"I don't think that being a strong person is about ignoring your emotions and fighting your feelings. Putting on a brave face doesn't mean you're a brave person. That's why everybody in my life knows everything that I'm going through. I can't hide anything from them. People need to realise that being open isn't the same as being weak."

- Taylor Swift

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Hey You

Hey you,
You know I still remember you.
I remember your sweet blue eyes,
You were a too-big child,
You were the one who made me cry.

I was just a girl into glitter and things,
I was just a kid with crooked teeth and scabby knees.
I tried so hard to be your Beth and Nina-Marie.

Hey you,
Because of you my mama thought I'd lost my mind.
Forget starry eyes,
You left me deaf, dumb and blind.
I cried into my pillow 'til the small hours of the night,
Cause nothing I ever did for you was ever right,
Hey you.
Hey you.

Hey you,
You know I still remember you.
You were just a worse version of seventh grade.
I remember you made me laugh,
You never did grow up,
You were the one who almost made me give up.

I was just a girl trying to grow out her fringe.
I was just a kid wearing her cousin's old jeans.
I was just a girl trying to be your everything...

Hey you,
Because of you my mama thought I'd lost my mind.
Forget starry eyes,
You left me deaf, dumb and blind.
I stayed up cryin',
Listening to Taylor Swift in the dead of the night,
Praying for the day when things would start to turn out right,
Hey you.
Hey you.

Hey you,
You know I'm not really looking forward to you.
I hope you never arrive,
I hope you miss your flight,
I don't think I can take one more sleepless night.

I'm just a girl with big hopes and dreams.
I'm just a kid, but I'm not what I seem.
I'm just a girl trying to be who I wanna be...

Hey you,
If I meet you,
Don't make me lose my mind.
I'm not so starry eyed,
I'm not gonna let you make me deaf, dumb and blind.
Don't you think you can make me cry,
Cause now I can see through all your lies,
Some day I'll meet some one who'll treat me right,
Hey you,
Hey you.

Hey you,
Because of you I'm stronger now,
And I can make up my own mind.
I'm not so starry eyed,
Because you showed me a darker side.
But I'm not gonna cry anymore,
I thank my mama and Taylor for helping me through those times.
So hey you,
You're nothing new.

Inspired (vaguely) by Taylor Swift's new song, Dear John.

ice skates...

So, I've been ice skating for a couple of weeks now, and so I did something monumentous.

I blew three hundred dollars on a pair of boots from hell.

The whole story is is that beginners like me (I've passed Beginner 1! Yay!) generally don't buy their own skates unless they're really litte (Little kids always seem to have their own skates) or really rich (for obvious reasons). Us mere mortals normally make do with rental skates until parents can bear to fork up enough to buy figure skates or ice hockey boots, which are, well, bloody expensive.

Rental skates are disgusting. They're made out of super hard plastic, so they're more like crash helments than boots - you really can't do anything in them except skitter around and pray that you don't fall. The padding is always lumpy, you can never get the tightness right because they fasten not with proper laces but with a few clamp-like buckles, and they're always, always, always blunt. Gross.

I also have funny feet, and really bony, sensitive feet with lots of pressure points, so I hate rental shoes, and I'm always the one skooting off the ice and demanding a new pair halfway through my lesson.

So I decided to get my own.

It took over an hour and about five pairs of skates before I bought my beautiful Risport Etoiles, a pair of skating stockings, two boot covers and blade guards (my soakers are coming through the mail). They're pretty and white and they look sleek with high tan heels and English blades. The boot is leather, Italian design, and made in Romania. Sounds posh, right?

Doesn't save them from being uncomfortable, though.

Risport boots are apparently loved for being stiff (good for support and boot longevity) but quick to 'break in' (making the new boot mould to your feet.) By 'quick' we're talking at least a month of steady pain. The crazy part is my boots are considered quite soft - which is ridiculous, because if I didn't know any better I would have told you they were made out of concrete - they only have a stiffness rating of '20', because they're entry level skates and not designed for spins or crazy stuff like that. Professional figure skates go up to a stiffness rating of 85, which is crazy. Imagine trying to break in that. Urgh. Ice dancers, at least, only look for a stiffness rating of 40, which is much more reasonable.

If you think that three hundred dollars (346, to be exact) is a bit much (that's USD$340 or GBP220) is a bit much, put it this way. A kid who comes up to my knee (and yes, there are kids like that on the ice, and they're a hell of a lot better than me because they lack this part of the brain that processes things like pain, cold or fear) can get away with spending less than $100 on a pair of skates, because they're little. These are 'basic' skates, and I was told quite bluntly that I'm too big for them.

So I bought 'entry-level' skates, designed for people who are just going into competitions - jumping the gun a bit, but hey, whatevs. These boots range from $100-$400, and they're the last kind of boots that can be bought with the blade. To give you an idea on how much the professionals spend, a boot can be upwards of $600 and a professional-quality blade starts at about $900.

Ice skating is an expensive sport.

