Introvert or Extrovert?

I believe I am an introvert.

As time goes by, I realise that being introverted affects many areas of my life. I am not much into group activities and feel much more comfortable in a one on one situation.

Last year I did a writing course online and I really got into it (I had to as there were assignments to do). In doing the course I found a way to tell my stories from the privacy of my own home.

Once I completed the study I went cold on writing – you see I can’t just write a funny story or science fiction or fantasy – for me it has to be real, and in being real, it is often deep and sometimes painful.

But now I realise that I am a bit afraid of telling these stories but I can choose to overcome the fear if I really want to. Do I want to? Not sure … Perhaps I can invent a pen name -) and remain anonymous!

introverts

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Four years old today

I am talking about this blog – allaboutwordswa that I started four years ago today. I did a Google search on “how do I start a blog” and took it from there to here!

I received a Happy Fourth Anniversary from WordPress today. When I first started the blog I tried to write a post everyday and averaged about five times a week but lately I don’t write as often – not sure why.

I started other blogs during that time and my most recent It’s a Small World  is focused on photos taken by my microscope (Supereyes) and I am having lots of fun with it.

I learned a few things from blogging during this time. Some thoughts follow …

  • I have met so many amazing people  from all over the world and developed some online friendships.
  • My blog provides an avenue where I can think out loud – express my opinions or ask for input from others. It also reminds me of our common humanity.
  • The skills I gained in using WordPress were really useful when I was studying online and using online tools earlier this year.
  • My blog is evidence that I can string a few words together – I include it on my resume (sometimes) so that  potential employers can see that I am computer literate and they can get a bit of an idea about who I am from my writing.
  • I have another blog, Naturaliste Enterprises with my resume and work experience included.
  • When I get really interested in a particular topic – this year it has been about Baby Boomers and retirement related issues – there is an opportunity to put all my thoughts in one place – yes – another blog! This one is called Encore Australia. I saw a lot about Encore Careers in the US and it motivated me to set up an Australian website in relation to these issues. I hope to do more work on this in 2015.

Along the way I have gratefully received over 3,000 comments from readers, had nearly 30,000 views and a total of 600+ have subscribed to read my blog. It is encouraging to get followers and to have people read my posts but I don’t allow that to drive my writing and input.

This is my opportunity to say thank you for reading my posts and I love it when you leave a comment that leads to a discussion and the ‘likes’ are much appreciated as well :-).

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I am not making it up …

about ageI recently had my sixtieth birthday and that means I have done a range of things in those six decades. Sometimes I surprise people when I mention some of those things. I guess we all travel our own journeys and we can never be sure where they will take us. A list of some of my adventures follows:

  • I left home in country Victoria at 17 years old to live in Melbourne and I was a bit into the hippie culture at the time
  • I met my first husband in Melbourne and we married when I was 18
  • My three sons were born in my twenties
  • I lived and worked in several remote communities with high Indigenous populations within Australia including Numbulwar in the Northern Territory, Fitzroy Crossing, Derby, Geraldton and Esperance in Western Australia
  • I was the Newman correspondent for the North West Telegraph when I was living in the Pilbara
  • I didn’t complete high school but went on to gain university entrance as an adult and have since achieved separate qualifications in management and professional writing
  • Twice divorced meant some time as a single mother of my three sons
  • I started studying theology at one stage but didn’t see it through plus I was a Church Warden, Synod representative and Pastoral Assistant in the Anglican Church
  • I was a Shire Councillor and Deputy Shire President with the East Pilbara Shire and ran as a candidate for the State Government in 1993
  • During my time working for the government I spent time in Education and Training, Culture and the Arts, Communities and Disability Services
  • I am really interested in computers and social media and love WordPress 🙂

What I find interesting is the diversity of some of my activities but I guess there is some consistency in the overall story. There are a few adventures held back – I don’t want to give everything away!

Keep it Simple – a sampler by Don Wright

Earlier this week we had a good time catching up with our friends Don and Deirdre. Don is putting a CD together and I am pleased to be able to offer a taster of what is to come. Don writes his own original lyrics and music. It has a great message for today for us all as well.

