Perks of being a Club Vice-President

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Hi all.

I’ve been busy lately! It’s my final week of my first subject for uni this year. This week I learnt that presentations are boring when it’s just listening to everyone summarise article appraisals! 😛

Today I’m doing something much more fun. It’s my uni’s O-Week, you see, and as I’m the Vice-President of the choir I’ve been planning for the big event: Clubs and Societies’ Festival, the day where all the clubs and societies at uni get to show off and try to attract members. I’m excited! It should be fun. I like meeting new people and singing is my jam, so let’s get into it. 😀

Another perk is being able to have advance knowledge of what my choir, LaTUCS, will be doing this year. We’ve got some pretty cool ideas in the pipeline.

Being V-P has been really good so far. It (and my other role on the MIV Committee) have been teaching me a lot about: how meetings work; delegation and collaboration; and event organisation, among other things. I love singing. Choir is such a great way to relax and have fun with friends, to meet new people who share interests with you and generally have a good time.

I imagine I’ll be quite tired by the end of today though…See you on the other side!

Goal-Setting

Hi everyone. This week has been pretty busy, as I just moved out. It means I’ve been learning and experiencing new things this week. Like: doing all the cooking and meals, with all the flipping planning that involves; being mistress of your own space, the sole person responsible for keeping it clean and so on; following your own schedule and being accountable to yourself only. Oh yeah and paying rent! 😛

On top of that, my Occupational Therapy Masters has just started up for the year. It’s the reason I moved! It’s a bit earlier than some other courses start up, but that’s okay. It’s an intense course from here on in. I’m looking forward to the year ahead.

One of my recent posts was about goals. It’s a bit ironic then that just yesterday, one of my classes focused on goal-setting in a therapeutic context. I thought I’d share a bit of what I learnt – after all, explaining things different ways is supposed to help learning, right? 😉

Goals are defined as statements that people make about what they want to achieve. In a clinical/therapeutic context, they are established collaboratively between a client and therapist.

Goals work best if they are SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-dependent. I also have to think about them in an occupational context – what does the goal help the person to do as an achievement?  In contrast, a physio or different health professional might be more focused on the biomedical context.

Something interesting that was covered in class was the idea, from Park (2011), that there are four different types of goals, each with a slightly different purpose as denoted by their time periods (from the immediate to the aspirational). The four types are tasks to complete; short-term goals; long-term aspirations; and dreams. They can lead on from each other or be separate

  1. Tasks to Complete
    Immediate things that need to happen in the next day to week. Like “paying rent”, “cooking dinner” or “doing a load of washing”.
  2. Short-Term Goals
    Things that we want to achieve over a time period of weeks to months. For example, “continue blogging several times a week”, “become more familiar with new house routines to become a good housemate”, “find some good walking routes near my new home”.
  3. Long-Term Aspirations
    Things that we see ourselves doing in a few years or more. For instance, “work as a OT, eventually in Paediatrics”, “volunteer with refugees in a professional capacity”, “get married one day”.
  4. Dreams
    These are things that might not happen but are nice to think about – probably in order for the dream to come true a number of other things would have to fall into place. These include: “travel the world without worrying about money”, “have my books be as successful as J.K. Rowling” 😛

BENEFITS TO GOAL-SETTING

  • Gives clarity on how to achieve aims
  • Provide a time frame
  • Gives purpose & direction, accountability
  • Measure results
  • Reference point which can be reviewed later

CHALLENGES

  • Lack of motivation to complete goals
  • Uncertainty about capabilities leads to overconfidence or lack of confidence impeding goal realism/achievability
  • Lack of connection to a time-frame
  • Difference in needed goals and wanted goals (i.e. if someone needs to do something but they want to do something else, contradictory to the need)

WAYS TO OVERCOME CHALLENGES

  • Person whom goals are for must take ownership of the goal-setting process
  • Give time to validate your own experiences and concerns in order to explore your goals
  • Reframe the goals differently to focus on your interests (more interest = more motivation)
  • Find examples of successful goal achievement (from others and yourself)
  • Break goals into achievable parts to build confidence and success
  • Focus on a small selection of goals, e.g. tasks and short-term goals, then gradually build towards any long-term ones.

