Monday, 31 May 2010

I grew up with awesome FEEDBACK ...

Amplifier feedback, silly! Screeeeeechaaaweeee!!!!!!!!!!

I was just twelve when this video was made. My mother is the singer/guitarist, my father the bassist. Got no questions for you today, so thought I'd share a little of my past. Enjoy!



If anyone is interested in seeing or hearing more, you can find stuff here.

Friday, 28 May 2010

Red smells like rekindled desire

If you didn't stop by yesterday take a quick peek at yesterdays post as today is a continuation of the same issue. And wow! All your ideas yesterday have put me to shame! Here is the excerpt in which I express red having a smell. I'm afraid after all your wonderful ideas this seems meek, but I'm not one to back out, so here we are:


On the night of my birthday he put on Joni Mitchell’s ‘Blue’, and set the dining room table with four large black square plates, painted silver round the edges. He’d bought a brand new crimson tablecloth and set it using my grandma’s silver cutlery that I’d stored away in some difficult-to-reach place I could not recall. The dining room, filled with the scent of red, shimmered with light from the fireplace. With thick muffled heart throbs, drowning out all other sound, I asked him who was making dinner, because he hadn’t started to cook anything, but he did nothing but smile, kiss my cheek and pat me on the head like I was the dog.

So, does the scent of red serve it's purpose here? Does it work? Insert the word rose after red, for example, and see how much of a difference it makes to the meaning of the whole passage. Red no longer refers to an emotion, but a physical object, and I feel has much less impact. What do you think?

Thursday, 27 May 2010

You can't smell a colour? Why? (+ new contest winner!)

Says who?


I had a sentence in my ms, that referred to a room being filled with the scent of red.

Ok. EVERYONE, who read my ms told me to take it out. 'You can't smell red, you can't smell colours ...' What ever happened to poetic licence?

If you COULD smell red, what do you imagine it would smell like?

So, here's my question for you ... Reading this idea out of context, what do you think red might be referring to? What is the first thing that comes to mind when you imagine what red might possibly smell like? Then, tomorrow I'll tell you what I was referring to.

And ... the new winner of my contest is ...

Mary McDonald

Congratulations!

Oh yeah, and what do you think of my mock book cover in my side bar?

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

The Book that Marks the Spot (+Beth's tag)

Here is the excerpt from Marilynne Robinson's 'Housekeeping' which made my heart POUND in highschool, and marked the day I knew I wanted to write too someday. Her novel 'Housekeeping', first published in 1980, is what sparked my interest in literature when I was just 14. She's is still to this day my favourite author.


"He would peer at them as if he could read them, and pocket them as if he could own them. This death in my hand, this is ruin in my breast pocket, where I keep my reading glasses. At such times he was as forgetful of her as he was of his suspenders and his Methodism, but all the same it was then that she loved him best, as a soul all unaccompanied, like her own. ... So the wind that billowed her sheets announced her the resurrection of the ordinary. ... And she would feel that sharp loneliness she had felt every long evening since she was a child. It was the kind of loneliness that made clocks seem slow and loud and made voices sound like voices accross water."

Do you have a book which marks the day you knew you wanted to write?

And now for my tag:

If I were a: MONTH I'd be January. Duvet snuggles listening to pouring rain.
If I were a: DAY I'd be Wednesday. Not too tired yet from work, not too far from the weekend.
If I were a: TIME OF DAY I'd be sunrise. I gotta get out of the habit of sleeping in!
If I were a: SEASON I'd be winter. See If 'I were a: MONTH'.
If I were a: PLANET I'd be Jupiter because I'd be able to walk on water.
If I were a: DIRECTION I'd be lost.
If I were a: TREE I'd be the Cherry Blossom because in Japan they're a metaphor for the ephemeral nature of life.
If I were an: ANIMAL I'd be my dog because she gets so much love.
If I were a: MUSICAL INSTRUMENT I'd be an opera voice.
If I were a: FRUIT I'd be a mango - just because.
If I were a: FOOD I'd be vegemite because not many people would eat me.
If I were a: COLOR I'd be green, because it's not easy being green.
If I were a: BOOK: See top of post.
If I were a: SONG I'd seep through every crack I found an infect the masses with my tune.
If I were a: MOVIE I'd sack the man who invented the digital video camera because now instead of most movies focussing on character development they focus on special effects.
If I were a: FLOWER I'd wilt.
If I were a: FACIAL EXPRESSION I'd be the raised eyebrow because life is confusing sometimes.

And I'm not tagging back because there are plenty of other people tagging!

PS: The first prize winner, layla418, of my contest has not contacted me, so if he still hasn't done so by tomorrow morning, I will draw another winner. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Does poetry inspire you to pretty up your prose?

Firstly, your comments to my post yesterday were so heartwarming, and I want to thank you all for being so honest and sincerely interested in what I have to say. You have no idea how much it comforts me. Where are you people in my 3 dimentional life?

OK ... QUESTIONS

Has poetry ever inspired you to pretty up your prose? If so, what poetry has inspired you and why?

A couple of my favourite poets are:
Christina Rossetti for her dark sexual imagery
and
Gwen Harwood for her metaphoric portrayal of motherhood, music and the stifled woman.

One of my favourite poems of Gwen's is called 'Sea Anemones'. Tell me, do you like it? Does it not give you shivers? If so, what gives you those shivers?

