Friday, November 15, 2019

Phallic Friday - workshops

The South Coast Writers Centre and Wollongong Library have been hosting an Erotic Writing workshop for the last few weeks, and tonight is our 3rd session.

For the first 2 weeks, we discussed excerpts, articles, and the bad sex awards. The first week we focussed on erotica, but since most of the people were writing romance, the second week we looked at romance sex scenes (sexy and erotic stories). It's been a lot of fun - I've enjoyed discussing sex scene writing with like-minded souls.

We've talked about taboos. And discussed how some subjects (e.g. In The Romance of Lust, which was written in the 1870s, the main theme is incest) and how reader perspectives change with time. One participant noted that 20 years ago she may have just felt it was ick, but now in the time of #MeToo and the prevalence of child abuse discussions, it made her sick to read it. I wonder if it would even be published today?

These conversations have been so rewarding, thought-provoking, and fresh. I don;t think I have words to describe how freeing it is to sit around and discuss sex scenes with people who are keen, interested, and have well-thought-through opinions on sex in society and in literature.

We haven't done any writing or sharing as yet. So this week, I've a bunch of writing prompts to kick us off to writing our own sex scenes.

But I ran into an issue with getting prompts. Sex writing and reading and inspiration has become so accessible with computers and devices, that I didn't really think through the whole issue of how to have photos available, sitting on the table for inspiration. We don't have any photo places near us, only big stores with photo kiosk things. And those touch screens you have to use to get your photos printed...well, everyone sees them. See my issue?

I wrangled it so I could print when Mr E was with me. We could then both stand in front of the screen so no one accidentally got an eyeful. But he's hasty, and he clicked on the T&C before I could read them, and I blurted out (in a hushed whisper), "Wait, I wanted to check it was legal for me to print these." I thought Mr E was going to bolt. But he hung in there, and I hoped that our covering up the screen and the printing collection box, would keep us out of trouble. And it did!

So, I'm off to the workshop armed with writing prompts!

And next Friday, I'm doing a workshop on Shame with Lee Kofman as part of the Wollongong Writers Festival. I think I need to work on my shame!

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Wildlife Wednesday - snorkelling

Popped down to the local rockpool for a swim and a snorkel. I like the rockpool for the first season snorkel just to get my shit together and make sure I remember what I'm doing, without the fear of drifting out to sea! LOL! Plus I always kid myself that it'll be warmer then the ocean - and it never ever is (even if it is filled by ocean water - go figure that!)

So, here are the photos from Monday's swim. And you know I'm not going to have any clue what these are, right? :)
These neon fish are so bright but less than 2 cm long

There were lots of these stripey fish escorting me around

Believe it or not, there's a few stripeys here, camouflaged well!

I was pleased I got this photo. The suckers on the tentacle caught my eye. An octopus tucked in between some rocks, with a stripey and a neon (top of image) 'guarding' the crevice.

This is some sort of sea slug, probably 10-15 cm long and 5-8 cm high, so not small at all. I've never seen a black with fluoro stripes sea slug - but I found it on Google - Chelidonura hirundinina sea slug

Let me pop in the links for this sea slug:
There's a picture here:
Oh, the thing I saw was much bigger than they say this grows to (40mm)... there is a C. ordinata and maybe it's that. I'll see what any of my books show.

Trails left by the marine gastropds (snails and whelks) grazing

A Sooty Oystercatcher popped down for a drink. I'm about 10 mins drive from the rockpool and we only get Pied Oystercatchers at home, so this was exciting even if it was above the water!

Friday, November 8, 2019

Footy Friday again

Last one, I promise! For this year anyway :)

Back in 2013 or 14, we started going to the games at WIN Stadium, which is the closest to us (and the home of Mr E's team). We make a day out of it and go and watch all the games that are on.

I really like watching the lower grade games because these guys are the next NRL heroes. You rarely get to see these guys on TV, but the talent some of them have is freaky. But it takes more than just talent to make it in the NRL. You're playing a team game, so you have to fit into a team. You have to work hard regardless of where you play. You have to have a personality that's ready to listen and learn, but also confident enough to see you through.

