Tag Archives: guest post

I Come From a Land Down Under

It’s tough being Australian on the internet. Between the misspelling (it’s HUMOUR not HUMOR, people!) and the assumption that Christmas happens in winter, it can be downright discouraging. Especially when so many people seem inclined to believe that Australia is a country full of Crocodile Dundee clones keeping kangaroos and koalas as pets and yelling “Crikey!” at the top of their lungs.

So I decided it was time to set the record straight. Because being Australian is about more than just drinking beer and fooling tourists with our off-beat sense of humour.

Oh, wait. Maybe it’s not.

Anyway, today I’m over at Twinisms, one of my favourite (and favorite) blogs, guest posting about some of the common misconceptions about Australia. With some good ol’ Aussie humour (and humor) thrown in. Go over and read it.

Click here.

Or here.

Or even here.

Come on, click already.

And once you’ve read my post, be sure to check out the rest of the blog. Seriously, Bridget from Twinisms is one of the funniest, irreverent and down-to-earth people in the known universe. Plus, she’s got twins. Two sets. Because that’s just how she rolls.

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Merry Christmas: It’s Getting Hot in Here

For those people who live in the Northern Hemisphere, Christmas is all about roasting chestnuts on an open fire while Jack Frost nips at your nose. (At least, that’s what the songs would have me believe.)

But for those of us living in the Southern Hemisphere, Christmas is a time of beaches, sunburn and tempers frayed by the one-two punch of Christmas Cheer and soaring temperatures.

So, how do we celebrate our Christmas? And, even more importantly, how do we survive those celebrations?

Fortunately for you, I’ve answered these questions and more in a guest post as part of Momma Be Thy Name’s 12 Days of Christmas. Click through now to read my Tips for Surviving a Hot Christmas.

(And remember: Leave a comment on Momma’s site, and you’re in the running to win a fabulous Elf Pack that includes products from Godiva, iTunes, LL Bean, Ghirardelli, Hallmark, and more.)

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Filed under Opinion, Random Stuff

The Diary of a Ten-Month-Old

For ten months, I’ve been at the whim of my captors — let’s call them the “parents” — but finally things are starting to turn around. They couldn’t have known that I’ve been practicing, training, waiting for this day. I feel like Sarah Connor from Terminator 2 (not that the parents have ever let me watch that classic movie), building my strength for the day that I knew would come.

The day I learned to crawl.

I’m still a bit unsteady, but my strength and speed are improving on a daily basis. I can make it from my playmat to the lounge room quicker than ever. I hope to break the two-minute mark within the next week. And then it won’t be long before I can escape from this prison — let’s call it my “house”.  The world will be my oyster! (Whatever that is.)

The best part is that the parents are completely oblivious to the fact that their reign of supremacy will soon be over. If they had any sense, they’d be worried. Instead, they spend their time oohing and aaahing at me, encouraging me to “dig my knees in” and “keep that bottom up” as I exercise.

Truly, their stupidity is a blessing.

They do lock me in a cage every night — let’s call it a “cot” — but I’ve recently discovered that, in their naivety, they have forgotten to put a roof on the thing. In a few more months, I should be able to scale the wall and disappear without the parents being any the wiser.

###

My captivity isn’t too bad. Other than the solitary confinement every night (isn’t that against some kind of human rights act?), I’m treated well. There’s as much food as I can eat, assuming I’m prepared to scream until I get it, and a variety of interesting toys to play with. Best of all, I have a cellmate — let’s call him a “sibling”. The parents call him Big Brother, but I’m fairly sure that’s not his real name.

I’ll have to ask him next time we’re alone.

Big Brother plays with me, brings me toys, and tells me stories. I keep trying to tell him that I’m plotting my escape, but so far he hasn’t responded. Maybe he doesn’t want to alert the parents. Or maybe he doesn’t understand plain babyish. It’s a shame. I’d like him to come with me: he’s good fun to have around. Plus, he can open doors.

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Despite the good treatment, it’s important that I maintain a healthy level of control. I don’t want the parents to think that I’ve succumbed to the idea that this is “for my own good”. Plus, I don’t want to get sidetracked and forget my escape plans. I’m coming to wonder if that’s what happened to Big Brother. I have no other explanation as to why he doesn’t use his superior door-opening skills to run away from home.

