Friday 30 April 2010

Guess Blog Post for Matthew Rush Today!

Hey everyone,

I'm doing a guest blog post over at Matthew Rush's The Quintessentially Questionable Query Experiment today.

Would love it if you all could check it out! :)


Part Z: Zinc

When I was a kid, every child walked around with fluorescent pink, yellow, green, blue or orange noses during the summer. I despised the stuff - it made me look like a clown. But my teachers insisted I wear it while in the playground for protection from the sun. But I never understood exactly how it was supposed to protect me when it was just on my nose. "Are they bloody stupid?" I thought.

I really wanted to let them know that we should've been putting it on our whole faces, but then they would've probably made me do just that, which would've resulted in me walking around looking like an flippin' sponge cake. I was made fun of enough with the fruit loop stockings I liked to wear on out-of-uniform days - I didn't need anything to make me an easy summer target too.

Then, one day, one of my classmates asked the dreaded question. "Oh no!" I thought. "Now I'm doomed." But to my surprise, the teacher replied, "That's a very good question, Luke. We put it on our nose because it is the first part of our face that the sun hits." Then she gave him three gold stars on his school work.

The moral of this story is: Never hold back. Go with your gut. Don't ever be afraid to speak up and trust your instincts. Face your fears, otherwise, you miss out on life. Then life will have the opportunity to bring you a few gold stars when you least expect it.

Thursday 29 April 2010

A phrase that is repeatedly used incorrectly is ...

Guys, I just can't stand it. I seriously have to say this, because my friend Stephen pointed it out to me the other day, and now I can't stop seeing it EVERYWHERE. If you are one of the culprits - do not despair - today is the day that you will never make this mistake again.

The phrase is: I couldn't care less.

NOT: I could care less.

People, by saying 'I could care less' is implying the exact opposite of what you are feeling.

So there you are. My lesson completed. :)

Part Y: Youth in Asia

Conversation between me and my mother when I was about 12 - the way I perceived it.

Mum: So what do you think about Youth in Asia?
Me: I think it's really sad.
Mum: But don't you think it would be kind to put someone out of their misery?
Me: How would you put them out of their misery? That's life, isn't it?
Mum: Well, they'd use a lethal injection, so they would go to sleep.
Me: What? Why?
Mum: So they don't have to suffer anymore.
Me: But mum! Just because they are getting paid shitty wages doesn't mean they don't want to live!
Mum: What?
Me: Well, I know their hard off and everything, but don't you think they deserve to have a choice?
Mum: What exactly are you talking about?
Me: The Youth in Asia, like you said.
Mum: [laughs] No! Euthanasia. It means to choose if you want to die if you are really ill and don't want to live anymore.
Me: Orh! Well, yeah. I say stick 'em with that needle if they want it. Who am I to choose for them?

Wednesday 28 April 2010

Part X: Xanthippe

Xanthippe was Socrates' wife and matron of ancient Athens. The couple had three sons, Lamprokles, Sophroniskos and Menexenos, and she is said to have had a horrid temper and to have been the very personification of the constantly nagging wife.

Her contemporaries did not picture her as such a terrible person as the later Romans did. According to later stories, Socrates knew he was marrying a hag, but did so to practice his patience.

A well-known anecdote about the angry Xanthippe is the one where she was so angry with her husband that she threw a bucket of washing water on him. The philosopher then replied: "After thunder comes rain."

Socrates' saying was "Marry or marry not, in any case you'll regret it." This was supposedly in contemplation of his wife.

It's quite funny, that the word for 'blonde' in Greek, is 'Xanthi'. See us westerners have got it all wrong - blondes aren't dumb at all - they're smart! They know that being patient with a philosopher who has an answer for everything isn't going to them any good!

Tuesday 27 April 2010

Part W: Who What When Where? (Waldo is revealed!)

Ok, as a teeny weeny kido, there were lots of wonderful things in my life that started with W. What are they you may ask? Well, there was Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, there was Wilbur the Wombat (an Australian thing, I think), there was Wendy's - a fab soft serve and doughnut joint at Westfield shopping centre, there was Mr Whippy, an ice cream van that wandered the streets of my neighbourhood on the weekends. And there was ... dun dun dun ... Where's Wally?

Remember the Where's Wally books? How wicked were they? I would while away hours seeking him out within the crowded beach scenes, carnival scenes, market scenes, city scenes; you name it, Wally was waving at me from amongst the crowd. Maybe that's why I became a professional editor - perhaps Wally gave me the skills for spotting details that aren't obvious to the average Joe. Thanks Wally! I owe ya one!

So ... where's Wally? Can you find him? Click on picture to expand.

Monday 26 April 2010

Part V: Vulnerability

Writers are vulnerable to a variety of things, but I think, above all, our egos are the most vulnerable. We can be a vain bunch - us writers, and a bruised ego and a writer are like two peas in a pod. I don't think a writer can ever be void of vulnerability - vulnerability to a writer, is like a prosthetic limb to a war veteran - it's heavy, it's hard, it's stiff, and our movements are somewhat choppy because of it; we are vexed by it's existence, but we can't do anything about it - if we vanish it, we aren't able to function properly, we are slightly vacant, our true voice loses its value - our drive to move forward is somewhat more vague than usual. We need it to validate our purpose in this world.

Vulnerability is valuable. It makes us vigilant. Although our vanity is constantly on the verge of violently tipping our vulnerability off the edge - vulnerability always wins. Yes, sometimes its volume makes me want to vomit. Sometimes the vibes created by my vulnerability make me want to vent with a bottle of vodka to my lips. But I wouldn't be me without it. Removing it would mean vandalising my soul.

I, personally, am vulnerable to bruising my own ego, rather than someone else's vindictive comments bruising it for me. If my ego is bruised as a result of another writer's vote, I can accept it, I can take it in my stride, I can learn from it without sacrificing my vivaciousness. But if I discover something about my own writing, that makes me doubt my ability, I can't shake it. It sits on my shoulder and yap yap yaps into my ear like a venomous parrot, and I'm constantly on the verge of tears.

I haven't learned how to deal with my inner critic like I have learned how to deal with external critics. Have you? How do you bruise your ego back?

Saturday 24 April 2010

Part U: Umbilical cord = Unconditional love

Most of us have someone in our lives which we love unconditionally - be it our son or daughter, our mother or father, or our spouse. These loved ones are connected to our hearts by an unspoken umbilical cord. No matter how much they hurt you, make you cry, or betray you, you will never hate them. You will never hate them because that umbilical cord can never be separated.

