Monday, April 20, 2009

The Hallway

This is my kind of art.

The Hallway from The Hallway on Vimeo.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Inspire Me

I'm on holidays from university at the moment, they give us just over 2 weeks for Easter, which is much better than a lot of other people get. I'm particularly glad about the break because it gives me time to catch up on a lot of the work I've fallen behind on and start work on some of the bigger projects I have to complete for this semester.

One particular project I'm working on this fortnight is a play I'm writing during the year, which will form the last, large assessment piece of my degree. At this stage I've done a lot of reading and researching, I've cemented my idea pretty well and talked to teachers and mentors from uni and I'm pretty much ready to start writing. Which is the sticking point.

Many writers talk about the ending of a play/book/movie being the most difficult part to write. I really hope that I'm breaking the trend here, because if ending is more difficult than beginning I don't think I'll ever get finished. So, after days of procrastination (which has resulted in a very tidy bedroom and the finding of some tasty new recipes) I've formulated a list of ten things to do that will get me inspired to write.

  • work by candlelight - there's something special about working with pad and pen cosied up next to a swarm of glowing candles that is indusive to writing.
  • listen to some upbeat music and do some exercise! There's nothing worse than trying to do any kind of work while your brain isn't switched on and there's an operation gap of about ten seconds between it and your hands!
  • get the right environment - make sure the work space is clean and tidy (unless you crave mess whilst you work) so there's room to move. Have the things you need handy; water bottle, pens, glasses + anything else that you might like to have around while you write.
  • put on some socks. Warm feet = better brain activity.
  • read some great writing, whether on the internet, in a novel, film or play script, have a look at some of the brilliance that has been created before you.
  • realise that it can be up to you that such literary brilliance continues in the future
  • for each character that you will be writing today, find a word that they would use all the time, a specific quirk of their use of language, and then find a place to put it in your writing today
  • Imagine what kind of day it is in the setting you're writing; take yourself far, far away into the day and picture the weather, the temperature, the news, the surrounds, the sounds and the sights. Begin writing before you lose the place.
  • take the advice: just write.
and if all else fails:
  • have a look at your study calendar and see just how soon your first draft is due and how little time you have before it's time to show people!
Hopefully from tomorrow morning I can use my list to help me get on the way with my project.
What do you lack inspiration for? and how do you get inspired to do it?


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

How To: Fix a Wall and Grow Your Own Pet

Well, well, well. Unintentionally I fell into a bit of a DIY day today. Normally this would be pretty sweet, but at the moment I don't really have too much time to take up with little projects, sometimes though there's just nothing for it but to jump on in for some crafty time.

Lately I have been busying myself with a lot of tidying and I came across some of the most curious little knick knacks that I'd completely forgotten I owned. I am now treasuring the wee little anime plush toy figure that I found on the floor of a Tokyo train station, which I was sure for the whole journey gave me luck. I had trouble convincing my traveling partners of this as they cringed at the dirty little thing, but I kept her for the rest of the trip and am now delighted to have been reunited.

Something else I came across in my forays into the world of cleanliness was a present gifted to me for my 18th birthday by a good friend and is without a doubt one of the strangest presents I've been given. As a child I lamented often the fact that we had no pets that I could play with, cuddle and teach tricks. We did have a couple of budgies and a constant stream of goldfish, but I craved the excitement, interaction and affection of a kitten or a puppy and begged and begged until I grew too old to keep hoping and instead turned my dreams to when I'd be able to move out and finally buy my own.

Knowing this, when I turned of legal age, my friend decided that it was finally time for me to have the pet I longed for. And so when I opened my package, amongst other things I found a little packet that said "Amazing! Grow Your Own Pet!" containing a wee, little orange cat that looked like it was made of clay. I took it home, giggled at my friends genius at present buying and put it on my chest of drawers where, for the past nearly two years, I've looked at it on and off but for some reason, probably laziness, never ventured to try actually growing my little kitty. Today however, spurred on by the memory of my youthful pet longing, I opened the packet and as per instructions, dunked the little thing in a glass of water. The box tells me that my cat shall grow "60% bigger" in 72 hours. I've been documenting the progress so far and I have to say, this is an exercise in delayed gratification. After two hours my cat really hasn't grown much at all, if any. See any changes?
My cat at the beginning of soaking.

After 1 hour.

Ok, so this is after 2 hours. Disappointing, no? Although the texture of my cat has changed a bit, from hard clay looking to a seemingly fairly mushing, I see minimal growth...sigh.

Do you notice the weird, filmy slime though? That's about all the change that's occurred so far. Although I have detected an odd smell, kind of like newly opened Barbie dolls (is it weird that that has a unique, identifiable smell?). Odd.

So anyway, I'm awaiting for signs of hugeness and hopefully when I wake up tomorrow morning the cat shall be bulging out of my cup, mewing for some milk and ready to play.

On a more somber, necessity kind of DIY project note, I also had to fix a wall in my house today. In carrying a drying rack of clothing from the front room of my house (best for drying clothes because of its warmth and disuse) I carved a rather mean looking scratch in the wall of my hallway. Our house is just over four years old and my parents are very, extremely protective of each inch of it. I understand this as they put a lot of money into building their dream home, complete with white walls and a just-too-narrow-for-the-average-clothes-rack sized hallway. They, especially my father, get quite finicky about marks and dents which pronounce in an ugly way that the house is actually lived in. Luckily, most scratches and dirty marks are easily wiped off the paint on the walls. However, as I found out today, if you actually take the paint off, mistakes aren't so easily erased.

If you knew my father as I do, you would know him to become a bit irrational when it comes to damages of the household variety; this comes with the territory of the aforementioned lifetime of savings poured into dream home scheme. And so, after hearing the dreadful scraping sound of plastic and metal on wood and looking to see the 10cm long line of damage, I panicked.

Immediately I recalled stories I'd heard on some radio station long, long ago of people painting over white walls that they'd accidently hurt with whiteout. So, I rushed to my room to search through my stationary. I had no liquid whiteout, but I found some of the roll on tape stuff and figuring that that would have to do, rushed back to the wall, armed with this mighty weapon.

I soon figured out that whiteout, especially of the tape variety, was just not going to cut it. And then, after persevering and covering as much of the scratch as possible, I found out that when you try to peel whiteout of the tape kind off painted walls, the paint comes too.

Now I really started to panic. But worry not, another brilliant radio anecdote from I believe the very same radio program about fixing broken walls came to mind! I remembered hearing many people ring up the station and swear by pasting whole sheets of white paper over holes in white walls, then painting over the paper with white paint that matched the wall, while the wall owners were never the wiser. I figured that the actual holes of missing paint were quite small, so I ripped of two tiny corners of paper and stuck them to the wall. I then grabbed some of my mothers white craft paint and hastily daubed it on top with some tissue sticking the paper down.

The result is a 10cm long dent in the paint with two larger and slightly darker dents at one end, the whole thing all slightly whiter than the surrounding wall. I took some pictures of my handiwork, the first is in negative to give a good view of the mark and the second is just natural light to show the success, or not, of my attempted fixing.

I'm really not convinced that nobody will notice. I'm now torn between flat out honesty, which would mean telling my father the minute he arrived homem or complete deceitm which would include going to my grave never revealing what had happened to the wall. Unforutnately, now that I've attempted to fix the scratch, I've begun down the path of lies and I am having trouble picturing coming out to my dad about first scratching, then maiming his wall with paint.

For now I'll remain hoping against hope it never gets noticed.

Oh my, time to make dinner!