One Down, Two To Go (and then a typical ramble)

So, I really feel like posting in this here blog today, particularly since I have not done so much lately. But, I was really struggling to find what I wanted to share. I still have nothing overly interesting coming through these fingers, so I am just going to share with you my study schedule for next year. Boring, I know. Apologies. Slow news day week here in EJ-Land.

I am now enrolled in all my next-year subjects, so I thought maybe I can talk about that a little.

For those new to the blog… heavens, why??

Haha. I kid.

Kind of…

Anyway, for those new to the blog, long story short – I bailed on my teaching career and enrolled mid-this-year into a Professional Writing and Editing course. I still have next year and the one after before I’m fully qualified and informed. One year down, two to go.

For those old to the blog, I’m terribly sorry about banging on about that.

So, next year, I am officially enrolled in; ‘Editing Practice’, ‘Writing Fiction – Story and Structure’, ‘Writing Non-fiction – Research and Readership’, ‘Copyediting and Proofreading’, ‘Building a Strong Narrative’ and ‘Writing for the Print Media’.

Which is all great for me, because I’m completely undecided on what to focus on in my final year. So, having a massive range like that next year will (hopefully) enable me to make an executive decision on my major. This semester I completed Desktop Publishing and Corporate Writing. Not the official subject titles, but effectively what they were on about.

So, options galore. And if you know me, you know I have a love/hate relationship with options.

Quick fact: I am extremely adaptable. Extremely.

You could give me no options. Just say, “You’re doing your major in Fiction Writing for Children,” and I’d be fine. Given the options actually available I’d never choose that. But, you get my point. I make do with whatever’s available and am happy to do so. Always.

With options however, my head gets overloaded. Not even my head. I’m not using my head. I stopped using my head earlier this year. It was like a mid-year new years resolution. (My actual New Years Resolution was to be more selfish. An interesting one, I know. Made sense for me. I’m happier now.) So no more head either. My instinct and intuition are sharper than my head. And they take ‘me’ into account.

But, as I was saying, options just befuddle me. I love Editing, I love writing Fiction, I love writing Non-Fiction, I love writing for Media, and I surprisingly really enjoyed the Corporate Writing deal this year. I found I was very good at it. Maybe I go with what I end up being best at? Who knows. I surely don’t. Not yet. I can’t decide. Too many good options I think I’d be happy with.

Although if I went with what I’m ‘best’ at, I may end up with Publishing, because I got a High Distinction (90) for that one. A Distinction (78) for the Corporate one. I’m already more confident with this stuff. Such a difference when you know it’s ‘you’. My other two Degrees were splattered with Credits and Passes for the most part. But, they had exams. Oh, god… exams. The bane of my existence. Give me a portfolio-based assessment any day.

And this is the first time in my ENTIRE schooling that I have been involved in something more portfolio based. It’s wonderful! My instinct has always leaned me towards creativity, but sadly that head I was using for 28 years wanted to lean towards the academics. ‘Cause I was good at them, too. It was all Science and Maths at school. That’s what the ‘smart’ or ‘successful’ kids did. Ha! What a load of bollocks. Took me far too long to see through that bullshit. And I thought I was ‘aware’. Well, I guess I am moreso now. Just took the right culmination of life experiences.

Although, it’s not that I wasn’t particularly aware at that point. I just think I failed to take an active interest in my own life. I, like many, have always been great at giving advice, or assisting others towards positive self-discovery, but until recently absolutely failed to deliver that for myself.

But if you’ve been following this blog this year, you know that has changed. And I am very thankful for it.

I am also very thankful to you guys for trudging through this bollocks. I should really sit down with a plan before I write here. This is the result of improvisation. Again, so many apologies.

I might do a music one next. That’s long overdue.

Thanks for enduring that. I love you all!

NOW it’s a challenge

NaNoWriMo is upon us. I blogged briefly about how I desired to take on the challenge of writing a short novel (50,000 words) in a month.

And I do. I will.

However, I have barely started. I knew I was going to be a week behind, though. I had my last week of University to contend with. And you know what “last week” means…

Major Assessments!

