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Showing posts from July, 2010

Adelaide seminar trip: humble and inspired!

So, I'm at the end of my second day on campus. I've had interviews with both my superviors, attended a seminar, a literati group, a poetry workshop... In short, it's been like drinking from an oasis!

Hearing others talk about their projects has me itching to get stuck imto my story! Speaking of which the feedback has been AMAZING and suprising to me. Several people commented enthusiasticly about how well they connected with my Lily, and how real she is on the page.

My main supervisor was really enthusisstic about my change to first person present and said it suited the story well and has provided so much more depth to the narrative.

Honestly, I've felt completely humbled by all the praise, i wasn't expecting it because i didn't feel i'd put enough effort into the writing to merit this kind of response at all.

I've also been gifted with some great insights of things to work on and emphasise, and ideas that will flesh out different aspects of the plot…

Family Code of Conduct Contract

I've been wondering if writing up one these isn't such a bad idea.
I saw this idea on a show - laugh, if you will - "The World's Strictest Parents".
I would like to think Dave and I as the parents in this household, the leaders (in the sense of showing the way, not dictating to the kids) of the house, could just model respectful, considerate and co-operative behaviours and our children would follow suit from that modelling.
The truth of our family life just doesn't reflect this, and so I've found myself wondering of late if a family contract - that we all sign, that is equal for everyone in the household from oldest to youngest - might be a good idea.
The contract would cover such things as: Communications - how we speak to each other and communicate our thoughts and feelings. What language we use. How we listen to each other. How we address difficult situations in particular where high tension might arise from opposing understandings. Our environment - ho…

The fourth child...

This blog post is a blatant steal from the fabulous Kate at Picklebums post from today...
In this family, you know you're a fourth when...
You're big brother hands you a lolly/piece of chocolate/thickshake/Coke! and neither mum or dad even blink an eye...You fall off a chair and bump your head and no one comes running (sad but true) unless you scream blue murder.You've heard "1, 2, 3, 4... Ok, everyone's here" so often that other people think you're a precocious counter when you mimick it...Mum and Dad don't creep into bed silently or complain about you taking up all the bed like they did with your brothers, but spend far too much time in the wee hours lamenting at how soon it'll be before you want your own bed - and you have to slap them to remind them YOU'RE TRYING TO SLEEP HERE!Mum doesn't carry you in a sling or backpack because her shoulder has gone bung from carrying your second and third brothers into their third years of life.You do…

The great things about homeschooling...

My kids go to school because they choose to go to school. There are definitely benefits to their father and I that they make this choice - all those hours in there day where they are occupied without any input from us, and the time we can spent with the younger two (soon to just be the youngest), and yes, we even get time to ourselves to just... Think...

So, I'm not going to sit here and pretend that I hate that they go to school. I don't hate it, in some ways I love it. They seem to love it, which is great.

But...

There are things about school that I do hate, that often make me wish my boys didn't want to go to school.

Today is a perfect example. They come home and Erik hands me the notice we knew was coming... He'd told us a couple of days ago that one of the boys in class had asked the teacher if they could do Masterchef in class AGAIN. They did this in the last term of last year and again in the first term of this year. Each student was allocated either an &quo…

I want an iPad because I'm lazy...

I've sat here in the warmth of my loungeroom, in front of the tv, in the company of my husband and written - written another chapter of my manuscript - on my iPhone... It's a bit of a slow process only because I have had to type out letter for letter using only the indew finger on my right hand. For a touch typist, this is S L O W going... But I'm lazy and I like to be warm and to have company while I write...

It was really frustrating though when I high-lighted everything I'd type to get a word count and then accidentally deleted it all!

And this is why I want an iPad. On an iPad I'd have all the same creature comforts but I could touch type and resurrect my work so much faster...

Oh, for an iPad...

Silly me...

I don't know why I always dread sitting down to write my manuscript.
I just sat down for the first time in 11 months to start work on the second draft. It was fun! It took about an hour to write the first chapter of 1000 words. I didn't sweat blood or fall apart as anyone might have thought I might from the effort I've put into procrastinating against doing this.
Why do I fight this so much - this process that feels so natural to me when I give over to it?

Nourishing the soul...

The word "soul" tends to conjure up images of religious pursuits and this blog isn't about that, so my apologies to anyone who reads this and is disappointed.
After many months of doing little else but study, work and parenting, I've been feeling spiritually run down and unenthused. This week, however, there has been a huge turn around, and the things it took to make that change were so simple, really, I thought I'd share...
I've booked a trip to go visit my parents and attend a class with fellow Masters students - the thought of connecting with people, in real life, that I only usually get to interact with via the internet or phone is thrilling. There is so much to be said for exchanging physical contact with another person through a hug, or eye connection or the instantaneous connection of a smile. Even though the latter two could be achieved via a program such as Skype, I think the lack of immediate bodily energy exchange depletes the experience of it'…

Emotional Neoteny... We all have it.

I just read this term this morning on a friends facebook homepage (Hi!)...

It's a fascinating twist on the concept of neoteny; the sexual maturation of an organism which is still in the larval or infant stage physically.

Emotional neoteny would then refer to beings who appear fully developed physically but still in the infant state emotionally. Late bloomers, childlike, or perhaps childish - depending on whether you're amused or irritated by them.

As an emotional "late bloomer" with a child who is emotionally childLIKE, I think I can really relate to this term (perhaps that's not a great thing to admit???).

