Journal

Let's get politically correct or Jingle Balls (Come Write In #20)

Can I say that? Is it still okay to use the words ‘political’ and ‘correct’? Should I say, let’s get in keeping with the popular or majoritively held notion of what should or should not be? And I apologise for the non-existent word of ‘majoritively’. That’s very poor English – or should I say grammatically challenged?

Are you tied in knots yet? I really could go on like this but perhaps that would be boring (or interest depletitive).

I am inspired to write this now by a post by Alison Johnston in Facebook and although not an original one (sorry Alison) I viewed it on her wall at the same time as I was thinking about the animated classic “Aristocats” that my daughter and I had just finished watching.

It’s a lovely film in many ways and for some reason that song “Everybody wants to be a cat…

A beautiful children's book

I received the most beautiful surprise in today’s mail … or rather, it was addressed to Robyn’s mum ‘Anne Murphy’ and it was for Robyn.

It’s called ‘Little Jemma’ about a young girl who receives a gift of bunk beds and finds they’re the perfect launching spot for a grand adventure.

The delightful story is by Cathryn Swanson and the beautiful images by Robin Pushe’e

If you would like more information about this gorgeous book, contact Cathryn by bubblemail

I'm looking for a pale gentleman with a cat on his shoulder

Yes, I really am. At least I would like to use a photo of a pale gentleman with a cat on his shoulder in my Images project. Preferably, the cat should be ginger.

There is no money available. Sorry about that. I wish I could pay for the shot. But I would do my very best to promote the artist in relation to the book I’m putting together.

If you’re interested in giving this one a go, please let me know.
And if you’d like to know more about my Images project, here’s a link to the first 12 stories completed so far (the first story, Cat’s Kiss, has no image, thus the call for the pale gentleman and the cat) Images project

COME WRITE IN #19 – Who is Eddie Teasedale?

I’ve posed the following questions early in my novel “Grim Harvest” which is the sequel to Haunting Emma. The question is: who the hell is Eddie Teasedale and why is he important?

I have no idea – what I mean is I have not settled on an answer. But there are plenty of possibilities. I’m curious as to why I chose his name in the first place. I’m curious that he popped into my head when I was writing the second chapter of my book and he really was an unannounced character. I had no distinct inspiration for this person.

Here’s what I know about Eddie so far.

We first hear about Eddie from his wife Ruby who has her palm read by Emma at the local cow paddock carnival. Ruby thinks Eddie is cheating on her. He most likely is not, but he is holding a deep, dark, nasty secret.

Emma gets Vinny on…

FLASHBACK IS HERE

Hooray hooray hip hip hooray.
It has been a massive undertaking and now I don’t know whether to feel relieved or super dooper nervous.

Please head over to Blurb and take a peek. It’s got real gold within it’s pages and a cheap buy at $11.50! Especially when you consider there are 34 contributors, mostly stories but some images as well.

The cover designed by the fantastic Catherine Swanson

Come Write In #18 - Sacked!

Okay, I lost my job. I was with them for six years without pay rate change and ‘had the nerve to ask for an increase’ when, according to my lovely former boss, I was delivering work that was ’amateurish at best’. Funnily enough this was the first time she had mentioned it and I thought the fact that my stories were being published almost all the time without any alteration meant she was happy with them.

I won’t go into doing the ‘he said/she said’ crap. All of that is bouncing around in my shocked skull and it’s getting me down. But I will say that I am now firing myself up to get on with what I love and what I believe I was put on this earth to do! Fiction!

I’m currently doing the final corrections to Flashback. I hope to the gods and stars that it will be online ready for purchase…

Come Write In #17 - Conflict Remembered

Everyone, absolutely everyone, needs a place they can cry.

I read a post on Facebook on Remembrance Day where a woman said in very negative terms, very angry terms, about people glorifying war. She spoke of soldiers who return, luckily in some ways, but unluckily because they bear the scars of the pain and death caused by their involvement in these events. And she said she was angry at the politicians who are able to stand back from it and rally the cries of glory and freedom and so forth. There is no glory in war, she said. I agree on this point.

