Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Sorry! My blog is acting up!

Guys, I'm sorry if you keep getting my D post on your feed. Something really weird is going on with my scheduling. For some reason my blog doesn't want to schedule it, it keeps posting it despite the date being set at the 5th. Hmmm ... I guess I'll just have to leave it as a draft ... Any ideas?

Tomorrow Tis The Time for TAKE OFF!

Tomorrow begins the A to Z April Challenge. If you are participating, good luck! If you are simply a bystander, enjoy our posts! If you don't really know, I hope you drop by some time to see how we're going.

BUT! I'd like to announce a little twist regarding my posts - how could I disappoint? As well as abiding by the rules of this challenge, I am also going to challenge myself to use as many words as possible starting with the specified letter for each day to keep my alliteration alive.

Watcha think? Can I do it? I think I'm making this really hard for myself. But let's see. I'm determined!

Happy April Blogging!

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Do Do Do, Don't Wait

I believe that for some, writing is like wanting to be a mother. You’ve spent your entire young adult years dying to have a baby (write), but wondering when would be the right time. Your maternal (writing) instincts are strong, perhaps stronger than average. The urge to be a mother (a writer) is all you keep thinking about, but you keep delaying it in the hope that you can fulfill all your other dreams first, and gain some experience - fulfil the dreams that aren’t quite as important, but nevertheless things that you’d like to achieve in your lifetime before you dedicate the majority of your time to being a mother (writer). Then you reach an age where you feel you’ve done everything that you’ve wanted to do and all that’s left to do is to have a baby (write your first novel). The path you chose to take, however, you now realize, has led you to an empty space. It’s only now that you realize you should have had a baby (written) first, while you did all the other things, because now you can't conceive (remember all your ideas). So, if you want to be a writer (or a mother), don't wait any longer. Start procreating NOW!

Monday, 29 March 2010

Check out this AWESOME Challenge!

Want to participate in the "Blog Boggled: Blogging From A to Z April Challenge" just for the fun of it?

Tossing it out blog has set forth a challenge to all bloggers for the month of April. She asks: "Can you post every day except Sundays during this month? And to up the bar, can you blog thematically from A to Z?" Whatcha reckon? Read more about it here.

What do we women wish for?

Sometimes I wish I was brought up living on a little farm and all I knew how to do was milk the cows and collect eggs. I wish all I ever knew about the outside world was what I read in the out-of-date secondhand school books I had as a child because that’s all my parents were able to afford. If I lived on a little farm, I would grow up to be so loyal to my family that I would take over the farm when they died simply to keep it in the family. I would then teach my kids how to milk the cows and collect eggs and when it would be time for me to die, I would die content and satisfied with my achievements, because I would have achieved what I had set out to achieve. My kids would then take over the farm to keep it in the family too and it would continue like this for generations. My great great grandchildren would look at photographs of me on the farm and say, ‘Wow, can you imagine being alive then?’ That’s what I do when I look at old photographs of my grandparents. I look at the captured moment of happiness and that’s what lives on forever.

Has it ever occurred to you that the less one has and knows, the happier they are? The more one knows about the world, the more one wants to explore, and the more torn one feels. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, in fact, it’s exactly like me, and it's called ambition, but I do wonder sometimes, would my emotions fluctuate so much, if I didn’t have all these ambitions that I can’t possibility do, all at the same time, and which make me feel like I’m not achieving my goals because there is too much that I want to achieve? If I had a simple life on a farm for instance, and never knew any better, would I be happier?

Do you think you would be more content if you wanted less?

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Master Maturity Mustn't Matter

Someone once told me that you know you have fully matured when you can comfortably act childish. Well, I’ve never stopped acting childish from the word go, so does that mean I was mature as a child? Or does that mean I’ll never be mature because I never made the transition from child to adult in order to become child again?

I’m 29 years old and I still feel as though I have the mind of a budding teenager. But for some reason, lately, I've ceased to let the public see that side of me. I must appear a woman who’s really got it together to people who don’t know me very well. Actually, now that I think about it, does anyone really know me inside out?

