Final 2017 Quaterly Goals

So here we are in a new quarter with new goals to work towards. But first a time of reflection on how things went for my previous list.

● A video at least every 2 weeks
Did I achieve this goal in my final semester of a degree? Well I could have spent less time on nextfix, that's true, it would have given me the time to film and edit but no I didn't put out 2 videos a week. Momentum dropped off after the first month.

● 1 high quality blog post every week

● Move towards being zero-waste by not accepting single use plastic bags.
Done; New habit established. GOAL ACHIEVED.

● Read 2 books on my own.
I read one on my own and the other I couldn't manage. Editing Made Easy: Secrets of the Professionals by Bruce Kaplan, and Paper Towns by John Green. This goal was basically a fail.

● Attend 3 workshops or social parties
Living in an un popular timezone is really unhelpful, I wanted to make it to the Facebook Community sessions out of the Boos Girl Creative podcast but I am never at home on Thursday at 2pm. I did attend a workshop for business planning but it is not the time to be jumping into anything. This goal was a fail.

● Teach Levi blogging photography. Nope. He's been doing some stuff with his gopro but he's still not a good choice to take pictures of humans.

● Write that songwriting ebook. Na ah. How's about I work on my research project instead.

● Begin the creative obsessed podcast. What?! Did I not say I was busy? Why is this here, it's not happening till next year, if at all.

● Try 1 new method of monetising on my blog. No.

● Post to Insta on the daily. I did for a while. Then I learned that it was so not what I wanted to do, the pressure is unnecessary.

I should have realised before making the goals that this was going to be July. July is when my school work goes up and I should have taken it easy on the quaterly goals.

Podcast, ebook and blogging is aloud to be postponed until I am done with my Degree because I have assignments to focus on. I am not accepting any goals that require attention until my degree is over. So July to September was a massive fail. I'm not happy with that, but I have had some changes in my health and I didn't foresee the assignments making me stressed enough without these goals.

So what I've I got lined up for the next quater?

● Epic Jam - Get through my set having prepared my lyrics well and a miracle.

● Write my Research Report, edit it well, and pass.

● Prepare my 3 minute thesis and pass that too.

● Pass my degree

● Graduate from my degree

● Go to work, don't lose my job.

● Follow through with at least 3 party plans - listed on My Holiday Calendar

● Find my own place to live

● Keep making music after songwriting degree doesn't kill me

● Enjoy the holiday season and don't have a Quarter-Life Crisis.

Wish me luck.


Chicken Satay Stir-fry Recipe

An ideal healthy disk to make in bulk either for weekly meal prep or for a dinner party.

Serves 6

● Chicken 500g
 2 Satay flavour packets
● 1/2 Cup Peanut-butter
● 1 1/2 Cups Water
 1 Large Red Onion
 1 Red Capsicum
 2 Head of Broccoli
● Baby Green Beans 500g
● Sesame seeds to surve - Optional
● Other seasoning or spices - Optional

Meat Prep
Place chicken pieces in an open ziplock bag or between grease proof paper and hit with meat paddle or rolling pin to tenderise and to thin and even out it out for shorter cooking time.
Pat your chicken dry with paper towels, this will ensure the meat become crispy.
Coat both sided of the chicken pieces with one packet of satay seasoning by pouring it onto a plate and laying the meat in it.
Set aside.

Veggie Prep
Cut your vegetables long and thin.
Use the stalk of the broccoli, it's tasty, it's crunchy.  Ignore the way the florets naturally stick out, slice that thing like a green seedy, loaf of bread.
Onion and red pepper; cut in half and length wise.

Get your frying pan hot.

With some oil cook one side of each chicken piece until a ring around the bottom of it turns white. The other side won't need as long.

In another pan, fry up the onion on its own.

Set the onion aside and cook broccoli and the red pepper.

Cut the chicken. It's always going to work easier after it's cooked.

In a bowl of the jar of peanut butter if there's not much left, mix nut-butter, other seasonings and water.

Not hot water because the peanut butter will cook. 

