Friday, November 5, 2010

My Brains and Bitch-hour

My main concern when signing up for NaNoWriMo (and NaNoWriMo-Lame-oh) was quarterly tax time which has to be finalised in the next two weeks. So, I am in the midst of getting dozens and dozens of receipts (ranging from those tiny shreds of curled, faded paper eagerly-torn from an original roll, to A3 size) in chronological order. The receipts also have to be sorted and then manually entered into an accounting program. 

While my poor, numbed-with-boredom left (analytical) brain is churning through each and every bit of paper laboriously, my right (creative) brain is resting. It is taking it easy, stretching out on a hammock, and sipping a chai-latte. Hours later (usually when I am home and tearing myself between my 8 year-old's homework and cooking dinner) left brain snatches the latte-glass out of right brain's hand and bumps him out of the hammock. Bad luck, year 2 maths!

Right brain is then in full gear. You see, I write best when I am standing at my laptop, between chopping vegetables, checking on the boiling pasta and supervising said homework. I call this bitch-hour. Also, by depriving myself of the joy of writing for a large chunk of the day, my sub-conscience somehow builds up the main parts of the story that I want to tell. These 'main parts' are what I hungrily type up in bits and pieces during bitch-hour. And then in the evening, when life has quietened substantially, I can then immerse myself and write between the lines, adding the cushioning, if you will. This is how I roll with my writing.

Now, you are probably thinking how presumptuous of her, thinking she has two brains? Well, scientifically, and anatomically, I do. In fact, we all have two brains, the left and right hemispheres, that are joined only by a bundle of nerves (the corpus callosum).  For thought processes our two brains can function independently of each other. And, as you may be aware, we are usually functionally dominant in one or the other.

Ever wondered which of your brain hemispheres is the dominant one? Well, here's your chance to check. If you see the dancer below moving clockwise then your left brain is dominant and you are more analytical in your approach to thought processes. If you see the dancer moving anti-clockwise then you tend to see 'the bigger picture', you are more philosophical in your thoughts and can present multiple possibilities to a situation.

The Right Brain vs Left Brain test

I am definitely right-brained and that suits my writing and me just fine.

What are you? Let me know in the comments section and what your thoughts are on this.

NaNoWriMo words so far: 4167

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

NaNoWriMo: Day 3 (Bad, bad day)

Migraines: 1 (big fat mumma of a headache!)

Analgesia: (almost) anything that came to hand

Daily word count: zero

Total word count: 3167 :((

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

NaNoWriMo: Day 2

Crazy Mum: 1

Coffee: 2 mugs

Tea: 2 cups

Coke Zero: 1/2 can

Baskets of washing on line: 3

Baskets of washing brought in: 2 1/2

Lunches packed: 4

Daily word Count: 1626

Total Word Count: 3167

Day two writing frenzy over with.

See you tomorrow...

Monday, November 1, 2010

NaNoWriMo: Day 1

Daily word Count: 1541
Total Word Count: 1541

Day one writing frenzy over with.

See you tomorrow... 

Friday, October 29, 2010



I like dental visits. Usually. Except for yesterday's visit. As a result of breaking a molar tooth late last week I was booked in to see an oral surgeon. He recommended extraction. Thirty minutes and three stitches later, I walked out, my mouth packed with gauze. Bless pain killers!

I am spending today on the couch, sipping luke-warm tea, coffee and soup from a straw. Writing this through a haze of codeine-induced stupor. I hope I will be okay by the time Nanowrimo and Nanowrimo-Lame-Oh (as hosted by the inspirational Andrea from acatofimpossiblecolour) starts.

Now though, back to sleep.

Until next time...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Aphrodite of Milos


You have seen her many times before, to be sure, but, to see her in person (in the marble :)) was unforgettable. I went there twice in one day and then the following day to absorb the beauty that was hand-crafted by an Ancient Greek sculptor named Alexandros of Antioch. 

I finally scored a headset recording on the second visit and learned that this goddess of love and beauty is almost seven feet tall.

