I Love Kid’s TV

I love television aimed at kids and teens.

The Next Step

Miraculous Ladybug

Little Lunch (an awesome Aussie show)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (I loved it in the 80s, I love it now. I had a crush on Raphael in the 80s, I have a crush on him now).

The list goes on. The problem is, I’m 34. That’s right, I’m a grown woman in her thirties with two kids hoping that Adrien and Marinette will get together (Australian free-to-air TV can be a bit behind, so if you know something I don’t, keep it to yourself).

While my friends are binging Game of Thrones and the Walking Dead, I’m giggling over Mickey’s jokes like a six-year-old.

So what’s the deal?

Some of the appeal for me is that watching shows for a younger audience keeps me up to date with what kids and teens are interested in, and that’s good for my business (writing for young people). Some of it is that it’s nice to enjoy things with my kids. And some of it is that shows for kids and teenagers tend to be optimistic and clever. Kids have a finely tuned bullshit meter, so their shows tend to be spot-on. Kids are also idealistic, so their shows tend towards an open, optimistic view of the world and I have to say, the older I get, the more I need that view in my life.

 

What about you? What TV do you watch that people would say is too young (or too old) for you?

Everyone has an opinion

 

Belum – Not Yet

In Indonesian ‘belum’ means not yet. There’s three different words for no, ‘tidak’, ‘bukan’ and ‘belum.

Sudah ke Indonesia?

Have you been to Indonesia?

Belum?

Not yet.

You wouldn’t say no (tidak) because that means you’ll never go. And I love that idea because it leaves that door open. It’s hopeful. It’s full of possibility.

So:

Have you been published?

Not yet.

Land of the Long Weekend

Australian’s love a long weekend. This weekend it’s the Queen’s Birthday long weekend (but not actually the Queen’s Birthday) and we’ve spent it visiting family. Both my parents and my MIL and SILs live in the same area, so it’s easy to visit them all the same time.

It’s also exhausting.

I remember when I used to sleep in on a public holiday, have a relaxed brekky and spend the day doing generally very little or spending time with friends. Ah, those days are gone. My children get up between 6 – 6 30 am every day. EVERY DAY. But, that said, I think my days are more interesting now.

What do you get up to on a day-off?

Everyone has an opinion

How Do You Write, When the Words won’t Flow?

Part of the reason I’ve been so inconsistent in talking to you all in the last several weeks is because I’ve been having manuscript problems. One still isn’t quite working for the people who could give it a home, one needed to be completely rewritten and one I just can’t write. It’s that one I’m going to talk about here.

The idea for the story I’m working on now has been sitting in the back of my mind just waiting for me to have the time to give to it. I’ve written up the character profiles, character arc and the main plot points. You’d think that all there’s left to do is write the damn thing. But it won’t come. It’s not just writer’s block, which I think you just need to write through, it’s a lack of passion for the story.

It’s a shame because I think the premise is a good one. Grace wakes up after a party to find a dead boy beside her. Although the police have put her in the clear, the boy’s girlfriend convinces everyone who will listen that Grace did it. Grace is determined to salvage her reputation. As a subplot, Grace has a strained relationship with her identical twin sister. She feels family holds you back but is going to learn that it can also lift you up.

Too bad I can’t get the words on the page.

So what do you do when the story won’t write?

Just Keep Going

According to Stephen King:

stephanking

And I have taken that advice on more than one occasion in the past (and no doubt will do again). But It’s getting me no where this time.

Change It Up

In an attempt to get the creative juices flowing I’ve tried sitting in different places, writing at different times, listening to music, not listening to music, writing around people, writing on my own, re-reading my old favorites, throwing my old favorites across the room because-how-come-they’re-so-friggin’-awesome-and-I’m-so-crap-ohmyGodnowI’mrantingand….BREATH!

In all serious, changing things up can help me when I’m getting stuck or my brain is actually working against me. Just not this time.

Let It Go

This is my least favorite option. I feel bad for my characters, stuck in limbo with no sign of resolution. But sometimes you just need a break from what you’re working on. Read a book, get into one of your hobbies, go back to another story that needs tweaking. You’d be surprised what comes to you when you’re thinking of other things. (Vacuum.  I get great ideas when I’m vacuuming AND I look like a hero because there’s no cat fur on the floors).

Drop Like A Toxic Friend

Me and my latest WIP aren’t quite here yet but we might get here. Some stories are meant to be told, but not by you. My experience has been that all manuscripts look like unworkable piles sludge every now and then, but if your manuscript always looks like that and the thought of working on it sucks the joy and colour out of your life, it might be time to break it off for good.

 

Have you every had an idea for a story but you can’t get it on the page? What did you do about it (please help me out here! I need to know!).

Everyone has an opinion

Look Who’s Here

I’ve been absent for a while, I know. I’m sorry but things just got a way from me for a bit. I was knocked down with a cold, then there was school holidays and my brother got married and the excuses just keep going.

Sometimes life is like that. It’s one thing after other and all you can do is prioritise and come back to the other things when you can. And so I’m back. Luckily for me, it does mean that I have lots of topics saved up to blog about.