I’m definitely thinking about these things in terms of my own goals now. So if you’ll excuse me I need to go see about doing that load of washing….

Oh, if you’re in Melbourne city today come down to Bourke Street Mall. All buskers are holding a special concert of sorts in support of the Bourke Street Victims Fund (after the awful event of a fortnight ago). All funds go to the legitimate Bourke Street until 10PM! There’s even a two-disc CD being sold with one track from each busker on the CD. Ge down there!

Reference:

Park, S. (2011). Chapter 8: Goal-setting in occupational therapy: a client centred perspective. In E. A. S. Duncan (Ed.), Skills for Practice in Occupational Therapy (1st ed., pp. 105-123). Elsevier Health Sciences UK.

 

Reblog: Resolutions: Good or Bad

I find resolutions interesting. As I commented on Noelle’s post (linked below),

I like ones that are “commitments to try”, so to speak. You know they’re goals and things you’d like to do, but they’re not “have-tos”.

Setting unattainable resolutions can lead to trouble or so it seems – we gain only negative emotions when we revert to old habits after promising to keep to a path for a year.

I remind myself that these are goals, to be practiced and worked on during the year but not mandatory.

With that in mind, some ones for this year are:

  • Do well in my Masters coursework etc.
    – Ask for help if I need it and monitor myself so that the changes of this year don’t cause my grades to drop.
  • To listen twice as much as I speak;
    –   I’ll be addressing this in more depth later, but as I’m a talker and social person who also is a “Feeler” (high F in Myers-Briggs, for example), I worry about my ratio of talking to listening. So I’m working on it.
  • Alongside the above is my want to actively practice my Feeling
    –   Again, I’ll explain in another post, but cultivating my empathetic presence is important to me. These first two are very connected.
  • To get back into blogging
    – I fell off a regular blogging schedule a bit over the second half of 2016, but I’d like to be more consistent.
  • To get back into writing my story.
    – I’ve done quite a lot of backstory-work but haven’t actually done any story-writing for a while. I need to get back into that.
  • To be more active and finding more walking spaces.
    –   I’m not naturally a person who gets active, as I’m not sporty. But I like nature and I like walking and I know I ought to be sitting less. I’m not interested in overdoing it though, as I’m skinny enough as it is.

Idea taken from the post linked below:

What are your thoughts on setting New Years Resolutions? Have you completed yours in the past or are you one of those who forgets what they are? Come read about the good and the bad of setting reso…

Source: {DISCUSSION} Resolutions: Good or Bad

REBLOGGED: Self-Care for Writers

Ten tips from Chuck (in his usual style) about a really important thing – self-care.

Self-Care For Writers: Some Tips!

by terribleminds

Back when I was in elementary school, we used to do that thing on Valentine’s Day where you wrote little crummy cardboardy valentines (often from Your Favorite Brand™) to your other class members and of course you saved the good ones for the kids you had a crush on and of course there were those poor sods who always got way fewer valentines than other kids even though you were supposed to write valentines for everybody. It was cruel and strange and an odd sort of training for being a writer.

Because really, our books and our stories are all paper valentines. We write them and send them out into the world to crushes and non-crushes alike and we really hope you accept them. And we really hope you give us a valentine back.

We are all just authors standing in front of audiences asking them to love us.

Buy our books, yes. But also, love us.

It sets us up for a lot of heartbreak. Which is nobody’s fault; it is what it is. We stick our hearts not on our sleeves but on the paper and then we slide the paper in front of you and watch your face to see how you react. And this isn’t just one to one. This isn’t just us asking one person if they liked our book. It’s cumulative. It’s us asking hundreds, thousands, all the people to dig what we’re doing. Or at least to recognize that we’re doing it. And that can be hard. It is compounded by the fact that as I said in the last post (Your 2016 Authorial Mandate!), we’re all clothes drying on the line — we are not well-protected as a creative species.