Grey mountains, sea and sky. Even the misty
seawind is grey. I walk on lichened rock
in a kind of late assessment, call it peace.
Then the anemones, scarlet, gouts of blood.
There is a word I need, and earth was speaking.
I cannot hear. These seaflowers are too bright.
Kneeling on rock, I touch them through cold water.
My fingers meet some hungering gentleness.
A newborn child’s lips moved so at my breast.
I woke, once, with my palm across your mouth.
The word is: ever. Why add salt to salt?
Blood drop by drop among the rocks they shine.
Anemos, wind. The spirit, where it will.
Not flowers, no, animals that must eat or die.

If you aren't the kind who gets into poetry, what kind of writing inspires you to 'decorate' your work?


A CONTEST PLUG

Sheri @ Writers' Ally aka S.A. Larsen has a TEN BOOK GIVEAWAY going on and is open INTERNATIONALLY.
TO ENTER GIVEAWAY:
Simply FILL OUT the form at her blog HERE.

She also has an amazing contest going on.
TO ENTER THE CONTEST you have to write a caption, paragraph, shortie or flash fiction and tell her what this little guy is thinking ...



Think out of the box. (This on is limited to inside the US.) To check out the GOODS click the link I provided above.

Sheri's got some AWESOME prizes going, so don't miss out!

Oh, and OOPS. I was supposed to post Beth Zimmerman's tag. Tomorrow Beth! I promise! ;)

Monday, 24 May 2010

Am I just impersonating ... myself?

See the girl in the photo? That's me. I was four, impersonating my mother.
Now, at 30, although generally content, sometimes I still feel like I'm impersonating.
Impersonating myself.
Impersonating the person I want to be.

I must appear to be a woman who’s really got it together.
At least to people who don’t know me very well.
But, now that I think about it, does anyone really know me inside and out? Sometimes I wonder even if I know myself.
But I never let my vulnerability see the light of day.

I brood.
I brood when I cook, clean, wash, write, play.
At night I cry.
In the morning I awake as though life is perfect.
In the presence of others I am envied. But I envy others.

I wish I could see myself through the eyes of a stranger, or an aquaintence I merely share a glass of wine with at a bar occasionally perhaps? What do they see in me that makes them want to talk to me?

Is it just me who thinks and feels like this?
Or do other people assume a front exuding with confidence as well?
If it is just me, then when, and how does the confident metamorphosis occur within?
Is there something I have to buy?
A pill?
A cough syrup?
A psychologist?

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Go visit Spunk on a Stick to enter her contest.

The brilliant L. Diane Wolf, author and professional speaker at Spunk on a stick is having a 200 Followers Uber-Beyond-Belief Contest! The prizes are so worth dropping by and entering and becoming a follower.

One grand winner will receive-

A $30.00 gift certificate to either Amazon or Barnes&Noble.com - your choice
And a complete, autographed set of The Circle of Friends - a $102.00 value


If she hits 250 followers before the contest ends, the winner will also receive:

A basket of treats from Bath & Body Works

OR

A basket of edible, gourmet treats

Head over now! Well, what are you waiting for?

PS - this was scheduled yesterday - don't bother commenting here, because I'm not on my PC - just go straight to L. Diane's blog and enter.

On Monday I'll be back to blogging from the heart - do you miss that? I do.

Friday, 21 May 2010

Friday Battle: Bikini vs. One-piece

As you know each week Jen from Unedited will be selecting a something vs. something to make a funny video to post each Friday. This week the something vs. something is Bikini vs. One-piece.


Make sure you also check out the other participants:
Susan Fields


See you all on Monday folks! It's going to be a NO COMPUTER WEEKEND! (Unless I decide to engross myself in my WIP)

Thursday, 20 May 2010

WINNERS!!! WINNERS!!! WINNERS!!!

The day has come my lovely blogospherites. It's time to draw the winners of my contest. I am presently logged onto Random.org. I have numbered you all in the order of when you entered. So, for example, if you entered 1st, and you have four entries, you are allocated the numbers 1, 2, 3 and 4. If you entered 2nd and you have two entries, you are allocated the numbers 5 and 6, and so forth. K? K. So let's get started ...

Third place, the lucky winner of the $10 Amazon voucher goes to ...


Second place, the lucky winner of either a synopsis or query critique from Paula B founder of The Writing Show goes to ...



First place, the lucky winner of the first chapter critique, and 20% discount off a manuscript edit from author and professional editor Suzanne Lakin goes to ...


As far as I can see you haven't given me any way to contact you, layla418, so please send me your email address, so I can tell you about how to go about claiming your prize! If you haven't been in touch with me by this time next week, I will redraw the winner.

Congratulations folks!

If you haven't read the interview with Matthew Rush from yesterday, go now! You're missing out if you don't ;)

Thanks everyone for your support and for making me absolutely love the blogging world. I've met some fantastic people out there, and look forward to meeting even more!

Have a great day!

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

200 FOLLOWERS!

I just reached 200 followers! Welcome Kristi Helvig! Whoo-hoo! You're all the best! Ok, I'll draw the winners of the contest tomorrow. You've got till the end of today EST to enter my contest.

PS: I just counted and numbered the entries ready for Random.org and there are exactly 200. How freaky is that?

Anyhoo, in order not to divert attention away from today's fantabulous interview with Matthew Rush, please please scroll down and read his interview folks! :) Mwah!!!!