Last night something happened in my family which has utterly emphasised this umbilical cord and how it unconditionally joins me to the catalyst of this mess. I wish I could grab a knife and sever it so that I wouldn't have to feel anything. I wish I could at least remove it for a while so that I could banish this person from my mind.

I'm not going to say how, or who, or what happened, but I am going to say that no matter how much I resent their actions, I will always love them, and for a reason I cannot quite explain, I feel sorry for them too, and wish I could be there to console them because I'm sure they are riddled with guilt. I also wish I could be there to curse, yell and punch the living daylights out of them.

The umbilical cord between me and this person may be fractured, but it will never ever be completely cut. I hope they know that - I hope they know that because I don't know when I'm going to find the courage to tell them that to their face.

Last night, not long after I heard the bad news, I went to bed. I dreamed of being burned alive - and I swear to god I could feel the pain on my skin. I don't know what that means. Perhaps it's a warning. Perhaps it means I should keep my mouth shut until everything settles down.

Friday 23 April 2010

Part T: The Tantalizing Traffic in Athens

Today I'm going to tell you about the torturous traffic in Athens, Greece.

There is so much traffic in Athens that that there is a traffic law here that states who can and can't drive on certain days. On even-numbered dates, even-numbered registration plates are only allowed to drive. On odd-numbered dates, only odd-numbered registration plates are allowed to drive. But it's useless. Everybody just purchases two cars - one with odd- and one with even-numbered plates. On a side note, I have no idea how anybody can afford it - the average wage here is 600 euros per month. That's approx 800 USD. We are also the most expensive country in Europe - even more than Paris! Can you believe it? It can cost up to 7 euros for a coffee at a cafe!

Anyway, back to traffic. Cars double park on roads that can JUST squeeze in two car widths, so that any passing traffic has to drive over the footpath to get through - and the footpath is hardly wide enough for people to walk on anyway. Cars park on the corners of busy intersections, in towing zones (the point of having a towing zone is beyond me because I have never seen a tow truck here in my life, and I've been here for 8 years), on footpaths, in the MIDDLE of open squares, in lane ways, I'm sure there are plenty of other places I can't even think of right now.

There is no point in having lines to separate the lanes on the road either, because no one gives a shit about them. People drive in two lanes at once, people even drive in the emergency lane on the highway - and it's accepted, no one pays any attention to speed signs - AT ALL. No one gives way to ambulances. Buses can be seen driving even faster than the cars. There are signs on the highway that say "Caution - high death rate for the next 3km". What are you trying to do? Give me a heart attack before I even have a car accident?

Dangerous city to drive in. That's why I just avoid it at all costs. I only ever drive if I have to go out of the city - and even then it's a nightmare - panic attack, tears, talking to myself, cursing, horn honking, negotiating smart maneuvers to escape bottle necks. Ugh ... OK. That's enough. Just writing about it makes me feel like I'm driving ...

Oh, and just for your information. This is what happens every couple of months when the garbage collectors go on strike:

And now for something to tickle your fancy - two turtles in our botanical gardens ... um ... what's it called that they're doing here? hehehehe ...

Thursday 22 April 2010

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Part S: Short Stories

So, let's see ... Do you believe that short stories should follow a specific formula? Have a beginning, middle and an end? Or do you feel that they can just be small snippets of life? As you have probably suspected, I believe that they can just be small snippets of life. I do know though, that my idea of a short story would probably not go down well in a competition, but screw it, I submitted it anyway.

Here it is:

The tiles on the kitchen floor looked like black earthworms, chopped up into quarters, which had eventually rejuvenated themselves inside infected, murky urine. Every time I looked at them I’d see movement. The little sporadic black lines would change position, especially when the moonlight glimmered through the leaves of the apricot tree just outside the kitchen window. The shadows haunted me. I was afraid they’d come to life, and swallow me like polluted quick sand in the middle of the night, when I needed to get out of bed to pee.

It was worse when my parents were cooped up inside the music room, laying down their Gothic guitar riffs, vocals, synthesiser samples, in passionate determination, unaware of the world around them. They wouldn’t have heard me if I had screamed; if I had been in trouble; if the tiles had gobbled me up. I sometimes wondered if they even noticed when I wasn’t there.

Every night, Russell and I would tackle the tiles. And most nights I was more scared than the night before; I couldn’t bring myself to turn the light on, despite being tall enough to reach the switch. Sometimes Russell and I would put ourselves through the fright, despite me not actually needing to pee, simply because we didn’t want to go to sleep.

With Russell by my side, I’d run through the kitchen, holding my breath, until I’d reach the other side of the shiny pink pealing door, that lead to the isolated toilet. It was enclosed in an outhouse type extension, with a glass wall that looked out into the backyard. I was frightened of being in there too. At night the glass was pitch black and I’d sometimes imagine strangers walking up the driveway, looking for a way to rob us, and peer through the glass just as I was lifting up my skirt in preparation to pee.

I’d close the pink shiny door behind me as fast as possible, panting as though I had just escaped a police chase after committing a horrible crime.

“We made it by the skin of our teeth!” I’d say to Russell, inconspicuously trying to see beyond the darkness of the glass.

“Tell me about it,” he’d respond, clicking his tongue with attitude.

I’d comment on the scale of difficulty the kitchen tiles posed that night, and that if it hadn’t been for him, we’d both have been “goners”. I’d try to imagine what Russell had done to save us, and why, but my imagination would trail off like the concentration span of a toddler. The action and reason was beside the point; it was the dialogue that mattered most.

Russell would stay out by the glass wall to keep me safe from predators; I’d catch my breath and sit myself on the cold black toilet seat, and close the toilet door with the foot that was free from dangling underpants.

“Sorry, Russell. No peeking!” I’d exclaim, trying to maintain my dominating tone, yet hesitant volume, so as not to attract any strangers toward the dark glass wall. But most times I couldn’t pee, and I’d sit waiting, for at least a little trickle to hit the water inside the toilet bowl.

Sometimes, in my bedroom at night, when I knew I wouldn’t be disturbed by mum telling me to turn my night light off; when I could feel the vibrations from the music room; hear the same words being sung, over and over; the same guitar chords being played, again and again; the four-track mixing desk clicking and rewinding; the ten-year-old guitar cable crackling through the amplifier; and the screeching feedback my dad would make for the sheer thrill of it; I would sit on my bed and surround myself with my stuffed toys. I would stroke them, and tell them that mummy was busy, so we were allowed to play whatever we felt like. I would be the doctor and they would be my patients.

