Saturday, July 02, 2005

I have moved!

Benjamin Solah's Writing Corner and Benjamin Solah's blog have moved to and

while some pages and the design are still being worked on, the blog is ready to go except for the header picture. I wont be posting here anymore so head over to the new place.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Coming Soon -

I bought and some hosting last night and I now I have my own real website, yes a real one. If you go to it, it's only a construction page I put up today. I'm a fair way through the re-design, but I have to wait to get new photos too.

Also, this blog is moving *sniff sniff* to WordPress, but I'm having a tought time getting it to work.


Thursday, June 30, 2005

Just a quote

I'm busy writing an essay that is due tomorrow, because I've spent that last week pottering around it without getting into the meat. So I thought I'd leave you with a quote, from yes I'm afraid so, Stephen King, 'the literary equivalent of a Big Mac and Fries.' It has some sort of truth with myself.

"People want to know why I do this, why I write such gross stuff. I like to tell them I have the heart of a small boy... and I keep it in a jar on my desk." - Stephen King

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

A boost back to blogging

chilout : children out of detention

I told you all about my article a few weeks ago that was published in 'The Rights of Man' Quarterly. Well it was mentioned at the above link on For those who do not who ChilOut are, they are a major advocacy group for refugee rights and to be added to their articles archive is a very big deal. After Brad's post I wasn't feeling too good, but after this and a call from my aunty about how much she loved my website I'm feeling much better.

Tonight I registered my domain name and have begun to think about the redesign for the new site.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Blogger in Limbo

In light of last weeks post at Blog'd, I've been taking a break from Blogging. In response to claims that I cannot handle criticism, let me say this. Brad's post was not criticism but nothing more than cheap slander that hides his own insecurities as a person. Honestly, I've been hurt by this.

I may or may not return to blogging, but for now I'd rather not.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Hawthorne Manor

Hawthorne Manor

Warning: This topic may be limited to the realm of the nerds

I found this site last night after reading an article for university about text-based role play games and the relation to the idea of the self. I was curious, as a writer, to find out how I might come across such a game and found this place. You create a 'character' and describe your interactions with other characters through words and it is an extremely good exercise for creative minds. This role-play is based in a haunted house. If you're not too ashamed at entering the realm of the nerds than go check it out.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Vote for my new domain

Thank you to The Scribe for recommending @smartartist as an Australian web server that can be paid monthly by cheque and accomodates for wordpress.

Now for the domain name. I have put a poll to the right with the choices I have, please make other suggestions if need be.

A .net/.com without the f***ing credit card

Again I have brought my mind back to the subject of buying .com and some paid web space with no ads and no pop-up and it will be all mine. I occasionally browse the web and have found some great prices for domain names and hosting. The domain names I am after are available and quite accessible. But there is a fucking problem. I cannot get a domain or hosting package because I don’t have a ‘debt collector’ i.e. a fucking credit card. I have the money to pay for this because of the great prices going around at the moment, but cannot pay for it without some stupid bit of plastic that I can’t get and I don’t want.

If someone could find me, or knows of a hosting/domain company that…
- Is preferably Australian
- Has a hosting package that can be used with wordpress
- Doesn’t have to pay via credit card
- Can be paid monthly, preferably

Is it that hard?

VSU to be crushed by defectors.

Student union bill in peril as Nats defy PM - National -

The watertight destruction of the working class in the bloody hands of John Howard has seemed to spring some leaks. First there were reports that a Queensland Nation senator may cross the floor on Howard’s attempt to destroy unions, and destroy the rights of workers.

Now, another two more senators from the National party, with many more to follow, may block another one of Howard’s attacks, the removal of Student unionism. Student Unionism which is the basis of extra curricular funding, student’s rights and the political voice of students would be removed under the new legislation and replaced by a controversial voluntary system which would see the decline of the student voice. This sign that VSU (Voluntary Student Unionism) and the destruction of unions will not go ahead due to defecting senators is very promising, and we can, in part, thank to people who have lobbied for these causes, just like the refugee activists have.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Why I hate McDonalds

I’ve done a complete boycott of McDonalds and have adamantly opposed their stores because of various issues. I just watched the documentary on the McLibel case and thought it the appropriate time to state my case.

McDonalds exploits workers, the environment and burrows into people’s minds, especially children with their dishonest forms of advertising. For some people these points are blatantly obvious for others you either don’t care or refuse to see it.

The majority of McDonalds workers are kids. As kids are the targets of much of this giant’s advertising it’s quite logical that their workforce consists of children sucked in by their propaganda. Their pay is abhorrent, they have no conditions and they are basically disposable workers because they have no access to unions and, as casual workers, have no protection against unfair dismissal.

The environment is a major casualty because of the ethics, or lack of therefore, from McDonalds. The amount of packaging that they produce is disturbing. For every customer that ‘eats in,’ the cashier places a piece of paper that covers the tray, this piece of paper is not used except for advertising and is thrown out after consumption. This is to avoid washing up, which means less workload, less employees, more profit. Even more so disturbing is the clearing of rainforests from contractors to McDonalds. This company is the biggest producer of beef products in the world, and in order to accommodate they clear rainforests in poor South American countries to produce more beef for a cheap price and more profit and at a huge cost to our environment.

It is now certain that through hit documentaries such as ‘Super size me’ that McDonalds is bad for you, but McDonalds advertising does not reflect this. The subliminal message of McDonalds sponsoring children’s sporting events and having big name sports stars in their advertising campaign misleads the consumer into believing it’s ok and healthy to eat McDonalds.

Now after stating my argument against McDonalds I would like to make it clear that it’s not just McDonalds who are responsible for bad practices in the interest of profits. Most, if not all, major fast food companies employ these abhorrent tactics. It is because McDonalds heads this assault and it’s major influence that it is targeted and not unfairly in the least.


Coming home from Tafe on the train I was reading ‘IT,’ by Stephen King. At the current chapter, Ben Hanscom was in the library and Pennywise the clown has confronted him. Pennywise was standing at the top of some iron steps with blood dripping in pools down to the bottom. I came home and opened the fridge to be greeted by a pool of blood. Freaky? Some meat in a plastic bag had leaked and left it everywhere much to my amusement, but weird all the same.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Joker woman needs to get a life

Woman sues Stephen King over Misery character - Books - Entertainment

A woman claims she is Stephen King's inspiration for the sadistic nurse from 'Misery.' The suit is a hoax as she has not stated how he allegedly pilfered her personal diaries to create the character. Its a bit of a laugh because in 1991 the same woman claimed King stole manuscripts from her and her brother.

The problem with elitist reviews

I just bought ‘Foo Fighters – In your honor’ and ‘Element Eighty’ yesterday before the protest for World Refugee Day. I thought I’d review them here but first I decided I’d check out how some of the pros review albums and I was once again hit with disappointment. Why are reviewers so damn picky?

This does not limit itself to music, but to movies as well. I enjoyed ‘In your honor,’ and the guy at HMV agreed, saying ‘It’s really really good!’ But ‘Rolling Stone’ mocked it, making childish comments about being too cliché with ‘The Foo fighters’ grungy style. It really pisses me off when you can like something and then the reviewers rip it to shit. They rarely give good reviews and seem to live in this elitist culture that never seems to reflect the masses.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

PM caves in, but the policy still remains

Rebel lib admits defeat on core demand - National -

Refugee advocates have welcomed the Prime Minister's changes to the policy of mandatory detention, but we are not happy with the way things have turned out as this may have an effect to quiet the issue down. Rebel backbencher, Petro Georgiou admitted defeat, abeit the changes, because the system of mandatory detention still remained. Senator Bob Brown called the changes 'crumbs,' and he said it did not lessen the need for the bills to be passed - despite Georgiou backing down.

As activists we cannot spit on the changes but also the policy is still there. People are still being locked up and the changes are just a means to shut us up, and unfortunatly for Mr. Howard this will not happen.

The idea that children are being released into the community is a falacy. They will be placed into a hostel environment and these children and their families will still be in a detention environment, with constant monitoring from immigration guards.

The problem with the changes is the effect it will have on public opinion. People may now gain the impression that the problem is over, but it is far from it. On Sunday, there will be a protest to mark world refugee day at Hyde park - stay tuned for a report on this.

Friday, June 17, 2005

10,000 visitors

source: screenshot courtesy of myself Posted by Hello

10,000 visitors to my blog since August 28, 2004!!!

I would just like thank everyone who visited my site, including all the guys from BlogExplosion

Novel Update: First Draft - Chapter Ten

Word Count: 23,525

I managed to get in a few word tonight, about 300. It’s amazing how in some parts you can ramble for thousands of words and the story doesn’t turn (this is not necessarily a bad thing) and then one paragraph can you lead you in an unexpected direction. Well, I’m still working on the synopsis so I didn’t exactly know where I was heading – now I do – for the moment. Also I have worked an opportunity for a complex part of my character’s personality to become severely apparent, this is real exciting.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Who isn't willing to negotiate?

