The one about guest posting [self-promotion]

My super-plan for being super-fabulous involves using blogging as a platform which showcases my awesomeness.  In theory, people will read my blog and be like, “Wow, this girl is SO AWESOME, I am going to pay her to do whatever she wants” (eg writing for cool publications, hosting The Oscars™, etc).

Obviously this is a Tortoise-paced project because I’m going to start being A Baby Lawyer (as, a young lawyer, not a lawyer that lawyers for.about infants) in just a couple of weeks, so you don’t need look out for me at The Oscars ’til like, 2027.

I still desperately need to get on to doing up my webiste front page and getting business cards.  But I’ve spent the last two weeks looking for a new place to rent and, yikes, it’s tough being a Lady of Leisure, you know.  There’s so much sleeping, DVDs, reading, yoga, etc to do, and yet so little time!

But, writing stuff is relatively easy for me so I’m going to work at building up my profile by writing guest posts for other blogs over the next few months and seeing if that will help introduce new readers to me.

I had a couple of shots at writing for a pretty popular blog (which I’ll leave nameless) but the owner, who was like “oh, cool, yeah I’ll totally use them”, never ended up posting my posts so I didn’t try again for a while.

Then, yesterday, Mike Meloni of Somebody Think Of The Children did a shout out on Twitter for a response to a horrible op-ed in The Australian about why we should trial the “Cleen Feed” internet filter.  I jumped at the chance, and instead of watching 2 episodes of The Wire as I normally would before heading to yoga I whipped up post for him!

Go check it out!

I’ve had encouraging feedback so I’m going to keep at it.  Hopefully I’ll hear back from from people with comments I want to include in my next article for New Matilda, too (here’s my first one) so I’ll keep building up my “portfolio” bit by bit.

Like Rachel Hunter used to say in those Pantene ads, I know it won’t happen overnight, but I’m sure that sooner or later, it will.

The one about virtually stuyding MIT courses [geekism]

One of the many DVDs I have watched since starting leave was 21 — the film about Kevin Spacey’s team of card-counting brainiacs from MIT who bring down the houses of Vegas at the blackjack tables.  I was lucky enough to be taken to Vegas for my 21st and when I got carded (I always got carded) and they realised it was my actual birthday that very day, people gave me chips.  I promptly lost them to the dealer.

But I’m sure if I had the ability to count cards (or, like, anything numerically higher than 10 fingers), I’m sure I’d have won.  It’s such a shame that I suck at maths and can’t play blackjack and can’t study at MIT.

Or so I thought.  I got sent the awesomest link ever today, and discovered that the Massachusetts Institute of Technology publishes pretty much all of its undergraduate and graduate course materials online, for free, via their OpenCourseWare (OCW) program.

I cannot start to explain how geekishly cool this is.  There are like thousands (guesstimation; I didn’t count, because I’d run out of fingers) of courses available in fields such as architecture, chemistry, politics and nuclear engineering, and you can download readers and lectures that are available (and I repeat: for free) under a Creative Commons license.

Now, they make it very clear that this does not lead to graduation with an MIT degree, but, like, for mega-nerds like myself, the idea of just having this stuff available is tinglifying.

And I am rather tempted to set myself up to study 21W.730-1 Expository Writing: Exploring Social and Ethical Issues through Film and Print and 21W.747-3 Classical Rhetoric and Modern Politics.

I know I totally won’t. But it’s so cool to think I could if I could be bothered 😉

on writing

Just another quick post today; I just wanted to mention something.

It’s about writing style. I read this interesting piece on the topic a couple of weeks ago and it got me a’pondering about writing, or, more specifically, about how I write (because, as you must know by now, everything is always about me).

One of the 7 tips from the article is “sound like yourself”.

Annie has often said that she likes my writing because it sounds just like I talk, which I take as one of the loveliest compliments ever,

Then one of the tumblrers I follow quoted a following paragraph from weblebrity Julia Allison’s most recent column that got me thinking about a terrible habit I know I’ve do when I write.  The bit she’d “plucked … at random to say that punctuation like this boggles my mind” was this:

The good news (for you!): The creation of online systems of transmission (MySpace, YouTube, Facebook, Wikipedia), with their myriad channels for exposure—and resulting adoption and mutations—has exponentially sped up meme transmissions.

I know I’ve got a bit of a penchant for the odd aside, or 3, in the process of trying to make a point about something, but I hope I don’t do it as horribly as that.

So that’s all. I just wanted to write a bit about writing.  Which is really what this blog is for, I guess.

What sort of bad writing habits do you have? And/or what bugs you?

Why Sunili Can’t Read Good No More

One of the many traits (most pretty much all of them bad) I have inherited from my Father is a love of books. I adore them, and the ability to lose myself in a story that an incredibly talented author has created. One of the bestest things I love about reading is that, unlike movies or TV, I have a bit of leeway to imagine stuff on my own too.  I like imagining things.

I have been trying to read for pleasure since I graduated last year, but I have been struggling.

Despite the fact I now have the money to buy books and the time to read them, I have been unable to read properly. I try to read, but I don’t get very far. It weirds me out or something, so I stop.

As a result, the Pile of Books I Want to Read on my bed-side table has been getting higher and higher and it makes me sad, because I really want to read these books (I also have a compulsive book-buying habit, also inherited from Father, but that’s beside the point).

I just read a blog post that made me understand why this is happening. It was totally a *light bulb* moment.

Turns out that I picked up a horrible aversion reading in university.

I went to law school. In law school, law students are subjected to the horrible torture of reading law stuff. Which, as I am sure all law students know, is evil.

We did a unit that involved “Plain English Writing”, sure, but everything else we read was not plain. Or English. It was Evilese.

Evilese, aka Legalese (but that term is just way too nice for what is a horrible curse upon humanity), is rife with the use of NOMINALISATION, which Roguish Tei describes as

the removal of a subject from a sentence. Instead of ’she took’, the nominalization is ‘the taking’. Instead of ‘he broke’, the nominalization is ‘the breaking’. Nominalization is the horror that is verbs masquerading as subjects.

My *light bulb* moment was when I went “OMFG! That’s what law stuff is!!!”

Only I didn’t realise that’s what law stuff is because our education system is effed and I only learned about the existence of verbs and subjects and all that jazz when I was learning French, which was about three years ago.  Only they didn’t go so far as to explain Nominalization, plus I gave up after learning how to order 4 slices of ham anyway. 

So I didn’t think there was anything wrong with the evil law stuff I was reading.

After 6 years (we have a different higher-education structure in Australia, I have two degrees, it’s ok, I’m not a total dummy who spent 6 years in law school) of reading NOTHING MUCH ELSE BUT NOMINALIZATION I started to hate reading.

Reading gave me headaches. It gave me fine-lines and wrinkles that I totally should not have yet. Because I wasn’t just reading — I was trying really hard to figure out what this strange text in a language that is really hard to figure out was trying to say. Because I had to figure it out or else I would fail. And I’m a Type-A Perfectionist Nutjob, and I don’t like failing. So I kept trying harder and harder until I blew up and melted like the Wicked Witch of the West (well, at least, something very similar).

So now I hate reading.

That sucks.

And I’m still working in a job where I have to read legal shite for 8-10 hours a day. So I need to find another profession.

Because I like books more. Way more than law shite.