Monday 30 September 2013

Heart Palpitations

You give me heart palpitations. Let me explain how. It actually makes a lot of sense. So I think of you and it's random and the thoughts pop in and I push them out and they keep coming. I make a coffee. Distraction seems my best hope. Normal tasks and hobbies and chores don't stop the ideas and repeated conversations. I make a coffee. An early dinner cooked with effort and detail. I make a coffee. Then the seeds need watering. They are peeping their tiny sprouts through the soil that looks a lot like coffee grinds. I make a coffee. Finished another book. One I'd read before when I was ten. I drank all those coffees I made. You give me heart palpitations.

Sunday 29 September 2013

And the band played Waltzing Matilda

I have a handful of best friends. Literally five people who are in my inner circle. That does not include my family who are my 0th circle. The friends are in the 1st circle of Manadom.

Interesting things about my friends include:

  • They are imports or if Aussie then they don't live in Australia;
  • They are non-judgemental and respect that fact that others sport differing opinions; and
  • They are very smart and extremely humble.
This is consistent and uncompromising.

Thursday 19 September 2013

Let's not play the mental health card

After the most recent massacre in the US, I have heard a line over and over again that does nothing but irk me.

It goes something like "Let's not play the PTSD card" or "Let's not play the mental health card" or some such card playing statement.

If you stop and really really think about it then you will easily come to the conclusion that a sane person does not go out there and shoot people. Not for any reason. Not outside a war zone or under some perceived threat.

Mental illness seems to be dismissed quite regularly as some kind of excuse.

My theory is that this comes from temporary insanity as a line of defence against murder charges and its overuse in American TV shows with unimaginative writers. It may also come from the idea that being locked up in a mental institution for treatment is some easier form of punishment than the rock breaking labour of real prison.

Either way, those are valid ways of dealing with people in those situations. They are not excuses or made up plot lines constructed to allow bad people to escape consequences.

Mental illness is real. It is not an excuse. It can sometimes be a reason but it is never an excuse.

I mean to take nothing from the people or the families of those who are harmed in such horrible events but I also will not let mental illness and people doing things because they are ill be treated like an escape clause.

Mental illness is real. You may not have suffered it but that doesn't make it a holiday on the beach with cocktails in coconut shells.

Mental illness is not reasonable. You may not understand what it is like for your mind to tell you something that isn't real but it does happen.

Mental illness is not a escape clause. In fact, there is a shadow that hangs over you forever that is accompanied by a pain that you will always dread.  It will go away and you will be well, if you are lucky. It will not dictate who you are always. It will however give you some empathy for the idea that sometimes people are just crazy and sometimes crazy is just people.

Your inability to comprehend something does not mean it does not exist.

Wednesday 18 September 2013

Write For Yourself

Friends and strangers often ask me how I got the confidence to write and where the skill came from. I still dispute the skill part but I'm more than happy to share the key to my seeming confidence.

There are three things that allow me to write and they are all you need.

1. Write for yourself
I never write anything for the validation or love of anyone else. My writing comes from the need to articulate and sort through my thoughts. That means that when the tapping on the keyboard ends and the readings are read and the brain dump is done then my mind is at peace.

You must find your own reason to write. Simply putting words together will not result in the authenticity you need in your written voice.

2. Write a lot
So many good writers talk about the fact that they treat their writing like a job. They write from 9-5 in the way we do our day jobs. Yes, that's a tough thing to do or mostly impossible unless you are being paid for it or are funemployed. You still must write.

Find the time to write and do it regularly. It will improve your ability to write in your voice.

3. Read a lot
Nothing will teach you how to say something like listening to someone else say that. Hanging around with people who love and play with words can be complimented by reading a lot. If it has words on it and you can make it stay still enough long enough to read it then tie it down.

The best speakers and writers are huge readers. Pick up that book.

So write for yourself and do it a lot and fill the rest of the time with reading and living.

Monday 16 September 2013

Conversations with Girlfriends

It is amazing how good it is to share your current state of temporal inanity with your female friends.

It is never the same telling it to the opposite sex no matter how empathic they are or how close you are to them. Girlfriends get you on a different level.

