Freelance Editor, Writer and Poet for Hire

That’s right guys!

Looks like it is time for some shameless self promotion.

On my other blog I have recently uploaded my online resume, which includes my educational and professional history. This can be found at the link towards the end of this post.

Freelance Editor, Writer and Poet for hirePhoto-0012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the past couple of years I have on occasion participated in part time freelance work, and thought it a good idea to advertise on my blog.

I have been educated in and professionally involved with proofing, copy-editing and structural-editing, and I am further known for being a notorious grammar Nazi. Moreover, I am an online journalist, and have written articles for the Australian Business Information Service and Ausgamers, and I have additionally had poetry published both online, and in textual anthologies.

If you ever wish to have a potentially alright editor, writer or poet consult with you or your company, do not hesitate to contact me at the following link:

http://totalovrdose.wordpress.com/online-resume/

If interested, upon visiting the site, please follow the prompts!

I am perfectly amenable to negotiating a fee, and have on occasion worked Pro Bono, however I do appreciate economical compensation.

Thank you for reading!

Universum Student Test

Hey guys!

I don’t often advertise on this particular blog, but this is important.

Universum, a major company which works alongside organisations from around the world has recently unveiled their annual survey for university students to undertake. By completing the ‘Wet Feet Career Test’, students, who are uncertain of their future career paths, will be able to know their career profile and discover which jobs are right for them.

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In my spare time I am working as a Student Ambassador for the Australian survey. I believe this is an important endeavor because in the coming year, many university students may not be able to find themselves a job. Making the right career choice can be one of the hardest decisions, and this survey will assist students in finding the career that is right for them.

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For university students in Australia, the survey can be undertaken here: http://unisurv.co/1010auss14

I wish you the best of luck.

Getting slapped in the face by the many pages of thy many books

Recently, the beautiful PM wrote an interesting post on a meme concerning books, and after inviting me to partake in a post of my own, well, who am I to say ‘no’? PM’s interesting little nugget can be found here peeps…http://prinsesamusang.wordpress.com/2013/08/14/walking-through-the-cemetery-of-my-not-so-forgotten-books/

So, without further ado, time to answer some questions it would seem…

Author you’ve read the most books from: Andrew Daddo, JK Rowling, John Whitman, John Saul, William Shakespeare (although technically these were plays and poetry collections rather than actual books)

Best Sequel Ever: I’ll probably steal PM’s answer and say one of the Harry Potter texts – The Goblet of Fire no doubt.

Currently Reading: Floundering, Romy Ash

Drink of choice while reading – I normally don’t drink from fear of spilling it, but if I had to say, either coffee, water or wine

E-reader or physical book: I’m an old dinosaur (not really) and will always go with the physical version. I have tried e-readers and I have never truly adapted to them. I like to feel an actual text – the moving of the pages as I turn them over – being able to close the text and open it again, as though I am temporarily locking the characters up to reveal them again and give them life at a later date.

Fictional character you probably would have dated in high school – Difficult to say, but I will note this, when I was younger and was reading Animorphs, I had a thing for Cassie. Since high school, my taste in women has not changed much, and although I can think of many intelligent women from books, I also have a thing for women with tattoos and piercings, and none of them spring to mind when remembering any books…

Glad you gave this book a chance – the Book of Lies by James Moloney. My mother bought this for me in high school because when I was  a lot younger I used to tell lots of lies and she said she saw this book and immediately thought of me. Glad she did, because this was a really interesting fantasy adventure!

Hidden gem book:  Perhaps Andrew Daddo’s Dacked – his short story collections were so relatable when I was a teenager from the voice of the character to the life experiences, and although they were meant to be funny, I never really laughed that much, but I was certainly entertained, and it was because of this man’s short stories that I began to write a few of my own.

Important Moment in your reading life – perhaps the above mentioned book, because, like I said, this assisted me in taking my own writing endeavors more seriously.

Just finished – Foster, Claire Keegan

Kind of books you won’t read – I once began 50 Shades of Grey for an assignment at university. I was at least 15 pages into it before I slammed my face into my desk in an attempt to end my horrific torment. Since then, I can officially say, that erotic romance is not my thing, and neither is romance in general – unless its poetry – I just darn well love me some romantuic poetry.

Longest book you read – Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix certainly felt that way the first time I read it. Then when I went back to it later I thought ‘eh, you ain’t that big!’

Major book hangover because of:  perhaps Terrible Times by Eddie Dickens. This was in I do believe 2003 mind you, but when I started reading this, I simply could not stop!

Number of bookcases you own – 2, both the same height as I, and I am one tall drink of water!

Book you have read multiple times – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s stone, sometimes called Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, depending on what country you live in.

Preferred place to read – my couch and my floor – I like being all spread out, funnily enough I have never truly become accustomed to reading in bed though…

Quote that inspires you – Yeah, don’t have one, sorry guys! No, scratch that, I do! ‘so long as men can breathe or eyes can see, so long lives this, and this gives life to thee.’ William Shakespeare wrote this in his fifteenth sonnet ‘Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day’ which emphasises immortalising a beautiful young woman forever in the art of writing, and to this day I have kept this in mind – when writing about someone I love, my goal is to immortalise them inside a textual piece for all of time so other people may love her too!

Reading Regret – can’t remember the title, it was an Australian book about a football player who was hired by a PR company for an ad that went terribly wrong and his career ended up on the line. It was supposed to be hilarious, and although there were a couple of laughs at the start, most of the book left me shaking my head in disbelief – me and football never did become very well acquainted anyway. Technically that’s not entirely true – during a game at primary school, the soccer ball was kicked by the goal keeper and landed right on top of my head. Not funny!
Additionally, and no offence to the man’s memory, but John Forbes and his Collected Poems – eh, sheesh! Not going to read you again my friend!

Series you started and need to finish – don’t have one yet…

Three of your all time favourite books – Dacked by Andrew Daddo, probably a Harry Potter book and William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. I have never been too good at valuing which is my all time favorite books because I often find them to be equal if I enjoyed them.

Unapologetic Fanboy of:  William Shakespeare, John Donne, Andrew Marvell, Tara Mokhtari

Very excited for the release more of – I have been thinking of George R.R Martin and his fantasy series since I am a major fan of the TV show Game of Thrones, and if I start his book collection, I will have to see it through…

Worst book habit – if someone borrows my books and they do anything, I mean anything to them – break the spine, curl a corner of the page, spill something on it – then that person had better run, else my wrath will reign down upon them – basically, my worst book habit is that I am a book Nazi – do not hurt my books or I will hurt you!

X marks the spot (start from the top left of a bookshelf and go along to the 27th book what is it?) Looks like our winner is Muddle Earth from Paul Stewart and Chris Riddle

Latest Book Purchase – it was, funnily enough, a reader for one of my university subjects called Text Time and Space – truly a riveting read (by the way I am being sarcastic)

ZZZ -snatcher book (last book that kept you up all hours of the night) Hasn’t happened in a while, but it might have been Stephen King’s Misery, but this was a few years ago. I try to do my reading during the day as to not be consumed by it come nightfall. I have some kind of insomnia (don’t ask me which, I ain’t no doctor) and if my mind is too active when I go to bed, that sure ain’t going to help matters either.

Well, thank you to PM for telling me about this meme. Quite a fun exercise ma’am!

What is the Australian writing scene like today? Is there a bright future ahead of it? Or is its future shrouded in eternal darkness?

 

‘There has never been a better time to become involved in the writing industry in Australia.’

Those were the words that were once said to me by a lecturer at university back in 2011. Now, the comment made by this particular educational professional was very broad and did not take into account many existing factors. The comment did not make any reference to what genres or styles are at present most acceptably chosen by publishers. The comment also did not make any reference to the self-publishing industry.

