Thursday, February 26, 2009

Thoughts from the mind of a Princess

Sadly the keyboard blood has more to do with work than fiction, and my brain is bare of blog inspiration, so I'm taking refuge in some of Princess's wonderful remarks, like:

"Mummy, was Sarah's mummy born fat?''

Princess's friend: "Do you know what a vagina is?"
Princess: "Yes. It's a willy."
Princess's friend: (pause) "I knew that."

"I don't think there should be jewellery shops. I think they should all be closed. Grown-ups have enough jewellery."

And here's a classic from Soccer Boy, only this morning:

"When our goldfish die, why don't we put them on the barbecue and eat them?"

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Blood on the keyboard

That's how hard I've been working. My 'j' key is streaked with actual blood. Beat that!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Almost a winner!

I think most of you know my good friend, Shona Snowden. I'm excited to learn that she just landed a runner up position in a writing competition over at Women on Writing - here's the link to her piece: Recreating Home.

I've got to say I don't think much of that photo; it looks like her husband took it with a pocket camera when he was in a hurry to be somewhere else. A bit more make-up next time, please, Shona.

As for the writing, that last sentence is a howler (take a deep breath before the start), but the rest reads OK to me. I'm sure she'd like to know what you think! Link

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Pollster

It's a Pet Takeover. Here is our Pollydog.

She's from the mumble pet shop unmumble. We were looking for a rescue dog, but with young children wanted a puppy rather than an older dog with unknown issues/phobias. We couldn't find one that wasn't going to grow to the size of a mountain.

I went into the pet shop on a fact-finding mission and there she was. That was it. Game over. Mr Koala wasn't even in the country at the time. He came home to find himself a dog owner.

She's kind of that third baby koala, although I do have the sense to treat her vaguely like a dog, so she knows her place in the hierarchy. Although she and Princess did debate that a lot, I think Polly's got the idea now and does actually obey Princess, particularly if dried liver is around.

She loves people, soft toys and the sand pit, hates the rain, fish oil capsules and when she was immunised she cried so loudly all the other vets at the surgery came running into the room to see what was wrong.

She often needs a haircut, but long or short, she's the kind of dog everybody stops on the street to say hello too. She repays their attention with lots of love and licking and has fans all over our suburb.

Rumour has it she's a cavoodle, but personally I think a terrier got over the fence and had its wicked way with a Miss Poodle.

Who cares? We think she's perfect.

More pet stories, please! Comment here or look at the thread below for more writerly companions.


So many of us have furry/feathered/scaled companions - so let them take the stage for a moment.

What pet do you have? How did he/she come into your life? Habits, quirks, cutenesses?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Soccer Boy's situation improves

(If you confessed recent writing slackness, check the comment thread below for some Koala Punishments)

We had a meeting with Soccer Boy's teacher last week and I think things are getting back on track.

We have to meet all his teachers to rattle through his health issues, a meeting complicated and lengthened this year by a move to using a keyboard in the classroom. Once we had done that we moved tactfully on to the stress/classroom confidence. The teacher admitted, although not in so many words, that he had only that week achieved an understanding of Soccer Boy and his needs - mental as well as physical. In fact, specifically on the Tuesday of that week (!) he had noted what made Soccer Boy confident and happy, and what bemuses him - and provided practical examples to us to demonstrate! He is going to be working on those things with SB - encouraging his classroom participation through success and checking that he and another boy, who appears bemused by the same things, understand what they are doing.

We left the room feeling much more positive about the teacher, and not in a 'smoothed over' kind of a way. Once he understood what poor old SB was dealing with on a daily basis he became very proactive with his suggestions of support and called me in this morning to discuss what he'd researched and discovered over the weekend. SB can expect a lot of computer support with his keyboard and we will decide together whether or not he is ready to sit the 'compulsory' writing exam this year, or whether, for his own sake, he would be better applying for an exemption.

The whole thing went, and is now going, much better than we expected. However, while Soccer Boy seems to be settling, in that we have far fewer tanties and he comes out of the classroom with a smile, he still says he dislikes the teacher. Unfortunately for the teacher, he can encourage SB as much as he wants, but it will take a long time for SB to overcome the horror of those first couple of weeks. Poor old soul. SB, I mean.