An Interview with Matthew Rush (The God from TQQQE)

You all know Matthew Rush, right? From The Quintessentially Questionable Query Experiment, right? Of course you do! Well, today HE'S being interviewed. 'Bout bloody time, I say!

Yep! If you don't know who that amazing guy is, you'd better click his link and follow. RIGHT NOW! You hear? Or I'll give you all hand (or arse) slaps! Yes, that's how I spell it. Not ass, the Australian buttocks ain't no donkey folks. *background mutters*

Right. What? You don't know who he is? Ok. That's it. Bend over. Nope. Don't you walk away from me. I'm going to count to three, and if you haven't clicked his link and followed, you ain't gonna know what's hit ya. Oh? What's that? You're now following? That's what I like to hear. Now read the interview ...

What inspired you to post your failed queries on a blog for the entire blogosphere to see? And were you apprehensive about it?

I actually watched that movie, Julie & Julia, about the girl who started blogging every day as she made one of Julia Child’s recipes. It was a fun, silly movie but it inspired me to try my hand at blogging. It wasn’t until a few days later that I decided to post my failed queries. I was really fed up with querying and writing and all of it at the time and I figured well, maybe I can help some other writers out, and if it works maybe I’ll meet some people that will inspire me again or help me hone my craft.

I had originally planned on posting a failed query every day until they were gone, kind of like Julie did in the movie with the recipes, but I gave up on that pretty quickly.

2. How much time every day do you spend blogging? Do you find it eats into your writing time? If so, how do you deal with that?

Well, some posts take much longer than others. Guest posts and ones that are based on failed queries are pretty easy because the majority is already written. Posts like Monday’s Sushi post take a long time. I really have no idea how long I spend reading and commenting but that also differs a great deal. I read between 50 and 100 blogs a day and I try to comment on as many as I can but lately doing my job while at work has taken over that a bit.

On the one hand blogging takes away a lot of my writing time. On the other hand I had pretty much given up on writing before I started blogging so I wasn’t writing at all. In that sense I guess it has sort of increased my writing time in a roundabout way.

3. How did it make you feel after being received with so much enthusiasm?

Umm … ecstatic? Okay maybe not that excited but I am quite proud and a bit flattered by how much positive response I have received. I mean since I’ve started my blog I now correspond almost daily with actual published authors. I’ve also met some writers with whom I’m starting a critique group – which is probably going to make a huge difference for my writing.

It’s really amazing. I mean I was very nervous and embarrassed about doing this at first but the reactions have all been wonderful. Even the Queen of Writing Blogs, Elana Johnson has asked me if she can link to my blog in her e-book From the Query to the Call. How awesome is that?

I think the things that people love the most are the Friday guest posts with the real life examples of successful queries. That’s what I love the most too. The failed queries are cool. They can be funny, or even cathartic at times but even though they are helpful I don’t think they assist people as much as the positive examples. I especially love reading the correspondence between an agent and writer. I imagine the initiation of that kind of relationship must be a wonderful thing.

4. What inspired you to write a novel?

Well I have always wanted to write a novel. I used to write everything all the time when I was in school, and I actually did get sent to a reform school a little like the one in my story, minus the magic and martial arts. So I guess what happened was one day a few years ago I was wondering what would have happened if that school I went to had been really awesome? Like magical and bad ass and everything.

Then I heard an interview on NPR with an author whose name I cannot remember for the life of me. I think it was on “Between the Line” with Valerie Jackson, but I could be wrong. Anyway the interviewer asked the author “what would your advice be for someone who wants to become an author?”

The author answered “just write”. So I did.

6. How long have you been querying your novel?

Well I finished the first draft in April of 2009. Then I revised it incredibly insufficiently a few times and started querying very prematurely. This lasted for about six months, finally getting a few requests after clumsily blundering my way through the query gauntlet for ages.

When 3 of the requests came back with replies along the lines of “you’re writing is good, I like the voice, there is much to admire here, but I simply cannot consider a manuscript of this size” I realized I needed to make some changes. I stepped away from the whole thing for a few months, slowly editing for length. After trimming the manuscript to 300,000 words (no that is not a typo) I decided to re-write it into a first person perspective. It’s slow going so far but it already looks like it will be a big help in reducing that word count.

That was a long answer but basically I spent six months querying before I should have and now I am not currently querying because I am deep in revision.

7. How do you handle rejection? Are you really as calm about it as you portray on your blog?

Hah! Honestly yes and no. If you look back at some of the really old failed query posts you will see I really let it get to me once or twice. There is one called “First the Worst” where I made the worst mistake you can make while querying and let my hurt and anger get to me. Even in that instance though I still learned a lot.

I think it’s because of experiences like that and the nature of putting all my failed attempts out there for everyone to see that I am able to not take it as personally anymore. Then again once I spend a lot more time on my novel and start querying again it’s still going to hurt. But now I hope I’ll be able to think about rejections as just another part of the process. You have to fall down once or twice before you really learn to ride your bike.

8. Can you tell us a little more about your novel than what is revealed in your queries? For example, a little about your characters, and how they evolved, what sparked your initial idea, and how you finally decided what genre it was? Did you have to make a lot of changes for it to fit into that particular genre?

I knew from the get go that I wanted to write young adult. I mean it fit the idea perfectly because I was that age when I had this experience in my own life so it made sense. The main character is only very loosely based on me. He goes through some of the same stuff I went through, but he is much cooler and more skilled than I am (was).