My problem is, I never let my vulnerability see the light of day anymore. When did it become wrong to show one's flaws or idiosyncrasies? And what made me feel I had to? Is it just me who thinks and feels like this? Or do other people assume a front exuding with responsibility and rationality as well? If it is just me, then when and how does the mature, rational and responsible metamorphoses occur? Is there something I'm supposed to buy? A pill? A psychologist? A cough syrup?

But, you know what? Today I've decided that I'm going to take pride in being childish. It's time to let down my hair! (Hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, Flow it, show it, Long as God can grow it, My hair ...)

Don't you think life is too short to worry about how others perceive you? I certainly do. How about you?

Friday, 26 March 2010

Angst of Anticipation

An agent has requested my full manuscript, and now I'm so stressed about sending it - it's an agent that I sent a query to more than four months ago and had given up on - an Australian agent that would positively be the most perfect agent for me, because then I'd have excuses to visit home more often!

I've drafted and drafted and redrafted the diavolos out of this thing. Can you believe it's coming on four years? Yes, it was my first attempt at a novel and I have had so much to learn, and I've learnt mountains - I mean MOUNTAINS of meaningful skills during this time, and I wouldn't trade that four years of tough love for anything. But now, after four years of hacking this novel to pieces, I really REALLY just want it to be perfect. Is there ever such a thing?

And another thing ... why was I so confident about it before it was requested? Why do I now think, "Oh, why would they want it? They represent the screenwriter of my most favourite film! How can I live up to that?" How do I get over this? I know it, now I'm going to be way over-excited and have all these over-emphasized expectations build up inside, and then I'm going to get disappointed and cry for days. Why do I do this to myself? Why do I put myself through this torture? I'm so excited, yet utterly terrified at the same time.

How do/did you feel when your full manuscript is/was requested?

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Living in Limbo?

Ever wondered if we are actaully dead, and that the world we are living in is something like limbo?

Imagine if, Earth as we know it, is the middle world, and that the real world is something like Hell, and the afterlife is something like Heaven.

It just occured to me that people on Earth live with so many regrets that they keep trying to make up for. So wouldn't it be logical, for Hell to be the place where we make all the mistakes, Earth to be the place where we learn from our mistakes, and Heaven to be the place where we no longer make mistakes? Makes sense to me.

So I guess, if this were true, we'd have three lives. Gives a whole new perspective on the phrase "third time lucky" doesn't it? It also makes that phrases make more rational sense, don't you think?

Hmm, I reluctantly write this, because I know there are a lot of people who are very religious, but I just thought it would make an interesting topic of conversation. Despite me not believing in any religion in particular, I'm very spiritual. I believe there is SOMETHING out there, but not sure what.

So what do you think? Have you ever thought about alternative scenarios like this?

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Here's how I handle lack of inspiration

1. I start writing. No. Seriously. Sound stupid? It's not. I tend to get interesting ideas if I start writing whatever wafts into my head, even if I'm destined to delete it all after the real 'fall flat on my face idea' hits me over the head like a hammer. (If I had a hammer, I'd hammer in the morning ... I'd hammer in the evening ...)

2. I think. I think about that 'fall flat on my face idea' through the washing, the cooking, the cleaning, the shower, the reality TV show I really wanted to watch but can't concentrate on anymore because I'm thinking too much.

3. I read. I read and read and read some more because reading other people's books helps me to learn. I try not to read books by the same author or genre in a row either. I want to see different skills and imaginations at work and how different authors have utilized the fiction writing skills I've learned and utilized myself.

4. I phase out of conversations. (caution: this is not a tip; this is a habit I need to try to stop) I immerse myself in a deep conversation with my fiance and find I haven't heard a word, and have to ask him to repeat himself, which then causes an argument, and therefore gives me juicy dialogue for my protagonist and her horrible husband, boyfriend, bff, or boss.