And so, I've been wetting my stockings with hot water and shoving my shoes on and tottering around the house in my blade guards, at least half a foot taller than I normally am and twice as unstable, I've wrestled my way through a lesson and skated through two hours of practice.

It's lovely having your own boots, really. They don't smell like other people's feet, and they're sleek looking despite feeling quite bulky (compared to normal shoes), and despite all the pain I'm complaining about, they're actually quite a bit more comfortable than rental skates, and more flexible. I can do all this flexibility stuff (like swizzles) that I couldn't do in rentals. I cover mine with black boot covers so as to separate myself from the two year olds in hot pink, and I feel kind of...grown up. You get more respect on the rink if you've got your own boots - people scoot out of the way for you a bit more - a *bit* more. There's still that girl in that godawful blue warmup costume who glares at you with these horrible watery blue eyes that remind me of K every time she sees me wobble around and she's skating around like a pro (or at least, she thinks she skates like a pro. She did fall. Hypocrite.)

But breaking in boots is painful. They tell me that in a month's time they'll be really really comfortable. I sincerely hope they're right.

As for now, it'll be back to wet stockngs and boot-lace induced blisters (I have blisters on each index finger from tightening my laces, but I refuse to buy a lace tightener because apparently they're only for wimps) tomorrow.

Poem coming up soon :)

Friday, October 29, 2010

what you learn when you've written 57,663 words of a book...

My grammar check quite obviously failed grammar in school.

These last 1000 words (not in order, just here and there) have been a nightmare to write. I've had to do some major storyline restructuring, which is a bum.

Sometimes you've got to take a character you love and rip their heart to pieces, or make them into a complete jerk and then send them to reform school (that's a metaphor, by the way. There are no reform schools in my story). But, hey, at least I know now how it feels like to be someone like K.

Characters sometimes just mock me by going 'nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah, I'm a generic cliche, and you're so bad at writing you can't make me better!'. Ditto with dialogue.

I have missed countless amounts of Top Gear because I'll be writing, it'll be nearly eight thirty, and then I'll go - 'I'll just write a couple more words,' and then before you know it it's ten and you've missed it.

When you write something you love homework suddenly becomes that much more unappealing. Who wants to study physics when you have a novel screaming at you to hurry up and finish?

When I write it's like one massive revenge attack. A schoolkid has no voice, but...a writer does.

Firework Video Released!

This is the new video of my absolute favourite song at the moment, Firework. A really inspirational song.


I've always had this deep connection with food, and the main reason I'm weird is because of my eating habits.

For one thing, I don't count sandwitches as food. Two pieces of slightly-squashed half-thawed bread with a piece of soggy ham does not a good meal make. I couldn't fathom how people would chose a sandwitch over a proper meal of hot food - and I was the girl with the friend who brought a loaf's-worth of sandwitches to school, ate all of it gleefully, then tucked in to my sandwitches and his girlfriend's sandwitches and then bought more sandwitches from the canteen. Never understood it.

For me food had to be hot - with the exception of Vietnamese food. Vietnamese summer rolls are so wickedly awesome that they get away with being cold. Food was either a proper sit-down meal with lots of sidedishes and a big steaming bowl of rice - later that image morphed slightly to accomodate those happy days spent running home from school, watching the British masterchef and eating a big bowl of ramen noodles.

I've also picked up a lot of my parent's Asian eating habits. In Asia, eating chicken breast was pretty much illegal - it was the kind of thing you fed to criminals or dogs. When Chinese people moved to Australia and America the unknowing white people were a handy way to get rid of this most undesirable part of the chicken. That's why honey-soy wings are honey-soy wings - because if you told an Asian that it was honey-soy chicken breast fillets they'd immediately complain about the waste of precious soy sauce. Eating chicken breast is like eating cardboard - you simply don't do it, and you're beyond weird if you do. These days I only eat chicken breast if I'm absolutely starving or if it is (on a rare occaision) home cooked. This may take some explaining if you're not a working-class Australian - 'roast chicken' means that hot little foil baggie you buy from Coles, which sometimes has a half-decent cooked chook in it. This is quick and used to be cheap but the problem is that they're normally left in the warmer for ages and ages and ages and I don't now how they cook it but the wings are always charred to the point that they look quite artistic and the breast is like chewing on foam.

My mother rarely used a cookbook when I was younger, unless she was attempting something restaurant-standard or was trying to cook Western food. The standard utensil was the wok. I hated the wok. If mum was using a wok I couldn't go anywhere near the stove, not even to put a measly little tea-cup sized saucepan on to boil eggs. Measuring cups and all that stuff was reserved for baking - if I saw my mother carefully measuring out soy sauce I'd get extremely worried. This lead to it's own problems - my mother and I don't have the same idea when it comes to terms like 'just a splash' or 'just a bit' or, worse 'use your own judgement'.

Ice cream is also one of the very few foods I will consume cold - although if they found a physics-defying way to somehow keep ice scream intact but hot then I would prefer that, because my constant aversion to cold food has left my teeth suffering from permanent hyperthermia. I have very vivid memories of blogging my heart out and digging in to bowl after bowl of cookie-cream ice-cream. Ice cream is brilliant heart-glue for those hard-to-manage breaks. Unfortunately, it's murderous for your skin and your stomach and just about everything else.