It got me thinking about the Remembrance Day ceremonies that I’ve covered over the last 25 years with my camera and my pen and paper (and in fact I talked this blog into my recorder while I drove up the Pentland Hills on my way to cover yet a…

Come Write In #16 - The importance of 'IT'.

Nope, it’s not a journal about information technology. So stop right here if you expected thus!

When I talk about IT I may be joking or a may be completely serious. You might never know which it is. I refuse, though, to use the line “it’s only a joke” in defense of what I am saying. When I express my ideas about IT, I don’t believe I need any defense whatsoever. Why the hell should I be questioned over things that I may or may not believe? Why is it important to you that I should have the same views as you on everything to do with IT?

What is far more important to me than whether or not you agree with me about IT, is that I present you with the idea of IT and you might then have a damned good think about all of IT. I cannot impress on you strongly enough how important to our very e…

Come write in #15 - Harrowing Halloween

Well hello there. I’ve decided to come back here. Munnaminx Says at Blogger wasn’t getting the traffic so I guess you have to stick with whatever works for you!

And speaking of which … I’m a great believer in the ol’ “live and let live” credo for things that are, in my opinion, not shattering. So, Halloween in Australia? There are some for it. There are some agin it! Why against it? It’s un-Australian? To some it seems to be yet another thing creeping into our way of life and more specifically, some say it is American culture eroding our Australianism.

If I may, let me see if I can pop a Tandberg cartoon here … if I can find it. If not, I’ll explain it … nope, couldn’t find it. Basically, US President – possibly…

A 'good' news update

Here’s the good news: Flashback 2011 is now laid out in its first draft. There’s no real bad news I guess, other than that the laborious proofing stage now begins (not bad within itself) however I doubt we will make the 1 October deadline I set for this project.

On the other hand, it’s truly not that far away. And it’s a bumper edition.

Flashback 2011 contains approx 200 pages of flash fiction stories written by 32 Redbubble writers. There are some real gems in this collection with a kick arse cover by the very talented Cathryn Swanson. :) (Sorry if I make you blush CS, but I love this cover so much).

Stay tuned for the release date; which will be Blurb, as with the first two collections!
If you haven’t checked out the Flash Fiction Group’s first two col…

A 'good' news update

Here’s the good news: Flashback 2011 is now laid out in its first draft. There’s no real bad news I guess, other than that the laborious proofing stage now begins (not bad within itself) however I doubt we will make the 1 October deadline I set for this project.

On the other hand, it’s truly not that far away. And it’s a bumper edition.

Flashback 2011 contains approx 200 pages of flash fiction stories written by 32 Redbubble writers. There are some real gems in this collection with an kick arse cover by the very talented Cathryn Swanson. :) (Sorry if I make you blush CS, but I love this cover so much).

Stay tuned for the release date; which will be Blurb, as with the first two collections!
If you haven’t checked out the Flash Fiction Group’s first two co…

Amazing paper sculptures

I know of a farm not far from where I live, where the owner appears to be a compulsive hoarder. I’m sure this is not entirely true … and he sees the monetary value of the things he collects. But all around him is (and I loosely term it) “junk”.

One such junk pile is a mound of outdated technical books. While I see how they no longer contain useful information, I am a touch sad at seeing this huge pile of books with hard covers all with perfect bind. However, now I’m wondering if he will mind if I drop by and ‘borrow’ a few of his books.

I clicked on this link today and I feel inspired.

Go take a look.
They’re amazing and I do so love an old book put to good use.

It's a winner

I am so delighted to say that my picture of a dove flying over the 707 Locomotive won the photo journalism section of the first Lal Lal/Moorabool Photographic Exhibition this weekend, with an overall shot of the train receiving a highly commended.

The exhibition was put on by the Lal Lal/Moorabool Photographic Group, a new, small gathering of local photographers who really put in a huge amount of work and did themselves proud. I’m grateful to you all for giving me the opportunity of entering and a huge well done for an excellent exhibition.

