Health Days

Rather than calling them Sick Days, we should have the benefit of Health Days. I have found that companies where people get sick all the time are the ones where people’s limits are frequently getting overstepped.

In this case, I think that is why we create disease, to create a physical manifestation to prove to our peers that we do need and deserve a break.
I have heard of a lot of people taking a “mental health day” but seldom you tell your employers what is going on.
We should be able to. Imagine a world where people are allowed to know their limits and before getting sick entering their boss’s office and saying: “I will take a health day tomorrow”.
How productive would that be?
The number of health days allowed could be the same as sick days but you know people would enjoy them much more and get less sick because it is much easier for the body to rest than to heal.
We would do things they love on those days rather than being unable to do anything and staying in bed and that would make them happier and therefore more productive at work.
It is a shift in perception and philosophy I hope to see or even create soon.

(Orble Votes: 30)

Indoors Saturday

Link: nswwc.org.au

Here I am on a Saturday, with an average of five speakers and a couple of hundred people talking about the intricacies of writing. “The take that people have on your take of them”.

It is the creative non-fiction festival at the New South Wales Writers Centre. I love being in the room thinking about what to write and not and the consequences of our words.
What to do when you are interviewing people who are big?
It is funny to think that for 10 minutes of my life I was in the same league as the lectures. With my interview with Justin Bieber I know and I knew at the time, I had no idea what I was doing… but did it. I did prepare, got over 60 questions ready, got two recorders which was great as one stopped and then did the best that I could.
Here I see a deeper level and even how wrong it could have gone.
Being in your passion makes anything interesting and talking about hurt sommeliers over a humorous article is just one of them.
(Orble Votes: 21)

Doubt is a Disease

It is like a disease, this sensation of not being sure and I wonder if everyone suffers from it one way or another.
Self-doubt it can be called but it is not a precise name. The doubt is not if you can do something, I have plenty of confidence in my abilities, what I sometimes lack is the confidence that I will do it.
It is like when you are going to meet an ex-lover you really don’t want to be involved with anymore. You know the pain but you also know how good it feels to be with him. You know you can avoid having a fireworks-unforgettable night followed up by a predictable heartache. The question is if I will avoid it.
Or when you have to do your tax declaration. You save the time, you keep the night free of any other appointments, you put in your calendar, let your friends know not to call you. But can you trust yourself not to sit on the TV, or read a book or play with your phone, or even with yourself? There is so many more interesting things to do!
During the day in question you feel half happy because you have made it all possible and you know you will do it, but another half of you is secretly suffering this self-doubting disease. Will I? Will I get home and sit on my computer and do it?
These examples were two of my victories, I have done my taxes and have avoided the ex-boyfriend but another one is afflicting me: NaNoWriMo.
A month to write 50,000 words. I know I can. I have the material, I have the voice, the narrator, the character.
I have the story, the inspiration and the will. But will I?
Am I able to wake up earlier or if I turn around and go back to sleep, will I get home after work and find the energy to write? Will I know what to write first, second and third?
Will I find a way to get the other things going at the same time or will I find distractions even within my passion? Like writing some other text to submit to an Anthology. Or will I have this fantastic inspiration to write the most amazing short story? Anything rather than concentration on this one book of 50,000 words.
Can I trust not only my will, but my barely-held-together mind?
We will see. It starts at midnight.
(Orble Votes: 22)

The success of a failure

They say everyone is a winner, I feel like one even though I was very far from 50,000 words. There is this website http://www.nanowrimo.org where people log themselves in to launch full on into a competition, except they are really just competing with themselves. Nanowrimo stands for national novel writing month and it runs every November. the name is actually wrong because what started with a North American website where about 40 registered over 10 years ago, today it is fully international with more than 300,000 registered in 2012.

You sign in and every day register your word count, attempting to reach 50,000 words by the 30th of November. I’ve made it to about 7,000 words. I won’t stop writing and participating in the event gave me inspiration and ideas. I’ll just need more time than a month.

The best I took from it was that, for the first draft, it is smart to turn the internal editor and critic off.

I also feel good I actually intend to do something about my writing and not just put it into a drawer once it is done. I’ve met a few winners who have been doing this for a few years, and every year, after writing 50,000 words, they put it somewhere and forget about it.

That is why I think, in my failure, I feel successful, because my writing will see the light of day.

