Wednesday, February 29, 2012

What I Learnt About Blogging From Julie and Julia

Late last year, Duncan and I watched Julie and Julia (I am definitely a Meryl Streep fan.  She is the most versatile actress ever!).
While this movie is predominately about cooking, it's also about blogging.  I found myself much more engrossed by the scenes involving Julie Powell and her blog, rather than Julia Child's rise to cooking fame.  I have no interest in cooking shows, blogs or books whatsoever.

Watching this movie was timely since I have been considering the future of my own blog recently.  I'm coming up to my sixth blogaversary in June, but I've been wondering whether it's time to stop.

Here's what I learnt from this movie:
  • While blogging can be a fun hobby, you need to be careful it doesn't take over your life.  What started out as a great suggestion from Julie's husband, came close to an obsession for her.  She began to worry if she didn't stick to the strict blogging schedule she'd set for herself.  She began agonising over comments.  She got into an argument with her husband over it.  Until you become a blogger, it's probably fair to say that you can't really understand why anyone would blog.  What's the point of it all?  I've found blogging to be both exilerating and depressing.  Recently Duncan has found me in tears or really down in the dumps because of my blog.  He's glad that I enjoy writing, but he doesn't really understand blogging (even though he had a short-lived blog called Beyond the Black Stump).  He doesn't get why I find it so important.  To be honest, neither do I.

  • You need to work out who you're blogging for - yourself or an audience.  I think it can be a bit of both, but I find myself swinging between the two.  At times I'm quite happy to just potter along here and not really care whether others are interested in what I have to say.  But then I see people swarming over other blogs and I get a bad case of blenvy.  I start thinking that I'm the biggest loser in the blogosphere.  I remember the scene in the movie where Julie is elated over receiving her first comment, only to discover it's from her mum!  It is foolish and dangerous to find my identity in blogging.  My identity is found in Christ.
So, Julie and Julia has given me lots to ponder as I consider my blog's future.  Do I enjoy blogging?  Well, yes I enjoy writing, but I'm not sure that's enough.  I need to do what's best.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Time's Up

The winner is Karen from Life Actually.

For voting in my poll, Karen wins a copy of Moments for Mum which is a devotional book written by my friend, Narelle Nettelbeck.

Thankful to those who voted/commented.  The posts that received votes were:

Introvert Peg in an Extrovert Hole
Facebook Etiquette
5 Things I've Learnt in 10 Years of Following Christ

I don't think I'll be doing another poll for a while, but when I do, I'll have a prize that's easily postable and suits all currencies so that readers around the world can enter.

Karen, could you please email your postal address to seddyed at hotmail dot com and I will get your prize on its way. :)

Back to normal posts tomorrow!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Poll and Book Giveaway Deadline Extended!

I need a few more votes in my poll! (thanks Karen for voting)

Don't forget by voting and then writing YES in a comment, you can be in the running for this prize (see previous post).
If you're using a reader, please click through to my blog and vote in the poll.

Men, this would make a great present for your wife. :)

Even, if you've already read or own the book, your vote is appreciated.

I've extended the deadline to noon Tuesday 28th February.

Cheers :)

I realise that Facebook would be the ideal vehicle to promote my blog and this giveaway.  Why, even the brand of cat litter I buy for Ebony has its own Facebook page.  Yet I have deliberately chosen not to link to my blog from my Facebook profile for personal reasons which I won't go into here.  Therefore, I realise I will have to be content with a small, but valued, readership.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Sedshed Favourite Post of 2011 Poll...and Your Chance to Win!

It's that time of the year again!

Yes, evidently I never learn since I'm about to go away on holidays and leave you all with...another poll!  Yay!  Yay!  Come on, some enthusiasm please, people! :)

I've decided that this time you all need a bit of encouragement.  For the first time in the Sedshed's 5.5 year history, I'm going to do my first giveaway.  Tempted?

Here's the prize:

This is a devotional book for mums written by my friend, Narelle Nettelbeck.  Narelle and I first met two years ago via a mutual friend, Amanda.  We became Facebook friends and chatted on there about writing before meeting in person a few months later.  I have been encouraged by Narelle's writing even though I am not a mum; she has a gift for encouraging others, particularly mums who are aiming to serve Christ in everyday life.  I have given away this devotional to quite a few people now (they make great baby shower gifts).  Narelle has since written a second devotional called Thankful For Dishes which is available at Koorong.

So, if you would like to win a copy of Moments For Mum, here's what you have to do:

Vote in my poll by choosing which post you enjoyed the most on this blog in 2011 (see the list below).  I have chosen my Top 12, but if you like one that is not listed, you are welcome to vote for it by leaving a comment.  You may vote for more than one post if you like.

Leave a comment saying YES if you would like to win the book.  When I return on Friday 24th February, I will publish all comments and randomly select a winner using an online random number generator thingy.  I will then announce the winner and ask that winner to email me so I can arrange to get the prize to them.  (You do not have to be a blogger to enter, but I need at least a first name in the comments).

Unfortunately this competition is only open to Australian residents.  Sorry international readers - next time I will pick a different prize.  But please still vote.