5. I take notes. I take notes even if it is no where near a 'whole' note. It could be a word, a feeling, an expression, a funny sentence I heard someone say in the street, a spelling error on a Greek tavern menu that cracks me up, for eg. 'rubbit with onions'. You never know, maybe it'll link to the 'fall flat on my face idea' in some shape or form.

6. I blog. And then I delete my post because I realise what I'm writing is a really great 'falling off my seat idea', and I should use it in my book. And then I post something like this instead, because I have suddenly become inspired.

From no inspiration to lots of it. That's how I do it. How do you handle it?

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

My Dalmatian Doggiewoggie

For lack of literary ideas today, I've decided to talk about my dalmatian doggie called Holly, a.k.a. Holly Bolly Wallywood. At night, I sometimes wonder if she thinks we change her name to 'ON YOUR BED!' Holly holds a huge place in my heart. She can do high-fives, and she's always weady with the hugs when I need them. Everyday's a 'Hollyday', for her. She lays lazily, whenever she wants. Gets to play ball whenever she wants. I would wuv to be a doggiewoggie, wouldn't you?

My brain needs a beating, boredom is brewing, so ...

Stay Tuned ...

Monday, 22 March 2010

Tongue Twister Tally

Remember all the tougue twisters we knew as kids?

"Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.
Did Peter Piper pick a peck of pickled peppers?
If Peter Piper Picked a peck of pickled peppers,
Where's the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?"

"She sells seashells by the seashore.
The shells she sells are surely seashells.
So if she sells shells on the seashore,
I'm sure she sells seashore shells."

"How much wood would a woodchuck chuck
If a woodchuck could chuck wood?
He would chuck, he would, as much as he could,
And chuck as much as a woodchuck would
If a woodchuck could chuck wood."

Can you think of any others? Post them in my comments! Help me create a tongue twister tally! :)

Saturday, 20 March 2010

A Seeker of Solitude or a Socialite?

I'm sure many wonder why we writers wish to be alone and enjoy being alone. I do not long to organise get togethers like I used to long ago. I do not even miss my gregarious manner or manic mirth to mingle. At parties I feel pity for those who feel they must fraternize with unfamiliar people, or to keep colleagues or companions company whom they do not wish to converse with. I'm not saying I never like to go out at night, or nip over to a mates house for a gossip and a giggle - of course not! But boisterous banter with party people who I don't know from a bar of soap does not appeal to me anymore. I seek solitude. I savor solitude. I cherish solitude.

How about you? Do you seek solitude, or are you a socialite?

The Writing Show, Slush Pile Workshop, with Paula B

28th March
Listen to the first chapter of my women's fiction novel, "Dead in the corner of my bedroom" being critiqued on Paula B's Writing Show, Slush Pile Workshop, on Sunday, 28th March. All podcasts are archived and accessible, so you can tune in whenever you feel like after this date. I'll also post this permanently on the right, just in case you miss this post :)

Writing a novel, memoir, short story, nonfiction book, or screenplay? Listen to The Writing Show with Paula B.! Interviews, reality shows, contests, and more. Enter our free Slush Pile Workshop for quick feedback on your manuscript. Also available on iTunes and at

Friday, 19 March 2010

Lily in Lolly Land

I want to be in a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory type scenario, but with candy and cake. I'd call it Lily in Lolly Land instead. I'd be surrounded by crisp, tart, toffee apples; large lemon sherbets, because I like that tangy tickle on my tongue, that fantastic fizzyness bubble around my gums; strawberry shortcakes, creamy and smooth; puffy pineapple pavlova; pancakes smothered with maple syrup, layered with luscious juicy fruits and jelly! YUMMMMMMMMM!!!!

"Everything in this room is eatable, even I'm eatable! But that is called "cannibalism," my dear children, and is in fact frowned upon in most societies." Hehehehe ...

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Kuriosity NEARLY Killed the Kitty!

