Recovering

I’ve handed in my latest assignment (stuck it in the mailbox) and man, it’s a relief. I don’t know if the quality of writing is as good as the last one, but I don’t care. It’s in, it’s done.

Next assignment isn’t due until 10th of February. Ah bliss.

I’ve been working on Giffy and Beau’s wedding quilt, I think it’s going to be quite beautiful. I need to put in some solid hours over the next week and get it together, then it’s just hand quilting which I am getting faster and faster at.
Now I can spend some time thinking about and planning for Christmas! I am pleased that Christmas is coming, but a little alarmed that it has happened so fast. This year, man. It’s just gone.

My cold is hanging around, but overall I feel better. My nose is all Bill Bailey* from all the nose blowing, and my throat is kinda glunky today. Hoping to have a nice, laid back weekend of not doing too much.
I finished reading Hicksville and I wasn’t that into it, actually. The art was very hard and sparse (all the women looked like men) and the story was kinda….eh….not enough story for such a long comic maybe?

I keep forgetting to breathe, because my nose is so blocked if I don’t keep it clear I kinda stop inhaling deeply.

*Quite Interesting rhyming slang. Bill Bailey = scaly.

sickness

I’m still sick. My throat is sore with stuff that needs to come out and my nose is full of pressure and I’m sneezing all over.
I thought I was going to work today but once I was up and dressed I realised my head was spinning around near the ceiling. So, I’m off work for one more day to really recover from this stupid cold. It’s knocked me for six, I think because I’ve been worn out doing too much.

I customised a tshirt yesterday, my old Glassons Breast Cancer “fragile handle with care” milk jugs one. I cut off the sleeves, made it a C neck and gathered the shoulders with long laces tied in bows that hang down. It’s totally rocker chic now, and I am so in love with the way it looks. Now I need a party or something to wear it to!

I finished the quilt for Swearing Neice, now I just have to wash it, because Lee had a bit of an accident with some Malaysian sauce dripping all over it. I also finally fixed the lining of Steve’s coat so he can take it home.

PoF: no pants
CO: tshirt customisation

weekend update

Nearly finished the quilt for Swearing Niece, just one short edge to bind and then it’s done.

I have a book out from the library about customising tshirts and I started having fun with it yesterday. I cut the neck out of my Raro Girl tshirt so it’s a scoop neck and much more elegant. I rennovated a Melbourne tourist tshirt mum bought me into a boob tube with a fold down off-the-shoulder neckline. I have big plans for turning an ancient Death from Sandman tshirt into a slinky boob-tube mini-dress, and there’s a really cute style with strings on the shoulders that I’m trying to match a tshirt to, it’ll either be my Princess Rock one or my Fragile, Handle With Care/ milk jugs one.
Customising is fun.

Last night we watched the last few episodes of Dead Like Me, and it was really really cool. I am sad it’s over and I want a Daisy, Daisy Adair icon. Wants.
I am sick with a very productive cold. Coughing, sneezing, hacking and nose running. All bad. My head she is stuffed with cotton wool.

Filming on Saturday was very good, playing with a dolly is awesome fun. We filmed a very complex final scene with mutliple angles, dollying and interesting backgrounds. Plus the Bond shots should be fun, since they include Norm shouting about his shiny silver box. Not much left to do now.

It was a very windy, very sunny day and my face was all red and burny afterwards. I think it was a small amount of sunburn and a large amount of wndburn. Liberal applications of aloe vera and moisturiser seem to have sorted it out.
I did a bunch of school work yesterday, which is good because it’s due at the end of the month. Then I went and bought my copy of Fragile Things and Lee and I both went mad at the Central Library. They have the best Graphic novel collection y’know.

I’m reading Hicksville by Dylan Horrocks now. It’s interesting, kinda weird. Not quite half way through.

Ephemeral

For the first time, a Jenni’s Angels film is on youtube! That’s right, our OTT Pretentious Art Film Ephemeral has finally been uploaded.

You can view it here. That’s me in the pink doing the ballet mime for ‘dance til you die’. I am also combing the pony’s hair, placing the house on the floor and peeking from behind the parasol.

Enjoy.
(2 mins 45 secs duration)

point

My stomach has been bad – achey, bloaty and gassy since Monday night. I blame the extreme amounts of wheat based foodstuffs I ate on Sunday and Monday. I haven’t had enough dairy to blame it on that, unless it was the cheese on Lee’s delish home made pizza?

mmmm home made pizza.

I went for a quick run this morning. It’s still hard, but by the time I’m heading home, it’s easier. I got too hot today, summer will be hard to run in I think.

Train is nice on sunny mornings. The train conductor knows me know and knows which stop I get off at. It’s nice. There are a few other regular train users who I have come to recognise. One is “not going to school teen”*, one is “funky arty chick who works in Jville” and the other is “going to school, left boyfriend in Wgtn station teen”. I make up things about them, like that funky chick works in Jville. She could work anywhere, but it’s fun to give them little stories.