I'm an avant-garde tea freakaholic. My dad is a tea addict too, but my parents only ever drink Earl Grey - a lot of it. I've been experimenting, and now I have Vanilla Chai, Irish Breakfast and Green tea, which tasted revolting so now I use it in the bathtub (see http://thesecretworldofladyrenegade.blogspot.com/2010/10/kids-and-reading-kids-and-writing-kids.html on that). I'm also that kid that will experiment with whatever I can get my hands on that is remotely edible - I mean, why can't blueberry cordial and milk tea mix? Because it curdles and you end up with brown milk curd at the bottom of purple water, that's why. Only someone like me would know that.

I bake a little in the holidays - but I always use way too much butter and I don't knead it enough so I always end up with boulders that I force upon my family. Still working on that :) Making bread takes ages and makes an enormous mess, but it's a lot of fun - and homemade bread, even bread like stone baked by a half-asleep schoolkid (to have buns ready for brunch you seriously have to start baking at like five) has so much more character then the loaves you buy in the supermarket that are destined for the freezer, then destined to be ill-matched with soggy ham and salad, and then destined to be eaten in the same manner one would eat artichokes and lima beans (unless you like artichokes and lima beans, in which case I guess that you're also an avid chicken-breast fan. You creepy zoophiliac.)

And so I don't understand people who don't eat, or people who force themselves to eat shit that they don't actually like - I mean, tastebuds are there for a reason. And food is all about unconditional love, you know...

Thursday, October 28, 2010

When you get older you get bolder. People matter less and less to you.

In a way this is good, because with this attitude I'll be less likely to repeat a BSC or K saga, which are things you never really get over. If all girls are born white, then boys like the above turn you a nasty shade of grey - but that's why real women are silver, because they take that and learn from it and make themselves shine in spite of it.

But in some ways this is bad. When I was little I cared a lot more for other people, believe it or not. Now...sometimes I feel like when people care so little for me I don't see any reason why I should care for them. Not everybody agrees with this, but I do. Love only only those who love you - or, maybe, just don't love who hates you.

But as you get bigger you realize you're not really that special anymore. Everything that is so brilliantly miraculous to you is nothing to the world. This is why I am a writer - I try and preserve those precious miracles, and change them into something that can be appreciated fully by the community. Only a child can guiltlessly enjoy a candybar - the rest of us are too worried about the high calorie content, or the fact that caramel sticks to your teeth in all sorts of tooth-decay glorious ways. But if you turn that candybar into something that indulges your mind and soul and senses without impinging on what I know as society's diet - that is the true art of writing. In this day and age where we are governed by taboos and social norms, we can no longer experience and fully appreciate these little miracles - but a writer can, and a writer will endure all to make sure you can too.


You really did it that time,
My heart will never be whole again.
You lost your balance on a tightrope,
I lost my mind trying to save what I could never catch.

Wasn't it easier in our lunchtime laughing days?
When we didn't know each other enough to hurt the way we did.
It was so beautiful when I believed in everything,
And when I believed in you...

But you keep saying 'it's alright,
Just wait and see', oh
Your words mean nothing to me, oh.
Who you are is all that you've been,
You're not an innocent.
You're not an innocent.

There's still some things I can't speak of,
Sometimes I live all the hell again.
I'm not so shattered as I was now,
But that's not what I could say back then.

Wasn't it easier when love didn't get in the way?
When it was so out of reach it didn't mean anything to you.
I was so blinded when I was trying to be your everything,
I guess the monsters caught up to me.

And they keep saying 'it's alright,
Just wait and see', oh,
Those words mean nothing to me, oh
Who you are is all that you've been,
You're not an innocent.

It's not okay,
You really let me down,
I'm only a child,
I'm still growing up now.
I'm who I am because you made me see,
You're not an innocent.

Time turns flames to embers,
But I'll always remember,
That the one who messed up was you.

Lives change like the weather,
I hope you won't let others suffer,
Today is never too late to be brand new.

So now I say 'It's alright,
Just wait and see', oh
'Cause now you mean nothing to me, oh
Who you are is all that you've been,
You're not an innocent.

It's not okay,
You really let me down,
I'm only a child,
I'm still growing up now.
I'm who I am because you made me see,
You're not an innocent.

You lost your balance on a tightrope, oh.
But now it's too late to get me back.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


I've got other things to love now.
Fresh-picked strawberries still warm from the sun,
Vine-grown tomatoes and having fun.
So why do you think I'm still in love with you?

I've got other things to dream of now.
Red carpets and published books,
A country house and maybe a family.
So why do you still think I dream of you?

I've got other things to think of now.
It's junior year next year,
Two years till graduation for me now.
Did you know that,
You stupid red-faced sophomore?

I've got other things to worry about now.
Will that stupid spot ever depart from my nose?
Even that's more important to me than you.

