The Business of Creating


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Last night I managed to get to the 50,000 word target of my fourth year of NaNoWriMo. Huzzah! I was so pleased to have been able to get it done, two days early, and with only a couple of thousand words worth of story to go. I’m going to wrap it up today and tomorrow and then put it away for a little while to stew.


I’ve had some conversations in the last little while about my plan for the future. The only problem is I don’t really have a well thought out and detailed plan. What I want is a job that I like well enough, that’s part-time so that I can do my creative stuff on the side, and possibly one day I’ll get a job where I can use my writing skills, but maybe not. That’s the plan.

At the moment I have a job placement which is three days per week doing Human Resources. It’s a refreshing change from the basic office admin job placements I’ve been doing recently so I’m really enjoying getting stuck in. It’s only until the end of the year though, and then I’ll be back to looking for ongoing work.

So here’s the new plan. Starting from now I’m going to work one day per week on my writing. Now that NaNoWriMo is finished for the year I really need to start doing something with my older manuscripts. The one I wrote last year, in particular, needs a whole bunch of structural edits and additional sections.

I’m going to do what I’ve heard other professional authors do, for example Dawn French and Fiona McIntosh, that is set myself a proper 9am to 5pm day of work for my writing. In the morning I will spend my time researching writing opportunities, applying for jobs, finding writing competitions, magazines and periodicals and blogs that are taking submissions and do that. This will be my time to work on this blog. I will also look into networking possibilities in the industry and short courses in writing that I might like to do.

In the afternoon I’m just going to write (and rewrite). I’m going to start with the manuscript from last year’s NaNoWriMo, which needs some big stuff done to it, and spend a couple of hours a week just going through it and fixing it. Editing has never been my strong suit, I’ve always be much more interested in coming up with new material, but I must spend the time revising and reworking. Maybe I’ll set myself a deadline of the end of January to have it done and I can start sending it to publishers.

Some of you may have noticed that that only adds up to four days work. You’re right, and the other day I’m going to keep for my band. We meet once a week usually, and rehearse for 4 or 5 hours. That takes up most of one day of the weekend. I will spend some of the time on the other weekday practicing and the rest of the day getting the chores and life admin stuff done that I would have done on the weekend. We’re also going to start looking for performance opportunities in the new year so I’ll schedule those in too.

My aim in this is to get myself into a routine. I’m not studying anymore and I hope to have a solid, ongoing job by early next year. It’s time to get serious about the business of creating and make sure that going back to uni was not just a frivolous escape from being at work.



In the last week of NaNoWriMo, I’ve been having a poorly photoshopped war with my sister…

Originally posted on Dances with Cucumbers:

*deface religious art with a visual pun, it’s a Blasphememe!

We’ve decided that the ‘art’ we’re creating by mashing art works and puns together should be called Blasphememes. Here are some more.

Berry Caesar

We start with Jacqui’s “I came to Berry Caesar, not to praise him”.


Then we have Fleur’s “Primavera”, after Botticelli. It’s a bowl of pasta, not a pizza, by the way.

lamb of god

Next, Jacqui’s “Roast Lamb of God”, served with roast pumpkin of God.

Saint Sebastan Speared with Asparagus

Fleur’s “St Sebastian Speared with Asparagus”, sticking with the food theme.

st asparagustine

To which Jaqui’s reply was obviously “St Asparagustine”.

Judith Warheading Holofernes

Then Fleur got a bit more expansive in her definition of food, “Judith Warheading Holofernes”.

et tu

Going for the King of all puns, the Latin pun, Jacqui’s “Et tu Brighteyes?”

Venus and Mars

Fleur seems to be rather obsessed with Botticelli, again, here’s “Venus and Mars”.


Then we went a bit Arthurian, Jacqui’s “Parsleyfal” (this guy’s name is Percival…

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– the cure for what ails ya!

This weekend I went up to a spot called Riverview in the bush near Tatong, Victoria to Panacea. It was part music festival, part yoga festival and all awesome. Organised largley by Chloe, who brings experience from Folk Rhythm & Life, and Stefan, this was the first year Panacea was run.

There were fifty something bands, two stages, a yoga space and a discovery space. I went up because the band that I’m a groupie for, Destrends, was playing and I had to. I took along the big camera to get some shots of their set, but I mostly left it in the car the rest of the time.