The images are in my MarshEvents gallery but here they are below:

Confession

I am a little unhappy about how ‘unread’ I am here on Redbubble. I’m following advice of friends and starting my own blog. So my journals will most likely not appear here for awhile unless they are directly about Flash Fiction or some other Redbubble business. My views on the world are going out into the world.

To any who may be a little perturbed, I am as committed as ever to continue my work with Flash Fiction. It is the single most rewarding thing for me on Redbubble.

Come Write In - #14 I'm an artist, who are you?

Lately I’ve been pondering the need by modern society to categorise … well … everything. And again this evening, an emailed conversation with my uncle has raised this question in my mind again.

Uncle Neil is my jet-setting relative (youngest brother of my Dad) who left Australia in the 1970s to live quite differently to whatever Australia had to offer. I’ve always admired that. According to a Doctor friend of his who I met many years later independently, they went on a holiday to Bali and Neil decided he didn’t want to come home. (And re-reading this paragraph I am noting how full of qualifiers it is!) Frankly, I understand Neil’s choice. It’s the people. I was only there for five days, 10 years ago. I have never felt such universal friendliness b…

Challenge Challenge Challenge

Over in Riginals Group.
Not a member? Join up.
There’s a Challenge Forum here … and people, this is the most important part.
There’s a Challenge thingy here … for uploading, voting and all that stuff.
And there’s a $20 Redbubble voucher up for grabs.
Hope you’ll join us, especially tonight, for the Saturday night challenge.

By the way, the avatar is kindly on loan by Keith Molloy. :)
And the excellent theme was suggested by Soxy Fleming

Come Write In - #13

Isn’t it funny how one thing leads to another, and another, and another?

I was browsing Redbubble on Saturday night, like I used to four years ago, and wishing for some of that good ol’ bubble days interaction, when I stumbled across a comment by my mate Cathie T about a tshirt by Mel Brackstone

Cathie basically asked, why all the hands and art tshirts? I dittoed the question and Mel directed me to Pilgrim’s journal about a Samsung ad which I have since become completed besotted with (sorry about ending a sentence with a proposition, but there you go).

All Pilgrim’s journal says is “Just every now and again an ad really does become art.” He leaves the embedded YouTube ad to do all the talking.

I agree 100% with Martin’s comment. This beautiful a…

A very special Flashy challenge

It’s funny how a small idea can grow. While browsing on the bubble on Saturday, an interesting chain of events occurred. But I might talk about that in a Come Write in Journal later.

The bottom line is this.

Flash Fiction will be holding a month-long challenge and it is open to everyone.
Prizes? I’m looking into it but hoping to offer up some good incentives.

This challenge is about creating a presentation of an EXISTING Flash Fiction story, currently in our gallery. It is an AUDIO presentation or PERFORMANCE. It can be read out, it can be performed, it can be just voice, it can be produced like a play … provided it sticks to the exact wording of the story you have chosen.

It’s VERY important that you get the author’s permission to perform the piece before doi…

Who's up for a Tshirt Challenge?

It’s Saturday night. Nothing on Teev and I miss the good old days of Saturday nights on Redbubble.

So, I’m issuing a Tshirt Challenge.
Theme:

It’s a stick up!

Don’t mind if you do. Don’t mind if you don’t. But if you do, maybe use this journal to promote your designs. No time limit. No numbers limit. No quality limit. Just whatever you want to do with it. :)

Hey Woo. Are you out there? Come on down.

Come Write In #12 - see 'me' on Youtube

Tank inspired me with his journal timelapse duck in a bucket This is an absolute MUST WATCH!

I thought, ‘I wonder if I could do that with my art? What is my art? My writing? Yeah, okay, well why not!’

The poem was composed in 20 minutes (and I have burnt pasta to attest to it). I downloaded trial Camtasia software, which I found really easy to use and their tutorials are good too. Link for Camtasia is here

The poem, well, it’s way down below if you can’t read it on the vid. (including one post production spelling correction). Post production took about 3 hours. Tweaking this, tweaking that and learning new software. But boy what a blast. I’ve enjoyed this plunge back into creativity. I hope you enjoy. :)

[Video]

revealing the method to my madness

I thought to…

Come Write In #11 - no luck this year, but hey ...!