There is a pretty fun, ensemble cast of other students who go to school with Lee. There is a minor romantic subplot and some rivalry of the type that we all experienced in high School, but there are too many other kids to go into here.

9. Are you working on another project at the moment? If so, could you tell us a little about that? If not, have you got any ideas looming?

I am not writing any other novels currently but I do envision WARRIOR-MONKS as part of a trilogy or series and I have a very thin outline in mind for the second novel. I don’t intend to start writing it until I am truly done with this one.

I do occasionally write other things just to exercise my mind. I have a piece of flash fiction that I wrote for Ink over at Alchemy of Writing. It should be going up on his blog within the next few weeks.

10. What are your writing career hopes? What do you consider to be a successful writer?

If you can write and earn enough from writing to support yourself I think that is wonderful. I also know it is very rare so as far as I’m concerned I would consider being published at all a success. I would love to be able to quit my day job but dreaming didn’t help me very much when I was querying so I try not to do that when it comes to writing (anymore).

11. Would you be willing to share a little about what you do when you are not writing? For example, what’s your day job; hobbies?

God, my day job is so dreary. I am a lead Technical Support Coordinator of a help desk. I am essentially the assistant manager of a team of ten who do commercial computer support over the phone. Before you ask me if I can fix your computer it’s not like that. We support servers and commercial installations and we have techs in the field who do the hard part. As much as I abhor my position I love having a job and being able to pay my bills.

Something fun about me is that I used to own a small independent record label when I was in my twenties. Actually I only owned half of it. My partner was the musical talent and I ran the business side of things. We produced hip-hop records and released them on 12” vinyl. It was loads of fun and we did make some money but it was not enough to be a career.

12. Is there anything else that you would like to share with us that I haven’t covered in my questions?

Boy I don’t know … I like beer. I enjoy cooking. I read for fun *gasp*.

Bonus questions for comic relief:


Have you ever inspected the contents of your used toilet paper before flushing it down the loo?

First of all can I just say that I love British/Aussie/Kiwi accents? They can make anything sound polite.

Now, no I have not done this but when I was in boarding school there was a guy in the dorm who would always make us come and review his … business. One time the log he had left in the porcelain was as big as a baby’s arm!

(Hi! This is me, AA, or Jessica, or that chick that is supposed to alliterate all the time but has for some reason stopped, or whatever you want to call me. I just have to add here, that I was umming and ahhing for ages about whether I should ask Matt this question. I was thinking: 'Will he take offence? Will he think I'm nuts and never speak to me again? Will he think I'm disgusting / repulsive / demented?' Well, he didn't, and I say good on him! You all know we Aussies have an odd sense of humour right? Matt's so cool coz he had about 10 bonus questions to choose from and he chose the most disgusting one to answer. Gotta love him!)

Have you ever had a girlfriend who made off with your clothes and left you standing naked in a public place?

No, but I did get caught getting personal in the hot tub with my High School girlfriend, by her dad, at his house!

Have you ever eaten a stranger's leftovers during your struggling student days?

Yep. I actually ran away from home once when I was a teen, and I got a job as a dishwasher for cash, under the table. I sometimes took people’s leftovers home with me.

There you have it folks. Now go over to his blog and comment on it. Tell him how much you love him. If you don't ... yeah .. you get the picture, right?

Don't forget about my contest. Only THREE more followers to go! Check out yesterday's post to enter.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

CONTEST UPDATE!!!!

Dearest bloggers and bloggerettes! I am only EIGHT followers away from 200 followers, so brace yourselves for the soon to be coming draw for this awesome CONTEST! Critiques and vouchers are up for grabs guys!

From today, if one of you, yes YOU, my lovely followers, gets me one of the remaining eight, I will give both you and the new follower an EXTRA TWO ENTRIES.



All you gotta do is write something like this in the comments:

"The glorious [so and so] from the delectable blog [blah blah] told me to follow you and enter this fantabufreakintastic contest. [plus any additional mish-mash you wish to supply]."

This will give 'so and so' an extra two entries and the new follower three entries in total.

If you are already a new follower and you haven't entered yet. Enter HERE. All details are at this link along with instructions on how to go about gaining additional entries.

Also, do yourself a favour and check out these two fantabulous contests/giveaways which involve selflessly paying it forward to each and every one of us:

Zoe @ No Letters On My Keyboard
B. Miller @ B. Miller Fiction

GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!

Monday, 17 May 2010

Fifteen Fantasy Island Favourites Blog Fest

Lee @ Tossing it out is hosting this AWESOME blog fest. So if you've got time, pop round to his joint and check out Lee and the other participants' posts.


Ok, firstly I have to say that choosing these was damn difficult; I have a countless amount of favourite albums. So. I've decided to choose albums that included songs I listened to over and over and over, and which influenced my own music during certain periods of my life. I will highlight those periods and also mention each specific song. Of course, I didn't only like these paricular songs, but they are the one's that had the biggest emotional impact and/or musical influence on me. I can see now, after putting together this list, that each song represents a certain transition in my life.


Below, I also have audio with around 30 seconds of each song in order of appearance. The albums below are organised in order of the age I was when I was obsessed with them. I'm not going to mention my exact age, but I will mention my state of mind, so maybe you'll get the picture.


I had so much fun putting this together. I feel like I've lived my whole life again. I hope you enjoy the rollercoaster as much as I did!

