Last Year of Uni (Hopefully)

Hello and welcome back. Or should you be welcoming me back?

I took a break from blogging over the Christmas and New Year period so that I could concentrate on projects around the house.

This bird spa area, for example.

Bird spa.

Bird spa.

A few months ago, I noticed finches were nesting in the hedges. After realising that one small feeder that I hung from the clothes line wasn’t enough, I decided to make a bird spa. I finished this a few weeks ago. The new residents love it.

Back to School

This will be my fourth year of a three-year university degree, simply because I decided to split my final year up so that I could work at the same time. This proved an amazing decision, and has helped me save, has seen my partner move in (we’re living by ourselves now), and has helped me begin to put my stamp on the house (see above photo).

Now, I only have one class to complete and two internships to find. Good luck to me.

This semester I will be taking Novel and Memoir, and hopefully secure a place in an internship that a past lecturer has put my name down for.

Next semester I will (again hopefully) find another internship in the publishing industry, after which I will have completed my undergraduate degree. Hooray!

I will keep you posted.

Until next time

One Year Ago Today

One year ago today I created this blog.

One year ago today I created this blog to get a handle on using WordPress before creating another blog for assessment.

One year ago today I didn’t expect to become so invested in writing something almost no one reads.

Growing a readership is hard, and keeping it is even harder.

This semester at university in Online Journalism I am learning about blogging for business and creating a loyal online following.

Although my blog is still chump change in the grand scheme of online content, I have more readers, subscribers, and followers now than I did one year ago today.

One thing I have learnt from skating, university, blogging, and life is that if you feel you are getting nowhere, you are still further along than where you were a month ago, a year ago, five years ago.

Motivation and confidence is all about being able to see the big picture, and although it’s cliched I’m going to say it, because it’s a cliche for a reason.

Keeps your eyes on the prize.

Birthday Celebrations

You know you had a good birthday when it was on Tuesday and you’re still celebrating on Saturday night.

Overall I’ve had a pretty good week. The down side of work was outweighed by my being paid to do it, and of course my birthday, and university.

On Monday night I took a cake down to my skating club and celebrated with Hannah, my friend who was born two minutes after I was. I was really excited to see people who I haven’t seen in a while because of my injury, especially since I’m used to seeing them at least twice each week.

Hagrid

Six-inch Hagrid figurine.

On Tuesday I woke up with my boyfriend and opened presents from him and his parents. He bought me a six-inch Hagrid, books, and another Pandora charm. His parents bought me a book voucher.

Dad came home from work and I opened his card to me and we hugged each other and tried not to cry.

Paul then left for a job site tour, which followed an interview last week. Unfortunately he got a call during the week and they’re no longer hiring, but yesterday he had an interview at Mum’s work and is going for a medical Tuesday.

After Paul left, I went and spent the morning with my horses.

horses

My pony, Lucky, on the left, and Mum’s horse, Rufnutt.

When I came home, I did a kinesiological stretching DVD courtesy of EasyFlexibility, and then started getting ready for uni.

As I arrived at uni around lunchtime, I doubted whether I would find a park anywhere near my classes, but I had the most amazing parking luck at the expense of someone else. And I ain’t even mad.

On my third visit to a parking lot, I drove in in front of a car who gave way to me before they began another lap to look for a park.

Exit their luck. Enter my luck.

I turned a corner and a girl walked to her car and started the engine. I quickly indicated and reversed to let her out, before driving into her freshly vacated spot. Meanwhile, the courteous driver who let me in just suffer majorly. They continue circled for around 10 minutes post my “taking” their park.

I had a feeling they were glaring at me every time they passed as I was organising my books and leaving. I know I would have.

flowers

Beautiful flowers from the boyfriend.

Anyway, after an enjoyable day at uni in my Writing and Publishing Industry class, I headed home in peak-hour traffic, which has lessened considerably thanks to the new Legacy Way tunnel.

I was tired. I was hungry.

And I came home to these flowers.

Thanks to my amazing boyfriend.

He also bought me sushi.

That night, I had my birthday dinner at my grandparents house, with Paul, my mother, aunty, uncle, and great grandmother.

Here’s the amazingly delicious cake Mum bought me.

birthday cake

My amazing mud cake from the Cheesecake Shop.

I also received a ballet class gift card and electric beaters from my aunty, and lots of birthday money to put towards skating from everyone else. Oh, and some more flowers from Mum.

dinner

Dinner.

