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 ‘Personal’

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. 🙂

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Published!!

IMG_20151026_210102736My News Article was published! They’ve cut off the last paragraph (which was just contact info for the playgroup) and have left out my by line; but that’s all they’ve done. The rest is unaltered – it was fit for press use. ^_^

Now to write this weeks one… bleargh… I now have a standard bar…

Growth spurt of the Digital Age

I’m trying to get ahead of the curve for my Summer course, due to start end of November, so I’ve been familiarizing myself with it’s E-learning environment.  A safe choice since I will be studying mostly online.  I was asked to comment on the video for an E-learning orientation. I ended having a good giggle because I went to a public primary school in an under-funded socio-economic area in the 90’s. How things have changed!

When I started primary school the use of devices for learning was extremely limited. Mobiles had only just come into existence.  Most of them were built like bricks and were limited to calls only. Touch-screen tablets were a flight of fancy fit only for sci-fi.  As for my primary school’s computers? Those were old for the 90’s… and use was restricted to early teaching games and touch typing programmed.  The idea of searching ‘the web’ for information was in its infancy and the few, now-forgotten, search engines were blocked on the few internet capable computers. It was to the school’s outdated textbooks children were referred, some of which were decades old in the 80’s.  I am 28 and the world has experienced a digital revolution.  I now walk around with a mini-computer more commonly known as the ‘smart’ phone. I have a table that is used, not just for on-the-go computer function, but as a media consumption tool – an idea that would have seemed ludicrous in the 80’s.  The essays and assignments that once had to be submit in awful handwriting on physical paper can now be completely drafted, revised and submitted via Electronics. Gaming platforms have advanced from the pixelated atari to 3D realistic platforms of Xbox to Ps4 with Virtual Reality on the near horizon.  The transition has not been seamless but the state of technology has been so quick we have not had the chance to grumble about the change.

The use of electronics as advanced so quickly that a growing percentage of successive younger generations no longer understand how to cope without tech.  Social scientists debate as too the nature of this revolution. Is it advancing our intelligence or is it limiting it?  While we know, do we understand; do we over rely on the knowledge that is so readily at hand.  Will future scientist become so adjusted to using software to do their thinking that they no longer understand the knowledge they seek?

The only answer I can give is a personal one: the digital age has opened up more doors for education then the world ever did for me, and my pursuit of knowledge will be coupled by a desire for deeper understanding.

New directions

I think I mentioned in my last post that I was volunteering for a few organisations.  I am currently working as a Reporter for Win, a local non-profit organisation aimed at multi-cultural awareness and integration.  I’m hoping to test my writing skills and breach into a new area of experience.  Here’s my draft of the article:

With the spring a new season of classes is starting at Welcoming Inter-cultural Neighbours (Win). The Gladstone based, non-profit organisation aims for community integration and looks to a more inclusive future. To this end, Win proudly offers English classes ranging from beginners level to prep classes for IELTS. The inclusive company also provides a variety of foreign language classes, computer classes and employment workshops to locals and migrant alike. Those who work with Win understand that adapting to a foreign community can be a daunting process and, often, where services exist they lack a multi-cultural perspective. Languages classes provided by Win are just one of the many ways the dedicated company seeks to bridge the gap.

Most new residents and visitors desire to communicate effectively as there is nothing more isolating then being deaf to the language around you. From my own travels, I know just how embarrassing it can be trying to make yourself understood with no knowledge of the local lingo. Quite often you find yourself lost, isolated or unable to navigate the social waters of the community. This can lead to missing out on important details vital to everyday life. Yet, despite the fact that English speakers spend formative years learning the language, we often demand that migrants learn it in a tiny fraction of the time. This is an unrealistic expectation. However, with language classes run by qualified teachers and friendly volunteers, such as those provided by Win, the goal of mutual understanding can be met more swiftly. The provision of better English skills also adds a vital tool to tool-box of integration and assists individuals to adapt to our community.

Whether you are a long-term community member looking to brush up, or a new arrival wanting to improve, or are looking to learn a second language Win invites you to visit them. For more information about classes and other services please visit http://www.win-australia.org.au/ or 10 Tank st, Gladstone. We can be reached via contact@win-australia.org.au, or 0487 422142.