I would pretend to feed them jelly, just like I saw on TV in the hospital show, and I would give them injections, with my real-life sewing needle and masking tape invention. I’d pretend they were crying from the fear of pain, and I would console them. And when they would cry I would cuddle them, and tell them that everything was going to be OK; that I would always be there for them, no matter what.

“You’re just going to feel a bit of discomfort,” I would say. The doctor had said that to me when he’d chopped out the infected splinter in my hand, an injury I was too afraid to admit I’d had, and covered it up with my sleeve for weeks.
But you forget the pain. It only lasts as long as it lasts, and then mum gets you ice cream afterwards, and the pain becomes obsolete, until you get dropped off at a babysitter’s that smells like soya milk, tofu and marmite, rather than foundation, perfume and lipstick. But then the pain turns into a yearning for comfort, so strong that the emptiness you feel inside tries to get out through tears, but you intentionally prevent it’s exit by muting it with a pillow, a pillow that isn’t even yours; the only thing you can think to do in this stranger’s home to not inconvenience them; and through the realization that you can’t even feel sad in the comfort of your own home, you feel even sadder, until the tears exhaust you and you fall asleep with your teeth clenched.

Russell would try to be my nurse, but I wouldn’t let him. I made him stay inside my Johnny Depp poster-covered wardrobe until it was time to tackle the tiles again. I liked to kiss my Johnny Depp posters, and I’d put socks in my top, so I could see what it looked like to have boobs. Russell would get jealous. I liked making Russell feel jealous.

Russell was even more jealous when I made myself pregnant with my bicycle helmet. I’d stroke my belly, and sing to it, like my mum said she’d sung to me. Sometimes I’d let Russell come out of my wardrobe to stroke my belly too, until I decided it was time to go into labour. I was too embarrassed for Russell to see my naked legs.

“Go back inside,” I’d whisper. “You’re not allowed to watch.”
In one year, I gave birth to about fifty babies, all of which were still-born, and which I mourned by crying inside my wardrobe, hoping that Russell would comfort me. But when I sat inside my wardrobe, Russell wouldn’t be there. I convinced myself that it was because he didn’t like weak dispositions.

When I’d decide to get back into bed and turn out my night light, Russell would rematerialize, and then disappear through my window, without opening it. He turned into condensation, and the room would go cold. I’d write ‘I heart Russell’ onto the misty glass, then immediately rub it away with the sleeve of my nightdress, in fear of being caught leaving my fingerprints everywhere. My mum didn’t like it when I left fingerprints everywhere.

I didn’t know where he went every night, but I hoped it was somewhere special, somewhere where he would be able to take me one day, perhaps like Peter Pan. But I knew deep down that he would never take me with him, because I never let him be with me all the time. I was mean to him, but I couldn’t help it.

I’d still be lying awake in the semi-darkness, watching the shadows on my wall change shape with every passing car, when my mum would sneak in to check on me. I’d pretend to be asleep, and breathe heavily for it to be more convincing. If I didn’t, she would bend forward, with her ear to my nose, without touching me, to see if I was still alive. She’d run her fingers through my hair and kiss my cheek, and I would shift my body under the covers as though she had woken me up, but I would never open my eyes. Then she’d whisper, “I love you,” before leaving my bedroom door slightly open behind her.

When my parents would finally go to bed, and I’d be drifting off to sleep, I would feel Russell lay beside me. I would feel him stroking my forehead, silently humming an unknown tune. I was the only one who could hear him; I knew it, deep inside. I would never tell him that I was happy he’d returned, and I would never tell him about my insomnia when I was without him. But I hoped that he knew that anyway. I hoped he could understand what went on inside my head. But I knew, that no matter what, he would be there when I needed to pee; when I needed help getting through the tantalizing kitchen, and glass-walled outhouse. Russell knew better than me. He knew that I was just too scared to turn the light on, in dread of facing what I had to face everyday in the daylight, when I’d get home from school—a cold empty kitchen, and a distracted, absent mother to greet me.

Tuesday 20 April 2010

Part R: Rhyming Poetry

I relish rhyme. Being able to rhyme and reveal a story makes me revel in self-satisfaction. Here is one of my latest rhyming feats ... Ready set go!

The houses are set with stiff stilted shutters
Stained and lashed with liquid limestone
And tailored by locals to keep summer swelter out—insulation clone
They’re bound by meandering mountainous roads
Framed indulgently with olive groves
And encased in a vacuum of air so crisp that smells like garlic cloves

Occasionally I can hear doorways creak
As though possessed with a palate for prey
Pride is invested in eavesdropping grapevines—so the locals say
The doors are painted colors eccentric even to the color blind
Or to geriatric loaded foreigners who steal domestic oranges for rind
And at times to naive tourists who believe in consecrated dirt and grime

Head-butting each other senselessly
Village goats stroll about the stringent streets
Trying to escape looming mopeds, roosters, travelers—void of peace
But out bliss begins to bloom boldly from deep within
When the disguised cicada’s click is captured in the desiccated wind
Or even by the gracious grocer who greets me with his gorgeous grin

And although I’ll need to wade through heat waves
Rising from the newly laid and crackling tar
Behind this tortured rapture I find a buried brace—spectacular
It’s the ocean’s ghostly turquoise sparkle and its undisturbed serenity
Which sleeps like oil until man disrupts its respite and solemn fertility
I let it mask me like a shroud of sparkling wine, and I swallow it, before it swallows me.

Part Q: Quality Q Post

The question is: Can I quench your thirst for alliteration using Qs? Well, it is quite a quest, so please appreciate the quality, rather than quantity of words, as I quiver in quandary in my quiescent quarters.

Did you know that 'book' in Scottish is called a 'quair'? How quaint! From now on I shall say 'quair' instead of 'book' because I love it's quirkiness. Excuse the quailing relevance of this post, but it is a quantum leap, is it not? At least it makes sense, and is not a simple quiz on Q words for you to fill in?

I am a quotidian blogger, I could not possibly quit, nor write about queries (which no doubt will be common), nor quote from others, nor could I quaff liquor to qualify for exemption. No way Hose!

Here's for a laugh:
Me, two years old on Dad's shoulders, approaching tree branch.

Mum: Jessica, duck.
Me: Quack! Quack!
My head: BANG!

