|I just wanted to give Jenn's blog, Hunting Sea Glass with Wolves, a little plug, since she's started using it a bit more lately. Jenn is one of the two gals I run the Chrysalis Experiment with. I met her on the NaNo forums in 2010, after she put out the call for critique partners. She wanted to form an 'elitist' group where we could start swapping chapters for critique. A bunch of people responded (I think it was about 8 in the end), but now over a year later there are a core group who are still active and in touch. Basically four of us. I think that's pretty good as an end|
Thursday, 29 September 2011
Thursday, 22 September 2011
Wednesday, 21 September 2011
I'm late, I'm late! This started on the 19th, and right now in Australia it's the 21st. But I'm going to cheat and post the first two days' components along with today's. For those who are currently confused, let me clarify: Aimée Beatrice Jodoin is hosting the Peace Blogfest, and here's how it works:
- Monday 19 September 2011 - Peace Through Art
Post something you have created that represents what peace means to you (video, drawing, writing, music, etc.)
I decided to share some video footage of us driving in the snow in Canada, set to one of my songs which I would describe as slightly 'ethereal' and spacey. I guess this video sums things up nicely for me - I love music, both making it and listening to it (and seeing it live in concert). It brings me peace, amongst other things. I also love winter (read: the snow we never get here in Perth), and I love to travel. I guess I also love my family, right? This video footage features some of them.
- Tuesday 20 September 2011 - Peace Through Tolerance and Non-Violence
How can we overcome discrimination and stop violence? Share your experiences!
I get into a fair bit of trouble over my political and religious beliefs. I'm basically a devout atheist (with a dash of agnostic on the side), but I'm also devoutly committed to a life of non-violence and political/religious/social/etc. tolerance. I can't stand war, and I loathe governments who use violence (murder, torture, you name it) to further their own interests. I am definitely not of the "eye for an eye" mentality (or the oft-favoured "my eye, your entire body" approach), and it upsets me greatly to hear how murderous people can become in times of grief and hardship. On the other hand, there are people who go through such awful experiences and manage to emerge with their humanity still in tact - like the grief-stricken father who lost his daughter to a suicide bomber, and said he didn't want to see anyone else die - not even other suicide bombers. That, my friends, is a man I can respect.
Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and most opinions are bound not to align with mine. I'll let you have your opinion if you let me have mine. But sometimes it's best not to get me started on these matters, because neither of us will end up very happy.
- Wednesday 21 September 2011 (Peace Day) - Peace Through Connection
Bringing people together in celebration should be the goal for this day! What can YOU DO to be peaceful and to continue spread the word about peace?
I really do try to keep an open mind, though I have very strong opinions that I feel passionate about. I love to hear others' opinions, and I work hard to respect them. But at the same time I get frustrated if I feel I'm not being heard or respected. As for what I can do to be peaceful and spread the word about it? I guess I can only continue to try and remind everyone that we are all humans, and yes some of us are twisted and have gone down the wrong path (or what I perceive as the wrong path), but we all started out as babies and I really can't wrap my head around the idea that anyone starts out "evil". People are victims of circumstance, and yeah they have to take responsibility for their actions...but I think it's essential that we stop and try to think what it would be like to walk in their shoes before we leap to conclusions and judge them.
Sunday, 18 September 2011
In other news, I'm getting excited about NaNoWriMo this year! I have a bunch of friends who are already talking about it, including some folks who will be new to the experience this year (YEAH!!), and it made me realise that it's not too far away. Exciting!! Are you participating in NaNoWriMo 2011?
In closing, I thought I'd share a couple of photos I took recently of where I work (okay, so the library isn't RIGHT HERE, but this is a few hundred meters' walk from where I do work, in Fremantle, WA):
Monday, 12 September 2011
|This year, some friends and I started the Chrysalis Experiment, which I referred to as a year-long foray into the art and science of short story writing. We've posted 36 prompts so far this year, and so far I've written 36 short stories to go along with those prompts. We've had a steady core of participants who have continued to produce stories. Some have fallen behind but have not yet given up. We've got 16 prompts to go (16 weeks), and then we'll earn that sparkly shiny badge up there. But for now, a reflection on how the year has gone for me so far.|
I did a word count yesterday, and I had about 86,000 words worth of Chrysalis stories. Yes, some of them blew out beyond 'short story' territory - one story is currently 22k, and not finished - but still, all of them started as a 1k-10k Chrysalis story. My latest story, titled "Case o' the Crazies", is posted on the Chrysalis blog for the world to read.