Australian hostage, Douglas Wood is free from his Iraqi captors and he is in good health, this may be due to the captors responding to negotiations with a Muslim cleric to medicate him.

Now at the beginning of this ordeal, Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr 'Dumb-ass' Downer said that these kinds of people do not respond to negotiations, but Prime Minister Howard, Downer's party leader won't allow his own party to have a free vote on the mandatory detention policy.

So, who's willing to negotiate?


from “To be that self which one truly is”: A therapist’s view of personal goals.

...Ernest Hemingway was surely aware that "good writers do not write like this," But fortunately he moved toward being Hemingway, being himself, rather than some one else's conception of a good writer.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

New Forum topics

Well, the forum is fairly empty at the moment. So I've posted some new topics to get people going. Remember you do not need to be a member to post something, only to start threads and be heaps cooler than other people , so pop over to and say something.

New topics include:
  • What are you writing?
  • What blogging platform do you use
  • A debate thread for the refugee issue and
  • 'Too chessy' in the romance section

A human being or an economic relationship?

China interrogated detainees - National -

The corruption and lies from the immigration department continue to worsen. There are now strong reports that the department put many Chinese asylum seekers into isolation and allowed Chinese officials to interrogate them. The Chinese* are well known for their terrible human rights record and these people have fled that, and for the government to allow Chinese officials to interrogate them, gaining information such as family, is a gross neglect of our duty of care to Asylum seekers.

This once again proves that our regard for human beings is much lower than the regard for economic relationships, and it adds to the furore of the Chen Asylum case where the government have discouraged Chen from seeking his right to political Asylum in Australia. We cannot leave these people out in the dark, they want democracy and so they are coming here. We see politicians ramble on about so-called freedom and democracy in Iraq, and then they turn their back on people who really need our help.

*China is not Communist or Socialist, it is state-capitalist and a police state.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Shoutbox Wisdom

I just became a member of ‘Shout Box wisdom’ a blog from users of the BlogExplosion ‘shout box,’ basically a little chat feature. So pop over and check out some rants from bloggers -

Monday, June 13, 2005


I have spoken before on the problem of writer’s block and it is because I am stressed in some other area of my life. I have hit a dry patch once again and it relates to study. I think it all comes to down to balancing your lives, which is something some of my readings have touched on tonight in a fair bit of depth. I had concerns at the beginning that related to my commitment to study and I have evaluated to reasons for poor study. If I cannot fully grasp an idea I am less likely to be motivated. I need to break up my tasks as not to become overwhelmed by what is ahead of me, interchange between activities such as reading and then writing.

Concentration has been a big factor. I live in a reasonably loud house with my parents and three sisters. My room can only shut out the noise so much and music can just become a different distraction if it is something that is exciting. Coldplay is very relaxing music that keeps my mind on the task ahead.

Exercise is needed to break up the mental work in which I am doing constantly. Everything for me is mental, writing, study, politics and I need time to exercise my body and switch my mind off for a while.

These ideas are all well and good written down, I need to put them into practice and work harder, and I am sure once I am at peace with my study, my writing will pick up.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Howard makes concessions, but the problem is still there.

Detention report pressures Howard - National -

The Prime Minister, Johnny “Steal from the poor and give to rich” Howard has made some concessions to his abhorrent immigration detention system prior to a commissioner’s report on the detention centres. Howard has shut down the controversial isolation unit at Baxter detention centre, and will increase psychiatric care at the centres, plus other minor changes. If these people were not locked up they wouldn’t need psychiatric care. Though they are improving conditions in the hellholes, the evil fundamentals are still there. These people, who have done nothing wrong, are still being locked up. I suspect Howard doesn’t care at all for these people, but instead is making concessions to shut up the media and the activist groups who see this policy as one that will be looked back on with shame, similar to the way The Stolen generation and the white Australia policy was seen. I’ve got news for you Mr. Howard we will not shut up until the system of mandatory detention is abolished, completely.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Novel Update: Planning

I’ve been working one a one-page synopsis for my novel tonight. This a way to get the main story out in the open, so I know where it’s going and it will iron out any holes in the story. I’ve done about ¼ of a page, which is ok. It might be over a page, but it’s ok.

People have asked me to publish the synopsis on here. I’m sorry but the short answer is no. Although, I would like to show some of the interested readers what I’m writing, it’s just too risky. Anyone could come perusing through here and think, ‘hey that’s a great idea,’ and take it. I will show some of close friends, but it’s not up for public show.

Also I’ve given the Novel a working title – Hadeon. Its a Ukrainian name meaning destroyer and it's also the name of one of my main characters. I came up with it when I was dreaming of having my novel published and that’s what it was called. Though, it wasn’t a good dream. I only published the first draft and was worried that it would be crap. Weird.

Better get back to work.

Enough is Enough!

On June 10 last year the Human rights commission released a report titled ‘A last resort,’ it spanned over 1000 pages of evidence about the conditions inside these vile prisons in which we lock men, women and children for the crime of seeking help from our ‘decent and compassionate country.’ The report called for immediate release of all children from immigration detention for fears it could inflict irreversible mental and psychical harm. The government’s response was a one-page press release and a kick in the guts for morality in this country.

One year on and there are still children in detention. Some children have lived there their whole lives and never seen outside these cages. Yesterday, ChilOut with hundreds of concerned citizens gathered at Martin place to mark one year of the government doing nothing. John Howard claims that the election victory is founded on the policy of keeping children locked up for the purposes of deterring people from seeking Asylum, so Australia can chicken out of fulfilling its obligations as a respectable international citizen. Merlin Luck MC’d the protest and it was great to see Naomi and her mother there in support only out of detention for a few short weeks. The message was clear and with all the recent media push to overhaul a horrible system it seems that the efforts from concerned Australians is getting through

So one year one we say: Enough is enough!

Friday, June 10, 2005

Novel Update: First draft - Chapter Ten

Word Count: 23,204

I wrote about 900 words tonight, it was a vital scene that needed a lot of emotion and it was a turning point. The main character’s girlfriend dies and he also has to move on with the story. I’m still going with it but to give it it’s full depth I need to go back towards the start and add another scene between them that is more intimate. I’m not the best at romance so I might have a look tomorrow at how some other writer’s have done it.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Novel Update: Planning and Research

Right after I published that blog post last night I got into a discussion with a writing friend of mine. I told him how I was going with the planning and stuff. The benefit of having some regular writing friends is someone to bounce ideas off and have moral support, and with his assistance I managed to develop an idea for a new character and more in depth strand into the last half of the novel. I thought, ‘geez, that’s alright, I’m all set,’

Little did I know what would happen this afternoon. I was perusing through a writer’s group and there was a topic on Chernobyl and it gave a link to this site about a woman who travelled through the disaster zone and took photos for us. With the second half of my novel being set in the Ukraine, this sent my head soaring and I came up with another little element to the relationship with the character I had just created the night before.

The bad news is, I will have to replan the rest of my novel, but the good news is that the novel has a heap more depth in the story.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Novel Update: Planning

Today was yet again full of frustrating procrastination. We still have not got our log in details to contact our tutors.

But I did decide that something else needed to get done, my novel. I didn’t write but was intent on planning the remainder of the main plot. After much worrying and thinking I sat down and watch Law and Order: SVU. I find that a period of stimulation such as a movie or TV show followed by a quiet period, such as during a shower encourages ideas. It worked a treat. I sat down – straight after my shower and planned the rest in four loose and rough pages, and it was done in about 10 minutes.

I looked back and the ending is what I wanted, not the immediate end, which may need work, but the basis of the ending theme. I was worried about length and want to add a subplot or two, which is hard seeing there are only two main characters. I was thinking of introducing another character, but it needs more thought. It’s interesting to see how the story has evolved but I am worried I have put my character’s in a situation that they can’t sustain unless I add some other element to it – needs more thought I guess.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005


I haven’t done much writing lately partly due to uni. Though, the amount of time not writing hasn’t all been uni and it’s been bludging and procrastinating. I have this dumb idea that if I write I’m should be studying and I don’t seem to recognise other time wasting. But then later I think, I could have written chapter ten, or, I could have planned chapters eleven and twelve. But I don’t. The man concern with uni for me was not doing the work. I do want to do that work, but I stop and start bludging when I hit a hole. I have lately realized that instead of staring mindlessly at a textbook not knowing what to do and waiting for a response from the discussion board, I could read a chapter of one of the books or do a reading or something else, and if not – write something.

Tonight I hit a hole in an exercise, but the board is not help because we all have the same problem and don’t have access to our tutors/teachers until they send us the log in details. So tonight I wrote about two sentences of my novel (the document is still open) then went and did some planning and now I’m reading a chapter of a book for uni. I have not gotten anywhere further on the exercise, but I feel better - because I’m doing something. Maybe alternating between activities is helpful because people get bored doing one thing at a time.

