Forging ahead with fictional endeavours: ~ Write a life on a page and hurry not to its grave; abhor not the coming age, for eternal is the next page. ~ Read what you will, I hope you will enjoy reading as much as I do writing.

Posts tagged ‘Inspiration’

Free writing + Too much Zombie fic = Da hell?

Be still my heart.

I always thought the apocalypse would start with a bang. Brought on by some trigger-happy politician too long mired in a corrupt office to see the world as it could be.  The signs were all there; our historical decent into madness. The world wars, the horrors of the atom bomb; the desire for bigger, better weapons of mass destruction that hinted humankind had learn nothing. Then there’s recent war against ‘terror’ that seemed to fight terror with terror… But my point evades me. Let’s just say, if the planet turned to a thermonuclear wasteland over night I would not be the least bit surprised.  Instead we have… drum roll please… Zombies. Rambling hordes of the undead with an insatiable desire for flesh. A geeks paradise. And my, Susan McCloud, that’s me, personal hell.

So, there we have it, it’s hell on earth. And what am I doing at this very moment? Helping the panicked gits whom brought this doom upon us by being a lab-rat for the ‘cure’. Admirable, right? I wish. Truth is I’m because I have to be.  Found a lump on my breast half a year back, and well you can guess from there.  By the time I had started chemo it was already wrecking my organs. So what’s a girl to do when she’s dying and desperate? Sign up for medical experimentation, apparently.  Ended up on the ‘Fountain’ project with the aforementioned gits too busy playing god to recognise potential disaster staring them in the face.  How were they playing god? Haha… The fountain As in the Fountain of Youth. I know, right? Trying to cure death… Experiments which my wrecked body was perfect for. If it worked, it showed the value of such a product, and if it failed… Well, I wouldn’t be a liability for very long.

Of course, it all went horribly wrong.  There was an accident with one of the early serums.  It had been injected into a chimpanzee, Z, whom promptly became a rabid terror. Didn’t die though, oddly enough.  Something in the small margin of DNA difference protected the shit-flinging bastard from the biggest side effect of the scrapped drug.  Then Some radical animal rights activist, with delusions of grandeur, broke in with the intent of sabotaging the project in a publicly humiliating fashion by releasing all test subjects into the streets. Insert some Z face-munching and a impromptu escape into the night and you have the idea.  Authorities had Z and the others test subjects rounded up by the following day; but by that point the damage was done.  The real panic started when the activist’s shambling corpse was found in an abandoned warehouse downtown. It hit the news like a flash bang and then the arse-covering began… as did the human trials for a cure.  Bringing us full circle to me, egomaniac extraordinaire, the crash-test dummy.