It’s the sort of festival where there’s no phone reception and no power. There was a creek to bathe in but most people went for the baby wipe shower (or not at all).

I took two videos of the boys playing:

Epic Entrance – why walk on stage when you can be carried on in a coffin?

“My Friend”

I had a fantastic time, bonding with people, having human conversations, getting back to nature, getting covered in dust and flies (so many flies). It’s important to just exist sometimes, unplug from the digital world, sit in the grass, and talk shit with strangers. It’s the perfect place for that.

I obviously didn’t get any of my NaNoWriMo stuff done, and it was really nice to have a few days off from thinking about it. I have 11,000 words to win and seven days to write them in. I think I’m well set up to do it!

I’m looking forward to seeing Panacea find it’s feet in the music scene, I really want them to run it again so I can go back next year. But right now I have to go try to get some writing done on my Choose Your Own Adventure (which I am procrastinating by writing this post).

Rock out!

A Short Update


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Alright, so things in my life have been going, well, all over the place is probably accurate. So a short update.

  1. I reached 30k words in NaNoWriMo last night, I’m more than half way!
  2. the band is coming along really well, we’ve got some good songs coming together
  3. my job situation is up in the air and moderately stressful, but it’s more a case of working out which job to take than not having one, so that’s nice.
  4. my housing situation is in a bit of a state of flux which is moderately stressful
  5. I don’t get enough hugs in life. I also don’t give enough hugs.

That’s it, really.


Here is an unrelated photo from the internet

Four Years!?


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Yesterday, I got a notification from WordPress to tell me Happy Anniversary! It’s been four years since I started this blog, I’ve written over two hundred posts, which is almost one a week for that whole time! It’s also the fourth I year I’m doing NaNoWriMo, which feels pretty big.

I’ve been asked a number of times recently what I’m up to these days, usually it’s from lovely artists while I’m modellin. We only see one another once every few months and it’s a standard small talk question, but it always feels like it’s difficult for me to answer.

What I’m doing, I suppose, is trying to find a permanent job that will allow me to continue to work on my creative stuff and still pay the rent. Bonus points if the job involves something that will be useful for my creative stuff. Three or four days per week of paid work and three of four days per week of creativ stuff. I’d like to be able to get into a routine where I actually sit down on the weekday(s) that I’m not working and do creative stuff for the same time. Dawn French talks about how she writes as though it were a 9-5 job. 

There’s also a bunch of admin type stuff I want to be doing. Things like finding and submitting for magazines, or creative writing competitions, or networking, those sorts of things which need time set aside for them otherwise they won’t happen. 

But I got a bit sidetracked. I was wishing myself a happy blogoversary! Thank you all for continuing to read this, I need this space as a way to get my thinking in order but it’s always gratifying to know I’m not just talking to myself. 

As a present to you here is the poorly photoshopped cover art I made for my NaNoWriMo novel the other night:


*working title only

Gotta have Fabio on the cover! Even though there are no bodices to be ripped.

Choose Your Own Adventure!


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It’s November and that means it’s NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) time again. I got off to a slow start but I’m cracking along now. I have a very dull/not busy/not hard job at the moment and I’m able to do quite a lot of writing while I’m there. It makes the time go faster too. Double bonus!

On some sort of nostalgic whim I decided to write a Choose Your Own Adventure Novel. Remember those? All written in the second person, mostly targeted to tweens and teens, massively popular in the 80s and 90s. Well, I wanted to write one of those, and since I seem to write romance type novels, it’s a Choose Your Own Romance Adventure.

It's true, I have planned 20 failure endings and only 5 successful ones!

It’s true, I’ve planned 20 failure endings and only 5 successful ones!

It’s going great, once I got my head around keeping track of my loose ends. So far I have about nine thousand words and two failure endings. The biggest thing I had to get used to was that I now have to write sex scenes in the second person.

E.g. You run your hand along his jaw. He turns to you and kisses you deeply.

That sort of thing. At first it was very weird to write in second person, but I’m getting used to it. Every time I have to use you as plural, though, I tend to expand it to ‘you and Joe Bloggs do this’ because part of me thinks that You is the main character and therefore shouldn’t be confused with you plural.