I’ve read a slew of Graphic novels lately. The absolute highlight is Off Road which is a comic about three guys with a jeep. It’s just awesome. So much testosterone I could practically smell it. Lee enjoyed it too, so it can’t have been bad. It’s pretty much autobiographical I think, and yeah. Cool. By Sean Murphy.

I also read Bite Club by Howard Chaykin which is an alright yarn about a vampiric mafia family. Some neat stuff about vampires being a known minority and having to use SPF 130 sunscreen. My favourite part by far was a page sized cover art reprint, so the story can’t have been that crash hot. It was pleasantly diverting though.
I also read a new Robin title called To Kill a Bird in which (Tim) Robin appears to be becoming Nightwing. I’m not sure why. The problem with only reading ‘current’ Batman stuff as the library picks it up is that I miss big chunks of story and I have to piece it together from references.

Anyway, it was a neat story with some cool stuff about him relocating to a new school since his last one was the scene of a bloody gunfight, and I am looking forward to reading the next one, so the Robin fangirl is alive and well. Also, it’s by Bill Willingham who writes Fables, so it’s bound to get better once all the setup is done with.

I am now reading a Superman/Batman crossover about the return of Supergirl. It’s fine.

*I always think she’s going to stay on and go to Raroa but she gets off at the first stop. I wonder where she goes? Does she work at the supermarket?

Motivation

I’m a lazy person and I usually wait for inspiration to be handed to me. I am very bad at motivating myself, even if it’s something that I want to do.

Last week I saw a few very inspiring people talk and I have managed to hold onto that motivation and get some stuff written on my book. I thought I’d share some of what I wrote down while listening to them and if it inspires you too, so much the better.

I heard Karen Scott talking about how she started Tots to Teens, a free magazine for parents and kids. She said “If you’re going to have a dream, it might as well be a big one.”

Her message was essentially to ignore the daunting thing, and just forge ahead. Face the challenges as they come up but don’t paralyse yourself worrying about them.

Eyrlys Hunter is a New Zealand children’s book author and she gave lots of practical writing advice. Some of her pearls of wisdom:

Begin with something true to you, then go out into what this means to the world.
To begin writing you could try creating a character, a real child. What do they want? Who are their friends and enemies? What are they afraid of? What is their favourite place?
Then write a short story, put your character into a situation and show their reactions. Illustrate the character with words.
RUE: Resist the Urge to Explain.

Character determines incident, incident illustrates character.” ~ Henry James.

Don Long is an editor and publisher of multi-cultural, multi-lingual children’s books. He said “It is possible to change society if you speak in a persistant and consistent way.”

…last month I saw Bernard Beckett speak. He writes exceptionally good NZ teen novels. He emphasised the need to start a story about something that fascinates you; finding an idea kernel and then extrapolating out.
Passion. It all comes down to doing what you’re passionate about and making it happen however you can.

Oh, and finally I wanted to link to Neil Gaiman’s advice for authors.…and now I have.

PoF: girly pirate
CO: I figured out the storyline of my novel at lunchtime! Yay me!

things

I have been eating wheat based foods with no ill effects since Friday. Maybe my body just needed to detox? I’m going to continue to eat reduced amounts of gluten, because I do feel better with less, but I’m not going to avoid it anymore.
I went for a long run this morning (long for me being 35 minutes) and really regretted a.) not running thrice this week instead of twice and b.) not taking my asthma inhaler with me, because I definitely did not have the lung capacity that I normally do.

I’ve done some school work, not a huge amount, but some and I’ll do some more Monday and Tuesday evenings.
I have written some more of my book. I wrote a scene from the middle of the book in my lunchtime the other day, and it’s weirdly comforting, like now I have two places to write between, like connect the dots or something. Not an end, but a destination on the way to the end. I wrote just over a thousand words last night after dinner. I’m feeling good!
I’ll just keep writing bits and pieces and hopefully the story will come together eventually.

Today Lee and I went to all the bed shops along Thorndon Quay (which number something like six now), got mightily confused and eventually bought a new mattress, base and a memory foam pillow each. Yay us! The frame will be ready some time before christmas, but the mattress should be done soon. Very exciting! I haven’t had a new bed since I turned twenty.

I have organic tampons. I think they were the same price as regular tampons but the sanitary pads they make are more expensive.
and a note to myself on saving the world, and also to celebrate my enjoyment of Singstar Legends….

We have the chance to turn the pages over
We can write what we want to write
We gotta make ends meet, before we get much older
We’re all someone’s daughter
We’re all someone’s son
How long can we look at each other
Down the barrel of a gun?
You’re the voice, try and understand it
Make a noise and make it clear
We’re not gonna sit in silence
We’re not gonna live with fear

~ John Farnham.

PoF: comfy Sunday
CO: feeling motivated, saving the planet and keeping writing.

notes

Currently loving Fragile Things, the new Neil Gaiman short story collection.
…and my dunny (that’s designer bunny to the uninitiated XD). I have the wee blue guy with the tongue stuck out and I want more! MORE! (You get them from Pop-up BTW.)

Wearing and enjoying my Lola Stripes.

I started a book. Don’t get excited yet, it’s very much only just started, but a motivational speaker got me enthused on Monday morning and I have all sorts of ideas floating around, one which may tentatively be quite good.