No.1

Artist: Joni Mitchell
Album: Blue
Song: River

State of mind: I reckon I can sing like my mum, and that my mum is going to be so proud, and that she'll think I'm so great that she'll put me on young talent time, and I reckon I'm gonna sing this song 'cause my mum sung it to me before I was even born, so I should know it off by heart. Did I mention that my mum is going to be proud - yeah, and I reckon I can sing like her too - did I mention that? (I still listen to this song obessively - I think it's tattooed into my soul)

Lyrics Flash:
I wish I had a river
I could skate away on
I wish I had a river so long
I would teach my feet to fly
Oh I wish I had a river
I could skate away on

No.2

Artist: PJ Harvey
Album: Dry
Song: Plants and Rags

State of mind: Just got over my ballad obsession and started a high school rock band with a cello and violin player. My music teacher wants to enter us into a competition. He wants me to write more pop. I don't. I want to be different. I want to be like PJ Harvey and play music hardly anybody understands, but says they love it anyway 'cause they think they should.

Lyrics Flash:
Plants and rags
Ease myself into a bodybag ...
I dreamt of a man
He fed me fine food
He gave me shiny things ...
White and black
You looking for the sun boy?
The sun doesn't shine down here
No no no

No.3

Artist: The Afghan Whigs
Album: Gentlemen
Song: The Curse

State of mind: My Dad says this band is cool. I didn't want to listen to a band my Dad said was cool. But then a guy, I kinda kissed, said it was his favourite band, and this was his favorite song. Now I can't stop listening to it. Did I mention that I told mum that I kissed a guy, and then she gave me a condom, and then told me that I'm grounded if I use it? I said, 'Fine, I'll just have sex without it then.' She didn't like that answer. It took me over an hour to convince her that I was kidding. I am kidding. As if I'm gonna have sex with this guy anyway. He's a tosser, but I just wanted to snog him 'cause I'd drunk a bit too much Spumante.

Lyrics Flash:
You hurt me baby
I flinch so when you do
Your kisses scourge me
Hyssop in your perfume
Oh, I do not fear you
And slave I only use
As a word to describe the special way
I feel for you

No.4

Artist: The Smashing Pumpkins
Album: Siamese Dream
Song: Disarm

State of mind: Drinking wine from a cask in a public park with school friends. Just smoked pot for the first time. Urgh! But, hey, all I have to do is copy my mother to look stoned. I can pretend, and say I got high at home and I've had enough. Ha. I'll just smoke a cigarette and pretend I like it to fit in. You know, if only they really knew me ... I mean, really knew me.

Lyrics Flash:
I used to be a little boy
So old in my shoes
And what i choose is my choice
What's a boy supposed to do?
The killer in me is the killer in you
My love I send this smile over to you
Disarm you with a smile
And leave you like they left me here
To wither in denial
The bitterness of one who's left alone
Ooh, the years burn
Ooh, the years burn, burn, burn

No.5

Artist: The Tea Party
Album: Splendor Solis
Song: Sun Going Down

State of mind: I want to f@#king get outta here. I hate my parents - especially my mother. I hate my school. Best I can do is lock myself in my bedroom and wish my Swedish boyfriend who likes to dress in women's clothing and get high on cough syrup will think of knocking on my window before I ... orh, who am I kidding ... I don't have the guts.

Lyrics Flash:
I woke up this morning, someone was knocking at my door.
And I said hello sweet Satan, I believe it's time to go.
Thirteenth apostle knocking at my door,
Telling me that I can't play with you no more.
I guess the wages of sin now, couldn't buy my meals,
Screaming out your name baby, how does that feel.

No.6

Artist: Filter
Album: Short Bus
Song: Hey man, nice shot

State of mind: Yeah, man. I wanna spend my life in a mosh pit. I wanna crowd surf till someone accidentally gives me concussion. I wanna drink till I can't stand straight. I wanna ... "OUCH! Get the f@*k off me you f@*kin' wanker!"

Lyrics Flash:
I wish I would've met you;
now it's a little late.
What you could've taught me,
I could've saved some face.
They think that your early ending was all wrong;
for the most part they're right,
but look how they all got strung.
That's why I say,
"Hey man, nice shot."
"What a good shot, man."

No.7

Artist: Elliot Smith
Album: XO
Song: Bottle up and explode!

State of mind: Depressed. Really truly depressed. I need this music to make me feel even more depressed, so that I can feel even more depressed about breaking up with my boyfriend and causing him to smash his hand through the wall, instead of just feeling depressed for the sake of it. Can I lie on my bed and stare at the ceiling a little longer, please?

Lyrics Flash:
Bottle up and explode,
seeing the stars surrounding you
Red, white, and blue
You look at him like you've never known him
But I know for a fact that you have
The last time you cried, who'd you think was inside?
Thinking that you were about to come over
But I'm tired now of waiting for you
You never show

No.8

Artist: Magic Dirt
Album: Young and full of the devil
Song: These drugs are really starting to f@#k me over

State of mind: Dude, I just met Adalita at the Corner Hotel. She's awesome! I'm so gonna be a rock star like her. I'm so gonna be loved like I love Adalita. And hey, we just won the Melbourne Uni battle of the bands competition and I scored a Maton Mastersound electric guitar. Woot!!!

