Word Con 2 Day 1 Part 1

Hi everyone, so like last time I had word con, I will be posting a blog post for each of my teachers to have a look at and comment on. Please expect to see this message at the beginning of each blog post.


The first lecture was in the form of an interview with my lecturer Robyn and a comic book artist. I think what I found most interesting about this artist is that he is (by day) an architect. I feel that his architecture background really adds an element of the realistic to his work, especially when it comes to the buildings.

I love the way that Robyn asks questions. She seems to really get into the interview and I know that she does it for a living, but being able to watch her conduct this interview really showed us what she does. I feel like her questions were appropriate and definitely helped to show us, the audience, everything that we needed to know about Simon.

I really am not a comic book reader, and I think this comes from the fact that I am a terrible drawer myself, and I know that this stems from me not putting any effort in when I was young. I tend to like to read up on all the law and timelines of my favourite comic characters rather than read the actual artwork.

However, I did agree with Simon when he said that our entire comic book culture in Australia is saturated with American comics. This is like with everything that we do when it comes to media, everything is American central.

But, I do like the idea of having a comic book set in Bendigo because that is a very Aussie town and the characters, from what I’ve seen, feel like very Aussie characters.

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Word Con 1

This is the 4th in a group of four posts that I am going to make about the word con event that I attended at my university.


Finally, in my last post about word con 1, I am going to talk about Rob’s hour.

He spoke of copywriting, and when I went home to my family and I spoke to them about Rob’s hour, I had to explain copywriting so many times. It’s actually an incredibly hard thing to do because both copyright and copywrite sound the same when spoken. This led to an incredibly confused mother and an incredibly frustrated Evy.

However, the actual presentation was quite interesting. I was probably one of the few in the room who don’t actually want to be a writer. I want to go down the other route the course provides and get into publishing rather than writing. Even so, Rob’s powerpoint on copywriting was incredibly eye opening and is definitely something that I might look into.

The fun part came around when Rob got us to write our own copywrite for a product. The Perraz pen. I attempted to make mine sexual (a very bad idea for me, the least sexual person around) because I was under the impression that sex sells. And sometimes it does.

But this time the most entertaining way of selling this pen came from some guy that I didn’t know, but had a quite impressive way of marketing this pen. He spoke about how the company could say anything about the pen, because it doesn’t matter what is said, it’s the price. The Perraz pen is a statement.

He won the mini competition. And he deserved it too. I would buy that pen, if I wasn’t a broke uni student.

Anyway, I think Rob really opened the eyes of the group to copywriting as a way to supplement published or non-published writing income.

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Word Con 1

This is the 3rd in a group of four posts that I am going to make about the word con event that I attended at my university.


This one is about Robyn’s part in Word Con 1.

Now, it’s probably no secret to those who know me that Robyn’s class is one of my favourites. This is because she just has such a passion for journalism and she always has such interesting stories to tell.

And so, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I found Robyn and Edwina’s hour incredibly entertaining.

I was enraptured by the way that Edwina was so impassioned about her book and how it came to be and the journey that she had to make to get the truth.

And Robyn’s stories of sexism and the struggles of interviewing large men that think the world owes them everything and that women are only there to fuck them.

Well, there’s a reason that Robyn and Edwina were so entertaining. And that reason is because once they tell you something, you can see yourself believing it. Half of the explanation for that is because there is no logical reason as to why they would lie about it something. So you have to believe them, because otherwise you’re the idiot.

And so, I sat, completely zoned in to what they were saying. I didn’t want their hour to end because it meant that I would have to wait another week to listen to Robyn speak so passionately about something that means so much to her.

Robyn and Edwina should be proud of the journeys they have made, because their part in word con was incredibly insightful and interesting.

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Word Con 1

This is the 2nd in a group of four posts that I am going to make about the WordCon event that I attended at my university.


I have to say, I really enjoyed Adam’s part in WordCon 1. I didn’t know that much about his journey to writing through being a musician and I like that it seems to be quite common for musicians to move into writing.

Unfortunately, Adam has informed me that he plays percussion and strings, and thus he and I can no longer be friends.

