dolorosa_12: (pic#)
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People who read are always a little like you. You can't just tell them, you have to tell them why. - Catherine Jinks, Pagan's Crusade
dolorosa_12: (Default)
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Ah, Canberra. The best of places and the worst of places. What I love most about it is also what I think needs to change. Let me explain.

Canberra, the capital city of Australia, is a small place by Australian standards. It has a population of about 350,000, most of whom work in the public service or for the government in some way. And there's a strange sort of transience about the place. Almost everyone I knew, growing up there, were the first generation in their respective families to grow up in Canberra. Their parents had all moved there for work. And very few of my group of friends remain there: they've all moved to Sydney or Melbourne or Brisbane or overseas. Even those who do live and work there spent many years after school or uni travelling the world.

So there is a certain instability. People aged between, say, three and 18, the sons and daughters of public servants and journalists and political staffers and diplomats, live among an unchanging crowd of the children of other middle-class professionals, all attending the same public schools, the same gymnastics clubs, the same summer music camps and cricket teams. This continues on, to a certain extent, during university (although I left for Sydney then), and, suddenly, everyone leaves. The young workforce I encountered upon returning to Canberra aged 22 was almost entirely comprised of people from out of town, bright young university graduates from Melbourne and Sydney and Perth and Newcastle or Wagga, keen to make their mark quickly so that they could move on to brighter lights, bigger cities.

The older members of the workforce were all friends of my parents.

Growing up in Canberra, everyone knew me, from the owner of the organic butchery my family frequented to the Duke of Edinburgh's Award coordinator at my highschool who just happened to be the mother of my former gymnastics coach. To this day, if I meet someone who lived in Canberra between the years of 1988-2005ish, if I talk to them for a while, I can usually find a connection, some friend or relative or former teacher in common. [livejournal.com profile] lucubratae, who is seven years younger than I am thus never attended an educational institution at the same time, has a Facebook friends list full of the younger brothers and sisters of people I know. That's just how it is.

The closeness, the familiarity, the sense of being a big fish in a small pond is at once joyous and suffocating. I am proud to be a Canberran, and I look back on my childhood there with great fondness. It is a source of great strength to me that I grew up being known. That everyone from my piano teacher to the staff at Silo Bakery, from my friends at school to my mother's coworkers had some sort of conception in their mind of who and what 'Ronni' was. They knew who I was and who was around me and where I came from. And it was wonderful.

And it was terrible. It was constraining and frustrating and inhibiting. When I went to university I felt like the rug had been pulled out from beneath my feet. How could I function when nobody knew what school I'd gone to (and what it meant to have gone to such a school?), where my parents worked, what subjects I'd done well in at school? (I admit that almost everyone experiences this at university, not just people from small, close-knit communities.) And knowing these things myself, knowing how I was known and expected to behave put constraints upon my behaviour and made it very difficult to try to change and be different. I spent undergrad (and, indeed, the first year of my working life) struggling to come to terms with both Canberra's presence and its absence. I didn't know how to be without it, and how I was with Canberra affected my ability to become.

It took travelling halfway around the world for me to figure out who I really was, and for me to come to terms with all these things. I love Canberra. I love that I was and am a Canberran. It is no longer a restraining and constraining legacy, but rather something I wear comfortably, a component part of a fragmented identity. I wouldn't change Canberra's insularity for the world, but if I had my time over, I would see it more clearly for what it is: a mixed blessing.
dolorosa_12: (Default)
[Error: unknown template qotd]

Ah, Canberra. The best of places and the worst of places. What I love most about it is also what I think needs to change. Let me explain.

Canberra, the capital city of Australia, is a small place by Australian standards. It has a population of about 350,000, most of whom work in the public service or for the government in some way. And there's a strange sort of transience about the place. Almost everyone I knew, growing up there, were the first generation in their respective families to grow up in Canberra. Their parents had all moved there for work. And very few of my group of friends remain there: they've all moved to Sydney or Melbourne or Brisbane or overseas. Even those who do live and work there spent many years after school or uni travelling the world.