I was not eager, to put it mildly.  There I was, hooked up to medical equipment getting the run down on procedures from the one man on the premises I could remotely stand by that point, (infecting the local population did nothing for my level of trust in their competency) trying not to ponder the irony of trading one horrible death for another.  Matt must have caught on to it too, because his final words were, “Don’t worry, I’ll look after you.” Said with that care-free smile too. Sweet, adorable, nerdy liar. We both knew he was mucking about in uncharted waters, but I swallowed my inner cynic.  Matt had been a great source of support during my time with the project; I would allow him some trust.  Putting on an air of false perkiness, I replied “How could I be worried when I’m in such capable hands,” then swung my legs in the sterile, medical bed. I proceeded to make myself comfortable, (because I was going to die comfy, god damn it), only to be startled by his warm hand on my shoulder.  My gaze met his, and I’d like to say it was electric but Matt’s smile was only there for professional necessity.  Those beautiful green eye spoke volumes of gratitude and… regret? Sorrow?  With my face straining under the first genuine smile I had managed since the C-word, I said, “I’m a tough cookie. Besides how could I have been go could I put anything but smile on such a handsome face.” Smooth, real smooth. Flirting on my death bed.  One thing about the shadow of death, it removes your inhibitions and at least I was flirting and not downing, snorting or injecting illicit substances; well medical ‘miracle’ serums excluded.  Of course, my ill-timed flirting failed.  It was in his eyes.  Whatever else he was feeling had only been reinforced by my words.  I swiftly placed my hand over his, filled with sudden determination to live in spite of everything.  Matt was always good at reading my posture, I noted a spark of hope in his expression as a response.  Then, because death waits for no one we were interrupted by one his colleagues via the intercom.  “If you’re just about done, perhaps we could be getting this procedure under way.”  I rolled my eyes at the reproach in the feminine voice. God, of all people to oversee this, they had to pick her. In better times I would have called her my rival but with the differences in out position she more like a callous boss whom is intent on quashing me like a bug.  Today she might well succeed.  Matt removed his hand to activate his mic.  “Hold your horses, Louise, must I remind on the particulars on human dignity that we must maintain?” Ah-ha, there’s another reason I liked him. Matt put the humane in human experimentation. Strict moral compass, god-complex aside. Louise’s response was venomous, “I’m fairly certain the codes of conduct outline the difference between humane treatment of subjects and unprofessional relationships.” I repressed a snicker, I knew the shrew was just jealous, but the slightly embarrassed look on Matt face was priceless. And interesting. And worrying. All at the same time. Had I had more of an affect with my mostly harmless flirting then I realised? If so, this was a bugger of a time to find out. The expression was gone before I could ponder it. “I’m starting now. Start quantine lockdown on this room. Set to my access code,” Matt stated in an eerily cold tone.  I’d never seen him look so… hard.  The intercom crackled, the pause ominous.  “… Are you certain? If something goes wrong only you will be able to get in or out.”  I froze, as the awareness of the danger Matt was putting himself in hit me.  Before I could protest Matt commanded, “Do it.  If something goes wrong follow quarantine procedures. I recommend the same for other subjects. This thing is too dangerous to allow to spread any further.”

“… Understood. I relay that to other personnel.  But… No… Never mind, I’ll be here to run any tests you need.” Matt swirled back towards me, face unrecognizable under to grim mask of professionalism. This was a side of him I never liked; that part of him that made him exactly like git-clones he worked with; but, hey, it takes bees to make honey.  I refused to let my resolve waiver as he prepared his syringes. Kill or cure. 50/50. At least that’s what I told myself.  Pro: might live. Con: spend after life brain-munching. Pro: saviour of the know world. Con: death, deathy, death, death. Trepidation’s a bitch, but hey I have nothing to loose; I’m dying anyway.  “Susan, are you ready?” Matt asked, depositing his payload on the steel table next to the bed and leaned in to meet my gaze.  I resisted the urge to jump up right there, it would dishonest to ignore the fear coiling in my belly. I tilted my head, smart-arse, knee-jerk reaction ready, “Sure, darlin’, just don’t mistake the poison for the placebo. I’d hate to get all melodramatic for no reason.” My smirk threatened to injure my cheek muscles.  Then I noticed how watery Matt’s eye appeared. Crap.  You idiot, Susan.  Matt, you bigger idiot, you should have passed my case too someone else if it affected you this much.  Instinctively my hand found it’s way to his cheek.  “Matt… are you sure you want to be here?” Matt gently removed my hand, aware as I was of the cameras, and gave it a quick squeeze before releasing it. I pulled it back almost defensively, though god knows who I was defending. Him? My own pride? I was never good with displaying emotion and as necessary as his actions were, the slight rejection hurt.  Not that I’d let that show. The smirk was back, bigger then ever.  Matt looked away, slouching ever so slightly. “… No one should go through this alone… And I…. … Let’s begin. We covered the drug earlier, but first things first I’m going to give you a sedative, okay?”

“Hmmmmm, a sedative, I think I can li… deal with that.” I replied as he lined up the syringe with the drip connection and pushed the plunger.  I felt his hand on mine, “Really… Matt you are too kind for this… line of… work…” There was the brief sensation of pressure on my lips. What a nice last thought….