I congratulate those find bloggers/readers that made it to the end of my mindless rant because whether or not you read this, I feel a shit load better.

Monday, June 06, 2005

The Rights of Man

I would like to present to you, The Rights of Man, an Ezine produced by Mick Arran. It features an article by myself on the refugee issue. Check it out!
The Rights of Man

Outside Villawood detention centre
Welcome to Australia
Prime Minister John Howard's government herds refugees into pens like this one. Their crime? Running away from persecution makes them 'illegal immigrants'.

A Question of Decency

by Benjamin Solah, Benjamin Solah's Blog
Photos by Benjamin Harris

Conditions of the refugees include mental illness, self-harm, violence, children’s exposure to self-harm and violence, lack of education, lack of health care, and ill-assessed claims. The amount of depression and hopelessness is evident in a lot of the detainees. One Afghan boy said, "…if I had stayed in Afghanistan of course they would have killed me, maybe in an hour or two, but I ended up in here so physically they are keeping me alive but emotionally and spiritually they are killing me."

Mailing List

For those who frequent my main website (not many) I have added a mailing list so people can be updated on when I put new stories/poems/articles on there, I might even publish a newsletter, but it would only be infrequent.

Visit Benjamin Solah’s Writing Corner @

Sunday, June 05, 2005

I got a bottom tooth pulled out on Saturday, it really hurt. For those who think like my sister, no that is not a really big tooth, most of it is the root and it really hurt. Posted by Hello

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Make Poverty History

"In the developing world, more than 1.2 billion people currently live below the international poverty line, earning less than $1 per day."

"153 million children under 5 in the developing world are underweight. Worse yet, 11 million children younger than 5 die every year, more than half from hunger-related causes."

- Bread for the world institute

Study and my lifestyle

I’m into my fourth day of uni and things seem…’interesting,’ Something’s don’t make much sense and some tasks seem pointless. It just as well we don’t have to do all the tasks, if we don’t see fit.

Apart from the fact that the work may be a challenge, there are some factors with myself that may need adjustment. I need to keep myself motivated and do the work I can, I need to wake up and a ‘normal’ time and eat a proper breakfast. I need to work!

It all sounds really hard, but there are some good things. I have to keep a ‘learning log,’ which involves reflecting on learning itself. It should be interesting.

So back to work.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005


Tonight was spent printing out all the stories and poems and other stuff I had written since I started writing properly in 2004. There was a fair bit and I stuck it into one nice looking portfolio as a way of having my work all together in one hard copy. I’ll add to it as I finish pieces and I’m waiting on my article in ‘The Treadmill’ to be published soon, so I can add that.

And my Grandparents took me out today and bought me a brand new suit. They wanted me to look flash for any job interviews, and I do look 'flash.' Damn, I love my grandparents, not just because they buy me stuff, but because they are doing nice stuff for people. They don't read this blog, they don't have a computer, but thanks Nan and Farvie.

Anti-youth sentiment - a disturbing trend in the media

I can’t help but feeling bitter about the report on ‘A current affair’ tonight about making juvenile criminals wear shirts of shame. The idea is coming from the middle ages and I find it quite scary to believe people, including my parents, would think this as a viable way of punishing someone. It adds to thoughts I’ve been having about youth not having much of a political opinion and I was thinking that the negativity shown towards youth in the media might have something to do with it. These are just ideas, but there is a lot of coverage concerning P plate drivers and the Macquarie fields riots were portrayed so unfairly that it has created a negative image against youth that could have negative effects in the future. Youth will not be youth their whole lives and will one day grow to lead this country, if you shun them and portray them in a negative light it could have disastrous effect.

What are your thoughts on this?

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Australia will remain an international shame, despite pending reform to Asylum policy

No visa for Australia despite proposed changes to asylum seeker rules – Sydney Morning Herald

This article in today’s Herald by Jane McAdam demonstrates that although the member’s bills are a sign in the right direction, Australia will remain the only country to use mandatory detention on Asylum seekers who arrive ‘illegally.’ The first bill will release all children and their families and all detainees who have stayed in detention for over a year. This is all subject to the expected health and security checks. The second bill will limit detention to 90 days and detention will be reviewable by the courts.

The article also provided some disturbing statistics. Despite Countries of the European Union receiving 100 times the number of Asylum claims every year, no country employs detention as a means of managing them. Countries such as Spain, France and Ireland limit detention to only four days, whilst Australia detains people indefinitely, and is currently not subject to court approval.

This makes evident of the fact that Australia is far from a ‘decent and commpasionate country’ as John Howard once claimed, instead we are a single pariah in regards to immigration policy, something that is extremely shameful as an international citizen.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Novel Update: First Draft – Chapter Nine -and- First Day of Uni!

Word Count: 22,291

Last night I finished Chapter Nine. The outline suggested that Chapter would finish a little later, but I think the part I got to called for a break in chapter. This chapter had a bit more dialogue because it involved my character’s girlfriend. It was a defining chapter in it really showed where his allegiances lay. I may get onto Chapter Ten later today.

In the mean time, today is my first day of Uni. I logged on to the Open Universities website, introduced myself and it is apparent that there are a lot of stay at home mums studying. Today involved a bit of reading and in fact the whole course will, understandably. I need to work on reading quicker in order to get through to work. But I’m feeling very academic at the moment, so that will be my motivation.

Further pressure mounts on the government

Labor moves closer to backing Georgiou plan to free detainees - National

I'm not going to go into a full rant on the issue. But I am happy to see Labor take a clear opposing stance to the Liberal party to really change this repugnant policy. Labor have made a strong hint that they will back the private member's bill that will see all long-term detainees released, ALL children released and further detention limited to 90-day, subject to health and security checks. I really hope this gets through, but I have sad feeling that they will back down for some petty concessions, that do nothing but neutralize the issue.

Ironically Treasurer Peter Costello's brother is the head of World Vision urged for the end to the policy.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Attached to my computer and a zombie story.

Yesterday was a little concerning. I spent the whole day on the computer, and I went to bed with a backache. While I have no major issue with extended computer use, I think virtually a whole day is a little too much. Yes, when I woke up this morning I turned it back on and here I am. But, my dad has a little bit of yard work for me to do. Last night, realizing that I needed to break the trend I printed the beginning of chapter nine of my novel out and will write some more – by hand – later today. Also I need to get myself organised for my first day of uni tomorrow, clean up my desk a bit and make sure I know what I’m doing.

But I did get the beginning of interesting flash fiction piece last night thanks to my 10-year-old sister. It was bedtime for her, so I chased her into her room acting like a goose, or zombie should I say. Then I thought a zombie piece. I haven’t played or seen resident evil but it was interesting I started the piece right in the thick of it. I did it in the first person and the zombie was chasing me. It looks ok, it could prove more publishable then some of the other pieces I’ve been writing.

And a hello to an extra load of BlogExplosion surfers. The 'Battle of The Blogs' concept scored me a lot of credits last night and so thanks to that, you are either here reading or you have moved on to another blog in a greedy pursuit of credits.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Some good advice.

I’ve been reading ‘The Writing book’ by Kate Grenville. Despite the painfully retro cover it’s a reasonably good book. The introduction has some wise advice for writers. Ignore the voices in your head. They are only preventing you from getting words to paper. People are so worried about it not being perfect that they end up writing nothing. How can you improve on your writing if you haven’t done any writing at all? Ignore the voices and just write, it doesn’t have to be perfect that is what editing is for. I’m guilty of listening to the voices in my head, maybe this advice will work towards ignoring it.

“…where this leads to bigger and bigger protests, then so be it," says ACTU

ACTU keeps options open for general strike - National -

The government continue to push there elitist legistlation to remove the rights of working Australians. He’s doing this with a hypocritical stance, he says to the loggers that he is the only one who supports them, but he is giving their employer the right to sack them with no reason at all.

Under the proposed legislation Employers could propose harsher working conditions and if the employee didn’t agree he could be sacked. For years and years the ruling class has imposed it’s draconian rules on us, and now with Howard able to control the Senate, he can finally do what he has wanted to do for years.

But by no means are we left with out anything to do. General strikes have not been ruled out, to fight against this attack on the working class where “…You would have to go back to the 1890s to find the same level of viciousness and ruthlessness."

Friday, May 27, 2005

Two sides to the Corby case

The Schapelle Corby case has attracted a mountain of media attention, though there is an element to this that is not revealed by the media who seem to run on hysteria and emotion.

It is my feeling that Schapelle Corby is innocent and that undoubtedly the trial was totally unjust. Like the vast majority of Australians, I sympathize with her anguish and no one should be treated the way she has. The handling of the initial discovery was poor, leaving very little chance for a fair trial.

