Tuesday, 20 September 2011

to be or not to be continued...

So I went to the beach to kill some time today and got a bit carried away with people watching. It made my imagination do something really wack! And this is what I came up with...

A small child, maybe 3 or so years old running towards the crashing waves then squealing and running back as soon as the chill of the water touches skin. But that stupid child keeps running back and forth, squealing each and ever time that water gets too close.

Is that really what humans are like? They're so stupid; they experience a bad feeling and yet they go back for more. They make the same mistakes over and over again. I've been told that the human race has the most potential. They evolved the fastest; their technology is second to ours and they're catching up fast. That's why I'm here - I had to see for myself.

I don't know how they stand to live like this. I don't know how they live like this at all, let alone having to stand it. They shouldn't have to really. If I agree to what they want me to do, it would all change. There would be no need for the human child to run squealing from a small crashing wave it knows it's going to come in contact with anyway. Did I mention how stupid that is?

They might be the race who has developed the fastest and who have the most potential but I really feel for their stupidity.
"It's because they don't know any different," a voice said from beside me. I knew Natika would come here even though I asked her not to. I wanted her to stay behind. I wanted to experience this on my own; make up my own mind.

I didn't say anything at first. I considered ignoring her; pretending I didn't see or hear her, but instead I sighed.
"What are you doing here?"
"They don't just create thechnology; they've go one up on us Lotta; they have evolving emotions, feelings. Balance. That's why the Mother wants you to do it," she said, ignoring my question.

Finally I looked at her. She smiled encouragingly. She wanted me to do it, but I couldn't help but be unsure about it.

I may or may not continue with this...

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

From HP to TW: How to write for Young Adults

As promised, I'm here to tell you how the workshop at the Brisbane Writers Festival was. I attended the "From Harry Potter to Tim Winton: How to write for Young Adults" today and it was out of this world! well... not literally, it was held at the Queensland State Library. Belinda Jeffrey was the speaker and I was very impressed; she did a fantastic job.

The material of the workshop itself was very useful to me. We covered many different topics from how many words a YA novel should be to good (and bad) opening sentences and pages. We were given handouts that I will no doubt refer back to regularly.

There were people there from all different writing backgrounds. Some just starting out with absolutely no experience (Welcome!); some people like myself who've done a bit of writing and aren't afraid to admit we need some guidance; creative writing university students; and people who've actually been published! So there was definitely a variety of people who attended.

During some of the writing exercises I think I've come up with an idea for my next story. On my train ride home I even started plotting out how that idea might come to life! It's only a little spark so far, but it has the potential to turn into fireworks!

Happy Reading, Happy Writing!

Sunday, 4 September 2011

It's where the air is clear

I wanna start out by saying that we live in a very beautiful country. I've just been on a bit of a road trip to the out back, to a small town called Yuleba. It's where the air is clear (except from smoke - it's back burn season) and there sometimes isn't another person in sight. It's where the dirt is real red, not fake. It's where people wave and say hello to you no matter who you are; and it's where the pace is slower. (Maybe because there isn't any phone reception? - Just saying)

The drive out took about five and a half hours of me screaming along to the music crackling out of my broken speakers. And I didn't see a kangaroo at all... the whole way! I'm still not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing. However, I DID see some pretty amazing sites: a sign saying "Amaze yourself, visit...", paddocks and paddocks of farming land and lots and lots of trees. And did I mention that the air is clear out there? Consider it mentioned.

The reason for my trip to the middle of nowhere you might ask? I went out to see a friend who has been living it up in the fresh air. I can't believe it's taken me eight months to actually go out and see her! It definately wont be that long before my next visit.

I'll let you in on a little secret... even though they're small towns out there, double check for servos... I stopped at a town on my way home to fill up and I thought to myself "This is a small town, this is probably the only servo so I better fill up here." So I did at $1.55 a litre! Still thinking that this is the only servo in town I watched as the price went past $60 and then pass $70, and then past $80. I grudgingly went inside and payed the nice people and told them to have a good day. But as I drive out of the drive way and around the corner... what do I find? Not just another servo, but 3 more servos who all had their petrol price a whole ELEVEN cents cheaper than where I actually filled up!

Other than that little hiccup, my road trip to the great outback was great!

Monday, 22 August 2011

Brisbane Writer Fest 2011!

I can't help by be excited about the Brisbane Writers Fest 2011 next month! I've actually never been before so I don't know what to expect but hey, that's all part of the experience. Right?