So there is a certain instability. People aged between, say, three and 18, the sons and daughters of public servants and journalists and political staffers and diplomats, live among an unchanging crowd of the children of other middle-class professionals, all attending the same public schools, the same gymnastics clubs, the same summer music camps and cricket teams. This continues on, to a certain extent, during university (although I left for Sydney then), and, suddenly, everyone leaves. The young workforce I encountered upon returning to Canberra aged 22 was almost entirely comprised of people from out of town, bright young university graduates from Melbourne and Sydney and Perth and Newcastle or Wagga, keen to make their mark quickly so that they could move on to brighter lights, bigger cities.

The older members of the workforce were all friends of my parents.

Growing up in Canberra, everyone knew me, from the owner of the organic butchery my family frequented to the Duke of Edinburgh's Award coordinator at my highschool who just happened to be the mother of my former gymnastics coach. To this day, if I meet someone who lived in Canberra between the years of 1988-2005ish, if I talk to them for a while, I can usually find a connection, some friend or relative or former teacher in common. [livejournal.com profile] lucubratae, who is seven years younger than I am thus never attended an educational institution at the same time, has a Facebook friends list full of the younger brothers and sisters of people I know. That's just how it is.

The closeness, the familiarity, the sense of being a big fish in a small pond is at once joyous and suffocating. I am proud to be a Canberran, and I look back on my childhood there with great fondness. It is a source of great strength to me that I grew up being known. That everyone from my piano teacher to the staff at Silo Bakery, from my friends at school to my mother's coworkers had some sort of conception in their mind of who and what 'Ronni' was. They knew who I was and who was around me and where I came from. And it was wonderful.

And it was terrible. It was constraining and frustrating and inhibiting. When I went to university I felt like the rug had been pulled out from beneath my feet. How could I function when nobody knew what school I'd gone to (and what it meant to have gone to such a school?), where my parents worked, what subjects I'd done well in at school? (I admit that almost everyone experiences this at university, not just people from small, close-knit communities.) And knowing these things myself, knowing how I was known and expected to behave put constraints upon my behaviour and made it very difficult to try to change and be different. I spent undergrad (and, indeed, the first year of my working life) struggling to come to terms with both Canberra's presence and its absence. I didn't know how to be without it, and how I was with Canberra affected my ability to become.

It took travelling halfway around the world for me to figure out who I really was, and for me to come to terms with all these things. I love Canberra. I love that I was and am a Canberran. It is no longer a restraining and constraining legacy, but rather something I wear comfortably, a component part of a fragmented identity. I wouldn't change Canberra's insularity for the world, but if I had my time over, I would see it more clearly for what it is: a mixed blessing.
dolorosa_12: (Default)
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This is a rather ignorant question. Not every country in the world celebrates an Independence Day. I'm from Australia, and we don't have any sort of celebration of independence for the simple fact that Australia is still part of the British commonwealth. The Queen is still our head of state. The closest thing Australia has to a national holiday celebrating its identity as a country is Australia Day, which commemorates the settlement of the First Fleet in Australia and the foundation of a colony there.

However, it is not a celebration full of joy because Australia Day also marks the dispossession of the indigenous inhabitants of Australia, and, indeed, many people call Australia Day 'Invasion Day' for this reason. I think that's a good reminder that national identity is complicated, and not necessarily a cause for unthinking, uncritical celebration.
dolorosa_12: (Default)
[Error: unknown template qotd]

This is a rather ignorant question. Not every country in the world celebrates an Independence Day. I'm from Australia, and we don't have any sort of celebration of independence for the simple fact that Australia is still part of the British commonwealth. The Queen is still our head of state. The closest thing Australia has to a national holiday celebrating its identity as a country is Australia Day, which commemorates the settlement of the First Fleet in Australia and the foundation of a colony there.

However, it is not a celebration full of joy because Australia Day also marks the dispossession of the indigenous inhabitants of Australia, and, indeed, many people call Australia Day 'Invasion Day' for this reason. I think that's a good reminder that national identity is complicated, and not necessarily a cause for unthinking, uncritical celebration.
dolorosa_12: (Default)
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I first heard the word 'dolour' when my Year 7 English class was studying Harp in the South, which has a character called Dolour in it. I was in an obsessive look-up-the-meaning-of-every-name phase, looked up what 'dolour' meant, loved it, and appropriated the name as my own. To this day, emails from my main email address come from someone called 'Dolour Inviolate' and not from my real name.

