born to lie.

I have heard famous actors say in interviews that they have the best job in the world. That they never had to grow up, spending their days playing make-believe and dressing up. That’s sort of the way I feel about writing… like it has kept me well and truly in touch with my inner child. Hopefully, in turn, that will help me to understand my own future children better.

I have mentioned before that one of my most vivid childhood memories is from the day, 6-year-old Frannie asked to be excused from class to go to the bathroom and instead found herself wandering down to the playground singing Somewhere Over The Rainbow to my adoring, albeit invisible, munchkin fans. More recently, I found my Grade 1 journals that further supported the idea that I was born to lie, i.e. write fiction. When I asked my Mum if she was ever concerned about how much I lied as a child, she said that she didn’t believe I lied, just that I stretched the truth to create a more magical reality.

not the whole truth.

Uncle Cam with the dolphins.

There were stories of fairies, of animals I befriended and recounts that my adult brain knows are ridiculous exaggerations but my child brain would have believed wholeheartedly. So I’m glad my parents hoarded all of my ‘stuff’ while I was younger. Now my journals, as embarrassing as they are, take pride of place on my desk serving to inspire and stir my imagination. They’re also a reminder that I picked the correct creative path by choosing words over art… the illustrations leave quite a bit to be desired.

a timely story.

This is probably quite a well-known little story, but it struck a chord with me when I read it earlier this week so I thought I’d share it. ‘Busy’ is my default answer whenever anyone asks me how I’m going, and while it’s true, it’s also a little misguided. ‘Happy’ should be the goal, not busy.

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The Mexican Fisherman

An American investment banker was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked.  Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna.  The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

The Mexican replied, “only a little while.”

The American then asked why didn’t he stay out longer and catch more fish?

The Mexican said he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs.

The American then asked, “but what do you do with the rest of your time?”

The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siestas with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine, and play guitar with my amigos.  I have a full and busy life.”

The American scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you.  You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat.  With the proceeds from the bigger boat, you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats.  Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery.  You would control the product, processing, and distribution.  You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually New York City, where you will run your expanding enterprise.”

The Mexican fisherman asked, “But, how long will this all take?”

To which the American replied, “15 – 20 years.”

“But what then?” Asked the Mexican.

The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part.  When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions!”

“Millions – then what?”

The American said, “Then you would retire.  Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siestas with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”

stop and smell the roses.

Look, I don’t want to name names *cough*Frannie&Marie*cough*, but two besties recently set out on a mission to re-watch the entire six series of US TV drama Dawson’s Creek. This fraught with emotions journey back to Capeside circa 1998 began last Saturday where in the pilot episode, the audience is introduced to way-too-self-aware-to-be-15, 15-year-olds Dawson, Joey, Pacey and Jen. Stories ensue that centre on friendship, family and the confusion that surrounds puberty, young love and whether 90s fashion was ever a good idea. Joey’s incessant eye-rolling and lip-biting aside, I know this is going to be a rowboat ride down memory lane that I will thoroughly enjoy.

More terrifying to me than the fact that I really love what most people would call ‘bad’ television, is the realisation that I’m a lot like young Dawson Leery. The same Dawson Leery who I find infuriatingly dramatic and oblivious to the world around him. The same film-addicted Dawson Leery who said “I reject reality”.

you're telling me.

The moment he said that, was the moment it hit me – if life does ever get too ‘real’ for me I retreat to a world of books, film & television. I often wish I could enlist Tim Burton to create a world just for me where days were spent resting in fields of daisies, where the hug of the warm sun would always be felt and seen in the rosy blush of everyone’s cheeks. Other times I dream that my house has been swept away at night and that I have awakened to the songs, colours and wonders of Oz. I am 25 however and reality does tend to smack you really hard in the face at this age, so while I will probably always turn to fiction first for comfort, there a few very real things that come to mind when I need some reminding that reality can be just as magical as my imagination.

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hometown tourists.

Kangaroo Point touristsIt was a rainy weekend in Brisbane so husband and I decided to play tourists at some of our favourite hometown spots. AK has just invested in a second hand Leica camera and I’m still learning to master my Canon so we thought we would practise in some scenic spots like Kangaroo Point and the Story Bridge. We’ve had no photographic training and are definitely still learning how to get the settings right, but we had a lovely little Saturday nonetheless.Kangaroo PointI think I might have taken the skills of our photographers at work for granted because it is much harder than it looks to get framing, light and focus all right in the one shot. No wonder they take so many. Thank goodness for digital I guess. Our photographers still talk about the days when the office had a dark room out the back and they wouldn’t know until they processed the images whether they had got ‘that one shot’ needed to grab the readers attention and make them want to read on. Because if the picture is lacklustre, it’s likely readers will flick to another page.