I’m not sure yet if revision will be needed.  Even if the draft is sent to Paper as it is the editor may well alter it.  The last time I wrote a journalistic article I was in high school.  All I remember that it needs to informative, like an essay, but need to catch and keep the attention of an audience who usually skims a few sentences before moving on.  It made a change from fiction and I do need to get back into practice for more academic writing.  That said, I need to write more fiction too!

I need more hours in my day.

No rest for the wicked. I always wondered about that idiom. But I’m certainly not finding time recently. I’ve had to go down to Brisbane twice since I moved up here. 600km trips to see specialists. Oh What fun. Gladstone lack many medical facilities because of it’s rural nature. I even had to go to Rockhampton (2 1/2 hour drive) for my routine MRI because the local MRI unit can only be used for emergency purposes (or if people can afford to shell out $180 that medicare won’t cover). I’m also starting voluntary positions with the Rspca and Welcoming Intercultural Neighbors INC. (WIN). I’m trying out as an Adoption Officer for the former and a Reporter for the latter. Both should be interesting experiences and it will be good to have some work to do again. I’ve also gone ahead and jumped into the crazy pool by applying for a Master’s of social work. Full-time. I will be testing my brain function on soooo many levels with this work load. Any hour work requirements I have to almost double to account for inability to concentrate/memorise and fatigue. -_- If there is any wickedness here, it is my own inability to sit still. Then there are these two hairy babies.

ladymaxiecutieThe dainty, little Border Collie is Charley, and the big, boof-head is
Max. I’ve been helping look after them since I moved in with my grandmother. They require generous walks and lots attention. I have to be careful these days, because they know where I sleep. IF I try to hide around walk time they sit outside my window and whine loudly!

Charley is a 12 year old lady, and is very timid. She was runt of the litter and my Aunt snowwhiteadopted her with her big, bully of a sister, Pepper. Charley has always been dainty for her breed and that make it easy for other dogs to pick on her. Even my sister’s tiny chihuahua has her cowering in fear. When I moved in, she would hide in the background because Max would constantly push her out of the way when pats were being given. She’s a lot more confident now and surprisingly excitable. Her favourite spot is sleeping under someone’s chair. When bush walking she always trots back to check on me and if Max dares to come over while she’s getting pats she now snarls. She has show herself to be possessive and easily gets jealous. She is a little bit deaf but even in hearing range she can be a little bit cheeky and does naughty things frequently.

maxieMax is 8 but still acts 8 months. He’s used to being babied and has no qualms about pushing his way in for pats. He even expects me to go over and pat him while he’s lazying around. He’s a big dog, and causes himself issues because he’s very excitable and has a tendency to jump up. For some reason he thinks touching his ears is an invitation to play-fight so it’s impossible to get any medication in. He loves playing with his tyre-chew toy, gambling about and lazing in the sun. He has always been far better behaved then Charley. He’s really a big sook and wants to be friends with everyone.

Tribute to insomnia

Stays up all night

though exhaustion makes

every fiber

phase in and out.

Have to control

and

negate

insomnia to sleep

everynight.

My sleeping pattern is right out of whack; it has been for a while now.  It’s never a good sign. 🙂

In search of new means.

change the tools

Writing in a vacuum

I write fiction, yet constant procrastination causes contradiction.

It’s become a right addiction but friction causes dereliction.

No definable progress is stressful,

Never knowing if depiction is successful

Blogging cures the constrictive affliction that limits my diction.

spoongebob

Foe.

Procrastination.

Makes three hours out of one.

Progress hampered.

butterflys

Start again

The writer wrote. Wrote, wrote, wrote some more. Type; edit. A few changes. A few more. The novel got no closer to complete. No matter what was written, the prose seemed incomplete. Her judgement critical; no longer unbiased, bogged down by eternal reconstruction. No progress could be made.

With a kick in the pants, a decision was made. She would start smaller, and see where the results took her.

old dog

Blogging 101

Blogging for beginners

Logged enough practice

Of experience I have plenty

Good?

Good enough?

I still can learn

New tips and tricks

Gall to believe I’m better?

1 way to learn

0 – reasons not too.

1 way to find out.

Life between gears.

The jolt that hits you when you pick up the letter containing your next appointment time is unsettling. You try to rationalize it but deep down the sense of foreboding will never completely disappear.  My last MRI was in early January.  I know that the specialists have left my appointment till March – a whole 2 months later, is a very good sign.  I’m only in for a follow up, which is brilliant; all considered.  I may have had a door cut into my skull and sizable portion of unnatural brain matter removed, but for now the only problem is recovery.