At some point, I figured out that 'dolorosa' was the Latin form of 'dolour'. I thought it sounded better, especially since 'dolour' is pronounced the same as 'dollar'. Around this time, I logged onto my first internet forum, as 'Aletheia Dolorosa', a mishmash of Latin and Greek inspired by the alethiometer in His Dark Materials. Pretty soon, I'd dropped the 'Aletheia' and was attempting to log in everywhere online as 'Dolorosa'. Unfortunately, in most places, someone else had got there first, and I had to do what I always do when some rogue 'Dolorosa' has stolen my username: stick the number 12 on the end.

12 has been my favourite number since I was six. I always use it to modify 'dolorosa' when necessary.

Thus, [livejournal.com profile] dolorosa_12.
dolorosa_12: (Default)
[Error: unknown template qotd]

I first heard the word 'dolour' when my Year 7 English class was studying Harp in the South, which has a character called Dolour in it. I was in an obsessive look-up-the-meaning-of-every-name phase, looked up what 'dolour' meant, loved it, and appropriated the name as my own. To this day, emails from my main email address come from someone called 'Dolour Inviolate' and not from my real name.

At some point, I figured out that 'dolorosa' was the Latin form of 'dolour'. I thought it sounded better, especially since 'dolour' is pronounced the same as 'dollar'. Around this time, I logged onto my first internet forum, as 'Aletheia Dolorosa', a mishmash of Latin and Greek inspired by the alethiometer in His Dark Materials. Pretty soon, I'd dropped the 'Aletheia' and was attempting to log in everywhere online as 'Dolorosa'. Unfortunately, in most places, someone else had got there first, and I had to do what I always do when some rogue 'Dolorosa' has stolen my username: stick the number 12 on the end.

12 has been my favourite number since I was six. I always use it to modify 'dolorosa' when necessary.

Thus, [livejournal.com profile] dolorosa_12.
dolorosa_12: (dreaming)
I'm slowly recovering from a night of rather epic (and stupid) drinking, where a friend of mine came over and we drank nearly two-thirds of a bottle of gin, ranting the entire time. We used to live in the same house, and we would periodically get together for evenings of drunken ranting, so it was like old times. The hangover was like old times, too.

I've got a couple of new posts over at Wordpress. The first is a summary of all the places on the internet I find most useful as resources for my interests (ie books, films, TV shows and music). The next post is on Longvision, and it is a copy of a message Sophia McDougall sent to members of the Romanitas Facebook group about the new release date for Savage City. I've already posted it on [livejournal.com profile] romanitas_fans.

A couple of my friends were talking on Twitter this morning about graduating from Bundah, which got me all nostalgic for the place. Until I came to Cambridge, I had imagined that my years at Bundah would be the high point of my life (which depressed me somewhat). I have only good memories about those two years. It's hard to explain how wonderful it is to people who didn't go there (and I suspect that Bundah wasn't that great for everyone who was there), so suffice it to say that until I came to Cambridge, Bundah was the only time when I felt perfect harmony between being (who I was) and doing (what I did). It remains my model of what high school should be.

I've also (finally) written my first ever fanfic. I probably won't post it, however. I know I claim that my middle name ought to be 'overshare', and I certainly have no problem writing about deeply personal stuff (often in completely public entries), I've always been incredibly shy about my fiction. I've been writing fiction since I was a child, and doing so seriously since I was about 14 or 15, but aside from showing some stories to my mother, reading a few out loud to Mimi, and letting Raphael read a couple of chapters, I've never shown them to a living soul. I can't even explain why, since I don't really care if people tell me the writing is terrible or the ideas are silly. My fiction comes from a much more personal place than any real-life information I may impart. I wouldn't go so far to say that everything I write about is allegorical, but in some sense everyone in my stories is me, and everything that happens happened to me (even though I've never been a member of a band of misfits who saved the world, or the source by which magic is powered, or whatever). If I were to put my fiction in public, I'd feel stripped bare in a way that relating even the most mortifying experience doesn't make me feel.
dolorosa_12: (dreaming)
I'm slowly recovering from a night of rather epic (and stupid) drinking, where a friend of mine came over and we drank nearly two-thirds of a bottle of gin, ranting the entire time. We used to live in the same house, and we would periodically get together for evenings of drunken ranting, so it was like old times. The hangover was like old times, too.