I hope you enjoy it 🙂

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Music and lyrics are copyright and owned by Don Wright ©

Weekly Photo Challenge: Cover Art

For this week’s photo challenge I am using an actual cover I used for a short story. A free copy of it is available on through a link on my site. The story was written as part of my studies in a Professional Writing course I completed recently.

Beyond the Crossing

The story has some elements from real life and my time in the North West (Fitzroy Crossing) but it is mostly a piece of fiction. The photo was taken in the Kimberley region of Western Australia.

How close is too close?

***I watched the above video about a pride of African lions and cubs that accepted a man into their space. He plays with them like they are kittens or playful puppies. It almost goes wrong when a hyena gate-crashes the party. The lions start to get cranky and the man has to make a hasty exit.

I think most of us like to have some connection with other species – dogs and cats tend to be the most popular. What is it that drives some people beyond the safety barrier and put themselves at risk? Australia’s Steve Irwin is a good example of someone who died doing what he loved most – getting up close and personal with wild creatures.

We domesticate animals and yet sometimes we forget that they are still animals. There are awful cases where a family dog has turned on its owner or a member of the family, with disastrous impact for all concerned.

On the other hand, we use other species to our benefit. I think of farm dogs trained to round-up the sheep or cattle. They are working dogs and not pandered to like pets. They have a role and it generally doesn’t include sitting on the couch!

There are people who collect reptiles and yet others who are fascinated with dangerous spiders. People try to outsmart the bulls at rodeos and horses and grey hounds are used for our sporting pleasure.

I have experienced some amazing encounters with creatures who are just as curious about us as we are about them. For example I once found a bird on the ground and I thought it couldn’t fly so I picked it up, sat it on my car seat, and drove home with it. On the way it must have tired of car travel and flew out of the open window. It was quite a special experience.

*** For my creative writing group, I was finding it difficult to come up something on the designated topic – it had to include something about African wildlife – so here it is 🙂

An old man

old man

Who is this old man? Does he have a name? Is he rich or poor – kind or mean? Where does he live? Is he educated or just street wise? Is he loved and has he known happiness?

***

I joined a creative writing group today and we are tasked with writing a story with the topic of “An old man”. I found this unidentified image on the internet and I want to delve into his life and personality so he becomes alive in the story I am yet to write.

From looking at the photo, what do you see? Do you think he has had a hard life? Does he have any secrets? Is he famous? Perhaps I can use your observations in my story 🙂

Launch of my short story

I have been absent from WordPress in recent weeks as I worked on finishing my unit of study with Edith Cowan University online. The unit is Authorship and Publication. The main submission for assessment is my ebook, Beyond the Crossing.

As it is my first short story I decided to make it available as a free ebook to anyone who would like to read it.

With assignments now completed,  I can start preparing for my trip to Victoria on Saturday. I am staying with my son, daughter-in-law and two grandsons for a week. After that I am spending a couple of days in Melbourne with my two sisters. Click on the link below to go to the page where you can download a copy.

Click HERE to go to Beyond the Crossing.

Perserverance

I am feeling a bit stressed about completing my writing studies in the next two weeks. I still have a few hurdles to jump over and know I have to work hard to achieve a good result. I confess to a great fear of failing. In reality, failing this unit would not make much difference to my life but I will be really disappointed in myself if I don’t succeed.

PV1There is also a sense of loss at completing my studies. It consumes my time, energy and interest and there will be a gap in my life once I am done. I find this hard to explain. Maybe it is about being part of something bigger – a sense of belonging to a student community (even though the study has all be online).

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Then there is that great sense of achievement at completion and success – or gratification describes it more accurately – overcoming something difficult and feeling stretched and experiencing some personal growth.

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Finally, for me, study is about wrestling with something in my mind – that is not about ME – something bigger than myself and something that better engages me to the world I live in, day-to-day.

So – PERSEVERE I will and hopefully I will meet my goal of a qualification at the conclusion of my study but also greater knowledge about writing and the industry.

And… if I don’t pass – the world will not end – I will have still learned a lot – and well, let’s wait and see…

All I can do is do my best 🙂

Learning by doing

Today I searched for quotes to motivate me to continue my work on a current writing assignment. I need to have a 2,500 word draft piece of fiction ready for editing by Monday at the latest. I have written about 3,000 words so far but it lacks energy. I need to do a lot more work on it. I am basing my short story on some of my experiences living in outback Australia.

about study