Sunday, January 29, 2017

Sunday Story - how my brain works

A couple of months ago I had this short story idea. I didn't have the whole story but a pretty good idea of it, and it fitted a theme. So I started to play around with it. I had a cool start and some notes, and I went off to finish my MMF novel.

I kept thinking of my short story. I added more notes. It kept circling, never leaving. It had to be told.

Yesterday I sat down to write it - because MMF was complete and submitted. 

I typed a thousand words and it hurt getting those out. So I moved to pen and paper and kept at it. I scratched out just over a thousand more.

It sucked.

But you can't edit a blank page, so they say. 

I went to bed with it incomplete and I was disheartened. It had been a great idea and I couldn't make it work. It's frustrating when that happens, and this isn't the first time and (sadly) I'm sure it won't be the last!

I was writing it in third person (he/she), because everyone seems to be writing in first and I wanted to be different. 

Today, I woke up with the story in my head. In first person, and my heroine was talking loudly. She wanted to tell this story, it was hers. 

And I sat to eat breakfast with my iPad out. I opened an email, set it up to send it to myself (as I sometimes do), and began to type. I honestly didn't hold out much hope. This story hadn't worked yesterday, even after it'd been brewing for months. I emailed myself. 

In another break, I continued in another email to myself. 

Then I did it a third time.

When I went to my desktop and copy and pasted my emails into word, I had 3500 words. And they were flowing. I've just sent myself the last email, and I can't tell you exactly how many words that one is because I'm still on my iPad but I'm guessing I've written 5000 words today by emailing myself.

And tomorrow, I have a story that works to edit. Not the story that wasn't working and was hurting to write (although that one is still saved on my computer), but one that sings in my head.

I wish I knew why yesterday the words wouldn't come, yet today they flowed.

I suspect it's something to do with the switch from third person to first.

I like first person. Actually, like is too weak. I adore first person. It's what I prefer to read and write. But I keep being herded towards writing third. At least now I can, but my love is always first.

Maybe some stories need to be told a certain way. Maybe some characters want to control what the readers know about them. Maybe some characters need to control the story. Maybe others don't care. I don't know...but a little part of me worries about my sanity when I think characters are ruling me :)

And that's another insight into my weird writing process. If you write, do you ever have such things happen?

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Wildlife Wednesday - Feather-legged Assassin Bug

I don't even know how I saw this bug. It's about 5 mm long, so it's tiny. It was sitting on the corner of my bed (my sheets are underneath it, so you can see how close I was to get these shots - I don't usually notice the weave of my sheets!). I moved the curtains and this guy made some movement that caught my eye. Needless to say, I ran for the camera. I had never seen anything like this bug!

Those paddle-shaped back legs made me think of a blue swimmer crab. The body made me think of a tick or a bed bug. I got the creepy crawlies...he was on my bed!

So, I had to look him up. Desperately. What if it was something awful!?

I googled. I couldn't find anything that resembled this in the pictures.

I grabbed my insect books, and began flicking and looking and even keying out! I was worried.

Then in the tiny corner of a plate in one book, there was a scientific name - Ptilocnemis femoralis. I went searching.

And he's not out to get me. He eats ants! His name comes from the way he hunts and kills ants (not unsuspecting humans!).

Here's the trusty Australian Museum website's information about him. There's a second photo there to click on that looks much better than the one on the first page.

And here's a little snippet from there:
The Feather-legged Assassin Bug is a specialist predator of ants. They are found under the bark of eucalyptus trees. They position themselves somewhere on an ant trail with their long legs raised. This exposes a gland which produces a scent attractive to ants. When an ant investigates the gland and tastes the substance coming from it, it is the last thing it will do. The substance paralyses the inquisitive victim and the bug drives its rostrum into the ant. When the bug's digestive saliva juices have done their job, the ant is sucked dry.

Relief - for me anyway! The ants aren't quite so lucky :)

Have you ever seen such a beast? (You won't have Lily, because they're in eastern Australia).

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Extra Little Break

I know I started back, but I'm going to take an extra little break.

Be back soon!

Cate xoxo

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Sunday Story - Great Barrier Reef

OMG! Have I got the best book!!!

More details and sales point is here:

Mr E heard about this book on the ABC radio and bought it for me (because I don't have enough books already, you understand! :) ).


The photographs in it are absolutely breath-taking.

It's packed full of information.

It's done by the Queensland Museum, so you know the facts are right, plus the money goes back to the Museum, and they're great places.

We've had some kids visiting us who'd found things on the beach that were unknown to them and Mr E. But I'd done them on Wildlife Wednesdays, so they were familiar to me - goose barnacles, blue bottles, jellyfish, snails. And then we also found them in this book - which turned up the day after the weird objects. I was their science-nerd because my identifications were right. How cool did I feel? :)

Anyway, if you're looking for a gorgeous book about marine life and the Great Barrier Reef, this one is well-priced for it's beauty and facts. I love it!

PS I don't live on the Great Barrier Reef but lots of marine animals are present in other waters, not just on the reef.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Phallic Friday - discreet packaging

Happy 2017! I hope your year is filled with great things. I've had a big break, a little longer than intended, so apologies if you missed me :)  (Lily won't have because we've been watching and tweeting about the Aussie Big Bash Cricket! Loving summer!)

Today I'm thinking about discreet packaging. When you buy something, like a sex toy, do you want to announce to the whole world that you've just purchased a new vibrator in the most fluoro of pinks?

I was looking at the discreet packaging on sex toys recently. This vibrator I saw had a very brightly pink coloured outer box sleeve with big white text saying "...Vibe" and "...Rabbit". No pictures - just this overly large text, along with smaller text. I guess kids can't work out what the box contains, unless they're over, what 6 or 7, when they could read those words - and rabbits in a pink box probably make them question what it is you've bought.

Inside, more words but on a grey coloured box this time. Discreet, almost!

And then, inside, the totally moulded plastic case to hold your vibrator. Leaving not much to anyone's imagination. Take the vibe out, and the mould shows exactly the size and shape of the object. It's white plastic though, so much more discreet than if it was the same fluoro pink of the vibe.

All of this is recyclable. Fantastic! Your garbage man can find out what you've bought too!

Most of my family and friends would be horrified to know I looked at vibrators, much less have used one. So, for me, this loud and proud packaging doesn't sit comfortably. I know manufacturers want to stand out, have their name in the general public's eye, and be recognisable... but what if I want to buy your product and keep it a secret? What if I don't want to have the fluoro pink box showing through the bag as I shop? What if I don't want my garbage man knowing my purchases?

Am I just looking in the wrong places, or has discreet packaging been done away with?