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READ WRITE INSPIRE. Welcome to my Words, a place devoted to making Reading and Writing for children more Inspired.

Friday, 9 August 2013

A word about Selfies

The science of the evolution of words is a deeply fascinating and curious thing. So fascinating and curious that author Nick Earls took the idea of etymology and fashioned it into not one, not two but three amazing adventure books for kids. But (lots) more on that another day...

The concept of word play and word origin is equally as absorbing for writers as for readers and led me to ponder on the development of the word 'selfie'.

Selfie: a picture of a person taken by that person. (usually badly if that person's name is Dimity)

How did the term 'self-portrait photograph' become reduced to such a bland, throw away two syllable text term? When did we become a race of need-it-yesterday, don't-have-time-to-speak-full-words narcissistic androids? And if we are that desperate for a shot of our own mugs, what is wrong with using a tripod or the old fashioned method of accosting a complete stranger and risking camera abduction in the name of getting behind the lens. I find these methods much more reliable and guaranteed of much less double-chinned, bulging shoulder shots.

Reflecting on my own appalling selfie attempts led me down another track of 'selfs'; the ones us author types use with abundant gay abandon in our everyday working lives. Here are a few that come to mind:

  • self-doubt (constant bed buddy, closest observer of your work)
  • self-loathing (nasty rash-like feeling you get from sleeping with the above)
  • self-appreciation (fleeting minuscule moments of happiness when words work)
  • self-appraisal (that which keeps you awake at night, when self-doubt rolls over to the other side)
  • self-edit (unnatural requirement to make things better)
  • self-indulgent (see self-harm. Also, believing you are best-selling, A-list material when really you're no better than wash and wear, hang to dry polyester)
  • self-harm (obsessive overuse of excessively loaded caffeine and alcohol based beverages and food products. Cab Sav infused chocolate for example)
  • self-congratulatory (what you would do if you could just reach behind your back ((to pat it))and tried harder in yoga class)
  • self-absorbed (how you feel at writing festivals because you've drank too much coffee)
  • self-apparent (how you feel at writing festivals when it becomes embarrassingly obvious that your needs have become unavoidably apparent, and if you don't relieve yourself immediately, it will be more than just your kidneys that are absorbed)
  • self-edification (the revelation you attain after attending numerous writing festivals and finally learning to cut down on the caffeine)
  • self-promoting (see my Face Book page)
  • Selfies (term authors incorrectly use when taking multiple, random, out of focus photos of the front covers of the advance copies of their latest book release to assault the rest of the reading world with. Because no matter how good or bad the cover is, it's never going to be worse than an actual Selfie.
 Any of these sound familiar?

Monday, 5 August 2013

LOST - Has anyone seen my Free Time?

I'm not sure when Free Time packed her bags, turned her back on me and walked out the door. It might have been last month sometime in between the submissions, presentations and school projects. Maybe it was when I was hanging the washing out. It could have been while I was driving back from school. Or when I was attending a seminar somewhere. I am ashamed I didn't even notice, until now. It feels like I haven't seen her for a long long time. And I miss her.

If any body knows where she is, could you please pass on a message to her from me?

Tell her: I'm sorry. I'm to blame. It was all me, my neglect that caused her to leave. I'll try not to ignore her any more. Really I will. From now on, I'll make sure we unite, like we used to. We'll have fun again; go for long walks, light candles around the bath, like we used to. Listen to the family finish their stories, watch them, laugh with them, like we used to.

Tell her: I'll reserve more space for her at dinner table, try to be less frantic as I eat and think and move and breathe. I'll give her more time to be heard, properly.

Tell her: I promise to finish those projects we started to together a life-time ago. I promise to take her to see new places, get out more, make new discoveries. She used to love that. Remember hanging out in the garden, with the chooks? Fun times.

Tell her: I miss her. I need her. And I really do value her. It's just not the same without Free Time in my life.

Come back. Please.