Monthly Archives: March 2008

Neil Gaiman’s Australian Tour

One of my favourite authors’ is coming to Australia at the end of April/beginning of May to do a whole heap of book signings and author talks.

His Australian tour dates are listed here.

Anyone want to join me at Books Kinokuniya in Sydney on the 6th May at 6pm?

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Filed under books

So You Want To Be A Blogging Star?

The New York Times has written a fantastic article titled, “So you want to be a blogging star?” about the realities of the blogging world. It is the first article I have read that takes a realistic view of blogging and the potential to earn money from it. The NY Times has interviewed Mark Cuban, Xeni Jardin and Ted Dziuba about their views on how people can create a successful blog and how much money you really do earn from it, even when you have a large readership. It is a real wake up call for all those bloggers out there who are purely blogging because they think it will let them give up their day job.

Also, the article gives some great tips on the all important blog/life balance and how to prevent blogging from taking over ever single waking moment, which is what many of us have problems with. The tips on how to become a successful blogger seem so simple and yet, so few of us actually achieve the lofty status of a successful blogger.  I am going to try out their tips and see how I do.  Somehow I am thinking that it really is not as simple as they make it out to be.

A big kudos to the New York Times for one of the best articles about blogging I have seen in the mainstream press.  May it be the beginning of many more of them.

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One Year On

Fibronyalgia RibbonA year ago this week I started experiencing pain in my knees, by the end of the week the pain had spread to my entire body and I could barely move. A month later, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is best described as a widespread chronic pain disorder. It causes pain and weakness in the muscles, fatigue and cognitive dysfunction. Nobody knows what causes it and there are few effective treatments for it. A year ago, I was working as a veterinary nurse. Two months later, I was forced to quit as my body just couldn’t handle the physical aspects of the job. I had to re-examine what to do with my life based on what my body was capable of. Needless to say, it was a tough period of my life.

I joined a couple of online support groups but I soon became tired of them as I felt that most members were trying to out do each other with how sick they were and how little they could do. I didn’t want to dwell on my condition and my limitations. I wanted to know what I could do, not what I couldn’t do. I stopped researching about fibro and quit going to my rheumatologist (he wasn’t much help anyway). I got my current job and tried to get on with my life. It worked to a certain degree. I gained back most of my mobility and learned to cope with the other crap that comes with fibro.

My life has changed dramatically from the life I had a year ago. I try not to dwell on the things I have lost but instead focus on what I have gained. I am debating going back to my rheumatologist to see if there is anything he can do for the persistent pain in my legs. If I can get that pain under control then maybe I can exercise more and be able to do more of the things I want to do.

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I didn’t plan this to happen

I am rather embarrassed to admit this, but the two Pay It Forward competitions I mentioned last week, well, I won them both. This means I have to have a kick ass Pay It Forward competition to make it up for it.  One of the things I won was my own domain name and a hosted wordpress blog for 6 months.  I think I will hold off holding my Pay It Forward competition until that is all set up.  That way I can launch my new blog with something very cool.  Until then I need to think of some unique prizes to give away in my competition.  Unfortunately I can’t afford to give away anything expensive like an iPod, but I am sure there must be some interesting not so pricey stuff that I can.  Any ideas will be welcomed – the geekier the better.

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Light Reading?

Besides doing two loads of laundry and taking the dogs for a walk, I have spent the remainder of the day on the couch reading.  Such a relaxing way to spend a Saturday.  I have read two books this afternoon, “A Child Called It” and “A Brother’s Journey”.  Both books are about surviving child abuse.  The authors are brothers and both tell their version of growing up in the same abusive household.  Not exactly light reading, but the books were ones I couldn’t put down.  It was amazing the extent of their abuse and yet nobody did anything until it was almost too late.  The older brother got pulled out of the house and put in foster care, but the younger brother was left there to survive as best he could.  Back in the 70s nobody talked about child abuse, what happened behind closed doors stayed behind closed doors.  Today there is much more awareness about it, but still not enough to save kids from abusive situations or to stop things before they get a chance to escalate to the point of abuse.  With women having kids to cash in on the baby bonus without any thought about how they can afford to care for the children, I can see the incidence of child abuse and neglect escalating in Australia.  Already the foster care system is at breaking point, it simply can not provide for the number of children needing care.  I am sure as hell the Howard government never thought about these kids when they decided to throw money at women, who have no business having kids, for them to breed and keep on breeding.  I wonder if the Rudd government has the balls to scrap this scheme and put the money towards providing paid maternity leave and a better foster care system.

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Filed under books, life, politics

Earth Hour

Earth HourOn Saturday 29th Saturday at 8pm, the world is going to turn off its lights for one hour to help bring awareness to our environment and how we are damaging it by living beyond our world’s resources. Earth Hour last year was a Sydney only event, but this year it is going global. All you have to do to take part is to turn your lights off for one hour at 8pm. If you feel so inspired, you can make it a real event by holding a candlelight dinner for your family or friends or by having a night-time picnic in a park overlooking your city and just seeing what it looks like with all the lights turned off.

I really want to take part in Earth Hour, but like last year, I am going to be out. Last year I was seeing a production of “Sunday in the Park with George” and this year I will be at a Patty Griffin concert. I seem to always end up in a place that produces more greenhouse gases in one night than my house does in over a month.

Next year, I promise to actually take part in Earth Hour.

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Drip

For the past three days I have battled with a sinus infection.  I have mucus dripping down the back of the throat, my teeth on one side of the top of my mouth are sore and generally I just feel awful.  I have problems talking for long periods of time cause everything gets all blocked up, which made the two training sessions I had to run today bloody difficult.  Yeah, I feel like shit.  I have also had a really tough week at work, so I am looking forward to the weekend.

Tomorrow at work, our upper management are cooking the entire company breakfast.  Our CEO, marketing manager, CFO and Managing Director are putting on their chef hats and are whipping up a cooked breakfast for everyone.  This makes me kinda nervous.  CEOs don’t cook breakfast for everyone just because they feel like it.  I hope whatever news they are going to deliver tomorrow is good news.

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Filed under life, work