'Meow', 'Meow' ... Can I hear a cat? Where is that coming from? I open the front door and in walks a cute little white and ginger kitty, with one blue and one brown eye, and runs round our apartment like it owns the place. She finds a nice comfy place under our couch and sits there for a while, I give her milk and a couple of dog crunchies. Then Holly, my dog, who could kill a cat in an instant, spots her ...through the window. 'BARK! BARK! BANG! BANG' Chaos ...

New York Note from November 2, 1907!

Wow, what a way to wake up! I accidentally came across this article this morning which posed a question I have persistently pondered myself, and woke up thinking about, and which still resonates remarkably well in today's publishing world. The most magnificent thing though is that it was published in the New York Times, in November 2, 1907! So, I pose this quintessential question to you readers, I quote: "What chance has a poor struggling author with nothing to recommend him but his work against these literary obstructions, which are variable as the wind?"

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Fighting Fatigue For Freedom

Following on from Friday's post, I'd like to add that freedom from ELT is being fought for despite my fatigue at the end of each day. I'm ploughing through work with patience, while plotting my next project in my head simultaneously. And when I've edited my daily designated quota of ELT text, I move on to what I love to do. Write. Right?

Indeed, it may injure my brain cells, like a lotta overload of liquor. Indeed, it may tire me tremendously, like I've run rampantly round and round a roundabout, looking for the red sign at the end of the road, that reads,

But I seriously cannot sleep without having done at least a little bit. It's an illness. I've decided I'd like to call it laziless. And yes, I like inventing words - adding to the vast array of English lexis - because lately the dictionary lacks lustre. It's time to pull out the post-its and play.

*Note: Posted this morning, on behalf of last night, because last night I was too tired!

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Present Tense or Past Tense?

Alliteration aside for this: How does it make you feel to read fiction in Present tense? Is there any logical reason why I should change my women's fiction novel from Present to Past, other than, that is what's 'common'? No one has ordered me to do so, but I have been given that advice and would like a few other opinions on this. Any thoughts?

Monday, 15 March 2010

Memoir Malfunction?

Many meaningful memories meander through my mind, but as I jot them down, I fear they will subconsciously mutate, malfunction, morph into fiction rather than fact. Especially when I retrace the times that made me miserable, I frantically fight off fate's fundamental message to me, in fear that I may feel its familiar unfathomable fiery force again. If only there was a way to write these memories down, and maintain a fictitious distance from them, my memoir wouldn't make me miserable, it would make me motivated to tell others my story.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Greedy Gobbeldy Guts

Lethargy looms above my head like lead, it is late at night after all. But a sneaky little voice in my head keeps prodding, "Go on, go on! Make some fairy bread!" For those who don't know what "fairy bread" is, it's a simple sweet, yet splendidly spectacular. And as a small child it was one of the most exciting little treats ever - especially at birthdays, in my pretty pink party dress, when I would wade through the crowds of greedy little gobbledy guts', past the party pies and pastries, straight to the white crustless triangles sprinkled with, what I thought were ... poppy seeds grown on rainbows. Red and yellow and pink and green - purple and orange and blue - I can sing a rainbow - sing a rainbow - sing a rainbow too :)

Friday, 12 March 2010

Would it really be wonderful making a living doing what we love?

ELT editing ends enthusiasm before it even begins. I look at the loads of languid papers spread across my desk, and desire to delegate specific hours to ELT, and specific hours to my book, but no sooner does my determination to delegate diminish, when I'm commissioned more work, and realise I'm rolling in it. I can't complain, though. I'm grateful to be getting work.

However, I wonder, what would life be like if we were always able to make a living doing what we loved? Would we stop loving what we thought we loved? Would what we once loved become less wonderful?

Nowadays, I count down the minutes until I'm allowed to devote diction to creativity - even if it's just for one hour a day. I look forward to that hour - the hour when I can immerse myself into an imaginary world. But what will happen when I have to while away the day, every day immersing myself into an imaginary world? Will I wish this wonderful thing to end, so that I can return to reality?