As such, it is up to us to protect ourselves to some degree.

Self-care is very important for a writer. Let’s talk some tips.

Read more by clicking on the title above.

WT&TT: The Untrue Truth of Write What You Know (reblogged)

Five words: plausible worldviews and transferable skill-sets. Intrigued? Read on.

Emma Newman: The Untrue Truth Of “Write What You Know”

by terribleminds

Emma Newman is undeniably an epic talent, and her wave is about to break on your beach with her newest, the astounding Planetfall. She wanted to come by and talk about a piece of advice with which she disagrees — that ol’ classic, WRITE WHAT YOU KNOW. So, without further ado: 

* * *

If you’ve read anything about how to write, you’ve probably stumbled across the old chestnut “write what you know.” Being someone of fine taste and refinement, seeing as you’re here at Chuck’s place, you’ve probably also figured out for yourself that this advice is thin at best and downright untrue at its worst.

You could say “hey, it doesn’t have to be taken literally – ‘what you know’ can incorporate emotional experiences that can be applied to new situations, not just intellectual experiences, and you’d be right. But what I want to talk about here, is how you can approach a gulf between your own experience and that of your character.

The easy way first

Let’s get these out of the way. If you want to write about something you don’t know, there’s good old bookish research (which can only take you so far – especially in some areas of SFF) and there’s talking to people. With regards to the latter, it can be hard to find someone who fits the bill completely, so it may be that you need to speak to several people. This also helps to reduce the chance of repeating mistakes and churning out trope-ridden material.

What about things that don’t exist?

What can you read or who can you talk to if the job or experience you want to explore in your writing doesn’t exist – either because it is too fantastical or hasn’t been invented yet? Or what if it is only experienced by people you have no hope of being able to talk to?

….

(Click on the title for the rest of the piece.)

 

Emma Newman … blogs at http://www.enewman.co.uk and can be found on Twitter as @emapocalyptic

REBLOGGED: Social Skills & Other Concerns

This resonates, a lot. Not just the advice but Myer’s journey. 😀 Being the lonely kid at the front of the class with glasses and other “Nerd!” aspects can be awkward, especially in primary school. However, the awkwardness does give more reading – and then writing time.
Though I did less “reading critically” and more “ooh, this series/book is awesome, Diary, here’s why!” (Cue paragraphs-long splurge.) I can track when I got into certain fandoms in my teens because of this. (Unfortunately for tracking purposes, I didn’t start journaling or diary-writing or whatever you want to call it until high school.)

Social skills is something I wonder about at times. I’m an extrovert, so you’d naturally think I’d thrive in environments that require a lot of talking and stuff (e.g. interviews or whatever, when it hopefully comes time for that). Truth is, that while I do like talking (*pauses and laughs at understatement*) ad-lib is not my thing. I take time getting to the point, I can repeat myself a bit and go on tangents and I can overshare without quite meaning to. I’m learning, but it’s still hard, as it means I have to be “on my guard” in conversations. I hate that.

Oh well. These things will come in time I suppose. Especially if I own my quirks whilst doing so.

Do check out Myer’s website and Chuck Wendig’s (who I got the post from).

Ilana C. Myer: What Do You Mean I Need Social Skills? (And Other Concerns)

by terribleminds

Ilana has a debut fantasy novel out — Last Song Before Night — but before that, she’s done a lot of work as an accomplished blogger and freelance writer, so I’m excited to have her here to speak a bit about one skill most writers don’t think, or know, that they need…

* * *

As an author whose first book just came out from Tor, you could say I’ve achieved exactly what I set out to do. And I’ll be real: I set out to do it a long time ago. This is not one of those instances when the author takes up writing on a lark and a novel comes out. If only. It’s more like, when I was a teenager I decided to start taking seriously this dream I’d always had. I was already thirteen, it was time to get moving.