Now for your information:
quandary = state of difficulty
quiescent = calm
quarters = place
quailing = fading
quantum = large
quotidian = everyday
quaff = gulp in large amounts

So ... did I qualify for the Q award? It only took me three-quarters of an hour ...

Don't forget to sign up for my Internal Conflict Blog Fest!

Also if you aren't participating in the A to Z April Challenge, pop over to Lee @ Tossing It Out, for his special Q post. This will be interesting ...

Monday 19 April 2010

John Hemry Interview on Mary McDonald's Blog Tomorrow

Hey everyone,

At Mary McDonald has the The Write Stuff, Mary is hosting an interview with John Hemry tomorrow. John Hemry is an author of military science fiction novels. Drawing on his experience as a retired US Navy officer, he has written the Stark's War and Paul Sinclair series.

Don't miss it!

Part P: Psychosomatic Axis

Friends, I'm all out of alliteration motivation today. Please forgive me. I'm not wonder woman, and I have a very busy work week. I'm afraid I won't be able to make it to many of your blogs to read and comment either this week - so I apologize for that. You know I'd love to!

So I've decided to post a poem called Psychosomatic Axis, (there you go, that was three Ps), which I had submitted to a literary magazine for publication (another one), and have just this morning been rejected - ah never mind. For those of you who may suffer from alliteration withdrawal, here's something to keep you going until tomorrow:

Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers;
A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked;
If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers
Where’s the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?


Somewhere in this orb
The psychosomatic gravity has slipped
Its Axis
This flaw
This long alleged defect
In our planet’s subsistence
Means billions of minds question choices made
In life
And the self-respect of earthlings
Has plummeted
To an unprecedented Low. Lower. Lowest.

So we introduced new street bins
Recycling bins
Emotional recoup
Instead of Glass. Plastic. Paper.
We have childhood … adulthood … maturity …

Disposal of one’s beloved childhood toy
In the childhood bin
Is immediately – rejuvenated … revitalized … re-energized …
Back into their psychological disposition
In what is now considered a socially acceptable form
From this moment forward
Squander no more
‘Waste’ removed from dictionary
No more misplaced righteousness
No more rolling dice

The adulthood bin is brimming
With belongings people bought
When they thought …
They had grown up …
It harks back unbefitting memories
Which are morphed …
Into a flesh that is apposite
To one’s cerebral shape
Mechanically like a candy machine
Put possession in the slot
Instead of a coin
And … ding dong the witch is dead
Resulting in the individual circumventing the chagrin
Of owning such an incompatible item
Which then alleviates the regret
The misplacing of youth

Is the maturity bin
Such ignominy
Possessions planted into it
Aren’t recycled
They’re swallowed
Like in a Big. Black. Hole.
It unleashes the past
No more misgivings
No more ‘What ifs’
And all its contents facilitate
Repairing the psychosomatic axis itself
Rather than each individual’s

Don't forget to sign up for my Internal Conflict Blog Fest!

Saturday 17 April 2010

Part O: Oikology

Ever heard of this term? Me neither. It ostensibly means 'the science of housekeeping'. Now before I go on, I'd like to point out that this word most likely comes from the Greek word 'Oikogenia', which means family. So now the offal's gonna hit the fan. What is it with these Greeks who obsessively insist on everything originating from the Greek language? No, I should be outraged at the people who invented English. What were they thinking going to the Greeks to steal words? Didn't they have minds of their own?

Anyway, back to the point ordained. How is housekeeping a science? Is that the fault of the Greeks too? An oversight? Aren't they overjoyed enough having been one of the first civilizations to originally use coins? To invent mathematical theories? To make an ever-lasting public event out of getting exercise - something we like to call the Olympics? To write plays and perform them for an audience? To trial criminal offenders by jury?

You'd think they'd invented enough, to leave housekeeping alone. That does it. I'm not smart enough to do housekeeping anymore. I failed science in high school. It looks like my fiance will have to take over. I suppose though, if I told him it was a science - he'd be more obtusely obedient? Whatcha reckon?

On a side note: How did Greece get into such a shocking economical state when they actually invented the term 'money'? Crikey people - ask your ancestors how to fix it! Start reading up on history folks!

Don't forget to sign up for my Internal Conflict Blog Fest!

Friday 16 April 2010

Advice Anyone?

Thought I'd share a little something with you. And also share my state of mind at the moment. And while I'm at it, ask for a little advice.

My current WIP is told from the point of view of two sisters (and a third a little down the track too), in third person. I feel like I'm wasting precious time because every time I switch perspectives, I have to re-read a few of their chapters to get their voice back in my head.

I have all my chapters planned out so I know what's going to happen. You might think it would be easier to just write the parts of each sister separately, but, in fact, it's not at all. The reason for this is, that the end of every chapter marks one step closer to finding their father (whom they are searching for), and if I haven't written each step of the journey, and haven't felt what they are feeling, I can't develop their emotions effectively.

Any ideas on how I can get around this? (Also, any advice on how to avoid multiple personality disorder? LOL)

Part N: Nagging and Nitpicking

Sorry, no alliteration for this - otherwise it'll lack authenticity.

WIFE = bold
HUSBAND = italics

Can you wash the dishes?
But I washed them last week.
Oh wow, what a feat.
Don't be sarcastic.
Why not? I wash them every bloody day.
Oh stop complaining.
I'm not complaining, I'm asking for some help.
Well, I can't. I've got too much work to do.

Can you hang the clothes on the line?
Has the cycle finished already?
Can I do it later?
No, the clothes will get all wrinkly.
I don't care if my clothes are wrinkly.
Well I do.
Well I'm not hanging your clothes!
Why not? I hang your clothes all the time.
Well, I can't. I've got too much work to do.

Can you go buy some milk?
I just bought some yesterday.
We drunk it already.
Already? You mean you drunk it.
I did not, I only had some in my coffee.
Well where did it go?
Didn't you have cereal? And then a frappe?
Oh yeah.
So can you buy some milk?
No, I can't. I've got too much work to do.

We need to pay the electricity bill.
Well go pay it then.
Why can't you pay it?
Because I'm busy.
The least you can do is go pay a bill when you're going out anyway. I do everything else around here.
You do not. I do my equal share. Stop complaining all the time.
Why should I stop complaining?
Cause I can't stand it.
Well I can't stand your lazy arse.
[laughs] So, will you go pay the bill?
No, I can't. I've got too much work to do.

Don't forget to sign up for my Internal Conflict Blog Fest!