(Orble Votes: 16)

Twelve Million Steps

Since the 8th of November 2010 I have walked 12,161,788 steps. Twelve million steps! It is a great example of what you can build one step at a time. In Portuguese there is a saying which would translate: “grain by grain the chicken fills its belly”. It is very hard to translate idiomatic expressions, but this one is a good one, meaning by eating one little grain at a time the chicken feeds itself to satisfaction.

 

If I had said to myself today I would have to walk that much in less than two years by the sheer sound of the numbers I wouldn’t have believed I would do it.

The reason I found this number is my iPod. It has this fitness function that I keep always online. I certainly have walked more than that because sometimes the gadget is turned off, runs out of battery or is not in the bag, but that doesn’t happen very frequently.

I have a high average of daily steps, I walk a lot by choice and love and I would say I reach the ideal of around 10,000 steps per day. I do have low days, when I spend all day at home writing, but I also do some longer walks, like the Seven Bridges, sometimes the MS walk, and City2Surf.

I’m thoroughly impressed with myself just because it sounds so cool to have walked that much, even if it is a normal amount per day, almost anyone could do it, I’m happy I did it.

(Orble Votes: 29)

Let it Rain

Photo by Chris Newland “Rain at the Wharf”

Somehow I found myself drowning in gratefulness amid the rain drops this morning.
I was thankful for the people, as there is a sense of camaraderie around, we are all fish… as they say. I met a woman while waiting to cross the main road, we simply started laughing.
At the bus stop we turned into a battalion, five people holding our umbrellas as if they were machine guns. ‘Let them come!’ I screamed.
The bus passed. We cowered behind the huge monsters of umbrellas.
Mine is a beautiful rainbow one. I bought it because I liked the colours. The next day I thought: ‘What was I thinking? I’ll never carry this again!’ At the time, my angel must have whispered in my ear: ‘buy it, you will need on ‘The Flood’ of the eight of March’.
So The Rainbow Tent, as I named it, saved me today again I gave thanks.
We had to cower around it, sideways, including our heads in its protection not to get drenched by the bus splashes. Feet, parts of trousers, a part of my arm and the top of my head didn’t escape.
I jumped into the first bus that finally stopped, one to North Sydney.
It was raining, in and outside.
I was happy I got to sit, even looking back which always make me a bit sick.
The water was coming down the side of the window and splashing in a puddle by the wind sill.
Little droplets of water landed on my phone, my kindle, continuous dripping water damping my sides, I was still thanking the world for being seated and able to read in a trip that took almost two hours to cover a half an hour strip.
I looked outside and remembered my mother land, where it rains like this frequently. I was appreciative that I wasn’t worried my home would flood this time, having my first floor rented flat, the absence of rivers nearby. Not even remembering, until now, that once I stood in the middle of a river which used to be a street, watching my car, my house and everything I owed being washed by an angry flow of mud.
I’m grateful to be in a country where you call an emergency service and someone will, at the very least, answer you. Where there are flood warnings, barricades, enough help for the unfortunate.
I’m happy I had a great life and a family who could drive me when it was raining as much as today when I was a child. I thought of all the little South Americans who are used to face this type of rain frequently without the systems we have here in Aussie land to keep us safe.
I came out at North Sydney and blessed my hot coffee, the gods were happy when they invented such a thing and I was happy seeping its warmth.
Then I was grateful for China, where people can fabricate very cheap stuff, I bought new, clean and dry leggings which I’m wearing now and I am so glad for.
I am now emotional and happy, compassionate in a level I haven’t felt before for my fellow human beings who are not as privileged as I am or the ones that simply cannot see the blessings we do have (I think I feel even more for the ones).
And let it rain!

Written the other day, the 9th of March when we had an amazing rain in Sydney, Australia.