I handed one in today (Thursday) and have JUST completed the other due tomorrow. Once I hand that in, I am officially free!

And I’ll need to be.

If I thought 50,000 words in 30 days was a challenge, what does that make 48,000 in 23 days?

Impossible? Let’s find out.

I think I could… maybe… do it. I will have a lot of free time all of a sudden. If I write just over 2,000 words a day, every day, I’ll hit the target. That’s doable, right?

Absolutely.

I think the hardest thing for me is having a good idea I can write that freely on. I often wrestle with my ideas for aaaaaaages. I’ll write a bunch, and then stop and contemplate absolutely everything. For some time. And then write a bunch more. And continue that cycle. I can’t afford to do that here. I need to be on autopilot. I’m not sure I can do that with my current idea. Maybe I’ll have to re-invent my story. Hmmm… tricky one.

I’ll keep you all posted. And I will be continuing, or restarting, tomorrow night.

Talk to you then, lovely bloggers!

Daily Prompt: Excitement

Today’s Daily Prompt asks us what we last got truly excited about.

I think the most excited I have been recently was a couple months ago when I was accepted into my writing course.

I had to produce a sample of writing for the process. I was none too confident about that. Then I got the thumbs up. Nice confidence booster.

But more importantly, I was pumped to be beginning the journey of achieving a dream. I had shirked my dreams for a while. I guess fear was the overriding factor. A little fear crumbled away that day. That’s something worth getting excited about.

And the course is going well, so the excitement not only remains, but even continues to grow. You all may just read something of mine one day.

You know, something that isn’t this blog…

Thanks for reading this, by the way. I appreciate it. as does my confidence and my writing-based excitement levels. You’re all awesome.

Back In The Saddle

Uh-oh, four days have passed without me writing here! I had been trying to force myself to maintain a habit of writing every single day. I was doing well for a while. This week I started struggling with the blog ideas. But, then my head drifted towards other ideas.

I have been dabbling with my screenwriting. That’s fun. I don’t know if I’ll ever come up with something worthy of chasing professionally, but I at the very least enjoy it and it gives me a chance to write something.

And I know via that means of writing daily, I neglect you all here. So, I apologize. I have missed you all, if that is any consolation. I have been thinking about you and your blogs. Mostly your blogs. Let’s not make this weird.

But, here I am forcing myself to write something on my blog. And it is something of nothing, but… well, that is okay, too. Right?

I think it is important for me to continue writing every day. And know that if I am not here, hounding you all with my nonsense, I am in fact still writing. Just, in a different medium. My nonsense is being confined to screenplays only I will see, or a novel I will probably never have the guts to attempt anything with, for a lack of belief that my words are worth reading anymore than anyone else’s.

Whoops, I got a bit mopey there. I didn’t mean to. And as I remind my friends constantly; “I do not hold a negative self belief, I merely hold a realistic one.”

I believe it. No-one else does. Does that make it false? Who knows. But, just because I may think something is beyond me, does not necessarily mean I won’t attempt to grasp it all the same. People have been overachieving all their lives. (See Bieber, et. al.)  So, why shouldn’t I be allowed to?

You’re right. I should. And gosh-darn it, I will.

A Brief Conversation

I am going to have a quick crack at the Weekly Writing Challenge. I love ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ challenges, so this is my procrastination exercise in between studying. I have written a short story based on the below image. And I mean short. After all, I’m meant to be working on my assessment task.

Image

A Brief Conversation

Tamara had always felt like an outcast. For that reason she tended to find solace and comfort in the presence of other outcasts. She had spotted the green guy in his top hat and waist coat from inside the restaurant. She wanted to talk to him. He would understand. He knew what it was like to be different. To be singled out. To be surrounded by dimwits constantly moving but going nowhere. Just going in circles.