Nah, I’m kidding. It’s just that brass and strings have this sort of playful banter going on.

Anyway, Adam spoke about his journey to writing and I liked that he spoke about his uni time as being more enjoyable than high school. Because that is definitely what I’m experiencing. He mentioned how he went to Vic Uni, and it really resonated with me. When I was in school everyone knocked Vic Uni down to the ground, but Adam’s personal relationship with the school really highlights how much good it can do.

The other guy on the panel, André, is also a musician, though from what I gathered he plays the saxophone, which, hmmm.

But, he does play jazz. And my grandfather was a jazz pianist and he’s half the reason that my family is so musical anyway, so I can’t hate jazz musicians.

André did a degree in primary school teaching, and then dropped it when he realised that there is no logical reason to go back to primary school once you’ve already got out. I feel that.

He then moved into the Red Cross. And from there into publishing. André and Brad are the publishing gurus in this course according to Adam.

Brad was meant to be moderating, and whilst he did have some interesting things to add, he was not very good at it. He seemed to be doodling but he and André did have a good rapport going.

But that was fine because Adam and André had their own comments and interesting tidbits about their lives to comment on.

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Word Con 1

This is the 1st in a group of four posts that I am going to make about the word con event that I attended at my university.


 

This post is about Gary’s part in word con 1.

Gary is a poet, and coincidentally one of my teachers (for writing short fiction).

His event at word con was about poetry, and he began by defining iambic pentameter. Now, I’ve always thought of iambic pentameter and any kind of iambic wording as a heartbeat. You have one unstressed, and then one stressed.

Gary did not use this definition, but he has studied poetry a lot more than I have so he probably knows what he is talking about.

He asked us to write our own sonnet and this is what I came up with:

 

She sleeps so still under the willow tree

Her tears so soft they run like frightened dogs

No cash no home she only has her togs

She floats face down below the raging sea

It started maybe with her mother’s cry

A shriek a wail a slap against her skin

How does this pain come from her next of kin

The willow sways with wind come from the sky

She ran quite fast far from that stony home

The rockwork loomed and up she moved and stopped

She looked below and felt her stomach drop

The waves embraced her frame and broke her bones

They pick her up out of the deathly grip

And cold and blue no air will pass her lip

 

You should be able to feel the heartbeats within this phrasing so that it reads in iambic pentameter.

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Never Gonna Be A Dancing Queen

Tuesday evening was nice. Despite being December, the clear skies above the Wombat State Forest encouraged the weather to grow cold early. Pretty good luck that it was such nice weather. Eve was throwing the ball for the family dog. Their other dog, was lying on the couch.

The parents were drinking cider and everything was so calm. Eve was only mildly worried about her cat and how Ellen, the house sitter, was going with her. She was sure Ellen would be fine with the animals that had been left back in Melbourne. She’d done it before.

The family locked the dogs away, and the five of them hopped in the car to drive into Blackwood for dinner. Parma night. Eve had a schnitzel. She’s lactose intolerant so parma is not an option for her. Her sister was grumpy about something. No one at the table knew exactly what was souring her mood that night. She was always angry about one thing or another.

When the family arrived back at the house after their Parma night, they let the dogs out to go to the loo. Everything was normal. They sat in front of the tiny old telly in the living room and watched a film of the father’s choice: Thor: The Dark World.

Good movie. 10/10 would recommend.

Eve remembers going to bed that night, probably around 11 or 12, and chatting with her siblings. She set an alarm for nine the next morning. She wanted to go into Trentham to look at the shops. One of them had some cute necklaces that she wanted to get a second look at.

Katie, Dom, and Eve chatted for maybe an hour and a half. Their lives are pretty boring. There used to be gossip. When they were younger there was always gossip. But then Eve came out and Katie got a boyfriend. Now there’s only Dom’s love life to talk about, and the only love in his life is the computer.

Finally, after Katie had angrily pulled the battery out of the very loud clock, Eve fell asleep. She went first. She always fell asleep first.