(Orble Votes: 25)

Tumbling Down, Thinking Up

I’m in a self-destruction process. No, nothing to do with drugs, or sex, or alcohol, maybe that would be exciting.
I simply tumbled down some stairs.
Such a common occurrence that broke my youth’s belief of invulnerability! I love the drama of the phrase, being unreal as it is. I don’t think I’m still carrying around that belief even if I am stretching youth to the rest of my life.
Ironically enough my heels got caught-up in the “safety” strip. Unsafely momentum carried me forward and down I went.
Broke a glass vase, got a few superficial cuts.
The lessons I’ve learnt with it are of patience, thankfulness, love and strength.
There is nothing I cannot do if not being patient. Patient (literally) at the hospital, while they check that no broken bones were found.
Patient to put the yucky natural medicine twice a day into the purple, red, magenta, slightly green and black mottles I’m sporting throughout my hips and legs and some in the arms. I feel as a colourful farm animal, proud of my interesting stains.
Patient to wait for the pain to go away. Patient during the days nothing got done, no work, no reading, just feeling the kick of the pain relievers and surfing the wild sensations. Sleeping. A lot of patient sleep.
What is really a challenge to be patient with are the daily new ailments that are still appearing as a consequence of juggling your whole body and the joints it comprises. On top of the ones acquired straight after the fall. One day is the left wrist, the other is a back pain, a neck pain, a heck of a pain, hell! Ha ha ha, the laugh just bubbles up.
A permanent happy tiredness keeps me in its grip. Today I woke up with a cold sore, the body is using all its defence mechanisms to heal the things and forgot to protect my upper lip. Patience, my friend told me. Stop fighting with your body!
Thankfulness and strength come together. I feel as if made of steel, because nothing worse happened. Lucky that the vase fell away from my face, my jugular too. I am thankful I only missed a few days of work, I’m in reasonable working order. Like a radio clock that doesn’t play the radio but still shows the time. Good enough.
I can say with extreme knowledge: I’m very hard to break.
The knowledge spreads to my writing: I can now write how a character would have felt after being beaten up, run over, had a ski accident and any other horrible thing I feel like inflicting them. A writer characterises all happenings in her life as useful information. Patience. Love. Love, love, love, as I was supported in any way I could have wished for. People all around were nice and efficient. I can never complain about the public hospital system in Sydney. I’ve never had a bad experience with them. They treat me well.I’m not sure what tomorrow will bring, but the day after tomorrow, or the day after that one, will bring me perfect health again. And that is good enough for me. I’ll keep the lessons, or “the positive learnings” as the NLP practitioners say!

(Orble Votes: 36)

Becoming a Master

Although I’ve been writing less here, I’m writing more in general. I’m on a new path now: I’m doing a Master of Arts in Creative Writing at UTS. I’m loving it. When you are “on purpose” and doing your passion it always goes well.
Funny thing is that I didn’t even know such thing existed! I’ve always wanted to do a masters degree but not of something that wasn’t a priority. As soon as a friend from a writer’s group told me about it, I went for it!
This blog and my website, I’m sure, helped me to get accepted for the program. The Advanced Narrative Writing classes taught by Rosie Scott are not only a high level technically, they are also great fun. I’m also on a Theory and Creative Writing class, where we talk about very strange notions, ininteligible texts, obscure writings and intelectual conundrums. All worth it.
The end result of the course is the writing of a novel. I was going to write a novel anyway, to have such a structure to guide me through it will be great. Being a migrant with English as a second language, I can grow much more for having this contact.
Again I feel privileged to be in Australia where there is a government program to support students. Had I not been here, I wouldn’t be able to be doing this right now with the easy I’m doing it.
I know this all looks too positive, suspiciously so, I could imagine, but it is how I really feel.
(Orble Votes: 44)

Edgecliff

I’m seated at the train station. I feel like a statue. Reading. My head is leaning down, I’m looking at the book in my lap. When the train is about to arrive the wind comes. The chilled air starts to move and ruffles my hair. I can feel the softness caressing my neck. I’m no longer a statue, the wind has brought me alive.
(Orble Votes: 49)

Solution to uploading a book with pictures at Amazon

Book by Tania Crivellenti at Amazon.com

Publishing an e-book has been an adventure. My first stop and what seemed the easiest was Amazon.com
When I thought I was on the last leg of my publishing trip I was, in reality, starting a new journey.

After writing, correcting, revising, re-reading, changing, re-correcting, re-revising, then creating a layout, checking styles, etc. etc. etc., a book, you would think it was done.