I like to watch the younger guys and see if I can pick who'll make it through and who we don't see again.

I had my eye on one guy because he showed all the traits I thought would make him an excellent NRL Player. On the field, he was fast and talented. A winger, but he came in for hard work taking up the ball when the forwards needed a break. His positional play was excellent. And fast, he could sprint down the field so quickly it was brilliant.

After their game, these guys often came and sat in front of us to watch the next game, so we'd get to see their interaction with each other and with the fans who came for autographs.

This guy was often out first. He sat to the side, but everyone sat with and around him. He was part of the team, joined in, laughed and joked with the others. But when kids came up to them, he never big-noted, was always polite, and would 'introduce' the kids to the other team members and sometimes nudge a guy to sign something. It's such a stupid word, but he seemed like a 'nice' guy.

At the end of 2018, I was absolutely devastated to read that he'd been dropped from the Dragons squad. Guys who were flashy and arrogant were kept - even though I felt they were never going to make it in NRL because of that attitude, no matter how talented they were.

In 2019, I rejoiced when I saw he'd been picked up by Manly. I think it's the only time in my life I've ever cheered for Manly, but I have been all year (except when they play Parra!).

He had a brilliant debut year and was up for the NRL Rookie of the Year, and won the Manly one.

Then he got picked for the Junior Kangaroos team.

I was absolutely thrilled for him and I loved watching him. But I'm also chuffed that I could pick a junior and watch him move through the grades to become a star. Mr E is still shaking his head at me and saying I'm creepy, but I mean nothing creepy or horrible.

I love watching people achieve. And the last few years have been such fun watching someone's NRL development.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Wildlife Wednesday - Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos

Feeding time!
Last week, I stood beneath a banksia tree where a family of Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos were feeding. A youngster were squawking at full volume while its parents were feeding. Then one parent shoved a bunch of food in its beak and silence fell!

A couple of people came past and the family flew off, right over my head.

Birds in Backyards have info here.

The Australian Museum also have info, here.

There's a few YouTube videos with them feeding and calling. There's one here. When they screech, sometimes it's like someone is being killed!

They are magnificent birds, who visit here each spring-summer.

Friday, November 1, 2019

Footy Friday

Ryan Papenhuyzen scoring a try
I had a brilliant day at the footy last Friday. It was warm, but there was a nice cooler breeze, and we had a few passing splatters of rain but not enough to worry you.

The Junior Kangaroos at half time
Three games of football where the Junior Kangaroos beat France (62 - 4). This was a fabulous game if you were an Aussie. It gave the younger guys a great opportunity to throw the ball around, make connections, and experience the exhilaration of playing for your country.

Kira Dibb and a drop out

Shakiah Tungai scores

Look at the crowd in to watch the girls
The Jillaroos beat the Kiwi Ferns (28 - 8) but it seemed a much tougher game than the scoreline suggests. It was so good to see a good crowd to watch that game too. And afterwards, the girls walked around the ground and were in high demand.

Before the game, during the National Anthem, I got tears in my eyes. It was so moving. Women playing NRL, a woman refereeing, and female ballkids too.
Autographs and photos for ages

Josh Ado-Carr's try

Celebrating the win
The Kangaroos beat the Kiwis (26 - 4) in a game that I thought was a bit flat. But I guess I'd just seen two incredible games, and this one was a bit more of a stop-start affair. But it was great to watch some of the tough defense and the mad skills of Latrell Mitchell and speed of Josh Ado-Carr.

Before the game, the National Anthem was sung and goosebumps this time. The crowd of ~18 000 people sang. This rarely happens at the Rugby League, and it was such a moment. WIN stadium was filled with voices, pride, and possibly a few who object to the wording. I wish we could find wording that everyone could be proud of. That's one thing NZ do well with the Maori version of their anthem sung first and then the English version. It's incredibly moving.
Tyson Frizell

Ben Hunt and Cameron Munster