Additionally one of my characters is called Felicity, which is apparently very hard to spell. There are going to be so many different misspellings of her name through the manuscript, but as is the motto of NaNoWriMo, write now, edit later. I’m also doing some of my writing on an iPad, which has a very strange and frustrating auto-correct system, so hopefully Future Me won’t be looking at a sentence and think what the hell? That’s not even English.

Anyway, just keeping you all updated. I might not be posting here much coz all of my words will be going to the novel, but you never know. Maybe I’ll be procrastinating.

Coming Home to Two Bachelors!


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Those of you who aren’t following me on Instagram or Facebook may not know that I had my graduation ceremony last night for the Bachelor of Letters from Monash University in Melbourne. I majored in Literature and History.

Me and my grandmother after the ceremony

Me and my grandmother after the ceremony

As you can see the outfits are traditionally ridiculous, the ceremony lasts for a million years and the hats are very heavy. But I now come home to two Bachelors which is exciting! I have one from before which is a Bachelor of Science.

There was only one other graduate with a Bachelor of Letters, a woman who would have been in her eighties, and everyone gave her a massive round of applause. I think she deserved it, and everyone else got golf claps. Applauding hundreds of graduates gets tedious very quickly. Faith in humanity restored!

After the ceremony was over we all went to the RSL for dinner, and I asked the very nice young man at the bar for my new favourite drink, he asked me what it was called but it still hasn’t got an official name. It’s equal parts orange juice, pineapple juice and ginger ale with ice and a slice of lime. We’re thinking Frosty Fruit Punch. If anyone thinks of a better name, let me know!

Frosty Fruit Punch (photo is not from last night)

Frosty Fruit Punch (photo is not from last night)

Now I’m gonna go hang with my bachelors.

Love, Fleur (BSc BLitt)

Let’s get selfish


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I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the link between dating and my level of anxiety. There seems to be a very strong correlation between my decision to meet, or try to meet, someone with the goal of being in a romantic relationship with them and my level of self loathing.

I spend a lot of time thinking about whether I’m acceptable. I think about how long it’s been since I had a serious relationship. I think about all the things I dislike about myself, and about my body. I think about all the things I would be willing to change if they conflicted with having a boyfriend. I drive myself crazy with it and I don’t know how to turn it off.

Except to say I’m not dating anymore. I don’t seem to be able to find a way to date, be on the market, meet new people who I think about in a romantic way, none of it, without my head being filled with an endless parade of negative thoughts, all centered around the various ways in which I am unworthy of romance.

This is not helpful. I also find I spend a lot of time sitting on online dating websites, sending out feelers; trying to make connections with people. If only I could manage to use that time productively, to work on the rewrites for my last novel or to practise the bass! I’m sure I would be much happier to just potter around doing my own thing. Although admittedly it may just mean more time on Youtube.

It feels very antisocial to say those sorts of things out aloud. Like I must have turned into a man-hating feminazi to give up on dating. Or maybe I’ve finally gotten so far up my own arse that no one will ever be good enough so I’m choosing to be celibate instead.

It seems really radical to have decided not to pursue coupledom in our society which seems to be so obsessed with it. And maybe I’ll be accused, as I have been before, of being disengaged from the world, but maybe I’ll be able to just be a human being and stop measuring myself by whether people want to sleep with me.

Initially I wrote this when I was feeling bitter and depressed about the concept, like I was punishing myself by saying “you’ll never have that so just give up.” But now, after a couple of days, I’m feeling kind of good about it. It feels like taking back my control, like sticking it to The Man and The Patriarchy. It’s probably extremely selfish but screw it, I’m giving myself permission to be selfish and to stop torturing myself.

6 things I wish I’d known earlier


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This is what all the kids are writing these days right? Completely useless lists with click-baity titles? Look at me, I’m BuzzFeed! Anyway I thought I’d gave a go at it:

1. You can be in the middle of reading more than one book at once


I’m a bit of a late comer to this particular one, but my attempts at doing the reading for my literature subjects recently have taught me that you can, pretty reliably, keep several books in mind at once. There are also some books which require some digestion between readings, in particular collections of essay or short stories, which can’t really be read all at once like a novel. So if you’re a bit stuck, maybe put the book down for a while and try another one, you can always go back.