Well, I have to follow up on my last journal with the news that it wasn’t three in a row at the local art show (details here). I didn’t feel that I would to be honest and blunt and all that despite very approving and encouraging words from friends. Although I loved the prints I entered, I did not feel they were quirky enough or they didn’t have that special something that would set them apart. The winner did! It was a gorgeous image taken of a New Zealand farm valley and it truly was a superb and worthy image.

I’m really happy also to say that a highly commended went to a fellow bubbler Karyn Leong for a rather nice and very nicely presented print called “Looking at Love”. It tells a story and is appealing to the eye. I always feel chuffed at being abl…

Tee Shirt Challenge

What does disability mean to you? What about ‘Diversity’.

I just got the following message from a friend who works at Yooralla. I gave it a go last year but could not come up with a design I felt worthy to submit but I’ll give it a go again this year. How about you?

THE MESSAGE
This is to let you know that we’ve just launched YoorallaTEE for 2011.

Last year was brilliant. This year will be even better! We’d love you to get involved and spruik it to your clients, family and friends.

The competition runs until July 31st. All you have to do is come up with a great design that works to this year’s theme: ‘Disability Equals Diversity’. Once you’ve got it, send it to the judges via the website www.yoorallatee.com.au (where you can see al…

Come Write In #10 ... three in a row?

It’s that time of year again for me where I start the climb up anxiety mountain and wonder if I will be good enough to win or sell my work locally. Yep, the Bacchus Marsh Rotary Club annual Art Show and Sale is on the Queen’s Birthday weekend and I have selected my five works to display.

Why should this particular event cause me an inner tornado? It’s significant to me because this show has been running almost as long as I have … um … well, it’s still running but I seldom do, although I was seen clomping along the Main St in ugg boots chasing alongside the torch light parade two Fridays ago. And most comical I’m sure I looked. But yes, I digress (plus I added a gratuitous advertisement there for my other bubble account).

For me, personally, the Ar…

COME WRITE IN #9 … White Ants

Also known as termites, white ants are nasty little bastards that undermine the whole structure of what we are trying to achieve. Did I say that? Yep, feeling a tad frustrated and who said strong emotions create great art? Did anyone?

Frankly, I am so over it. Yes, I am referring to the white ants that are gnawing away at the membership foundations of Redbubble. Sure, I have taken umbrage to things on Redbubble over the past four years and have thought more than once about leaving. But I don’t believe I’ve ever tried to influence others’ decisions to be or not to be here, and in the end for me at least the good that I have received in my own personal development because of Redbubble has made me change my mind, stay, and ride out the storm.

But now I see people promoting a move away from R…

Come Write In #8 ... Death and Art

I’ll try so hard not to be morbid here, only because it seems to be off-putting to many people, although I do have a morbid fascination with morbidity and have always had this since discovering mortality at a far too young age. Wow, that’s a mouthful of M words for this little black duck at 2am.
I have often pondered the reasons why I must get some sort of reaction to my work. This has again be fuelled by the Peter Styles journal about Vivian Maier . The lady was a prolific photographer but never shared her art. It wasn’t until after she died that there was an exhibition of her work. It’s funny but the phrase “Hiding your light under a bushel” was cited in my earshot by a minister at a funeral the very next day after Peter posted this. It was all about o…

Come Write In #7 (ecstacy and the artistic cringe)

I recently read an ‘article’ (more a q&a) interview with David Bailey from the Sydney Morning Herald and his final comment was that basically he wants what St Theresa is having.

(Do you like how I’ve done a huge mishmash of popular culture, art theory, reference to a classic and even a movie quote from When Harry Met Sally all in that first paragraph?)

David Bailey in his 70+ career has created a huge number of iconic images although I guess he wouldn’t much like that reference, if the attitude is to be believed. And he uses metaphors and comparisons with greats like Holbein and Michelangelo and the fact they were ancient equivalents of the modern photographer but is quick to point out he is not trying to be pretentious or compare himself to them. So, may I com…

Come Write In #6 Copyright

My friends know that I am passionate about copyright. I don’t pirate movies or music. It’s against my principles. I don’t copy other people’s photographs or art; it’s against my sense of fairness.