Between the parents and Big Brother playing with me, and all the tickling and games every day, I find it hard to stay surly. In fact, I spend most of each day laughing at them. (Sometimes they don’t even realise they’re being funny. Seriously, who wouldn’t laugh when a parent slams his/her finger in a cupboard or stubs his/her toe?)

I’ve found the best way to keep the parents on their toes is through sudden, unexplained, and uncontrollable crying and/or shrieking. Not only does this force them to stop what they’re doing immediately, it reminds them of who has the real power in this house.

Unfortunately, the female parent — let’s call her “Mummy” — wears soporific-laced clothes. Within minutes of her picking me up and resting my head against her chest, I fall into a deep sleep. This is highly inconvenient to my plans for world-domination.

###

The parents spend a lot of time trying to “bond” with me and “teach” me their “language”. To be perfectly honest, I think they make it up as they go along. Most of their so-called “words” are just a combination of odd sounds. Even so, I’ve come to understand a few of their nonsense sounds. Here’s an abridged version of the dictionary I’m compiling:

No: Please stop what you’re doing and smile at me, then continue as you were.
Come here: Please crawl away from me as quickly as possible.
Time for breakfast: Food time!
Time for lunch: Food time!
Time for dinner: Food time!
No biting me: Food time!
What’s in your mouth: Please open your mouth as wide as possible, wait for me to stick my finger in and then clamp your teeth down as hard as you can.
Take that out of your mouth: Please swallow. Quickly.

But in an effort to broaden Mummy’s horizons, I’ve taken it upon myself to teach her some of the more basic words in babyish. As you’ll see from the following example, my patience is a thing of legend.

Mummy: Is that Daddy? Say Da-Da.
Me:     Gik.
Mummy: Da-Da.
Me:     Gik.
Mummy: Da-Da, Da-Da, Da-Da.
Me:     Gik.
Mummy: (laughing) Gik.

I smile to show I’m pleased with her progress and she beams. Then I slap her on the side of the head as a reward.

###

I’ve come to believe that the parents are deluded and stupid. Want proof? For a start, they seem to completely incapable of making full use of their senses or their bodies. I’ve never yet seen Mummy or the male parent — let’s call him “Daddy” — explore any part of the house with their mouth. So while I can tell you where I am merely by the taste of the floor and the chewability of the furniture, the parents rely on their inferior sense of sight.

Likewise, the parents insist in using their hands to do everything. I’ve tried to help, tried to demonstrate that there are better ways to manipulate objects than with the clumsy use of “fingers” — or, as I like to call them, hand-toes — but they seem oblivious to the fact that they have other limbs. It’s almost as though they think of feet and toes as simply something to put on the ground, instead of as useful tools for holding toys, picking up dropped food, and even sucking on (in dire situations).

Sometimes it’s like living with forty-year-olds.

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One of the biggest things I’ve learned since starting to crawl is that the parents have been hiding all the good toys from me. Yes, for ten months I’ve had access only to the cast-offs; the leftovers. But no longer.

I’m talking, of course, of those amazing rubber snake-like toys with one end attached to the wall, and the other… well, who cares where they go, really. (Although I’ve learned that if I pull on them hard enough, things fall over with very satisfying crashing noises.) These rubber snakes are perfect for my favourite games — chewing and pulling.

Sometimes it’s necessary to climb under or behind furniture to get to the snakes, but I assure you that it’s well worth the effort. And although the parents do their best to distract me from them, it doesn’t work. No other toy is nearly as interesting. Besides —

OOoh! Big Brother’s building a tower of blocks! I need to go knock it over!

Bye for now!

Baby Brother
(Not my Real Name)
xxx

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Filed under Life With Kids

Getting Motivated is the Easy Part. How do you Stay That Way?

If you’re a writer, it’s likely that you know all about obscure poisons starting fires mythological creatures motivation.Specifically, how hard it can be to keep your motivation strong throughout a whole project — from Chapter 1 to The End. It’s all too common that we get a little way into the story and then– oooh! Shiny!

What was I saying?

Right, this post is not about keeping your motivation going strong. This post is.

I’m pleased to say that I’m guest blogging over at Andrea S. Michaels’s writing-focused blog today. If you’re a writer*, please click through and read my post: Staying Focused from Page 1 to The End. And while you’re there, check out the rest of Andrea’s blog. It’s well worth the visit.

* If you’re not a writer but you think everything I write is like gold dipped in honey, you’re also welcome to click through. I’m sure these motivational techniques can be applied to non-writing activities as well.

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Filed under Writing