Meyers Briggs personality test. So interesting!

Yesterday I took a Meyers Briggs personality test. I got curious after people spoke about it in repsonse to this POST of mine last Thursday. My result was INFP (Introverted Intuitive Feeling Perceiving - Introverted Feeling with Extraverted Intuition). And I tell you, I can't believe how acurate this thing is. I'm not going to quote the whole personality summary because it's quite long, but I am going to quote some parts that I'd like to share with you and explain a little bit of personal history that proves some of these things right.

"Generally thoughtful and considerate, INFPs are good listeners and put people at ease. Although they may be reserved in expressing emotion, they have a very deep well of caring and are genuinely interested in understanding people. This sincerity is sensed by others, making the INFP a valued friend and confidante. An INFP can be quite warm with people he or she knows well."
I do like to think that I am thoughtful and considerate, and I don't judge on appearance - ever. I think it's a nice quality to have. But it can work against me. It means I don't take enough care of myself and sometimes get myself down. I also read that depression is very common in INFPs. This is true with me too. And I think this could be one of the reasons for it. I also find this amazing in relation to my writing, because I love to explore relationships. Notice though the words 'Generally' and 'warm with people he or she knows well'? These are significant phrases. I can also be very cold and heartless with people who don't seem to care or who seem a threat to ruining my mood. I put up a wall.

"INFPs do not like conflict, and go to great lengths to avoid it. If they must face it, they will always approach it from the perspective of their feelings. In conflict situations, INFPs place little importance on who is right and who is wrong. They focus on the way that the conflict makes them feel, and indeed don't really care whether or not they're right. They don't want to feel badly. This trait sometimes makes them appear irrational and illogical in conflict situations."

This is so true. And I think this is why I let myself stay in bad relationships too long because I can't bear the thought of the conlict that will arise if I try to end them. In both romantic relationships and basic friendships/aquaintences. I also, especially with my partner, never argue about right or wrong, we argue about how he makes me feel sometimes. He says: But I didn't say anything wrong!" I say: It was the way you said it, I don't like being spoken to like that, it makes me feel shit."

"When it comes to the mundane details of life maintenance, INFPs are typically completely unaware of such things. They might go for long periods without noticing a stain on the carpet, but carefully and meticulously brush a speck of dust off of their project booklet."

LOLOL! Yes. That's me to a tee.

"INFPs may have problems working on a project in a group, because their standards are likely to be higher than other members' of the group. In group situations, they may have a "control" problem. The INFP needs to work on balancing their high ideals with the requirements of every day living. Without resolving this conflict, they will never be happy with themselves, and they may become confused and paralyzed about what to do with their lives."

Yes. Yes. Yes. I am a loner. I like to be alone and work alone where people are not hanging over my shoulder telling me what to do or blabbering on and on. And yes yes yes, when I was young, I used to try to control every single group project I was involved in and I would get SOOO frustrated when things didn't go my way. But I have learned to control this, thank goodness. Now, if I happen to have to do something in a group, I take the backseat. Because if I let myelf get too involved I'll get stressed and disappointed in the results.

"INFPs are usually talented writers. They may be awkard and uncomfortable with expressing themselves verbally, but have a wonderful ability to define and express what they're feeling on paper."

OMG, yes. If you ever meet me face to face, you'll seriously wonder whether I hire someone to write for me, because I can't verbally string a concise sentence together without falling over myself. So those of you who will meet me next year when I come to the US. Brace yourself. Seriously.

So have you ever taken this personality test? What was your result? Did you agree with your result? I'd love to hear!!!

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

You know something is seriously wrong with the world when ...

... it's the middle of winter. And a buzzing mosquito wakes you in the middle of the night.
... there are fruit flies in your coffee sludge. You just put the mug down five minutes ago and all the windows are closed.
... you start drinking bottled water because the tap water smells like chlorine - even after you run the tap for ages.
... the bag of onions you just bought yesterday already have mould growing on them.
... the house was cleaned top to bottom. The next day you walk through the house barefoot and your feet go black.
... there is a bomb one block from your apartment and you wake up thinking a helicopter rammed into the side of your building from the sheer force of the explosion (ps: this happened while I was unplugged. You can see a broadcast HERE.)

nuff said ...

Monday, 10 January 2011

Women Think With Their Knees

Over this past weekend, I decided that women think with their knees. Read the excerpt from String Bridge below, which explains my theory, and tell me, if you are a woman, do you think with your knees?
“I’m talking shit again, aren’t I?” Heather sighs, nods at her knees as if they’re the ones to blame for her tendency toward hogwash.

Knees tend to do that to female minds, I find; especially if we don’t like the way they look, and hide them below long shirts and baggy pants — when brain power is indebted to different areas of expertise and therefore forced to spread itself thin. They say men think with their dicks. Well, I say women think with their knees. You see, there are two. They're separated, as opposed to a penis which is one solid area. In the female mind there is never one solid thought, in one solid place, at any one time. And this ‘jumping’ from knee to knee can cause us to talk gibberish on occasion. But do not be alarmed, the knees are also our source of balance and they are the first point that leads to our source of power verses the penis. We were born to multitask, and therefore our jumping thoughts do not have any long-term effects.

So, whaddaya reckon? I'd like to hear from you blokes on this subject matter too. Have I got it all wrong? ;o)

PS: New signature. Decided I didn't like the old one with the frame, so figured I'd design something that looked good with a frame :o)

Thursday, 6 January 2011

WHY I am like this?

