Book Review: Life of Pi by Yann Martel

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Oh, wow! This is a must read book!

Yes, it’s one of those books that you persist with begrudgingly, wondering where it is going, only to feel bad because the end is so beautiful and perfect. And, yes, it could have been one hundred pages shorter and still had the same impact. But it is spectacular, a genuine contribution to literature. Continue reading

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Writing Distractions

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It’s a given, sometimes a much regretted one, that you can’t spend all of your time writing. Distractions abound and life is one of them. But there are good distractions, there are bad distractions and then there are the downright destructive distractions. So which is which? Continue reading

Nine Reasons You Didn’t Hear Back About That Job Application

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Everyone knows the process. You want a new job, you spend time perfecting your CV, you craft compelling cover letters, and you apply for anything that fits your criteria. And then you wait. And wait. And wait some more. Until, eventually, you realise that you’ve waited long enough. And worse than just being not interested, your potential employer was so uninterested you didn’t even get a polite ‘thanks but no thanks’.

There seems to be two types of jobs these days: the jobs nobody wants and the jobs everybody wants. So when a recruiter receives 250 applications, they’re probably stressed enough trying to sort through them and find the people they want to proceed to the next stage with. They barely have the time to regret not getting back to you, let alone to actually drop you an email so you can stop hoping for a call. Continue reading

Book Review: The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

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This is a beautifully written book with simple but poignant language and a terrifically observant main character. It is written as a series of letters to an anonymous friend and goes off on so many wonderful tangents. The story is a little lacking but I feel that way about so many of these ‘coming of age’ stories. Perhaps it is reflective of the actual experience of teenagers – not that much happens but it feels like the most dramatic time in their lives regardless. Continue reading

“I Need Help” and Other Things We Don’t Say Enough at Work

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If you’re anything like me (and I hope for your sake you aren’t but I know there are plenty of people that suffer from similar problems), then admitting that you aren’t flawless, that you aren’t a genius, that there are things you aren’t an expert in, that sometimes you aren’t the best person for the job, can be hard.

Equally, even if you aren’t a perfectionist like me, it can be just as hard to tell the obvious truth. It is something that is severely lacking in most workplaces because we are all so focused on keeping our jobs and the truth, even though it’s true, can seem like a slap in the face, both to those delivering it and those receiving it. Continue reading

Guest Post: Bereavement Leave for Step-Families by Jessica Vigar

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Step-FamiliesAlthough this blog is normally my self-indulgent platform for promoting, well, me, I am more than willing to share the (very limited) limelight for examples of other people’s writing, especially when that example is well written and for a good cause.

Just like Jessica, my inaugural guest post author, I am one of those people who is part of a step-family (in fact, I’m part of three of them). When she was denied bereavement leave on the occasion of her step-grandfather’s death, she was moved to pen the following letter to the Fair Work Commission to protest the unfairness of the Australian Government trying to tell us who we should and shouldn’t consider family.

It’s hard to argue with common sense (although governments attempt it time and time again). Read on for Jessica’s thoughtful, articulate and reasonable request for change.

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Book Review: The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

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The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Katniss Everdeen is a terrific creation, although I won’t call her a hero (because of what she does throughout the book), just a survivor.

Spoiler alert! It doesn’t take a genius to figure out pretty early on that she is going to win the competition i.e. first person perspective means she is the only one who can take the story to its eventual conclusion. Continue reading

A Woman’s Woman – A Poem

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A woman’s woman. That’s not to say
She doesn’t have men calling day after day.
She’s everything a woman could ever hope to be.
I hope and I hope but she’s nothing like me.
She’s alluring and witty, perfect and proud;
She’s never afraid to imagine out loud.
I’m unnoticed and sober, flawed and afraid;
I’ve never once dared to abandon my charade.
She’s the creativity, I’m the grammar, together we are the writing.
Beauty all round when we find a way of uniting.
But I want to be her, and how ironic, she wants to be me.
We’ve found common ground: our absurd jealousy.
Pointlessly she is mine and I am her anagram.
A paradox. A compliment. We are. I am.

The Second Qualification You Should Study For

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You’ve studied hard and it’s time for your first degree-mandatory job. Or is it? Whatever your first choice area of study, post-graduation you are likely to be competing for jobs with dozens, if not hundreds, of other candidates with the same degree. Or worse, the same degree with honours. Or worst, the same degree plus experience. How do you set yourself apart? Continue reading