Discovered that peanut M&Ms have wheat starch in them. Thankfully luxury flakes have not even traces of wheat.
Have my own copy of Shadows Over Camelot now. It’s still unopened. Bliss.

Seraph was sick yesterday so we played Chez Geek and then two missions of Inspectres: Seatoun/Miramar branch. I played an angry ex-house husband who’s 15 year old son got knocked up by the Princess of the Sea Bunnies. Stressful. Very stressful. C played an insane reliever teacher who talked to a hand puppet when stressed out. Brilliant fun times.
Went for a run this morning (that makes twice this week so far). It was a bit hard but got easier as I went. Took the short route but then added a circuit round the block and back up Thorndon Quay at the end. Walked a fair bit, but not too much.)

PoF: grey, brown and black
CO: is belly suffering from tension or gas? How do you tell?

Censorship

I attended a debate today at a library conference which pitted three teens against three adults (two published authors and one librarian) on the moot “That parents should censor their teen’s reading”. Instead of the rollicking jokey fun debate that I had been expecting it was a passionate debate which the participants had really thought about. A nice surprise.

The issue of censorship all came up for me, personally a few years back when I read Doing It by Melvin Burgess which a lot of people had come out against as it was a book abotu sex for teens that was quite explicit and had the main boys acting very badly (one sleeping with his teacher, one sleeping with as many girls as he could, etc). I read the book, intrigued by the vitriol and did find it a bit shocking, but the overall messages and storyline were good so I think of myself in favour of the book being available to teenagers, especially if they’re thinking of having sex. (After the insight you get into the teenage male mind I think it would be a real motivator to practice abstinence!)

Then this year I saw a movie called Shortbus which I loved. However, it’s not a movie I would want anyone under the age of about 20 to see. It’s got a lot of sex in it and is very confrontational visually about all sorts of different kinds of relationship. I don’t think anyone who hadn’t had quite a lot of life experience would be able to truly understand the messages in it.

Lee and I were talking about it afterwards and I was wondering what I would have thought of the movie if I’d seen it at 18. I was a very different person at 18. I wasn’t nearly as open minded, my world view was very small and I had no experience of people with different sexual preferences. I sincerely doubt I would have appreciated the movie (which promotes open mindedness just by the way) in the same way I did this year with all the experiences I have now had.
I don’t endorse banning, and I think to an extent people should have the right to choose, but I do believe that some things are simply not appropriate for some people. That’s where I am right now in terms of thinking about censorship of material that relates to sex but is not strictly ‘pornography’.

Hope I made sense.
(this was finished and posted on Wednesday 15 Nov)

roleplaying quotes

From the game I am currently GMing (a word which hear means, making up as I go along with a small amount of preparation) which is based on the steam punkish, faux Victorian with monsters world of The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray by Chris Wooding.

Inspector Aberlaine (played by Svend): I was called here on the count of massive amounts of blood not being on the inside of coppers anymore. We don’t like that sort of thing down at the station.

Carbot (new partner to Aberlaine played by Steve): I’ve read your case files, they’re very impressive. Good syntax.
Aberlaine: Carbot? You are a tool.
Carbot: I am YOUR tool, sir!

Out of Character remarks:
(on the editor of the scientific journal under investigation…)
Svend: I’m taking a letter to the editor. The letter is “KAPOW!”
Seraph: That’s five letters!
Jenni: That’s not a letter of the alphabet!
Svend: It’s a letter of MY alphabet!

uhm, and then there’s Peculiar Frank. I don’t think Elric meant to unleash this particular facet of Seraph’s personality but when he named a source he was chasing up called Peculiar Frank it really….did something. This is what I managed to get down between falling off my chair laughing at Peculiar Frank’s second scene.

Peculiar Frank lives in the rafters of the Three Cripples Inn. His area is decorated Pirate Fashion, but lately he’s been getting a bit paranoid.

“I know how to treat a lady, I does. I read a book on the High Seas. It was a great book it was. Had pictures.
I’ve found out a terrible thing! Pelicans, they can eat twice their weight in squid! But they don’t know it. So don’t tell them! The squid will make a petition to the privy council, and then where would we be? In the Old Quarter with the wolves, yes. So don’t tell the pelicans.
I was visited by a spider. He told me to tell you this rhyme or he’ll burrow into my spine and I’d rather my spine not be burrowed into, so here’s the rhyme…
He sails across the Thames
with his giant black wings
using them as metaphorical……..paddles.
I’m not a fan of the spiders. They’re good at whist. Too good. I owe them a good twenty guineas, but they don’t know it y’see. They don’t really know what twenty guineas is worth.
Your friend. She is mysteriously quiet. Scares her I think I do.”
/Peculiar Frank.

Good one Seraph, brilliant work.
I think I’m ready to run the last session (or two sessions) of this game now. There have been many more awesome moments than what I have written above, but it’s been tough trying to run a decent mystery so I’ve had my hands full most of the time. I have not enough moments to record the cool.

PoF: Raro girl
CO: Singstar Legends