Thursday 15 April 2010

Part M: The Meaning of Music and My Memoir

The Meaning of Music

Music is a melodic moan; a muse for mourning melancholic moods and the manic mayhem which meanders through time. It is the master of mind and soul.

Music masquerades materialistic matter. It masks meaningless methods of our existence with motive. It mingles madness into a four-minute aural meditation on life - life vignettes, motionless, yet emotionally moving.

Music is not meek; it's magical. It's an eternal vessel for mercurial messages. Messages which must be heard; messages which we may mull over, but ultimately nurture; messages which we may never understand, but nevertheless welcome mercifully.

Music is how I'd communicate, if there were no such thing as speech. If music were wind, I would like to be in a hurricane. If music were a mother, I would like to be in it's womb forever.

If I were music, I would like to be immortal.

A Minute of My Memoir

I listen to my mother groan from my bedroom; her gentle, velvety voice mimicking childish sobs amid animal grunts.

“Oh my God, oh my God, oh my GAHHHHHD!” Thump! Thump! … Thump! “Somebody help me! Some ... ah ah … body ... heheheeelp meeeee!” she cries and heaves from what seems like fear.

I hide my head under my pillow, and pretend I am camping in Africa; or that I am an unseen witness to a murder in an abandoned graffiti-coloured crime district. I cradle my teddies, close to my chest, covered head to toe with my duvet, and whisper, “There’s no need to be scared. I’m here. Shhh, don’t cry.” I stick my fingers in my ears so hard it hurts, so all I hear is fluff and my mum’s muffled moans.

Silence. I tip-toe out of bed and peer through the crack of the kitchen door. The room smells like sweat, toxic breath, menstruation blood, and remnants of the canned salmon pasta we ate for dinner. Is she dead? No. Dad is there. He gives her a sleeping pill, prepares a hot water bottle, and rubs her back while she crouches down on all fours, wearing nothing but a pair of underpants that have lost their elasticity. Her wet stringy hair is stuck to her neck and forehead. Her naked, paper thin breasts are hanging from her chest, her face is twisted, and black eye-liner is smeared across her temples, cheeks and earlobes; she’s like a gothic Neanderthal giving birth to its offspring.

No matter how many pills mum takes, nothing soothes her. She takes her tablet courage, month after month, in the hope that something, anything, will ease her pain. But little do we know, this is only the beginning. This is a paradoxical reaction.

So, have any of you got little scary childhood memories that you would like to share?

Don't forget to sign up for my Internal Conflict Blog Fest!

Wednesday 14 April 2010

Part L: My Lyrics For 'Life In A Box'

Ladies and lads, perhaps today, I can lure you all to look at, and listen to, what I consider an ever-lasting essential limb of my imagination. I have not yet let you see this side of me - the side which longs for and loves music and lyrics.

Below are lyrics for a song I wrote long ago. I have altered them somewhat, to live as written word, in the form of a poem, for the luxury of reading linear prose. However, below the lyrics is the original song - the audio. Yes, it is me singing and playing guitar. A little lacking in sound quality, but I'm not ashamed of that. Feel free to listen :)

I can’t help but think what life would be like
If every day was as dark as the night
How would you wake without the son of dawn?
Climbing through your window like a god’s been born?

Through the dark streets, the cats do cry
They disturb the false peace, where the hungry die
Glass is broken, screams are heard
It’s an illusion of Jesus and his holy word

Calls of fear fall from damp brick walls
Damp brick walls fall from fearful calls
The houses are empty, and the people skint
Yet the rich keep buying fur coats made of mink

I can’t help but think, if I had my way
If every night was as light as day
But how would I sleep without the silver moon?
Making shadows of leaves, on the walls in my room?

Please, save those words of guilt and fear
Stop preaching little nothings in my deaf ear
I know you’re hoping and praying, every year
But you’re living your life in a box, my dear.

Don't forget to sign up for my Internal Conflict Blog Fest!

Tuesday 13 April 2010

Announcing The Internal Conflict Blog Fest!

Ok. I've decided to get jiggy with the Blog Fest Mania too. I'm going to host a blog fest for scenes of pure Internal Conflict. I want to know what's going on in your chracters' minds. You can write something new, or you can take something from an already existing project - whatever you like. If your existing WIP hasn't got any scenes like this, why don't you try to write one? What would your character be thinking about on a lonely night staring at the ceiling? But let's try to limit these to around 800-1000 words, ok?

The post date for this will be the 12th May. Feel free to sign up!

Please drop by Raquel Burns' blog for her Primal Scream blog fest which is to be held on the 5th May.

Also, this is the first time I've ever used Mr Linky, so if you have any problems, please don't hesitate to let me know!

Part K: Kool Kaleidoscopes and Kabbage Patch Kids

Kan you remember those kool thangs kalled kaleidoscopes? Those krazy koloured cylinders filled with kristalized somethingerathers that we used to kling onto for entertainment like no tomorrow, and skream with delight as we turned them round and round to watch them move?

What ever happened to the simple things in life? Now we go about glued to komputer skreens all day. I miss running about the back yard in my dress ups - kabbage patch kid kradled in one arm, kaleidoscope in the other, skipping and chanting Hickory Dickory Dock at the top on my lungs.

I want to klimb the fig tree in my back yard again, and pretend I'm King of the Kastle, and kreep out the kitchen window to jump into my neighbor's flower bed for the sheer thrill of possibly getting kaught. I want to hunt down all the kreepy krawlies and watch them fry under a magnifying glass and not feel sorry for the little buggers. I want to eat chokolate and kandy every day, kouliflower covered in melted full fat cheese and kream, and not worry about kounting kalories. I want to take up kalisthenics, karate, kung-fu fighting and not krouch over nursing aching muscles afterwards.

Kan I, kan I, kan I, pretty please with a cherry on top? I'll be your best friend.

Monday 12 April 2010

I just don't get it!

Have you ever had your ms critiqued, and experienced all those light bulb moments, and then get all excited about editing your ms, because now you finally have the right idea? And you've spoken to other writers about these strategies and techniques too, and they all nod in agreement and say the same thing?

"Yes!" You think to yourself. "My book is now going to be one awesome saleable piece of fiction. Now I know the trick to great structure. Now I know how to hook the reader in."

Then you start reading a novel, by a very very popular author, who has in fact become a millionaire, and it defies all of the rules you just learned.

I say WAH?

What do you think about this?