Writing in general is also not the most economically powerful field in this country either. Less than five known Australian authors are involved in writing alone. All of the others have additional jobs, the likes of teaching and editing because they are unable to earn as much wealth from texts alone as they can from undertaking additional occupations.

Fact: In the past year, more books by self-published authors were sold in Australia than books published by professional publishing organisations. This statistic alone makes clear that there is considerable strain on publishers from self-published authors who are generating popular texts that the general public wish to read.

You can almost imagine that all those publishers who rejected manuscripts which have gone on to be self-published are shaking their heads in frustration in regards to all of the money they could have made from such writers.

Book establishments in Australia are drying up faster than our water catchments, but is that any reason to rationalise why the publishing industry has become so incredibly difficult to enter into? With the sudden expansion of e-readers and other like devices, you would imagine that publishing industries would be more willing to accept writers because of sites the likes of Amazon and Google that are making a fortune selling texts online. If people were having difficulty attempting to procure hard copies of texts, the simple and easy way to acquire these texts online should be having the opposite reaction than what it apparently is in Australia.

Moreover, the comment stipulated at the beginning of this post also did not take into account the factor that writers who have never been published find it incredibly difficult to have their first manuscript accepted. Publishers in general are unwilling to take risks on writers they do not know. Very few publishers accept work from unsolicited writers, many wishing for a literary agent to submit the work on the behalf of the individual writer. Literary agents have a significant amount of pull in the industry, and their general appreciation of one’s work holds significant merit in the industry.

Of course, just because you submit a manuscript to a literary agent does not instantly mean that your chances of being published automatically change for the better. Initially, one must enquire as to whether or not the literary agency wishes to receive their manuscript. If yes, in most cases they will only wish to receive a small portion. Then, upon reading what they received, if they like the piece they will then ask for the full manuscript, and if they like that, then and only then will the agency begin going through the process of looking for suitable publishers. Of course, it is then up to the publisher as to whether or not your text is successfully published – quite a fair few ‘ifs.’

On top of this, if you wish to acquire the help of a literary agent, it is best to consult them before you send your manuscripts to publishers. If you send your work to all of the publishing houses you can find, then consult a literary agent after you have been rejected by every publishing organisation available to you, then the literary agents will have no luck in helping you. Solicited work or not, publishing houses will not accept work they have previously rejected.

Today, Text Publishing, Sleepers and Puffin are three of only a few publishers willing to accept unsolicited work.

On top of this, there are only a few variants of work that publishers are often willing to consider. I was told back in 2010 that Sci-Fi and Fantasy are two of the greatest genres that one can write about because they can be broadcast to a large amount of people globally. That may be a fact, but most Australian publishers are interested only in contemporary fiction. In layman’s terms (I initially didn’t know what ‘contemporary fiction’ was), fiction that is set in the current time, basically 2013 to around 1960, bare maximum.

Science Fiction and Fantasy is very rarely looked upon with excitement by Australian publishers, and only a limited few literary agents are willing to accept such genres.

Additionally, short stories are also negatively viewed by the industry. In university, I was told how short stories are always going to be popular because unlike a novel that can take up to and over a week to complete, a short story can be read on a plane or a train ride, or even whilst waiting for a class, and can be completed in that short time frame which makes them very edible for readers wishing to digest some entertainment.

Apparently, neither the universities nor the publishing houses are in communication with one another, else lecturers and tutors would be explaining to their students something completely different than what they are currently telling them.

Unfortunately for me, it seems that I am one of those writers that decided to commit to the two styles of writing that are most unaccepted in Australia – short stories and science fiction. Even poetry is looked down upon like poison.

‘Very hard times in the (writing) industry full stop, but for short stories it’s a very dark time’ – those are the words used by a literary agent I contacted not a week ago when enquiring about a certain project of mine.

According to Text Publishing, and I am assuming this is the same for a majority of publishing houses in Australia, in the past they have had considerable trouble attempting to market short story collections and anthologies of poetry to the general public.

What I find most unappreciative in the publishing sector is that these rules on genres and styles only apply to unpublished writers. As soon as you have successfully had a text published, no longer do these rules regulate what you can have published. One example is the well known Australian author Andy Griffiths, who in 2010 had another short story collection published by Pan McMillan. Funnily enough though, Pan was expressly telling people on their sites and in their articles that they were no longer accepting short story collections. What they should be saying is this; we will not accept short story collections from anyone, unless you are a published writer and a known quantity in the industry. This double standard is unfathomably annoying and downright appalling for those of us wishing to become a part of the industry.

This would no doubt explain why self-publishing has become increasingly more popular over the last ten years. Now, I have nothing against self-publishing. In fact, everyday I think I am one step closer to just giving up on big publishing houses altogether and going at it on my own like a majority of other authors have.

However, I always enjoyed the idea of being picked up by a major publisher because of the advantageous benefits that would come from their publishing houses; they have access to PR professionals and marketers to help sell your text to a wide portion of the general public; the name of the publisher holds considerable merit; additionally, I always believed that one could garner more attention with a published text, or at least acquire more attention faster than if one were to go down the self-published track.

On top of this there are the editors who can professionally proof your work and make sure there are fewer errors. There are errors in every single book, but one might imagine there are fewer in a text published by a major publishing house. I myself may have in the past worked as an editor, yet even I do not have complete faith that I could find every spelling and grammatical error in my piece.

I guess at the end of the day it comes down to what one feels is most beneficial – if you self publish then you are in full control. You do indeed become published, but not in the stereotypical; sense of the word. Also, you are in control of your own promotions and need to put in your own money to have your manuscript published online. If you manage to attract the attention of a major publishing house on the other hand, you do not need to supply a dime, and all of the hard work is done on your behalf. However, at the end of the day, any literary agent will take between 20-30% of your profit when your text is signed to a publisher. The question remains – is being signed to a major publishing house so important that you will pass up the opportunity to self publish? Is being published by a major publisher really all that it is cracked up to be when self-published authors can be just as successful, if not even more so in some circumstances?

What are your opinions?

If you happen to live in Australia, do you agree with what I have written? What are your experiences with major publishing houses and literary agents?

If you happen to live outside Australia, what are your thoughts on the publishing industry in your countries? What are your experiences? Can you compare the publishing industry to Australia’s, or is it entirely different?

…And the Crusade to hath hold unto: The story of youth, of life, of what is and what should not have been

 

This piece will contain some coarse language.

All World Issues is one particular blogger that I follow. A young, Australian woman, this particular blogger has some many interesting, yet at the same time relatable views on life and other such ideologies and concerns. On Saturday I do believe, the young lady conceived a post on bullying, and her general dislike of such a nefarious issue in society today, the post that she wrote located at the link below:

http://allworldissues.com/2012/09/08/my-crusade-to-help-the-youth/

By the conclusion of her piece, All World Issues asked her readership if they wouldn’t mind developing a post of their own in regards to any experiences they had endured in regards to bullying. So, with that said, this here post is my response in regards to such a question.

Now, I myself have had some experience with bullying in the past. Perhaps I should amend that last statement. I suffered quite a fair bit, no, a shit load, that’s the word, a rather large amount of bullying when I was younger that was active during my high school years.

If there was one thing I could say about high school, it’s that I survived.

All World Issues is not wrong when she says that bullies will often target you for no particular reason. So, why me? I wonder how many people say that when it happens to them?

I was new. Most people at the high school knew each other from primary school. I came from an area that was farther out, whilst a majority of the other students just lived around the corner, so had grown up together.

Amazingly enough, I was lucky – at first. I befriended those who were perceived as the ‘cool’ crowd. They allowed me access to their friends and appeared to treat me like one of their own – to my face. Behind my back it was a whole different story, and eventually I guess they just grew tired of talking behind my back and made sure it was to my face.