Though, there is an element to the media coverage that is disturbing and it demonstrates Australia’s xenophobic attitudes. The case has received so much media coverage, what makes her case so different? She is a pretty young white girl. There have been so many cases just like this that have been barely mentioned in the media. There have been numerous cases which involved Asian-Australians being arrested for drug related charged We have a firm belief in her innocence and we are all outraged at the injustices. But there are so many injustices everyday the people fail to see because they aren’t happening to Australians. Take the refugee situation, they are placed in detention for doing nothing, but Australians refuse to believe their own system is at fault. But when a decision happens against an Australian in a foreign court it is automatically an injustice. It is the xenophobic attitudes bred in the wake of the Tampa incident that is so worrying.

Schapelle is innocent, the Indonesian system has it’s many faults and the government has been too gutless to use it’s influence to do anything but this injustice is not the only one in the world. Australian’s are not the only victims of injustice, and we need to fight for other people too.

Jeepers Creepers

Well, I don’t know how much writing I got done last night, maybe a little bit. But this top movie did distract me. My dad needed to use the computer for a sec and so I got up and walked around, and I saw ‘Jeepers Creepers’ sitting on my desk, I borrowed it from the library a couple of days ago and I thought I’d watch it. People I know. love to criticise movies, it seems most people are never pleased. I thought it was pretty good, the characters were convincing and I was on the ‘edge of my seat’ (sorry about the cliché there just wasn’t any other way to put it.) There is a lot of gore, but I think after seeing so many horror movies and reading so many horror novels, it doesn’t phase me. I have bone to pick, the ending sucked. It didn’t end right, guess they left it open for a sequel that is never better than the first. I guess it’s a problem with most movies/books as of late, they can’t get the ending right. Come on guys, take a lesson or two from the master of the climax, Stephen King.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Novel Update: First Draft - Chapter Nine

Word Count: 21,032

Yes, I’m back over the 20,000-word mark. That is a relief, but I did go back on my old idea of having one of main characters, Aleks, write a diary entry about the madness that had just ensued. Instead there was a knock at the door and his girlfriend entered to be introduced to the chaos. On a writer’s forum I am a member of, we have been talking about killing off characters. Well, I’ve been waiting for this one. She’s just holding back Aleks from getting himself into more trouble, he he. I wrote about 1,300-words this afternoon and tonight. But I won’t be hitting no block, I outlines the rest of the chapter and hopefully will be able to finish it tonight.

update: I should add that this chapter contained a bit of dialogue with Aleks and his girlfriend, which went fine. Though, I'm still going to work on my dialogue skills.

The government continue to crumble around Vanstone

There are even more revelations to the immigration scandal that began with the detaining of an Australian resident in her own immigration system. We now know that there are at least another 200 more bungled cases. Can that be excused?! I don’t think so. All these proposed ‘amendments’ to a morally dead system are a waste of time. Putting on two extra psychiatric nurses wouldn’t be needed if they weren’t in a centre that fosters depression and other severe psychological effects. As the saying goes, prevention is better than a cure.

The private member’s bill proposed by Liberal backbencher Petro Georgiou is a promising sign that the party allegiances are falling apart due to the inhumane system. Howard has reacted angrily to his proposal that is backed by a few other Liberal party members. He is trying to use his power to stop his members making their own choices. It’s when your own members start going against you that you should be worried Mr. Howard.

I did expect Kim Beazly and the Labor party to back the bill, or Beazly to at least allow his party to have a conscience vote. But he has acted with contempt and disappointment, sighting that the bill will be voted on according to the party line. He backed the concept of the detention regime. After all they were the dickheads that brought it in. Then, Beazly made a major blunder. He said that the detention system was a deterrent. He said it was there to deter other Asylum seekers fleeing to our ‘decent and compassionate country.’ Most will not understand where this blunder lies. To detain someone for the purposes of deterring future boatloads, would be detaining someone arbitrarily. Arbitrary detention is illegal under the Australian constitution. The Liberal party has maintained that their detention regime is for the purpose of having the Asylum seekers available for processing. Considering that Baxter detention centre is in the middle of freaking desert and there are no phones, it makes it very difficult for an Asylum seeker to access legal advice, something they are entitled to, and considering there are so many cases that have been gathering dust for years. I really don’t see this as any logical excuse.

Though most rational people can see the injustice of mandatory detention, there is still a proportion of people who are driven by xenophobic hysteria and Liberal party scare tactics. Such as, if we let them in then they will come in droves. This is simply false, the highest number of boat people in anyone year was in 2000, 8 years after Labor put the detention system in place. Asylum seekers come because they need to, because their lives are threatened. They did not jump queues, simply because in most countries there are no queue. If people would look past the lies and hysteria they would see that these people are people and not animals. To make them see, the people who can already see the gross negligence need to fight back. No more of this complacency to the lying little rodent who we call our Prime Minister.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

A writer in training

I’ve hit a dry spot at the moment, it’s frustrating but I need to move on. I’m thinking the source of my lack of creativity lies in a weakness in a particular skill, writing dialogue. I can write an action scene, I can describe a killer’s face or a battlefield, but I cannot write scenes with lots of character interaction to the level that can get me published. I need to work on this. Make the dialogue seem more natural. I can do this by watching more closely how people talk and their mannerisms.

I think this kind of situation calls for some Flash fiction. So in the next week or two I might post a few random scenes working on my skills in this area. So writers and readers alike stay tuned and some feedback would be great.

Novel Update: First Draft - Chapter Nine

Word Count: 19,826

Yes, I've gone under the 20k word mark, but for the better. I was working on Chapter Seven, which contained a major piece of back story, the end of the chapter contains some mediocre writing that I wrote before I started on the back story in between. So I deleted the last bit, and cut the back-story prematurely in a cliffhanger and left it for the audience to wonder later. But I feel I’ve hit a block. I started chapter nine, thinking it would a diary entry from one of my main characters. Pathetically, I don’t know how to start. I feel I might be hitting another dry spot, so I’m not going to force it.

For me, I need to think about the story, and not stare blankly at a word processor waiting for the word to come. Going for a walk works, having a shower works and most annoyingly going to bed works. I might go to bed and wait to fall asleep and then ideas come. Sometimes, I will get up, grab a notebook and write them down. Last night was one of those nights and I did not grab a notebook. I though I would wake up the next morning and remember. Well I can’t remember anything. Maybe it will come to me later on, but not at the moment.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Government bows to pressure and releases 3 year old from detention

Freed from a life in detention - National -

Yesterday I reported on a disturbing case where a three-year-old Malaysian girl and her mother have been locked up in immigration detention. The case distressed me and a couple of commenters. But there is good news.

There was a lot of media coverage and public outcry over this case and the government bowed to public pressure and released them last night. The mother was overjoyed, the child looked a little bewildered and sadly the psychological damage has already been done and this is a step forward.

Sadly, they were released on a bridging visa that does not allow for the mother to work or for them to receive Medicare. The mother made a point that there were many more cases just like hers still going on. The government didn't give a reason for her release, they were too gutless to admit that they bowed the pressure from the public and the media over such a dreadful policy.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Torn between her two children

Come home, Malaysia tells Naomi - National -

"A psychiatrist who has examined the child, Dr Michael Dudley, described her as "mute" and "listless". She has begun banging her head against walls at the detention centre each time she sees her mother distressed."
Sydney Morning Herald, May 23 2005
This report, as with all reports on the detention of children and their families, is extremly disturbing. A mother is torn between her two children. Her son lives in Australia with her father and Naomi lives in immigration detention with her mother, as she has done her whole life. The three-year-old, who is showing signs of ill mental health, may be allowed to return with her mother to a Malaysia, but her mother does not want to leave her son saying, "...If they make me spend 10 years here I will stay because my son is my life - my blood. I cannot go and leave my son behind."
The government needs to step in and do something. Let this family live together in Australia, I really don't think my security will be threatened from a mother and her two children.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Ready for Uni!

On Friday I finally got my last textbook for uni, and a few days before that I got all my study stuff. I start May 30, that's 8 days away and I'm real excited. I think it will be hard because I don't have a lot of room to organise and they say Broadband makes it a lot easier. I want to get broadband soon, but more importantly I'd like to move out.

Me and my mates have discussed this a couple of times. As soon as I get this job Downtown duty free or any other place, I'm going to start organising to move out. My mate is looking into buying a villa where we can share. But I'm not moving out until I have a job, and a computer - with Broadband.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

"This is a Government paddling very hard to get themselves out of trouble."

