Saturday, July 29, 2006

On holidays

It feels so good to hang up the phone on Friday afternoon, walk out the door at work, and know you don't have to return for two whole weeks!

Yipee! And I've earned these two weeks.

But don't think I'm going to be sitting on my butt all day, stuffing my face and watching Ellen, Dr Phil and Oprah. I may spend some of it sitting on my butt, but I have much bigger goals to achieve.

  • I have to polish 20 pages of my novel for an editorial consultation (that's due Monday but then the consultation is more than a week away, so I can spend some time on the rest of it).
  • More collage poetry.
  • Create some business cards for Chickollage and add some more designs (see above)
  • Find some writing mojo at Byron Bay Writers' Festival - and eat, drink and have fun!
  • Give up coke (the liquid, not the powder). This one was supposed to start today, but I weakened after several hours of shopping past the evil caffeine hour. But it's been 5 hours now. I wonder if there is a Coca-Cola Anonymous?
  • write some more of Hold the Anchovies
  • create a 2007 diary on Publisher
  • take some scenic photos around the local area
  • update all my blogs including the collage poetry blog, and Diary of a Mad Cat as Dorkus is feeling neglected
  • learn the basics of Photoshop and Frontpage
  • reconnect with some old friends and family

The other goal is to win lotto tonight, so I don't have to go back to work in two weeks, but I guess that one is completely out of my control!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Big creative weekend

Wow, what a huge weekend for thinking creatively.

On Friday night, eight of the NVWG members met to discuss and brainstorm our group novel. So far, nine chapters have been written over a period of two years. I have never worked in a collaboration on a novel before (although I have on performance pieces) so it is an interesting experience. And an interesting night - we ate and drank, and talked and laughed, and argued, and justified, and excused.

The problem at this point, is that the novel is too plot-driven without enough emphasis on character - each writer has added something dramatic to keep the drama going forward without enough attention to the present time of the novel, and its starting to resemble a soap opera. It will be interesting to see where it goes from here, and how long it takes to finish the story. I think we're signing up for the long haul.

Next morning, we held a workshop on how to conduct a workshop. I learned a lot of skills which I hope to put to good use some time.

And then we had the usual lunch at the pub, followed by the monthly meeting. We constructed some stories, with each word starting with a letter in alphabetical order. How hard is it when you get to XYZ? Maybe the trick is to start from the end of the alphabet, get those three tricky ones out of the way, and work your way back to it.

Here's my sad attempt:

After being crazy, David exhaled fast. God had invoked justice, Kingdom, loyalty. Madam, never overestimate piety! Quench real salty thirst. Ugly violent wicked xenophobes! Your zealot.

Doesn't make much sense but it was fun. So, what do you come up with?

This is one of my favourite collage poems so far - because we all know that there's no such thing, especially down at the local shop. This image is now available on T-shirts and stickers at my Chickollage store at cafepress. Can't wait to wear the T-shirt at the Byron Bay Writers Festival!!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

No more free education

I went to a information session on a TAFE I.T. course with my partner the other day as he was enrolling. One of the teachers tried to persuade me to enrol as well - said they had husband and wife teams in the course before. I told him I had a full-time job so it wasn't appropriate but I had picked up a brochure about an Associate Degree in writing available externally through the Uni. The info session had made me think, and yearn to learn again. And for a couple of hours, I entertained the thought of enrolling in the degree. Until I checked it out on the uni website and saw the fees. It would cost just under $10,000 and that would take a long time to pay back.

There was a time once when Uni was free in Australia - there was no HECS, no HELP - whatever the heck they call it now - you only paid your compulsory student union fees. I marched in the demonstrations to keep university free but our voices were ignored. My final year of Uni cost me $2000 and was paid back years ago. Now an Arts degree is approx $4500 per year and the student union fees are voluntary?

So my idea of furthering my education won't involve any more university qualifications. I will stick to the day courses at the community college instead.

I was a bit peeved that I had to cough up the enrolment fee for TAFE for my partner, but when you compare it to the cost of the uni degree, it seems like a bargain. And then when I consider the fact that he will be at TAFE, while I have two weeks holiday in August, and will therefore have time to edit, compose collage poetry, and whatever, it is worth every cent!!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Running on empty

I drive a 22 year old car. I bought it this year and it was a bargain, one lady owner who probably only drove it to the shops and back, judging by the mileage. I do at least 300 kilometres a week, and that's just to work and back, more if I go into town on the weekend, or go to writers' group meetings. My fuel guage doesn't work, which is not an issue because I always note when I put in petrol. So last week I put $20 in the car with the odometer reading ...007. An easy number to remember? So why on Tuesday morning, on the way to work, did I run out of petrol, only 125 kilometres later? It doesn't add up. Unless the petrol was siphoned out of my car.

It's not the only thing being stolen in the area. Whole bunches of bananas are disappearing off trees overnight. They are hot commodity after Cyclone Larry wiped out much of the Australian banana industry in March.

It was lucky that I ran out of petrol on the way to work, and not on the way home after doing overtime. The road can be almost deserted at night. I was about 2 kilometres out of my village, and about 4 kilometres from home, but with no mobile signal. I flagged down a driver heading back towards my house, and scored a lift. Dragged my partner out of bed, took a gerry can of petrol to the car, and then took it back to the general store to fill it up. I missed about an hour of work, and admitted when I arrived that my car problems were as a result of running out of petrol. But I won't be taking any more chances. I'll be putting more petrol in every second day to make sure it doesn't happen again.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Chick Manifesto

I have launched my Chickollage store at Cafepress with this Chick Manifesto & The Bitch Club.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


I had 45 minutes to kill this morning before my doctor's appointment, so I decided to drop into a charity store and find some more magazines to mutilate and turn into collage poetry.

Not only did I find several magazines, I found Anybody Out There? by Marian Keyes, which I've been putting off buying, and a huge book on The Doors, which I'm sure will find a new and appreciative owner through ebay.

So, it was meant to be. Plus we scored a three piece cane lounge (frame only) for $25 from The Tender Center. We just need to get cushions for it and it's going to be fabulous for lazy days reading the paper on our back verandah. And the best news is, I didn't have to go to work. Love those rostered days off --it makes the 9 hour days worth it.