I guess I realised I was not wanted when I was simply told that – in one way or another. The guy sitting next to me said I did not belong there at the school. Then he said I should go fuck my mother. I was 12 at the time, and believe it or not this was the first time I had been told this. I had no prior experience and didn’t really know what to do, and so told him to go fuck himself and I wished him best wishes in getting his tiny prick any larger than one centimeter.

That apparently didn’t go down well.

I realised again that I was unwanted that same week when the same guy, along with all his friends said they wished that I would ‘fucking die’; how so – a sword to chop my head off – and then to hack me into a thousand pieces with.

Maybe a little over the top, but still, the message was acquired.

Then the violence started.

I was winded twice during my first year. On both occasions I did not suspect the punch was coming.

Later on in that semester, the guy who had said he wished I was dead became angry with me when he attacked me and I knocked him to the ground. He managed to get the better of me and beat the shit out of me for fun. The class laughed.

In the second semester though, something new happened. Wood work and other such classes are supposed to be fun for the guys. I leant three things during the class. One, I’m good enough with wood work that I would probably always pass with a solid C. Two, I’m probably always going to be a shitty carpenter, and three, a piece of wood hurts when you get clocked over the head by one.

I guess that guy who said he wished I was dead really meant it. I just never assumed he would take the threat to the next level. Perhaps I should have known – surrounded by sharp objects and such that someone who hated me enough might see the potential opportunity to do some damage. When the teacher temporarily left to go into the back room, the guy saw his chance – he grabbed a nice shiny piece of wood whilst my back was turned, and whacked it across the back of my head.

I got a whopping good head ache, nothing else, which I should have been glad for. I tried to tell the teacher what had happened – and apart from ignoring me, when it came time for the truth to come out, the entire class sided with the guy who had hit me – I apparently was a clumsy son of a bitch, had tripped, and had hit my head in the side of the metallic bench I was working at.

I came to the conclusion that I could not win and chose not to tell anyone else. I was the freak in the eyes of a majority of the people.

There were some that were not so bad. In music class I befriended a couple guys, and over the course of high school we founded ourselves a school band with some older students and managed to do a pretty good job at rocking and rolling around, which is probably one of my better moments from high school.

I could have left I guess to escape the times that weren’t so good, but a bunch of rotten apples were not going to scare me.

In the second year it was much of the same thing. There were less physical attacks and more verbal ones.

I must have been called every name available. A couple that stand out would include:

-fucking friendless freak (‘triple f’ for short)

-disgusting fucking creature

-mother fucking fucker

-fucking hideous lanky cunt

-Anglo cunt

-dead cunt

Imagine this every single day. It does get a little tiring.

I was also called gay, faggot and pofter a lot. It would seem that people who bully you are scared of sexuality. I however can attest to the fact that I’m a hetero, although I think those posts should not ever see the light of day because of their incredibly graphic content.

However, year nine was the definitive moment in my life.

Physical attacks went from one extreme to the next. I was frequently water bombed. I had my locker broken into on a couple of occasions and had my lock broken, with some of my goods been stolen.

Class also became more violent than ever before. I had a pair of scissors thrown at me on more than one occasion, and they clipped me twice. Once in the head, and once in the ear. I had a calculator thrown at me, but I guess my number wasn’t up cuz it missed. I had several pencil cases thrown at me on a number of occasions. I even on one occasion had a chair thrown in my direction. Now, you might ask, what was the teacher doing? My home room teacher and my English teacher were one and the same – and she joined in on the attacks. Not the physical ones, but on the verbal ones. I overheard her call me a freak on a couple occasions. I only assume she was talking about me because my name, the word ‘freak’, and the pointing in my direction all lead me to believe one thing. On top of that, on two occasions I told her about attacks and she said ‘what exactly do you want me to do? The class is working to the best of their capability, so quit your bitching.’

The only bitch in the room was her in my eyes. She didn’t last though – she left the following year to go make some other schools’ unhappy.

I began to do my best to keep out of the way of students. No one ever sat near me in class, and I was only so glad for that. I became quite sick and tired of doing things for those who hated me; staying out of their way, was more for them than it was for me.

This didn’t really work anyway.

Later on in the year, a substitute teacher took a class. The class, well, excluding me, joined into a circle, drew a picture of me, then set it on fire, and laughed as it burnt.

I guess for some that wasn’t nearly enough, for come lunchtime, it did not take me long to realise that the hissing sound I heard was deodorant – and it was been put onto me. You know that fire warning label on each bottle of spray. I always assumed it was there for a reason, and I suppose the guy who sprayed me was smart enough to figure that out too. I spun around to confront him and knocked the bottle from his hand. I turned back to close my locker, before taking off my jumper and dumping it in there too, shutting it and turning around – to find the guy with an ignited cigarette lighter in his hand.

Everyone around me looked real disappointed. I managed to avoid all of them, but not before they managed to spray me again.

I suppose the class was still lusting for blood come the conclusion for lunch, because when I returned, the class stood around me and the guy who had intended to turn me into the human torch took the lead. He shoved a knife in my face and told me he would kill me if I ever touched him again like I had when I knocked the spray can from his hands.

A teacher suddenly came around the corner, and everyone moved to their lockers.

Out of fear for my own safety, I began to carry a small knife in my bag. It was a simple switch blade piece, where you flipped it out from the side. It had a good enough point to it, but also had a ruler along the side of the metallic blade, for that was its primary job – ruling lines on paper and then cutting along them.

Unfortunately, one afternoon when I was placing books in my bag, a fellow student saw the blade, and told a teacher about it. Instant suspension for me – for one week. I told the vice principal who interrogated me everything that had led to this moment for I concluded that if I was going down, I would take as many people with me. The guy who had been attacking me all these years – the leader – suspended for three days. Justice?

During the course of my week long suspension I had the decency to acquire bronchitis, and so was away for two weeks rather than one, and upon returning to school, it was a very different place indeed.

For starters, the kid who saw my knife – he told the whole school it was plastic – and they believed him.

A foxy young woman who was a year older than I who I obviously in regards to my previous comment had a thing for also believed the stories. Let’s just say if she ever had a thing for me, it officially came to an end when she trusted all those who hated me over my word.

Secondly, a book had been passed around the year level – a blank exercise book, that was no longer blank at all. The pages in and around the middle were filled with the signatures of 126 people. I counted them myself. I assumed there were around 150 people in my year level, which meant that a lot of people had signed this petition, for that it what it was. A petition for what? The sentence in the very central pages said it all; we want Derek Childs to die.

How did I come by this book? My year nine homeroom/English teacher gave it to me. No, she didn’t sign it. I guess she thought she would get in trouble. I took it to the vice principal. His response?

He asked if I had been attacked recently. I said no. He asked if I had any wounds on me. I said no. He came to the conclusion that this was simply students been students and told me to toss the book in the trash and forget about it.

Forgetting about it was a little difficult. It did not take long for me to be attacked in class again, and after I ended up on the ground, in an attempt to redeem myself I really went to town on the guy who had attacked me – and I kicked his arse up and down the classroom. Well, not quite, but I did a good enough job.

There are however always consequences for embarrassing your enemies, and I paid mine the next day. I only wish that when people chose to fight you, they did so on their own. In a fair one on one fight, although I would have rather avoided such an occurrence, I had a considerable chance of winning. One on several though – excuse my language, but I was fucked.

Long story short, I ended up on the ground.

Eventually all of this became too much for me. There is some aspects of what happened I am going to avoid due to the fact that I feel I’ve embarrassed myself enough and there are some other occurrences that I do not want to touch because I don’t want to write about those painful moments, so I will just skip to what I inevitably did.

In class one day I found myself in another confrontation when the teacher left to yell at a misbehaving student. I had a number of items thrown at my head, before been told again how the class wished I would die. One such item thrown at me was a pair of scissors – the person who threw them also yelled out how he wished I would kill myself with them.

