internal traffic noise

When I was a kid, I used to stand at the eastward-facing window of my parents’ room – where the cool breezes always came in, and also the side of the house with the best view – and I would just look out at the garden and the trees before me, and at the streets and roads behind that, and out at the hills and freeway beyond that. If I remember correctly, I tended to do this to cool down either in the afternoon when it was hottest, or in the evening when I could admire the moon and the stars.

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in case of (writing) emergency

There are a lot of people out there who give advice about writing – bloggers included. When I was writing my novel last year, I read a lot of posts from other writers and editors about the writing process, and I reckon it did help. Maybe I would’ve figured it all out for myself eventually, but why not save some time and pain, and learn from the experiences of other people?  Continue reading

the conclusion of a journey

On Thursday night, I (finally) finished proofreading my novel. In hindsight, I reckon it didn’t actually take that long after I forced myself to sit down and work on it. I didn’t really rewrite much of it, but there were a few (small) paragraphs that I deleted completely and, as reluctant as I was about deleting stuff (so many words that I’d probably agonised over for so long), it also felt quite good to rid my story of all this flotsam and jetsam. In the end, however, I’m pretty sure I added more than I deleted…  Continue reading

what you see is not what you see

When I attended that talk about creativity as part of the World Science Festival several weeks ago, I arrived at the lecture theatre quite early (as I do). As I sat and waited for the talk to begin, I watched the slide show of random interesting facts that they had playing. One of these facts was about how we blink so often, that we spend about 10% of our time awake with our eyes closed.

Since then, I’ve thought intermittently about this – perhaps while sitting at a computer, thinking that we blink less while staring at screens of some sort; or perhaps while out and about in the world, and wondering about all the details that I’m missing by inadvertently having my eyes closed 10% of the time – but I always reasoned that it couldn’t be that significant a loss, since it’s not like we have our eyes closed for entire blocks at a time (say, for example, 6 minutes at the start of every hour) and then keep our eyes open the rest of the time. And because blinking takes next to no time at all, and it’s so spread out, we’re not really losing anything in our experience of the world, right?

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obscure hobbies

Whenever I’m asked by someone what my hobbies are, my standard response is “reading and running”. If the person asking the question seems trustworthy and likeable and non-judgmental, I might also mention that I write (and then I’ll freak out about whether or not I should have just stuck to my standard response, and worry what to say if they ask what I write).   Continue reading

better than

Perhaps it’s part of human nature to underestimate one’s abilities…

Today I ran 5.4km in under 32 minutes. I ran/jogged continuously for 5.4km, and I’m pretty sure that’s the first time I’ve ever managed to do that.

Previously, I’d go for hour-long runs, but I’d stop and walk after every 1-2km. A few weeks ago, I ran 4km in about 25 minutes, and I thought that that was going to be my limit. Shows how much I know.   Continue reading