 

 

She woke up at nine the next morning. Not a care in the world. She left her siblings sleeping, not bothering to wake them for she knew that they would just drop back into Neverland once she left.

Eve made a cup of tea. Then she had to make one for the mother because she saw that Eve had one. The mother is tea obsessed.

The mother had agreed to drive with Eve into Trentham that morning. And at about 9.35, they left.

She said goodbye to the father and she gave the dogs a nice scratch on the neck each. She pulled on her favourite boots and was ready to head out.

The car trip was uneventful. They listened to Muse and watched as a wedding took place in one of the paddocks to the right of the car. The couple was lucky; it was a lovely day for a wedding.

Eve loves the trip into Trentham. She likes how the road dips and turns and how they go past all these old houses clearly built during the gold rush. Most of them are falling down but some have been maintained.

Eve held her breath as the car went past the cemetery. She was 18, but she lived in a family of children, so she held onto her childhood idiosyncrasies. You know, the one where if you hold your breath as you go past a cemetery you gain an extra day of life. Obviously there’s no way to test if it’s true. But she does it anyway. Perhaps it will bring her good luck.

The mother found a spot right next to the main park in Trentham. It is a boring park but Trentham is only a small strip of shops with an IGA and a pub. Not as good as Daylesford, but better than Blackwood.

The mother parked the car.

“There go the phones.” Eve said. There is no phone service where the house at Barry’s Reef is, so as soon as the car pulled into the small town, both their phones began to buzz.

Once the mother yanked the key out of the ignition, she pulled her phone out of her bag and looked through her messages. Eve was joking around, getting ready to get out, when the mother said, “Wait. This is actually really serious.”

Of course, Eve was thinking that her friend Ellen, the house sitter, had knocked a vase over or something. So she said, “What’s wrong?” Eve was still smiling.

The mother put her hand on Eve’s arm and she hates being touched so she knows that this must be something bad. The mother said, “It seems that Jarrod has been in a car accident.” Her voice sounded horrified.

“Oh okay, are Moni and Danielle in the hospital with him?”

“Eve, he died.”

Eve could not believe it. To be honest she still cannot quite believe it. She remembers that moment; it was the first time that she realised that people die. Obviously she knew rationally that people die, her Grandfather had died just a few years before but he was old and had smoked for 75 years. This was when Eve realised that young people die. Without reason.

“It was in a car crash.” The mother said.

“This is just some sick joke.” Eve said.

“Eve, it’s not. This is real.”

“Jarrod, the fucking idiot, must have stolen Danielle’s phone. He must have. Then he used his mum’s phone to text as a joke.”

“Why would he text us?” The mother is crying now. Eve cannot cry. His sister is her best friend, not Jarrod.

They exited the car. All she could think was that she had to call Ellen. So she did. Eve called her. She called the home phone when Ellen didn’t answer and then she called her mobile again when Ellen didn’t answer that.

Her boyfriend, Jack, was the one who ended up picking up the phone. Eve asked him to put Ellen on.

Then Eve told her, and she just said, “what.”

Then she told Jack and he said the same thing. Eve remembers feeling horrible. Jarrod was the brother of one of Ellen and Eve’s best friends. Moni was like a sister to them, so this was almost as if they had lost a brother too.

Of course, Ellen was in Melbourne. So she and Jack went round to Moni’s to see if she and her mum, Danielle, needed anything. There was no guessing as to whether they would be okay.

Then, Eve googled it. A car accident killing a teenage boy isn’t going to go unreported.

She found the article. It was on The Age website.

 

Two Teenage Boys Killed in Fiery Car Crash on the Princes Freeway

 

The police did not know much. What they did know, was that it had happened at 11pm on Tuesday night. Eve and her family had just finished watching a film. The police knew that the boys had lost control of the car and it had veered off the freeway and into a tree.

What Eve knows, from living in that area, is that the tree has no friends. It stands alone on the side of the freeway, nothing 10 metres either side. Just bad luck.

Eve and the mother got back in the car. They sat there. Eve sent Moni a text. She told her that she loves her and that she’d be there for anything she needed.

“I don’t believe it.” Eve said.