And even though you had the satisfaction
Of watching me break down and cry,
I have the satisfaction of knowing that at least that was a low point in my life;
For you,
Your life will never get any higher.
And they never made monuments,
Or wrote books,
Or let kids have days off school
For pimply heartbreakers who made a little girl cry.

So you can have that beautiful blonde girl,
And forget about me,
That mess of a dreamer with the nerve to adore you.
Because when I think of strawberries and fun,
Tomatoes and sun,
The years coming,
And the spot that I hope will be departing,
I know that all of these silly little things,
Are more to me than stupid little you.

Monday, October 25, 2010

What do you do when the one person who is supposed to wear your armour
Is on enemy lines?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

I don't understand why the moment I open my mouth I am chastized for being to outspoken and rash and offending too many people, yet those 'too many people' - for that is what they are - can say what they like.

My stance against religion has offended many religious people over the years, yet these selfsame people seem to have no qualms in insulting the feminist cause and offending me, a feminist. I don't want to hear from you that feminists are angry man-hater lesbians who will never get married or have babies and want to rule the world. How would you like it if I said that Christians are lunatics who pray to a being who does not exist and murder in the name of a man who seems as loony as I am? But I don't say it - well, I don't say it and mean it, because I can't. I'm not allowed to. I'm silenced because I seem to be alone, in this generation that seems to be dead, at least where I am now.

Just think before you talk. If you think that what I said before about Christians was shocking, then think about what you say to me about feminism hurts me. All I want is for every man and woman to have equal rights and freedom. What is so bad about that? All I want is, one day, that my children will live in a world where man and woman and black and white and young and old are all equal. Don't tell me that's how it is already, because it's not. You say that I ask too much of this world, but I say you ask for too little. I want all I can get and more. Don't tell me Australia is a perfect place, because it's not. It's one of the best places in the world but it can be better, you and I know that, so don't close your eyes and block your ears and sing lalala to drown out and blink away our problems. Don't celebrate a victory that is not yours to claim. Don't think you're protected and I'm not because you have friends and I do not. The tides change. You see a leaf fall and you think you know which way the storm is coming from. Well, there is a storm coming...and it will blow away your pride.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Speak Now.

I am not the kind of girl,
Who could really offer a guy anything,
Or fulfil a man's fantasy.

But you are not the kind of boy,
Who should settle for someone like me,
So definitely not something like that girl.

All her little friends look at me like I'm some kind of bug,
And her mum looks at you as though she's gonna eat you.
She walks around as though she owns the place,
Yelling at the juniors,
When she wears makeup she looks like a Barbie.

This is surely not you want it to be...
And I lose myself in a daydream where I stand and say:

Don't go on, run away now,
I'll meet you when you've got your sense again,
It won't be long now.
Don't stay here, with that total cow,
You need to hear me out,
Please don't make me wait until the priest says speak now.

She plays like this is all a game,
The photographer takes photos that look like mugshots.
I don't feature in the album,
Your girl's such a sweetheart,
She makes me want to vomit.

She floats around like a Lolita on crack,
Surely you don't dream of girls like that.

Don't go on, run away now,
I'll meet you when you've got your sense again,
It won't be long now.
Don't stay here, with that total cow,
You need to hear me out,
Please don't make me wait until the priest says speak now.

Don't go on, run away now,
I'll meet you when you've got your sense again,
It won't be long now.
Don't stay here, with that total cow,
You need to hear me out,
Because it won't be long now, until the priest says speak now.

Do you want to wait until the preacher says,
Speak now or forever hold your peace,
I might not be able to bring myself to wait for that day...

So say...

I won't go on, I'm running away now,
I'll meet you 'cause I'd lost my mind,
But I've got it back again.
So glad you're here, let's break away from the crowd,
I'm gonna hear you out,
I won't wait 'till they say speak now.

Inspired by the songs 'Speak Now' and 'You Belong With Me' by Taylor Swift.

*Due to copyright issues the original Speak Now lyric video was removed from YouTube. I have replaced it with a video where the pitch has been altered to avoid copyright. Which is why Taylor sounds like a Barbie on crack, but it does sound kinda cute.
There are two types of teenagers in this world.

One type we all hate...

...and one type most hate.

Teenagerdom is not exactly a popular phase of life, even though it's one of those unavoidable things, like women can't avoid being women and gay people can't avoid being gay. But, anyway.

The first type of teenager are more adequately described as whining couch potatoes that have to be fed too much and given expensive things like iPods and Wiis. These people, if they're pretty, end up as trophy wives or, if they're unlucky, divorced teenage-preggers check-out chicks. If they're not pretty, then...well, use your imagination, because they don't have much.

The second type are subdivisible, but basically they're the teenagers who do stuff. Most adults don't like this because they don't like being outshined by people younger than them, and have this they're-still-at-school-mwahahaha-so-we'll-keep-treating-them-like-children complex. Oh, and they have this other complex I call I-know-I-said-they're-children-but-we'll-give-them-adult-sized-loads-of-homework-mwahahahaha.

I want to be the second type.

Second type teenagers. Not many, you say. WRONG, I say!

