Time Gets Away

My how time flies when you have to work *Argh*.  Here I was, becoming a happy little blogger and putting up stuff regularly.  Then I went back to work after 18 months of doing other stuff.  And Bam!  No time or, truthfully, energy after a long day at the computer, to think of something worthwhile to say.

I’ve been back at work for a month and it has flown.  The job is interesting and the people are great.  Bonus I say.  But it feels like my life is slipping away.  I don’t have the energy to work on my book when I get home at night.  After all, I’m a lark – get up early, go to bed early.  By 3pm I’m done thinking.  When I’m writing I do my best work first thing in the morning and by lunchtime I’m done for the day.

Of course work is till at least 4pm.  So how to get over the doldrums that begin at 3pm.  Of course having meetings at this time is OK – better to listen and take in information than try to make something productive.  I can even speak relatively well at this time – just as long as I know my stuff.  Otherwise I’ve learned to stay quiet. 

‘Oh yeah!,’ I hear some of you say.  But true.  I can keep the trap shut.  My mouth was getting stretched from my two size 6 feet in there all the time.  Finally learned my lesson – and OK –  it took a few years.

When you are doing your own thing, not at the mercy of work deadlines and specific requirements, days go pretty fast but most things are fun or directly related to staying alive i.e. grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning.  Now all these things are still required but fitted into a few hours after 5pm or on weekends.  *Grumble.*

Yes, I’m getting to be an old grump.  But if I’m going to grump about stuff, at least I can write about it with clarity and make appropriate and logical arguments for why I’m grumpy.

So, another post.  Not one I think has any merit with the exception that it makes me feel better that a) I’ve posted and b) I’ve gotten over the grumps by doing so.

Adios for today.


Who Likes Fluffy Things?

Attitude.  How amazing a thing it is.  It is normally defined as the degree to which a person likes or dislikes something.  But it is more than that.  It is the degree to which the like/dislike affects the behaviour and beliefs of a person.  The way that these beliefs and behaviours make that person interact with their world.

Take aggression.  It is often manifests in the way a person stands, the cock of their head, the facial expression.  Those with softer expressions and looser body posture are seen to be less aggressive and this description is more times than not attributed to women.  And it is often women who innately react to aggressive postures without actually knowing it.  They then react with either caution or positively depending on their own attitude (and whether they like bad boys).  That is not to say that men don’t have the same reactions but theirs are likely to be more muted.  I think everyone knows the psychological, physical and historical reasons for this.

What intrigues me is more it anger.  It is not just a feeling in some people, both male and female.  It is an attitude.  Their every move is filled with the tension of unshed, unaccepted, deep anger and rage.  And it is this type of personality that is often cast as the villain/antagonist in fiction (and often are villains in real life too).

At the CSfG meeting last Wednesday evening, Ian Mc took the group through a wonderful exercise.  A short, short story of 5 paragraphs introducing 5 characters each who did not seem to have any redeeming features.  He asked us to rank the characters in order with 1 the least likable.  Then we discussed each persons choices.  Great fun, huge differences in choices and reasons for them. We then had to find a way to make them more sympathetic in readers eyes.  Again everyone had a different idea.  Some, as is usual of CSfG members, quite nefarious.

Although this exercise was one of redemption of initially unlikable characters it got me to thinking about just that.  Redemption.  How can you keep someone aggressive and angry without putting your readers in a position where they hate to keep reading or are bored with the ‘baddie’.  A warrior is aggressive, but a king/queen, prince, warlord or any leader for that matter with a lot of suppressed rage or anger seems to be more fun to write than to read.  The attitude gives so much room for abhorrent behaviour and senseless bloodshed.  But how do you make such a person redeemable?  Because doing so gives the character more dimensions, more range. 

A difficult background seems an easy way out.  Making them love their fluffy puppy again is a no-brainer but not very interesting and overly used.

So, my question to anyone reading this is to provide some interesting ways a really nasty person, an aggressive and angry one, could show something that makes them tolerable.

I will think about it and, if there are any responses, put these in with my next post.

The Rush Up the Hill

Early morning sun is just up over the horizon.  The day signals warmth even under, and more likely because of, the intermittent cloud cover.  The two women, having packed the previous night, get dressed, make tea and coffee in thermos mugs and one cuts up the pretzel for breakfast.  Then a quick goodbye to the resident husband and two cute little dogs and the car backs out of the driveway.  The weekend has been brilliant but it’s time to go back to the world.

The initial twenty kilometres are smooth and traffic is light.  Then there is the turn onto the Kings Highway and, within 200 metres, “Gentlemen, rev your engines”.

The first it is a new model blue Commadore followed quickly by a large SUV that MUST pass the little Toyota Camry Tourer.  Oh, and they MUST at what appears to be almost double the speed limit which, on the belief that it’s the right thing to do, the little Camry is actually adhering to.

As the cars slow (ever so slightly) for the road works which have as yet to fire up, or the workers need to complete their breakfast prior to starting hard work, the Camry catches up.  But not for long.  The leading car zips away as soon as the speed signs allow.  Still the little Camry drives quietly and, hopefully safely, along the twisty, winding road, it’s passengers enjoying the morning drive.

There is nearly tragedy when a very beautiful, if large, Eastern Grey kangaroo decides to cross the road without using any zebra crossing and totally unannounced.  The little Camry is slowed, not too suddenly, to allow the roo to cross and ensure it has no other friends who wish to do the same as is usual.  However, there is a moment of tribulation as a glance in the rear view mirror reflects the startled eyes of the driver of a plumber’s truck behind coming up way too fast. A rear end collision is barely avoided.  Hmmm, I thought anticipation was part of driving.  Camry driver avoids worrying her passenger with this particular titbit.

There is a passing lane quickly and plumber plus a few other cars pass the little Camry still pottering along at the speed limit.

All is good until the next lot of speedsters come up behind.  Really, really closely.  Oh dear but the little Camry is only doing the speed limit still: and it has NSW plates.  It’s not a Canberra car and it’s certainly not in the race.  It is passed again and again by blue plated cars going much, much faster.

My big question is, What the Hell is the hurry?  You are going to work.  I would have thought a nice drive in the country early in the Monday morning should be a great way to start the week.  Not the panicked, frantic hurl up the hill to beat everyone else.

But I forgot.  Canberra.  Say no more.

I’m back for a few months to a place I love and have lived for over 37 years.  My children were born and grew up here and one still lives here.  But…

For goodness sake drivers…. try to enjoy life before you end it too soon!


Oh dear, back at work

It’s been quite a few days since I posted and I’m feeling guilty.  I have an excuse of sorts.  I have gone back to full time work for the next few months.  Several reasons for this but suffice it to say, after a year and a half doing other things, it’s a bit of a shock.

Not that the workplace is awful.  As such things go they are really nice, a small agency with lovely people and a good project to work on.  It’s just that getting the brain back into public service speak and thinking strategically about ICT is something I thought I had put behind me.  The scary thing is how quickly it all came back *sigh*.

All that apart, it’s been a lovely weekend with a much respected friend coming to visit.  We’ve had wonderful conversations ranging from comparative religion to health to the benefits of swimming.  The latter has been great as the weather has been terrific.

I will try to keep posting but it might be more than two days between posts.