Thursday, 8 September 2011
Are you a rutabaga?
a) I don't know what a rutabaga is, but I have a vague recollection from seeing Brooke's answer to this question that no, indeed I am not. I'm perfectly unvegetative. Even if I'm sort of a potato (the stuck-to-her-couch kind) right now. b) No?
Which member of Def Leppard do you have the biggest crush on?
You're seriously making me CHOOSE?
Upload a heartwarming picture of something that makes you smile.
What were you famous for in high school?
The Satanic cult I was apparently a part of (pssst. It's called being shy, people. No Satan required).
How many people have de-friended you from Facebook?
My friend numbers seem to go up and down on a daily basis, so I think people are messing with me - adding me, deleting me, adding me, deleting me. Messin' with my miiiiind, you see.
What is the weirdest/most disgusting job you've ever had to do?
Ha. Easy. Worked at the rubbish tip. For one whole day. That's longer than most people last, or so I'm told. At least I wasn't there on a day when people's dead pets turned up in their trash (not even kidding on that one).
Where da muffin top at?
I ate it.
Describe yourself using obscure Latin words.
Octogenarian (minus about 50 years).
Okay so that one wasn't 'obscure'...sue me!
And I'm done! Now to pass this little ditty on to some folks who no doubt know much better than I what the heck a meme is:
P.S. I don't know about everyone else, but I choose not to track my own blog stats, as in my own visits to my own blog, blog pages, etc. So it annoys me just a little bit that every time Firefox updates itself, my settings for not tracking blog visits from myself are reset. Yes, it annoys me very much!!
Monday, 5 September 2011
|Yes, I surely am! And it's time for the First Campaigner Challenge. Dude, sometimes it's not easy saying 'campaign' instead of 'crusade', but I'm doing my best to get used to it! Anyway, the challenge involves the following:|
Write a short story/flash fiction story in 200 words or less, excluding the title. It can be in any format, including a poem. Begin the story with the words, “The door swung open” These four words will be included in the word count.
If you want to give yourself an added challenge (optional), use the same beginning words and end with the words: "the door swung shut." (also included in the word count)
For those who want an even greater challenge, make your story 200 words EXACTLY!
Now, before anyone leaps upon my post accusing me of being a liar, my story is precisely 200 words...in Scrivener. I don't know what it is in your word processor, but I have no doubt at all it's either over or under 200 words. But I SWEAR to you that Scrivener tells me 200. So, without further ado, here's my little ditty, all glorious 200 words (and by glorious I mean forced and unpolished and all that stuff, yeah):
The door swung open and Elsie staggered through, crystal glass flying from her hand. Bennett's heart stuttered then swelled. Elsie hit the ground seconds before her glass. The crystal came apart as if in slow motion, glittering shards spraying out. Mother and father care more about the family crystal than they do a human life, he thought. But now wasn't the time for bitterness.
It was time for Elsie.
She was all he cared about. And she was here, alive. With him.
"Elsie! Oh God, I thought— I thought they'd…"
Bennett trailed off, staring at her still form. She hadn't stirred since landing, and she lay so still. Too still. Fighting back fear, he sank to his knees beside her and reached out a hand, scared but compelled to touch her. "Elsie?" He gripped her shoulder and shook her, first lightly, then harder. "Elsie?"
Then he saw the dark tide of crimson pooling beneath her, and he knew. They'd got to her after all.
"Oh, how sweet," came his mother's voice behind him. "You two, together at the end." He looked up into her haggard, bitter face, and knew it really was the end. Behind them, the door swung shut.
Thursday, 1 September 2011
We drove from Perth to Laverton through numerous small towns in the WA outback, including Kalgoorlie. Along the way, I got my driver's licence. From Laverton, we headed into the desert, setting our sights on the opal-mining town of Coober Pedy in South Australia. Dad had calculated to the mililitre how much petrol we would need for that desert trek. We didn't take any extra.
I saw creatures in our headlights that looked like tiny veloceraptors. I still don't know what the heck those things were, but they were cool and...prehistoric-looking! I saw rolling hills and dusty dirt roads and wonderful trees. In short, I saw a side of my country I never knew existed. A side I can never forget.
My Dad is the kind of guy who likes to live on the edge. Prior to our departure from Perth, my mother's side of the family had concerns for my safety. Mum had travelled with Dad before, and she knew better than most what might be in store for me. Basically though, my Dad was notorious (and still is) for his love of living on the edge. Edge of a glacier, edge of a desert, edge of a war-torn region - you name it, he's been there. At seventeen, I'd heard the stories, but I soon learned that it's one thing to hear them and another to experience them yourself.