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 - smh.com.au

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 - smh.com.au

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 - smh.com.au

"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 - smh.com.au

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 - smh.com.au

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 - smh.com.au

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 - http://writingcorner.cjb.net 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 - http://writingcorner.cjb.net 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 - smh.com.au

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 proboards.com 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 - smh.com.au
Howard lashes out at green 'extremists' - National - smh.com.au

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 - www.smh.com.au

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 that...it 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 Dreammoods.com 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.