All Quiet on the Western Front.

It’s been a while. I thought once my Honours dissertation was submitted I would have more time for blogging and getting back into my writing. Oh goodness me, how wrong was I?

Since my last post I have received my Honours marks (passed! Thank goodness!), spent a great festive season with my family and friends, signed up for and started a website development diploma (no rest for the wicked) and had a passing in the family. Oh. And moved across the country to Melbourne, Victoria!

Not bad for only a few weeks.

Melbourne Train Station

There are less than three weeks until the school year begins again. In that time, I have to find a place of my own to live (currently staying with friends), get all the necessary school gear for the Monkey, and start building a new life again. It’s not an insurmountable set of tasks, but it does leave me wondering if I have contracted an illness that forces me to tackle the Herculean workload sometimes. Oh well. This too shall come to pass.

I have also received an invitation to graduate, and have elected to attend my graduation ceremony. Of course, it would be in the middle of the week, and there’s no Melbourne venue that I can attend. So, it looks like I’ll be flying back over to Perth in February for a week of catch-ups, graduation ceremonies and reminding myself what my partner looks like. I think that is what is making this the hardest move I have made yet: the missing him. Still, it’s not forever, and we are maintaining as much daily contact and communications as possible. That’s making it a little easier to cope with.

Oh, if you would like to help me achieve my dream of walking across the stage for my graduation ceremony, I’ve set up a Pozible campaign. The cost of flights is a little prohibitive at the moment, so every little bit helps, even if it’s just a share. 🙂

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Do all Perth People Dream of Melbourne?

I had the good fortune of attending the swarm conference in Melbourne this past week.

As I hadn’t had a holiday for a number of years, I decided it would be best to combine the two into a week of pure awesomeness. Holiday plus social media and community manager conference plus catching up with friends equals win. Plain and simple.

I had always planned to go to Melbourne, having seen many a Perthite head over there and blossom, but it was always something that required a good reason rather than just a holiday. I will post separately about the food I experienced over there, choosing this time to just write about the comparison between Perth and Melbourne.

So, here we go:

  1. In Melbourne, when you stand at a pedestrian crossing, the cars actually stop for you. Even if they have right of way. In Perth, they see you as a challenge and will hunt you down.
  2. Those in customer service generally truly want to serve you. The waiters understand that they are the line of first impression, so if they do a good job, people will have a better experience. People in stores genuinely want to assist you in making a good purchase. The people in visitor centers want to help you find your way. The concierge at your hotel, even if they’re new to Melbourne themselves, wants to make sure you have a good stay.
  3. Hook turns don’t freak drivers out and they allow for greater flow of traffic. Put those in Perth and wait for the in flux of emergency casualties.
  4. People in Melbourne want to use the city. In Perth, the city turns into pumpkins come six o’clock in the evening. With spinnafex. For real.
  5. In Melbourne, even if you’re lost you can find something to do. There are little bars and niche places down almost every alley way and turn. In Perth, if you’re lost, you’d better hope and pray you come out of it alive.
  6. In Melbourne the public transport understands that people actually want to use it to get around the city. In Perth, public transport is a sometimes thing, and even then, it’s dodgy at best. You certainly don’t rely on it t get around the city, unless you’re a traveler.
  7. Melbourne has more than three shades of green. Perth has more than three shades of brown.
  8. Deregulated shopping hours have made Melbourne an easier place to work in a life/work balance, as you don’t have to rush around to do your grocery shopping so much. In Perth, we baulked at Sunday City trading.
  9. In Perth, we have three months of vaguely decent temperatures to go wandering around outside in. In Melbourne, they have three months of vaguely unbearable temperatures.
  10. In Melbourne, you know the areas to stay away from if you don’t want to get harassed/violated/king-hit. In Perth, if you don’t want any of those things to happen, you just don’t go to Perth.

Okay, so that’s my comparison. Got other ideas? Think my opinion is wrong? Let me know in the comments below!

Writing about Yourself…

… Or: Why Writer’s Will Spend Foooorrreverrrrrrr Writing Their Own Bio or Intro.

“My name is Melissa Nile and I will be writing these posts for you. I have covered previous conferences, blogging and tweeting my way. I will be your resident blogger and tweeter for the conference, so please approach with caution, preferably with a suitable offering (coffee and cake is entry level. Vodka and lime will afford you a single question and answer. Real conversation requires creativity on your part)…”  – Needless to say, this will not be the intro I include.

Okay, let me get one thing straight. I am not a writer. Well, not in the real sense. I have published one poem in a book in my life time. I have submitted chapters of stories that have never been picked up, presumably because they were crap. I have always thought my style of writing was more of an insight into the feeble mind of a something-something than anything worth a Grand Prize. Having said that, other people clearly have faith in my ability to write, at least in certain circumstances. Apparently I am particularly good at covering events with blogging and tweeting. It’s a talent, what can I say? I type hard and fast and never look back. I am like the Hunter S Thompson of the tweet-verse… and yes, this is bat country.

ImageSo, if I am okay with introducing speakers and topics for discussion, why is writing a short introduction to myself so freaking hard? Does it stem from a sense of unworthiness (that is when you feel like you’ve stumbled into a room full of experts and you have to make conversation, knowing absolutely nothing about whatever it is they’re talking at you about!)? Or a dislike of sounding like a conceited clown (that’s when you make your intro sound self-important but then throw in a line you think is hilarious to lighten the gravity, but no one else gets, and so you end up looking like a douche)? For me, it’s a bit of both.

I have a somewhat over-inflated sense of self-worth. I know I’m good… I’m just not quite sure at what yet. So covering events attended by experts in a field I might like to feel “one of the team” is stifled a bit by the feeling I’ve somehow got there on a pretense. I’m not actually this blogger-extraordinaire. I’m an imposter! I have no idea what I’m doing!

This, of course, isn’t true. I do know what I’m doing. I know what I’m doing and how everyone else should be doing it all the way I do it. I guess the fear is that someone is going to see me dither at making an editorial choice, point the long Bony Finger of Shaming and cry out to all and sundry, “Faker!” I will be lead through the streets wearing a dunce’s hat, forced to write lines in chalk on the footpath. “I must not pretend to be as good as I am,” they will say. Line after line, until someone washes it away and makes me start over.

And then I wake up…

It was a dream after all…

Now can I go back to the one where everyone else brings me the tribute?