I've got a couple of new posts over at Wordpress. The first is a summary of all the places on the internet I find most useful as resources for my interests (ie books, films, TV shows and music). The next post is on Longvision, and it is a copy of a message Sophia McDougall sent to members of the Romanitas Facebook group about the new release date for Savage City. I've already posted it on [livejournal.com profile] romanitas_fans.

A couple of my friends were talking on Twitter this morning about graduating from Bundah, which got me all nostalgic for the place. Until I came to Cambridge, I had imagined that my years at Bundah would be the high point of my life (which depressed me somewhat). I have only good memories about those two years. It's hard to explain how wonderful it is to people who didn't go there (and I suspect that Bundah wasn't that great for everyone who was there), so suffice it to say that until I came to Cambridge, Bundah was the only time when I felt perfect harmony between being (who I was) and doing (what I did). It remains my model of what high school should be.

I've also (finally) written my first ever fanfic. I probably won't post it, however. I know I claim that my middle name ought to be 'overshare', and I certainly have no problem writing about deeply personal stuff (often in completely public entries), I've always been incredibly shy about my fiction. I've been writing fiction since I was a child, and doing so seriously since I was about 14 or 15, but aside from showing some stories to my mother, reading a few out loud to Mimi, and letting Raphael read a couple of chapters, I've never shown them to a living soul. I can't even explain why, since I don't really care if people tell me the writing is terrible or the ideas are silly. My fiction comes from a much more personal place than any real-life information I may impart. I wouldn't go so far to say that everything I write about is allegorical, but in some sense everyone in my stories is me, and everything that happens happened to me (even though I've never been a member of a band of misfits who saved the world, or the source by which magic is powered, or whatever). If I were to put my fiction in public, I'd feel stripped bare in a way that relating even the most mortifying experience doesn't make me feel.
dolorosa_12: (flight of the conchords)
Quite a few things have inspired this post. The first was reading two truly atrocious books over the weekend. To be fair, the first one, Graceling by Kristin Cashore, simply had what in films are called continuity errors. The main character in the book is a very talented fighter called Katsa. The first chapter spent a lot of time setting up the fact that none of her assailants ever expected her to be a girl, so they always imagined that a talented male fighter was attacking them. The next chapter had Katsa being renowned all over for being the odd, frightening talented girl fighter. FAIL!

The other book was even more of a mess. It was The Language of Stones by Robert Carter, and fuses Arthurian myth with an alt-historical Wars of the Roses. It sounded wonderful, but was an incoherent mess of every Arthurian and fantasy trope (from magical stones and ley-lines to 'Mark my words well, young Jedi' platitudinous portentousness; from bashing of a greatly modified version of medieval Christianity to random usage of Irish as the 'true language'). To make matters worse, it rips off The Dark is Rising in a truly shameless manner (come on, it's no coincidence that your super-special hero is called Will, was born on May Day and is brought away from his sheltered existence by Merlin just before a significant birthday).

After reading these two books, I thought their authors could've benefited from a post like this!

Anyway, the other inspiration for this post was the fact that many people I know are doing NaNo, so I thought a few writing tips couldn't hurt.

First up is one of my favourite bloggers, The Intern. She has some of the best writing advice I've ever read:
'-Open novel to a random page
-Read a couple paragraphs, or at most, a couple pages
-Can you tell what the conflict is, or what the character is yearning for? Can you explain, in just a few words, what these paragraphs are doing and why? [...]
If you stab your own manuscript with that toothpick and need to read an entire chapter before being able to identify some kind of internal or external conflict, you might have a problem. If you can't identify what's going in any particular spot in less than twenty words, chances are the conflict or tension is too vague (or there isn't any).'

It's so obvious, and yet it's not something that you'd obviously think about as a new writer.

Justine Larbalestier and her husband Scott Westerfeld (find him at [livejournal.com profile] westerfeld_blog) are posting helpful writing tips on alternate days.

These next links are not necessarily NaNo-related, but they contain valuable information for writers of genre fiction in particular.

I really love Abigail Nussbaum's blog. Although I don't always agree with her, she's probably one of my favourite commentators on all things SF/F. Her latest post, on The Magicians by Lev Grossman, is definitely worth a read.

Finally, John Scalzi has had enough of sci-fi geeks whining about lack of mainstream acceptance. He's as eloquent as usual.

