Rejection #writing

I have never been one to deal well with rejection, but in the past few years I have gotten better. Rejection in romantic relationships, friendships and work life I have becoming increasingly more resilient. However, one area still cuts me to the bone and that is rejection in my life as a writer.  I think it is because when you share your writing with the world you are sharing a part of your self, your heart, this itsy bitsy piece of wordflesh that you poured hours into. It is like somebody rejecting your word baby. ‘How dare you reject my beautiful word baby with its chubby adjectives and absolutely amazing alliteration?’

Yesterday, when I didn’t place in a writing competition, I felt that pang of writerly rejection and no amount of ‘you can’t win everything’ or ‘your writing is too smart for that comp’ could make me feel better.Then I opened a new document and started writing.  I will keep writing because writing is actually what makes rejection better. The paper of my screen and the ink of my keys reminds me of the real reason that I write. Not to please others, not to win competitions but because I can’t imagine a life not doing it.

Screw you rejection.

We cannot get you back: #robinwilliams

I felt compelled today and tonight to write something about Robin Williams. I don’t know if it because my, like many others, heart was touched by someone that I never met. I don’t know if it is because I have never felt this incredibly sad about the death of someone that I never knew. But the outpouring of grief and love for someone who most people never met is overwhelming. I was overwhelmed.  I have not been able to think properly all day today.  I wanted the world to stop. Actually stop, and maybe it did actually stop, but it feels like it did not stop for long enough. Not long enough to knowledge the magnitude of this person, this amazing multilayered person who made so many people laugh and cry, that inspired people to become all sorts of things, and not just comedians. As a lecturer I often find myself thinking of Dead Poets Society and the way he inspired his students…and to me it was always Robin Williams inspiring his students…not his character John Keating…and that’s the thing really.


Robin Williams became his characters but his characters became him. He was all of his characters and his characters him.  This man of many colours built a world, an inspiring world and he brought these characters to life, and we got to share in this world, like he was an uncle.  And that is our part of the sadness. But he was a partner and a father too, and here is more sadness, a sorrow beyond sorrow for his family. People are writing of blackness that took him, which overtook him, and this too is unfathomably sad…and while we can watch movies of him, as so many of my friends are doing tonight…we cannot get him back, and that is the saddest thing of all, and after this is no longer news…we still can’t get you back Robin, and there is no cliche or movie tagline that can make the departure of such an amazingly talented human, not just an actor, but a human bearable.

Don’t be cruel #toaheartthatstrue

By Philippe Antoine from Paris, France (Flickr) [CC-BY-2.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

Someone referred to something I did the other day as both cruel and brutal. These words lingered in my brain for a few days and I kept repeating them over and over going am I cruel and brutal? I don’t think I am.  Removing myself from the act itself, I don’t, from my perspective, even think what I did was cruel, maybe brutal, but not cruel.

For anyone who knows me, you will know that I do not like to be disliked by anyone. I have this need for people (who I like, those I don’t like I don’t really care about) to like me. I don’t know why.  I realised the other day when I was asking my daughter for feedback on whether her friend had had a good time at the sleepover and if she liked everything, that my need to be liked was going too far. Anyway I digress…

These labels on my act as cruel and brutal obviously shook me a bit. It got me thinking about how people perceive of what you do. To me, I hadn’t been cruel, I had done what I thought was the right thing. I had been honest. I had been clear. I was not underhanded. But because the other person didn’t agree with me, it was a cruel act. I guess it was brutal because it was not seen coming. To me the act was felt as cruel and brutal by the other. But in the context of other acts of cruelty and brutality, these words seemed too severe for what I did.  But you can not remove someone from their own self. I wanted to say,’you don’t even know what cruel and brutal is!’ But then I guess, that is why my  act of perceived cruelty and brutality happened.

I know that we all see the world through our own lens, it’s just interesting when you realise how differently those lenses are focused…sometimes it seems that they aren’t even looking at the same world.

