Great Pirate, Big Issue

There is an article inside the Big Issue magazine which is phenomenal. I have to confess I have bought the magazine a couple of times before to support “solutions to help homeless, disadvantaged and marginalised people positively change their lives”. But I had never read it until now.
It was a series of coincidences, or maybe fate, that made me read that article. I left the house a couple of minutes earlier, the moment I got to the stop the bus was getting there and even though it was a bit full, I took it. When I got to my destination, the bus stopped almost at the corner of the park which is unusual. I got the bus through the front squeezing myself in between the people and was almost spilled out, landing in front of the guy selling the Big Issue.
It wasn’t one of the most recognisable vendors they have; Sydney has a few I can now spot from the years I’ve been walking around. Some have specific looks and some specific chants for selling the product. When I landed on the man, he quickly offered the magazine and I just took it.
I’m not sure why, or even better, how. I had my iPad on one hand, one purse where I was trying to shove my iPad with the zipper half opened, still having the iPhone on my hands and another bag with my food and pretty shoes inside. I paid and him and he made a bit of fun of me. ‘Oh my God! So many things, there is the phone, the pad’ he said. I laughed and finally shoved the thing into the purse, the phone into the pocket and started skimming over the magazine while walking through the park.

Big Issue Vendor Sydney CBD


I pause here to ponder on a complete and spreadable insanity that seems to be taking us all over. Why couldn’t I wait and just walk for the four minutes and forty seven seconds it takes to get to work? Or seat down in the park to read as I was early? But I couldn’t, I had to shove some more information into my head in the couple of minutes I was walking like I had shoved the pad into the bag.
I was going through the magazine and landed on a page that had something about pirates.
I like pirates.
I started to read and laugh, from the start.
Because the bus came without a moment wasted in the morning and the traffic was blessedly light I was early to work and decided to get a toast in the cafe near the office and enjoy the reading.
The article was by Max Attwood, who is described as “a Melbourne-based comedian, actor and writer. (…) He tries to channel his laziness into creativity, but usually ends up eating biscuits instead” and his writing was simply brilliant.
It reminds me of the style of my favourite Brazilian writer, Luis Fernando Verissimo, the style being what we would call, in Brazil, a “chronicle”. We don’t seem to have a specific word here in Australia for this type of comedic writing about daily life style.
I was laughing so loud at the cafe the waitress – I refuse to call her a waiter to be politically correct, it was a lady waiter so pardon me if I will use the correct term, I don’t find or intend any offence to women – well, she got so curious when she came to deliver my toast that I showed her the cover of the magazine and said ‘ha ha, big issue, ha, very funny, great, ha ha’ I doubt she understood anything. It was a feeble attempt to explain if I couldn’t apologise for my loud and very indiscreet laugh.
It is this tale of a man who becomes a pirate. Modern days. Corporate world. I won’t say more, you have to read it. Buy the magazine if you can, it is a not for profit and will help the person you buy it from. “Pirates Don’t Need To” made my day. Thank you Mr. Attwood for writing this article rather than eating biscuits. Even though I’m pretty sure when you finished there were crumbles all over your keyboard!

(Orble Votes: 22)
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Kindle and Ebooks: Amazon electronic books, everywhere, anywhere

Amazon instructions click here

I was surprised to hear from one of my friends that she didn’t know she could get Amazon e-books on her iPhone. I think people get confused with the name “Kindle” it is because it means a couple of things.

Starting from the start, Kindle is the name of the device, e-book reader Amazon has created. So it is a little equipment, in different models, where you can read electronic books. What some people don’t realise is that Kindle is also the name of the technology, the application or the software from Amazon that reads their format of e-books.

The Kindle apps are available for various devices: you can download it for your tablet, iPad, iPhone, Android Phones, Windows PCs, Mac computers, laptops and desktops. The best of all is that if the device is connected to the net, it automatically syncs notes, highlights and last-page-read between all devices.

I have a Kindle device, it is very light and doesn’t have backlight, so it is ideal for me to travel or read at night in bed. I have the kindle on my iPad, where I like to study or read during the day on my lunchtime. Then I have it on my mobile, to read on the bus when all the seats are taken. Finally it is on laptop to see any highlights when I’m studying a book and want to check my notes to write something about it. I also use it to check how my own books are going to look before publishing.

I also like Amazon because they have a lot of e-book titles and are constantly making promotions. It is much cheaper than buying the printed versions usually. There is a lot of free books too. They are great for the authors like me because they let us publish directly without needing a publisher, paying a high royalty rate and helping us in many ways to promote the books. I think they may have more titles than others because they offer advantages to the authors to keep them exclusive for 90 days and they make the process easy for us, the writers, it is all done online.
If you haven’t yet, try it out, you will experience a new world of possibilities opening up for you.

