Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Word Wednesday: Belletrist Coterie and Rose Red Review

Happy Word Wednesday! I am aware that I missed it last week, and for that I am very sorry. I've been almost overwhelmed with keeping up to date with my blog about giving up palm oil for the month. I'm loving it though, and the response so far has been wonderfully positive!

I'm going to use this Word Wednesday as a shameless plug platform, but don't head for the exit button just yet! You might like it, if you're at all a fan of my writing, or even if you're just as excited about new writing as much as I am.

First of all, I've been so excited to share with you my story, Flower Girl, since it was accepted by the lovely people at Belletrist Coterie many many months ago. Well, the inagural issue has finally been released, and it was certainly worth the wait!

I recieved this package just a couple of days ago, and let me tell you, there's nothing quite like seeing your name in print, on real pages you can hold in your hands, surrounded by dozens of talented writers and poets and artisits. It's a fabulous magazine devoted to the art of storytelling through words and pictures, and I would love for you to get yourself a copy, if not for my story,  then to support Belletrist Coterie and the revival of tride and true storytelling.

Second of all, I would like to direct your attention to my friend Larissa Nash and her newest project, the Rose Red Review. I met Larissa through my Francesca Lia Block writing class; she's a lovely lady and a wonderful writer, and I think she's put together a fantastic first issue, which just happens to include one of my stories, Queen Bees. I'm so glad she liked it enough to included in her collection, the calibre of writing in this is so good, and I really wanted this story to find a good home, because I feel that it's definitely one of my better ones. Anyway, this an online literary review, so if you would like to nourish your imagination with some wonderful prose, poetry or visual art, click here!

Ok, that's enough gushing and plugging for one week (that sounds gross. Sorry). I'm going to leave you with a quote from Muriel Rukeyer, which was sent to me on a postcard along with my first issue of Belletrist Coterie.

The Universe is made of stories, not of atoms 

That's much nicer, isn't it?

Monday, June 25, 2012

Music Monday: Patrick Watson

Happy Music Monday! So I've started listening to the NPR All Songs Considered Podcast again, and I just happened to pick up with the Best Songs of the Year so far episode. Although I wasn't a fan of all the tracks they chose, there were quite I a few gems, including my beloved Kishi Bashi, but the one that stood out for me was Patrick Watson. I adore this album, it's full of so much quiet exhuberance and enthusiasm for life.  I hope you enjoy this track, Into Giants from his new album "Adventures In Your Own Backyard"; it reminds me of a less gospel Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. Enjoy!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Izziyana Suhaimi

I'm a little bit in awe of these embroidered illustrations by Izziyana Suhaimi. Look upon them in wonder, if you can stare at them for long enough and not be overwhelmed by their vibrant beauty.

Images from here

Mission of Mermaids

I don't know about you, but whenever anyone askes which Disney Princess I wanted to be, I always say Ariel, and not only because I already have the red hair. I've always loved the ocean, no matter how stressed or strung out I'm feeling I always feel instantly calmed whenever I can smell salt on the air, or hear the crashing of waves on sand. I could never understand why Ariel would want to be human; I was an awkward child, who has grown up into an awkward adult, and I can't help but think how much more graceful I would be if I had an iredescent green fish tail instead of two, knobbly bean poles f or legs.

Back in the real world, I'm a huge lover of documentaries, especially ones about oceans, so you could imagine my surprise and excitement when I found this trailer for Susan Rockerfeller's documentary, Mission of Mermaids: A Love Letter to the Ocean.

She writes:

MOM evokes the archetype of the mermaid, a mythical creature that embodies the ocean’s enduring mystery. The film honors the women and men who live from and for the seas—artists, activists, performers, divers, fishermen, and sailors. And all of us who have dreamed on beaches, reveled in the ocean’s waters, or nourished ourselves in her depths.