Lyrics Flash:
Were you in the mafia?
Or a fat man in a band?
Were you a cocksucker with the shit in your hand?
Did you not know that the shit in your hand was a little girl in a band,
making much more dough than you ever will, you tosser.
Top yourself off?
Please don't do it,
go talk to your friends,
Don't let them suffer through it

No.9
Artist: Sonic Youth
Album: Goo
Song: Kool thing

State of mind: Whoo hoo! Got accepted into the English course - Archaeology was just proving too hard - I so can't get my head around those research methods. Finally, got my own flat. Got my own money. Got my own car. Got my own life. Now all I gotta get is fame ... and probably a new fuel pump for my 500 dollar white station wagon - I've connected the parking lights to it so that it works temporarily. Now I just need some money to fix it ...

Lyrics Flash:
Hey, Kool Thing,
come here,sit down
There’s something I gotta ask you.
I just wanna know, what are you gonna do for me?
I mean, are you gonna liberate us girls
From male white corporate oppression?
Tell it like it is!
Huh?
Yeah!
Don’t be shy
Word up!
Fear of a female planet?
Fear of a female planet?
Fear, baby!

No.10

Artist: Luna Chicks
Album: Luxury Problem
Song: Less teeth, More tits

State of mind: Shit! Where did all these curves come from? I think I might try out the role of these sexy looking punk chicks for a while. See what it feels like. I've always wanted to try writing some punk - well I know this isn't the "true" punk, but it's a pretty spunky reformation. You know what? I might as well flaunt my stuff now that I got it, hey! Hmm, I can be anything I want to be ... Maybe I could change my name ... yeah, and I'll get some coloured extentions put in ...

Lyrics Flash:
You can't wipe out all our progress with your little cotton ball
Slice and dice your ass to perfection
Slip up a word and down you fall
Am I smilin enough? Am I smilin too much?
Am I tucked in and buckled, do my tits touch?
Hi, how are you, how high are you
Less Teeth and More Tits Its never enough
You'll never be good enough

No.11

Artist: Nightmares on Wax
Album: Smoker's Delight
Song: Groove Str.

State of mind: My boyfriend sure has strange taste for a metal-head, but good taste ... very good taste. Great for cruising down the ocean road in his Charger V8. But not when he drives 250 kilometres an hour ... I almost had a heart-attack!

Lyrics Flash:
(instrumental)

No.12

Artist: Boss Hog
Album: Whiteout
Song: Trouble

State of mind: Inviting some friends over for dinner. Man, I love being single again and dancing around my flat singing into a broomstick. Right ... what am I going to make ...

Lyrics Flash:
You say so much I don't even hear
My poor mind, the circles it must steer
Holy heaven, cut the line some slack
I keep on moving, no not further back
I get messed up
I get high
I get stupid
I get by
I'll get reckless
when I die
I can't stand it

No.13

Artist: Tori Amos
Album: To venus and back (Live CD)
Song: Precious Things

State of mind: You know, I absolutely adored her Little Earthquakes album, but this live version kicks arse! I wish I never quit playing piano. This woman has got to be one of the most talented, creative, passionate musicians ever. I've really got to try and find that essence in my own stuff. So over being a "tough" girl.

Lyrics Flash:
He said you're really an ugly girl
But I like the way you play
And I died
But I thanked him
Can you believe that Sick, sick,
holding on to his picture
Dressing up every day
I wanna smash the faces
of those beautiful boys
Those Christian boys
So you can make me cum
That doesn't make you
Jesus I remember
Yes in my peach party dress
No one dared
No one cared
To tell me where the pretty girls are
Those demigods
With their nine-inch nails
And little fascist panties
Tucked inside the heart
Of every nice girl

No.14

Artist: Aimee Mann
Album: Bachelor No.2
Song: Deathly

State of mind: Being islolated on a small Greek island two winters in a row is a nightmare. I especially do not fit in with drunk old men at the local Zacharoplasteio. Nor does my prissy Greek sheltered boyfriend understand that just because I smile at someone, it doesn't mean that I'm screwing them behind his back. Nor does he understand that there is no way in hell or heaven that I'm going to become a euro trash freak and wear pointy knee-high high-heeled boots for him. I'm not garbage. I'm not his toy. What ever happened to my independence? You know, I could probably write a book about this ...

Lyrics Flash:
Now that I've met you
Would you object to
Never seeing each other again
Cause I can't afford to
Climb aboard you
No one's got that much ego to spend

No.15

Artist: The New Pornographers
Album: Challengers
Song: Myriad Harbour

State of mind: Ah ... this is the life. Athens top story apartment building with a massive balcony. Can hardly afford it, but hey, what's money worth nowadays anyway. I might just grab my fiance, and a couple glasses of wine, pop this record on and quietly get drunk under the stars while my dalmatian keeps my toes warm. I really ought to pull out my guitar again soon. How does one juggle so many passions in one life? So, yeah, that's me. I sacrificed the music to write. I don't regret it, though. I've never been more determined to succeed in anything in my life. One day ... even if it's 20 years down the track, you'll see my book somewhere on someone's shelf. And that's not a promise to you. That's a promise to me.

Lyrics Flash:
I took a plane
I took a train
(Ah, who cares, you always end up in the city)
I said to Carl look up for once
(See just how the sun sets in the sky)
I said to Jon
Do you think the girls here
(Ever wonder how they got so pretty?)
Oh well I do
Look out upon the Myriad Harbour

video

So there you have it folks! My life in a musical nutshell. Was I just a little bit nuts? Perhaps, but I embrace my nuttiness.

"But Jessica, what big nuttiness you have!"
"All the better material to write with, my dears ..."