 

Author Notes: Sooo one hand I’m really pleased with how this turned out given it started as a free writing exercise.  But I have too say: What the hell is this?!  It starts out as a zombie fic, easily explained by the time I spend on the zombie genre, but then… Romance?  What in the world brought that on?  Is it a compatible mix?

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Getting Involved

It’s been five minutes since I scheduled the last article. I’m still looking for the  others. LOL I hid them. -_-

Modern busy schedules often make it difficult get in touch with the local communities and remain actively social away from the workforce. With health issues related to sedentary lifestyles on the rise it is also becoming very important to participate in healthy activities, making sporty clubs or more social walking clubs attractive options. However, for those of us who are new to the Gladstone region finding a club that is both enjoyable and complimentary to our schedules can be both intimidating and time-consuming. To this end the dedicated team at WIN have invited all Social & sports clubs and organisations in the Gladstone region to a “Join a Club” Information session hosted at their office, 10 Tanks St, on the 18th of February. Club representatives will be available from 10am-12:30pm to provide details, including flyers and brochures, about their respective clubs. The information session presents the perfect opportunity to find a new activities, whether you are looking for something sporty or social. Win also offers a wide range of in-house social activities, such as the monthly Language café and Multicultural Playgroup. For more information, please contact WIN on 0487 422 142 or admin@win-australia.org.au.

Article, were have you gone?

I’ve been going through my old articles to schedule updates here, and found some were missing. 😦 Where did they go? Some of them are boring but they are still precious pieces of writing! Bet I’ve saved them somewhere odd.  Here’s another

 

With the summer holidays drawing to a close, and Christmas and New Year’s now fond memories, it’s Back-to-School time for learners, young and adult. However, finding affordable adult education the fits our hectic schedules becomes increasingly hard when local education has become geared towards industry basics such as hospitality and sciences. Yet a new term is on the horizon for WIN, with Language and basic computing classes set to kick off in the first week of February. WIN’s courses in English, French and Spanish run from 6pm week nights and basic to intermediate courses in computing running from 11am; providing accessible alternative areas of education. Affordability is also high on the not-for-profit organisation’s agenda, charging $240 for non-members and $200 for WIN members for their 8 week courses. WIN membership fees are only $25, leaving new members with immediate saving on course fees if they join before course registration, as well as array of other discounts on other services offered. Spanish classes, with Celeste, begins on 1st of Feb, French, with Marie, starts on the 2nd, English, with Nandini, commences on 4th, and Computing classes, with Deepa, start on the 5th. Whether it’s time to brush up on those language or commputing skills or learn a new language entirely there’s no better time to contact WIN on 0487 422 142, or via admin@win-australia.org.au, or visit us for more information at http://www.win-australia.org.au/.

Family

butterflyFor the one’s passed on

And the one’s still here

May the tears we shed

Illustrate the bond we shared

Lasting long beyond our

Years.

 

Art is a very honest medium. Good poetry, painting ect. They all reflect emotion, whether its something we feel while creating it or something we feel because of how we’ve created it.  Most have a story behind them, though we are not always aware of them. The story behind this one is simple – the first anniversary of my cousin’s passing has just gone by.  This one is not just for him but for the family who miss him.

On a completely unrelated note, this is my 201st post on this blog. Wow.

… *Glomps*

imalive.pngHi Everyone, Thought is was high time I let  all know I was alive.  How are you all?  I’ve been working hard on my placement. Between that and my assessments writing and volunteer works are not getting a look in. The only thing I’m still doing is writing fortnightly articles for the local Advocate.  Here’s one from late last year.  I’m going to try and get some fiction or poetry written but my degree is sapping, fun by sapping. I might have to rely on updating with back dated articles for awhile. 🙂

Mid-Decemeber and Australia is now gearing up for the Christmas season hovering around the corner. Send out the invitations for the Christmas party and finish the shopping because the 25th is not far off. The time to be merry, and spend time with the family is nigh. Of course, Christmas is not the only reason to celebrate this season, with holidays such as Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Chinese New Year, and Pagan Yuletide/Solstice coinciding with the December/January period. It is clear from a brief glance at this list, that is by no means exhaustive, that our global community celebrates the end of the year together. We have a golden opportunity to celebrate, not just as individuals but as community family group.