Up with creativity: #buymybarina

While I am on this path of blagging on about inspiring things.  I watched a great YouTuve vid/ad this morning by a creative who created an epic clip for selling his car. If you haven’t watched it watch it.

As per all YouTube postings it has come with a lot of additional commentary from the trolling masses. Mostly likes, but of course the standard ‘that would have cost way more than the car to make’, as if the person who created the video (the very attractive protagonist in the vid Mr Johns) did not think about this.

Money isn’t everything people! It is not just a great creative advert and a cool way to go about selling your old beast, but also a great display of this guy, and his colleagues skills. It’s tongue and cheek narrative, and ‘new car’ selling style is playing with the paradigm of secondhand car sales. It is also a really stylish video, cool cinematography, and sound. Clearly this guy has mad skillz…oh and I hope you sell your car.

Challenge fail: From uninspiration and inspiration

So I failed my wonder woman challenge…those following it may have noticed from the lack of updates…I think I failed because when it seemed to cease to work, I didn’t want to do it anymore. I assumed it ceased to work, but maybe I would have felt far worse on the last three days I did it if I hadn’t have done it…I think that made sense.

My  #notsoepicfail made me feel disenfranchised (again) with my inability to follow through with projects or achieve the multitude of goals I set out…not that I am supposed to set goals, as this messes with my chi.  So I set myself up for failure. Self fulfilling prophecies and all that garb.

Uninspiration comes from constant disappointment. Constant disappointment comes from goal setting. Goal setting is evil for perfectionists who feel anxious about not achieving goals…and the cycle continues.

So I am trying to head to this values driven life and goal setting gets in the way, and failure gets in the way because when I pull out of something that is quite important – like the job interview I just withdrew from – I feel like a failure, even though I did it to align my life with my values.  Why do we feel so bad about doing something that aligns with our soul yet seems illogical? I think it comes down to worrying what others think. Why would Ange pull out of something that is so suited to her and that will pay those all important bills when she is about to lose her other job? Because I have never felt happy walking the paths of others, and I guess in recent years I felt that I have been living the life others have wanted me to lead.

Yesterday, I was privy to an event that was inspirational. My dad at 63 on stage, with his older brother and another fine musician took to the stage to perform gypsy jazz, a genre my dad – a musician by passion and trade – has been working on for years. I watched my dad play a concert to 250+ people, where he performed the works of Django Reinhardt and those artists inspired by Django. While he was full of nerves, it didn’t show, because he passion shone through as the audience gazed at his fingers slide, pick, strum and twill the neck of his guitar. Like three 1930s French gyspies performing by their caravan, their guitars told a story, which filled the ears of a 2014 audience in a theatre in Subicao, Western Australia. To live a life full of passion, to fill people’s hearts with joy, to take a 90 year old back to her youth or bring a smile and a hand clap to a crying toddler, that is inspirational.  To see someone’s passion live and be enjoyed and to see that person feel that fear of failure, and yet push through that and perform, that is inspirational.

The uninspirational things in life are just unimportant stuff and yet I give it some much mental time and space. The world tells us to be one thing, and our hearts often another. I think I am going to try and go with the heart from now on.



10 things I hate about…

…list of 10 things, or 5 things…just numbered lists.  You know the ones: Five ways to stop bloating, 7 reasons why everybody at works hate you and the latest one I read today 10 celebrities who cannot grow a beard. In recent months, I do not think I have gone a day without reading another list of things that didn’t really need to be in a numbered list. Have our attention spans reduced so much that we now need everything in a numbered list format? Or does it make it more fun? Or achievable…if I do/acknowledge these things I will be saved from: bloating, hatred and celebrities without beards.  Well, as I am never one to shy away from a bandwagon, here is my list of 10 things that I hate about numbered lists.