Maybe it’s because I was living in Jerusalem in the mid-90s and fully convinced — not entirely without reason — that I wouldn’t survive high school. (Buffy was to have incredible resonance, years later.) Being a kid, doing things like having fun or whatever, was a waste of time when life was short. (Plus, being in a class of kids who don’t speak your language is not that conducive to having fun either.) So I did two things. I read a lot, and critically. Whatever I read, I picked apart. I looked at the things that worked and tried to figure out why they worked so well. Sometimes I couldn’t figure it out, so I just reread those glorious sections repeatedly, as if to absorb them into my bloodstream. (In retrospect, this means I can open my old notebooks at random and be like, “Right, that’s when I was reading Dune.”)

Because another thing I was doing was writing my own novel. And I worked incessantly. By the end of high school I had completed the first volume of a projected epic fantasy trilogy. I had written it longhand in a series of notebooks. Teachers knew to be suspicious of these notebooks and occasionally they were confiscated.

Eventually I was to give up on the high school novel, dismissing it as too juvenile. I started a new one while still in college. That novel, in the course of years, became Last Song Before Night.

So this is great, right? I did it. I put focused effort into achieving my goal, by developing the skills necessary for that goal, and succeeded.

Fast-forward to this past year at Book Expo America, when I and three other debut authors had the honor of being on a panel hosted by John Scalzi. Except this wasn’t really a panel. It was a game, for the general public, of “Would You Rather?” We would get questions and need to answer them, cleverly, on the fly.

This was a foretaste of what it means to launch a novel out into the world. My calendar for October has been a series of public appearances, readings, another game of “Would You Rather” with Scalzi at New York Comic Con, and — incredibly — a  New England book tour with Fran Wilde and Seth Dickinson where we’ll be visiting five bookstores in five states in five days or something like that. And answering questions, and being witty, and hopefully impressing the ever-loving hell out of everyone.

I did not do a single damn thing in my life to prepare for this. And it’s made me reflect on this dissonant quality to being a writer: what makes us excel at our work, what gets our books to the level of being publishable, involves being alone, a lot. No matter how many workshops you attend, ultimately the work only gets done when it’s just you and the page. Or just you and the necessary act of reading. All of it intensely alone.

…..

Read more by clicking on the title.

 

Ilana C. Myer: Website | Twitter

General Ramble

Hi all. How are things?

I’ve been doing a little bit of this and that. There’s been a lot of sport on lately, which I tune in and out of. For example, tennis. I can appreciate a good shot, but the rules tie me up. Don’t explain it – I understand some things sometimes, but then get confused by others. Nah, my way ‘in’ to sport is through human interest stuff.

It’s kind of weird to realise that Lleyton Hewitt has been playing at the “pro level” (that’s what they call it, yes?) for most of your life. Twenty years is actually two decades, so that’s a bit of a long time (especially in sport). Weird.

The cricket’s been on too. I usually seem to find myself going for the team batting second in the T20 games…after all, the aim is for them to catch up and surpass the first team’s score. It’s more exciting when it’s close. I was going for the first-batters last night though, because they were Melbourne. Oh well, better luck next year. And Sydney, well, they did come from fourth on the ladder to win, so at least that’s got a bit of underdog in it.

I’m finally starting to get back into my writing, even if right now it’s ‘just’ character development things. It’s fun to play around with backstory, even if circumstances mean that any fluffy stuff created is liberally laced with angst from an author’s perspective. Those are the benefits of being the author – omnipotence and foreknowledge. 😉

By the way, I’ve updated my “Fandoms” post of last year, due to New Tricks ending and the rise of Vera.

Look out for a post about my 2015 soundtrack – my holiday was sort of busy, so I didn’t do it before the end of last year. Does anyone else find that it takes them all of January – or sometimes longer – to get used to writing the new year’s date instead of the old year’s? I think I’ve been helped in that regard this year because I made a commitment to write in my diary/journal every day.

Hi-ho, hi-ho, it’s back to ‘work’ I go….