Unfortunately, I'm forced to associate with Legolas, who is stubbornly type one.

What I've been doing.

I've been doing lots of things.

I've been working on my book - a little each day, no exceptions. I'm very disciplined that way...and I get withdrawal symptoms when I don't :)

I've been writing some poems, as you may have noticed - based on song lyrics. I think that song lyrics are largely ignored, which is a shame, because it's good and relateable lyrics that attract me to a song, but they're often ignored. Through my reinterpretation poetry I hope to relay the message in a way that isn't distracted by music. I add a lyric video, courtesy of my favourite internet haunt, YouTube - I've added one for 'Exceptions', which you may have missed, so check that out. This is so that you can see the similarities between poem and lyric.

I've also decided that the pile of jeans that I don't fit into anymore has gotten alarmingly big, and that I truly have the fitness level of a hippo, so I'm being proactive about it. Ramen noodles are limited to once a week (:() and stuff like that. I'm also doing ZUMBA, which is like a workout on crack set to extremely fast music and is embarassingly fun, and I ice-skate every week. I take classes, which are kind of humiliating because we're tottering around and crashing every thirty seconds and there are these toddlers who are like spinning and flipping and scooting around and making me turn green :(...

People at school are getting slightly unbearable, but now I have my outlet - every time a particular Legolas starts bitching her great heifer ass off (that's a lie. but I like to think of it that way. And if she's got the prettier face I have nicer legs. And a bigger brain.) it becomes a chapter, just like that. BAM! So, in some ways I kind of wish she won't stop bitching, but it does make you feel like shit. I won't lie. Even a tough ass avant-garde nerd like me can get dragged down into a little puddle of shittiness by this little blonde chick who doesn't know better, and thinks that an A in Bitching will get her further than an A in Politics.

Life's hard. Life's fun. Life's horrible. Life's brilliant. Life's life.


Have you ever met those people,
Who kind of light up your world?
They're like fireflies,
They're like rainbows.

Have you ever met those people,
Who make you feel whole again?
They're like leaps of faith,
They chase away the rain.

Have you ever met those people,
Who are like angels without wings?
They're like shooting stars,
They're like ice cream.

These people are like fireworks,
They're rare, but I know that
There are people that are like fireworks,
They help you let your colours show.

Do you know that there are people,
That are kind of amazing?
They're like rays of sun,
They're like diamond rings.

Do you know that there are people,
That really care?
They're like sparks of hope,
They're like teddy bears.

So when you feel like a plastic bag drifting through the wind,
Whenever you feel like a house of cards one blow from caving in;
Whenever you feel so buried deep,
And when you scream no-one seems to hear a thing,
Just know that there are these people,
And these people...

These people are like fireworks,
They're there, I know.
There are people like fireworks,
Who say 'yes' when the rest say 'no'.

Inspired by the song 'Firework' by Katy Perry.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

What do you believe in?

Sometimes I get very disappointed with the world we live in.

I don't know whether it's the city or the country or the whole world, but people are very hypocritical.

You see, people seem to think that I had a choice as to what talents I get blessed with, and I deliberately chose an abnormal and obscure and weird one just to annoy them - just like they used to think that women had all the control in the world over childbearing and that they don't bear sons simply because they don't want to. I didn't have a choice, okay? None of us did. If I had a choice I would be beautiful and the envy of the globe and born into a rich family and grow up and have a wonderful kiss-your-feet worshipping hot husband and beautiful babies. I didn't choose to have a heart condition, okay? So don't blame me for it. I didn't choose to be big or smart or have spots on my face or weird slitty eyes. I didn't choose to be that obscure overachieving English freak, okay? It's just who I am. And when people say that I'm emo and depressive and self-deprecating with the self esteem of a shoelace, then think for a moment how hard it is to be a teenager in this world, a teenager who loves herself when the world doesn't love her. When I'm proud of myself I'm being obnoxious. When I'm being humble I'm being depressive. I can't please everyone, okay? I write. I'm damn good at it. I love it. It's all I have - I simply can't do anything else. And so if you're one of those people who's rich and pretty and good at everything that is okay to be good at and bad at everything 'uncool' or whatever the fucking hell you call it these days, then consider this before you laugh at that fat Asian chick who's beating you in every exam. None of us have a choice who we are and what we're born into. Do you think the children of drug dealers and mass murderers have a choice? Do you think children born with mental problems and deformities had a choice? No! Why would anyone chose that, huh?

When I was little I used to think this world was so smart. We can solve problems I didn't even know existed. We could make things I couldn't even dream of. But as I have gotten older and older I become more and more confused and disappointed in a world where we cage ourselves, we, the untameable race, confine ourselves voluntarily! Perhaps our intelligence is our killer - or, rather, lack of intelligence where we need it most. We are all of us the human race, and we all have to stick together, huh? If we're an army trying to fight the enemy of the unknown then we're in the middle of a civil war, picking on our own allies. Even dogs can keep internal order better than we can.

There was once a time when men died for love, when men believed in things. What do you believe in, huh? What do you believe in?