I've been rediscovering Steeleye Span recently. I've listened to them since I was a child, and always adored their take on traditional folk songs. As you know, I'm a lyrics freak, so any style of music that emphasises storytelling is going to appeal to me, but I'd forgotten how awesome the songs were. My current obsessions are the less well-known (at least to me) songs:
'Following Me' (I can't find the lyrics online at all, but they're great)
'Lady Diamond'
'The Fox'
And, in particular, the awesome 'The False Knight on the Road', which is a great example of riddling and rhyming as a battle with seriously scary consequences. (The 'False Knight', is, of course, the Devil.)

I love finding out obscure stuff about the origins of the songs, so I was pleased to find this fabulous site that unravels the complex meaning of 'Cam Ye O'er Frae France' in all its subversive, Jacobite glory.

Well, I hope this post was full of writing and wordy goodness. Good luck, NaNo people!
dolorosa_12: (flight of the conchords)
Quite a few things have inspired this post. The first was reading two truly atrocious books over the weekend. To be fair, the first one, Graceling by Kristin Cashore, simply had what in films are called continuity errors. The main character in the book is a very talented fighter called Katsa. The first chapter spent a lot of time setting up the fact that none of her assailants ever expected her to be a girl, so they always imagined that a talented male fighter was attacking them. The next chapter had Katsa being renowned all over for being the odd, frightening talented girl fighter. FAIL!

The other book was even more of a mess. It was The Language of Stones by Robert Carter, and fuses Arthurian myth with an alt-historical Wars of the Roses. It sounded wonderful, but was an incoherent mess of every Arthurian and fantasy trope (from magical stones and ley-lines to 'Mark my words well, young Jedi' platitudinous portentousness; from bashing of a greatly modified version of medieval Christianity to random usage of Irish as the 'true language'). To make matters worse, it rips off The Dark is Rising in a truly shameless manner (come on, it's no coincidence that your super-special hero is called Will, was born on May Day and is brought away from his sheltered existence by Merlin just before a significant birthday).

After reading these two books, I thought their authors could've benefited from a post like this!

Anyway, the other inspiration for this post was the fact that many people I know are doing NaNo, so I thought a few writing tips couldn't hurt.

First up is one of my favourite bloggers, The Intern. She has some of the best writing advice I've ever read:
'-Open novel to a random page
-Read a couple paragraphs, or at most, a couple pages
-Can you tell what the conflict is, or what the character is yearning for? Can you explain, in just a few words, what these paragraphs are doing and why? [...]
If you stab your own manuscript with that toothpick and need to read an entire chapter before being able to identify some kind of internal or external conflict, you might have a problem. If you can't identify what's going in any particular spot in less than twenty words, chances are the conflict or tension is too vague (or there isn't any).'

It's so obvious, and yet it's not something that you'd obviously think about as a new writer.

Justine Larbalestier and her husband Scott Westerfeld (find him at [livejournal.com profile] westerfeld_blog) are posting helpful writing tips on alternate days.

These next links are not necessarily NaNo-related, but they contain valuable information for writers of genre fiction in particular.

I really love Abigail Nussbaum's blog. Although I don't always agree with her, she's probably one of my favourite commentators on all things SF/F. Her latest post, on The Magicians by Lev Grossman, is definitely worth a read.

Finally, John Scalzi has had enough of sci-fi geeks whining about lack of mainstream acceptance. He's as eloquent as usual.

I've been rediscovering Steeleye Span recently. I've listened to them since I was a child, and always adored their take on traditional folk songs. As you know, I'm a lyrics freak, so any style of music that emphasises storytelling is going to appeal to me, but I'd forgotten how awesome the songs were. My current obsessions are the less well-known (at least to me) songs:
'Following Me' (I can't find the lyrics online at all, but they're great)
'Lady Diamond'
'The Fox'
And, in particular, the awesome 'The False Knight on the Road', which is a great example of riddling and rhyming as a battle with seriously scary consequences. (The 'False Knight', is, of course, the Devil.)

I love finding out obscure stuff about the origins of the songs, so I was pleased to find this fabulous site that unravels the complex meaning of 'Cam Ye O'er Frae France' in all its subversive, Jacobite glory.