Now, I don’t know if I really wanted to actually kill myself, or if I simply wanted the attention of the teachers who had been ignoring me all these years; but I took that pair of scissors, opened them up, and with all my might I shoved one of the sharp tips into my left wrist. I then proceeded to do this five times, over and over again. I did not slice – I simply stabbed. I aimed for a beautiful blue vein and went to town.

As for the class – they cheered me on. That was until the blood began to seep out from the wound I had created. For some odd reason as I sat there, the blood flowing across my fingers and onto the carpet, the class actually became frightened and the one who had lead the attacks all these years ran for the teacher and told her what had happened.

Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on who you were at the time I guess, the damage I had done was not terrible enough that I found myself on deaths door – no.

I didn’t need stitches, but I did need a few Kleenexes and a good couple large band aids that needed to be changed a few times over the course of the day because the blood kept seeping through. I was fixed up at the nurses office, and the leader of the bullies was expelled.

Well, it only took three years.

As previously mentioned, he was their leader, so after that the physical violence died down. The verbal attacks didn’t though. If anything, the classes seemed more pissed off than ever that I had survived.

There was one teacher at the school who was particularly nice though, and he told me that as students grew older the attacks would die down, and very gradually I guess they did over the next three years. Very slowly, but still, they died down.

Of course, the one change that happened in year nine was that I changed myself. I began to stop caring what people thought, and I instead wore that ‘freak’ title they gave to me like a badge. This was of course after my little incident with the scissors. They thought I was a freak, and so I made sure that they would not forget it.

I survived high school. I made a couple friends here and there that are still friends to this day, and I was loathed by all the rest.

I am certain that lots of people have experienced worse than I. I agree with All World Issues that bullying is pretty horrible, but it ain’t going to stop. I don’t get bullied any more, but I know that some people don’t like me, but you’ll get that wherever you go.

I think you can either attempt to outgrow those who hate you and not care, or let it consume and overwhelm you until it takes control of your life. It is difficult to avoid the unavoidable, so me recommending that option is like me recommending you avoid the killer shark that is one second away from making you yet another trophy between its teeth.

Bullying gradually will become worse. There are numerous news stories about people been stabbed at school and murdered, and I am glad I didn’t become a news story.

Anti-bullying campaigns don’t work, and neither do the videos. You will never stop it; you just have to outlive it. If you can do that, then you have officially conquered it. This is my view, and not that of All World Issues.

That particular young lady wishes to start a campaign to build awareness against bullying and has other great ideologies in regards to such a plan. I’m glad that such a person is committed to such goals. I wish her luck and anyone else who attempts such a plan.

You ain’t gonna stop bullying for it is imbedded inside human culture, and honestly, how are you going to change human culture when there are 7.4 billion human beings on the planet. Now, many of them have not bullied others. Many of them have never been bullied. But the other couple billion people have either bullied or been bullied. I ask those who wish to help, can you really help solve all that pain?

People are capable of the greatest of things. They are capable of love, of happiness, of amazing intellect, of generosity, of selflessness. People can also do unspeakable evil. They are capable of hate, misogyny, and violence. This is human nature. Everyone can do good, just as everyone can do bad. Can you really change a couple thousand years of evolution?

The Birds…but this time Mr. Alfred Hitchcock ain’t there to direct ‘em

 

This week I came to one conclusion – a Magpie quickly changes from been a docile, well behaved bird, to been a sex crazed loon.

Last Wednesday I took a walk through the park just outside my house. I saw the male Magpie. The male Magpie saw me. Both myself and the male Magpie saw each other. We greeted each other with insecure nodding of the heads as a bird of nature and a citizen of one country would do.

The Wednesday past of this week was a little different; I saw the male Magpie – and then he flew in my direction in its vain attempt to knock my block off, before proceeding with this strategy several times over before I had officially left the territory the little guy had carved out for himself.

Now, for those of you who are not Australian and are reading this piece thinking ‘what in the blazes is a Magpie?’, allow me to provide to you the answer. The Magpie is a bird, yes, very good description indeed. And now you know – no, I’m joking, allow me to elaborate. Basically, they are beautifully decorated in black and white smooth features and make quite vibrant noises in the mornings as they wake. They are carnivorous, and in the eyes of some are quite hideous, but in the eyes of other’s such as myself are actually really beautiful. Come Spring time however, the male Magpie becomes aggressive. Yes, he is now officially in heat, along with all the ladies, and the blokes what to prove they are awesome by attempting to kill every other life form in the vicinity of the ladies to ensure their dominance over the sectors they choose for themselves. It is for the good part of the entirety of Spring that any beauty that male Magpies once had is all but reduced to nil – they are violent, enraged, sex crazed creatures that will do anything to remove you from their realm.

However, over the past couple of years I personally found a strategy to bypass this violence, which is the reason behind this post – how to prevent been swooped by your local Magpie. Now, this has worked twice for me. It is also incredibly dumb – but it has proven effective. In 2009 and 2010 I used this stagey, In 2011 I simply avoided Mr. Magpie period – which is also a good strategy – but can become quite time consuming.

My way of dealing with Mr. Magpie…let him swoop you – and let him hit you. Preferably not in the eyes for that is where they have been known to go for – but a good hit in the back of the head should do the trick.

Now, I do suppose you are shaking your head right now thinking how much of a dope I am. Perhaps. But after hitting you, Mr. Magpie has proven his authority. He has hit you and proven his masculinity. He attacked you and won, and all the ladies will love and respect him for it, allowing him to have a bunch of baby Magpies in the future – who will grow up to hate you come Spring time too. Good times!

So there you have it – how to deal with your local area Magpie. It really works! Well, it isn’t entirely tested, so if he hits you and keeps trying to do so, well, I can’t be held liable. I again would like to say – this is quite foolish, so unless you, like me, have zero per cent brain, zero per cent integrity and zero per cent care in the world, you shouldn’t do it; perhaps you ought to simply avoid Mr. Magpie.

Your choice people!

GIFT or CURSE? A piece about WRITING, PUBLISHING and UNIVERSITY

 

Contains some coarse language.

Plan? What plan? Talk to the architect if you want a plan! Yep, that’s right – if you came here for advice, you are sadly mistaken, cuz here, you will find anything but…

…Going to a university after college/high school/whatever it’s called, is all well and good, but are there repercussions to this as well?

As a person who wanted to work professionally in the writing field, I found out the hard way that employer’s do not take people seriously who do not have valid credentials in the field they wish to enter. Now, by writing, I meant a professional, who worked on pieces from prose to poetry, through to novels and screenplays. Yes, I suffer from delusions of grandeur, but a dream is a dream until it is proven to be 100% unachievable, and I am yet to reach that unfortunate stage.

But, why a writer? So many people these days want to be teachers and shrinks and work in PR. Well, I could that writing has always been a guilty pleasure of mine, but I think that Australian author Michael Hyde, who was my lecturer for my introduction to Creative Writing class during my first semester of University put it best. Now, I hope to write this properly, but it has been a couple years since he explained this, so I might not be entirely accurate in my words – if he happens to read this he’ll probably shake his head at me. Dr. Hyde (yes, doctor, not mister!) explained how he was once teaching at this school. There was a student who could write very well, but to impress his friends he did his best not to focus on writing as much as he did sports and drinking, and other usual Aussie bloke stuff. Anyway, this literary competition is held at the school, and Dr. Hyde asks this student to submit his piece. For further encouragement, he explains how women like writers – they find men who write absolutely irresistible. The student is quite unsure; his friends laugh at him, believing writing to be the kind of thing done by losers and nerds – not by stereotypical Aussie blokes. Anyway, after much convincing the student decides to enter his piece into the competition – and wins! But, the morale of the story has not yet come to pass…the following morning, Dr. Hyde is walking down a corridor – and he sees the young woman who every man in the entire school had been lusting over embracing the student who had won the competition – yes, the same student Dr. Hyde had encouraged to enter. So, walking over to them, Dr. Hyde whispers into the ear of the student ‘told yer so.’ So, there you have it…the reason why I want to write – to gain the attention of all the foxy ladies.