Part J: Jessica's gettin' Jiggy with it

Jessica (yes, I'm talking about myself in 3rd person) feels like the dudes in this video, and needs another day to breath, for the jolly jitter under her skin to rejuvinate, so ...

Today Jess is gonna get down and jam
get jiggy like the boys by the caravan
instead of bloggin' like superman
Wham! Bam! Thank you Ma'am!
Yo! I said my name wasn't Sam! (Are you listening? My name's 'Jessica' - J E S S I C A - Jeeeeeezzzzz)

"... I go psycho when my new joint hit
just can't sit
gotta get jiggy wit it ..."

Sunday 11 April 2010

To read this, or to read that - that is the question.

I have a dilemma.

I'm into the last pages of Her Fearful Symmetry, and need to choose what to read next. I'm slightly disappointed in this book after loving The Time Traveller's Wife so much, but it was still good. Not good enough for me to lose sleep over, though. I absolutely love books that make me sleep deprived. That's what you call a masterpiece. The Time Traveller's Wife was a masterpiece to me.

Anyway, back to my dilemma. Do I read The Almost Moon, by Alice Sebold, a voice I found I can connect with really closely and immerse myself in her world? Or do I read Flaubert's Madam Bovary, to get a little more into my classic literature obsessed character in my WIP?

Bar Scene Blog Fest Entry - Click me to reach the host, Tara

“So, what kind of music are you into? I mean really into. The stuff you listen to at home,” I asked, feeling quite confident about myself perched up on a bar stool, legs crossed and in my slinky black skirt and psychedelic beads caressing my hardly-there and well-covered breasts. Thankfully, my rockabilly hairdo found the right day to stay in place. “You know, the stuff that moves you,” I continued after a few seconds of silence, wondering if I had asked a bad question.

The Frangelico felt soft and warm in my throat. My voice slid through my red lips like water over oil. I had a great deal of confidence that night and it needed to break free. I could feel Max’s body heat through his thighs as he stood leaning his elbows against the bar slowly sipping his Vat 69. He had his head facing toward the rows and rows of alcohol bottles behind the bartender—the very old, classy bartender who had worked there for thirty years and seemed to have had an obsession with wiping the bar dry.

“The Kinks, Dead Kennedys, Elvis Costello. You?” Max answered, turning to face me on the “you.”

“PJ Harvey, Nick Cave, Joni Mitchell,” I replied, smiling so hard my lips hurt.

“Nice.” Max nodded and turned his head to face the bar again.

“Get into a bit of trip hop now and then. Nightmares on Wax—stuff like that,” I added, trying to get his attention.

“Trip hop, hey? Unusual.”

“Why?” I put my drink down and reached for some nuts. “Why is that unusual?” As I put the nuts in my mouth, one escaped and dropped into my crotch. I pretended I hadn’t noticed and slowly opened my legs a bit to let it drop to the floor.

“Well, Greek girls don’t usually mix tastes like that.” Max put down his drink.

“Well, I’m not a Greek girl, am I?” I could feel an expression of quirky innocence show on my face. I didn’t want to be quirky and innocent. I wanted to be strange and mysterious.

“You certainly are not,” replied Max a semitone lower than usual.

“Is that okay with you?” I hoped I sounded flirtatious rather than sarcastic.

“Of course it is.” Max turned his body around this time and looked me straight in the eye. He moved close enough for me to feel his breath on my lips. I could taste his whiskey; smell his aftershave, without there even being any physical contact. The inside of my mouth became moist.

“I’m glad you’re not Greek,” he said. “I want . . . not Greek. I want . . . white skin . . . green eyes . . . long . . . black . . . hair . . .” With each pause he inched closer to my lips. I couldn’t move. All I could hear was the silent roar in his voice. As he reached the closest point before touching my lips he whispered, “Can I taste your lipstick?”

Saturday 10 April 2010

Part I: Insecurity. Inconvenient, isn't it?

A writer's inspiration can sometimes induce instinctive insecurities. How inconvenient, indeed. But what is insecurity exactly? Is it really how the dictionary illustrates it? Intimidating? Afraid? Ill equipped for intrepidity? My insecurity stems from many issues - but it doesn't mean I can't incidentally be intrepid too.

The impression I get, is that each individual gets intermittently insecure for inconstant reasons, but in my case, I feel insecure about my writing first and foremost. But that does not mean I think my writing is inferior. If I didn't love my imaginative written inventions, I would have given up immediately and pursued my idiotic idea of being a rock star despite suffering from insurmountable stage fright.

So what exactly is it about my writing that I feel insecure about? I'm insecure about whether other people will like it as much as I do. Fear of other people not identifying with my imagination. Unfortunately, a writers career depends on other inhabitants of this intimidating publishing world - but it should not mean that we should let other's impose on our indomitability, our independent imagination.

If we relied on each individual opinion we received, we would start writing for other people only, rather than for ourselves. And then we wouldn't love writing anymore. And as much as you try to fight it, to influence yourself to write for other people in order for your book to sell, it's not going to invert the fact, that if you do not find a way to write for yourself too, your book will lack passion and will still not sell. It is our love and the passion and intensity that oozes from those pages that makes our readers insist on reading it through the late hours of the night.

So please. Kick your insecurities in the butt. Write what you love, and I candidly believe, that one day, someone will pick up your manuscript, and see exactly what you see in it. And then it's just the beginning. ...

Friday 9 April 2010

How does this make you feel?

How does it make you feel when you regularly comment and follow someone's blog and they don't reciprocate the act? Not even by a one off, 'Hey, thanks for stopping by my blog. It's nice to meet you.'

You know, I really don't expect everyone to comment all that often. I know we all have busy schedules, and there's no way I'd be able to comment on every blog I follow, every day, but I do try to at least once a week. I want to keep these relationships going. I don't want one-sided relationships. If I did, I'd buy a magazine or read a newspaper. Isn't is common courtesy to at least acknowledge a new follower? Even if it's just below their comment in your own blog?

It makes me angry, and despite it, I hold on to my dignity and don't ask why. I continue reading, and commenting, because I followed them for a reason. I like their posts. But, I do wonder how it would make these one-sided relationship bloggers feel if their followers started to decline because of their attitude. Because actually it could happen. It sincerely makes me want to delete them from my feed. I tried - I failed - so goodbye. I wonder, if one day, that's what I will do.