“Me neither.” The mother replied.

She does not remember the drive back to the house. She does remember that on their last bar of coverage, just as they reached the top of a hill, Ellen’s mother had called. Ellen must have told her. Who wouldn’t call their mum in this situation.

Eve sat silently as the mothers talked through the Bluetooth of the car. They had pulled over to the side of the road to keep coverage.

Ellen’s mother told them that because Moni, and Eve’s other friend, Phill, had been camping for a music festival, Phill’s mum had had to try and find their campsite with just a picture. So in the wee hours of the morning, Moni and Jarrod’s parents had to drive up to the middle of nowhere and tell their daughter.

$500 of expensive concert tickets down the drain. Jarrod’s a selfish bastard.

They were only 5 minutes from the Reef when the mother hung up. They trudged inside. The siblings still were not awake. So they told the father first.

“Shit. Was it that crash on the Princes Freeway?” He had asked.

“Yeah, how did you know?” The mother put her bag down and sat next to him.

“I went to the top of the hill to download the paper.”

“Oh.”

They still had to tell the siblings.

Jarrod was in Katie’s year level and she knew him well. They were each others’ first kiss, or so she says. He always denied that.

They could not believe it. Of course they couldn’t. Eve still couldn’t.

They sat down at the table, as a family, a bittersweet comparison to dinner the night before.

They had to decide if they wanted to come home early. First they were visiting some friends in Buninyong, but after that they went home. Home to Melbourne.

So that the mother could see the other mother and Eve could see her friend.

She still missed her cat, but she was in the back of Eve’s mind.

 

 

The mother and Eve arrived at Moni and Danielle’s at about 6pm Wednesday night.

They had a lot of family over; Danielle’s siblings were flying in from Perth. The house was pretty crowded. Death brings people together.

Moni told Eve the story:

“He was meant to go during the day.

“Mum told him that he could only go to that house with his friends if he went during the day and with the adult. The responsible, 30 year old adult.

“He didn’t leave with Ethan until 10.30 or something, I don’t know. Idiot.

“Ethan only just got his Ps a few days ago. The news is gonna say that he was irresponsible but he actually did 180 hours, 60 more than he needed.

“It was just bad luck.”

“Just bad luck.” Eve nodded solemnly. That would become their mantra.

“The police showed up here at about 1am. They told Mum to get Dad over, he said into the phone ‘What’s the little turd done now?’ Mum said ‘Paul, just get over here.’”

Moni swallowed. Eve hadn’t seen her cry once yet.

“The police said that Jarrod was in the passenger seat. That he and Ethan had missed the Western Ring Road turn off and Jarrod was on the phone to his mates asking for directions. His last words were, ‘oh shit’.”

“I still can’t believe it.” Moni is like Eve, she does not like being touched, but Eve put her hand on her knee anyway. Moni smiled at her.

“Mum’s a wreck.” Moni said, she glanced into the other room.

“I would be too.” Truthfully Eve was. She still couldn’t believe it.

 

 

On New Years Eve, Ellen and Jack and Eve were in Williamstown watching the fireworks. They toasted Jarrod as 2016 became their reality.

Jarrod died on Tuesday December 29th at 11pm. He was 2 weeks away from his 17th birthday. He was never going to be a dancing queen.

On Wednesday December 30th at 10am Eve realised that people are not invincible. That anything can happen. It was just bad luck.

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Workshop Critique

The story that I posted last week was workshopped in class today.

I know that my teachers will be looking at this later on in the semester but for now I just want to express how nervous I was about it.

The story, you can read it below, is basically about me. Just in a different order.

I heard the voices before I found the word for asexuality yet Dana finds it easier to talk about her sexuality before her mental illness. I have and I think I always will find it easier to talk about my mental illness before my sexuality. But that’s because in the world that we live in, here in Australia, mental illness is much more discussed and accepted as real than asexuality.

One of the aims of my story was to flip that. I wanted to bring asexuality to the forefront of the conversation and make the psychosis part of the background because that’s not at all how I experienced things.

Anyway, my class had some good ideas but I think this story is too big for a short story class.

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