A quick post about work-related thingies.
While continuing to think about some of the concepts I talked about in my last post, I had an idea for a reality TV show. It would go for about 30 minutes or so and each episode would look at a different household—for example, a couple with no kids, a couple with kids, a single person living along, a single person flatting, and so on. More specifically, each episode would examine each household's finances—income, expenditure, savings, and so on—and, with expenditure, talk with the household's members about what sort of priorities they have and why they choose to spend their money the way they do (wants vs needs, delayed or instant gratification and all the rest of it), along with how they manage their money and make it work for them (or how they don't).
I reckon it would be fascinating stuff. (Ben disagrees; he was bored just by me talking about it.) Who wouldn't be interested in how other people live—or rather, how they can afford to live? In addition, perhaps seeing what life is like on the other side of the fence will cause audiences to ponder their own financial circumstances and how to make things work better for themselves.
Done well, it would hit the right note of voyeurism combined with judgementalism (with a dash of public-service-educating-the-public-about-personal-finance-ism) so typical of reality TV—Supernanny crossed with Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. The current post-GFC climate is ripe for this sort of thing, I reckon.
So TV people: feel free to use my idea. It's not like I'm going to be able to do anything with it!
I've been thinking about money lately—more specifically, how to manage money and how to make it work for you. I've always felt very stupid and ignorant when it comes to money. I'm not sure why: it's not like I'm bad with it. I don't have any debts (well, aside from FEE-HELP). I don't impulse buy. I know vaguely the basics of making a budget and trying to stick to it, as well as portioning out money for specific causes or goals. But nevertheless, I've never felt like I'm in control when it comes to my money.
Now that I've finished the Bible overview slideshow-to-video project, I've got a little bit of time in between projects and thought I'd try to get few blog posts into the pipeline.
I've been thinking recently about ways of working—different approaches to time and tasks. Sometimes I think the world can be divided into two groups of people: people who think in terms of structures and people who are more unstructured. The structured people are (to stereotype heavily) generally more organised, and tend to think naturally in terms of categories, grids and segments. The unstructured people tend to be more spontaneous: they live in moment (or so it seems to me; I confess I'm in the former camp) and they take things as they come in whatever form they come.
So back in January, one of the major things I was working on was a short presentation covering an overview of the Bible. I was hoping to do it in five minutes, but really that's unrealistic: the Bible has a massive storyline and there was no way I could have covered it in that amount of time. I did come close, though: I got it down to about eight minutes with me speaking over PowerPoint slides. And then I presented it at a church women's training event about Bible reading, and it was very well-received and people asked me if I was going to put it up on YouTube (which was rather funny, since it was a slideshow, not a video).
Anyways, I thought it prudent to run it past someone with more theological training than me before I made anything public. I also had some ideas about what needed to be fixed, and it turns out I was right. And then the project got set aside as I strived to finish the first draft of my graphic novel script—mostly because the graphic novel script was more fun, but also because I knew I'd have to teach myself how to use iMovie. (And it's not that I'm anti-learning new things; it's just learning new things takes time and energy and effort, and no matter how many video tutorials you can watch, nothing beats getting in there and trying to do what you want to do (with the aid of Google).
Let's take a shot at a short(er) blog post.
This week I've been sick with some sort of viral infection thingy manifesting itself in the form of a sore throat and a mild fever (though if that was mild, I'd hate to have a serious one). Being sick while trying to look after a small child is challenging, but fortunately for two of the days, I had booked half-day childcare in advance, and on the other day, Ben was also home sick, which made things feel easier even though he was also not in very good shape to share parenting duties.
This morning, hearing of my situation, a very kind church friend invited us over for a playdate—and even offered to mind Astrid without me and take her up to childcare when the time came if I was too ill. I was functioning on four hours of sleep, but I was feeling better—and as it turned out, well enough to stay for the duration of the playdate and enjoy my friend's company while Astrid enjoyed my friend's children's. The three of them played together quite happily and relatively independently, allowing us to actually have some semblance of a continuous conversation throughout the morning.
And I was struck by several things—firstly, how less intense parenting seems once the adult-to-child ratio rises above 1:1 (even if the ratio is in favour of the children); secondly, what it's like to juggle and attend to the needs of two little people (a skill I haven't yet needed to master); and thirdly, how important and valuable it was for me to be able to witness the lives of other people's families and their particular mix of personalities, the ways in which they operate from day to day, their attitudes and methods when it comes to parenting (which also arise from the personalities of their children), the things that the parents struggle with, and so on.
Oh dear: I didn't post anything here in March. Sorry. I keep having vague thoughts about getting back into the swing of blogging (which I do actually enjoy—for its benefits of being able to write about whatever I like and publish it almost instantaneously to an international audience)—but have not as yet made any concrete plans to do so.
Since I last did an update, I have:
So I was tagged by my Twitter friend Marc Johnson to do this self-interview post. (For some reason, the series is called “The next big thing” [see also here and here].) Marc and I met on Twitter while both following the marvellous G Willow Wilson, writer of (among other things) Air, a series we both loved that was cancelled part-way through its run. Marc used to do a podcast called V for Vertigo, and he and I bickered about Brian K Vaughan and Pia Guerra's Y: The Last Man series on episode 100. (Spoilers: I loved it. He didn't. I ended up purchasing his trades from him.)
Marc is also the author of Catalyst (The Passage of Hellsfire Book 1), a young adult fantasy coming-of-age romance, and its sequel, What Once Was One. (He's got six books planned for that series.) His work is mostly available through e-readers, however, if memory serves correctly, you can now get Catalyst in print.
The wonderful Neil Gaiman was here in January, so of course the Hive Mind and I went to hear him at City Recital Hall at an event held as part of the Sydney Writers Festival (though out of season). I can't remember how many times I've heard Neil live—the first time at Continuum in 2005 (recounted here and here), then at Macquarie University in 2006 and at Kinokuniya in 2008. I missed his performance of “The Truth is in a Cave in the Black Mountains” in 2010 as part of the GRAPHIC Festival because I was heavily pregnant and couldn't walk very much, but I did get to see one of the panels he did the following day thanks to Bec's generosity. (Hmm, I guess this year makes it five times …)
It's been a ridiculously busy couple of months. After my Mommy Holiday in November (which occurred the last time I posted), I did the following:
A way of funding writing in the future: pitch and idea and get people to support it.
Place where you can hire play equipment for parties, etc.
How to recalibrate the home button on your iPhone.
Unsolicited manuscripts accepted by Pan Macmillan with certain conditions.
Thought Balloon is a group blog in which the writers tackle a new theme every week? month? with one-page scripts. This URL is for their Phonogram ones.