Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Blogoff #6: CLARITY

The following is a Blog Off Post - raising funds for Breast Cancer, and organised by Courtney of Five Second Dance Party. Each week we blog on a different one word topic. This week's topic is CLARITY. The complete list of bloggers is in my sidebar in the Blogoff blogroll. Please pay them a visit and see what they have to say on this week's topic. We vote for each other's posts and the blogger with the least votes is eliminated from the blog-off. To donate money towards Courtney's fundraising efforts, please click here.

Usually my thoughts spin through my head like Whirling Dervishes.

But occasionally I have a moment of CLARITY as I did last week when I created this collage poem.
I was collaging, creating two poems at the same time. The second poem was almost forming itself. The words kept leaping out of the pile of random verbiage, wanting to be heard.

Finally, the planet
abandoning its
dramas of religion

paying attention to an already distorted situation.

A common dilemma

Name calling
Hate crime.


choose responsibilities or simply act now.

discover what we have in common
oddly enough,
it's the myth of FEAR.

It is wishful thinking.

That humankind would realise that WE ARE ALL HUMAN, that we all have emotions, and that we are divided by fear. If only everyone could find the common ground. If only everyone could have their moment of clarity.

Today is ANZAC DAY in Australia. On the anniversary of the landing at Gallipolli, we remember the soldiers who have fought for our country, we remember those who have made the greatest sacrifice.

Too many lives have been lost.

Too many lives are still being lost.

In previous wars the word PROPAGANDA was used. Of course, it always referred to the material being produced by the enemy to rally the troops, to win the support of the nation, to foster patriotism and support for the cause. I haven't seen the word propaganda used in recent times. Although we are bombarded by propaganda - the skewed perspective of the images on our television, the mass weapons of destruction that didn't actually exist, the headlines in the newspaper decrying the culture of the unknown, the religion that is different to ours. We are caught in a mass media hysteria and nothing is going to change until we stop the verbal garbage and clarify the situation.

We need to REACH OUT not lash out.

We are caught in a paradox of being human. We need our ambition and patriotism to keep the world turning, yet it a double-edged sword that creates competiviness, greed, mistrust and misunderstanding.

We need less hysteria and more CLARITY in our world.

Because we are all human.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Blogoff Post: Golden

It's funny, I think I 'm starting to measure my life in Blog-off Posts. Yes, another week has passed and it's time for the weekly blog-off. This week the one word topic is 'golden'. Courtney is raising money for the Breast Cancer walk and we're blogging off in support.

All things golden have been a pursuit of man since they struck their first gold vein.

The pharoahs of Egypt were incredibly materialistic. Not only did they believe in surrounding themselves with gold in their lifetime, they did not subscribe to the saying 'you can't take it with you.' They were certainly going to do their best, even if they couldn't prevent the tomb robbers from stripping the valuables of their afterlife.

I wonder if that's where it all started. This obsession with gold, the idea that this element is more precious than anything else on this earth. It's a catalyst for greed, and has caused fights, battles and wars. Government and churches hoard it, and people lust after it.

The legend of the Midas Touch is created around the lust for gold. Pity for Midas that everything he touched turned to gold. Now it might be grand to have a gold toilet seat but when you can't eat because your food is rock solid then you have problems.

For a while, I felt that I had the opposite of the Midas touch where everything I touched turned to crap. It was extremely frustrating and as much as I strived the end result was not what I wanted. But life is turning around. While the astrologers may attribute it to Jupiter moving through my sun sign, I attribute it to something else. I've stopped trying to please everyone else. Now I aim to satisfy my own creative urge and with that focus, I am succeeding.

I haven't eschewed everything golden in my life. There's still one golden boy who is more precious to me than any number of carats. And here is Dorkus....

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Blogoff Post: Shenanigans

This is a post for the Blogoff with this week's topic Shenanigans. Each week we post on a one-word topic and then rank each other's posts. So far, I have avoided the cull. But how long can it last?

Shenanigans? Let me think back. Mmm, yes, I remember shenanigans and it looks like I have a photographic proof that I used to get up to shenanigans.

with faces whited out to protect the innocent.
yes, I used to be a party girl. Erotica parties above, white trash parties below.

Rubik's Cube parties where everyone came dressed in six different colours and had to swap clothes until they were wearing the one colour.

I was a party girl.

Then there was the time in Adelaide when we placed an ad in the paper, hired a pub and threw our own singles party. Or when I got up in a room of 100 people and announced I was going to write a book called Getting Laid in Adelaide, and I needed to research it.

There was plenty of shenanigans when I was a pizza delivery driver. Friday and Saturday nights were our peak nights and going to work was like going to a party. We'd send the new drivers out to a very special address without warning them first that the walls were red velvet-lined, and the menu had more sexual positions than we had pizza toppings. They would come back bug-eyed from their first pizza delivery to the brothel. And then just for fun, we would give them a jalapeno to taste.

We'd stuff pizza dough in people's exhaust pipes and for the first anniversary of the store we ordered a special delivery for the two male bosses: a stripper!