This chance is not new; it is annual, but oft forgotten in our focus on our individual celebrations. 2015 has brought uncertain times for many here and overseas. The economy still leaves many despairing over their financial situation. The international news has bought us some horrific examples of the strife that is rife around the globe. In this regard we are all in the same boat, no matter from where we hail. During this season of charity, and thanksgiving, is the perfect time to draw together for strength and support as a community. So assist WIN to make this season one of celebration; a period to celebrate similarities, not difference.

Poetry

Rush ahead, pride unyielding,

into darkness unforgiving

stumbling , reeling

path unseen

unknown.

 

Walls rough, winding.

Wide. Narrow. Wide.

Collapsing. Confining.

 

Dust, debris, decay.

Hubris,

peels, strips,

falls away.

Fear overwhelming.

 

Deepest fear,

darkest light.

Flicker hope

burning bright.

Humbled.

 

Aids sole price:

Supplication.

 

So I’ve had this sitting in a notebook for a little while. It’s been rewritten a few times. I’m still feeling that it could be improved.  But I’ve gotten to the point where I’m just adding instead of improving.

In other news I’m starting a placement for Social Work.  My father’s response: It would be better if they were paying you.  I had to hold back a palm face right there. I’m marked on the placement. I get credits towards my degree AND work experience in my new career area.  So What if I’m living on benefits – having a full-time job guarantee when out the window with brain surgery.  I’ll be lucky if i can manage 6 hours a day 5 days a week for 18 weeks. Let alone take on a full-time job.

 

Here comes Christmas!

volunteerday

Just in case you were not aware: CHRISTMAS is here. Or so the stores would have you believe. If they had their way you’d start shopping after Easter. Of course that has affected which articles are being published. This one to the left has been the last one to be published for this year so far.  The last few weeks it seems they have been converting much of their broadsheet space to advertising spots or making way for the Christmas theme.  I’ve noticed only a few columns are being published the past few weeks and all of them are about *Christmas*, directly or indirectly.  With luck my next article (that I still have to write) will make the cut. It’s a community piece focus on The Multicultural Playgroup’s Christmas Party. Fingers Crossed. 🙂

The only other writing I’ve down this week has been for my first assessment for one of my modules. The Presentation worked out really well so I thought I’d share it to – WWDPass1. The purpose was to share our experience, state our learning goals, and write a reflective comment on why it is important for human services workers to know how to work with diverse populations.  I thought it was a silly question!

Pet Project

charlie4

Coat from the back.

Now for something a little less fiction and a little more crafty – a handmade Dog Coat from re-used materials.  Charlie was so well behaved during the production of this even though she was afraid on the material.  She also did not know how to take me measuring her.  Poor dog.  Made me feel as though I was picking on her. 🙂

It has been a busy few weeks for me so I decided to switch to a slightly less headache-y project to give my brain a break.  I designed, and fashioned this little coat from an old mattress protector.  Just had to figure out how to operate the sewing machine. No Problem.  Not like I’ve used one recently or anything.

The finished project is a bit rough and only looks good at a distance but should keep her warm at night. The old girl used to sleep in the garage but because she kept waking us up at 3 in the morning needing a toilet break we started leaving the garage door open. So, of course, she must now sleep upstairs on the exposed porch.

I think I’m going to start doing more sewing projects.  It has helped my head relax from all the reading I’ve had to do since uni started last week. I also had the local RSPCA Adoption phone, so a stress relief device was needed.  I’ll save my writing for when I need to get my brain in gear for study. 🙂

Win, our Annual meeting

meetingarticle.png

The Advocate, 16th Nov 2015

I have to say with this article: You Win a Few, You Lose a Few.  My article went down well with the Win team (at least as far as I was told), but somehow never made it into The Advocate as my version.  Instead of using the article I wrote the editors chose to make space for a photo and essential rip the dialogue from the company flyer.  😀 I didn’t think it was as potent as my version but it was much more succinct, and boiled it down to the main point – an invitation for all to get involved in the team.  The version in the Advocate will be available here until the 22nd of Nov. I actually didn’t have a problem with how they have chosen to present the story.  It just was one of those moments where I thought ‘Hmmm, it would be nice to have direct communication with the paper Editors.’ After all, I could have re-written it. 🙂 It was also a new learning chance.  They have altered it because their version drew more attention to the story. I feel as though I learn something every time they alter my work or take my story and put a different spin on it.