Besides, in regards to other avenues of study…in relation to PR, 1) I’m no good at communicating with the general public, and 2) I’m no good at communicating with my relations, so how the hell could I ever be any good at Public Relations? And as for teaching – often has good opportunities for economic compensation, but other than that…besides, students usually freak the hell out of me, so it’s one of those thanks but no thanks ventures. Some people are scared to fly. Some people are frightened of the dark. I’m terrified to students. Moving on…

…Between the ages of thirteen and fifteen during some of my spare time I completed three short story collections, each containing six pieces. However, by the end the word ‘short’ may have very well been the last word I would have used to describe them, with the shortest piece indeed being 7 pages in length, whilst the largest was 102, and the average was 60; not exactly the definition of the term ‘short’ now, are they?

Unfortunately for me, at the time I had no literary agent, and only a very small per cent of Australian publishers are willing to accept unsolicited content; Penguin and their subsidiary Puffin, Allen and Unwin (at the time at least), Text Publishing, just to name a few. However, these publishers may say ‘we will accept unsolicited material’, but never is there a clause that expresses ‘we will publish unsolicited material.’ I learnt very quickly that every single publishing house had a problem with short stories; unless you were a known quantity in the industry, then this notion did not apply. I remember reading on the MacMillan page that they did not publish short stories, yet in the exact same month I read that known Australian author Andy Griffiths, most notable for his ‘Just’ franchise, had another of his short story collections published by their company! So, the rules are rules, unless you are a published author, in which case none actually apply to you.

Unfortunately for me, on the first occasion I happened to submit something, I mentioned my age, which at the time was 14. After almost half a year, in which I had given up waiting for this particular publishing house and had sent pieces to a couple others, I was notified in the mail whether or not I was successful. Of course I wasn’t, as depicted by the general tone of the paragraph. Did they supply a reason? Yes, amazingly enough…they explained how a 14 year old writer could never be taken seriously in the industry, and if one is writing short stories aimed for a young, adolescent audience, then they cannot be members of that readership – they need to be older, and more experienced in age and life, for nobody would ever want to read the work of a teenager. Safe to say I never mentioned my age in a cover letter again.

Anyway, long story short (pun included?) I contacted a literary agency, and after a few months was able to successfully converse with one of their employees about how short stories were not a popular market – in which I found out that they actually are! True, short stories never sell as many copies as novels, but they are especially well enjoyed by younger audiences because of their general length. It’s that publishers do not want to take the risk with a short story collection. On occasion, these collections have gone belly up for publishers, which is why they are after something more – a novel. Luckily enough for me, at the time I had an idea for a science fiction novel which I had been developing for some time.

Of course, something always gets in the way, right? Well, in this instance it was plain ol’ me…I finished the novel in December of 2009 after working on it for roughly six whole years. I took one look at my finished product and thought ‘what a piece of shit.’ Okay, honestly, it may not have been all that bad, but there was more I wanted to develop within the story in regards to the centralised characters and the lead antagonists. Additionally, I leant a lot whilst writing the story. The one thing I took away with me from high school was this; it don’t matter if you are writing a story set in the past, present or the future, if you do not have themes, or if you do not discuss pertinent issues that are reminiscent of today’s society, you will not gain a very broad readership. So, what are strong themes or issues transpiring today? Well, there is gay marriage, war, especially the one in the Middle East, racism and terrorism. There is love and sexism and rights for women. Safe to say, one can develop a piece with futuristic themes and such, but only the writer will really be privy to such a fantasy. The reader needs something that they can understand and clearly relate to, else you ain’t gonna succeed.

Additionally, I thought another aspect of writing on my lonesome, which Michael Hyde further discussed in his second lecture. What is this you might wonder? Well, at the beginning of my first novel (the term ‘beginning’ is loosely used – basically means the entire first half) I dominated my characters. I ruled over them with an iron fist! I wanted each and every one of them to live up to the notions and developments that I had conceived in my mind, and nothing was gonna get in my way from having them end up the way I wanted them to. However, by the second half of the piece I had altered my train of thought and relieved my characters of my ruling and allowed them to run free across the page. What did I learn from this experience? If you sit back, your characters will do everything for you – all you need to do is write it down. The freedom my characters had from this point onwards guaranteed them change from my initial plan that I had scheduled for their futures and changed many of the conclusions I had initially conceived.

I also happened to unfortunately find when I tried to publish this first novel of mine that I had just chosen to write in the one genre that I probably shouldn’t have. Yes, sci-fi is a very well rounded and broad subject that is enjoyable around the world; the problem? At least half, if not more Australian publishers are scared shitless of publishing sci-fi because it could blow up in their faces! Why/how did I not know this when I first began? SHIT! Anyway, instead of giving up ion such a genre or reinventing parts of the novel, I decided to move onto the development of another sci-fi oriented piece – which I am still developing to this very day.

True, probably not one of the most intelligible of things to do since I knew what to expect from the industry, but there was one more thing I was counting on; the experience I had been told that was a necessity for me back when I was fourteen…I was, and still am, attempting to acquire it. I’m in my third and final year of my undergraduate university course, but I have no intention of stopping there. Next, I wish to complete my masters, and then my doctorate, and then I can be Dr. Naughty Nefarious! However, what I am really aiming for is plain and simple professional courtesy – if I have gone all the way to gain a doctorate (that is if I succeed, which I hope to do so), I am hoping to look pretty darn respectable. I mean, how many people in total within Australia have gone on to gain doctorates? I don’t mean to seem pretentious or egotistical, but I am hoping this may provide to me a bonus, as to allow me to stand out from the other hopeful writers of tomorrow.

In the meantime though, what can I possibly do? Well, that is where the Gift/Curse part of the headline comes into play…one can gain a university degree, or go on to complete their postgrad, but all of this comes at a price. And I don’t just mean economically, although that is gonna be one helluva issue whine it comes time for me to pay off the rotten bastard of a tab that I have wafting over my head like a dark, angry storm cloud. No, I of course mean professionally. If one is after a job after attaining such qualifications and is unable to gain one in their intended industry, what next? That is the problem, because ‘what next’ is a great, big puddle of utter nothingness. Employers not in the field of study one has accomplished want NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU! Why not? One, you are too over qualified. Actually, that is basically the one and only point. Due to this, you will constantly be searching for another occupation – one in your chosen felid that you explicitly studied for, and once you acquire that dream job, you will leave the one you currently have. Employers don’t want to put time and investment into a worker who will inevitably leave – no, they want someone they can train and bend to their every whim like to an able pet. So, gaining one’s dream educational qualification is all well and good, but it will ultimately prohibit oneself from gaining an employment- anywhere but in their chosen field, and if the job you seek is not hiring, well, to be blunt – you’re fucked!

Naughty Nefarious, signing off!

Is communication dying?

 

Communication is a market that is continuously changing. Where once people spoke and wrote in a particular way, now it has adapted to the next generation, as it will for the next after it. But it isn’t really the spoken word that is the focus of this piece, but the written one. According to recent surveys of people in Melbourne, it was theorised that around 40% of the work force could not read or write. Now, if we were not living in a country where there were schools every few blocks, I would find that to be a rather average statistic. But because we live in a country that actually offers education, I am quite surprised at this statistic, which has grown considerably over the years. Perhaps the general notion of this is that if the government who preside over the state, country, or what have you, are unable to care about such a subject, then so shouldn’t the people who live in the country. I mean, if the government do not see grammar, spelling and reading as a priority for its people, then perhaps it no longer is, and thus, those in the work force skip out on what once was a necessity.