She was found by a peasant in the ancient city of Milos in the Aegean Islands in 1820. A French officer figured she would be an important work of art and started to organise her removal. But the peasant refused and wanted money, so he sold her to a priest who wanted to gift her to someone in Constantinople. She was eventually given to King Henry XVIII who handed her over to the Louvre museum, where she resides today.

 Her arms, which were found and verified as original, could have been reattached but they deliberately weren't. This was to keep the public interested in the mystery they had formulated about her. 

Also, as she was never meant to be viewed from the back, she was never given detail seen on the rest of her. However, she would have been fully decked out in jewellery (which was likely to have been stolen) and she was possibly painted as well.

Her left arm was probably raised at eye level holding an apple and her right arm curved loosely around her waist holding up her drapery.

Beautiful indeed.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Like Kindy All Over Again.

Mr 17 in kindergarten:

My Mr 17 is back at school today. Although I am a little anxious I think he'll be okay. I keep looking at the phone expecting him to call me to pick him up. But it has not rang yet. After six weeks of spending almost every waking moment together, I miss him. It is quiet. Very quiet. And I miss him. Like kindergarten all over again.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Start them young!

This is my darling Mr 8 using a knife and chopping board for the first time (not that he has used either at any other time, mind you). He really wanted to help and I could not deny him the chance of chopping up some green capsicum.

The finished product ready to use in a tomato reduction:

  Although he is not very fond of this vegetable, it is his favourite colour! 

And that is a good enough reason to handle it, don't you think?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Missing my Sydney winter...

My roma tomato plant sprinkled with frost.

Hubby's mallet was not spared either

Yard and neighbouring house

Roses rising up from the frost

Sparkly roses

More tenacious roses

Frost-blanketed grass

Oh how I love our winters,
Only two seasons to go!

Having been under the weather (sorry, bad, bad pun!) myself, I have been going over some pictures from a few months ago.

 I hope you enjoy them.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

No denyin' it's Spring-time

My backyard, full of wisteria,
and plum blossoms...

Monday, September 20, 2010

Spring and a smile

We are home and it feels so good. Although it has been a difficult couple of weeks our darling, patient and brave Mr 17 is recovering slowly. Thank you for all of your thoughts, prayers and good wishes. They are very much appreciated.

In the preceding days, and even though we had a huge hospital window overlooking trees and a park, I did not see a single bud. These days were dim and cloud-filled. On the morning drive home from hospital, our son safely bundled beside us, I could not help but notice an overnight explosion of all varieties of flora creating spectacular arrays of textures and colours.

It is Spring.

Blossoms, birds and butterflies in abundance. Our son is smiling.

What a beautiful, beautiful day.


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Revision Surgery

As some of you may remember, our darling son, Mr 17 had scoliosis correction surgery exactly 3 years ago. His two major curves covering 11 segments in his spine, were corrected with rods, screws and bone grafts. Yesterday his annual X-ray showed that the bone grafts in his lower back have not grown to form a single bony structure. This structure is supposed to stop the curve from reforming. His back muscles that support the spine are pulling in one direction and the instrumentation is tugging in the opposite direction. No bone mass to stabilise his spine. I can only imagine the pain he has been living with, day after night. Our son needs revision surgery involving more instrumentation and more bone grafts. And soon. Next week soon. Too soon.

Your thoughts and prayers will be much appreciated.

The following posts (in chronological order) refer to our scoliosis surgery experiences I wrote about when I first started this blog:

Your typical Saturday...not so
Coffee?? Maybe not.
Anterior, Posterior.
Professor of Fashion, Form and Fit.
A joke and a prayer.
His shoes are bigger than you!
Change and New Heights.
Khazakstan and Lebanese Food
Exposed on all levels
It's still me.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Story Competition: Matching Velvet

Image from:

She sat in the cafe feeling very self conscious as she wrote the last few words of a sentence she had been struggling with. That will do, she thought to herself. She looked the part but did not feel it. Her coffee had become cold. She did not know why she had ordered it. All she felt like doing was lying down and placing a pillow over her head. Deciding to leave she secured her hat and uncrossed her legs, her suede pumps brushing against one another. Her left hand caressed the lush velvet of her skirt. She stood up and, walking into the crisp Autumn air, she saw his eyes. He was alone. He looked a little scruffy yet appealingly handsome. She pictured him in a vest matching her skirt. Silly thought, she cursed herself, but, cute all the same. She slowly walked over to him, fearing he would turn away, her heart beating in her ears. His eyes pierced hers. She paused. Could she? Would she? If the most outrageous thing she had ever done was team a leather jacket with leopard print then this would be worth it. Yes, she would do it. She picked up that handsome puppy and took him home with her!