Yesterday I received a card and a cheque from my great uncle. I just keep getting presents!

Last night Paul took me out to dinner and we had a lovely, quiet night together.

He’s my favourite human.

I love spending time with him.

And now I’m preparing for tonight – a movie night with a small group of my close friends to top off a great week.

On the bill: Harry Potter and Deathly Hallows Part 1 and 2. Homemade popcorn and all.

20150822_155830[2]

Preparing for the guests.

So there’s my week. I hope you’ve had a good one, and enjoy your night as well.

James Patterson Writing Tips and Inspiration

Award-winning author James Patterson yesterday engaged in an Ask Me Anything, a live online Q&A, facilitated by audible, during which he answered burning questions and bestowed some writing wisdom.

James Patterson gave fans and aspiring writers alike advice on how to tell a good story. Photo source.

James Patterson gives fans and aspiring writers advice on how to tell a good story. Photo source.

An avid reader and aspiring writer myself, I was excited to wake at 5am and discover that Patterson was holding an Ask Me Anything in a few minutes time.

I quickly tweeted some questions and continued with my morning routine, my eyes glued to my phone.

Amazingly, one of my questions was one of the first he answered, and he imparted this keynote.

We hear it all the time: plan your writing before you write. And it makes sense that thoroughly planning your writing will make the process easier.

But learning the extent to which such a prolific author plans his work was both terrifying and inspiring; this seems like a lot of work, but where would Patterson be without all of that work?

And his seemingly never-ending list of published and planned works says it all. (See his complete list of books here.)

His driven mindset also says a lot and accounts for his high productivity.

“On to the next one!” he said when Twitter user @MahmoodKhan24 asked how he felt after finishing a book.

But it wasn’t all smooth sailing for Patterson, whose first book publishers rejected so many times it puts J.K. Rowling’s reported 12 knock-backs to shame.

Patterson told me on Twitter that he didn’t aspire to become a writer until his earlier twenties, going on to publish his first book at the age of 27, and giving all the fresh-out-of-school writing majors some serious hope.

He fell seriously in love with the craft, telling @LovelyAlexeus that he never tires of writing.

“Writing has never felt like a job to me. I do it every single day,” he said.

Although known for his success in the crime, thriller, and murder mystery genres, Patterson is also an advocate for children’s reading and an author to several kid’s and young adult series.

He didn’t have to change his writing style for the different age groups, but he told me he did tone down on the mature content.

“My main goal is to get readers to keep turning the page,” he said. “The kids’ books are funnier and not as mature.”

No matter what style or genre of writing you choose to explore, Patterson has some top notch advice on the most important part of writing.

“Pacing. You need to keep the story moving,” he said to @SloggettRyan. “Leave your readers hungry for more.”

One final piece of advice for aspiring writers? The same old, same old, making me think it actually does carry some truth.

Invitation to join Golden Key

The Golden Key International Honour Society is a worldwide organisation for high-achieving students.

As stated in the letter of invitation I would have received, had the university addressed it correctly.

During the week I received a letter with my address on it, but with someone else’s name.

As I work at Australia Post, I know it is an offence to open another’s mail, so I slipped it back into a post box with “RTS” written on it.

The letter was in fact for me, as I found out through an email of apology on Friday.

Attached to the email was the letter, informing me that my excellent university results had earned me eligibility to join Golden Key.

At first I was confused, as I had never heard of this organisation, but after reading further and visiting their website, I was elated.

Golden Key has been working with Queensland University of Technology since 1996 to recognise and reward high achieving students in the top 15% of their studies and membership is by invitation only.

From the information sheet I received

That it is an honour to be invited to join a society that accepts members via invitation only is an understatement. I cannot describe how proud I am to be recognised as a high-achieving student.

This is a testament to the benefit of dedication and hard work.

Look forward to daily blogs

So I have established a blogging schedule for myself, and for you of course.

You can now look forward to…

 

Monday: Writing prompt

Tuesday: Grammatically correct song lyrics (look out for a description coming soon)

Wednesday: KWB303 Writing and Publishing lecture blog post

Thursday: Writing prompt

Friday: KJB222 Online Journalism assessment blog post

Saturday/Sunday: Other observations/thoughts/ideas/experiences etc

 

This schedule kicks off next Monday, which is the day before my birthday!