TICKETS! Or: Who Else Is Going to See ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ in December?

 

So. Is anyone?

I’m trying to organise a date with a friend to see it – after my family comes back from holidays. Which means that I won’t see it until mid-January.  (I haven’t even got a chance to watch the trailers properly yet, haha.) So ssh, please. No spoilers. I mean it: SSSSHHHHHH.

I want to go in unspoiled, thanks. I’m excited – and that excitement is stomped on if someone reveals things too soon. Are we clear? Good.

(Besides, there will be plenty of other things in other fandoms to talk about until then, given the number of trailers etc dropping for things lately, and the presence of Christmas Specials……)

Here’s Chuck’s take on it. The second bit is something he wrote a while back about a metaphor for reboots and canon things (which is different to the one I’ve already shared).

On The Spoilering Of A Certain Star Wars Movie

by terribleminds

I said some stuff on Twitter today about spoilers, and I thought I’d bleat them out here, too. Because there’s a certain movie coming out next week and it lands in some international territories earlier than others and I feel like there’s been a very effective curtain pulled across the story so far, and it’d be awesome to help keep that curtain pulled tight for those folks who cannot immediately jump out and see the movie the moment it exists in the world. Like, I know most of the movie, but I’m not gonna tell you about it because I want you to experience it yourself!

Engage Storify:

Second thing:

While there at the con, I hit on a metaphor I like as to how to overcome this feeling that OLD IS BEST and NEW IS BAD and SOMETHING SOMETHING FIRE THE CANON CANNONS.

And I’m going to share this with you now in the hopes it helps you understand the silver lining, here — this is me trying to turn this feeling from a drain into a fountain.

You know Matt Groening, right? The Simpsons creator.

Well, once upon a time as some know, he did a comic called LIFE IN HELL. Amazing comic. Subversive and socially powerful, and also deeply absurdist fun. He hit on things with childhood and work and school and relationships — I still go back to read them from time to time.

In one of the comics, the one-eared rabbit boy, Bongo, is coloring with crayons.

And a bully comes along.

The bully then proceeds to break all of Bongo’s crayons in half. Snap, snap, snap.

Bongo, for many panels if I recall correctly, stares down at his crayons.

And you think, he’s upset.

He’s a kid.

A bully just broke all his crayons.

How could this not destroy him? Someone came along and destroyed the things he had in his hands. The things that he loved. He can’t create anymore. His crayons are ruined.

But then Bongo says: YAY.

And why does Bongo say yay?

Because, he explains, regarding his bounty of broken crayons: NOW I HAVE TWICE AS MANY.

You think someone broke your stories, your universe, your canon.

Instead, maybe envision it instead as YAY, NOW I HAVE TWICE AS MANY.

And then read it all greedily and happily, in glorious gulps and swallows.

Read more of that one here: http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2015/10/19/about-that-dumb-star-wars-boycott/

It’s That Time of Year Again

Image sourced from google.

“High on the hill, looking over the bridge to the M-C-G…”
(Paul Kelly, Leaps and Bounds, 1987)

It’s that time of year again. September: the time of year when the Aussie Rules footy finals have arrived and we’re edging our way towards that “one day in September”. This year, it’ll be in October, but who cares. On the telly we’ll hear that Hunters and Collectors song, Holy Grail (1992), which was not originally intended to be a footy song but has turned into a staple.

Sport is one of those things that bring us together, regardless of who we are. We unite to divide along team lines, of which there are eighteen now. It unites and divides family and friends, jokingly or seriously. But mention your team and there’s sure to be a reaction.

Some people take it very seriously, taking a strong interest. The footy becomes their community/ family/ etc. That’s okay and can be good – unless of course the person becomes too “one-eyed”. 😉

Personally, I’m a sort of peripheral supporter – still strong, but not exactly into all the depth and detail. I like the human sides better. After all, I don’t play (or watch) much of any sport myself. Reading the sports section doesn’t really interest me unless they’re doing a “player profile” or something. But given how strong footy’s presence is here, you can’t help but pick things up…and then be at least somewhat interested. 🙂

It helps that we’ve been a one-team family for ages, most of the extended family (on one side anyway) included. That particular team has had quite a few tough years and perhaps are seeing a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. We’ll see. Maybe.