Friday, October 15, 2010


All the love I have known,
Has hurt,
Has burned.

Will I find the exception?
Tell me they're not all one and the same.
Will I find my exception?
Because I want a partner in this game.

All the love I have known,
Has been empty,

Will I find the exception?
I don't think it's enough to just hope and pray.
Will I find my exception?
Because I'm getting tired of this game.

All the love I have known,
Has been merely a dream,
A charade.

Will I find the exception?
Or is hate love's new name?
Will I find my exception?
Because I don't want to lose this game.

All the love I have ever known,
Has died,

Will I find the exception?
Why is all I have ever known so inane?
Will I find my exception?
I don't really know the rules of this game.

I'm wrong.
I like to believe,
Hope against hope,
Pray against prayer,
That all I have ever known are exceptions...

Will I find the exception?
How long do I have to wait?
Will I find my exception?

Because I refuse to believe that this is just a game.

Inspired by the song 'The Only Exception' by Paramore.

Basing Characters

Even the most outlandish tale set in the weirdest legandarium you could possibly conceive must have characters based on real people.

It's a fact of life.

People don't have copyrights. They can't copyright that weird hair-flip thing, they can't copyright the way their hips swing when they walk or the way they chew the straws when they drink iced tea, and they certainly can't copyright what they say when they bully you.

So put it in your story.

Here's how to do it legally and effectively:

Basing a Character on You:

1. Take a good hard look at yourself. In books it's okay to embellish yourself - as in, take away that annoying spot on your chin or fix your eyebrows so that they don't look like two catipillars have died on your face - but don't airbrush yourself too much because, after all, the whole point of basing characters on real live humans is to make them, well, human.

2. Observe any mannerisms or rituals you do. Do you brush each tooth for exactly three seconds? Do you brush your hair 100 times before you go to bed without fail? Do you sing 'Pocketful of Sunshine' really loudly in the shower? Or am I the only person weird enough to do (and admit) these things?

3. Don't be afraid to put this character in situations you may be unfamiliar with - in fact, experiencing things through characters is amazing. Just think each detail of the scenario through carefully, and dissect exactly what you would do.

4. Emphasize any good characteristics (or make up some if you lack) if you're trying to make yourself a hero, or emphasize any bad characteristics if you're trying to make yourself a villain. But please, please, please don't go for the all-heroes-are-pretty-and-all-villains-are-ugly stereotype. Please.

Basing a Villain on Someone You Hate:

1. Pick someone you positively detest. This technique works best for people who bully you (cough Legolas).

2. Why do you hate them? C'mon, be mean. Make a list. And make sure nobody finds that list.

3. It may be easier to write this character if you keep their original name. Then, make up a different name (this is important, so you don't wind up in court if your book gets published) and try it on for size.

4. Don't be broad or vague as to why this character is a particularly heinous breed of bitch. Any scenario that the person this character is based on should be remebered and somehow written in, almost word-for-word as it was.

5. Try not to villainify them to the point of eye-bleeding extremism. If they're pretty, don't make them uglier than that Alien in that Sigourney Weaver horror movie. If they're smart, dumbing them down will make it pretty hard to recreate verbal abuse and clever pranks that they pull on you in your book (people with Low IQs never get further than hiding your bag in the boys toilets or putting glue on your seat.)

6. The best part about villainifying people you know is that it is a brilliant revenge - seriously, whenever I'm down or having writer's block all I think of are the faces of the people I've based not-so-nice characters on and immediately you have plenty to write about. The art of this is making it blatantly obvious to people who know you, as well as the person in question, who the character is based on, but carefully written so you can deny it all to the general public.

7. This method works best for bullies and bad exes. This will not particularly work on the girl you hate because she has buck teeth or bad breath or teachers, especially if you hate all teachers in general.

Have fun!

Monday, October 11, 2010

This is why I wish I was good at media...

I love media studies.

I also suck at it.

But I love watching media masterpieces, which is why I am an avant-garde Youtube fiend of the highest order.

Pour exemple (excuse my French. Literally.):

Sunday, October 10, 2010

New Name

Yes, I confess. I am a serial name-changer.

The new title is probably not as nonsensical as the last one. The title reflects, again, another favourite song of mine ('Teenage Dream' by Katy Perry).

I hate the term 'when I grow up'. People are full of bullshit. When you're a kid they tell you you're not good enough, when you're an adult they say that you 'don't have enough time'. There is never a good time to make dreams come true, so there's never been a better time than now. That's what annoys me the most, I think. Parents teach their children to tell the truth, and just hope that they'll never lie, but parents never teach their children to dare to dream.

Sorry if I haven't been blogging frequently. My book (50,807 words) is getting nice and fat, and getting lots of love :)

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Kids and Reading, Kids and Writing, Kids that don't do anything.

My Top Tips for Kids Who Don't Read.

Why don't your kids read? Lots of reasons. Kids these days associate books with people like me, social losers who have no life and must resort to talking to an internet page that she's not quite sure anybody reads. That's the main reason why a lot of kids don't read - it's just not cool.

