Hilarious video clip featuring ‘Torn’

Sunday morning, David Prosser’s blog and this:

The Aussies out there will remember Natalie Imbruglia, but I bet you’ve never seen her quite like this! As for David Armand …the man’s a genius. :)

Enjoy the rest of your day, I know I will.

Meeks


So close to being proud of the ANZACs

Just watched the documentary about the Australia Light Horse, and the impossible feats of bravery they pulled off in the Middle East during the First World War. Horses and men with a bond closer than brothers. Horses like Bill the Bastard who carried five, FIVE aussie soldiers to safety because his rider asked him to.

I was just about crying with pride for Bill the Bastard. And then, at the end I really did cry because the government’s reward for loyalty and bravery was to shoot 740 horses that were too old to be sold at a profit.

These were horses that had fought alongside our soldiers during the war, enduring incredible privation – because their riders asked them to. These horses were heroes. But while sending aussie horses to the Middle East was considered a reasonable expense, bringing the survivors home was not.

Not a single Australian horse was brought home.

I cry for the soldiers – what could they do? Some gave their beloved four-footed brothers the coup de grace with love. Most had to live with the knowledge that their partner for so many years was ‘just a horse’, ‘just a commodity’, just a liability on some horrendous profit and loss statement.

Yes, let’s honour the true ANZACs tomorrow at the dawn service. They deserve it, but do not for one moment honour any of the politicians who send living beings to war as if they were just so much chaff, and then act like used car salesmen trying to avoid after sales service.

Lest we forget.


Innerscape Part 1 on Wattpad

Some of you may remember a story I posted a couple of years back – hot off the Nanowrimo 2012 press – called Innerscape?

-cough- Well, for the odd one out there who does remember, I’ve finally finished the whole damn thing. Some parts are still the same, which is a bit of a miracle, but the whole thrust of the story has changed. There are a gazillion new characters, not to mention a proper plot complete with an evil corporation and a red-headed villain-ess.

There is also love, quite a bit of it actually, but I would not call the story a romance.

And finally there are questions about right and wrong and the slippery, grey area in between the two. I’m still wrestling with those questions and I won’t be able to write a sequel until I find some answers that ‘feel’ right to me. Your feedback on that score will be very welcome.

Okay, on a more technical note, the story is quite long, and unlike anything else I’ve ever written before, it demanded to be told in parts. There are currently 7 of them. They range in size from 10,000 words to over 20,000 so I recognize that size could be an issue [no pun intended!]

The number of parts will probably be an issue as well. Initially, I would like to publish Innerscape as a serial, with each part going live as I finish final edits [based on beta reader feedback]. But even if I charge $1 or 99c for each part, the total cost is still outrageous – i.e. $7 for the whole lot.

Pricing is even more of a thorny issue given that I will eventually publish a sort of omnibus of the entire series. One possible option is to publish two parts at once, which would work for the shorter ones but would not work for the novella length ones.

-sigh- More feedback needed!

And now, finally, I’ll get to the Wattpad part. Wattpad is a site that aims to bring readers and writers together. The way they do this is by providing a forum for aspiring writers to post some or all of their writing. For free. Readers then check it out and provide feedback. That, at least, is the theory.

As many of you have already read the Nano version of Innerscape, I wanted to provide the new, improved first part for free. Amazon, however, does not like putting things up for perma-free so I thought Wattpad might be the perfect solution.

If you’re interested, you can find all of Part 1, Induction [15 chapters, approx. 22K words] at:

http://www.wattpad.com/myworks/38111538-innerscape,-part-1,-induction

The reader side of the Wattpad interface is quite nice, with an automatically generated table of contents, chapter sizes and tags. The writer side I’m not too thrilled by as the interface doesn’t feel at all intuitive, but that could just be because it isn’t like Word or the WordPress editor or even my beloved StoryBox. Nevertheless, it does get the job done so if you like the idea of Wattpad then give it a try.

[I’m no expert but if anyone’s stuck I’ll be happy to post a quick how-to].

Now, the downside of all this is that to read my story on Wattpad you will have to sign up for Wattpad. I’m sorry, and I will understand if you don’t want to sign up to one more website. We’re all suffering from social media overload! That said, if you do read Part 1, I will obviously love you forever. :D

cheers

Meeks


LITTLE WORLD,GOODBYE

acflory:

A big picture view of our times from someone who has seen the world change, almost beyond recognition.

Originally posted on The English Professor at Large:

At this stage of my life, I know I know nothing……except that the world is drastically changing. The United States is changing into a country that is foreign to me. When I was a teenager, we were engaged in WW2, but the United States was united. People pulled together to sacrifice, to learn to do without, to use ration books, to worry together about our friends and family overseas, some in Europe, some in the South Pacific, or about a bomb attack when the air raid sirens screamed.  At the beginning of the war, I lived in New York. During the last years, I lived in California, so I experienced both coast’s qualms and fears. we all did something. I was a volunteer in the American Women’s Hospital Reserve Corps in NY, volunteering at a hospital during the summers. My father gave blood once a month. My mother knitted for…

View original 430 more words


“..live my days instead of counting my years..”