She sat down beside the green giant and leaned against his hind leg. “I know how you feel,” she said aloud, as if the thing had the ability to listen. “I’m stuck, too. My parents are inside with their friends. They’re all talking and laughing, and I’m just bored. You look bored, too. It’s okay, I’ll keep you company. We can keep each other company.” She gazed up at his stoic green face. “I like your hat. It’s fancy. You’re far too fancy for this place. We deserve to be somewhere better.”

She smiled and leaned closer against her inanimate friend. She liked the dapper object. She felt comfortable there. More comfortable than inside the restaurant. So comfortable, that she slowly but surely drifted asleep.

Fin

The Sunshiny Pholidota Subking

The new Daily Prompt is incredibly random. So, I love it! It asks us to scribble down the first 10 words that come to mind, then pick 3 of them. Those 3 are to make up our post title. I decided to go completely random and use an online random word generator. That was ballsy. I ended up with the title ‘Sunshiny Pholidota Subking’.

No joke, they were words 7, 8 and 9, in exact order. And they were the only three words that made any of much sense. I think it was meant to work out like this.

Since that is not a particularly usual phrase, I’ll break it down…

‘Sunshiny’ can refer to possessing the quality of cheerfulness or happiness, which is the definition I am running with here.

‘Pholidota’ is the zoological order comprising of the pangolins.

A ‘subking’ is basically what it sounds like. A leader that rules over part of an empire.

So, below is my (decidedly children’s) story of The Sunshiny Pholidota Subking.

Photo credit: utaot.com

Percy was a very happy pangolin. He had everything a pangolin could want.

He ruled over a great Pangolin Kingdom. He had a beautiful pangolin family. He had access to all the insects a pangolin could ever want to eat.

But there was one problem in Percy’s Pangolin Kingdom. That problem was Lara, the leopard.

Lara was a meat-eater. And pangolins are meat!

Percy was the friendliest pangolin. Everybody who ever met Percy thought he was just wonderful. So all the pangolins decided that lovable Percy should try asking Lara very nicely not to eat them.

So one day, Percy Pangolin went to visit Lara Leopard at her favourite tree.

But Lara was not in her tree this day. She was on the ground, looking sadly up at the last bunch of leaves. Her tree was dying.

Percy put on his friendliest voice and asked the leopard, “Lara, why is your tree dying?”

Lara was very surprised that the pangolin would speak to her. Usually pangolins hid from leopards. But she was too sad to chase Percy today. Lara pointed a big paw at her tree and said to Percy, “Termites are eating my tree. Termites eat wood, and my tree is wood!”

Percy thought about this and had an idea. He was a pangolin after all, and pangolins eat termites! In his nicest pangolin voice, Percy said, “Lara, we pangolins eat termites. If I eat all the termites, your tree will be saved.”

Lara thought this was very nice of the pangolin. She thought it was so nice, that she wanted to do something nice for him, too. Lara said, “Mr. Pangolin, if you eat all the termites and save my favourite tree, I will promise not to eat any of your pangolin friends anymore.”

Percy thought this was a fantastic idea. So he agreed. That night, Percy ate all the termites living in Lara’s tree. He was so full he could not eat anymore.

Lara was very grateful to her new pangolin friend. Now the termites were gone, her favourite tree would live for a very long time. She was so grateful that she would never eat another pangolin ever again.

Percy returned back to his pangolin kingdom and told the other pangolins all about how he saved Lara’s tree. All the pangolins were very grateful that Percy had saved them from the leopard. He had brought happiness to all the Pangolin Kingdom.

And Percy would always be known as the friendliest Pangolin King ever.

The End

2 More Nominees…

Oh, I forgot yesterday, I am meant to be nominating two people a day for the Wonderful Team Member Readership Award. That’s a bloody mouthful, isn’t it? I’m just calling it my Blogging Superhero Team.

Problem was I had study to do yesterday (that I actually did! Shock, horror) and then I was off to work. Well, I say ‘work’. I was refereeing 7 games of indoor soccer. It’s not so much like work because I’ve been playing there for 7 years and reffing for a year, so I know everyone there quite well. It’s a bit of fun most nights.