Another reason is that your kid might have dyslexia, learning difficulties, or confusion if you speak a different language at home then to the language being taught at school.

Another reason is that books are not really appealing to kids these days - they were when I was little (this was when I was four, in 2000), but now there are much more interesting, flashy things that are much easier to use and enjoy than a wad of paper.

But the biggest reason, I think, is that kids are given the wrong books to read. Every parent dreams that their kid will drown in books like Shakespeare and Austen and Bronte - but it doesn't happen, particularly if your child is eight and is more interested in soccer than Socrates. And this is something you can solve.

1. Any reading is better than no reading - yes, that means letting them read magazines and those trashy books that you don't think are 'classical' or 'wholesome'. Something - whether it be school requirements or a sudden realization that Dolly magazines don't really increase your IQ - will make your kid turn to classics in their own time. Until then, Saddle Club is perfectly adequate. Reading internet pages is actually a very wholesome book substitute, contrary to popular baby-boomer generation beliefs.

2. Get them to a library and set them loose - they will eventually find something, even if it is only a copy of Twilight. The books you bring home for them are not likely to appeal.

3. If I'm lucky enough to catch you whilst your child is still a baby, then this is the best way to make your kid a psychotically obsessed reader -

a) Read to them every single night, starting now. I don't care if your baby is three seconds old, three days old or tree years old - every single night without fail read to them. Try and find a picture book that they can grab (and spit their dinner) at.

b) Eventually your kid will ask to read to you instead of the other way around - don't push this or try and stop it, it will happen at some point.

c) Always have books around - have a bookshelf within easy reach, and read more often yourself. Young children will mimick their parents in whatever way they can think of. Don't keep books in areas associated with filth, punishment or discomfort - this means the 'time out' corner and the toilet, and certainly do not hit your child with a book (or anything, for that matter. Human rights, people.)

d)Visit the library regularly and let them borrow whatever they want. Buy books for birthdays and Christmas, and use them as bribes. Associate books with good things.

4. Things you should never, ever do.

a) Never, ever bribe your kid to read (I'll give you two dollars/a candy bar/half an hour of telly time if you read three pages). Never use reading as a punishment, either.

b) Never force a kid to read a book they don't want to read.

c) Never tell a kid off for just looking at the pictures and not actually reading the words - believe me, I still do that (with those thick heavy biographies of historical people nobody actually wants to read.)

d) Never demand a review, a synopsis or any 'work' of any sort after a kid has finished a book. Let them rant and rave about it, let them tell you exactly what they'd do and who they'd cast in a movie adaption of the book, but never set any tasks - that's a teacher's job.

Kids and Writing:

I have been writing - very badly - since I was four and read Harry Potter. My mother would say that most parents are not so unlucky as to have a four year old daughter who finishes Harry Potter before you do, whilst other parents have turned green with envy when that fat Asian girl beat their precious blonde darling (and the grade six teacher) in the spelling bee.

Kids who write aren't necessarily the smartest kids, although many of them think they are and think wrong. Kids who write aren't necessarily the most imaginative of kids, although again, many of them think they are and think wrong. It is pretty easy to figure out which kid is overreaching and which kid has genuine talent - the kid with genuine talent should be able to come up with something legible with reasonable flow, if utterly useless and boring, at around age six to eight. The overreaching kid will never produce anything at all coherent. Whether your kid is the overreaching type or the talented type (I have yet to find out which I am) encourage writing anyway - everyone needs to be able to write at a satisfactory level by adulthood - unless you live in Australia, where there are a variety of jobs that require little IQ that include scrubbing toilets and becoming a football player. You will very rarely find a kid who writes not because they like it, but because it's 'cool', because writing is very rarely 'cool'.

If your kid is a writer then chances are you have a very weird kid. A kid who will willingly try blue lipstick and red eyeshadow just for the hell of it, or wear plaid and pinstripes together just to see what the overall effect is. Your kid may have some form of autism or mental illness or learning disability of some sort, and your kid may be incredibly smart or incredibly dumb. Your kid will probably not be the most popular kid in school, or the first to have a boyfriend, or the one most likely to marry Hugh Hefner. Your kid may try a variety of things including adopting a British accent, dressing like a slut, insisting on wearing high heels at the age of ten, cutting a fringe, trying to cut their own fringe, dying their hair red, dumping whatever they can find that smells nice in the pantry into their bath, speaking Elizabethan for a day, trying to go vegetarian, attempting to cook and making homemade ice tea - and yes, I have done all of the foregoing. Try to love your kid, because there is a (very slim) chance that they will publish books, become famous, and pay for your retirement.

If your kid doesn't write, count your lucky stars because your kid most likely won't try blue lipstick or red eyeshadow, probably doesn't have a mental illness and will not try adopting a British accent, dressing like a slut, insisting on wearing high heels at the age of ten, cutting a fringe, trying to cut their own fringe, dying their hair red, dumping whatever they can find that smells nice in the pantry into their bath, speaking Elizabethan for a day, trying to go vegetarian, attempting to cook or make homemade ice tea. But, then again, your kid may be the most popular kid in the school, the first to get a boyfriend, the one most likely to marry Hugh Hefner, and may be destined for such humbling and miraculous fates of scrubbing toilets or playing football for a living - and that doesn't really sound appealing to me, although it may to you. Love this kid too, espcially if they really do end up marrying Hugh Hefner.