Shenangigans indeed! I have 25,000 words of a novel already based on those wild pizza days. Let's just say that job gave me my education in sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll.

So when did the shenanigans stop and reality set in?

Somewhere along the line, I settled down. I stopped partying. I became committed (or maybe should have been committed). I started dealing with bills on a scarily regular basis. I moved away from my home, away from my family and away from my friends. Now when I go to a party, it's usually a sedate, mild affair with a bit of booze, rarely any drugs, and lots of philisophical conversation. Rarely any shenanigans.

I remember my father's 40th birthday party like it was yesterday. His beetroot-faced embarrassment at the strip-o-gram. And then I remember that I'm turning 40 this year. I find it hard to believe. But then again, maybe not so.

I wonder if there'll be a stripper?

Maybe it's time for some shenanigans.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Blog-Off Number 3: PRIVACY

Blog-off Post Number 3 - We are blogging to raise money for the 3 Day Walk for Breast Cancer, with the blog-off initiated by Courtney of Five Second Dance Party. All the participants are in my special blog-roll on my sidebar and I have enjoyed reading their posts to date.Each week we have a one-word topic to blog about, and then we vote for each other's posts. The person with the least number of votes is eliminated from the competition and the blog-off continues. Last week, we said goodbye Yellow and Orange . This week?

Everyone is entitled to privacy. Including Nicole and Keith. Paris? Maybe not.

I don't know about you but my life isn't so vacuous and empty that I have to hang onto every image and rumour that the gossip magazines can churn out on a weekly basis. Why is celebrity such a commodity? Why do we need pictures of film star’s private vacations? Why do we need blurry out of range shots taken surreptitiously by wedding guests instead of the official released photographs? And who asked the glossy mags to pay stars exclusive rights for their honeymoon photos?

I’d hate to be a celebrity. Who made the price of fame forfeiting privacy? When you decide that you want to be a great actor, do you also decide that you want every minute that you step out in public photographed, reproduced in millions of magazines across the globe, dissected by a hungry public?
Even celebrities are entitled to privacy. They may be public figures, but this does not mean that we are entitled to own them, to stalk them every moment that they are in public.

In the golden years of Hollywood, the stars' public appearances were carefully stage managed and orchestrated by the studios to present the best public image. Today’s celebrities don’t know where the paparazzi may be lurking, or if Joe Citizen may decide to snap them with his hot new mobile phone camera and email the photos to a tabloid.

I no longer actively support the gossip magazine industry. Although I need magazines to create my collage poems, I buy them second-hand, compensating the poor sucker who paid full price for them. The stories are ludicrous and I’m not sure anyone with a shred of integrity can write the stories unless they are deluded to the truth. I’ve lost count of the number of times that Nicole has been pregnant (article complete with baby bump photos) since she married Keith, and the number of times have Angelina and Brad’s relationship has been on the rocks.

I’m pleased that my teenage dreams of being an actress did not come true. I’m happy that I can visit the supermarket without having to slap on the full dash of make-up for fear my face may be plastered over a magazine. I’m happy that I can live my life without feeling that I’m living inside a goldfish bowl. I’m happy that I have my privacy.

On my Chickollage blog, I have set myself a challenge of creating a collage poem every day for a year. So today's collage poem is an illustration of the above article.

Monday, April 02, 2007

March was a write-off (pardon the pun)

Okay, March is over and I failed Nanoedmo badly. March was not the month for me to commit to 50 hours of editing. No way! March, and probably only March, was the month that I had a life! Writing retreats, book launches and the usual work, work, work.

However, this week I'm on holidays so this week I will be tackling the editing again.

I have also introduced my writers' group to Club 100, writing a minimum of 100 words a day for 100 days, so that needs to be fitted into my day as well. And then I decided that the 100 word challenge is not a huge challenge for me at all - I do that most days without thinking about it. So I have also challenged myself to create a collage poem every day for a year, starting April 1st. (and it wasn't an April Fool's joke, I just needed a definitive date to start and I didn't want to wait another month). Each day the collage poem will be posted on my Chickollage blog. (There will be a break over Easter while I'm away, but I will still create the collage poems, and post them when I get back to my internet connection)

Here is one I prepared earlier:

Copyright 2006 Diane Curran

I love hanging out with writers. They speak a different language to the ordinary non-creative person. They understand the excitement of creativity. They understand what it means to be in the zone. They know what you mean when you say that the character took on a life of their own and did something completely unexpected.

On Friday evening I attended a book launch for a friend's book of poetry, aptly called Poet Tree. It was a good turn-out and I was able to speak to one of the judges of the short story competition in which I won second prize and reveal myself as the author of Beyond Happily Ever After. So we chatted about how the story came about and where I'm going with my writing. And I became the evening's official photographer, but I was using my film SLR (my digital is sucking the life out of the batteries as soon as I put them in, or maybe the batteries are not recharging properly) so it will be a few days before I have photos, as I need to finish off the film.

Now I'm doing my homework for the writers' group (and that is a rare occurrence, I'm usually too busy writing other stuff). The homework is the 'Writer's Journey' so I am writing about my own journey as a writer so far. Will post to the blog when it is finished.