I love how Susan has approached such an important issue in a fresh and unique way; combining fantasy archetypes with environmentalism, and using a large percentage of exisitng footage in the hope of reducing her carbon footprint. And with the recent groundbreaking developement of Australia's new Marine Parks, it couldn't have come at a better time. I really can't wait to see it, I hope they release it in Australia!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Music Monday: Noosa

Welcome to Music Monday! This week I'm posting a song by Noosa, who I just discovered today on We Are Hunted, and listened to for about an hour on Spotify. I'm going to keep this short and sweet; I really like the tone of her voice, the beat of this song, and this particular line: "Walk on by, I've got no reason to love you, but I do, I do, I do". I hope you enjoy this as much as I do!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Kickstarter: Be A Patron of the Arts on a Student Budget

Even though I'm sure a lot of you are very much aware of the wonders of Kickstarter, I have really only just discovered them!

For those of you who don't, Kickstarter is a fabulous funding platform for all types of creative projects, from music to design to literary and research! You can trawl through hundreds of thousands of projects, and if you find one you like, you can pledge an amount of money of your choice towards it's funding. It can be as little as $1, but the more you pledge, the better rewards you recieve as a thankyou (and some of them are truely incredible!). It's an all or nothing system; if the project does not reach it's funding goal in the prescribed amount of time, no money is taken from you; your credit card will only be charged if the funding goal is reached at the end of the month.

What I love about Kickstarter, even more than the super cool one of a kind rewards, is the sense of community you get from becoming a backer. In times gone by, a patron of the arts was usually an extremely rich phlinathropists with a desire to nuture struggling creatives (often because they were lacking in the creative talent they so admired). However, thanks to Kickstarter, even those with the tightests of budgets can show their support for projects they want to see come to fruition. And the playing field has certainly been levelled; muscians such as Amanda Palmer and Ben Fold Five has shown that funding the production of an album without a record label is completely feasable, due to their enourmous fan bases and community support, leaving record company execs shaking in their hand tailored leather boots. 

Here are a couple of projects I've backed already

Amanda Palmer's New Album: Theater is Evil
You all know I am a huge fan of Amanda Palmer, her music, and now the way she goes about making it. I'll say it again, she is the nicest lady in the music industry in terms of how she treats her fans; it felt so good to be apart of making her new record! I pledged $50, and will be recieving a special backer edition of the album on vinyl, as well as a digital download so I can put it on my iPod, and a thankyou card! You wouldn't get that from any record label (not even the cool independant ones). I've been anticipating this album more than any other this year, and I think it has something to do with the fact that little old me helped it into the world.

This project has been completely funded, but you can still check out her video, because it's adorable.

Tropes Vs Women in Video Games
I stumbled across this project just before it was fully funded, by someone posting about it on twitter. Anita Sarkeesian is a fantasitc femenist blogger who runs the website Femenist Frequency, which comments on how woman are portrayed in pop culture. Through Kickstarter, she is aiming to fund a video project that looks at the way women are portrayed in video games. I love video games, but it's very hard to ignore the fact that many of them are extremely sexist towards women. I was so interested in what she had to say about this, I instantly pledged $25, and by doing so I will recieve a high res video download of the the series, my name in the credits (cool!) and access to research materials! Despite recieving some extremely harsh backlash from certain, shall we say, misogynist type groups who turned out to be scarily more organised than regular trolls, she blew her pledge goal out of the water, and I can't wait to see what she comes up with!

This project has also been funded, but you should check out her website, the videos will be available for everyone to see when they are ready!

For thousands of projects that have yet to be funded, go to, create and account and start searching! You're bound to find something worthy of your spare change, or perhaps even your alcohol budget!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Word Wednesday: Ray Bradbury

Word Wednesday! This week I would like to pay tribute to the incredible Ray Bradbury, who is sadly no longer with us. His book, Zen in the Art of Writing, was recommended to me by wonderful teacher, Francesca Lia Block, and many friends in my writing circle. I finished it a few days before he died, and I was completely enamoured with his spirit for writing, and the way he loved it with reckless abandon. He said, on a number of ocassions, that writing is one of the most wonderful professions one could undertake, something of which I am guilty of forgetting from time to time, when stories aren't coming together, or when I've spent hours on building concepts only to abandon them. He reminds me that we, as writers, should never stop loving to write.

If you've ever read anything by Ray Bradbury, you will know that his love of writing is both inspiring and infectious, and his imagination knows no bounds. I know that any tribute I try to come up will not be worthy of his incredible life and works, but I can share with you a piece that is, this beautiful story written and read by one of my all time favourite writers, Neil Gaiman.