This my article:

On the 23th of Nov WIN holds their Annual General Meeting with all Management Committee positions up for re-election. The current Committee has extended an invitation to local community members from a diversity of backgrounds to participate, in the hope that many more passionate, experienced individuals will become involved in the organisation as Committee chairs. Community members are further encouraged to take part in the nominations and vote in this valuable chance to have their say in the future direction of the organisation. Win’s Committee strives to maintain an influx of new ideas brought about by a refreshed management, while putting their best candidates forward to represent the not-for-profit organisation. Win’s dedication to advocacy of multicultural rights and integration includes deep ties with remaining relevant to both their current members and the wider community.

Thus far this has been a highly successful approach, with Win winning the 2015 Premier’s Multicultural Awards with the youth group GYCD, while securing an ever increasing amount of funding for future programmes. Win already has several successful new programmes under their belt after a cooperative effort with local organisations such as GAPDL and CQU. These programmes include the Communities for Children’s Multicultural Playgroup, The Circle of Security Parenting Program that assists local parents to develop new childcare strategies, and the Skilling Queenslanders for Work program that offers free training for 14 individuals to reach a Certificate 3 in Early Childhood Education and Care Services. These programmes have been no small feats, however Win pushes forward to create fresh programmes to further support our local region.

 

Reporting…Reprt-*freezes*

I’ve been quite busy with my journalist adventures this past 2 weeks.  I wrote a piece on the Halloween bash of the playgroup I volunteer with that actually drew the attention of the local Observer, the parent paper of the Advocate in which my articles are published.  As a result my article was heavily paraphrased by a senior journalist and published in the Observer on the 6th of Nov.  I should be a little annoyed that I was not quoted as a source, but it was paraphrase so well I couldn’t feel it; I was also elated that my story had got that much attention.  It was great for the charity, WIN, and for the Multicultural Playgroup.  Even better, they still ran my article in the advocate on the 9th.

On Friday the 30th the Multicultural Playgroup opened it’s doors to a horde of monsters for their Halloween bash. The happy assortment of creatures took a break from their normal routine with a costume party. The days activities included a craft session with copious amounts of glitter, and a witches cauldron full of eyes, insects and goop. There was also slimy spaghetti worms to be squished, and small haunted house for the little ones. A few children even added to their costumes with face paint. Not even family members could resist joining in the gooey fun. This Halloween celebration arranged by Marie Daix, WIN’s Project officer, and Debbie Flaherty, of Playgroup QLD, went down just as well as the tasty featured treat – banana-ghosts that were quickly fashioned (and eaten) by little hands.

Of course, the popular celebration is not just a favourite with kids and families in Australia. Halloween is now one of the more widespread celebrations globally; celebrated not just in the western cultures, but in various Asian, European, and middle-eastern areas. It is know under a variety of different titles, such as ‘the hungry ghost festival’ in China and Singapore, ‘All souls day’ in Italy and ‘Noć vještica’ in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Though each celebration contains it’s own unique style, each is celebrated for the similar purpose at the same time of year. This makes Halloween a frighteningly fun way to break down cultural barriers by engaging in a little harmless horror.

It is a great feeling to have some of my writing published outside my own blog. 🙂  It has also brought more attention to a local charity I think the community really needs. After the Halloween articles the Observer did a further two pieces about other projects WIN has created.  It actually feels like I made a difference.

However, I aware more then ever how important a continued media presence so I’m trying to do two articles a week for the next few weeks because I will be starting my Master’s soon and will likely have to reduce my frequency of publication.

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