I’m no longer sure what ‘recovery’ means for me.  My ‘normal’ ways of living are a thing of the past. I can count on seizures to knock away my control.  Brain damage impacts ‘normal’ functions on a regular basis.  My sense of normal is now completely askew.  Thankfully I’m no longer badly depressed about the loss of my lifestyle.  However, I’m now going to struggle with roadblocks to successful functionality placed in my way by society.

I am currently job hunting for a job that will allow me to phase into work.  I’m unable to work over certain hours for medical reasons. Now I am actually timid about the whole prospect about returning to work to begin with. I have had chronic pain for years but now I have a horde of physical limitation that will affect the kind of work I can do.  In this aspect I will just soldier on like I always have. The clincher comes in during interviews.  Every time I explain my current medical state/enforced sick leave, I can see in the interviewer’s eyes what’s going to happen.  The are going to dismiss my extensive experience and politely tell me that they have either a more suitable candidate or give me bullshit about the job being ill-suited for me in some way.  Now I’m being very careful in choosing the jobs I apply for at the moment – taking into consideration my condition and the job demands, so the idea that I’ve picked an unsuitable job is ludicrous.  I will, literally, apply for anything I think I’m capable of doing.  The example that best exemplifies the challenge I face is my recent experience with Mcdonalds.

I have a culmative 2 years of experience working for Mcdonalds.  I have a Customer Care Diploma from  their ‘university’. I applied for a part-time position at a store 3mins walk away.  I worked at stores far busier than that one. I also have a diverse set of experiences from other areas of hospitality.  Basically, I’m good. And that’s not intended as a boast.  I just have been working responsibly, diligently and without adequate rest since I went independent.  They had me in for 2 interviews (not ever happened with maccers, the last time I was hired on the spot!).  Then I got THE line: I need to speak with the store owner.  I knew exactly what to expect when I got the auto email once I heard that. It was generic template email.  It suggested I either apply at a closer store to where I live (Ha! I knew they were putting in one downstairs) or that I apply for one more suited to my availability or hours (Hmmm when did fully-flexible become restrictive?  And isn’t 16 hours part-time?). I am irritated because this is what I’ll face no matter what job I apply for. But it’s such a ridiculous response that I can’t stop laughing at it to be offended.  Still, at least they bothered to interview me; I know a lot are just skipping over my application.

I really do have better things to with my time then to be hampered by society devaluing my labour value because of a unavoidable medical condition that has given me disabilities. I will attack job hunting from other angles. Meanwhile I write.

Plot-holes and potholes

“Shut up! You’ll get words when I want to give ’em to ya!” Bill Murray as ‘Thompson’ on deadlines. This is how I’m currently feeling with regards to writing, though I don’t know whom I’m telling off. The only one putting pressure on me at this point in time is I!  I’ve been putting more and more effort into the creation process of my flash fiction recently – researching, editing, getting caught up in description ect. This is not a problem in terms of fiction but it’s wasted on short fics because there is no room in the word count!  It also points to a bad habit I’m falling back into – focusing on the creation rather than the completion of a project. This is a notorious flaw of writers; no project is ever complete, even if it is already published. The creative process is as addictive as it is vital to novelisation. However, no book can be published if a story arc is left incomplete.  Time to smack perfectionism down and re-orientate towards the goal again.

Incoherent babbling

I have not had the most productive week.  I wish I could say I’ve been busy. 🙂 If I had been busy I probably wouldn’t be getting frustrated over how little I’ve written.  I have been good, and kept to writing small sections every day but it’s been one of those weeks where nothing I’ve written feels right. I know this happens to us all at some point.  Knowing that it’s normal does not stunt the growing frustration, of course.  But it helps.

My head is full of dust, cobwebs and incoherent, stray emotions.  Mood is a very important factor in writing. One which should not be underestimated.  Stress acts as a preventative to well-rounded judgement and foul moods tend to either cripple or stylise one’s writing.  For me it’s the former.

In my case seizures also so play a part.  I am currently in cringe mode due to a post-seizure headache that has blasted all thoughts of writing out of me for the time being.  Totally should give up before I go into emo mode. 😀

Bugger this, I’m off to vegetate! Sayonara!

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