Well, I hope this post was full of writing and wordy goodness. Good luck, NaNo people!
dolorosa_12: (Default)
I suddenly realised something about all the stories I've been writing. (That'd be Ravenstan, a story set in the same world that is an alt-universe story about the beginnings of Norman involvement in Ireland, my 'Sources' story and my 'strict hierarchy' story.)

They're all set in the same world.

It's a world that is neither wholly imaginary nor an alternative version of our own. Rather, it's a world that is formed out of echoes of, and resonances from, our own world. It's built out of our tropes and dreams and stories and myths. This is most apparent in Ravenstan, where there are 'Flower Children' who are not really flower children, a province called 'Lyonesse' whose capital is 'Tintagil', and a group known as 'those crazed Ilium types' who are essentially Iliad LARPers.

What this all means is another question.
dolorosa_12: (Default)
I suddenly realised something about all the stories I've been writing. (That'd be Ravenstan, a story set in the same world that is an alt-universe story about the beginnings of Norman involvement in Ireland, my 'Sources' story and my 'strict hierarchy' story.)

They're all set in the same world.

It's a world that is neither wholly imaginary nor an alternative version of our own. Rather, it's a world that is formed out of echoes of, and resonances from, our own world. It's built out of our tropes and dreams and stories and myths. This is most apparent in Ravenstan, where there are 'Flower Children' who are not really flower children, a province called 'Lyonesse' whose capital is 'Tintagil', and a group known as 'those crazed Ilium types' who are essentially Iliad LARPers.

What this all means is another question.
dolorosa_12: (dreaming)
I've stared at a screen for far too long. Snédgus and Mac Riagla are tap-dancing on my skull. The Men of Ross are keeping time by beating my brow with sticks. Donnchad mac Domnall is threatening to burn me alive in a house...oh, oops, that's what actually happens in my dissertation core texts...

Anyway, rather than doing what any sane person would do when faced with a migraine of such epic proportions, I'm blogging. Yay!

dreams, writing and music lurk within )
dolorosa_12: (dreaming)
I've stared at a screen for far too long. Snédgus and Mac Riagla are tap-dancing on my skull. The Men of Ross are keeping time by beating my brow with sticks. Donnchad mac Domnall is threatening to burn me alive in a house...oh, oops, that's what actually happens in my dissertation core texts...

Anyway, rather than doing what any sane person would do when faced with a migraine of such epic proportions, I'm blogging. Yay!

dreams, writing and music lurk within )
dolorosa_12: (Anne Rice)
This post could easily be subtitled 'Why I Will Never Be A Professional Writer'.

This is why )
dolorosa_12: (Anne Rice)
This post could easily be subtitled 'Why I Will Never Be A Professional Writer'.

This is why )
dolorosa_12: (dreaming)
I'm in the process of sorting through all my old stuff. My mother has kept everything I've ever done since the age of three, and there just isn't room any more. So today I went through this massive folder of pictures and stories, mainly from the ages of three to seven. I've often thought I was a most singular child, but this folder has confirmed it. I'm going to share several of the most bizarre items with you.

Aside from the hundreds of drawings of the characters of Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, The Little Mermaid and Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, there are some absolutely hilarious stories. Although they lose something in the translation, here they are. Enjoy! (I'm leaving the original spelling and grammar untouched. It's better that way.)

(My personal favourite). Here We Go Again
"Once upon a time there was a dinosaur called Tanya her friends at boading school were Katy and Stegy. Their school was very strict they had to do everything the right way. Tanya and her friends sometimes got very frightened for if they did the rong thing they would get the cane. It was a stick. If they did something really rong they would get an elextrikc shock Bite. It was a bite from tyirown the teacer. (Speech bubbles saying "Aaah!!" "Go away" "You have been bad but..." "Oh Aaah" "grrr it's your fault")
"Tyirown the teacher was in a bad mood. His coffee had spilt he had lost his rubber and Maria Mutterburrersaurus had drawn on the wall with red pen. He had not the energy to give the electrick shock Bite or the cane. Stegy shock with fear katy closed her eyes and put her hands over her eyes and tanya fainted. (Tyirown shown going "grrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!")
"Tyirown the teacher came out everybody ran and hid but baby steg-steg could not find a hiding place. Tyirown the teacher hurled him hed landed on the balkoney and scraped his leg katy said "let's save him" "no" said stegy and tanya "Tyirown might see us" they said but katy walk off and got him."
The back of the book had a blurb ("Meet the gang of 3 look out, oh, oh, something might happen") and an approximation at a library barcode.