(Orble Votes: 24)

Prayer for the Published Word

I pray these words carry through
that they have enough weight to be picked up and tossed high
that they find anyone who will get something from reading them
May they find the ones who need them and the ones needed by them
I pray they reach people and inspire them, to positive change
I ask the Universe God, Buda, Allah and Zeus to aid them to fulfil their mission
And I declare that if only one person, by only one phrase I have now published, get to one worthwhile realisation, it will have been worth…
The timeless hours; taking notes through the night, disturbed sleep, anxiety, study, reading, re-writing, correcting, editing, the watching of others nipping and piercing through your creation, the pain, the joy, the despair, the fear and the fulfilment
It will have been worth it
My deep gratefulness for the privilege of putting these words to the World
By the power invested in me
Amen
(Orble Votes: 23)

I look with optimism at the decay of the publishing world

“The world is changed, I feel it in the water, I feel it in the earth, I smell it in the air. Much that once was, is lost…”
Galadriel’s words come to me when I look at the publishing world. I’m seeing many bookstores closing, I look at my own reading habits and how much they have changed since I acquired my first Kindle.
When I look at Amazon’s best sellers lists I see several self-published books competing with the largest publishers, and quite often these publishers are not doing a very good job in promoting their books and authors in the ebook platforms.
I have knowledge of ebook publishing and can see several errors in basic strategy that are more common to the publishers than the individual authors.
I look at all that is changing and see great opportunities. There are so many wonderful books I would like to re-read that are not online; there are many great books in other languages that were never translated because of the difficulty to reach a market. So many series forgotten in libraries because it was hard to get all the books in the series, in their proper order would have been even harder.
The ebooks bring the classics for free and a lot more for free, good and bad. These free books are wonderful opportunities to promote a new author. Writers able to create series of books are the ones who are more prone to success.
What I believe is happening is the old publishing houses to be stuck in their stubbornness to prove they are right, instead of looking ahead of what is coming next.
I understand, quality will suffer, glamour is lost, jobs are on the line. But change is change and there is no point struggling against it, you have to go with it, see where it takes you. I find there is a need to find new avenues to promote their books and their writers. I have read mostly unknown writers since I have gotten my kindle. Before I would go to a library or a bookstore and choose among the best sellers and known ones.
I still feel a bit romantic and would love to see my book in hardcover, do book signings in a bookstore. But that may be a scene from the past, is is possible bookstores are doomed and I am part of what caused this change.
What is that saying? Lying in the bed you’ve made? I hope I can do it, with pleasure.
(Orble Votes: 23)

New iPad, Simpler Life

Very simple indeed…

I remember a time when you went out the house and you were simply out. You couldn’t contact anyone, unless you were going to their house and ring the doorbell. Or poke someone unless you employed your actual fingers.
I can certainly see the disadvantages such as getting anxious because you are running late and someone else is waiting for you. I know, and many others.
None the less, sometimes I miss it. I’ve just gotten an iPad and the other day I had it out for a walk, as it was settled in my bag; my mind was thoroughly unsettled.
I kept thinking, what am I going to do once the bus arrive? Something on my phone? Or setup my new iPad? perhaps listen to some music? Or some podcast, an audio book or audio program? Or possibly read my Kindle? What if I don’t do any of those?
This morning I was admiring this girl seated beside me. She was just seated, looking to the front. Nothing else. Really, she didn’t move, didn’t fiddle with her phone, or checked her Facebook, didn’t have headphones on. I felt like checking her pulse.
This sensation of “wasting time” is hard to shake and has been assaulting me when I’m walking, waiting for a transport, actually commuting, or simply with a few minutes to spare between an activity and other.
And then I don’t know why I feel so tired…

On the other hand I went to a workshop on how to use iWork on the iPad yesterday. I’ve felt like someone who has been cutting things with a piece of rock for years and was suddenly given a sharp, stainless steel, knife. The tool was so superior to what I had before it was like a light was turned on. Now I really get why people buy Mac and felt I have a knew knowledge to fire the old debate within me.
I woke up at five am today thinking what I could actually do with the thing…
And then I don’t know why I feel so tired…