Vanstone to vet Rau report before release - National -

These are the words of Opposition leader Kim Beasly, though I don't like the guy, is correct. The government are in trouble and fresh reports that Vanstone may review the report and only show certain sections of the report to the public are extremely disturbing. It reminds me of the report on 9/11 where there were scores of writing blacked so the government could save face. Our 'US wannabe' government is heading down the same road. Border Security has gone way too far. For all the people who claim it is because of the air of terrorism have to be kidding themselves. A) a terrorist is more likely to jump on a plane with a legal visa with a mobile phone in his pocket and B) As a now famous quote pointed out, "If these children are being sacrificed to achieve my security, then the price is too high to pay."

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith

(c) 20th Century Fox 2005 Posted by Hello

Tonight I saw Episode III, the final installment of the Star Wars series. I'd been itching to see this since I first heard about it. My dad said he had been told the movie was very dark, and I was not dissapointed. Included in the usual Star Wars light saber action was some very dark scenes and watching young Anakin's transformation to Darth Vader was great. Towards the end it had it's retro feel and it was a little odd for the whole thing to end in the middle and now who was surely not to die, but overall it was great flick.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Newsweek negligent, but the trend is there.

Red Cross backs claims of Koran abuse in US prison camp - World -

There have been many disturbing posts and reports attacking Leftists about the clear negligence of Newsweek. Let me make this clear, what Newsweek did was wrong, they should be held accountable, but by no means should this extend to attacks on the whole Leftist philosophy. It is just hypocritical for people from the right to attack people who are guilty of Libel, take Fox news for a very clear example, and it is not if it was suggesting something that does not happen completely.

There have been reports for years saying that the Koran has been abused in US prison camps. It's just that it was never flushed down the toilet. The false report did spark the riots, but it was not the only factor. It only brought the situation to a boiling point. There is a disturbing trend of anti-Muslim sentiment in the Western world and just because one article was false does not prove that the discrimination of Muslims does not exist.

Novel update: First draft - Chapter Seven (20,000 words!)

Word Count: 20,104

Yes, I'm still working on that bit of back story that is now a major part of the whole novel, like it was first planned to. I passed the 20 thousand word mark tonight, and although it looks like I might have only written 600 or so words, it is a little deceiving. I was browsing through the prologue, randomly reading paragraphs when I came across a mistake. Part of the back story in Chapter Seven didn't match with this part of the prologue. I deleted the incorrect bits in the prologue and re-wrote it. This time it was shorter and actually brought me below my end word count for last night. But I had to do some research on opium for part of the scene that I wrote today, it took me a while, but it turned out good.

Yesterday's and today's writing sessions have been pleasing. I seem to go through periods of good and bad. I now realize if I'm stressed or things don't seem to be going my way I wont be able to write as well. Just waiting for my mother to spoil it.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

What Makes Harry Potter So Popular?

What Makes Harry Potter So Popular?

This is an interesting article DreamOn showed me about the reason for the popularity of Harry Potter. Though I have only seen two of the movies and never read any Harry Potter and haven't really dived into fantasy writing, I found this interesting for all writers. It raised the idea of the books being a metaphor for self-discovery and that some how the stories of Harry Potter connect with all the readers. The openness of fantasy writing to explore ideas with no real restrictions on physical context interests me.

Novel Update: First draft - Chapter Seven.

Word Count: 19,444 (So close to 20k)

Yes, you haven't seen one of these in a while. I kind of got sidetracked in the short stories I've been working on, but I got back into it tonight and it felt good. I wrote over 1,000 words.

Tonight, at the very beginning of my writing session, the writing felt different. The words in the first few paragraphs seemed to be better. With more depth and description. But, it's getting really late now and I started to slow down. So until next time...

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Save the whales!


Yes, I know this is a common one for a greenie like myself. Well, this year Korea want to restart the whaling trade and this is quite appalling. So Greenpeace have set up a Virtual March, where you print out one of their banners and take a photo and send it to them and they put it on their site. Just click the link above and I'll post my own pic when I've taken to photo.

But, whilst saving the whales is an undoubtedly good cause I do have my concerns about Greenpeace and their style of activism. No, it's not their openness about breaking the law, which I am all for considering the cause. It's their elitist attitude to activism. They seem to set up things like 'virtual marches' but no real marches. It's kind of a sit back and support attitude they want us to have. We're meant to clap for them, but don't you think thousands of people in support would be much better than a handful of workers for greenpeace, who by the way get paid shit all because they run like a company and bribe workers into less pay because they are fighting a good cause. All the same support this action, but keep in mind we can be doing so much more.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

More editing

I did some more editing today on my short story. I've done the majority of it. But, on The Scribe's Message board today, there was a discussion about editing. It raised Stephen King's theory on editing, leave the work for a month and then come back to it with fresh eyes. It sound's like a plausible idea, so after the edit it's going away for a month. We will see if it does any good.

Meanwhile, it's an early night for me. I have a job interview at 11am tomorrow.

Costello denies the existence of a working class divide

Costello taxes the point: we're all working class - National -

Costello has come out saying everyone who has worked is the working class. He dares to include himself, who earns $200,200 plus benifits. He says anybody who works deserves a tax cut, but he did say, "I reckon you'd be struggling on $40,000 to $50,000 in Australia if you were paying a mortgage and raising some kids".
Opposition treasurer hit back with, "He said families on $40,000, $50,000 a year were struggling but he's not prepared to do anything to help them,"
Costello cannot see the logic in giving a tax cut more than $6 a week to people who really need it, the real working class.

Benjamin Solah's Writing Corner - Next generation

I would like to present the next generation of Benjamin Solah's Writing Corner. Some of you are probhably wondering where that homepage link actaully links to. Well I do have a homepage - and has now been redesigned. Soon, I will incorporate it's Navigation bar into this blog. But for now browse and enjoy.

Re-designing my site has led my to bring back the issue of my own .com or .net. I've been looking around for good providers. Problem is most them make you pay via Credit Card.

update: Ok, I've incorporated the Nav bar into the blog. It wasn't that hard, just a copy and paste job

Monday, May 16, 2005

Redesigning homepage

Today I've embarked on a perilous journey that will take numerous cups of coffee and strong nerves. I have begun to redesign my homepage - to fit with my current blog design. I've had to do a new header and nav bar, plus find a way to organise the content as I have been told numerous times that doing so in tables is not a good idea.

About me page and editing

I've spent tonight writing an about me page. I planned to do this a while ago when I did the new template as it didn't have to profile thing up the top and I didn't want it on my sidebar. I did it to match the look of my site and am looking forward to changing my homepage to the look of my blog too.

I've also done a bit of editing on my short story. I read it through and hi-lighted all the bits I wanted to change. I cut out the ending and noted that I needed to change a block of one or two paragraphs. I'm kind of new to editing so any tips from other writers would be appreciated.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Immigration dept. on the back-foot

Labor calls on Vanstone to resign - National -

There are calls from the opposition for immigration minister, Amanda Vanstone to resign after repeated bungles for her department. Including many Australians being detained and one Australian deported. Add repeated pressure from Activist groups over the parties inhumane policy and the Liberal party are in a dire situation. It's kind of strange that the govt. lies prior to an election and then it all comes out once we are sentenced to another 3 years of hell. The sad thing is Australian voters have a bad memory and seem to fall for the same freaking tricks every time. We need to capitalize on these repeated crises and fight. Get off your despondent apathetic asses and fight.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Forum down for upgrading

For the few of you who might be trying to access my forum, Benjamin Solah's Writing corner tonight. The forum will be down, whilst upgrade to Version Four. Look out for some exciting new features.

Also if my homepage and many of my blog graphics do not load it is because my bandwidth has exceeded and so my site has gone offline for about an hour. Feel free to donate to Ben's 'need a .com fund' using the paypal button to your right.

Howard does not care for the environment

Australia 'going soft' on whale slaughter - World -
Howard lashes out at green 'extremists' - National -

We all knew Howard doesn't give a shit for the environment. That is very clear, but it makes me sick when with he attacks one issue and then goes and shows complete ignorance in another aspect.

Japan want to extend their quota of whales used for 'scientific research' to include the endangered humpback whale and extend their whaling waters to Antarctic provinces that include Australia's. Now for one, it is not scientific research. It is the deliberate slaughtering of innocent animals for the purposes of making more freaking money. The thing that gets me angry the most is that fact that Australia are doing nothing. They said they would not prevent Japanese Whaling ships from entering Australian waters, commenting that it would amount to piracy. But they will keep a blockade of navel ships up north to hijack boatloads of Asylum seekers entering the country for protection. Sorry, only hijack the boats that are sea-worthy, they prefer to turn their backs to the ones that sink. Why don't Australia fucking do something when it's not in the interest of making more money, that obviously doesn't help the people of Australia with this lousy budget of ours.