I remember back in year 11 when I was in literature class, a couple students walked past and made the comment ‘only losers read’ in regards to everyone taking the course. If this is the view of a majority of the people, then it is quite obvious as to why such a statistic has come about. Basically, the end point I would like to make is that basic reading and writing does not require too much intellect, right? I mean, how any brain cells do you need to formulate words onto paper and successfully read sentences off from it too? However, if intelligence dies, then technically, we die too, and I would much rather remain alive. So technically, I am proposing that writing and reading should be prioritised, instead of being underrated by so many people. I only say so many people because if 40% of the work force can’t read and write, yes perhaps some had no choice in the matter, but the ability to improve oneself is always available to them, how many people in society as a whole are afflicted with this disease, and believe me when I say, unintelligence is a disease. People conform to the social norm, and if one day there are more people who can’t read and write than those who can, who are people going to side with? All they need to do is take the step. 40% is not far off from 50%, which I fear could very well be the statistic come the next decade. If we live in a country where the work force is suffering such an issue, then what is the statics for the society in general? How many of those 25 million people in total find it impossible to read and write? Bearing in mind the statistic was just for Melbourne alone. Quite a scary thought. In a state of what, seven million people (?), the amount is quite significant. It is just quite odd that in a country with clean water, electricity, proper housing developments, a stable government (I use the term stable very loosely), and what the government is bragging to be a triple A credit rating – why the hell do we have such shitty statistics for reading and writing? What is wrong with reading and writing, and when was this thought injected into society that it was only for the losers? What kind of government allows its education to go unchecked to such a degree that it supposedly gets everything sorted but the education sector?

In a world where if you are unable to fathomably (is this even a word) communicate then you are basically gonna be unable to be incorporated into any sector of society, communication being a key aspect of the human condition. I mean, why were we given tongues, lips, and a mouth? To eat, yes. To taste, yes. If you’re romantic you could say to kiss those we love most dearly. But, we are also given such equipment to talk. If all that comes out from one’s mouth are unintelligible sentences that are not properly formulated into coherent patterns of thought, then who in their right mind is going to bother prioritising you as the kind of individual they want supporting them in the work place?

Of course, I feel one of the major reasons behind this breakdown in communication practices is just pure human laziness. Technology has given way to aid us in every single thing we do, so all we really need to do as a species is sit back and let technology do the work for us. The same goes for communication, with technology adapting and enabling us to communicate over long range distances and such which is all really great and productive, but somewhere along the line people began to act lazily in this respect. For instance, the use of abbreviations and the deliberate shortening of sentences. Whenever we do this kind of stuff, are we not saying ‘screw you’ to the world of communication and every single lesson we ever learnt? I mean, 2day in society, whr is it dat we r lerng 2 write in da sam manr we r doing so via txt lik sirvises? I don’t c teachrs teechng dis theorem in clas, so why is it been used in socity so regularly? Y do we communic8 in such a manr as to 4get our basic teachngs? Hell, curnt wrd sftwar is allwng us 2 get away wif such communic8ive erors by not pikng up on ny of em wen we r typng. So, wat 1nc strtd on mobil dvices, has movd 2 reprt wrtng + othr such pecs of wrtn wrk. Da profsnl wrld has basicly been releg8td 2 an obsoleat ideology bcuz nobdy wishs 2 use it anymr wen it is easir to simply use wat may hav 1nc been intrpretd as the increct methd of communic8ion. Wat knd o socity alws 4 da misuse of communic8ion? Aparntly tis 1!

Now, I personally have a problem with spelling and grammatical errors. I cannot stand to see something that is amiss in a document but that was just the way I was educated, or raised. It’s shame that such is not the same today. Teachers are taught that near enough is good enough, which is quite the opposite from a couple decades back when anything but the most flawless of accuracies was considered worthy. However, who will care in the future if everyone today is now priding themselves on not doing anything to solve the issue with communication? In the future it will be pointless of me to make a post like this because the damage will be so far entrenched within our society. Now, I guess one could ask ‘well, why don’t you do something about this mister?’, and I would argue ‘many have come before me; people of action, who have been continuously shot down time and time again. It would seem however that the government sees education as an issue that is quite worthless in comparison to other such areas. People can protest about an issue, but rarely does that change the way a country will react, especially one like ours where the government listens to its people as regularly as it sends space shuttles to Mars.

One fear of mine is books in particular. Now, I will admit it has been several years (2005) since I last read a book for fun. I know a few people who still do so (the number is 3), but will there even be a book industry in the future? People have argued in the past that there will always be people willing to read books. They said the same thing about newspapers, and now we live in a time where more people access their news online rather than in paper based format and it has been theorised by some that the days of the newspaper are numbered. Perhaps reading will not die out, but evolve to compensate for the changing environment. I however fear the day when I might open up a book which begins like; ‘Adam wnt 2 da br 2 acquir sum alcoholic bevrags 4 da dinr he had pland dat night in which his prnts, of whom he had not seen in a numbr of yrs wr cumng ovr 2 meet his galfrend Natalia 4 da 1st tim since dey had bgun datng back in Septembr of ’08.’

A friend of mine enjoyed the Baby Sitters Club, Goosebumps and the Harry Potter franchises and recently finished the Hunger Games. Would she have received as much satisfaction from these worlds of fiction if they had been written in short hand? In the future when they are reprinted, will they be written in the same style as produced above? I for one hope not.

This, as always, is but my opinion.

Naughty Nefarious, signing off.

Poetry Discussion

 

This piece contains some explicit language. Additionally, I do not own the rights to any poems that I happen to mention, which are copyright of the original respective owners.

 

Am I a professional poet?

No.

Am what I about to write have any merit whatsoever?

Probably not.

But that is probably at the end of the day the best thing about poetry. It does not matter whether you are professionally published or just an individual writing what you believe freelance, because interpretation is the driving force behind poetry. A person can write a piece, and the author will have one interpretation – that which the poem is meant to be about in their mind, but a dozen other people could have a completely different opinion.

In university, I was taught this one ideology by my poetry lecturer, which was a discussion topic that began back in high school, how one should never be afraid to stipulate their beliefs on what a poetic product is, because it can be interpreted in so many different ways. Often a fiction novel will have only one interpretation available, but poetry is so more free and open.

There are differences of opinion. My poetry tutor in university, who was not my lecturer by the way, said there was only one true way to interpret poetry, and that is the way the author designed it. I would disagree on that count. Back when I was with a band, I remember writing the piece ‘I See You.’ Now yes, I have had many a discussion with people, teachers and students alike about whether lyrics and poetry share commonalities, and I would agree that they do, but it would ultimately depend on the piece. My year eleven literature teacher for instance compared the Wham song ‘Wake me up before you go go’ which was probably not a good choice to compare with poetry because it is best listened to musically rather than poetically. However, if you were to choose a piece like Amazed by Lonestar, such is more reminiscent of poetry. Anyway…the song I wrote for my band was a piece about regret. I clearly remember the first few lines going something like:
‘I don’t know if you saw me,
but I know I saw you,
looking the way all lovers do
when they look into your eyes,
caught within a paradise
of which I can’t escape from….’
Now, when this was performed to an audience consisting of around one hundred and fifty people, I would like to state that yes, they enjoyed it, but they interpreted it as a love piece. True, the chorus went:
‘Roses are red,
violets are blue,
you’re my girl
I’m hot for you.
Roses are red,
violets are blue,
realise I’m in love
when I see you
but, reminiscent of the opening line, ‘don’t know if you saw me’, eventually another verse followed with ‘or if you ever will’, which symbolised how the man knew of the woman and loved her, but the woman had not taken notice of him, nor ever would, hence, the idea of regret; not ever verbally confessing his feelings and hence having to watch her leave, believing her to be better than he was, which furthered the notion of never confessing to her how he felt. So, this demonstrates the notion of interpretation. A part of me may not have enjoyed the fact that my piece was interpreted differently than I had originally intended, but if those in the audience enjoyed the piece for the interpretation they had conjured in relation to it, then far be it from me to deny them this happiness. Additionally, Hoobastank’s ‘the reason’ was enjoyed by many, to such an extent that it was used as the song at their wedding, despite the fact that it too was a piece about regret, and the song from the Police, ‘every breath you take’ was believed to be about stalkers, but that was also used by many as the song at their wedding as well.
Poetically speaking however, Shakespeare’s Sonnet XVIII, ‘Shall I compare thee to a Summer’s Day’, Is reminiscent of interpretation. There is the belief that it was written for his secret infatuation, a young, beautiful maiden, and there is also the going belief that he wrote it for a man that he cared for, which according to some could have also been his muse, hence, interpretation at work.