I'm proud to announce that I've booked myself into 2 of the workshops
  • From Harry Potter to Tim Winton: How to Write for Young Adults on the 7th September
  • Getting to ‘The End’: Writing for Young Adults on the 10th September

If you're interested in going to the festival head over to http://www.brisbanewritersfestival.com.au

I'll be sure to report my experiences so stay tuned!

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Lauren Kate Signing

This is just a little something I thought I'd share with everyone.

I arrived at the signing of Lauren Kate (Chermside, 6 Aug) and took my place at the end of the long line. I'd never been to a book signing before so my expectations were nonexistent. I didn’t know how long the line would take to get through. I didn’t know if Lauren Kate would keep signing if it went over the allocated time. And I didn’t know if I should have actually read her most recent book before attending.

I won’t bore you with the details of conversations I had with others lined up. But I just wanted to say that Lauren Kate was a professional the entire time. She smiled for every photo, signed every book and looked amazing the whole time. She kept signing until everyone was through even though she had another signing to do later in the day. It took 1 hour and 20 mins for me to get through and the line was still fairly long after me and it didn't matter that I hadn't read her latest book.

I could only hope that someday, if any of my books are published, I could conduct myself to be even half as amazing as Lauren Kate.

See my blurry picture taken with her below and to follow her on twitter, search @laurenkatebooks

I recommend you read the Fallen series by Lauren Kate. Definately a good read. J

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Spread your wings and fly

The tunnel didn’t feel quite like a tunnel anymore. The tunnel of life I mean. It felt more like a vise and someone else was in control of the leaver. Someone else was cranking it round and round, making it tighter and tighter; harder and harder to keep moving through. It used to be so big that you could run through it, fly through, breeze through it with the wind – easy peasy right. But since someone else took control of that leaver, the spaced closed in so I could only jog, then walk, then I had to be crouched over and then, crawling – hands and knees.

But how to get that control back. How to take a hold of my own vise, my own tunnel, my own life. There were no holes to crawl out of, not big enough anyway and I’d just have to get back in it again anyway. But there was a tiny threat of light coming from ahead. I stopped crawling for just a moment. I closed my eyes and breathed in deep. I could smell something. I couldn’t quite decide what it smelled like but it was like sweat and red roses mixed together.

That was it. I did my best to stand up in the crawling space. I was crouched over, well and truly but I wasn’t on the floor. There was space between me and the bottom. I took a step forward. That one step took up most of my energy and I thought about stopping again to close my eyes, to give up. But I didn’t; I took another step.

I kept taking steps until the crawling space became crouching space, then walking space and right back to breezing with the wind. Back to moving with the light instead of only seeing a tiny thread of it from a distance. I took another deep break and I finaly realised what I could smell, victory. It's always going to be hard work, but the result is pretty sweet when you make it. I guess it just goes to show that no matter how hard the tunnel seems to be, there will always be at least a tiny thread of light at the end of the tunnel. At least a tiny thread of hope.
Spread your wings and fly. It’s your life. Take control.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Foam mattress

If words could be sold or bought, the person who put the words 'forgive' and 'forget' together would be more than a billionaire. Recently I’ve learned that by being willing to forgive and quick to forget I’m a much happier person.

So be resilient, be happy. Don’t be like that horrible foam mattress at that dodgy hotel you stayed at that remembered the shape of the last person who slept on it. Bounce back, learn from your experiences, be resilient, forgive and forget.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Perfection will never come

It's not true what they say. Practice doesn't make perfect. It makes you better at what ever it is you're doing, but nothing is perfect to everyone.

One of the many creative things that I like to do is paint. I randomly thought to myself about 12 months ago that I'd like to do a painting. So I did. I liked it at the time but knew that I could always improve. Of course I'd had no training or anything like that, so I was on my own. I tried a few more paintings, then started to add texture to it and liked each one better than the last. Now each time I start a new painting, I try a completely different technique or colour or surface than I've ever tried before and again, I like each one better than the last.

So what I'm trying to say is, no one can improve so much as to perfection. They can only improve. But along the way, there are many lessons to be learned. For example, so far I've learned different ways of applying paint, texture paste and plaster to canvas, I've learned how to make different shapes with different brushes and many other things too, just by trial and error.

So my point is, practice as much as you can, but don't expect perfection because it will never come :)

Friday, 24 June 2011

It doesn't have to be forever.

You know that feeling when you cry for no reason, then you cry because you can't believe you're actually crying for no reason. That feeling when someone tells you your hair isn't sitting perfectly the way it was when you last looked at it in the mirror and you cry. That feeling of hopelessness.

