Posts Tagged ‘words’

Who is She?

Saturday, April 26th, 2014

This week I went to the Bay Horse pub in the Northern Quarter. I was with Sir Pubert Gladstone (He requested a pseudonym, so he got one.) who informed me of a ‘lady in a glass box’ located downstairs in the basement. I went to investigate and sure enough, there she was. A blonde, sunglasses-wearing lady staring at a bird in a cage. Who is she? And what was she doing in the basement of a fairly average pub? This lovely lady and a bit of Nick Cave and the Black Seeds have prompted the following story.

Lucy and the Bird

Lucy’s limbs flail as she dances in the corner of the Bay Horse basement to the music that only she can hear. She dances alone in an almost empty room, everyone else settled in booths sipping whisky and beer, conversation underway. She has been here before. Every night, in fact, for what feels like forever. Next to her a bird sits silently and motionless in a silver cage, watching the scene unfold. Only its eyes flick back and forth, back and forth as the clientele pass. Few people notice the bird and those who do are disappointed by it. A dry martini sits untasted on a small mantle next to a half-melted candle and a stack of Jim Beam coasters. Lucy has the same drink every night but never takes a sip. The owners don’t ask what she would like; they simply nod at her and pour. Her blank face shows no response, she simply treats the small glass as a fee for being there.

Lucy is given a wide berth as she dances, her eyes covered in dark, rounded sunglasses. Her peroxide blonde wig is dry and frizzy; fibrous strands pickup static charge as her hands brush past it. Her legs are encased in criss-cross stockings; shoeless, she dances unflinching as her feet stick to years of sticky alcohol accretion.

Upstairs the bell rings for last drinks and the small crowd finish the last drops of precious liquid, pull on jackets and leave. Lucy continues to dance in her corner, bar staff collecting empties and placing chairs on tables around her. A quick mop just for the sake of it, the final glasses washed and put away for tomorrow. The doors are locked and the lights turned off, leaving Lucy and the bird together in the darkness of the Bay Horse basement.

Lady at the Bay Horse

Lady at the Bay Horse

Discovering the Mysteries of Vernacular

Friday, January 10th, 2014

Last night I discovered a lovely series of animated videos on the TED-Ed website, the educational offshoot of TED talks. These two-minute videos offer insights into the Mysteries of Vernacular or where certain words come from. The chosen words include ‘Odd’, ‘Window’ and ‘Gorgeous’, with one of my particular favourites being ‘Fizzle’. The videos have been made by Jessica Oreck (good name) and Rachael Teel and are informative, funny and beautifully put together. Have a look-see.

Rowter vs Rooter

Monday, October 28th, 2013

My new job as an IT guru has placed me in a difficult position with my co-workers. As the only Australian on the IT help desk team, I am being significantly teased for my pronunciation of the word “Router”. Every day we received numerous phone calls from users in funeral care parlours who have lost their internet connections or are having trouble with their ADSL phone lines. We are often asking them to reboot their routers or check that they have actually been plugged in in the first place. This is all fine, except for the fact that I am having to have discussions (arguments) with both colleagues and the people I am helping on the phone as to whether the word is pronounced rOW-ter or rOOt-er.

Generally speaking, Australians use British spelling and pronunciation for words, however it seems we have picked up the American twang for this piece of technology. I am finding myself wanting to join sides with my British colleagues and am starting to pronounce it as they do. I certainly don’t say “I am taking the scenic route” with an American ‘ow’, so why do we use it for this? So I have decided that I am willing to accept defeat but I plan on doing it as quietly as possible. There’s no need for my co-workers to feel that they have beaten me. I won’t, however, start pronouncing ‘castle’ like a northerner. Ca-ssle instead of Car-sle. That’s just weird.

I Hereby Declare…

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

I’m umming, I’m ahhing, so I am publicly announcing that I, Jessica Odette Davies, am going on a camp. And not just any old camp – Camp NaNoWriMo. This is WORSE than most camps. Sure, I won’t have to sleep in the mud and I get to use my own toilet, but by declaring today that I am signing up, I am committing to writing another 50,000 words in 30 days. Yikes.

For those of you who remember, last November I tackled the 50,000 word challenge and survived! I did it! I wrote the words! I have done ZILCH with those words since, but they continue to haunt me from my desktop. So why not write more? My last attempt saw me write about my life à Paris, this time I am going to attempt fiction. I have never been good at fiction, and I don’t see why I will start being good at it now. But by gosh, I am going to try!