On the happy side of life, soccer trials were yesterday and SB went like a dream and it looks like he'll get on a good team this year. He had four eight-minute matches and after the first two was jumped up into the top group, yippee. He loved three of the matches, the fourth astounded him by its roughness: 'they hurt me four times in eight minutes. In eight minutes, Mum. How can they do that?'

Is my son a softy?!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Blog emergency!

I have thirteen followers! I love you all, and, please, nobody leave, but I have a thing about the number thirteen. I can't stop reading a book on chapter thirteen, I can't stay on the thirteenth floor etc. etc.

Please...I need one more follower...please, someone follow me, even if you don't want to...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


It's time for Robin's voice challenge again! You may remember the last, slightly dodgy, challenge was making some dry-as-dust text sound sexy. This time we're turning it around. How unromantic can we make some loving words?

Here's my attempt - Burns, unromanticized. (Less than a minute long - that's how long it took to destroy our national poet...)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Koala is perturbed

Some folks at The Kill Zone are making free with her decency.

Read the comments to the end. I think they are unaware of The Claw.

Water bottle koala update: she's in love! Check this out!

Monday, February 09, 2009

Here's a question we haven't asked in a while...

...what are you working on?

Do you have a major WIP at the moment, or are you working on some shorter pieces? Writing/editing? Plotting/researching? Genre/style? Near the end/just getting started? Let's talk about what's keeping us busy and away from the TV.

Koala Challenge victims, sorry, participants, I will be viewing your WIPs with particular interest...

Friday, February 06, 2009

You know it's summer when... burn your feet not only on sand and concrete, but also on the grass stop wearing make-up, because it slides right back off your face

...the pool is as warm as a bath

...the dog hasn't been walked for three days and she's grateful

...the air smells of smoke from bush fires

...your kids are praying to God for rain dress in inappropriate clothing, just to get some more skin out there to sweat regret gloating about the heat to your friends currently enduring winter, because right now you'd like just one of their lovely snowstorms.

Soccer Boy updates will appear when he, or we, get/s to grips with this teacher.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Poor Old Soccer Boy

Remember that dream teacher whose class Soccer Boy was so pleased to be in? Well, alas for Soccer Boy, he does not teach computing and sport all day. There's a lot of work and testing in there too. Apart from spelling (a disaster area for Sokr Boi), I think the testing is going OK. I even think the work is going OK. That is, when he understands the instructions.

A couple of times SB has misunderstood what he's been asked to do. The teacher then blows up and tells him to do it again. Without repeating the instructions. I think you can see the vicious circle developing.

I've already been in the classroom three times (in a week!) trying to sort out various issues (health, use of keyboard, speelin dezastrs). I think the teacher now hates me and I really feel I cannot darken his doorstep again, or there may be classroom consequence for SB. However, Soccer Boy is becoming very stressed and demoralised.

We'd like Soccer Boy to see if he can manage this independently, but we're making suggestions as to how he can help himself. We've come up with listening carefully (but, Mum, I doooooooo!), checking with his friends (tends to lead to trouble for talking) or getting more confident friends to ask the teacher to repeat the instructions (a couple of Adam's friends could not care less about yelling/threats/visits to the headmaster's office - I think he can use that!)

Does anybody out there have any other suggestions? What strategies can Soccer Boy use?

This teacher is a male, 50ish, very sarcastic and used to teaching kids a couple of years older and more confident than poor old vulnerable Soccer Boy.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

The shame, the shame

Yes, The Koala has been forced to moderately threaten herself after squandering her weekly day off for no particular reason and then discovering that the weekend is just not a good time to catch up. Especially when there is a family party on one day, and a lunch that merges into a dinner on the next.

Better make up for it today, hadn't I?

Also, the new month is starting over at Aerin's Random Complexity Challenge. Speaking of which, JaneyV and JC Montgomery are rather cleverly keeping a running total of Koala Words. I thoroughly approve of this, because I have no idea how much I actually wrote in January. Let's do it! I also like The Troll's method of keeping seven days word count up, because it makes it much easier for me to keep track. Blogless, you're back on Approves as a bonus, because You Have Pleased the Koala. Diligent Janey and JC are already there.

In other's Hot and Sweaty Down Under with no respite in sight...I'm meeelting...meeelting... And feeling less smug about the heat than usual.