The other issue on my ranting Agenda for today is Howard's attack on the Greenies. This includes myself, the ones that are sick and tired of seeing Ancient Trees chopped down. He claims he is doing something for the environment by preserving 45 percent of Tasmania's ancient forests. Quite simply, that isn't good enough, why not the whole lot. Ancient forests that have been there for centuries and are only being cut down for profit. The argument that he is looking after workers is complete bullshit. Considering one of his many bills to be swept through the parliament after it gains control of the senate include a bill to effectively wipe unions and worker's rights. He is a hypocrite and it sickens me that every election everyone falls for his lies and then we are stuck with his money grabbing crap for another three years.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

On to editing

Well, I thought writing was lacking lately, I just didn't do it at the right time. Writing late at night with distractions such as the net have proved a hassle and today I wrote with no connection and I finished the first draft of a short story, that originally started out as a short script. I also find that I can't write when I'm stressed and I just need to relax and think creatively.

I'm on to editing now, I want to get this published somewhere so it's a necessity. And to tell you the truth I haven't been big on editing and never really done it. I mean, not properly. But I think my writing can really improve if I work on this. My concerns about the story is that the subject matter is a little cliche and may post it to a critique group to rectify it.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Sunrise Over Sea - John Butler Trio

This is a great album. I mean, I bought it and didn't download so it's got to be good. Ok, it was a present, but I would've bought it. I loved the singles, 'Zebra' and 'Something's gotta give.' But the other tracks are just as good, if not better. My dad even commented on the great guitar work and with a mix between softer tracks and heavier tracks, it's really a top CD. Of course, another main reason for me liking it is the face that John Butler is a bit of a hippie and his lyrics are really superb.

"A little feeling in my gut that I get of late/When I think
about these cats running the world with hate/I say: something's gotta

Budget 2005

Ooh, I can see my fellow Aussies jumping up and down in their seats. The Budget! How freaking exciting!...bullshit! Some stupid right wing journalists have come out saying this was a budget for popularity. Let me say this, that is a load of crap. This budget is and will continue to be very unpopular with the average Australian. The tax cuts help the rich more than the poor, welfare is becoming increasing ridiculous, with mothers expected to abandon their children to childcare centres so they can work to fund a war nobody wants. Once again, there is an increase to security and minor addition to a critical healthcare system. One person I talked to said: "There is a middle Australia. The government don't want that, they want to make them poorer and the rich richer. So the rich can make them work and look down on the normal people." I couldn't have said it better myself.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Tampering with Asylum

I just finished reading 'Tampering with Asylum' by Frank Brennan. As some of you know, I am a slow reader and I was reading this book on and off so it took me a while to finish. Unlike 'Asylum' by Heather Tyler, it didn't really grab my attention or invoke any strong emotional response. The book was a more legally in depth and would only appeal to those who already have a grasp of the inhumane policy that the book focuses on. It is very calculated and provided excerpts from various documents that outlined the government's gross negligence when it came to honouring it's humanitarian obligations. This book is only for the political nerds, like myself, I would recommend 'Asylum' by Heather Tyler for most people who want to get an understanding of what is going on.

Monday, May 09, 2005

It's over

I just got back from tafe tonight where I had to invent a hypothetical media product and do some Audience profiling and then report my findings. I was stressing big time before it was over, with my monitor stuffing up and not knowing exactely what to do and trying to get people to do my survey. Well, thanks anyone who did my survey, the 20 of you. You guys rock. Well it's over and I can move on to other things like my short story and novel.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

New monitor

I found out the other monitor my dad got had a loose wire and possed a major power risk. Well we got another one, it works perfectly, though has a broken stand and is sitting on a copy of the Yellow pages. It makes me realise how bad the colour was with the old one, everything is so much clearer now.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Computer Trouble

Last night I was shocked to see my monitor go 'zip, crackle, bang' right before my eyes. My dad picked up one from work because they replaced their's with 19" flat screens. This one is a little glary and it looks like it may do the same as my old one, so my dad will try to pick up a 2nd hand one tomorrow.

In other news I may have another job, tutoring HSC students in English. It's in my area and it's cash in the hand. Well I'm off now, see you later if I still have a monitor.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Where are the government's priorities?

Govt won't seek Hicks' early release - Breaking News - National - Breaking News

It is quite obvious that the government's priorities are with the rights of it's citizens. Alexander Downer has said it would not seek repatriation for David Hicks from Guantanamo Bay. He is currently being held there pending charges for terrorism, which is being stalled due to court cases against the legality of this underground court for the installation of dogmatic control. Downer made the suggestion that the case was different to that of Mamdouh Habib saying: "In the case of Habib, in the end the administration decided they didn't want to use all of the information they had available to them and that was of course for security reasons," What a load of bullshit! Habib has no evidence against him and Hicks will have an unfair trial unless something is done, and the likely hood of our great democratic government (bullshit) maintaining the rights of one of our citizens seems very unlikely.

New Poetry comp

I've been mucking around with my registration board lately, just trying to tweak it as new members come in. I've had a couple, but I understand that some are having problems logging in, I'm trying to address that.

Meanwhile I've started a poetry competition where you have to write a poem based on a stimulus pictures. Click here to check it out

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Benjamin Solah's Writing Corner forum

Benjamin Solah's Writing Corner - Home

I have just opened up a new forum. It will be about anything, and so suggestions are welcome by new members as to what catagories to add and such. At the moment it is based around writing and politics. It includes a critique group and I will add polls about politics. So pop over it's a bit lonely at the moment.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Will Johnny listen?

Workers rally against loss of rights - National -

Thousands have marched around Australia to celebrate May day, and used to opportunity to gather unionists to oppose Howard's upcoming overhaul of the industrial relations scheme that will remove many of the rights of Australian workers. This is a very clear message and if Howard doesn't back down on his dogmatic policy he will see further backlash.

Prose or Script? & Clowns

After sifting through the Dreams site last night I had the urge to write, this had something to do with the infamous time to think in the shower. I came up with a scene for the script I was writing, but I thought it could work as a prose piece rather than a script. So I started writing the script as a story and will complete both and see what works better.

The main doubt I had about this story, as either prose or script was the meaning of it, where it would end up etc. The story involves a psychopathic clown. This works for me as I've been freaked out about clowns since I had a nightmare when I was 5 or 6. The image of a clown on my wall speaking to me has never left my mind. I've been trying to find a meaning at this is the best answer I have gotten so far.

"...If you have a fear or phobia of clowns, the clown may represent a mysterious person in your life who mean you harm. Somebody you know may not be who they appear to be. Or somebody may be pretending to be somebody they are not and are hiding under a facade. "

What does this mean exactly? I don't know. But seeing as my current story involves a similar idea I can use to move somewhere.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Cheese, Nightmares and Story ideas

Dream Moods

I was once told by a friend on a writing chat room that cheese was good for horror writer's because it gave you nightmares. Now my mum always told me, 'don't eat this, don't eat could give you nightmares' so I believed what the guy was saying, now someone told me it's a lie. So I went searching and found I joined the discussion board and there are some interesting stuff. Hopefully the guys can answer my question. I really want to see if I can induce nightmares. Sounds crazy? Well, it might be at the time, but who knows, I could write a story based on a nightmare I had and it could work supremely well. There is an article on there about remembering your dreams, something I need to work on. It suggests keeping a dream diary so you can record what you dreamt as soon as you wake, well seeing as I get an abundance of ideas for stories from thinking before I fall asleep I already have a notebook handy.

Do any of my avid readers know whether or not cheese or other foods induce nightmares?

The Answer to inspiration

That Was Random!

Back in Year 10 of high school my English teacher used to give us a page of pictures for creative writing where we had to use one of these pictures to create a story. This task was pretty successful for myself and I came up with some interesting stuff. Back then, I wasn't the full time writer I am now, and my favourite genre was fan fiction, this task provided ideas of a little more originality. I've been looking for a site that could provide me with random pictures to get me going when I'm in a dry time. This site is what I've been looking for. You can just click 'random picture' and presto, you have a picture to use as a starting point.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Google Adsense

I have added a small block of ads to this site in the off chance of someone clicking them and making me some money. If it turns out crap, I'll remove them.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

You cannot silence dissent

Thousands rally in Sydney fight union fee change - National -

There have been more VSU rallies in Sydney today with thousand from uni's across Sydney marching to oppose a dogmatic policy that will come when the Liberal party takes control of the senate. Some protestors said that they had never been to a protest before but felt so strongly about this issue. In effect, the attacks on the 'everyman' have become so profound that slowly the government is killing itself by awaking the power of activism. This will be followed by upcoming protests and strikes planned by Unions across the country.

Writing Romance

Depending on how well you know me will depend on how odd you might find this. I have expressed interest in exploring other genres including Romance. I had an idea for a story based on similar feeling from a previous relationship, that was a bit of a joke, but did arise some strong feelings that became subjects of two poems, New Feeling and Darker. I'm about 1,400 words into it and it's going ok, but some of the dialogue may need to be revised. The problem with myself writing these types of stories is, no matter how hard I try it always seems to sound corny, cheesy, lame. I want to submit these piece to a few magazines, but if it's unsuccessful I will gladly publish it here and on my homepage.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

I'm it!