Here's my Top 12:

Why 2011 Won't Be 'The Year of the Pessimist'
The Pendulum: Grace and Godliness
Life With AS
The New Kid on the Block
The Silent Generation
Introvert Peg in an Extrovert Hole
Facebook 'Friends'
The Lovebook
I'm George...They're Annes
Facebook Etiquette
5 Things I've Learnt in 10 Years of Following Christ
I'm a Side Plate or a Saucer

Thank you for reading!  Please vote away... :)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Welcome to.....The Beast

We have a new member of our family.  He is a 2005 goldish-coloured Prado otherwise known as 'The Beast'.

Due to the rough roads down here (which are more like driveways or old tracks really) and Duncan's desire to go 4WDing, we decided it was time to trade in our station wagon.  I felt a bit sad.  The wagon had been a good car to us.

But we're looking forward to taking The Beast to Esperance with us tomorrow.  We will be camping for a week in our tent again.  I'm so, so excited to be on holidays and getting away from the farm!

It looks a bit evil at night. Hehe.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Hair Change

Last week I felt like getting a haircut.

So I did.

I like playing with Duncan's iphone.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

I Know Him By Heart by Vonda Shepard

Today is Valentine's Day.  For some couples, it's a day to show how much they mean to each other.  For others, it's just like any other day.  Yet for some singles, it's a day that brings great sadness about a hope deferred.  When I was single, I was quite happy to let the day just pass on by.  I didn't want to have anti-Valentine's Day parties or listen to others moan and complain.  I just wanted to forget about it.  I tried to be content in my circumstances, but it wasn't easy.

This song from the Ally McBeal soundtrack summed up how I felt.  Despite wanting to just get on with things, I always held out hope that I would one day meet my life partner.  I knew he wouldn't be perfect, or my soul mate, or whatever some people call it.  But he would be worth waiting for.

'Cause I know he's out there somewhere,
Just beyond my reach.
Though I never really touched him,
Or ever heard him speak.
Though we've never been together,
We've never been apart.
No, we haven't met.
Haven't found him yet,
But I know him by heart.

Am I living an illusion?
Wanting something I can't see?
If I compromise, I'd be living lies,
Pretending love's not meant to be.
'Cause I know my heart's worth saving,
And I know that he'll be waiting,
So I'll hold on and I'll stay strong,
'Til then.

Friday, February 10, 2012

From Head to Hand: Imagine If You Will

Imagination is a wonderful thing.  Creating new worlds and people beyond my realms of experience and watching them unfold on paper or a computer screen is something I love doing.

I don't want it all to be about 'reality'.  I live in the real world every day.  To me, fiction is about escapism.

Having said that, I do draw a line.  I don't like plots to be TOO unrealistic.  Think of the scene in Mission: Impossible where Tom Cruise's character goes flying along in the tunnel and manages to grab hold of the train.  Or in Halloween H20 where the killer just won't die.

My own book could be best described as 'It hasn't happened yet...but it could'.  Just because we haven't seen or experienced something in our own lives doesn't mean it can't happen.  The Famous Five and the Tomorrow series are other examples....

I don't know any groups of clever children who have outwitted criminals.....but there could be.
Australia hasn't experienced a full-on invasion.....but we could.
Likewise, I don't know anyone like Hayley in my book....but there could be a real life Hayley out there somewhere.

As much as I love him, Duncan can be very annoying to watch movies with at times.  He sits there scoffing and says, "That's so unrealistic.  That couldn't happen."  I tell him, "Ssssshhh!"

If you're a writer, let your imagination run wild.  Have fun.  There will always be people wanting to tear down your plot or characters because that's not how THEY'D behave in that situation (so, in their opinion, any character who doesn't think or act like they would is unrealistic).  But it's YOUR story.

Imagine if you will.....

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Quote of the Day

Imagination is intelligence having fun.
- Unknown

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Get On Your Soapbox #20

I thought this was appropriate now that school is back.

I just want say a big, "BRAVO!" to all the teachers I know.

You are all amazing!  You deserve your holidays.  You deserve a pay rise.

The amount of crap you have to put up with from the Education Department, students and parents....I would have gone insane!  (Most of my friends who are teachers say it is the 'My Johnny is an angel' parents who cause the most stress).

Keep going!  Don't let the love for your subject be destroyed.  The teachers I loved the most when I was at school were the ones who were passionate about their subject, and that passion was infectious.  Don't let the jerks win.

So to all of my friends who are teachers or ex-teachers.....thank you!  I don't have kids at school, but I was a student once and I can see that what you do makes this world a better place.

There should be an international Hug a Teacher Day.

Monday, February 06, 2012

Christian Book Poll Verdict

I was hoping at least 10 people would participate in my book poll.

I got......two!

Thank you to those people.  You deserve a prize!  If only I knew who you are.

The most popular books were:

2 votes
Respectable Sins
If I Were God I'd End All the Pain
A Foot in Two Worlds
Beyond Greed
Simply Christianity
The Busy Christian's Guide to Busyness
When I Don't Desire God

1 vote
No Compromise: The Life Story of Keith Green
Blame it on the Brain?
666 And All That
The Heart of the Artist
Refuting Compromise

I have come to the conclusion that I just suck at surveys/polls/questionnaires.  I'm going back under my rock now.

Perhaps next time a bribe might be in order. ;)