Crying is a pretty big indicator, but sometimes you still don't realise that you're depressed until someone tells you. But then that makes you all the more depressed because you know that someone has been watching you closely for some time.

But then there's that feeling you get when your phone lights up with a phone call and the person on the other end of the phone tells you you got the job. The feeling of relief when you see your bank account after your first pay day. And the grin you can't wipe off your face when you buy those jeans you've been dreaming about for the past 12 months.

Depression hits everyone differently and everyone gets through it and deals with it differently. It could be that one phone call that could be the turning point or it could be a more lengthy process. But hang in there... Depression doesn't have to be forever.

Friday, 10 June 2011

Stick Ya Stigma! - The War Against Stigma

Everyone has Mental Health, even you, just the same as everyone has Physical Health. But are you a victim of discrimination if you have cancer or a broken limb? No. You know where the doctors and the hospitals are, and you go, no questions asked. But what about those people suffering from a mental illness such as depression, Anxiety, Psychosis or even an Eating Disorder? Just like a cancer patient or someone with a broken limb, these people aren’t feeling 100%. Mental Illness is just the same as any Physical Illness; it’s a malfunction of the human body. Sometimes Mental Illnesses can just happen, like diabetes or asthma.

What is stigma? The dictionary says it’s a mark of disgrace or a bad reputation. But essentially it’s discrimination. 1 in 4 young people will experience a Mental Illness in the next 12 months. Those young people are then likely to face isolation & discrimination just for having an illness. Discrimination is ugly and can prolong the illness. Often, stigma can even be worse than the illness itself.

The biggest problem with Mental Illnesses is the negative attitudes of others. So next time you use a word like 'psycho' or 'schizo', think about what your words could potentially do to that person’s recovery.

It’s important to talk about Mental Health because recovery and management IS possible. Most people can recover from a Mental Illness if they receive help early. But around 2 thirds of people with a Mental Illness don’t receive treatment because of stigma.

At the moment, the Mental Health Stigma stands its ground. But we can fight stigma by uniting together as a community to say STICK YA STIGMA! On the 8th of June, an army of young people, students, adults and members of the general public created a stir by walking and singing around Brisbane in costume and with masks. These people are fighting to break down the walls of stigma so that people with a Mental Illness can receive treatment and support without feeling disempowered.

You can help fight the war against stigma by educating yourself about Mental Health, being aware of the words you use, supporting those who have a Mental Illness and by sharing your story. For more information about Mental Health, Mental Illnesses and Stigma go to these sites:
Or Google “Mental Health”

Saturday, 4 June 2011

1% Crush

I was introduced to the percentage crush concept a few years ago. I was with a group of girls and we sat around in a circle and spoke about boys, of course. I won't say who or where because that would be breaking the secret girl's code, or confidentiality, which ever you'd like to call it.

So, a 1% crush is that feeling that you have for someone you just MIGHT care about a little bit. Then it moves on to a 5% crush, which is when you decided that you DO care about him a little bit. And so it goes on. The higher the % the more you like him. You catch my drift.

So anyway, the point of this post is just to put it out there. We all have at least one 1% crush. Even me. Who's your 1% crush?

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Own Your Nerves 2/2

It went well, you think. They laughed at your mild jokes and seemed genuinly happy with the level of skills and experience you have. They're going to contact your references and get back to you by tomorrow afternoon at the latest.

Tick tock.. tick tock.. tick tock..

It's 2.30pm the day after your interview and those sweat marks are back. Your brain is thinking in over drive. You feel like, if you get the job, so much 'good' will come. But if you don't get it, what's already bad is only going to get a whole lot worse. You start to think about other ways you could have answered their questions. Better things you could have said. More examples you could have given. You check your phone every 2 minutes just incase you missed a call, even though you've had your phone on you for every waking moment since you left the interview - Even in the bathroom!

6pm. No phone call. Close of buisness was at 5pm, you know because you checked at 4.59pm. It's now safe to say you've been unsuccessful.

An old wise friend of mine once said - okay it was just yesterday and she's not old, but we'll go with it - "You could be on the path to something even better and all these knock backs are just tiny speed bumps in the grand plan."

For those of you out there who have been knocked back time and time again and the nerves get worse and worse each time you put yourself out there, think about that quote. Maybe you're on a different path to what you think you're on. Maybe it's a better plan. Maybe next time will be your time. (Or this time could still be your time - hang in there. There could be a reason for their late call.)