Have you written a story about a particularly interesting picture you've seen?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Celebrating: (almost) 10% of my book, Draft 1.

I have written almost 10% of my book (1st draft) and I would like to celebrate by devouring these Parisian delicacies and drinking the best coffee.
But, considering that the cafe where I had these last is a little out of my way
(oh, about 20,000 km), I guess I will have to settle for...

Image from

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Day Our Life Changed, Forever

When the sun is high
Not a cloud in the sky
A breeze on our cheek,
On a late winter's day
We remember the year,
the day,
the moment,
That our life changed forever.

Friday 13th August 1993.
This day greeted the entry of our first-born. This calm, intelligent, sensitive and responsible young man has placed in our hearts an indescribable happiness.
The image you see above is of Mr 17. He is carrying his cousin who is 15 years his junior and virtually the exact image of him at that age.
Happy 17th birthday to you our son, our friend.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A New Chapter


I have been a pretty unreliable blogger (both visiting your blogs and posting on mine) for quite some time now. I will not go into the reasons for my absence. However, I have some wonderful news to share. My darling hubby and I have now completed our new surgery/business premises. Leaving work commitments aside, I now have some mental space (!) to do what I set out to at the inception of this blog in July 2008. That is to satisfy a niggling, ever-increasingly reddening, drive-me-mad-if-I-don't-scratch-it ITCH to write my first novel. This annoying itch will continue unless I make a major commitment to my book, hence this announcement. I owe it to myself and even to my darling Mr 8 who asked me recently: 'Mum, when are you going to publish your book?' (...aarm, it has to at least be written dear!). Most importantly though, I owe it to the characters whom I have developed to such an extent that they really do exist for me. I love them, each in their own way.

So the next step: just write. This blog will be my monitor for the book. I will place a word counter in my side-bar to track my progress. My deadline for a first draft is April 1st 2011 (no significance other than the joke being on me if I do not comply). And as presumptuous and arrogant as this may sound, I have never missed a deadline.

Have you made any commitments/resolutions of late?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Windows and Doors of Versailles

A small part of Le Chateau de Versailles - an external view:

Letting in the cool breeze:

La Grille D'Honneur as the King and Queen would have seen it, from the inside:

Marie Antoinette's route of escape out of her chamber:

A reflection, in the Hall of Mirrors:
Oh, to greet this window and its view every morning:
Light plays upon dark:
Archways that lead to...

The King's Chamber lies behind these oversized doors:

Still on the grounds of Le Chateau de Versailles, not the King's chamber...and richer, somehow: Our trip to Le Chateau de Versailles was without a doubt one of the most memorable parts of our trip.

Until next time...



Thursday, June 3, 2010

Good News For Kayleigh

These flowers are for my dear friend Kayleigh (from Fashionably Later). This woman, wife and mother of two gorgeous children is an absolute inspiration.
Kayleigh, may you continue to receive positive news and may this saga, that started over 12 months ago, be behind you soon, and left, only to reflect upon.
With love,

Monday, May 31, 2010

An eye for style: Parisian window dressings

I hope you enjoyed viewing these. I certainly enjoyed taking them.
Until next time...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Paris, Family, Macarons and More

The absolute highlight of our trip would have to be meeting family and friends. We travelled three hours south-east of Paris by TGV to meet extended family. They were beautiful, welcoming and kind. It was an absolute honour to meet them.

I also met my blogger friend the lovely Leesa (from News in France blog) and her friend Barbara who is also a blogger:

No visit to Paris would be complete without a tinsy-winsy trip to this French institute:
What beauties hide in this I wonder...
La voila!

Just for my pretty:

The foyer of our hotel:

On our way south-west of Paris:
from the TGV:


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