I had a conversation with someone yesterday about being in outsider, and we have two things in common. One, we are both artistic, and two, it all began when we were very young.
When I was a kid, nobody liked me. It wasn't until I was about 16, in high school, that I started to make 'real' friends. I'd had friends before, but they always abandoned me when someone 'better' came along. I'd spend my recess and lunch times alone in the playground, eating my vegemite sandwiches and apples and if I was lucky, my crackers and cheese dip, leaning against a red brick wall, more often than not crying. I'd be led on by 'popular girls' by them saying that they wanted to be my friend and to come and play, then they'd take me to some 'out of bounds' area of the school and run off, leaving me there, without much clue of how to get back, then I'd be late back to the classroom and scolded. To teachers I think I was the kid that 'wasn't quite right'.
I would fake being sick on Wednesdays. I remember that well. We'd had Math on Wednesdays. Teachers told my parents that I didn't like doing anything in groups. Funny, I'm still a little like that today when it comes to 'work'. I like being alone, able to think at my own pace without someone looking over my shoulder. Is that some sort of insecurity?
I am an only child (I have a half brother and sister that are younger than me but we didn't live together), so I guess I was selfish with my belongings. I was also shy, so I guess I seemed snobby and stand-offish and unapproachable. I don't know why I was like that, especially considering my mother was quite nuts when I was a very young girl - and I mean nuts in an eccentric kind of way, not mentally ill, so I always had very lively and outgoing people around me.
What exactly turned me into such an intorvert? And although I have friends now (very FEW close friends actually, I have more aquaintences than real friends), I still prefer to be alone where it's safe to let my mind tick tick tick over and over and over without trying to concentrate on being social. And I wonder, I really do wonder WHY I am like this. Am I afraid of something? Do I have some sort of mild agoraphobia? I really don't know. But I do know this: Every time I have plans to go out, I sift through excuse after excuse to cancel, but there's a second voice that says, no don't be ridiculous, go and have some fun, for goodness sake. And I do, and when I'm out, I usually wonder what the hell I was worried about and really enjoy myself.
So what is that? Can anyone shed any light? Is there anyone else out there that has experienced any of what I have written here? Do you think these 'feelings' have anything to do with being artistic?

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

An important dedication to an important soul.

It's been a hard turn of the year for Candace, so I, plus a few others have decided to try and put a smile on her face today. I have never met Candace face to face, but I may as well have. She has not only played a huge part in boosting my self-esteem, and showing me love, over the past six or so months that we've gotten to know each other, but she has become a sweet soul I don't think I could ever live without.

Candace's blog is honest. She speaks from her heart. She doesn't blog about subjects she thinks is going to draw a ton of hits. She blogs because she needs to, wants to, and wishes to share, with all of us, the pain, joy, ache, sorrow and excitement of being a mother, musician and writer. And she has a unique voice. And you know why she has a unique voice? Because she is REAL. She never tries to be someone she's not. And I ADORE her for that. I APPRECIATE that. I know that when I go to read her blog every morning, I'm going to get the TRUTH. Whether it be the hard raw bitterness of grief, or the quirky light-hearted wit and wisdom of motherhood, it's the truth - no holding back. And she should be admired for that. I DO admire her for that.

Not many bloggers are as strong or as genuine as Candace. Candace has a backbone, and I think many of us could learn a thing or two from her. So if you too admire honesty, visit her blog today and show her a little love. Show her that despite the hell she is living through right now, she has us - friends that love and care for her, and support her no matter what.

If you'd like to see who else thinks this highly of Candace, take a look at these following blog posts:

But remember, today is not about us, it's about Candace, so please don't feel the need to comment here, just drop by and say hello to an amazingly inspirational woman that needs as many hugs as she can get right now, whether they be real or virtual. Just go.

Candace, I wrote the following prose poem during a time of great sorrow and depression, and by the time I finished it, I saw my pain in a totally different light. I'd like to share it with you, and hope that maybe it can change your perspective a little as well. I love you. I always will. Hang in there sweetheart.

The Dolour Thief
I turn off the ignition. For a split second, I wish I had a garage to gas myself in. I rest my arms, my head on the steering wheel. When did I realise, life does not heal? I need to cry, to feel, the emptiness, the ache. Not an ache. Hatred. A ghost. Breathing all my air. I look through the windshield at the trees struggling to shift in the thin hot breeze. I lean back in my seat and close my eyes—listen to the hum of sin brush against my skin. The only lingering proof left of him. Of us. I wish for sorrow to get caught on me like a broken nail in wool. To remind myself I’m human, that I can feel pain, that for once in this life I am allowed to, without constraint. It’s time to bond with it, this grief. No pain? No relief. No relief? No joy. I must deem it vital to survival, change colour with its leaves. I’ll become the leader of The Dolour Thieves.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Jen Daiker's For the love of gifts GiVeAwAy!

The magnificant Jen @ Unedited has reached a WHOPPING 1000 FOLLOWERS! Woot! So head on over to her blog to enter her For the love of gifts GiVeAwAy!

The Prize
I quote:

"Option #1 – You say books. I answer. Books, bookmarks, magnets, etc.
Option #2 – Bath salts, soaps, candles, lotions, galore."

The Deal
I quote:
"Comment : This is a must. Choose your package # and then add one of the following -

Option 1 – tell me your favorite genre. You MUST also give me a favorite quote of yours to be entered.
Option 2 – tell me your favorite scent. You MUST also share with me your favorite way to be pampered.

Tweet (and leave the link)
Facebook (because I love to be talked about)
Post (give me blog love for blog points)
Sidebar (you know my love for sidebars)

The more you play the more you win!

The winner will be selected on my first official year of blogging. January 20th! The polls are open. Let the games begin. "

So whaddaya waiting for?

PS: I'm going for a coffee with THIS AUTHOR today. So excited! :o)