Click here for the link to 'The Man Who Forgot Ray Bradbury" by Neil Gaiman.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Music Monday: The Deer Tracks

It's Queens Birthday Music Monday! Despite working in retail, I actually got to have the day off today! Hooray!

I would like to share with you my most recent method of discovering new music. But first of all, can I just say that I am so glad that Spotify has finally come to Australia! The amount of music that has suddenly become so available to me is astounding, sometimes I feel so overwhelmed I don't know what to listen to first!
Lately, I've been using Spotify in conjunction with We Are Hunted to find some new bands, and so far I've found quite a few gems. One of these is Swedish band The Deer Tracks; their track W was featured on the latest We Are Hunted Emerging artist chart. I gave it a listen, and liked it so much that I decided to search the band on Spotify. It turns out they have a number of EP's out, and an album called 'The Archer Trilogy Part 1', the contains the song Ram Ram. While I found W intriguing, this song takes me to another place entirely, and the film clip is gorgeous.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Kari Herer Still Life

These still life artworks by Kari Herer are truely beautiful. They combine two of my most favourite creations of nature; animals and flowers, to create stunning prints that seem very much alive.

If you are as enchanted by these as I am, and want one to grace your bedroom wall, you should visit her etsy store; $30 is more than reasonable for art as lovely as this.
Photographs via Honestly...WTF

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Word Wednesday - The Compass Needle

For me, collaging is a kind of therapy; all I need is a glue stick, some scissors, a few National Geographic magazines and some tunes, and I go into a sort of weird, peaceful trance. And I love the idea of taking all the things I've collected over the years, bits and pieces of other peoples art that I love and want to pay tribute to, and make them into something beautiful that's also my own.
I made this collage from magazines, namely Yen and National Geographic, the cover of an old Hotspot guide from 2010, and an old Glassons catalogue from a couple of autumns ago. I really like this one, and I ended up writing a poem to go with it.

The Compass Needle 

The needle
points north west, casts
a shadow like a spell
on sands to make them shift
to make mountains heave
and separate
to swallow up lonely travellers
searching for pieces of
themselves in the dark

my heart is cavernous
the chambers filled with blood
lacking oxygen, blue
the colour of the sky
unnatural, but quite pretty
I cannot walk far for long
periods of time
but I bleed azure and it
causes quite a stir around the

I follow the paths carved
into the sand by the
shadow of the needle
I come to the home
of some wild friends
dressed as long lost
humans, in the hues and
patterns of forgotten
creatures surrounded
by creatures, commanding them
the one with hair the colour
that my blood should be
offers me his peace pipe
I inhale the smoke into the
caverns of my body
and exhale cloud after cloud
of delicate lace

I want to fill those caverns up with
beats and melodies
until there is no room for blood
blue or red or otherwise
I want to stir the dust with my feet
and absorb all the colours on
the birdwing
I want to take flight! Please, creators,
commanders of the creatures, won’t you grant
me this one wish?!
I’ve heard it’s almost what love
feels like
and I want to know love
and I don’t
My heart is wild but
my mind is tied
not to love,
or to religion, but to
the compass needle
and the spell it casts

Monday, June 4, 2012

Music Monday: Soko

Music Monday! This week I'm featuring a very sweet, yet not quite safe for work video to accompany a beautiful new song by Soko. You may have heard Soko's most famous song 'I'll Kill Her,' floating around  a few years before; it's a sort of derranged stalker ballad sung by a French fairy who is always thinking about what could have been. And that's pretty much how I would describe Soko, in the most loving way, because I adore her derranged fairy-ness and her very honest, soul bareing lyrics. I can relate to anything she puts out one hundred times more than say, some of Rhianna's or Lady Gaga's songs; 'Shitty Day' is my favourite song to play when I'm, well, feeling less than great. You don't wanna hear about how sexy Rhianna is feeling in the club right now, when you're sitting in your dressing gown eating dry cereal from the box and popping pimples.

As I said, the song is clean, but this video is NSFW. Enjoy!

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