Again, interpretation can of course be applied to reality. For instance, the terms ‘climate change’ and ‘global warming.’ Climate change sounds quite negative – I mean, the climate is changing? And there is that whole unknown factor in the equation where we don’t know what it is changing into. But global warming? First thing that comes to mind when I hear such a term includes the likes of shirts, shorts and foxy ladies in bikinis. Bring on global warming I say with that kind of interpretation, but a big ‘NO!’ to climate change, which is quite humorous due to the fact that they are one and the same.

Now, apart from interpretation, the other aspect of poetry I find most intriguing is the way it is written. Unlike a novel, piece of prose or other like piece, a poem is not traditionally bound by the rules of grammar, and so one can cheat. This is not necessarily limited to the idea of false rhymes (time, line, etc; just because they are similar they can be used), no, not at all. I am making reference to an entire poetic piece in general. An average sentence in a written work of fiction requires good grammatical skills, punctuation and flowing dialogue to keep the sentences moving appropriately. This is not the case in poetry, in which one can purposefully toss these stereotypical rules out the door and change that which so many teachers have argued should never be changed. Many poets have indeed done this, including the likes of William Shakespeare, Andrew Marvell, John Forbes, John Keats and Sylvia Plath, just to name a couple of the many dozens of amazing talent that has blessed the world of poetry throughout the ages. Many of their well known pieces could be seen as making very little sense literally, and yet they were much loved for the content which was easy to decipher even when the notorious rules of grammar were temporarily relaxed.

This can also be furthered with the use of rhyme, stanzas and syllables. I used to find it difficult to enjoy a poem that did not rhyme, and now, after reading many pieces that did in fact not rhyme, I have become quite accustomed to it. Some pieces additionally use syllables, which I use in every single one of my pieces, but others never ever use. This is one more aspect of poetry that is so great. Any writer of poetry can create a piece and make it their own by changing the rules of the written word when it is used in poetic pieces. One can use different formed lines, with around then words in one and two in another; with fifteen syllable in one line, twelve in the next and three in the one that comes after that. This once again is symbolic of interpretation; one writer can believe a poem should be written in one particular style – and another can have a completely contradictory belief.

As for whom my favorite poets are? I don’t exactly have any. I prefer pieces, rather than poets, for many of them wrote a particular piece or two that I believed to be especially enjoyable. William Shakespeare and sonnets XVIII ‘Shall I compare thee to a Summer’s Day’ and CXXX ‘My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun.’ I enjoyed this piece because it would seem that Shakespeare is laughing at the stereotypical poetic method of writing about the woman you love. Many writers, including this unpublished soul have written pieces where we compare the woman in question to Heaven and other such outlandishly beautiful ideals, expressing her beauty, whether it be physical or internal to be unrealistically amazing. Yet in this piece, Shakespeare seems to be taking the piss out of the piece, by almost insulting the woman of whom he is displaying his affections for by depicting her the way she truly looks, which makes her seem almost hideous when in comparison to pieces where one compares the woman to impossible comparisons, when in fact he is but articulating the image of the natural flesh and blood woman.  XVIII on the other hand is enjoyable to me because it is quite the opposite of CXXX in that he is articulating the love he feels for the individual in question as being undying, and depicting this person as a ‘summer’s day’, which is exactly the opposite of the comparison’s in CXXX where he refers to the woman’s breasts as being ‘dun’ in colour. I of course use the term ‘person’ rather than ‘she’ because as already visited, it is yet to be determined by some as to whom he was writing this piece for. Additionally in the conclusion of the piece, Shakespeare makes the notion that he will allow the person to live forever within the verse with the line ‘so long lives this’, which could be reflective of the most amazing gift one can bestow onto another for Shakespeare is allowing them to be permanently remembered for all the years to come within the stanzas of the poem.

Andrew Marvell, and his piece ‘To His Coy Mistress’, which my Reading Contemporary Fiction lecturer described as not a love poem per se, but a poem about ‘fucking’ as he put it. Such references are quite subtle, but are explosive when you look at them in the context they are provided, with numerous vaginal references, including ‘the iron gates of life’, and the references consisting with the ravishing hunger for lustful romance with the idea of predators and prey and the idea of devouring the other. The biblical references at the beginning most sections of the piece fit well at this point where the author expresses basically his undying love, followed by his want to gaze upon the body of the woman, wanting two hundred years to adore each breast of the woman, followed by an additional thousand to marvel the remainder of her body’s feminine beauty. Basically, for the time this piece was quite bold, and its references speak loudly to this very day.

This piece and those of Shakespeare further the notion that poetry is undying. It does not matter if it is written today, ten years ago, a hundred years ago or four hundred years ago. All that time could go by and the references, messages and stories told in these poems reign just as true today as the day they were transcribed into words on paper.

The poem ‘If’ by Rudyard Kipling is yet another piece I quite enjoy, for it is a very inspirational and beautiful piece from a father to his son. This poem explains the importance of life and the lessons one is to receive, and how one is to overcome the trails of life, which, if one is able to accomplish will allow them to succeed and enjoy in the richness of what this world has to offer. Of course, the poem also highlights the deceitful natures of bad natured men and to look out for these traits, and to live a life that is destined to be great and true rather than the malevolent opposite to this. Like I said – very inspirational.

Again, Ulysses by Alfred Tennyson is a piece that I find quite beautiful, but not in the message like the other pieces I have mentioned previously, but in the way that it has bane transcribed. The poetry makes references to aspects of history and to that of nature and the natural world in such a beautifully majestic way that one is almost incapable of not being fully immersed in the words. Everything whilst reading this piece seems almost to be an accurate depiction of what the world is. The poem is inspirational, yes, but not in the way that Kipling’s ‘If’ is, but in a way that it allows the reader to feel admiration for their surroundings and to look back on their life and to realise that they too have ‘enjoy’d greatly’ but also ‘suffer’d greatly’ too, but to never give up.

On another note, the poem ‘the flea’ by John Donne is yet another piece that has proven enjoyable, and, just like the piece by Marvell is a more sexualised variant. By sleeping with the man in question the woman will barely lose a thing; that is what the poem is about – the convincing of a young virgin of whom is quite prestigious yet young in a higher class society to bed a man who is less than her family’s stature, which some would consider a most heinous crime. However, the poem is written very smartly, for it was in this time that everyone had fleas, whether they be the rich or the poor (but perhaps the poor had a few more, rhymes! How sickening!), and the man makes reference to the flea bite as his argument – that such a tiny little bite is reflective of what will be lost when the woman sleeps with the man, which is a direct reference to the breaking of her hymen. Smart, sumptuous and quite bold for its time, this poem still reigns true to this day where men still attempt to come up with random reasons for ravishing damsels to sleep with them – with the exception that half the world no longer suffer from flea infestations, so if you happen to be lucky, or maybe unlucky enough to live in that most part of the world, such a poetic piece can no longer be visited as one’s argument.