Veronica's Ballet Book (with writing by my mother)
"Veronica's hungry. This is a biscuit.
"Ripped her dress. Please help her to dance.
"Fallen off the stage.
"She's coughing.
"I've fallen over. Poor Veronica. (sign saying "Someone has fallen over. Please help her to dance.")
"Can't dance.
"She's lost a shoe."
The melodramatic tragedy of it is...disturbing.

The Pony That Turned Into a Sparkle
"There was once a pony that liked sparklers and fireworks.
"One day it went into its castle.
"And there it went under a rainbow.
"It also got put into a love heart. When it came out it turned into a sparkle.
"And it flew around a spotted mat."

And the very melodramatic, self-righteous Shary Saves The Earth, which could only have been written by a child growing up in the '90s.
"Shary wanted to save the earth but people would just not listen to her. She gave talks on how to plant more trees and how trees help us breathe and th esun would explode someday. Even when she told them that 'if you don't wear hats and sunscream you would get burnt' they still wouldn't listen!
"The only people who believed her were her sister Eucare, her friend Shri, her Mum and her Dad. Eucare tried to plant more trees but Jillien, Emma, Ann, Alexandra and Jenny pulled them up. Shri helped Shary with her talks.
"Eucare's friends Baducare and Maree helped her. One night, Shary stayed at Eucare's trees. The mean girls came.
"Shary and Eucare lept from hidding, the mean girls cried 'I'm sorry Shary!' Soon everyone liked and believed Shary."


Then we have some truly idiosyncratic entries in my writing journal, circa 1991-92.
"Comet's Tail. Today I went to Emma's house. Karina came over too. Then a storm came. We saw lightening and herd thuder too. Emma said that a comet was coming. I said that there is a snowball in the tail as big as a city. We all saw the garden move and we felt the house move."

and the determined "I am getting a unicorn for my birthday."

and "I am in Year 1. I like to read."

From the Department of "Huh?"
(A drawing of a dragon-headed Viking ship accompanies this little piece of melodrama.)
"Darling Wolfgang,
What is the sea like? How can you live without me? How can you stay away from me, where you might die? Please come home.
Your loving,
Daphne

Oh my Daphne,
You know before we got married I had to go out and find some honour. So after the raid I will never go away again. The sea is lonely. When I return I will marry you. I miss you,
Wolfgang"

Then there's a letter to the Tooth Fairy:
"Dear tooth fairy I would like $2 20c for my tooth could you write yes or no in the square there is a black pen to write with love from Veronica (surname) P.S. Write your name too." And in the square, in tiny writing, "Yes Pansy". I believed in the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus until one tragic Christmas, when I suddenly asked my mum, and she admitted the truth. I then cried for about three hours. Looking back on it, that sense of horror at losing every scrap of innocence is kind of typical of my childhood.

Then there's my positive-negative shadow picture (half on black paper in white crayon, the other on white paper, its mirror image, in black crayon:
A picture of a grave stone, with a ghost rising, moaning "I caaaaaaaan't reeeeeest. Heeeeeelllllllp Meeeeeee!" and a girl hiding behind a tree. Truly, I was a peculiar, morbid child.

Finally, something that's so beautiful it makes my heart go all constricted.

A diary entry, from when I was about five.
"We can save our world by not doing rough things."

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to weep at childhood lost....
dolorosa_12: (dreaming)
I'm in the process of sorting through all my old stuff. My mother has kept everything I've ever done since the age of three, and there just isn't room any more. So today I went through this massive folder of pictures and stories, mainly from the ages of three to seven. I've often thought I was a most singular child, but this folder has confirmed it. I'm going to share several of the most bizarre items with you.

Aside from the hundreds of drawings of the characters of Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, The Little Mermaid and Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, there are some absolutely hilarious stories. Although they lose something in the translation, here they are. Enjoy! (I'm leaving the original spelling and grammar untouched. It's better that way.)