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Flirt Scene Blog fest

Ok - I'm posting two because they are really short. The first one is from my complete novel DEAD IN THE CORNER OF MY BEDROOM and the second from my WIP called CURIOSITY CURED THE KIT. Enjoy! Don't forget to check out the others, and the host @ Critique This WIP

From DEAD IN THE CORNER OF MY BEDROOM:

Right at this moment, Richard Viadro walks in. I feel myself blush and all the girls shuffle back to their seats. He catches my eye and approaches me. My body goes rigid, and I have a wonky smile on my face.

“Where do you think you’re going?”

“Um, er, nowhere, Mr. Viadro, just clearing up my space. I . . . uh . . . accepted the job.” I stutter, looking up and down at my desk, trying to gather some papers into a clean pile.

“Jane. Please. Richard,” says button boy in an almost whisper, as he places his hand on my lower back and tilts his head to the side.

“Sorry, Richard.” I laugh nervously. I move the hair out of my face, scratch my neck, brush some invisible crumbs from my clothes, and put my hands on my hips, “Ahem, er . . . I’m sorry, was there something you needed?”

“No, not really, Jane. I just dropped by to introduce myself to Jodie and Diane. I’m to return to the London office this afternoon.”

“Oh. Right. Well, have a safe trip, Mr. . . . er, Richard,” I nod, moving backward an inch so he can’t reach my lower back again—even though, guiltily, I’d love him to. I imagine him putting his hand on my lower back and pulling me close to his body, and in a moment of intense passion lifting me up onto my desk, swiping everything to the floor, slipping his hand up my thigh and unclipping my garters—

SCRATCH! I’m not wearing garters. I’m wearing my crappy white flowery panties that have been tinted gray after years of mixing them with blacks in the wash.

“It was a pleasure to meet you, Jane. I look forward to doing business with you. See you a week from Monday.”


From CURIOSITY CURED THE KIT:

Ivy walks toward the man in the dark green shirt. It looks like Brian. It is Brian. She contemplates turning straight back around and walking home in the rain, but he notices her too soon.

“Ivy, hey! What are you doing here?” He’s clean shaven. He wasn’t in the coffee shop. Ivy notices.

“Got caught in the storm—unprepared as usual. Don’t you ever go home?” she asks, pulling out the bar stool and almost tumbling over when she slips on the foot rail.

“Well, looks like it was meant to be.” Brian smiles. She can’t help but feel flattered, and smiles involuntarily in return, looking at her shoes. She pushes her wet fringe from her forehead, completely forgetting it’s wet and how stupid it would look sticking up in the air. Brian’s eyes follow her movements. He pretends not to notice. Ivy flattens it back down on her skin, and then shakes her head a little so that it doesn’t look like her forehead has a slimy comb-over.

“No, no. Comfort beats looks any time.” Brian gently pushes her fringe back up, caressing her scalp with his fingertips. His touch, although quite fatherly, makes Ivy’s stomach tighten—for a moment, her breath stops. “There. That feels better, right?”

“Er … yeah, but let’s just avoid feeling self-conscious for today, hey?” Ivy pulls a beanie out of her bag and puts it on her head. Brian looks into his glass of Cutty Sark and Soda. The corners of his mouth are fighting the urge to chuckle.

Friday, 14 May 2010

Video Battle: Cats Vs. Dogs (and contest pluggin')

Howdy bloggers and bloggerettes! Today is the first ever Friday Video Battle hosted by the lovely Jen @ Unedited.

Every Friday Jen and other willing participants will post an xtranormal video which involves two xtranormal characters debating a particular topic. If you want to join in next week, email Jen @ jenniferdaiker at gmail dot com for details.

Today the subject is Cats vs. Dogs. Enjoy my video, then nick off and look at the others! The links to the other four participants this week are below the vid. Enjoy!


Jen @ Unedited
T.J. Carson @ T.J. Carson's Writing Endeavor
Katie @ Creepy Query Girl

Also: This Saturday 17th May Lee @ Tossing it out is hosting a Fifteen Fantasy Island Favorites Fest, where we are to post about fifteen albums we can't live without. You can get more details and sign up if you're keen at the link I've provided. I'm sure participating!

Another 4 Alsos
 Go check out Creepy Query Girl's 100 follower contest! It involves writing a spoof query to be in the running for some awesome critiques. How fun is that?

Go check out Zoe C. Courtman's 100 follower contest. It involves submitting an original interview question to deviate from the typical interview questions writers are often asked to be in the running to be interviewed on her blog and receiving a nifty golden flash drive. Go enter!

Go check out Justine Dell's 100 follower contest. It involves writing the worst one-liner for a book to be in the running for some awesome signed copies of books! Go, go, go!

And don't forget to enter my Blogging idol contest either! :) Pretty please, with a cherry on top?
*flutter of eyelids*

Dontchya just love a lotta little linky lovin'?

Thursday, 13 May 2010

A song I wrote inspired by a book


I'd like to share a song today that I wrote after reading, Oranges are not the only fruit, by Jeanette Winterson. I was inspired to write this song because the idea of being raised in a place, and an environment, that you learn to despise as you grow older interests me. It interests me because some people never leave - they conform to their secluded and isolated little world as though no other exists. Yet others will go to lengths to escape from it.

I'm sure there are many young women out there who slowly develop dreams that are way beyond society's expectations for them - not society in general; the society they grew to understand and hate. And I'm sure there are many women who find the courage to escape into the bigger, better and brighter world that they think is ahead of them - if only they could leave the wretched place they were brought up in.

