Sunday, June 27, 2010

That was a goal.

That was Lampard's goal, you ridiculous ref. Score should be 2-2, world.

Not cool.

Not cool, England. Plug the gaps up. COME ON.

Watching GER v ENG

It's been a lovely weekend. Drinks and snacks at the Fetchtv ( launch party on Friday; ended with a sore arm from foosball rage.

Finished ALL my writing course on Saturday and cleaned the bathroom. My word, it's so good to have time to clean. iiNet quiz night in the evening: my table won!!

Slotted in a pub lunch today, then more cleaning - laundry room and kitchen - and now here I am, enjoying the football, 12:09. COME ON, ENGLAND.

Looking forward to having my evenings back. Got a week of leave coming up in mid-July too. Life is pretty good this evening. Fingers crossed it stays that way for the next 80mins. :)

Trying out the new establishment

Grossvenor Hotel, Perth, c. 2010.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Technical stuff

In the studio with Mat ( and Jerry (

They're talking audio nerd stuff and I'm learning new words like 'upward compression' and some other word I've already forgotten.

Good run tonight; timing passable and pitch reasonable. I still get nervy when singing anywhere but the shower or doing dishes alone. But wow, did start feeling confident tonight. Maybe nerves are on their way out. :)

Hometime soon, to dinner and the football. Come on, England!!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Fly Away Rabbit - cute iPhone game

Rabbit dreams of being among the clouds. Touch the helium blocks to
remove them from his way.

But be careful - don't let him fly too fast or he might get lost!

Get game - so cute! I played it to help me fall asleep last night. :)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Working with designers - tips from Module 8

Wow, vindication. Having been on both sides of the writer vs designer briefing process, I can vouch for all of these. Check 'em out - excerpts from Module 8 of my writing course, "Writing for Public Relations 2":

Designers are visual people.
Designers tend to see copy as a visual element. They usually will not read the copy itself.
Designers are not mind readers.
If you have examples of the graphic style and mood you want, bring it to the briefing session.
Designers are not readers.
To a designer, the overall 'look and feel' of a piece is the critical issue. They generally will not proofread a finished piece - this is YOUR responsibility and your client's.
Designers are expensive.
This means you need to ensure your brief is precise and your copy is correct. Lack of discipline in this area on your part (or your client's) can more than quadruple the quoted price of a job.

That last one applies more to time than price where I work. Non-designers often underestimate the effort that goes into producing a 'simple' piece. Maybe we've submitted a plain black square in the middle of an A4 sheet of paper, but it took a hundred "two steps forward, one step back" steps through red squares, blue squares, red and blue squares cos that's more on-brand, how about a triangle, on second thought let's try the square again but in rainbow colours, etc. to get to that one black square.

The same goes for writing. The final version may be a simple one liner, but it takes a lot of consideration to word that one liner just right, in such a way that the audience will just get it in those few words. It's all in the delivery, which is sometimes referred to as kairos, for anyone interested. :)

Back to work I go...

Monday, June 14, 2010

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

How to deal with a sprained ankle.

This PSA blogpost is a little something to all my accident prone
friends. I'm no physio, but I've been lucky enough to sprain my ankle
TWICE every year since I started playing football 4 years ago.

It's no fun, being sore is shit, but I'm now a full bottle on managing
my injury.

Everything here are tips and lessons from my awesome physiotherapist
Gerard. I hope I've remembered the details right. If anyone knows
better and sees a mistake, lemme know and I'll editeditlala.

Hope you find this useful. :)

-- Ice ankle as soon as possible after injury. --

When a sprain occurs, your body sends a flood of histamines to enflame
the surrounding tissue, forming a puffy polyfilla padding.

Healing doesn't begin until the swelling goes away - ice helps to get
you to the healing stage faster. Anti-inflammatories (nurofen,
voltaren, etc.) work wonders too.

-- Get back on your feet as soon as you can. --

Gently, though. The idea is to retrain and recalibrate the muscle as
early as possible. Gets your muscle memory reinstated quickly and
starts the re-strengthening proccess.

Get the icepack on afterwards, to keep your ankle returning to the
healing process.

-- Do balancing exercises. --

Stand on your lame foot while brushing your teeth, while waiting for
coffee, while picking your nose.

When you go slightly off-balance, your ankles compensate to keep you
upright. Getting the balance calibration back in your ankle lessens
the risk of re-injury.

-- Find some caring friends to make sad faces at. --

This one's not from Gerard. It just makes me feel better when I'm
still sad after doing all the other stuff. :)

(This post is dedicated to SamE and Laura.)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

what kind of idiot writes a draft?

In highschool, our teachers always made us write a draft of any stories or essays we did in class. I used to wonder, What kind of idiot needs to write a draft? Surely, any halfway-smart person knows what they want to say. Of course, when you're a teenager, you know everything, and I sure as hell knew then that I wasn't some dumbo writer who had to take a few goes.

Many, many failed assignments later, I discovered that I need to write a draft.

It's not about knowing what to say, but knowing how to say it so the message is received in an adequately expressive and unambiguous way. It's the duty of every responsible writer to meet a reader halfway - and this translates to real life too. For instance, nothing shits me more at work than when people pull me in to answer a question that takes place midway through a conversation that they had in their head. Context is so important, and so easy to offer quickly with a bit of consideration before engaging.

This wasn't meant to turn into a half-arsed rant about irresponsible communication. I actually wanted to share my writing process. If you're interested, that is. ^.^

When I sit down to write - a Discoveryzone article, for example - I generally start with a planning doc; a scribble of notes about the aim of the article, the intended audience, a rough list of topics to cover and sites that seed the research process.

Next comes the 'streams of consciousness' draft. This is essentially a brainfart of facts, concepts and phrases that come out of the thinking process. My SOC drafts look quite different to the planning doc. For example, the original list of sites may change shape, shrink or grow during the SOC process. Topics may be added, removed or merged; whatever feels natural.

The final SOC draft will usually contain repetition and word-for-word splices from my research material, producing a flow that's quite rough and clumsy. SOC drafts are then tidied up to form a first draft, with more presentable, non-plagiarised flow and wording.

Subsequent drafts and edits follow, peer review, grammar assistance, Engrish removal, yeah you heard me... until finally, a final.

Like my arrogant highschool self, I firmly believe you don't need a process for good writing. Not one prescribed by others, anyway.

What I've ended up with here emerged over the course of a couple years, where I was getting paid to write properly for public consumption. It's organic, it suits me, and for you to write your best, I think you need to find your own way to do it.

That's it from me.