I've been tagged, that's right. I've been tagged by Mick Arran, at Arran's Alley to do a very interesting meme. It originated from Dylan at Something Requisitely Witty and Urbane where I have to pick five people, dead or alive, that I would like to see blog. My hit list will include elements of both political genius' and creative genius'

1. Daniel Johns - frontman from former Aussie rock band Silverchair. In my opinion he is a creative genius, just listen to the lyrics from Diorama. He is a creative inspiration to me, his insight into his life and music is inspirational. He also gives a shit about issues such as refugees, the environment and other stuff

2. John Butler - For virtually the same reasons as above. He's a musician with a bottomless creative mind and he is very focused on political issues, such as peace, human rights and most notably the environment. The difference between Johns and Butler is that John Butler's lyrics are heavily political, i.e. perfect hippie music.

3. Stephen King - Great Writer and the first adult writer I really got hooked with, and I can safely say that he is where I firstly developed some of my own writing style.

4. Gandhi - He was a very inspirational man, his determination to fight for people's right is something that any activist can look up to. Though, as a Socialist, I cannot agree completely with 100% non-violence, he is still an inspirational fighter,whose words would rise activists

5. Karl Marx - A Socialist's expected choice. You either agree with the guy or you don't, I do. His ideas are great, though as with Gandhi some modernization can be expected, language especially, reading Marxist literature is not easy reading.

With the lat two being dead, I wouldn't expect them to have taken the leap into the blogosphere. I don't know about the top three though. You guys could help me with that.

Now I get to tag three lucky people, The Scribe, Celeste, and Marcus. Tag your IT!

Novel Update: First draft - Chapter Seven

Word Count: 18,174

Well I'm still working on Chapter Seven, and it's becoming apparent that this may well be a vital chapter. It's really going somewhere, and I'm liking this chapter alot. I only wrote a little under 500 words tonight, but I was never initially in the mood to write tonight, the infamous time thinking in the shower sparked something, but it slowly faded. Will do some tomorrow, hopefully.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

I have returned with my final answers to the great 20 questions meme.

Hi all, it’s been a busy long weekend for my mates and myself. We went down to Myola, on the south coast, near Jervis Bay. It was an awesome time. We went fishing, and hired a boat and had a generally awesome time. It’s back to being home, bored and unemployed. So I’ll take the time to completely finish my 20 questions meme tonight. So take the time to read.

First question is from ‘lefty’ who didn’t give me a URL, but thanks for the toughie.

You believe you have stumbled upon information that may bring down an evil and repressive government. However, to release this information to the general public would mean the certain death of one of your family members. What do you do?

Umm…hmm…well…uhhh…you really put me in a tough situation. Evil repressive government…bad. Certain death of a family member…bad. Depending on how bad the government was, how certain it is of bring down this government, and the feelings I had towards that family member. This is not an easy question, I may have to take a rain check, but it would be good if readers could answer it for themselves. That would be interesting.

Next three questions are from DickDNile from

1) In your opinion, between the chicken and egg which did come first? Show your working...

Well, according to science and logic, the chicken came first. You can’t lay a chicken’s egg without a chicken. Where did the chicken come from then? You ask. It evolved from some other species that evolved from some other species, and the cycle went from there, and you get yourself a chicken.

2) Is vegemite all that Australians in the UK make it out to be, or is it just vegetable marmite?

It depends on personal preference. Myself, I am a huge fan of vegemite, that now happens to be bought out by Kraft, which now makes it no longer ozzie owned. But it is still Australian in the heart. Marmite is horrible and tastes nothing like Vegemite which is awesome. You’d have to try it for yourself though.

3) Have you ever been to the opera house, and if so, what did you see?

I’ve been to the Opera house to see a show twice. First I saw a play, a restoration comedy, which I can’t remember the name of. It was boring but I had to see it for drama. The second was also for drama, I saw Howard Katz, which was good, but depressing. The Opera house itself is spectacular and it looks great. Actually when I went to see the first play, it was the day after two anti-war protestors painted ‘No war’ on the roof.

The final question is from Karen from and I’ve been waiting for it for a bit.

Why do you want to have a novel published?

This is my ultimate dream. I have been a storyteller since a little kid. At first it was a cartoonist. I bought a scrapbook and created characters. I drew a picture and made a profile about each one. Then I would write stories, but only this time it was the pictures I liked the best, and also creating a book. I’ve held onto this for a long time, even when I went off writing and reading at the first few years of high school, I would still hold on to it and sometimes remember and start a novel that may have gone a few pages, but no more. My English teacher revived my love of writing to a whole new level. I began to read again, and write. I started up a website to show people my stories, then a Blog to document my dream, and me and now I’ve started. For me, creating something of my own for people to read would be awesome. This is something that keeps me going sometimes, especially when I’m not in the best moods, knowing that someday a book with my name on it may be on the shelves if I work hard enough. It is not for the money or the fame, although both would be nice, it is for the joy of creating something of my own.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Spain legalize gay marriage

liberalizing Spain to legalize gay marriage - World -

Some great news today for the people of Spain. The socialist-led government has voted to legalize gay marriage. This is a step forward in rights for all people regardless of their sexual preference. They are the third European country to legalize same-sex marriage in Europe, after Belgium and The Netherlands. It's really a good sign, and it can be related to other campaigns, such as the rights for Indigenous Australians, women, and the decriminalisation of homosexual behavior. I'm just hoping it will be sooner rather than later before other countries follow suit. There has been criticism from religious sects, most notably the Vatican, with they're new homophobic and dogmatic ideas. They need to realize that not everybody follows their rules and so it is not for them to decide.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Script writing

Script Templates with MS Word

I managed to write the first two scenes last night, after I learnt how to format word into a template with the above link. It was about 500 words, but it looks good. I only did that and I was finished before 10, and because my mum is being incredibly frustrating and she is trying to restrict internet usage, so I went to bed early because I couldn't be bothered.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Script format

Script Format

I have found out that writing scripts should be done in a format different from a script you might pick up from the library, which is the format that I wrote my movie in when I was in Year 8. The link at the top is an example of the format that should be used. One day I might go back and edit my script from year 8, I should the idea was genius, but the writing was a little shabby.

Novel Update: First draft - Chapter Eight and Chapter Seven

Word Count: 17, 746

I am very happy, I have a flow and the story looks like it's going somewhere, but more importantly it's come from somewhere. After I worked on Chapter Eight last night I went back to a section of Chapter Seven. I felt the paragraph, where my main character explains how he got to where they are now, was too short and brief. So I went back and deleted the paragraph and replaced it with one and half pages and I’m still going. So last night was fairly productive, I will do some more today or tonight, that’s will not maybe. Also, I got an awesome idea for a short film. It will be simple in terms of set, so I may be able to produce it. I’m going to start to write that today as well.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Rau treated less then human.

Rau cell had spy mirror, inspection finds - National -

We all know Cornelia Rau must have gone through hell, and treated less than human. The mentally ill Australian was locked in Baxter Detention Centre in a case of mistaken identity. She was locked in an isolation cell for the majority of her stay. Today it is now known that there were mirrors and cameras in her cell, allowing for Guards to see every nook and cranny, including the shower and toilet, not only was she deprived of her liberty, she was deprived of privacy and stimulation and this contributed to her illness. The sad thing about this, it took an Australian to be locked up in it's own hell whole for an inquiry to take place.

More Questions

Here's five more questions for you to read. Only five more to go, I'm enjoying this, but I don't know if you guys want to labour through this.

AbandonedHero from

If you could only choose one of these, which would you pick:
1. Ending poverty forever.
2. Eliminating the AIDS virus.

I'd pick poverty, I think poverty affects more, and poverty a lot of the time can aggravate AIDS because people are in such a dire situation.

Julia from

1. Fraggles or muppets? (please explain why)
Muppets, because I don't know what the hell a fraggle is. Muppets are cool though
2. What is the soundtrack of the revolution?
Sunrise over Sea - John Butler Trio. It has some very cool words and riffs and stuff, almost new-age hippie stuff. 'Something's gotta give' is awesome, the revolutionary song
3. How will you dance to it?
I don't really dance, unless intoxicated and at a club. It's more a sit, listen and occasionally move your head in a way that demonstrates that the music is 'totally rad,' This would change on the event of a revolution, where it would turn to a chanting informal march as we took the country for the people.
4. How do you feel about the your governments decision to start taxing tampons a few years ago?
I didn't know what you were talking about until my mum explained (I haven't been politically conscious for that long.) But I see it as a greedy, profit making government taking advantage of women because they have basic necessities.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Not meant to be

I got a call from the job I picked up last week today, I was meant to start training tomorrow, but to my horror they have cancelled training, and will ring me when they decide to resume training. This just isn't fair, can anything go right, or stay that way. I am now back to square one, unemployed, at least I have uni which qualifies me for some welfare, but at the moment there is no sure fire way that I will have income. It's just not fair.

