→ blogging as therapy

I am so happy that my darling Kitty has started blogging. Her recent article ‘blogging as therapy‘ holds so much truth: the process of writing a blog post is so therapeutic (even if you don’t hit publish at the end), but like other therapeutic activities, for example nature walking, it is so under-utilised!

Life is a roller coaster

It’s great to see Kitty take blogging off the pedestal. Like the saying that walking begins by simply putting on foot in front of the other, I believe blogging begins simply but putting one word in front of another. Well done.



In many ways, Eula-Beulah prepare me for literary criticism. After having a two-hundred pound babysitter fart on your face and yell Pow!, The Village Voice holds few terrors.

~ Stephen King, On Writing, Page 8

the big glossy issue

I look forward to every second Monday because it means I get to buy a new edition of The Big Issue off my street vendor Greg. I’ve been reading it for a while now so I was surprised on Monday when I opened it up and immediately realised that something was different; it was glossy, like a new iMac.

The Big Issue 310
The Big Issue 310

I was a big fan of the old matte print. It was easy to read and didn’t have the same print feel as a lot of the other magazines available in Australia which are typically high gloss, possibly designed that way to attract the attention of consumers when sitting for sale on newsagents stands. Most vendors I see selling TBI use a glossy clear plastic sleeve anyway, so why the need for gloss?

I looked through the magazine trying to find some mention of this new print style but I couldn’t seem to find anything. I could only find that the paper is still 20% recycled. The only place I could find any mention of the new printing style was three quarters through Editor Alan Attwood’s vendor’s introduction speech in Melbourne on YouTube. Thankfully he says they’re making some changes to the printing style and that it may not be permanent and could change again soon.

I just hope that the new glossy paper is not radioactive.

the big issue is 300

It sounds strange, but I really look forward to every second Monday. Not because pay day is imminent, but rather a new issue of The Big Issue comes out. I was surprised then to see a new issue on sale in Brisbane today: the 300th issue.

Big Issue 300

I think it’s the best magazine you can buy for five six bucks. It’s actually my favourite magazine at any price. There’s something about it.

I’ve spent time reading the last few issues trying to figure out what that something is. It’s hard to pinpoint, but I think I worked it out: it’s not pretentious. I originally thought that pretentiousness was about money but it’s not. A free magazine can be pretentious, the Big Issue is not.

Keep up the good work The Big Issue. Keep it real and unpretentious.

on writing

“He comments on how amazing it is that everything in the universe can be described by the twenty-six written characters with which they have been working.”

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

the big issue

I am a big fan of The Big Issue. It is a very enjoyable read plus it helps whose who sell it.

The Big Issue

The cover price has been $4 for the last couple of years. This has been a good price, as it is easy to give the seller a fiver and not ask for change. This means the seller gets $3 for selling the issue instead of $2.

I noticed in the latest issue that the price will soon rise to $5. This means I can’t easily tip without awkwardly giving an extra coin. I was thinking of paying with three $2 coins, but this means saving up the three coins before going to buy an issue, wheareas most of the time I have a fiver in my pocket.

the language report

I have borrowed and I am reading ‘the language report‘ by Susie Dent. I have put together a list of my favourite words so far:

bolotics: a combination of nonsense and political correctness (= bollocks and politics) page. 18

gratters: a colloquial term at school and university for ‘congratulations’. (originally from 1903) page. 7

divvy: extremely pleasant, ‘divine’, ‘heavenly’. This word derives from the first syllable of divine. (again from 1903) page. 7

to text: to send a text message. This is an example of a recent ‘verbed noun’. page. 19

shopgrifting: the practice of buying an item, using it, and then returning it for a full refund. page. 27

ham: a piece of legitimate email that was wrongly filtered as spam by an anti-spam programme.

Language Report

maybe this is why i like writing

Roger von Oech’s recent post about ‘how creative ideas come from manipulating your resources, no matter how few and simple they are’ included the example of a clever 1960s National Library Week print advertisement.

At your local library they have these arranged in ways that can make you cry giggle, love, hate, wonder, ponder, and understand.
It’s astonishing to see what these twenty-six little marks can do. In Shakespeare’s hands they became Hamlet. Mark Twain wound them into Huckleberry Finn. James Joyce twisted them into Ulysses. Gibbon pounded them into The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. John Milton shaped them into Paradise Lost.

This advertisement made me think about my growing fascination with writing. Maybe the simplicity of resources in writing makes it so special to me. Maybe this is why ‘the book’ is always better than ‘the movie’. Maybe this is why I like surfing the net and reading blogs more than I like watching television.

writing (well)

When I was reading “Getting Real” by the folk at “37 Signals” I found the following statement thought provoking:

Hire good writers
If you are trying to decide between a few people to fill a position, always hire the better writer. It doesn’t matter if that person is a designer, programmer, marketer, salesperson, or whatever, the writing skills will pay off. Effective, concise writing and editing leads to effective, concise code, design, emails, instant messages, and more.

That’s because being a good writer is about more than words. Good writers know how to communicate. They make things easy to understand. They can put themselves in someone else’s shoes. They know what to omit. They think clearly. And those are the qualities you need.

I then realised that I have admired good writers in the past, but I didn’t quite know why.