Carpe diem by any other name smells as sweet*, and yet those lyrics from Dusty Springfield’s song ‘Going Back’ literally made me shiver.

Of course we have to live in the now. The ‘now’ is all we truly have. Our talk of the past and the future is just the naked ape trying to make sense of the world. The past only exists in our memories, and the future belongs to our imagination. So three cheers for the Now. But the Now can be wasted, trivialized, spent on small pleasures while the big ones gather dust.

I’ve always been fascinated by the concept of time, but never more so than now, now that I’m getting older with so much still to do. I don’t know how many productive years I have left, but knowing they are finite is like a hand on my back, pushing me forwards, making me strive, making me want to create something of lasting value.

I know I’m not alone. Every Baby Boomer who sets out to do something – no matter what that may be – is feeling the same way, which is why I think that counting our years is the one, positive thing about ageing.

So no, Dusty, I don’t want to go back; I just wish I’d started sooner. Youth really is wasted on the young.**

My thanks to David Prosser for sharing this great video clip and kick starting my bout of philosophy! [In other words, this is all his fault. :D]

Happy Sunday from Downunder,

Meeks

*A deliberate misquote from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.

What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;

**There is some debate as to who first came up with the quote about youth being wasted on the young. Some sources cite George Bernard Shaw while others believe it was actually Oscar Wilde. I don’t really care; it’s just a great quote.


For whom the guitar strings toll as I play

acflory:

I wish I’d thought of this. Listen to the music while you read the post. :)

Originally posted on Colinology:

The common acoustic guitar is actually one of the oldest instruments we know of. There are stone carvings of long-necked instruments with wooden sound boxes which are thousands of years old. For instance, in Alaca Huyuk in Turkey there’s carving of a Hittite playing the instrument.

The name of the instrument comes to us from Sanskrit. and Arabic. Chartarra in Old Persian means ‘four strings’ and in Arabic it became Qithara, which became Guitarra in Spanish through the influence of the Moors. It was the Italians, of course, who departed from the original form of four strings to have five, six, and up to twelve.

So, when I sit down to plonk out my tunes on my trusty Ibanez, I’m connecting with history in a real way. Through the name, through the form, and through the music, I connect with all the guitar players throughout history – whether they entertained…

View original 724 more words


Amazon giveaway featuring Laurie Boris!

Okay, I admit it, I had no idea Amazon did giveaways so I’m rather excited, and you should be too you’ve heard me rave about Laurie Boris’ work before. Now’s your chance to win ‘The Joke’s on Me’, her first book.

I pinched the following from Laurie as she’s better at describing things than me:

Here’s the link where you can get the details. If you’re not already following me on Twitter (@LaurieBoris), you’ll need to do that first. Hit the linkage and Amazon will get you started.

https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/9298c948fc19074a#ln-ln

Now, I’ve never used one of Amazon’s giveaways before, so if you choose to play, I’d love to know your opinions about it. The giveaway ends April 14th or when all the books are won, whichever comes first.

I’ve read ‘The Jokes on Me’ and really enjoyed it, so if you’re in the US, why not give this easy competition a go?

-cough- And if you win, you can tell all of us how it works. -cough-

cheers

Meeks


Phishing SCAM! – Apple iTunes

No, this is not a scam by Apple, it’s a scam pretending to be Apple. And, apart from a few small giveaways, it could almost be genuine :

SCAM apple itunesThe email came to the correct email address, but as you can see, ‘they’ didn’t know my real name so the message is just addressed to ‘Dear Customer’. That’s dead giveaway no. 1.

The grammar and spelling isn’t quite right. ‘…from the iTunes Store on a Apple Iphone…’ Dead giveaway no. 2. Apple can’t afford to make errors like these in official correspondence.

The trickiest clue, however, is in the URL [internet address] provided as the link.

The real URL for Apple support is :

https://http://www.apple.com/au/support/itunes/contact/  [the orange colour is for emphasis only].

The bogus URL is :

SCAM apple itunes URL

[Note: To ensure that no one accidentally clicks on that URL, I took a ‘picture’ of it instead of typing it in. Pictures contain no clickable information.]

It you look at the two addresses you can see obvious differences. Unfortunately, first impressions are quite powerful and even I had to check that URL by going to the official Apple website.

Another tricky thing about that bogus URL is that it does not mention having to sign in to anything, which is normally another dead giveaway. However, clicking on the URL could do 1 of 2 things :

1. it could take you to an Apple lookalike site where you are asked to enter login details, or

2. it could take you to a site that will load malware [or worse] onto your computer.

So quite a clever scam. If anyone knows more about it I’d love to hear in comments.

cheers

Meeks


Happy Easter :)

I always feel a little odd wishing people a happy Easter – after all, I am an atheist. Nevertheless, I want to be a part of this celebration of good will. The world is so full of hate and violence, it desperately needs the balance of good will to keep us all sane.

So…Happy Easter to those who believe and those who don’t. Goodwill towards your fellow human is never wasted. :D

cheers

Meeks


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