Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Goodreads and Competition

A friend sent me a request to join Goodreads via Facebook, but I didn't want to do it via Facebook so I just joined up directly to the site. You can find me here. This link is also in the 'Find Me' tab. Feel free to shoot me a friend request!

My sincerest apologies to the people I follow via their blogs, as I have had very little time in the past week to read up on your latest posts. I promise to make an effort to catch up some time in the near future! It has been hectic here!

So just to stir up a bit of fun to make up for not being a very dedicated blogger in so long, in 100 words or less, describe something beautiful. This could be anything! A woman, a magnificent view of a beach, the sunset, the sky, an emotion, a dream, a place, a thing, anything that you think is beautiful!

Competition closes in one week! (Tuesday, June 5th, 2012, at 5:00pm, Australian Eastern Standard Time)

One entry per person. No anonymous entries. Entrants must have an account that can be linked to via blogger when submitting a comment: e.g. the name you comment with can be clicked on a take me directly to your own online profile. Including a link in an anonymous post does not count.

I will post all of this competition's entries in the first blog-post after the closing date (by entering the competition, you agree to this automatically) and ask readers to vote for one entry. Voters may not vote for their own entry, and to help avoid cheating, no anonymous votes will be accepted.

No prizes sorry, just bragging rights and the enjoyment of writing.

Tell your friends. Have fun. Ready, set, GO!

- Bonnee.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A Terrific Tuesday!

Well today has been quite full of reading/writing related business. 

I prepared for my literature SAC (School Assessed Coursework... these are like tests), which meant highlighting important quotes in the screenplay Bastard Boys by Sue Smith. Tomorrow we have to write an essay discussing a prompt in terms of the views and values of the characters. It shall be interesting. 

After that, I thought I'd get ahead in literature and start reading over the poems by William Blake which we will be studying next. I didn't enjoy reading from Blake when we studied him earlier last year, but this time around, I seem to have more of an appreciation for him. Half of the poems we are studying are the ones we touched last year, but we didn't do any sort of assessment on them last year; we just touched on them. This time we're going into detail. 

Once I was done with the poetry, I had a bit of time to kill before lunch and decided to jump on a computer and do some more recreational writing. I have now finished editing 26 out of 37 chapters of Evergreen: A Fallen Star, and I also started writing a short story which I've titled Lost in Paradise. You'll hear more about both of these another time! 

Last but not least, today was the English SAC. We had to write a context response to a prompt, incorporating themes from the text The Rugmaker of Mazar-e-Sharif by Najaf Mazari and Robert Hillman. The awesome part about this SAC was that we could choose our form; expository, persuasive, or imaginative. I, of course, chose imaginative, and wrote a kick-arse short story of roughly 1000 words in 100 minutes. And I was pretty proud of it. Hopefully it will give me a good mark. Should I share it with you guys when I get it back from marking? 

Who else got up to some exciting stuff related to what they're passionate about? Please do share!

- Bonnee. 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Love-shy by Lili Wilkinson

A few weeks ago, I was randomly picked by Lili Wilkinson to receive a copy of her new book Love-shy.

I received my copy of Love-shy on Friday night, opened it up and couldn't put it down. I'm a slow reader, so 309 pages in 3 days is a good effort for me! Especially after completely reading Oleanna the night before.

Anyway, Ms Wilkinson's book was amazing, engaging, funny and full of attitude and characters that I adored. Protagonist and aspiring journalist Penny Drummond discovers that a boy at her school suffers from love-shyness - which, yes, is a real condition - and sets out to find out who he is and help him, with plans to make a Pulitzer Prize-winning article about him. But along the way, not all goes according to plan. There is more to the love-shy boy than meets the eye, and Penny discovers some things about herself that she'd never realized before.

Another awesome thing about this book is that Lili Wilkinson is an Australian author, and I'm digging a lot of the humour that's been used to help make this story great. Love-shy was published by Allen & Unwin this year.

Has anyone else read this awesome book yet? Do it!

- Bonnee.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Oleanna - David Mamet

About three or four hours ago, my drama teacher gave me a copy of the play Oleanna by David Mamet, which he has been talking to me about for the past six months or so. I read it in an hour and a half. Seriously, I could not put the script down.

Oleanna is a two-actor/two-character play about a university professor who is in the process of buying a house and is about to be granted tenure, and a failing student who accuses him of rape when he tries to help her understand his lessons. 

Mamet wrote this play with a fast pace; I could not put the book down until all of the action was over, and the sudden, sting-in-the-tail ending left me wanting more, not quite satisfied. In the script, Mamet's characters talk about how people learn and understand and the value of education. John, the professor, at one point says that it is his job to provoke the students into questioning why they are at the university and continuing their education. I believe that the play as a whole provokes the reader into questioning everything they come across; everything that is said, everything they understand and everything they don't, everything they see and hear, and everything that is done. It forces the audience to question the conventions of being human. 

An intense read full of thought-evoking goodness. 

Has anyone else out there read Oleanna by David Mamet? What were your thoughts? 

- Bonnee. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Random Act of Kindness BLITZ!