Now the only problem is finding a subject. I have an idea but I fear it to too based on reality and therefore my story will turn into my usual non-fiction, reflective narrative. I want to avoid this. I want to write something completely new, completely different, completely weird. So I am now presenting you with a challenge – 7 days to provide me with a topic for my story. Anything. Except no love-sick vampires or high school boys flying around on brooms while wearing thick-rimmed glasses. That is your mission – you MUST accept it.

NaNoWriMo 4Eva

Monday, November 28th, 2011

I just jumped around the room like a five year old because

I did it!

I have just typed my 50,000th word in my NaNoWriMo challenge and I am so proud of myself. I have wanted to do this for a few years now and never thought it would actually be achievable and I have proved myself wrong. I now have a working manuscript for something – what that thing is, I do not know. But there’s potential for a book to eventuate and that’s something I haven’t had before. Having my words printed and bound is something I really want to have happen in my lifetime and I am now one step closer.

So what now? I still have two more days until NaNoWriMo finishes and I am going to continue writing until the end. However, once it is all over I don’t know what to do with my words. Print out the 90+ pages and use it as a door stop? Perhaps I can take up origami or build a paper-maché Eiffel Tower replica. I have had lots of people ask if they can read it and I am somewhat inclined to give it to a lot of people and force them to provide me with real feedback. But I know the answers will be friendly and polite and won’t really offer much guidance for where to go next. No, I think the next stage is to read back through what I have written and really think about what my Book o’ Paris is going to be about. It is currently a hodge-podge of random notes and it has no flow or style. But that’s ok – that’s what editing and re-writing is all about. I’m just glad I have 50000 words down on paper (well, in Word) and I can now officially say, “I am writing a book about Paris.” when people ask me what I do here. It sounds much better than, “Umm… not a lot.”


Over Half Way

Sunday, November 13th, 2011

Great news, everyone! I am very proud to say that today I cracked the 25,000 word mark so I am over half way in my NaNoWriMo challenge! I am rather pleased about this fact – now it’s the downhill run and I have always found it easier to count down than up.

Check In

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

I am ten days into my write-50,000-words-in-a-month, NaNoWriMo, attempt. I am having very mixed feelings about the whole thing as I am enjoying the discipline of writing 2000 words a day but, being me, am disconcerted by the quality of what I am writing. There is the constant concern niggling at the back of my head of whether or not any one is going to want to read what I put together and whether or not this is just a big waste of time. I realise that this is in no way the final copy and whatever I write now will be changed, re-worked and edited into something that is completely different to its current form, however I wouldn’t mind having a small feeling of confidence that the ideas I am getting out have the potential to be published.

I have had much support from various people around me saying I just need to keep pumping out the words and see what I end up with in the end. Anyway, today I reached 20,000 words which surprises and excites me. It has been really good to sit and write every day and I hope I can continue this after the month is over. I hope to reach the half way mark by Saturday – that will give me a real reason to celebrate!

Word Count Update

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

Day Three of NaNoWriMo and I have written 6177 of my 50,000 words. Not bad, if I say so myself. I am finding it a lot easier than I expected, although Day Three was a bigger challenge than Day One. I suspect it will continue in this fashion as I run out of things to write and my patience for sitting in front of the computer wanes. Thankfully the past few days have been grey and drizzly so my desire to go outside hasn’t been strong. Right now I am contemplating walking to the boulangerie to buy my lunchtime baguette and we are also in desperate need of toilet paper but it looks so miserable outside. Surely Tom wants to go for a walk instead?

Well That Was Easy…

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

An hour and 15 minutes later and I am done. I have written 2010 words – that’s a whole 343 words more than required. I will probably keep writing as it has just started raining and I should make the most of the bad weather. It is far too hard to write when the sun is shining. It’s a relief to see that it is achievable (even if the words that I wrote where mostly ramble, blabber and rubbish.)

Day One

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

A pinch and a punch for the first of the month and no returns! Although I am pinching and punching myself more than anyone this morning as I come to the realisation that I signed myself up for a month of pure torture. I thought doing 60 pushups a day was bad – I now have to write 1667 words every day for the next month. What on earth am I going to write about???

The good thing about NaNoWriMo is that the point is to get the words out, no matter how bad they are. The editing process will come later. So everything I write will count towards my 50,000 word goal. Except what I am writing on here right now doesn’t so I am going to stop wasting my words and wearing out my fingers and go and write something that counts! Wish me luck, kids. And keep yelling at me if I slack off. I want to do this but it is like going for a month without chocolate. Very, very, very hard to do.