Anyway, back to this time-consuming award business…

I nominate today, The Girl Who Blogs and Awakening to Your Story.

wonderful-readership-award

Kaela, over at The Girl Who Blogs, is hilarious, sweet, witty, intelligent, an amazing writer, and of course her blog is absolutely brilliant. Every post makes me laugh and her comments always make me smile. If you have not seen her site you are seriously missing out! I’m annoyed it took me this long to find her blog. No Blogging Superhero Team should be without!

Eric, over at Awakening to Your Story is one of the most insightful people you’re likely to find in the blogosphere. His blog is pure wonderfulness! There is always much wisdom to be had over at Eric’s blog, but he also shares so much through his comments. This guy really knows what he’s talking about. His is another blog I would highly recommend and I wouldn’t be caught dead leaving him off my Blogging Superhero Team.

So a big thanks to Kaela and Eric for sharing your amazing blogs with us all and just for being all-round marvelous people. Thanks guys!

Origin Story – Why This Blog?

I hardly remember why I started my blog. And it was only recently. I don’t think there was one particular reason.

It was about writing.

It was about exploring thought.

It was about allowing me to be me, and in a way, connecting with my inner self in a way I cannot do through thought alone.

It was about having some fun and connecting with other bloggers.

And it is still about all those things. Maybe more about sharing ideas and thought with other people even moreso than originally.

Ultimately, I’m just having fun with it. I’m placing no expectations on the blog. There are no ambitions here. You often will not find rhyme or reason. For me, there doesn’t need to be. If it feels right, do it. That is the attitude I have adopted with this blog. “Whatever happens, happens, man!”

I feel very honored to have anybody at all reading this thing. The fact that genuinely kind and brilliant people have been commenting and connecting with me here is absolutely soul-warming. A sincere and HUGE thank you to you all. Hopefully you get something – who knows what, but something – out of this blog of mine. That alone makes it worth sticking with. So, thank you.

The Daily Prompt link: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/08/02/daily-prompt-beginnings/

Daily Prompt: A to Z

Today’s Daily Prompt challenge… http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/07/27/daily-prompt-orderly/

Create a short story, piece of memoir, or epic poem that is 26 sentences long, in which the first sentence begins with “A” and each sentence thereafter begins with the next letter of the alphabet.

Admittedly, Rachael could think of elsewhere she’d rather spend today. Birthdays had never felt like a special occasion to her. Celebrating seemed overly self-indulgent and she hated ever making a fuss. Despite her protests however, her boyfriend Xavier had dragged her along to the Zoo. Even though it was just the two of them, it still felt to Rachael like there was a fuss being made.

Friday, and there was almost nobody around. Giant crowds would be here the next two days, so she was thankful to at least avoid those. Hundreds of visitors to share the day with was much better than thousands. In Rachael’s mind, this day should not be like any other. Just because it was her Birthday didn’t mean she had to endure people. Kids were the worst too, so the Zoo seemed like one of the dumbest places to visit.

Lounging about would have suited her much better. Moreso than walking all day. Not that she wasn’t grateful. Only Xavier was truly worth spending time with. Problem was, he felt she should converse with others, too. ‘Quit expecting me to act like normal people’, she would tell him. Rarely did he really try to force it on her though. Special occasions mostly. Today, for example. Unrelenting, Xavier had invited others to join them. Vehemently, Rachael had persisted those people stay at home.

Walking all day must have taken the fight out of her now though. Xavier led her to one last enclosure and she smiled. ‘You saved the best for last on purpose’, she said as she gave him a knowing look. Zebras approached her and now she couldn’t stop grinning, finally glad that she gave in to Xavier’s plans.

Image

Why Do We Write?

“I write to find out what I think” – Stephen King

This is exactly why I began this blog. To find out what I think. Because this statement is true, I believe, for most of us. We write to find out what we think.

I can think about a particular subject alone until the cows come home. But I find that as soon as I begin to throw any idea down into visible words, my thoughts really take shape. Often I don’t know what I’m going to say beyond an idea until I take to the page and write. And it’s a fantastic experience. It’s not bad soul-searching either.

Is this true for you?