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Thoughts, Bundled Up

Another free-write.

It’s strange but the more of these I do, the more I realize I don’t have an unfiltered self. At least, not when it comes to my writing. Every word is polished, every typo is corrected and the sentences fixed up.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I haven’t a clue about being unpolished with creativity. And it’s been said that art is not edited, but of course it is because otherwise how can you do something in detail? How can it be technically correct without edit?

What is art anyway? This makes me think of Duchamp, who put together ready-mades and called them art. Is it art because you say it is? “This bicycle is art, because I’ve brought it into this empty space of this art gallery.” Only it’s technology of a sort, and it’s a piece of something already made. Is everything art?

Is art even real, because I consider baking cupcakes to be a science and yet the decorating thereof is an art – and actually so is the baking because it’s a fine line when you put in flavour, to add enough or too much or not enough. So is there just the blend of science and art? This is where I’m thinking of mixing colours, creating something new, figuring out the ideal shade to express something. I’m reminded of a passage I read in a book, the girl spent ages mixing paint colours to replicate something she once saw. Just one little shade of orange or something and she wanted to have an ideal colour – so she used a sort of science, in a way. Trial and error, hypothesis, who knows.

I’m not even sure if I’m recycling old thoughts, or if I’m articulating myself. Co-Author tells me to not be so edit-happy but I like editing, just as I like organizing my wardrobe into colour-coded sections or fixing up my books into proper order.

Also eight days until NaNoWriMo, I haven’t started thinking about my own novel either. Is it acceptable to recycle a previous year’s attempt? I have 20,000 words of last year’s novel but stopped, and so I’m thinking of reconsidering the theme. Changing things, not the theme. That wasn’t the right word.

October 24 and I’ve already been hearing fireworks. Literal fireworks and each time it makes an angry bubble of righteousness well up even though I have no business getting self-righteous.

No, I won’t go down that path of irritation right now. I have too much else to do.

 
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Posted by on October 23, 2014 in Daily Prompt

 

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Decisive Victory

I’m going to write using a sport analogy – of a sport I know nothing about. Surely nothing can go wrong, right?

(For the record, I’m not averse to baseball. I just don’t speak it. As far as I know it isn’t a major sport in New Zealand; that would be rugby, and also cricket, but you shouldn’t take my word for it because sports + Sarah = running for books. Books that are not sports books)

Anyway, my real-life decisive victory whatsit would be the final exam. You know the one: you’ve taken your last three exams, you have two grades and you’re waiting on the third to tell you you’ve passed and tipped over into I Have A Degree now. So… I guess it’d be the taking of the exam, preparing for it and eating your brain foods and buying a pack of Rescue Remedy stuff that doesn’t work, and then you go in and take the exam. There’s the last-minute cram session, the pre-exam chatter about this and that…

Seriously, you guys, finding out you’ve got your degree after three fun exams? That is actually my favourite thing.

I think I’ve probably ruined this metaphor enough so I’ll end here.

 
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Posted by on October 21, 2014 in Daily Prompt

 

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A Blog Audit

Blogging 201 Assignment: Audit Your Blog.

Calling myself a brand via my blog is news to me. I’ve always thought “This is my blog”, but never considered being a brand. Until recently, anyway. More recently, I’ve begun a Facebook page and a Twitter page, both of which are separate from my personal pages – done to help build on my readership and help promote my blog beyond the corners of WordPress.

And apparently we’re supposed to be thinking things about the goals covered yesterday, so to answer “Why do I blog?” I’d like to refer you here, because unnecessary repetition makes me very tetchy. In general any of those goals can answer the question for you. What I didn’t cover was the desire to be an author; then again that’s probably in my About page. I blog to reach an audience, to try new writing things, to hone whatever abilities I presently have.

As for what I’d like people to associate with my blog, that would be writing. You’ve probably noticed a distinct lack of photos, even fewer recipes… I don’t know what else people blog, but writing is key for me. Creative, day-to-day, responses to a prompt… It’s here.

I’m not going to do this audit on every thing the assignment covered, so I’ll pick a couple more. (Otherwise, we’d be here until next week)

The second part is to examine the blog. I like examining things.

Looking at my theme, I think it meshes with the overall purpose of a writing blog. I’ve not done anything to meddle with the colouring of the theme, partially because it’s called Choco or something like that and I love chocolate, and also have you ever seen purple chocolate? No? Nor have I. Also, there’s the fact that I don’t quite know how to change a theme colour and honestly I’m not fussed to know. To me this theme is a journal given HTML form. Or, you know, not HTML. I like the font – clear and basic and easy to read, though perhaps a bit small.

What do you guys think?

And the third part is to “make changes that reinforce your brand”. One of these things is to create an email address for your site; I have done that and if I can find a widget for that, I shall set it up. I’m still not quite sure why I’ve got this in place, to be honest, but I have and it seems to be working just fine.