Combine everything together into the larger of the frying pans and let the liquid soak into everything else.

Simmer for 10 minutes or until heated through.
Plate up with sesame seeds on top and you've got a delicious, and satisfying meal.

If you make this incredible dish don't forget to tag me in a picture.


Christmas Roundup

My Holiday Events Calendar 2017

My Holiday Events Calendar 2017

So I might seem early to some people to start thinking about Christmas but the ornaments are quickly going through my till at the department store I work at. Much to my excitement to be working in a winter wonderland, and I've been practicing my gift-wrapping all year, so bring it on. There is however a couple of other things I need to personally take care of in this whole thing so I'm going to let you all in On my calendar.

October 12th

Epic Jam Concert
A course event that I'm opening for, as part of my songwriting paper, and executive producer. If you're in the area do come along. 

October 20th

Final Research Project Due
If any songwriters want to help I need participants to a questionnaire.

October 31st

Fred & Daphne's Halloween Party
I'm on baking the treats, Levi is responsible for decorations.  

November 2nd

Beka & Levi's 3 Year Anniversary
We'll see how co-hosting our first party goes. Jk.

November 16th

Anual General Meeting
Something my father has taught me as an important part of running a company, get everybody caught up on the affairs, accountant, trusties, advisers et cetera. Then followed by a dinner party with cheese-cake and cheesy quiz about the business included.

November 23rd

Family Thanksgiving
Otherwise known as Turkey Day. No we've not done this before because we're not American but I'll take any excuse for yams and lil' marshmallows.

November 24th

Beka's Greet the Season Party
Radio stations are allowed to start playing Christmas music the day after Thanksgiving, therefore in my mind the 24th of November will be the first day of Christmas. This year I will be hosting a Greet the Season party to Celebrate the official beginning of the season either on the day of, or after Putting up the Tree.
This is a nibbles and chatter style party, with important emphasis on drawing Secret Santa's among friends, to deliver at the 'Tis the Season Party later on.
I'm going to write post all about it closer to the date.

December 8th

I will finally be done with my Bachelor's Degree of Contemporary Music. Hopefully. 

December 17th

Christmas Movie Marathon with the Girls
My own friends are going to be in town for a very special wedding so it's an Ideal time to do something together.

December ?

The Christmas Work Do
Everyone has one or two of those to go to with your partner, so I thought it important to put that on the calendar.

December 23rd

'Tis the Season Party
Another party with friends because who can have enough? Be sure to copy and paste that guest list from your Greet the Season Party, or have one of them trade hosting roles. This is the opportunity to bring out your secret Santa's to make a game of it.

December 25th

Final Day of Christmas
Otherwise known as Ham Day. I love to make the extra trip to church to share the day with as many people as possible. There's presents and then dinner in the middle of the day- so crazy!

Recording Q&A

Hey guys

I want to do a question and answer session surrounding the topic of RECORDING music.

Pretty please can you think of a question to comments below.

Starter suggestion; Time, involvement, session musicians.

I wanna know what you want to know.


Performance Q&A

Hey guys

I want to do a question and answer session surrounding the topic of Performing music.

Please write any questions you might have down in the comments below, I'd love your evolvement in this.

Maybe a question about performance anxiety or setup.

I wanna know what you want to know.


Songwriting Q&A

Hey guys

I would really really love to do a Q and A session surrounding the topic of Songwriting.

Please write any questions you might have down in the comments below.

Maybe a question about lyrics, or sections, or notation.

I wanna know what you want to know.


Music Roundup

Green Light - Song Analysis

Lifestyle Roundup

Tips for getting through Anxiety

I can't be the perfect girlfriend

Songwriting Roundup

Creative Writing Tips - Personal Dialogue Style

One important feature of a well written novel its ease to understand the story while reading only the dialogue. Reading only the text within quotation marks is a great way to read books faster and a good writer won't be offended by readers skipping bits. A good writer will instead set each characters' voices differently. Along with physical traits, back story and emotional stability you'll cater their dialogue style with a phycological magnifying-glass. Here are my creative writing tips to help both writers and readers identify a character's personal dialogue style.