Thanks for hanging in there during my absence.

Everyone has an opinion

 

Do You Lie?

I like to think of myself as an honest person. I was brought up to know that cheating and lying were bad and this is what I teach my children but the truth is, I lie all the time.

lying homer simpson GIF-downsized

In my family as a child, as in my family now, there was a special place for white lies. Those not-honest-but-not-quite-a-lie things we say. In explaining the concept of white lies to my kids I’ve gone with the definition of, ‘…they’re lies we tell so we don’t hurt someone else…’, but on closer inspection, that’s a pretty dodgy definition. After all, a cheating spouse could make the same claim about their lies (I didn’t tell you I was having it off with the butcher, because I didn’t want to hurt you), but that’s definitely not a white lie.

Unfortunately though, when you think about it, a white lie is often as self-serving as any other lie. They’re the lies we tell to avoid confrontation or guilt. We lie to our friend about her clothes and say it’s to spare her feelings, but in reality it’s to avoid a tricky conversation. We lie to acquaintances and say we’re busy, when really we’re not interested in spending time with them. We lie to ourselves.

More and more, I see white lies like strands of spider’s silk. It seems light and insubstantial but it’s sticky and difficult to rid yourself of and when it clumps together it becomes dusty and unsightly. And you know what they say, what a tangled web we weave, when we practise to my deceive.

On the other hand, how would we get through the day without a few white lies? Would it be an endless wave of conflict and confrontation or would we be freed by our honesty? What do you think?

Everyone has an opinion

Cheater, Cheater

If you follow the cricket or are from a cricketing nation you will know by now that the Aussie cricket team are a bunch of big fat cheaters. And bad ones at that, because they got caught and Lance Armstrong got away with if for years.

Even I, one of the un-sportiest people you could meet, felt winded by shame and disbelief when events came to light. After all, whether you follow a national team or not, they still represent your nation. It was worse for my husband, someone who follows cricket passionately, and he cut a dejected figure on the couch last night as more details were revealed.

It does raise the question though, what is worth your integrity? Is there something that you could say is so important to you, you would knowingly do the wrong thing? The only thing I could think of is my family, mainly my children. Even then, it would probably have to be a matter of life and death.

So what about you, do you have a price on your honesty and, if so, what is it?

Everyone has an opinion

A Body Image Challenge

Late last year I set myself a challenge to make a change. And now I’m inviting you to do the same.

In writing my latest manuscript about Maggie, a 16-year-old girl whose little sister has anorexia, I had to do a lot of research into eating disorders and the effect of these disorders on the whole family. Most of it was sad, some of it was shocking and some of it was bewildering. Because of my research, my Facebook and Pinterest feeds and browser ads began to change. Most of the changes were annoying but innocuous, like diet supplements, but some were distressing, like this little poem that came up in my Pinterest feed:

 

Hungry to bed

Hungry to rise

Makes a girl pretty

And smaller in size

 

And this:

weight-loss80a

 

Of which 1, 3, 4 and especially 10 make me shudder and none of which are ‘to be healthier’.

Things like this made me appreciate even more the value we put on weight and body image and how I reinforce this through my own actions. So, last year I made a conscious decision to stop saying to other women, “have you lost weight?” and to start saying, “you look well.”

You might think this is semantics, but I have found that even the response I get from women is different.

Me: “Have you lost weight?”

Them: “No, but I really need to.”  or “A bit.” or “I look terrible.” And on and on and on.

 

Me: “You look well.”

Them: “Thanks. I feel well.” or “I’ve been really good.” or just, “Thanks. So, do you.”

 

It seems like, by taking the focus off their body and making it about them as a whole, women (and the men I’ve tried it on) feel able to accept a compliment, to see themselves as doing well and to recognise that they feel good.

And so, I want to extend the challenge to you. Can you change a single sentence? Can you take the focus off body and weight and put it back onto feeling good and healthy and ‘well’?

Of course, there’s going to be times when, ‘Have you lost weight?’ is a valid thing to say. If Aunty Jo has lost 25kg and got down to a healthy weight, don’t deprive her of encouragement and support. But at other times, there must be more that you can say to someone than, ‘have you lost weight?’.

 

Everyone has an opinion

 

 

Autumn Arrives

Autumn is officially here. My favourite season because it heralds the return of cool (sleepable) nights and bright days and is filled with colour, although often of the softer variety than found is Spring. If seasons were My Little Ponys then Autumn would be the quieter, more sophisticated one. Spring would be the giggly, playful, one. And everyone loves that one. But for those of us who give Autumn a bit of attention, we see a beautiful, vibrant side.

The only problem I have with Autumn is a question of clothes. You’re not quite out of shorts and t-shirts but some days you need jeans and a jumper. 20 degrees in Spring felt comparatively balmy while 20 degrees in Autumn feels a tad chilly. Sometimes I dress in the morning and then have to get changed about lunchtime.

But it’s a small price to pay I guess, for Autumn’s charm.