All I know is that tomorrow, this girl who goes to maybe one game a year will go down to the ‘G again to watch an elimination final with some of the rest of her family.

Good luck to all teams.

Yellow and Black! Go Tiges!

Introducing Ms. Jack Monroe

Another blogger I’ve been following for a while is Jack Monroe. I’ve been following her for a few years now. She’s had quite the journey, in a rough way. She’s a “cook, campaigner, Guardian columnist, mother, author”. Some of her most common posts involve cooking on a tiny budget and political things. She’s British and a lesbian, too.

Here’s Jack, from her own blog:

A LITTLE BIT ABOUT ME

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I started writing my blog, A Girl Called Jack, in February 2012, in response to a local councillor who claimed that ‘druggies, drunks and single mums are ruining the High Street.’ What started as a local politics blog developed into budget food and recipes, which were picked up with interest by the national press as I detailed living with my son on a food budget of just £10 a week due to delays in unemployment benefits, and sometimes they weren’t paid at all. Housing Benefit seems to be exceptionally messy, especially if you lose your job or move house, or both.

I ended up writing a cookbook for Penguin based on my blog, that was published in February 2014. My second cookbook was more of a food diary through the rollercoaster year that took me from sleeping on a mattress on the floor of a bedroom in a house share, to having a food column in the Guardian and a book that sat at the top of the paperback charts – a thing that still humbles and amazes me.

I am an active campaigner, fronting a petition with Unite, The Trussell Trust and The Mirror demanding politicians debate the causes of foodbank use and hunger in Britain. Within 4 days the petition had secured 100,000 signatures, and the debate was held in the House Of Commons three weeks later. I am a patron of The Food Chain, and support The Trussell Trust, Child Poverty Action Group, and Oxfam.

And I’m a totally out gay woman. So if that kind of thing offends you, well, you’re not going to like my blog. I’ve been in the Independent’s Pink List for the last 2 years (it’s a Rainbow List now!) and on the front cover of Diva magazine twice – I never really saw myself as cover girl material, but it’s been a pretty strange few years.

I write a weekly recipe column for The Guardian, and regularly contribute political bits to The Mirror, The Independent and The Guardian. I was once a regular on the Sky News sofa before school runs put paid to all of that, Channel 4 and BBC radio, commenting on food, politics, and current affairs.

I’ve won some stuff over the past few years, notably a large bronze eagle from the Women Of The Year award, a very sharp Blok knife cast in resin given to me by Jay Rayner with a kiss at the OFM awards, a tiny silver hamper from the Fortnum And Mason Food And Drink Awards, and some other bits and pieces that are used as door stops around the house because, well, what are you meant to do with them?!

Some people I like lots said some nice stuff too:

“Sassy, political, and cooking amazing food on GBP10 a week. We need more like her”. (Xanthe Clay, The Telegraph).

“She is a breath of fresh air in the cooking world” – Nigel Slater.

“Every now and then a food writer with a fresh and authentic voice comes along, and Jack Monroe is that rare find. Her recipes are founded on the ideal of eating well on a budget, but there is nothing drab about her food: it’s as vibrant as her voice; and A Girl Called Jack is full of food with bold flavour, recipes that beg to become part of your daily repertoire. This is a book with charm and brio, and a true helpmeet in the kitchen.” – Nigella Lawson.

“Compelling, if sobering reading.” – Lisa Markwell, The Independent on Sunday.

…and some people I don’t like so much said some things that I take wildly out of context to read as more flattering than they were intended:

“A cross between Yvette Cooper and Delia Smith, with tattoos.” – Richard Littlejohn, The Daily Mail.

Jack Monroe || http://www.agirlcalledjack.com