I hope not. I hope I will always love to do what I love, even if it does become what I do for a living, and that it'll never dwindle down to duty. I vote for making a living doing what I love. Let's hope my love for it will let it remain real; a reality of the imaginary world I wish to live in.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Little Literary Agent Lullaby

Rock your writing motivation by reeling out this to the tune of 'All you need is Love', by the Beatles:

"All you need is ONE ... da da dada da ... All you need is ONE ... da da dada da ... All you need is ONE, ONE ... ONE is all you need."

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Seriously Silly Smiles

Seriously, I've been sillily smiling since I smeared my face with soap this morning. Happy about what, I have no hope in hell of knowing. Happy about having to hurry to finish some work? No. Happy hearing about the horrendous hail in my home town? No. Have you ever just woken up and felt head-over-heals happy with out any reason? Well hey, I have! There are usually so many thick theoretical thoughts cluttering the pathways of creation, but today things seem different. Today I tossed the temptation to whine in the trash - and you know what I revealed? I revealed enthusiasm. Life's too short, I've decided. And seriously silly smiles, no matter how seriously stupid they seem, are worth looking seriously silly and stupid for. So, seriously, who cares that 'sillily' isn't a word. From today it is. "I've decided," says Allo smiling sillily.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Big bundle of bullets!

The birth of this bustling day began with an hour-long bus battle to deliver a receipt to a company I work for. The thrilling thing about this, though, was that I found a seat and was able to get stuck into The Boy With the Striped Pyjamas. Beautiful book. I found the film on the net not long ago and fell in love with it. It's so simply written, that the boy's innocence just oozes out of the paper.

Anyway, more tackling of teacher's notes today. Not nice. But I did pick up a package from the post office. Big bundle of chocolate bullets sent for my birthday all the way from back home - Melbourne, Australia. Brilliant!

Still got a sieve for a brain, it seems, so no more memoir snippets been written yet. Perhaps I'll finally find a teeny bit of time tomorrow seeing as I shall be staying home sweet home.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Saharan Sands

Today I had to tackle the editing of ELT teacher's notes. One of many monotonous moments I managed to meander through today - including stepping through the splatter of Saharan sand, which settled itself abundantly in these Athenian streets, and on car windscreens last night, to venture to the vet for Holly's stitches to come out. I moan at the necessity to make money, but it must be done, mustn't it? Moreover, my memoir, my current monumental personal project, is making me miserable. Delving into the deep ditches of my past, is a perpetual drain of energy. I wait patiently for inspiration to penetrate through isolated memories; to palpitate pleasantly, and prominently onto the pasty white page. It's nice to take notes non-electronically - not normal anymore, but nice indeed. But as I put pen to paper, my emancipated emotions imprison my professional writing skills. Blubber, babble, gobbledy-goop. What I write is incomprehensible and only makes sense to me. But I'm determined to designate the dominant derivative of my demeanor towards this memoir. I mustn't mutter or grumble about it. I must motivate myself, because deep down I love it. I love literature. And I love the truth. And I'll live to love literature and truth for as long as my body lasts in my little world of capitulated creative chaos. I need a hit. I need an injection of indifference. Inject me, or install it into my illusory information brain implant.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

My Blogging Bubble Begins

Settled and sitting safely at my desk, I have delicately decided to ditch the dimwits on TV, and attempt to blog using as much alliteration as possible. It's a tricky challenge. Nonchalant? No. As a writer, I believe challenges will awaken my creative wilderness and willpower. I will not wallow in wealth just yet; one day it would be wonderful, but for now I shall not be deterred from this determination to succeed one day at a time - to succeed in fanatically fulfilling my fantastic need to create flamboyant (not flimsy) prose. I may not manage this meaningful mania every day, but I shall try to churn out at least three per week. Is blogging now my newfound bliss? Perhaps. Let's see if this blogging bubble will burst with abundant abnormality ... Sweet dreams baffled brain of mine ... don't let the bed bugs bite :)