IMG_1673Unknown-3 Unknown-2I’m starting to get really excited for our one year anniversary trip to Tasmania later this year. It’s a beautiful part of Australia I’ve been dying to visit and I imagine we’ll be spending a lot of time crouched behind the lens.

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(This was AK staying very still trying to capture the majesty of the beautiful scrub turkey. City wildlife at its best)IMG_1719We love you Brisbane.

come on Cleo Magazine, you can do better.

I want to start by saying I read a lot of magazines. It’s my guilty pleasure, the antithesis of my job writing community news. I love to flick through NW on the treadmill, or Who on my lunch break and I totally accept these publications for what they are – light-hearted escapism.cleo.jpg

That being said, I was reading Cleo Magazine this morning at the gym and it made me angry. Like smoke coming out of my ears, had to throw the magazine away, vowed never to buy it again angry. I’m not a regular Cleo reader, but it’s my understanding that since the new editor came on board at the end of last year, the magazine has been touting itself as a new, more dynamic read for its target audience (which is professional 20-somethings like myself). As part of the relaunch in April it was announced there would no longer be any big ‘sex sells’ cover lines, so it gave the impression the magazine was angling towards a smarter, more well-rounded reader.

This month’s cover has the flashy headline ‘Sexism exposed!’, which seems like a pretty decent concept to explore. But the article I took issue with was the interview with Girls creator Lena Dunham. I’m no die-hard Dunham fan, but I know she’s an educated, articulate woman with a progressive agenda challenging the status quo of how women are presented in the media. She would be in my top 3 entertainers I would love to interview and I can think of dozens of things I would want to ask her and write about her.girls

I always take note of how writers put together a celebrity profile – sometimes they lead with a description of the interview setting, what the subject is wearing, what their demeanor is like. Or if it’s not a face-to-face interview, writers often try to sum up all the milestones or recent achievements of said talent. Now, think for a minute of all the ways you could sum up Lena Dunham and what she has achieved in the past couple of years. Got it?

Now here’s the actual intro:
“You’ve probably seen Lena Dunham naked as many times as you’ve seen your boyfriend in the buff.”

Really? That’s the most newsworthy thing this writer has taken from two seasons of Girls? That she gets naked a bit? Cool.

And just in case you think I’m taking one line out of context, here’s the second line:
”In hit TV show Girls, the 27-year-old writer, creator and actor flaunts her tummy wobbles in a way most actresses would never dare.”
Yeah…. The show isn’t about a flagrant nudist running around the streets of New York flashing her ‘tummy wobbles’. It’s about the uncertainty of graduating in a recession and trying to figure your shit out in your early twenties. Dunham is naked the same amount of time normal people are naked in their normal lives.

It doesn’t get any better. Continue reading

mr big… mistake.

Self-help lessons in love for us girls often refer to two types of guys, Mr Wrong and Mr Right. Sex And The City threw a third type of guy in to the mix, Mr Big. Or as I like to refer to him, Mr Big Mistake. I know you either love or hate Sex And The City, but I often refer to it because it is a great look at human characteristics and choices (especially in love) that aren’t always rational or right but that are common and for me, pretty relatable. If you watched the show *spoiler alert* then you know that Carrie Bradshaw ended up happily shacked up and married to Mr Big. However, along the way there were many times that I wanted Sam, Charlotte and Miranda to tell Carrie to walk away from him and never look back. Especially when he left her stranded at the altar. Mr Big wasn’t a villain (Mr Wrong) and he wasn’t a hero (Mr Right) either. He was a third category of potential suitor. Someone who, because of their own emotional impotence, is bad for us but we stay with them anyway, because there are seven days in a week and on at least one of those days we see glimmers of the person we first met.

that's some pretty big baggage.

So what makes a Mr Big?

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body image brouhaha.

brookeBody image can be a pretty difficult path to navigate for young girls, or as I so eloquently described it recently – it’s a nasty son of a bitch. Blame mass media, Photoshop, our culture or perhaps the internet, but it often feels like women are expected to be young, pretty, thin, smart (but not too smart) and subservient always. Anything else is pretty quickly trashed – heaven forbid you are overweight or show any signs of ageing. So much is written about the issue of self-esteem and body image that I never thought I really had anything useful to add to the conversation. But I overheard a conversation between two young girls at a department store the other day and it broke my heart.  Continue reading