The Big Wet: A Survival Guide

Australia is known for its sun, its surf, its beaches, its hot, sticky weather and its laid-back ‘have a beer’ attitude. When you visualize the iconic Queensland coast, you don’t usually conjure images of cyclonic monsoon weather, flooded roads or fallen power lines. Nor do you usually imagine a bleak, grey view from your window or a wet and chilly breeze in the middle of what is supposed to be summer. But, if for some unfathomable reason, this is the picture that flashed before your mind’s eye upon hearing the word ‘Australia’ then right now you would actually be correct…

The rains have arrived. And apparently, with a vengeance. Much of the state of Queensland (known ironically as ‘the sunshine state’) is currently watching Mother Nature throw an almighty tantrum. Homes and businesses are being pummeled with rain, wind and flying debris; roads have been flooded and apparently…this is only the beginning of what is predicted to be a long weekend of natural disasters. In short, Australia is a very wet and soggy country right now. 

I send my love and hope to all of those who’ve already lost their homes and businesses or are trapped in severe flood waters. To those of you who are simply trapped indoors by the rain and the weather warnings, I have one fundamental piece of advice: don’t be an imbecile; stay inside. “It’s boring!” you say? “What can I do?” you ask? Well, thankfully for you, I’ve prepared a little indoor inspiration to keep you safe, dry and thoroughly entertained as the rains sweep the nation!

BEVERAGES & BOOKS

  1. Grab a cup or mug of anything steaming and sweet.
  2. Grab a book.
  3. Get cozy, get comfy, get on that couch!

And, voila! In all seriousness, what more do you need?

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Blind Date With a Book

Loyal readers! I stumbled across a very neat concept today on the site Tumblr and thought I’d share it with you! 

Blind date

“My local library branch started doing this “Blind Date with a Book” thing, thought you guys might like it. The shelf was full when we got there, but was like this as we were leaving. The books are wrapped in paper and have different designs on them, and then a few words vaguely describing the subject matter of the book. Things like “Drama”, “Plot Twists”, “espionage”, etc. The only thing exposed on the book is the barcode that you use to scan the book out. I thought it was a pretty cool idea.”

Through the Lens

Ladies and Gentelnerds!

As most book loving, novel reading, quote devouring nerds know, those with an affinity for one medium of the arts (in this case, literature), are usually rather partial to many of the other mediums as well. It is for this very reason that I extend my cross-disciplinary arm over to the photographic world to present to you with a very dramatic ‘voila’ gesture,  my little brother’s amateur photography website. He’s actually very good and I implore you to casually browse his initial collection of shots. AND…if you’re feeling even the tiniest bit angelic or saintly, you might even be compelled to leave him a comment or two! If so, you’ll sleep well tonight knowing your halo is sparkling!

His website can be find by clicking this link!

Thank you!

Open your minds, open your vocabularies.

Words to Use

I love this compilation (I can’t take the credit for it however – not sure who can); it’s a melange of the delicate and the buxom, the juicy and the subtle, the profound and the itchy. Each word has its own weight, some so light they simply stroke you with their intended meaning; others so heavy that they dent your perspective and shatter your former assumptions. If nothing else, if not good grammar or correct spelling, writers should endeavour to include more words of this calibre in their stories, essays, poetry and musings. These words showcase the very core of language.

Wit, Intrigue and Pragmatism…the ways to WordPress’s Heart.

The Freshly Pressed page: an honour, a privilege, a highly sought-after yet elusive territory into which every WordPress wants to gain access. If you aspire to have your much toiled-over blog post invited into this blogospherical popular group of sorts then you are very much like me. But don’t feel silly (I tell myself), don’t feel shallow (I tell myself) and don’t feel as if your priorities are in the wrong order (I tell myself) for the Freshly Pressed podium is simply a very effective method of exposing your message to a broader audience. And isn’t that the very purpose of blogging? (It is, it is!)

Freshly Pressed

Having scrutinised the Freshly Pressed page on a daily basis since the founding of Free Page Numbers, I’ve noticed a particular trend, one that everyone’s probably already aware of (I should stop flattering my own detective skills) but that I’ll point out anyway:

Titles of Freshly Pressed blog posts are usually one or more of the following:

  • Witty – Some even make you laugh out loud and you haven’t even clicked the link yet.
  • Suggestive of useful information – “Gee, I always did want to know how to do that!”
  • Intriguing – You just cannot help but find out what the title is alluding to.
  • Grammatically Correct – Rarely, if ever, will you stumble upon misspellings in the titles of the Freshly Pressed.

For example, there is currently a Freshly Pressed post titled ‘What Can You See in Fifty-Five Minutes and Thirty Seconds?’  which I judge to meet two of my four Freshly Pressed criteria: Intriguing and Grammatically Correct.

There is also one titled ‘How Watching Football is Like Dancing’ which meets three of my criteria: Grammatically Correct, Intriguing and Witty.

And if you’re still not convinced, here’s a final example: a recently Freshly Pressed blog post was labelled ‘How to Fake Your Own Death‘, a title that just so happens to meet all four of my criteria: Witty, Suggestive of useful information (who doesn’t want to know that?), Intriguing and Grammatically Correct.

So, having quite concretely established the keys to WordPress’s heart, I must now assess whether this post is worthy of some Freshly Pressed love:

  • Is it witty? Given that I think everything that comes out of my own mouth is utterly hilarious, I’m probably not the most unbiased source to ask but that small element of subjectivity aside, I think I’ll toot my own horn and say, of course it’s bloody witty!
  • Is it intriguing? “…the ways to WordPress’s Heart.” That’s intrigue right there, my friend.
  • Is it suggestive of useful information? Well, given that every WordPress blogger harbours a secret desire to be Freshly Pressed, I’m going to say that yes, a title that indicates a path to the Mother of Blogging’s heart is definitely suggestive of useful information. Vital information, even.
  • Is it grammatically correct? I am, if nothing else, a stickler for correct grammar.

Quite obviously and undeniably, this is a post worthy of a spot on the Freshly Pressed podium. Whether it actually features there or not is an entirely different story but let us all sleep peacefully knowing that it at least merited it!

So there you have it, my friends. If you want to win WordPress’s heart, make sure your posts are cocktails of wit, intrigue, pragmatism and grammar and you’ll soon all be partying it up in what is essentially the platinum lounge of the blogging world!

How do you spell ‘love’?

Love Letter

Love Letter….is there any concept quite as absurd as that of the love letter? A love letter. As if it’s actually possible to congregate your thoughts and feelings and inner absurdities onto one page, as if you can arrange them in coherent sentences or order them letter by letter to resemble something along the lines of sense…while poetry and plays and letters are certainly the language of the heart…I honestly don’t think it’s possibly to accurately communicate love in any kind of orderly fashion.

I therefore vow to forever fire my love letters from canons for the chaos and passion of literary shrapnel is so much more akin to the workings of the human heart.

Your life is incomplete without one of these…

For the nerds of the universe who more than anything despise being wrenched unceremoniously from the depths of their book by someone or thing in order to face what essentially is a very stark reality (life pales in comparison to the fictional worlds in which we so gleefully immerse ourselves), I have found our salvation!

Book jackets that speak for you and tell it how it is: go away, I like my book better than you.

Book Jackets

 

Book Jackets

 

Book Jackets

 

To explore this exhilarating invention a little deeper, visit Erin Bowman’s blog and marvel at her genius!