Related: “You don’t have to finish the book if it’s really awful/boring” (but if it’s a ‘classic’ give it a bit more time), and “Staring off into space while reading is totally valid”.

2. Literally everyone is making it up as they go along


I know you can have more experience or more training at something and that helps and everything, but seriously, everyone is just doing the best they can at any given moment and if you asked most people if they knew what they were doing they would say ‘sort of’. This is completely acceptable. Also men are taught to be much more comfortable with pantsing (flying by the seat of your pants) than women, as evidenced by the tendency for women to wait until they feel 100% ready to apply for a better job.

Related: “No-one feels like an adult, until you watch teenagers and feel old”, and “Training and experience allow you to be more convincing at making it up on the spot”.

3. Everybody needs a night in

blanket burrito

Some people are more comfortable in the presence of people and groups of people than others. You can call it introversion and extroversion if you like, but whatever personality type you have, a night in, some quiet time, having a nap and a cup of tea, taking yourself on a date, whatever you like to do is valuable. It doesn’t make you weak.

Related: “Nobody really cares if you don’t go to the party” thanks Courtney Barnett.

4. You have to push yourself to do things you don’t really wanna do

potato thing

Alright, I know just about everyone says this one and it takes a while to sink in but I’m just gonna put this here. One day you’ll be sitting at home trying to work out if you want to do the scary thing, and you’ll be scared of messing it up, or having a bad time of whatever but just do the thing! No real growth can be achieved without leaving the comfort zone.

Related: “Just because it wasn’t fun doesn’t mean you didn’t learn something”, and “Comfort zone, learning zone, panic zone“.

5. Everybody hurts sometimes

sad human

Being sad is okay sometimes. I think, as a culture, we’re a little bit obsessed with achieving happiness all the time, usually by buying some product or other, but happiness is only one emotion. There are others and we need to be able to feel them, be present in them, deal with them, and know that all things pass, including sadness, and happiness, and anger and joy and that’s what life is.

Related: I should really watch that film about the emotions, “Feeling sad isn’t the same as being depressed” and “Happiness means nothing unless we have something to compare it to”.

6. Sometimes people are shitheads because they don’t know any better


People are shitheads sometimes. It’s not always about you. Sometimes it’s not even a little bit about you. That’s not to say that you should let them get away with it, and it’s not to say that they’re excused, but all humans out there who have had different experiences to you and those experiences have shaped who they are. If they’ve never experienced being called for being a shithead, they’re probably not going to like it, but if you can do it skillfully, quietly, firmly, and without humiliating them in front of others, they might learn something for next time.

Related: “Sometimes it’s not your job to educate people”, “Appropriate use of a disapproving eyebrow goes a long way”, This is Water.

Right so that went from the concrete to the weirdly philosophical really quickly. So on that note, I’m going to bed. I’m not completely sure what my point was with this but it seemed like a good idea when I started it and then I just kept going till I had six things.

Let’s see if this click-bait title and listicle format gets lots of hits.

I am That Woman


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I am That Woman.

I’m at a market with my sister
I pick up a necklace
With Frida Kahlo’s face on it.
I put it back on the display wrong
My sister turns to me, smiling, and asks:
“What are you doing?”
“Destroying the joint,” I reply,
“I’ve been warned about women like you,”
She says, still smiling.

I am That Woman.

It’s hot. I’m in a line
Waiting for a ride
At an amusement park in Holland.
A child in front of me turns to his friend,
He’s restless and excited,
His face aglow with illicit glee,
He’s speaking German and pointing
At the dark, plentiful hair he sees
Peeking out from underneath my arms.

I am That Woman.

Each morning I paint on my face
So I can go unremarked upon in the world.
I put on a costume, one that says:
“Nothing to see here.”
I conform to your gender stereotypes
To your standards of beauty
Yet a man at a tram stop tells me
“Your features are all wrong.”

I am That Woman.

And sometimes I don’t want to be
Wish I didn’t have to be.
I want to bare my chest on a beach
I want to earn as much as the next man
I want to grow old disgracefully
And have worth beyond my fuckability.
I want to come home to a man
Who will love me because of,
Not in spite of, the fact

I am That Woman.


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