1. They’re stupid

2. Who decides on the number?

3. They’re repetitive, just saying the same thing numerous times using different words

4. They’re dumb

5. They’re often for really inane topics

6. They try to come across as scientific facts…(I like to think all these facts come from the Ponds institute)

7. They have taken list numbers that are not multiples of 5…which makes them seem intriguing and believable…I mean why would you stop at 7 things instead of 10, unless there must only be 7 ways to stop bloating.

8. They signify that the public will spend time reading about lists of people who wear/have/own/grow a very specific thing

9. They make s me feel like I MUST know about lists of people who wear/have/own/grow a very specific thing

10. They make me waste my time on thinking and writing lists about why people write stupid numbered lists about unimportant drive…and that you are now reading.

Day 3: Writing like a boss

My mum thinks my WW power pose must be working…I think that this is because I have finally been able to finish the first draft of a chapter I have been writing for a very long time.  It was truly a wondrous, exhilarating moment. Things honestly are feeling less hard to tackle, so not less hard while I am doing them, but less hard to approach…let’s see if I can keep this momentum up as I enter Dry July!

The truth will out!

I was walking through campus today and I saw this poster, not sure what it was for, that said ‘be yourself!’

That got me thinking…how come we need to be told to be ourselves? I look at my kids and I couldn’t possibly see how they could be anything but their little eccentric selves. They are full of self, and I find myself constantly telling people about their awesome personalities and the things that they love doing. Lily loves everything artsy and crafty, as well as maths and science and wants to be like Leonardo DaVinci who covered all of these things.  Oliver loves all that is food, eating it, cooking it, watching cooking shows and reading recipe books.  He thinks he is already famous (Jamie Oliver has HIS name) and when he grows up he tells me he wants to be a chef…or a Transformer.

I always have these mini psych sessions with myself in my brain – I’m both patient and doctor- and ask myself questions like: Ange, if you could live your life again, what would you do differently? To which I answered: I would have never stopped playing my guitar after my band broke up in high school and I would have completed a fine arts degree. That’s it.  That is it. They are the only things I would do differently.   Everything else has made me the person that I am today, and I hope that for the most part I am my-self.  Music and creating art have always been my passion, and anyone who knows me, knows that if you ask me what I want to be when I grow up I will always answer with: rock star! This is something that has never wavered…yet here I sit as an academic, and don’t get me wrong I love to teach my proverbial ass off…because I love to perform. But if you told me to be myself I would just as quick run to a  stage to sing you my version of Mustang Sally and then make you a vintage dress.

I just wonder when in life that sense of self is overpowered by a sense of someone else’s self. When we decide, for whatever reason, that being our self isn’t good enough.  I wonder this, because my parents always supported me and told me I could be whatever I wanted to be…so I don’t know why it is that at some point my mind decided that this person that I wanted to be wasn’t good enough. As Mr Weasley says ‘the truth will out!’…and it does and it has…The musician/artist isn’t a life that hasn’t been lead by me, or a path I didn’t take…because it is me.  It is just a part of my self that has yet to grace the stage, as it is still rehearsing.

Anyway, this is kind of a self indulgent blog, but I think it is a lot harder to be yourself, until you know what that self is.  There is a difference between performing a version of the self and being yourself, and often we perform the version that we think is safe, and not the actual self.

Day 2: I even wore the right pyjamas

…I think I should be taking pictures of these stances.  For my second day, I had stayed over at my parents, so as soon as I woke up, I put my timer on and stood there in in the warmth of my Avenger onesie – tall, straight and looking up at the yellow room I was in.  I looked around at the cornices and admired the painting job I had completed on that room.  I was lost in thought of what a lovely colour yellow is, smiling away when my phone buzzed and I had finished.

I had a great day, so much fun and music and singing and trying to put a date on vintage gear at the fair! Again, I don’t know if it is knowing that I am doing a power pose that is affecting my mood…or if it is actually working.  I guess I haven’t faced a really stressful situation yet, so I’m yet to see its full affects.