So, you’ve written your heart out and have a compelling essay, gripping short story, delicious recipe (with or without accompanying memoir), or dazzling web content to share with the world. Naturally, you want your words to shine and land with readers as you’d intended, without pesky details like spelling, punctuation, voice, grammar, orphans, or widow[er]s […]3 Types of editing: which do you need?
It’s not about the cake
As my tagline states, this blog is ‘a place to practice the craft’. I meant the craft of writing, but it could also be the craft of living, engaging, witching, mothering. Launched a handful of weeks after the birth of my son, it has been many things — a creative outlet during the long days and nights of new motherhood, a digital sandbox to hone my writing craft, a place to find a writing community and make what are now old friends, a path to tread tentative steps toward intentional and ‘professional’ writing, and a repository for parenting mementos that I’m already grateful for, seven years on.
Those mementos include a post for each of Ruben’s birthdays. Number one was small on fanfare but big on joy; two a day of firsts with first tram ride and aquarium visit for him, first foray into fondant foolery for me; three was spent on the half pipe and dirt mounds of the skate park, inspired by his prodigious way with wheels; four an epic piñata and a dinosaur theme; and five, marveling at the wonders of the universe and his mamma’s baking skills as he sliced through an astronaut helmet cake to discover a solar system within.Continue reading
What role does art play in conversations around slow climate emergencies? This is one of the questions that artist, photographer, activist and PhD candidate Jessie Boylan explores in their work The Smallest Measure—an evolving multi-channel sound, video and photography installation.
I caught Jessie’s exhibition at the Castlemaine State Festival, tagged along during installation of their work for the ClimARt festival, and chatted with them in their studio in Central Victoria.
Thanks Jessie, and thanks Yas (Get Outta Town’s senior wheatbelt correspondent and writer extraordinaire).
I was honoured and thrilled to have a piece I recently wrote for Writing Non-fiction: Research and Readership published on the RMIT Professional Writing and Editing site as a sample of student work. I’m among incredible company. Go have a read if you’re interested. Estimated reading time 2-3 minutes. Five if you want to savour it cause who knows when I’ll post again haha.
I have clearly been absent from Blogsville for a while. Someone please tell what is going on with the editor and how I can revert back to the older style. Although I guess that older style was once new and I did get used to it.
At time of writing, I am on day 71. I haven’t missed a beat since starting. Head to @10000hoursleft to have a read!
On Day 12 of my Iso calendar, also known as Wednesday March 25, 2020 in the now nonsensical Gregorian calendar, I heard an interview I’d recorded on January 26, 2020 BC (Before Covid) with Lucy Armstrong on The Upshot. It aired on MainFM, my local community radio station. If you didn’t catch it, you can stream it anytime on Mixcloud.
The premise of the show (also hosted by Kya) is a casual chat with locals to Castlemaine and surrounds, asking the same handful of questions, culminating in the biggie— the meaning of life. The interviewee chooses music that holds special or significant memories. For one of the questions, I went on a bit of a musical rabbit hole to pin point the Ethiopian music I used to hear as a child far from my first home, music played by my mother that filled me with a longing I couldn’t place, and strangely, feelings of joy and sadness simultaneously. Even as time eroded my grasp of Amharic and I could no longer understand the lyrics, those songs struck at something deep inside me. After failing to find just the song that did it, I looked into the word ‘tezeta’ which popped up from some rarely visited nook in my mind. Bingo! Tezeta is not only the style of music I was thinking of, but the title of many songs in that style by a range of musicians. Continue reading
Cooking is a great way to take pause, lose oneself in the immediacy of tasks at hand and forget all cares if only for a while. This applies for cares big (apocalyptic world events) and small (broken vacuum cleaners). The reward at the end is a feeling of calm and the great pleasure of eating something cooked with intention and love. If you have found yourself saying ‘what the fuck?’ at the crumbling of the world as you know it, then I give to you: What the Buck? Pancakes for a Pandemic (or Anytime) – my very own recipe. Enjoy!
Day 1 of the WaterChallenge
To make the idea sink in and ensure my resolve is water tight, I went for a swim this morning.
Water is life.
Can you imagine life without clean, accessible water?
For all the thirsty one days in March, the only beverage I’ll drink is water. That means quitting caffeine for a month without any replacements like a dandelion chicory tea.
Over the course of the month, my Instagram stories will be focused on water. No lunch box updates, pics of mamma and son, delectable meals for 1 or 2, highlights of the weekend, brain explosions from grammar lessons or, sadly, latte art. Think waterboarding but gentler, for a good cause.
If you’re feeling my pain, shout me a ‘raise a glass’ pass with a $24 donation and I can break the challenge for 1 day if I really really really need to. Be sure to state that in your donation message.
Not long till April 1. Will I be foolish and order a double espresso or dip my feet back in gently with a chai latte? I have a month to think about it.
I have kickstarted my fundraising by donating my monthly coffee spend (not including home made). The astounding $220 of un-purchased coffees will assist Wateraid in their efforts to make clean water, sanitation and hygiene accessible for all. To help me reach my fundraising goal, sponsor me here.
‘ “It was a dark and stormy night…” The cliché line was written in font reminiscent of a typewriter’s singular offering, with a deliberate smudge of the printed words for added authenticity. The otherwise blank sheet of paper was wrapped around the platen of the typewriter cake* from the iconic Australian Women’s Weekly Children’s Birthday Cake Book, with pastel icing of sage green and peachy creme, mint slice platen knobs, liquorice typebars, a musk stick space bar and keys of multi-coloured smarties. The aspiring author blew the candles and made her usual wish of publication before slicing through the cake as party guests whooped and cheered. That was me, Mek, 80s tragic, birthday cake baker, engineer, and increasingly, adopter of the label ‘writer’ as one of the many facets of my identity…’
That was a snippet of my 500-word statement that formed part of my application for a university course that has been on my radar for quite a while. Continue reading
The driver’s voice crackled over the two-way.
“Bombardier approaching Bridge over Troubled Waters. Repeat, Bombardier approaching Bridge over Troubled Waters, estimated viewing time fourteen hundred hours. Roger that.”
Roger was on his 5th ‘tour of duty’ but could still not work out if Vince (the driver) was taking the piss because of his name or really thought it a military operation, though to be fair to Vince, there was manipulation of the masses and a political agenda involved— it was an assault of propaganda and faux-cheer on holiday makers who if the ruse went well, would be future investors, so one might as well call it a war effort and use military parlance.
Once alerted to the train’s approach, Roger checked his watch and did the math. It would be fifteen minutes before the train would glide over Crescent Fields Viaduct which ran parallel to the campsite of settlers 1497a. Like clockwork, he gathered dried dung from his stockpile, placed it on a retro barbecue and carefully positioned sticks on top of its grill. From the vantage of the train riding audience, it would look like sausages or even prawns, if they squinted and used their imagination. It was normally a two-person effort, but due to an incident on the worksite below that was spoken of in hushed tones, this time, Roger was alone. A substitute for the merry scene was Verity, Roger’s AI mannequin and confidant. Roger positioned Verity on a sun lounge, certain of the convincing act of her ready smile and silent complicity while on ‘standby’. Continue reading