Oddly enough, though, while I think many adults retain a lot of the pediatric emotions, especially people who have experienced trauma of some kind early in life (which impedes emotional development in that area, often leading to low self-esteem in that particular area), I had been of the belief that some people Id encountered throughout my life journey were beyon…

Why I'm ambivalent about pursuing a career in children's services...

I love working with children and i believe in our ever detached society where far too many children spend far too many hours in child care from far too young an age, there is a dire need for carers who are consciously emotionally responsive, respectful and reliable.

Sadly, it seems I'm a bit shallow. Here's what happened today that highlighted for me why I'm ambivalent about pursuing a career in children's services...

I was at the hair dressers and as they're wont to do, he asked me if i was having a day off from work. I told him I'd just finished a course, but was still working on another course and was hoping to start work really soon. He asked what sort of work it was, i said it was in childten's services and as many have done in recent times he said, "Oh." in that kind of way that suggests they think you're pretty much a babysitter... I quickly added that children's services is what I do to pay the bills. He then asked what my other…

OMG! I've become one of THOSE women!

The other week I was sitting in the last day of class in my Cert III in Children's Services and the teacher had organised for a rep from an agency to come and speak with us about signing up. The rep was very encouraging, but made a point of stating that there were minimum standards for being eligible to work for the agency and we would be required to undergo a double pronged interview process whereby we'd be pre-interviewed over the phone and having successfully passed that interview we'd be invited to attend their offices in South Yarra and undergo a more formal interview and subsequent induction, assuming we met their requirements.

I immediately thought, oh no! I need much more professional clothing for all of this! LOL - priorities!

Then she said they required all their staff to have a minimum of Certificate III in Children's Services and with that First Aid, Anaphylaxis and AT LEAST 80 hours experience in childcare settings. Luckily, we'd all ticked all those…

Wow!

This morning it has really dawned on me that i've finished the first half of 2010, and now it's time to get a move on with the second half of tjis year.

In the next six months my energy will be devoted to finishing my Masters and working. It'll be as full on, if not moreso, than the first half of the year, the only difference being that i will have much more say in how each day or week pans out... I'm quite looking fotward to it really, even though the typing process can be really tedious and working will be nerve-wracking at first!

I'm going to Adelaide in about 2.5 weeks time (only for two nights) to audit a seminar - and possibly present my own manuscript - with other Thesis writers. Honestly, deep down, i'm beside myself with excitement at the prospect of hearing about othets writing (and maybe even getting feedback on my own)!

So anyway, today feels like the start if an exciting and challenging journey!

Anger is Fear...

Today a friend told me I've seemed angrier of late. I laughed it off and said that, in actual fact, I've always been this angry, and if anything I've been trying to be less angry in recent times because I don't to be an angry person, or to be thought of as an angry person.

On reflection, yes, I have probably been an angry person for a while now. Anger is an emotion that is a direct response to fear. The correlation between fear and anger is very close. The angrier a person seems to be, the more fear they feel, the more threatened they perceive themselves to be.

Fear affects people differently, in some people it cause a flight response. Some people become unbelievably keen to please when afraid, they'll do anything to deny the threat they are feeling, to suppress the fear with a smile and a pleasant tone and a willingness to do just about anything for anyone, especially anyone who has the power to alleviate their fear. Society likes people who flee when afraid.

I…

Talk Back Radio...

We used to listen to the radio a fair bit, you know, BC (before children). After they started arriving though, the radio listening habit withered considering - partly thanks to little inquisitive minds and fingers destroying our stereo and various portables until a few years ago we stopped listening altogether.

Then, just recently, we bought Erik and Luey their own radios for their respective birthdays, and around the same time, Dave brought out his one remaining, somewhat mangled, tape deck radio player and set it up on top of the fridge in the kitchen...

In the past few weeks we've listen to a great many fascinating shows and discussions from a lecture on economic sustainability around the world, to traveling writers who had a surprise bundle of joy come join them on the grey trail around Australia... It's been really nice reconnecting with this old, but not yet outdated, form of information dissemination and entertainment.

When we gave the boys their radios, we thought they&…

Happy 11th Birthday, my boy...

What can I say? He's 11. I so often hear people say they just don't know how their children got to be so old so quickly, where has the time gone? I don't feel this way at all! I think that is because I'm such a different person to the person I was 11 years ago when he was born! Mostly, thanks to HIM!
Soon, I'll be getting a tattoo that is about him. Oddly enough - some might say - it'll be a butterfly. Butterflies aren't particularly masculine, and I think maybe he'd prefer my tattoo honouring his presence in my life were something like a tiger or a an eagle, but tigers and eagles aren't symbols of transformation and Erik's arrival earthside transformed my life - and me in the process. He used to need me. This child needed me more overtly than any of my other children have needed me. I once saw a kinesiologist who told me - with great concern written all over her face - that he needed me too much, that he and I were too closely intertwi…

Things I know...

Agencies asking for professionals who are leaders in their field, will have no such applicants because THOSE people already have jobs!When you feed your children delicious, nutritious food, they'll whine about what's for dinner, but when you tell them it'll only be 2 minute noodles and packet soup this week, they'll whoop and cheer they way you would over the previous week's menu...Finishing a stressful course is anticlimatic.If you tell your 4 year old he can only have a dog when and if his dad DIES, said 4 year old will LOUDLY make plans for AFTER DAD DIES while on public transport...Inspiration never comes to those who wait...If you buy 39kg of bananas in preparation to go on a banana feast in your first fortnight of being raw vegan, you'll be giving away loads of bananas and bake a lot of muffins and make milk based smoothies that first week.Winter is cold, into the marrow of you bone cold, can't get warm except under the shower cold, difficult to motiv…