Additionally John Keats would find his way onto my list, but I would not give mention to any of his pieces. Many a person has told me in previous poetic classes and such that they really enjoyed his pieces. I for one will have to say that some of his work leaves me feeling at a loss, although when he is romantic, which he always is, so what I mean to say is – when he is being blatantly romantic and one can clearly understand his meaning, it is then that his words and his meaning is all but flawless, and it is in those moments that you can almost feel the love dripping from each page like candle wax.

However, all of these poets one might notice, are not Australian. I realise that John Forbes is visualised as one of Australia’s most amazing poets, but I would not be one of them. I apologise for saying such things about a man who passed away, and at quite a young age too, but I found his pieces, and to this day when I on occasion go back and have another look at them, find such poetry to be quite depressing. To be frank, and perhaps not really masculine at the same time – I prefer romantic poetry, and I do not believe for a second that Mr. Forbes ever in his life wrote a poem that was quintessentially romantic in design or interpretation.

I was however once quite ignorant about poetry, believing all of it to be about seduction, which is initially what peaked my interest in it. I do suppose a part of me legitimately believed that if I was successful in understanding the poetic word, then I would be capable of finding the key to a woman’s heart and unlocking all the love that was inside for myself, so that I, and only I, would enjoy the fruitful delights that lay waiting on the other side. Any of the pieces I wrote, and the pieces I continue to write toady are reminiscent of this belief. For one, as previously mentioned, almost all are about romance, and two, some are based upon actual living, breathing people.

‘Hard to admit I love you’ in which I mentioned the woman in question was named ‘Rachel’ was actually about a woman, named Rachel, who was in my fiction writing class at university, and the sexual references displayed within the piece told the untold story of some of the fantasies I might indeed wish to experience with her.

The ‘Untitled Beauty’ poems are about Jedi master Aayla Secura from the Star Wars franchise, and additionally about a young woman who dressed up as said character for a ComicCon.

The poems ‘the Night Melbourne Died’, ‘I’m never going to be good enough for you’ and ‘No Death in Love’ are all reminiscent of the same woman who I had a crush on, and later discovered she had a boyfriend, the latter of the three being the last poem I ever wrote in relation to her which was more of a break up piece, like a poem that I used to officially get over her, whilst at the end making reference to the fact that if she ever wanted me all she had to do was say the word.

‘Unloved’ was a poem about a woman who I saw at university for about a minute from afar, and the piece ‘Metropolis Me’ was about a certain young actress who portrayed a certain masked character in the Mass Effect franchise, and the hypothetical notion of what it might have been like to have bene friends and to have grown up together.

But, I digress back onto the subject of Australian poets I like – there is only one: Tara Mokhtari. Although she is probably not widely recognised yet, her poetry has appeared in a number of literature magazines, and on sites across the web, including her personalised blog. I additionally know her to have worked in the television and theater industry, and to be on the verge of being the next J.K Rowling, Oz version. Her poetry ranges from those reminiscent of love, life, the making of mistakes and depression. A link to her poetic blog can be found here: http://taramokhtari.wordpress.com/ However, I do not think she has visited her page in quite a while…
Of course, I believe I am simply bias towards Ms. Mokhtari, because she was my creative writing tutor back in my first year of university, and I was quite attracted to her then, as I still am now, believing her to quite possibly be the single most sexiest Australian woman I have ever seen.

Additionally, online I would recommend the poetic work of the following WordPress users, if you are not already following their pages:

Maggie Mae: http://maggiemaeijustsaythis.wordpress.com

Coco J. Ginger: http://courtingmadness.wordpress.com/

KylaSpeaks13:  http://kaylaspeaks13.wordpress.com

Clown Ponders: http://clownponders.wordpress.com

Lindsaythomas20:  http://lindsaythomas20.wordpress.com

Mary Anne Pale: maryannepale.wordpress.com

I would however not recommend the work of Totalovrdose unless you are partially drunk (http://totalovrdose.wordpress.com/) because to recommend my own poetic blog would seem pretentious and egotistical.

I apologise to any poetry bloggers who I did not recommend. I myself am only following around ten or so blogs that incorporate poetry into their design, and this is just a random handful. I am certain there are millions of others online, all of whom I are sure to be quite deserving of an appreciative gander.

Well, that is all from me and my opinions on poetry, poets and pieces that I like.

Thank you for reading.

Sincerely and with kind regards,

Naughty Nefarious.

To have an internship or not to have an internship? Now that is one helluva serious question

 

I would never have assumed that my three year course at university would go by me so fast. It seems like yesterday that I was driving up to the university, and now I am but on the verge of driving away from it, and only seeing it once more in my rear view mirror. Of course, the journey is not yet over, and like with all journeys, there is always something that gets in the way. The vile antagonist in this case, if such a word could ever be used in this circumstance, is the mandatory internship that I am to gain in order to successfully pass this course unimpeded. As a person majoring in professional writing, I am to secure a place within an organisation that will allow me to do just that; write professionally. That however is not as easy a task as one might assume, or one that I might have once ignorantly believed.

I was under the distinct impression when I signed up for this course that the university would help me, along with all of the other students enrolled in the course gain said internship. Now, how exactly did I acquire such an idea, when the university now refuses to do such a thing? Oh, that’s right! They explicitly said so in the course outline! It is so amazing how the written word over time has apparently lost all meaning and now is as bitter and foul tasting as the lies people verbally convey to protect one another.

The university does every so often send out an e-mail of possible opportunities that are available to us, so I will give them credit on that count, but it is ultimately we who need to gain the internship. They may point us in an appropriate direction, but they do nothing more than that. A couple students and I talked about this on Friday the first of June, how we were all quite surprised at how we were the ones who acquired the job, not the university. Many said it was difficult because they had other commitments, including work outside of the necessary internship, university work and families that two of them had, such inevitably making the task more difficult to accomplish. They however had succeeded in gaining an internship. Me? Not so much I’m afraid.

I began to send out resumes back at the beginning of May, which just so funnily enough was when the university told us to start considering our placements. Those involved in the course next semester that will evolve around our internship theorised how we should consider local councils as possible venues to intern in. Well, I will say this; it is a great idea in theory, when you are talking about it from afar, but not so much in person when it comes to applying. There are three local councils in my area; one is yet to get back to me on my internship. One refuses to get back to me, even after all this time has passed (I sent mine on the third of May), and the other was no longer accepting when I submitted mine, which I find hilarious because I submitted my application the same day they announced their internship program. Curious indeed….

I additionally looked into other companies, however very few are looking for interns. We are told to look into organisations that evolve around our field of study, but I am quite surprised to find that most of these venues refuse to accept interns of any shape or size. They want people to fully commit to their organistaion for a good few years, not a good couple weeks.

Recently in the news there was talk that interns are especially hard done by when they attempt to apply for positions because there simply ain’t enough to go around. Many sectors are highly popular and there are only select places accepting interns, with those organisations only having a certain number of spots available. This is especially true for Sydney, where it was discussed that nurses in particular and other doctorial applicants are unable to intern because every available position has already been filled. I fear the same is happening down in Melbs, and I can only hope I fare a bit better.

The thing that is affecting me so I do believe is the experience. Now, don’t get me wrong, I have worked. When I was younger I worked as a child model for clothing companies, and when I was in my adolescent years I worked at Coles for a period of time. In all honesty however, I focused primarily on my studies than my work experience, believing that after completion of my university courses I will have all the time in the world to acquire a job. Unfortunately, it would seem that my ideas have come back to bite me in the arse, and I now find myself unwanted as an intern in the industry. Of course, if I am having trouble now, things aren’t going to get any easier when I go to complete my masters and find myself needing to acquire yet another internship. Especially since I was pondering about continuing on with my masters immediately after my three years of study were complete.

I will of course keep searching, and I have up until the end of October to gain an internship and complete it. Fifteen eight hour work days seemed simple in theory. Now, if I can acquire them – then I will be onto something.