A smile. An encouraging word. A thoughtful gesture. Each day people interact with us, help, and make our day a bit brighter and full. This is especially true in the Writing Community

Take a second to think about writers you know, like the critique partner who works with you to improve your manuscript. The writing friend who listens, supports and keeps you strong when times are tough. The author who generously offers council, advice and inspiration when asked.

So many people take the time to make us feel special, don't they? They comment on our blogs, re-tweet our posts, chat with us on forums and wish us Happy Birthday on Facebook.

Kindness ROCKS!

To commemorate the release of their book The Emotion Thesaurus, Becca and Angela at The Bookshelf Muse are hosting a TITANIC Random Act Of Kindness BLITZ. And because I think KINDNESS is contagious, I'm participating too!

I am randomly picking my mate Shaun, who recently pinched a copy of my manuscript to read and has been giving me some really helpful critique, proofreading, and encouragement. Shaun, for my RAOK gift, I'm giving you a book and movie voucher so that you can buy something you want to read and something you want to watch, seeing as you love doing both.

Do you know someone special that you'd like to randomly acknowledge?
Don't be shy--come join us and celebrate! Send them an email, give them a shout out, or show your appreciation in another way. Kindness makes the world go round. :)

Becca and Angela have a special RAOK gift waiting for you as well, so hop on over to The Bookshelf Muse to pick it up.

Have you ever participated in or been the recipient of a Random Act Of Kindness?  Let me know in the comments!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Flash Fiction - Still

This was originally a piece of fanfiction I wrote a couple of years ago, but I liked it enough to make it something original and mess around with it a bit.


I hold her body gently in my arms, cradling her head against my chest. Her skin is pale and has lost its glow and its warmth. How can something so beautiful be so cold? Even her lips, once pressed against mine, are like ice. The steady rise and fall of her chest is gone. Her body is completely still in my arms. I feel a tear travel down my cheek and fall away from my face. I hold her to me, tightly; the only thing I can do. My heart keeps beating, but hers... it stays still. When they pull her body from my arms and take her away, my heart breaks. I had promised her father I would protect her, and in that I have failed.
I promise myself that night I will never fall in love again; that my heart, much like hers, will remain still forever.

150 words, first person, present tense ("promised" being the exception because he's referring to something he's already done). What do you guys think? Compliments and constructive criticism welcome :) 

- Bonnee. 

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Path Ahead

Lazy people just read the bold stuff. 

My school took the VCE* students to The Age VCE and Careers Expo today. Pretty much there were little stalls from most of the universities and TAFEs and other tertiary institutes with information, and a few full of past exams and study-guides. I'd done a bit of research before today on universities and other places that might have courses I could be interested in and headed straight to where those places were set up at the expo.

And HERE are options for my future after talking with a few people today! 

Australian Catholic University (Melbourne) offers a Creative Arts course that while is not EXACTLY what I was after, could be tailored to suit me. Probably not my absolutely first option but certainly not my last either.

Deakin University (Geelong/Melbourne) offer a Professional and Creative Writing course. The people at the stall were pretty helpful and encouraging. It's up there in my preferences for sure.

La Trobe University (Melbourne) offers a Creative Arts course which the lady at the stall who spoke to me explained (while showing me evidence in the course guide) that it's a very flexible course which could be tailored to suit someone interested in just about any area in the creative arts area... even little writer me!

RMIT University (City) offers a Creative Writing course. Now this one is not so simple; RMIT is a pretty big achievement, and the fella I talked to from the university told me that the class is usually very small and select (around 20 or so people) and rather than students being admitted from their scores from their final years, selection is based on a portfolio of writing and an interview (or something along those lines). He asked me how much writing I'd actually done, because they generally take more mature aged students than fresh-out-of-high-school kids like me... but when I told him about Evergreen he just sort of gawked at me and told me to go for it, because I might just have a chance after all! So... that was pretty encouraging... I won't get my hopes up but I will definitely try! I will seriously be blown away if I get into this course. 

Victoria University (Footscray Park) offers a Creative Arts Industry course which I might find useful. If I remember correctly, the girl I spoke to from this university was quite helpful and also explained to me how I could also go on to do my honours degree (I'm not exactly sure what that entails but I'm guessing it's a good thing and the next step up from the initial degree!) through the university. I'm pretty sure it was for Victoria University anyway... don't quote me on that one, I just know that do offer the Creative Arts Industry course...

I was even smart enough to look into some TAFE courses, just to keep my options open (though I'll definitely be going to a university if I can). Box Hill Institute of TAFE (Whitehorse), Chisholm Institute (Frankston), and Holmsglen (Chadstone) all offer a Professional Writing and Editing course. The Chisholm one in particular caught my eye; the lady I spoke to there had actually done the course and was so enthusiastic to and encouraging, really helpful, answered all of my questions... we had a good old chat! But I'll definitely be aiming for a university before a TAFE.

Aah... sorry for the rant! I just had to share how good I feel about my future with someone, and I figured that if anyone cared enough they'd read it for themselves or click away. Good job for those of you who got this far. Virtual chocolate cake for you.

Thoughts, anyone? 

- Bonnee.

* VCE stands for Victorian Certificate of Education for those who hadn't caught on from elsewhere in the world. Pretty much, high-school kids in their last two years, yr 11 and 12, senior years, whatever it is they're called where you come from...

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