So life is getting simpler with all these new objects and possibilities of connections that we have. All I have to do when I get home at night is to put my stuff to charge: my mobile, the iPod, the iPad, the iPad key board, the pocket wifi and the Kindle; eventually my iPod speakers and the photo camera too. Simple isn’t it?
So I’m in bed and I realise one of the things is running out of battery and not charging overnight? What am I going to do if I have a moment on the next day and the battery is flat?! Do I get up and plug it in?
Tired…

Imagine I have released a new App for iPhones. My friend and I have developed it and it is called Minute Meditation App. More about that later.
So I had to register a few things on line to get it processed. You have to register in the Apple store then register a company with the taxation office than register that company for GST; answer some stuff about tax at the US, update your information, etc. To do that you need two things installed into your computer, and to install that you need a java something also installed to your computer and to run that you need an specific browser above a certain version. Then you get the browser installed, but each part of the process only functions with one browser, so I have Safari, Google Chrome, Explorer and Firefox open and to each installation I need only one of them functions. It was funny and bizarre, and sad and ridiculous, and absurd and unreasonable and yet wonderful. All at once. Because I kept saying:
“See and we say we are making life easier!”
To which my friend answered:
“Yeah, but in the past you would need to do all that in person and on foot.”
I keep wondering if they wouldn’t have made the process simpler because you had to be in person and on foot.
And then you could be walking to the official office, just by yourself, with nothing else to do other than carry the papers and get there…

In the end I feel technology is sometimes quite bittersweet!

(Orble Votes: 34)

Climbing

The floor was a long way down, as far away from his mind as it was from his physical body.
The great thing of doing this was the focus required. It was his kind of meditation, clinging to a rock, reaching for the sky.
In this situation he found out the best was not thinking, just concentrating on where to put his hands, the next notch, his feet, clad in their special shoes which made possible for him to use a surface a third width of one needed for bare feet.
His mind was in the present. He could feel the wind, caressing his skin as a lustful lover would; the sun, creating the perfect temperature; the smell of the rock, so close to his nose; the noise of his own breathing and of the world’s inhaling. He was aware of each of his muscles, the tension was exhilarating, his legs were answering the challenge, he could feel his right biceps pushing against his forearm.
Suddenly he felt his stomach plunge, that feeling you get when you think it is possible you may fall. The realisation of how fragile your life is. At the same time there was a strange sensation mixed with it, the one he had only experienced the day before at the ruins. A strong knowing that there is much more out there and in him, a sense of connection to the whole, of being an unlimited being. It was so weird, like looking at the bottom of the well of yourself and seeing a galaxy there.
Then there was the bird. Flying over his had a millimetre far from his helmet. Bloody bird, he just hopped to be far enough from the chicks.
At the same instant he was acknowledging these feelings, along with the sensation of slightly releasing his grip on the rock, he realised all that was a consequence of a single thought.
A profound realisation; an answer to a question that had been plaguing him for the last few days.
He regained his focus, his strength, his sanity and continued up carrying The Answer with him.

(Orble Votes: 38)

Why Men Should Be Original When Flirting

My sister sent me this text. I agreed with her and thought the text is brilliant, so here it is, by Tais Crivellenti:


“The answers I would like to give to the guys’ really original flirting questions:
(From a Brazilian author living in Australia)

Hi… what’s your name?
Bla bla

Sorry?
Bla bla (b…l…a…b…l…a)

Ahh… ok. And where is this lovely accent from?
$#%^&^&**

Aaaaah Brasil! (Big smile on his face)…
Io hablo um poco de spanol!
Good for you… I don’t. I speak Portuguese.

Why did you come to Australia?
I came to Australia to buy a real Kangaroo’s baby, I think they are called joeys…

How long have you been in Australia?
3.5 years… I’m still trying to buy the Kangaroo.

How long are you staying in Australia?
As long as it takes, until I get my Kangaroo.

And do you like Australia?
No, I hate it. I’m here just because I like to suffer. (And to get the Kangaroo)

What do you do for a living?
I’m an overseas spy and as a disguise I’m a ventriloquist. (BTW: just in case you didn’t guess, my puppet is a Kangaroo)

What do you do for fun?
I like to blind fold guide dogs and see what happens.**
Or throw bread with butter up to check if the butter is going to fall upside down. 99% of the times it does.
**Note: this is a mean joke… disregard after reading and laughing.

Have you travelled a lot?
Yeah, yeah… I’ve been in a trip around the world in a balloon but I ran out of Tim Tams so I had to come back.

So… do you know how to samba? (Or do you like soccer?)
Yes… they teach us from the kindergarten to the retirement houses. 100% of the Brazilian population knows how to samba and play soccer.”

(Orble Votes: 132)