As for kids who don't do anything - they don't exist. Kids do a lot of things, it's just that the generations going and gone don't appreciate the internet and iPods and PlayStations, just as we don't appreciate bad 50's films, bad 60's fashion, bad 70's celebrity crushes, bad 80's fashion, bad 90's faux pas and bad 00's haircuts. Oh, and we never really understood the point of Airfix either.

Things you learn when you've written 47,204 words of a book that may never be liked or published.

I'm sorry if I've been neglecting my blog a bit lately. It's just that books are very time consuming.

And I've learned a lot, 47,000 words after I came up with the idea.

Where am I up to? Almost the end. By almost I mean that I could summarize the rest of the story in my head in about six seconds, explain it to you in about six hours, and it may take me six days or six weeks or six months or six years to actually write it all down.

I've learned that writing is exhausting. I've run a cross country and felt less exhausted then I do at the moment.

I've learned that writing needs to be constantly, constantly edited. I don't believe in writing something and then re-writing the whole lot - you lose a lot of charm that way. But chapters must be read and reread, things added and things taken.

I've learned that it's a lot easier to love fictional characters then real men, especially fictional characters who are the love interests of the character that is based on you.

I've learned that watching movies is a lifesaver when you write. The trick to not look copy-cat is to read as many books and watch as many movies and listen to as many songs as you can in a very small space of time - that way they all get nicely jumbled in your brain and that jumble becomes your story.

I've learned that when people say 'EEEEEEW' about the idea, you shouldn't take it personally.

I've learned that you will never feel safe about your story despite saving it in five different files on your computer, your USB and your email account.

I've learned just how annoying it is to get your best ideas at three in the morning/at dinner/when you're supposed to be folding the laundry/when your dog is attempting to pee on the carpet/when you wake up and realize that you never managed to change into your nightgown before falling asleep/after breakfast and you really should brush your teeth/when your face is covered in soap bubbles/in the shower before you've rinsed out the shampoo (the result is a wet computer and sticky hair).

I've learned that it is very hard to put your characters through pain, when you love them so much.

I've learned that my many years of merciless abuse at the hands of some particular blondes (I don't think the colour of their hair was a factor, just a coincidence) has made EVERY SINGLE VILLAIN in my story WHITE BLONDE.

I've learned that...writing is the purest, happiest joy I have ever experienced. Screw boyfriends - let me write, anytime.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

When you're pretty, you get away with shit.

So there's this girl, lets call her Legolas. (yeah, you know her.) She's a pretty little thing - actually, she's so breathtakingly beautiful I want to cry and puke simultaneously every time I see her. Yeah, that kind of beautiful.

So she gets away with everything. Being a bitch to me, being a bitch to everyone, being a complete ditz.

Me? I don't even get away with existing.

It's funny that, in this day and age, it's not what's in your head that matters, but what's on your head. I guarantee if she didn't have beautiful hair and perfect features and flawless skin she would not get away with half the crap she pulls all day, every day. I guarantee if I were as beautiful as her I wouldn't be garbaging about how bad my life is on this blog that a minute percent of the world reads - I'd be out there with a hot manbag and having a life, probably. But hey, if God exists, then God intended me to sit here and rage about bad boyfriends and the joys of coloured eyeliner.

So don't tell me it's beauty on the inside that counts, because it doesn't. Don't tell me that looks don't matter, because they do. Those little anecdotes might sound poetic and shit, but they're not farking true.

Watch Easy A. I recommend it. And when you're about to tell yourself 'Pah! That stuff never happens' trust me, they do.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

my computer's not working. must be the feminists' fault. the world's not working. must be feminists' fault.

Don't blame all the world's problems on feminists.

First of all, the people who blame us are largely clueless men and farked-up misogynist chauvinist bumholes. You're probably the reason why the world has problems in the first place and you're not only hindering the feminist cause, you're criticizing it, too.

Second of all, just because bad shit happens it's not because women are somehow involved, okay? We're not cursed, despite what some let's-completely-misinterpret-the-Bible-and-give-all-religious-people-a-bad-name people think.

Third of all, if you say that women are born to emotional and passionate and easily-swayed, then men are born too callous and thick skinned and cold hearted. If you say that you speak from experience, then I speak from experience - no, seriously, I am.

Feminists are not world war starters, we're not men haters, we're not child murderers. We stand up for what is right. If you think that in the last half-century feminism as gotten nowhere, then I blame you. It's hard to burn brightly when you keep getting snuffed out. It's hard to sing with one voice when you're always getting drowned out. Equal rights, equal pay, equal choice. That's all we are. Nothing more.

Inspired by this, a post on the ABC The Drum Unleashed by Clementine Ford, an Australian feminist freelance writer.