I know it's hard, believe me, I do. But try not to be nervous. Be yourself and accept yourself for who you are. One day, the hours you spend getting ready, and the time you spend sitting in your car killing time because you're paranoid about being late, will be worth it in the end.

Own your nerves.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Frantic Nerves 1/2

You've spent hours in the bathroom straightening or curling your hair, applying make-up, studying your face to make sure it looks just perfect. Then you've spent another hour and a half in your bedroom pulling everything out of the cupboard and draws trying to pick out the best outfit only to finally decide on what you had picked out the day before. Then finally, you’re standing in front of a full length mirror admiring your handy work with a straightener and an eye liner pencil, and let’s not forget those cute pair of heals you bought on sale just for this occasion. Finally, satisfaction.

But then, hang on, “why am I dressed like this? Why did I actually brush my hair today and dust off my make-up case? Oh yeah, I have a job interview!”

It’s about then when the sweat starts to bead on your forehead and the back of your neck starts to prickle. It’s about then when you thank yourself for deciding to wear a black suit so no one will see the growing sweat marks under your arms.


So you frantically put the straightener away hoping it was cooled down enough, but that would have to wait til later. You brush your teeth and check to make sure your breath doesn’t smell because that would be a major turn off! You grab your already lined up and organised things – handbag with wallet and phone already placed inside, cover letter and resume – go to walk out the door and realise you forgot your keys. So you run back in to get them. But now you feel like you’re running 10 minutes late, so you roar up the street only to arrive half an hour early.

15 minutes is early enough so you decide to kill the extra 15 minutes by sitting in the car. You don’t want to look too keen – desperate.
Meanwhile, the sweat patches under your arms have doubled in size and the make-up you spend hours on has practically all melted off. And there is nothing you can do about it.

Your mind is racing, trying to be ready for any questions they may throw at you. But it turns you crazy because you can’t possibly know what they’re going to ask – making you go scatter-brained. So you think about calming yourself down. You take deep breaths and tell yourself “You’re going to be great. They’re going to love you.” You’re ready to go in.

Tick tock.. tick tock.. tick tock..

To be continued...

Friday, 20 May 2011

Isn't it funny when...

Your toes are so cold that when you step into the bath they feel like they're getting burned to a crisp and will fall off at the sign of any movement.

You speak with a guy that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside, and not to mention giddy, even if he's talking about crap.

You accidently eat the sticker on your apple.

You send an embarrassing text message... to the wrong person.

You get caught wearing the same shirt 2 days in a row - It's totally still clean!

You say goodbye to someone and then walk off in the same direction.

*I know there are more funny moments like these... Don't be shy to comment your own funny moments :)*

Thursday, 19 May 2011

When life gives you lemons...

Once upon a time I was laying in bed thinking about what I could write my next blog about when I got to thinking about lemons and how sour they can be. Then that got me thinking about the old saying, when life gives you lemons... turn them into lemonade. There are so many negative things that surround our everyday lives and it's hard to think of ways to turn them into positives. So anyway, I took a classic saying of turning a negative into a positive and this is what I came up with.

When life gives you lemons: weak, hate, enemy, nothing, lonely, insignificant, failure, embarrassment, geek, insane, vicious, empty, sorrow, yuk, obese, ugly, limited, evicted, meaningless, obsolete, neurotic, sad.
Turn them into lemonade: terrific, unique, real, nice, tasteful, happy, excellent, meaningful, interesting, new, together, optimistic, laughter, ecstatic, magical, outstanding, notable, delightful, extraordinary.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Beauty is pain

You know that pain that makes you clench your teeth, suck in a breath and puff out your chest all at the same time. The kind of pain where you really want to cry but you know that would be weak, so you don’t. It's the kind of pain you know that once it's over, it's going to be worth it in the end.

I watched a girl have her hair bleached this afternoon. She said she wanted to look good. She said she was ready for anything, as long as it would look good in the end.

I watched as the blue paste was applied. She had a smile on her face. Happy that she'd soon be looking good, glamourous and spectacular. Only a minute or two later she was walking around in circles, shaking her hands, doing everything she could to get herself through the pain. Her head, her scalp, was buring while she paced. Sill with a smile on her face. "It's okay, I'd rather have blisters than look bad," she said. I couldn't help but suck in a breath and look away myself, just watching her.

Once the paste was washed out, she definately did have blisters. Through the bleach blond roots of her hair, I could see her red, red scalp. I couldn't be sure, but it must have been bleeding. "It's okay, I told you to do it," she said to the hairdresser, who was apologising profusely.