Part H: Henrietta - The Happy Hippy from Helsinki

Henrietta was a happy hippy from Helsinki. She engaged in hopeful hankypanky every day with Harold the holidaymaker. But one day Harold became a hoodwinking holidaymaker and he broke her heart. She was humiliated, and began to hoard hardworking hamsters in her holiday home in the Himalayas.

She decided she just had to find Harold the hoodwinking holidaymaker and have him hypnotized to think he was a hamster himself. She would have him hemmed in with her hamsters until all humanity subsided him. Without hesitation, she hired a hit man to hang round Harold's home in Hollywood.

However, little did she know, he was a human hoarder. He hid them in his basement and had hell's angels feed them horrible hippopotamus meat. But! He broke her heart because he 'honest to holy heaven' had fallen hysterically in love with Henrietta the Happy Hippy and wanted to set her free.

Meanwhile, the hit men took some happy snaps and had them sent to Henrietta. She was horrified! How could she have been so half-witted? She asked the hit man take her to Harold the holidaymaker's home, but before he could hurry her away, one of her hamsters had her for lunch.

Henrietta was no longer a happy hippy from Helsinki - she was horrid horse manure.

And the moral of this heartfelt story is ... ?

Thursday 8 April 2010

Part G: "Golliwog" " Shhh! Goodness gracious me ..."

Firstly, I cannot gloat about my use of Gs today. It proved gifficult ;) re my topic choice ... I did, however, do my best!

Can any of you remember Florence Kate Upton's book entitled The Adventures of Two Dutch Dolls and a Golliwogg? It introduced a character named the "Golliwogg", for the first time. He was first described as "a horrid sight, the blackest gnome", but he quickly grew to be a genuinely genial character, and is later given a "kind face".

After publication, the term "golliwog" was used both as a reference to the children's toy and as a generic, racist term for Black people. Goodness gracious me! Why on earth did people disgrace this great character name?

In the early 1980s, in revised editions of Enid Blyton's Noddy books Mr. Golly, the golliwog proprietor of the Toytown garage, was changed to Mr. Sparks. Gee, does this mean, I'm not even given the right to say "Golly gosh" anymore?

In September 2008, a girl living in Stockport, named Amanda Schofield, was grabbed by authorities, finger-printed, and DNA-sampled for garnering a golliwog doll in her window. Does this mean I have to gallivant back to Australia and grub through my garage to garbage my Golliwog books? Am I now a criminal?

In February 2009, in an off-air conversation at the BBC, Carol Thatcher referred to the black French tennis player Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, competing in the Australian Open, as looking like a golliwog. The comment was graded by the BBC as "wholly unacceptable" and Thatcher was given an ultimatum - unless she apologised she would no longer be a reporter for BBC. She had simply been reminded of her childhood toy. How is that an offense? If I said someone looked like a Ken doll, would that be offensive? If I said someone looked like a rag doll, would that be derogatory?

Now, I don't know about you, but I find all this grotesquely over the top. I genuinely believe singling out the golliwog is worse than it being socially unacceptable. I remember those dolls fondly as a child. And given that Australia has got a gigantic multicultural society, the golliwog doll seemed just like any other. If simply owning a golliwog doll is a criminal offense, then lets abolish Barbie dolls too! Barbie dolls are discriminating against women! Right? And while we're at it, let's get rid of all the toy advertisements aimed toward only one gender, because that's sexist too.

What do you think? Do you find the term 'golliwog' offensive? Why? How do you deal with such issues in your writing? Do you refrain from using particular terms because they aren't deemed PC?

Wednesday 7 April 2010

Part F: Facing Frustration

Following on from yesterday's post, today I'll focus on facing the frustration that ferments within us after receiving those foul rejection letters.

Firstly, and foremost, I do not feel like a failure. Rejections do not foreshadow failure, fellow writers. Have faith in that first, before you try to figure out anything else. Agents' findings are fickle. Why else would one agent fancy a full manuscript and another feed you this line: 'sorry this isn't right for us'? It's just the fashion of the business.

Fundamentally, if agents had fixed rules for finding clients, it would be most favourable. But they don't, and we must have faith that there is one agent out there with our field of vision.

But, that doesn't mean that I feel fully fearless after getting a full request, because following on from that full request, other rejection letters frightfully fall from the sky. Then I think, maybe the agent that requested my full will flout it. I fret for days. I file my nails, filling in time with futile tasks, waiting for a response. No, I still haven't got one. "F@*k you, computer!" It could feasibly be months. So, I fret until I fold from my own foolish fuss. But deep down I still fondle the frail hope that they'll fancy it - faith in this agent will forevermore float fervently in front of me like a fire fly, until it fades into fairlyland as a fuzzy flashback.

So before I file my nails to the bone, I fascinate myself with my following feat. I fill my mind with a fresh story. There's no other way to do it, I'm afraid. I know it's simpler said than done, but come on - we're writers - it's our finest flair - feel your keypad and type with finesse - it's therapeutic and a fabulous fix for frustration, believe me. It's emotionally fulfilling and distracts from fear.

That's how I face frustration, folks. I face facts and get back to work. How do you face frustration?

Tuesday 6 April 2010

The Prolific Blogger Award goes to ...

Thanks so so much to Rayna at Coffee Rings Everywhere, for this award.

Please go to Advance Booking blog to read the rules of this award.

I'd like to whole-heartily give this award to, in no particular order:

Forever Endeavor

Mary MacDonald has the Write Stuff

Confessions of a Watery Tart

Elizabeth Mueller

Author Blog: Glynis Smy

The Misadventures in Candyland

Slushpile Slut


Part E: Expectation & Emotion

You've endearingly executed those final essential elements to your novel - you've engrossed yourself in expert advice about synopses - you've expedited queries - you've been excruciatingly rejected; eliminated from the slush - except ... you also embrace the ever expanding expectations erected by a couple of entire manuscript requests.

However, your excitement does somewhat ebb after reviewing everyone's rejections, and your exigent need for endurance is masked by erratic enthusiastic emotions, evolving exclusively from the interest of a couple of agents.

Of course, equal to eventual high expectation is enigmatic doubt. 'What if they don't enjoy it? What if they don't enjoy it and all the rest of the agents reject me? What ensues then? What will eventuate when there aren't anymore agents to query? Is my book in need of an emergency re-evaluation? Are all these years spent drafting and redrafting and editing and repairing, at the expense of my esteem, all a waste? What then?'

How do you evolve as a writer when high expectation is no longer endorsed and ebullient energy is erased? How do you embark on your next enterprise and still exhibit high self-esteem?