This song explores the need to escape, and those that have no desire to be a part of what is expected of them, or those that find they can no longer relate to anything around them. This song represents choosing  freedom despite it's consequences. This song represents believing in yourself, no matter what.

Below are the lyrics. Below the lyrics is the audio. Have a read, have a listen. Then tell me:

When you grew up, were you desperate to leave your home town? Why / Why not?


In this town

There is still a whole road ahead
And I need to find a room with a bed
I knew it wasn’t my time to be wed
So I fled the scene alone and in dread

I thought dreams would hold my hand along the way
‘Cause I don’t dream at night, I dream during the day
It’s a dusty road and no one’s out to play
‘Cause it’s Sunday morn’ and they’re all at church to prey

Chorus
In this town
In this town
In this town
In this beat up old dilapidated town
In this town
In this town
In this town
In this beat up old dilapidated town

The reason why these folks sleep on the street
S‘cause they ain’t got no money and they ain’t got no food to eat
‘Cause the man in charge don’t like poor folk, you see
So they drink stolen booze and survive on things for free

Chorus

Oh I tired real hard to marry the boy next door
But my mind ain’t my heart and my heart weren’t getting sore
So I left at the chapel and I stole this poor man’s car
Now I’ll run run run run run from here so far

Chorus
From this town
From this town
From this town
From this beat up old dilapidated town
From this town
From this town
From this town
From this beat up old dilapidated town
From this beat up old dilapidated town
From this beat up old dilapidated town


video

PS: For those new followers that don't have links on their profiles, you'll have to leave a comment somewhere for me to follow you in return! Please do, as I always follow those who follow me!

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Internal Conflict Blog Fest

This isn't from any novel I've written. It's a stand alone piece. Be sure to check out the other entries. The links are in my side bar! :)

Noon resembles an ice cube in a glass of hot water. I slip in and out of it in what could philosophically be seconds. Nothing happens that is essentially important to me. I exist. What happens in the middle of the day, takes place everyday. Over and over … and over again. Certainly people must realize the damage routine can have on one’s psyche? Routine is a monotonous exhaustion. Routine demolishes the desire to differ. Routine is humiliating to the soul. Routine kills passion. It’s a disease. It’s Routinitus. And I’ve given up looking for a cure.

So I focus my attention elsewhere. Morning and Night. During the few short moments that I lie in bed before I open my eyes in the morning, I’m able to soak up the silence – its precious freedom – I’m the only one who subsists in this cocoon of linen soft on my body, from my toes to my chin—defending the intricacies of the flesh and spirit within—lying in a field of cotton, protected from the sun, the wind, the sea. There’s no time to think, just to feel – to feel the surrounding nothingness, tattoo peace into my skin. A few short moments of pleasant loneliness that spares me from sin.

As I lie in bed before I sleep at night I introduce myself to the dreams which await me; to the dreams I can never recall when I awake; to the dreams which take me so far away from reality that clicking my heals together will never return me home. I push my weightless body far into obscurity that I’m afraid to question where I am. But the fear isn’t the fear we experience on earth. It is a silent, hidden fear. It is a fear that summons elucidation. I’m able to relish it and believe that fate will take me to where I belong. Divine fate is believable in my dreams. I don’t need to make choices—they are already made, and the trust in those choices is axiomatic.

Although, no matter how hard you try to hold onto a pleasant moment, time races by in slow motion, it’s a fact of life – we cannot outrun it. No gold medal for the athlete who races against time. The short time periods within the long time periods travel slowly, but the long time periods travel fast. Therefore, the short time periods do actually travel fast, but we are tricked by illusions of life—living the moment. I once told my mother, ‘Learn to live the moment’. It was advice towards her endeavor for happiness. She once reiterated it to me, as though wise in her old age, forgetting that it was me she’d heard it from.

It doesn’t seem so long ago, I became a mother, as long as I avoid the mirror. I can still feel my legs in those stirrups—the sweaty doctor sucking the entire universe through my spasming black hole—muscles being pulled from my spine, from my thighs to my pelvis. What began as an insignificant seed violently pushed itself like a fist through tearing fabric. The only thought preventing me from slipping into unconsciousness was that, for this little miracle of life, there was light, not darkness, at the beginning of this long road. But how long do the lights stay on nowadays, before they burn out like an expiring fuse?

If time could stand still in reality like it does in my dreams, I would have stopped it right after my daughter was born. The intense happiness I felt, the moment I held her in my arms, was more thrilling than I imagine it would be if injected directly into my veins. I was high on life—on my daughter’s life—on our life—on our future.

The moments after my daughter’s birth were euphoric. The pool of blood I was sitting in may as well have been a shallow pale green rock pool in a remote lagoon. I didn’t feel an inkling of discomfort or disgust for what would normally make me squirm. She looked me in the eyes and I didn’t have to say a word. I understood. She understood. We had become one.

But as time passes, large memories become small; small memories become embellished; things we used to feel strongly about no longer inspire a passing thought. Children learn to live without their mothers; and mothers try to learn to live without their children. Then you are left alone. So alone that indignity haunts you for finding pleasure in the way bed linen feels on your skin—from toe to chin. You seek similar pleasures in curious places. In places that aren’t considered ‘normal’, until all you have to look forward to, is bed time; for those moments of pleasant loneliness, from here on in.

Don’t miss out on my contest! Critiques up for grabs!