There are many bad habits humans use when they speak and write. If you're a good writer or editor you know what conventions to look out for and avoid in your text, but I believe your dialogue is where you can be a bit naughty for the sack of differentiating your characters. Rather than edit out bad grammar add it to your characters to make them more realistic.

Consider The Character's Age
If they are a child they will not use big words. But adults and particularly educated professors or senior citizens will have more words in their vocabulary. Note in your character biographies what are their reading/speaking levels.

Newspapers cater towards a twelve-year-old reading level. The New York Times counted their entire vocabulary to 200 indervidual words.

What are the character's favourite words and phrases?

Is Your Character Annoying?
If you want the character to annoy your readers, spell the way they say 'everythink'. This is something my Dad says and it hits a nerve every time. 'Everythink' not a real word but many people still say it consistently when they mean to say 'everything'.

There are several words out people say wrong that can be used to set your characters apart from each other. eg. Proformance meaning performance. And 'Litraly', with 3 sylaballs is how many people in the UK pronounce 'literally'.

Is Your Character Over-Compensating For Something?
You might have a character who is insecure go for using tautology. tautology in writing is when unnecessary words are present saying same meaning an the meaning is repeated.

This character will talk about free gifts at 3.15pm in the afternoon and they'll totally and completely let you know what they're saying is the absolute truth because they heard it with their own ears.

This is how a character might sound shallow, or a waste of space. Because their words are a waste of ink.

Is Your Character Uneducated?
They might be likely to split the infinitive. The 'to' before a verb must not be separated by an adjective because it is actually part of the verb.

60% of English comes from French. English is a mixed language made up from French and Anglo-Saxon. And in French today, all verbs have an implied 'to' before them.

Compandre: to understand
Faire: to make
Cuisiner: to cook
Danser: to dance
That is why you cannot split the infinitive- you'll be breaking up the original word.

However, the uneducated character wouldn't know to boldly go, or to fiercely fight, or to actively move are poor grammar arrangements.

Consider Your Character's Profession
Characters working in any industry will use jargon from the work place. This is especially important if a character's career choice is a reflection of their personality or stereotype.

Retailers know the difference between the retail price and the wholesale price. Engineers know things about design and mechanical function, chemists know what will blow things up and what is poisonous.

Doctors speak to a child in pain differently to how the average mother would. They know the common causes for stinging compared with aching compared with throbbing pain. A person's education and occupation will change them and how they interact with the world.

Is Your Character Confident and/or Autistic?
Both people who can command the room and who hate to be wrong will speak with clarity and calculated grammar.

Hitler was known for being a great speaker and even Donald Trump knows how to get a message across. 

Of course these examples are politicians but confidence is a result of being prepared and quick thinking.

These characters won't will not use contractions. And they ain't gonna will not use slang.

American and British Character Distinction
Wherever a character is from they will speak a particular dialect. In the case between Mrrica and Bri'in there are many examples you should be aware of.

To name a few; Yards vs meters, soda vs fizz, rubber vs condom, sweater vs jumper.

Yes, different editions of books exist for the sake of the reader but when a character is talking and you wish for them to be a foreign addition to the mix of characters you need to consider their dialect.

There are more than seven ways to alter a character's personal dialogue style but I think these are enough to be getting on with. You've got some research to do regarding national slang and every mechanical, medical and mathematical profession.

Happy writing. Let me know what else you can think of to refine a character's speaking style.


Montepulciano, Florence & Piza - 01/08/2014

Montepulciano, Italy. A quiet town on the hillside. Had some attention back in 2009 when Robert Pattinson and the rest of the New Moon film crew took up temporary residence. The home of the Voltori coven. Made to look a lot bigger and much busier with deceptive cinematography. But still very beautiful. Walk around with me for more.

Montepulciano is just an hour and a half drive from Florence, and then another hour to Pisa so we made a day of going out there. See video here.