Monday, April 18, 2005

20 Questions - more answers

No more questions, I got my quota of 20, and the last one from The Scribe is a beauty. I'll answer 6 tonight.

First two are from Aunt Annie at

Do you believe more in "justice" or "revenge"? Why?

I'd rather justice over revenge any day. Revenge is such a savage and pointless concept. Justice works towards things being resolved fairly. Revenge just acts as an aggravation.

If you won a trip to visit 5 countries, where would you go?

I'd love to go to Europe, so Britain, Holland, Germany, Switzerland and for the reason of being a very left leaning government, Sweden.

The next four are from Captain Platypus at

First impression, which is more important: looks or personality?

The way a person acts is far more important than the way a person looks. Although some will argue that it is an impulse to judge someone instantaneously by the way they look, in some situations this can be the case.

Name a song that has made you cry or get over emotional.

My mum has told me that as a kid, Eternal flame by the Bangles used to cause me to shed a tear, myself being a solely rock fan, I can admit to having a certain soft spot for this song. I also try to limit my consumption of Marilyn Manson as it can make me feel over angry.

Worst movie you ever paid to see.

I can't remember very far back just now, but the latest movie that made me leave the cinema unsatisfied was Elektra, I was dragged along with my group of friends, a few were Jennifer Garner fan's and even they weren't impressed. My all time most hated movie is Blair Witch project, I didn't pay for that one, my dad hired it.

Have you ever been in a fight?

I had to clarify this one, he means physical fight. Yes, but not real big ones, just little pushes and shoves in High School, my mate however seemed to get caught up in them fairly often, he liked to take on the school yard bullies.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

20 Questions (cont'd)

The questions have been great, some real thought provoking ones and a few that have stumped me. There's still time to ask a few more, but now it's time for some answering.

The first four questions are from Stolly, who didn't supply a URL for me to link to, thanks Stolly.

Warning: this is a long post, I admire those who will read the whole thing.

Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years time?

Hopefully working at a newspaper somewhere, or any other media type company, this does not include The Telegraph. By this time I will also hopefully have submitted a few novels to publishers and/or agents, whether successfully published or not

What are your feelings about the liberal party "wet" faction, i.e. the more centrist and less conservative politicians like peter Costello and Joe hockey?

Myself being as left as Hitler is right, I still don’t like these people, who still tow the party line of the Liberal party. My feelings towards these people are similar to that of the Labour party, you cannot sugarcoat Capitalism, in some regards this can be extended to most parties.

What are your favourite 5 literary works of all time?

I am very ashamed of myself when it comes to an extensive amount of reading. I am a slow reader and until recently, I had gone off reading since I was in primary school. Since, renewing my passion for a good book or play, I have enjoyed some treasures.

1. The Green Mile – Stephen King. This book is by far my favourite; it really tears at your emotions throughout the book and is a marvel in language. The movie was described as a masterpiece, but the book, as always, trounces the movie. I loved this book so much that it was my monologue for my final year drama exam, the adapted monologue can be found on my homepage.
2. Waiting for Godot – Samuel Beckett. Until this play, albeit being a drama student, I had not found many plays I enjoyed, and one I can relate to and furthermore establish my beliefs solidly. I seem to have a tendency to my depressing plays, novels etc. This is one of the more depressing. Atheism is a very depressing belief at times, this play doesn’t help to come to terms with it, just put it in a darker detail, though the language, and imagery and metaphors are superb. I studied this play for my HSC
3. Asylum – voices behind the razor wire – Heather Tyler. This book in my opinion is the number one piece for outlining the tragedy of Australia’s immigration policy. It describes in detail the pain and suffering the detainees go through. It also removes some of the myths that fuel the debate from the other side. I used this as text for my HSC.
4. On Writing – Stephen King. This work is starkly different to the three before it, 1. It was not used or studied in conjunction with my HSC, and 2. It is not a depressing tail, except for King’s admissions about alcohol and drug abuse throughout his life. This book is a great handbook for any writer; it details the craft and the demands on the person. I must read it again, and most probably buy it.
5. Odd Thomas – Dean Koontz. I’m afraid I do not have much to choose from, but in some regards Koontz’s writing is better than King’s. His horror writing may not be as out there or strange, but his style is far more clear and concise, and for me it was quicker to read than a King novel, because Stephen King is such a complex writer that it makes it difficult to follow sometimes. This book, was great with a classic twist at the end, and as a whole was very entertaining.

We know your thoughts about America and its role in world affairs, but do you approve and support the terrorist response to those actions?

Terrorism is a word that has been thrown around too much. In my opinion the difference between the violence of a terrorist group and a government is the fact that the terrorist group has made it’s own group, and is not recognised as a state, but rather a group with a similar cause. Both terrorist groups and governments should be condemned for the use of violence on innocent people. I do support the Iraqi resistance when they attack US troops, but it must be noted that those who attack innocent Iraqis and even people signing up to be police should be condemned as they are doing a favour to nobody, and violence is not the answer.

Thanks for those questions Stolly I hope I answered them adequately, and I will answer more question in subsequent posts.

University activism still alive

Huge rallies to oppose uni fees law - National -

There has been massive rallies at Universities in Sydney to oppose the government's new VSU legislation. The legislation effectively removes student's voice and allows for bureaucratic bullshit to take over. This is one of many anti-people, pro elitist legislation to come from the Liberal government to come when they gain control of the senate in July. This attack on the student's right to voice their opinion as a mass has awoken the full force of student activism, and I expect more of it as we get closer and closer to July. Howard is not doing himself any favours by attacking further and further the liberties of the common person, it's only allowing for more and more to get pissed off.

Who's Your Inner European?

Your Inner European is Dutch!

Open minded and tolerant.
You're up for just about anything.

Friday, April 15, 2005

20 Questions

You may have seen this meme around the blogosphere, well it's my turn. Here's how it works. You guys/gals ask me up to four questions and I answer the top 20 (if I get more than 20 questions) Ask anything, within reason. In future posts I will give my answers. This is a way for the blogosphere to get to know eachother better.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Novel Update: First draft - Chapter Eight

Word Count: 15, 775

Now this is strange. Two novel updates in quick succession, and not just one's proclaiming my procrastination or meager word counts. Today and tonight I wrote just over 1500 words. I really feel like it's going somewhere too. I could probably keep on going but my back hurts and I need to sleep. I was so anxious to aim for 16,000 words but I was pushing myself. I just can't type fast enough.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

The pilgrimage that represents equality

(c) Maher Steitieh 2005 Posted by Hello

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine arrived back home after a very long holiday. My friend is a Muslim and he did what all Muslims have to do at least once in a lifetime. Make the pilgrimage to Mecca. I got this photo to show you, I am not religious at all, in fact I am atheist and my beliefs reflect that of the play 'Waiting for Godot.' But I do find this event inspirational. 3 million people in one place for the same purpose. What I also find inspiring is under Islam and especially during the 'Hajj,' as it is called, everyone is equal, they all stay in tents and the men all wear the exact same garment, two towels to symbolise everybody is equal. There are so many misconceptions about this religion that should be solved. Maybe I will take the time one day to remove them all because prior to 9/11 so much has been lost.

Novel Update: First Draft - Chapter Eight

Word Count: 14, 257

Bet you guys didn't expect one of these for a bit. Well, neither did I. I half took The Scribes advice and thought I wouldn't try to write, you know take a break until things seem to clear out. But something very kool happened tonight. I just decided to write, no real bug or inspiration, it was moving along at a slow pace, half going somewhere. The scene was being played in my head like a movie. It was so real, the imagry unmistakable. Then it hit me. My story scared the shit out of me. You know those scenes in movies where the face pops from no where, like at the start of the grudge. It was like that, in my head. It was like 1-1.30 in the morning, basically dark except for the light from the computer, and I'm sitting here typing at 100 miles an hour, scared shitless from my own writing. I managed to get over 1,000 words out, and when I wake up tomorrow morning I think I can continue, but don't hold me to it.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Moving and Shaking

Crap, alot has happened in recent days. With work and study mainly.

1. I still haven't been payed for the mobile phones sales, I'm seeking legal advice.

2. In a surprise I am now doing University. But, enrolement's over I hear you cry. I got offered to do a Bachalor of Communications from home via correspondence in Conjunction with Open Universities Australia and Griffith University. It's going to be hard work, but I'm up to it.

3. I have a new job, it's casual. I'm doing visitor/customer service kind of stuff, the details will become more clear after training, but what is clear is I will get a regular pay rate, and it's through Olympic park management so it's a fairly reputable group.

So lots of stuff has happened, I'm still poor for the time being. So I've added a donations button to my blog.

Keep up the good fight