Yet today I got a message from Redbubble that I was amongst a couple of dozen bubblers who had breached copyright owned by Marvel comics! Yes, it’s true. I did in fact breach not only a legal copyright, but my own sense of fair play.

While it’s obvious to me now, at the time I did the cartoon, I had no idea I was stomping on someone else’s sense of ownership. Not just their sense, but actual ownership. What was the image? A fairly amateurish tshirt design of a spray can with a picture of spiderman spinning on his back. Nope, I don’t hate spid…

Come Write In #5 Time

Time. He’s waiting in the wings, speaks of senseless things, his script is you and me … boy. Bowie

Sunday is my ‘do whatever I want’ day. It’s the day I sleep half away then stress because I’ve not done the clothes washing for the coming week, made two loaves of sandwiches for school lunches, cleaned the kitchen, pulled the weeds in the front garden to make it look half-civil, cleaned up the chicken poo on the back doorstep, removed all toys and debris from the living area and re-deposited them where they belong i.e. Robyn’s room or started on the many writing projects that give me joy.

Instead, after waking up and dressing to more-or-less civilised attired, I lose myself in mindless online games. Why do I do this? I’ve wasted countless hour…

Come Write In #4 (fart alert)

Okay, I gave the game away in the title before I even started. This whole theme has been going through my head since yesterday morning. It even rolled over and over in my mind while I was trying to get to sleep last night and possibly eloquently, if one can be eloquent about farts. I really should have got out of bed and written it down because now, the subject has grown so much – having been discussed with quite a few people since then – that I’m not sure if I can stick to topic.

So, I’ll start at the beginning. Prompted by one of Danny’s comments in an earlier journal, I started to wonder why men and children tended to find farts far more hilarious than women. Typically, and again the disclaimer here about generalisations, is it not the man who usually …

Come Write In #3

When I got up this morning, I was confronted with a lounge full of screwed up, balled newspapers, and a scatter of knick-knacks and fiddly little bits of memorabilia that should have, by rights, been wrapped up and stacked out of sight and out of mind! As averse as I am to anything vaguely domestic, I screwed up my nose and began to rewrap and pack away the rubble.

Yesterday afternoon I had madly gone through these boxes looking for a gorgeous little figurine to put in a pot of snap dragons for a friend who had lost her old moggie (you may have seen the photos I’d posted last night of friend and kitten?). It was my gesture of a bit of a memorial for Tiger which I felt she would appreciate. And she did.

Everything I was rewrapping was, in its way, a memorial of things in my life lon…

Come Write in #2

I’m an ageist. Yep, there you have it. I have all sorts of predilections, prejudices and paraphernalia all based on age. The problem is that I have a suppressed sense of my own chronology. It could be because each decade there are ‘lost years’ not so much from memory but that they are blurred, blended and not terribly clear in my life story (for a huge range of reasons). And so, at heart, I think I’m still somewhere in my 20s. Do you relate to this?

As most of you know, I am a gay divorcee (although probably not so much of the gay in any sense of the word). I hate being single. On the same token I don’t believe I would like being coupled again. Do please excuse my double and triple entendres.

However, there have been a few realisations of late. One is that I …

First meetings

I just had the brief pleasure of meeting for the very first time Roy Barry who is currently in Aus from Wales, and the gorgeous Tania Donald.

Meeting Roy didn’t feel like ‘the first time’. It felt like an old friend dropping in for a quick chat. RoyB and I have been chatting online for years. He’s been there in the dark hours for me both literally and metaphorically. When I’ve been up until 4am pondering the meaning of Liff! When we’ve had a wacky yak, considered what to do about mortgages and burst water pipe, throwing in the job or taking on a new challenge. He’s a great mate. And now I’ve met him in person. He really does exist and not just merely a figment of cyberspace.

Can I say, heartfully and without any patronage, what an absolutely…