So I sent the book to be published at Kindle Direct Platform thinking it was a piece of cake. When I followed the instructions from Amazon they indicated that the best idea was to upload an html file. The problem is that they also instructed people to put all files for the book (html file pictures) in one folder and zip this folder.
When you save a document from Word to an html format it automatically creates a subfolder with all your pictures in it.
I thought if I moved the file into the folder with the picture all would be fine. Ok, what no-one tells you is that the path to the pictures inside the html file will be wrong if you do that. If you move the html file to be in the same folder as the pictures it cannot find them.
And because the only sample that you have of your final book is a horrible thingy that appears on a pop-up window, you have no idea how it is going to look! I just assumed that having followed all instructions it would be enough.
It wasn’t. It was horrible to see “my baby” published as it was: badly formatted with missing images.
I immediately took it off and started the adventure of finding a solution.
I am a writer, not an I.T. person, I have a good BASIC knowledge of softwares and stuff, therefore I had no idea what was wrong.
Amazon doesn’t help, they only sent me one of those “pre-prepared” e-mails. You don’t receive a sample of what your book is going to look like or anything.

First I found a way to see my book exactly how it was going to be published; a comment by a man named John:
http://forums.kindledirectpublishing.com/kdpforums/thread.jspa?messageID=47403&#47403

It is a funny zip & zipping process. It worked.
Then I saw that the formatting was all wrong and the pictures not there yet. I even bought a Kindle to get myself into the e-book world.
Following I tried other formats to upload the book: pdf, doc, docx, mhtml, mobi, prc. I downloaded several e-book converters and readers.
The result was only one: disaster! Either the pictures were missing or the format was messy.
I wanted to cry.
When I was at the end of my limits I did what was left to do: I cried for help. And here comes a very handy facebook profile. I sent messages to friends and e-mails and asked for help on facebook.
My friend gave me the idea to Google the problem. Up to now I had been looking into Amazon forum for the answer.
At Google I found a website that was part of the solution:
http://www.cjs-easy-as-pie.com/p/about-kindle.html
But when I saw this tutorial I wanted to cry, at that moment I needed a solution to the pictures issue and that was all. I couldn’t even thinking of doing all that with the big issue fresh in my mind.
I tried the mobi converter to produce the document but the pictures still didn’t upload.

It was in a conversation with a very smart friend of mine that the solution was made obvious to me. He is what I called an assessor for all matters, he is one of those people that seems to know all about everything. He pointed out that if I moved the html pictures the path would be made invalid.
Then another friend helped me to transform a theoretical solution into a practical one. With a few minutes, some quick searches and the right computer knowledge this other friend sorted out how to correct the problem.
All you have to do is:
– Save your file as HTML, authomatically Word will create a subfolder with all your pictures in it.
– Move your file to the same folder where your pictures are.
– Then open the doc file with WordPad or any software that will read it as text, and search for the pictures’ names as they were put by Word in the folder.
– Re-write the path, the instruction to where your pictures are so the file can find them in the same folder as the text is.
For example, my pictures were named as image001, image002, etc.
My file was named “test file”
In my file the path to the pictures were:
src=”test_file/image001.jpg”
Meaning that the pictures were into a sub-folder called test_file.
All I did was take off that part of the instruction, leaving only the name of the picture instead:
src=” image001.jpg”
And it worked.

And suddenly, life was, once more, perfect. Knowing how to solve the pictures problem gave me the energy to go through C.J.’s tutorial, create a table of contents that would work, mark the start of the book, and prepare the file for Kindle.
John’s comment made possible for me to check if things were going the way they were suppose and at the end the book was sent!

“Fio da Meada” is a fictional novel based in real life. It is the story of a ghost that talks to a woman who lives in a faraway land. Itamar wakes up from his death to find himself following a ferry and having flashbacks of his life. He has humorous stories to tell and so does she.
The story follows his train of thought telling a story of family roots, the past and present, life in Brazil and in Australia.
This book is in Portuguese (Brazilian) and the first of many. I will shortly release it at Apple Store and possibly for Kobo. Then, the second novel, also in Portuguese, called “Simplesmente Gerva”. After that I will publish a book born Aussie: written in English.
If you have friends that read Portuguese, be kind by forwarding this information.
A few years from now you will be reading a best seller, or watching a movie or even a TV series and you will be saying you are friends with the writer of that story!
I will be able to say I have special regard for the people that were there at the beginning of this wonderful adventure…

Find the book here: www.amazon.com.au/dp/B007XAJOFM

(Orble Votes: 32)