I'd like to say I never ever wanted to give up this endeavor. But I have wanted to give up many times and I don't think that emotion will ever expire. In the end, we writers all know what we want. But we all hang our hopes onto emaciated threads that can't endure our excess baggage.

But we shouldn't let our emotions run away with our eternal eagerness to enforce ambition. Keep engaging in earnest determination toward your goal, no matter how long it takes. Because you're going to keep writing anyway, and you will evermore take pride in what elates you. Even when rejection electrocutes the only energy you think you have left, you will encounter the pain and then continue to write. Right?

Monday 5 April 2010

A small note to commenters

Thanks everyone for commenting on my blogs. I really really appreciate it.

I would just like to say, however, that I had to delete one today. No, it wasn't rude. No, it wasn't insulting. It was simply using one of my blog posts to advertise a service. I don't blame this person for trying, and I don't have any hard feelings at all, so whoever you are please don't feel bad about it. But I think I must let you know that I will delete anything that advertises services I have not used, or cannot recommend myself. I hope this is reasonable.

The Deity Despoina - Daughter of Demeter

Poseidon, one of the most dominant deities in Greek mythology, was the leading dynast of the seas. A daunting, disorderly, and dynamic divinity, he was associated with natural disasters. When displeased, he could derange the sea to a dander. But he could also hush the disobedient waters with just a glance and his calm demeanor.

After deluding his sister Demeter, while disguised as a horse, he had duo descendants: the deific dragoon Arion, and a daughter, Despoina.

Despoina was devoted by many in a distinguished sanctuary west to the town Megalopolis. Pausanias left a description of this deistic den, which today contains only the dilapidated debris of the temple developed in 180 BCE. The door of the den was decorated with reliefs from palid marble. There was also a diminutive desk with an inscription of district decrees.

The Altars of both deities - Despoina and Demeter - were deposited in front of the dorian temple of Despoina. The remains of it are today in the Archeological Museum of Athens. Despoina and Demeter are seated on their throne. Below them were depicted some Kourites and Korybantes, supposedly the first people of the land.

Do you know of any dangerous or delightful deities from your district?

Saturday 3 April 2010

Part C: Common Colloquialism Collection

I came up with this collection of common colloquialisms. Check this out, curious bloggers: Above each set of colloquialisms comes one in bold. This bold word is the definition; the upper class construction of each common colloquialism below it. Below the bold words are colloquialism collections in this continental order: America (Yanks), Australia (Ozzies), England (Poms).

Because I currently live in Greece, I've been considerably off course with colloquial chitchat. Which is a chagrin, cause it conclusively comforts me; it's like a Capella, or a chant - musicality of the English language.

Colloquialisms are like trademarks for each country; characteristics that cognominate each English-speaking country from the others. Can you conceptualize the ceasing of colloquialisms? Try to conceive how charmless the world would be.

So. I've committed myself to the concept that colloquialisms are like cake. They come in all sorts of colors, contours and capacities. Can you consider life with only one class of cake? No, I didn't think so ...

So come on in to my crazy head and add to this collection. Tell me you can, comment below with your common colloquialism set of three, and I'll post your blog link along with it cause I lurve you. Or even correct me. My American slang might be a little off course ;)

Stupid person
Airhead, Dipshit, Git

Girl/Young woman
Bird, Chick/Sheela, Skirt

Airbags, Hooters, Jugs

Make out, Pash, Snog

Blitzed, Shitfaced, Arse-over-tit

Eats, Tucker, Grub

Funny person
Goof, Dag, Donkey

Washroom, Dunny, Loo

Please add to the list, Colloquialism Collectors! All crazy, canny, crude, continentally characteristic, or even cliched colloquialisms are welcome :)

Stephen T. McCarthy says:
Stupid person
Dumbass, Nimrod, Wally, Dork
(OK, did have 4 for this.)

Girl/Young woman


Swap Spit,


Watery Tart says:
Arse, booty, hiney

Glynis says:
Homey, Cobber and Mate

Slushpile Slut says (this cracked me up I had to add it!):
LOL! I'm a dag skirt & when I'm arse-over-tit, I shake my airbags and like to snog but somehow I always end up in the loo tossing my tucker! :)

B. Miller says:
Southern colloquialisms to add to your collection:

Fixin' to: getting ready to do something.

Over yonder: That-a-way.

A fur piece: Pretty far down the road.

Trudy says:
How are you:
sup, wassup


Don't even get me going on how much texting has started an entire language of its' own.


Niki says:
It'll be ok, friend:
She'll be right, mate.


Friday 2 April 2010

Part B: Beatrix Potter's Benjamin Bunny

Blooming Brainiac, I remember Benjamin Bunny!

Can you remember Benjamin Bunny? Did you ever own Beatrix Potter books? Did you ever bear the itsy bitsy books that beautifully bottled up each beloved fable to fit in your palm? The cups and saucers that symbolised a bursting bundle of joy in your belly every time breakfast was served?

Did you ever read them, basking in the sun on a blanket in the backyard, in your best bonnet with a massive brim, or protected by a baby blue brolly, eating berries from a basket? Did you ever read them burrowed beneath the bedspread on a blowy rainy day, beckoning Benjamin Bunny and Peter Rabbit to boldy bounce out of the books and play with you?

I did :) Listen to Benjamin Bunny below. Believe in the bunny ... the bunny is back.

Thursday 1 April 2010

UK Literary Agencies

Why is it, that the majority of UK literary agencies do not accept queries via email?

I find it extraordinary considering what a battering the environment is getting nowadays ... mind boggling ...

Part A: The Altruistic Ape

Anyone ever thought about what types of animals have altruistic attributes other than humans? Well among us human good Samaritans are anthropoids, also known as apes :)

Although, I'm talking about absolute artless altruism - like that of an anklebiter. Anthropological studies have shown that apes have the same altruistic aspects as an 18-month old. In 2007, an analysis of apes and anklebiters was held at the Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany. It showed that apes and anklebiters are both inclined to assist people that they have never addressed in their lives, without any personal gain. Amazing, isn't it?

It's alluring because as we advance in age, I think authentic altruism abates. I mean, of course most of us aspire to aid anyone in need, especially those that are close to us, but who hasn't thought, 'So what will I get outta this?' Be honest. How often do you engage in altruistic acts for someone you hardly know that's in need? Should favours always have to be accrued? Can't we just be appeased knowing that we have assisted someone who needed assisting?