(My personal favourite). Here We Go Again
"Once upon a time there was a dinosaur called Tanya her friends at boading school were Katy and Stegy. Their school was very strict they had to do everything the right way. Tanya and her friends sometimes got very frightened for if they did the rong thing they would get the cane. It was a stick. If they did something really rong they would get an elextrikc shock Bite. It was a bite from tyirown the teacer. (Speech bubbles saying "Aaah!!" "Go away" "You have been bad but..." "Oh Aaah" "grrr it's your fault")
"Tyirown the teacher was in a bad mood. His coffee had spilt he had lost his rubber and Maria Mutterburrersaurus had drawn on the wall with red pen. He had not the energy to give the electrick shock Bite or the cane. Stegy shock with fear katy closed her eyes and put her hands over her eyes and tanya fainted. (Tyirown shown going "grrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!")
"Tyirown the teacher came out everybody ran and hid but baby steg-steg could not find a hiding place. Tyirown the teacher hurled him hed landed on the balkoney and scraped his leg katy said "let's save him" "no" said stegy and tanya "Tyirown might see us" they said but katy walk off and got him."
The back of the book had a blurb ("Meet the gang of 3 look out, oh, oh, something might happen") and an approximation at a library barcode.

Veronica's Ballet Book (with writing by my mother)
"Veronica's hungry. This is a biscuit.
"Ripped her dress. Please help her to dance.
"Fallen off the stage.
"She's coughing.
"I've fallen over. Poor Veronica. (sign saying "Someone has fallen over. Please help her to dance.")
"Can't dance.
"She's lost a shoe."
The melodramatic tragedy of it is...disturbing.

The Pony That Turned Into a Sparkle
"There was once a pony that liked sparklers and fireworks.
"One day it went into its castle.
"And there it went under a rainbow.
"It also got put into a love heart. When it came out it turned into a sparkle.
"And it flew around a spotted mat."

And the very melodramatic, self-righteous Shary Saves The Earth, which could only have been written by a child growing up in the '90s.
"Shary wanted to save the earth but people would just not listen to her. She gave talks on how to plant more trees and how trees help us breathe and th esun would explode someday. Even when she told them that 'if you don't wear hats and sunscream you would get burnt' they still wouldn't listen!
"The only people who believed her were her sister Eucare, her friend Shri, her Mum and her Dad. Eucare tried to plant more trees but Jillien, Emma, Ann, Alexandra and Jenny pulled them up. Shri helped Shary with her talks.
"Eucare's friends Baducare and Maree helped her. One night, Shary stayed at Eucare's trees. The mean girls came.
"Shary and Eucare lept from hidding, the mean girls cried 'I'm sorry Shary!' Soon everyone liked and believed Shary."


Then we have some truly idiosyncratic entries in my writing journal, circa 1991-92.
"Comet's Tail. Today I went to Emma's house. Karina came over too. Then a storm came. We saw lightening and herd thuder too. Emma said that a comet was coming. I said that there is a snowball in the tail as big as a city. We all saw the garden move and we felt the house move."

and the determined "I am getting a unicorn for my birthday."

and "I am in Year 1. I like to read."

From the Department of "Huh?"
(A drawing of a dragon-headed Viking ship accompanies this little piece of melodrama.)
"Darling Wolfgang,
What is the sea like? How can you live without me? How can you stay away from me, where you might die? Please come home.
Your loving,
Daphne

Oh my Daphne,
You know before we got married I had to go out and find some honour. So after the raid I will never go away again. The sea is lonely. When I return I will marry you. I miss you,
Wolfgang"

Then there's a letter to the Tooth Fairy:
"Dear tooth fairy I would like $2 20c for my tooth could you write yes or no in the square there is a black pen to write with love from Veronica (surname) P.S. Write your name too." And in the square, in tiny writing, "Yes Pansy". I believed in the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus until one tragic Christmas, when I suddenly asked my mum, and she admitted the truth. I then cried for about three hours. Looking back on it, that sense of horror at losing every scrap of innocence is kind of typical of my childhood.

Then there's my positive-negative shadow picture (half on black paper in white crayon, the other on white paper, its mirror image, in black crayon:
A picture of a grave stone, with a ghost rising, moaning "I caaaaaaaan't reeeeeest. Heeeeeelllllllp Meeeeeee!" and a girl hiding behind a tree. Truly, I was a peculiar, morbid child.

Finally, something that's so beautiful it makes my heart go all constricted.

A diary entry, from when I was about five.
"We can save our world by not doing rough things."

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to weep at childhood lost....

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dolorosa_12: (Default)
rushes into my heart and my skull

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