So, this conclude’s today’s mini-audit. I would like to note that I am constantly checking in on themes and appearances and settings to give you guys an awesome reading experience.

 
7 Comments

Posted by on October 21, 2014 in Blogging 201

 

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Setting Goals

Blogging 201 Assignment: Set Three Goals.

I’m not generally much of a goal-setter. Goals feel like promises, and I have a policy about not making promises because they’re easy to make and easier to break.

Anyway, a while back I came up with a few blog goals. They were very vague, like how on a foggy morning you see through tired eyes a building, and you’re not quite sure what it is, but you know it’s there and eventually you will probably reach it.

Thanks to this assignment I’ve decided to actually tell you those goals, and put them in… er, black and white.

1. Continue to increase readership.
I primarily want to keep gaining new followers and keep pushing my stats higher. This is because of my own writing goals, so this is partially to reach an audience. In doing so, I would like to also keep improving my writing abilities, push my boundaries a bit and keep promoting my posts to various other places. The stats – well, I have a pseudo-theory about validation, I’ll tell you about it one day, and it’s always a bit of a challenge to me to keep posting something interesting, or fun, or just enough to pique your interest.

2. Keep pushing my boundaries.
How many of you have looked at a Daily Prompt and thought “I can’t write about this?” I have lost count of how many times I’ve done that; however, I’ve done it anyway. Tried to interpret the prompt, sometimes it’s worked, sometimes it hasn’t. Sometimes it’s paid off with a bit of feedback or a new follower, sometimes it hasn’t. I’d also like to keep working on honing ‘feature’ days; maybe one day a week I’d spotlight a band I like, one day a week would be flash fiction day – I’m going to stop here and make an actual plan – and eventually have a schedule of all kinds of things, in accordance with Goal 1.

3. Continue to increase reading.
Apparently, if you build it they will come. Well, I’m not sure who “they” are, but I do think that if you build it and then pay visits, they will come bearing coffee and cupcakes. OK, metaphor mangled. My point here is, I want to keep practicing my habit of reading around the blogosphere; even if I just knock on the door and drop off cookies once stop by and leave one comment, I’d like to do that. I’d like to spend more time with the Reader, have you ever sat there with the Reader open and just entered random tags – creative writing, kittens, cupcakes – to see what pops up? It’s community-building apparently, and I’ve encountered some lovely bloggers in the last two years.

 
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Posted by on October 20, 2014 in Blogging 201

 

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mistakes i make

this is what i’ve done.

been arrogant and maybe stupid
maybe scared, who can tell?
signs were there and i
ignored them all, too stubborn.

here i stand struggling to
reach you, do you see?
invisible to you and wishing
there were something to do.

still i try because it’s
so easy, isn’t that sad?
i really should stop trying
and i will, i promise.

i just won’t stop today.

 
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Posted by on October 18, 2014 in Fiction, Poetry

 

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Inequality

I’ve never felt unequal in my daily life, though my understanding has always included things like the apparent pay divide between men and women – or maybe that’s feminism, and I’m trying to write about something too smart for me. Then again, feminism is rooted in women’s rights and how they relate to those of men – for instance, trying to gain women the same rights men have.

I remember years ago watching a film in English, I don’t remember now what it was called, but – no, I Googled a quote. The film was called Crash, and if memory serves race was a big theme in it. How the races interact, how stereotypes are taken, that sort of thing. And at some point, I remember this really well, we had to do a written exercise. My contribution on it was “I realize I’ve had quite a sheltered sort of life”.

And it’s true. I’ve been lucky – I have never felt like a “lesser” sort of person because of my skin colour, or for being a woman, or for what I chose to study. I don’t think my religious preferences have ever been an issue; this is what I mean when I say I’ve had a sheltered life. Maybe part of this comes from knowing there’s a piece of New Zealand history in which a woman campaigned to allow women the right to vote; or, another part of history which saw a woman be the first in New Zealand to gain a university degree.

When I first came across this prompt, I didn’t know too well what to write. Inequality is, as I’ve said, not something I’ve experienced. I think I’ll leave you with this quote:

“All that separates, whether of race, class, creed, or sex, is inhuman, and must be overcome.”
(Kate Sheppard)

 
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Posted by on October 16, 2014 in Daily Prompt

 

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the crash

adrenaline pumping, heart racing fast.

mind racing people everywhere jovially
celebrating the success of thousands.
join in the smiles and
laughter today you’re in this.

sun shines so bright as
if the weather were predetermined.
accept your achievement adrenaline still
high and return to life.

and it’s days later so
return the regalia, adrenaline gone.
look for work, fight the
fatigue now the emotion’s gone.

now, now it’s all over.

 
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Posted by on October 16, 2014 in Poetry

 

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