Until an hour long conversation tonight, I was feeling a bit like a parrot who had lost its squawk. Like Austin Powers drained of mojo. Like a girl walking barefoot in to a crowded ballroom.

The thing that has become quite apparent to me over the years is that when you tell someone else what is going on in your head, you find that you are not at all alone. In fact, you find that no matter what you think of your own thoughts of actions that they are never as bad as you think. Someone else has been there before.

There are many people out there who will just tell you to suck it up but you don't want those ones. Find someone who understands and take a short time to be understood. Then move on.

Being understood does not mean validated. It just means someone will listen and not judge you. They may accept what you are thinking or offer an alternative.

Sisters over misters.

Saturday 14 September 2013

With Oils and Spoils

I painted you a picture but not with pigments. It was crafted and planned and utterly wasted since it goes unheard. There weren't haystacks of lilies or sunflowers whipped in frenzy. There weren't blocks or legends or shapes carved from stone.

It seems that all I have are words.

So the canvas was spotless. The stone was a solid block. My tools were not tangible. My creation does not pose. Everything I said was lost with no repose.

And life goes forward like a stream of tweets with only the last ten read.
And life goes forward like a wedding once the wedding guests are fed.
And life goes forward like the doggerel that is pulsing through my head.

With the message being I wrote it, only because you exist. A message that doesn't do feelings because that is not what I do. Maybe a message that will sink in and see me safely through.

TV Show Recommendations - Sci Fi

People are always recommending TV shows to each other. I have blitzed through a few lately that I'd like to urge you to watch.


A post apocalyptic drama without zombies is a nice break. Made by the Lost crew, it has that stranded on a desert island feeling but the island is the ex-USA and all the power has been turned off. Even the whiney little kids grow up quickly and stop annoying you. It is only one season in at this point but well worth the watch.

Orphan Black

A bad girl who witnesses the suicide by train of a woman who looks exactly like her, takes on the dead woman's life and all its complications. This is not your typical American sci-fi drama and that could be because it is mostly Canadian. I watched the entire first season on the edge of my couch. If you watch nothing else on this list, watch this.

This honestly is one of the dorkiest sci-fi series I have ever watched but I can't help but love it. It is very formulaic and often predictable but the characters make up for it. The acting does improve over the seasons and so do the story lines. Guest appearances from the greats of sci-fi TV from Bionic Woman, Torchwood, Battlestar Galactica, Firefly, Star Trek: TNG & Voyager and even Warehouse's sister series Eureka, to name a few. If you love all sci-fi TV then this is your show.

Those are my top 3. Get on it!

Friday 13 September 2013

Strawberries and Dream

Sitting here eating strawberries has to be the highlight of my day.

That isn't a bad thing, with days becoming simpler. There is a lot of time to think and dream and write. Most of that writing isn't happening online. It is in books with pens on paper on thoughts. It is code in languages that didn't exist last century.

So much has happened this week. It has been a headspin of Exorcistesque proportions.

There have been so many words written and then deleted.

There have been so many words said and then retrieved.

There have been so many moments that simply have to have happened and can't be erased without some major low level formatting.

My biggest learning from this week is more a relearning of something I know and should always known consciously. It is that what I decided will happen is what will end up happening in my life. If I decided something will be brilliant then it is. If I decide it will be a large pile of poo then it ends up that way.

The will makes the path which ultimately leads to the outcome you willed.

This week may have been all kinds of broken and as long as I keep thinking that I am broken then it will keep being this way. I gave something away that was a mistake. No willing or wishing or spanking or swishing will negate that.

Instead, I have to learn a lesson from it and not let it repeat.

Sounds easy, right?


He doesn't want to define this.

This thing that is so extreme and instant and random.

He avoids the comments that commit to anything. Maybe because he does not commit to anything.
He gives as much as he can without writing it in blood. Maybe because he bleeds just like a man.
He gives me time which he has and he knows I need. But then time is the one thing he fears.

Is it possible to connect with someone in so sincere a way and deny that connection because of convention?

I'm not conventional. Thing is, most everyone else is.