The girl i watched endure so much pain was indeed happy with the result. "Beauty is pain," she said.

So for those of you out there who don't know what it takes to look beautiful - It takes a lot. It takes a cunning and adventurous personality as well as bravery. So remember... Beauty is pain.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Lost in a Battle Zone

I was driving on the highway this morning minding my own business. I was singing my head off to my favourite song that was of course blasting through my broken speakers to drown out my awful screeching.

Okay, so I’m driving along, doing what I do, when I can’t help but notice the army trucks on the other side of the highway going in the opposite direction. I’m talking green, tan and whatever the other colours the army has, trucks. There were 5 or 6 of them all travelling along, one after the other. On the top of each of them there were 2 or 3 army people, standing, watching where they’ve been. I could tell they were army people because they were all dressed in the same army colours as the truck. They even had hard hats and all in those colours! I suppose they’re camouflage colours, but I could still see them when I was travelling 100km/h in the opposite direction! There were guns positioned on the top of the trucks to, at the ready. Just in case.

When I saw these trucks, I couldn’t help but think about war…

Would I see an opposing team chasing after the trucks I saw? Would I drive into a battle zone? Were the trucks driving away from a war scene? Were they going towards a war? What on earth was happening? - If anything at all.

After hearing recently of the death of a worldwide known terrorist, Bin Lardin, I couldn’t help but think that the war from overseas could possibly be coming to Australia. It is a very real possibility that was could come of that it’s already hear.

Sometimes I get a feeling that I’ve missed something. Like I’ve missed a major news headline that I should have seen or heard about by now. I sometimes feel out of the loop, like my life has been travelling along some current or rip, like tunnel vision, but it’s my life.

Thinking about war also makes me think about all the Australian’s who are overseas fighting to keep the war out of Australia. They’re also fighting for other countries because of their alliance with us. It makes me think of them risking their lives for my safety, for the safety of my family and friends. It makes me think of their families and how worried they must be. Those men and women are the bravest people I’ve ever thought about. I don’t know anyone personally, but I can imagine the fear their families endure.

Getting back on track...
So when I was driving along, singing along terribly, minding my own business, the world or my country could have very well, broken out into war. If that would be the case I’d be lost. I’d be lost in a war. Lost in a battle zone.

Process of elimination

An issue is only an issue if you have an issue with it. Eliminating the issue:

We start with something whole. Something with a question, an issue. Then we take that something whole and split it up into something like a... well a mess really. Then we have to organise the mess into subjects, piles or categories so we know what everything is and what we're going to do with that mess. The next step put the mess back together, back to being a whole.

So again, we have something whole, something with a question, an issue. The only difference now is that we have an organised mess within the whole. So one by one, we take one pile away from the whole to find out if that's what the question is, what the issue is. The process is repeated until the question or issue is found.

It's only when the question or issue is found that we can deal with it. And by deal with it, I mean, eliminate it.
Eliminate the issue.

This is me...

I'd like to be able to sing that song from Camp Rock but I can't. It would totally tell you all exactly who I am, but I guess because I can't sing, this will have to do. I've always been the kind of girl, that hid my face. I'm so afraid to tell the world what I've got to say. Haha kidding. But really, I think every girl, well guys too - people in general really - could relate to that song. There are so many pieces about ourselves that we'd like to open up and show the world but we're too self conscious to do anything about it. It's like when I had singing lessons when I was younger; i'd sing in front of my teacher because I had to - and frankly, we were paying her to listen to me - but I would purposely sing like a loser in front of my family and then joke about it. It's easier to put ourselves down that it is to stand up and put ourselves out there.

Okay, so me... I like to write. I've just recently - in the last few days - finished writing a story. Cool I know. It's titled 'Bound by Elimination' - hense the name of my blog. It's been a long journey and in actual fact, I finished it nearly a year ago, but I've just finished going through it and making it BETTER! It's been an amazing experience getting to know my characters and if I had kids, I'd say that I love them more than my kids. Kidding! I have a dog named Sally and I love her more than my characters because I didn't make her up. She's her own self and she surprises me all the time. That's the difference between real people and Characters though. My characters never surprise me... because I made them up!

Right now, literally while I write, BBE is in the process of being checked by a friend before I send it off to a publisher. The publisher whom I'm dearly hoping will read the first page and fall in love and offer me MILLIONS just to finish reading it! I don't think that's ever happened before in the history of publishing - but we can always hope.
So anyway, I guess you will learn about who I am along the way/as I update.