I’m Writing Lists This November

I’m not doing NaNoWriMo this year.

I participated for the past two years and performed – well, kind of dismally. I could go on to diss the event for being unrealistic, but I know a lot of people write well during NaNo. Well, it isn’t for me. I do so want to finish one of my works in progress, but it’s not going to happen in a month, and most certainly not a November month.

27936460160164924zmRVgud0c Continue reading “I’m Writing Lists This November”

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An Audio Treat in Afrikaans

As a little girl, my dad created a special story and character with which to entertain me at bedtime. Her name was Lientjie (pronounced “Linky”) and she was a “cheerful butterfly”. As you may recall, my dad is visually impaired, so bedtime stories were told (often of his own invention, as is this one) and not read.

Lientjie was so well-loved that she was introduced to my little sister and little brother, and also our cousins. She is an institution in our family, so to speak.

Recently we bought my dad an awesome birthday gift: a Crosley Troubadour, which plays vinyls, tapes, and all other media. It has a great function where you can burn your tapes and vinyls to MP3 format. So courtesy of that, i get to share an excerpt of my dad’s story!

You’re in for a treat, too; because I just loved the limelight as a little girl and I couldn’t stop interjecting. Sometimes, I lost the plot completely, almost changing the entire story!

If you don’t understand Afrikaans, I’m sorry that you won’t understand this clip. However, for a long time I have been threatening to turn my dad’s stories into children’s books. If we do this, you may well get to read them. 🙂

If you do understand it… let me know what you think 🙂

Go Set A Watchman Read in a Parallel Universe

* A review of Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee, as imagined in a world where To Kill A Mockingbird never existed; and therefore GSaW did not become an instant bestseller based purely upon its history. Disclaimer: there may be some spoilers if you have not read any of the recent hubbub about GSaW. Also, if you mistake my creative license as reality then I’m not even going to respond.

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Continue reading “Go Set A Watchman Read in a Parallel Universe”

Throwback: Roadtrip Through History

I wrote this post as a note on Facebook exactly five years ago, 6 July 2010. I’m often ashamed when I read my past writings, but this isn’t one of those times. I’ve left it exactly as is. I’m not sure how much sense it will make to people who are not familiar with South Africa, but I decided to share it here in any case. I’ve hyperlinked some things for comprehension’s sake.

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The extravagant price-increases as brought on by the hosting of the FIFA World Cup recently necessitated a 12-hour road-trip to Cape Town, as opposed to the usual 90-minute flight.

A cold and dark 05:00 morning progressed just as we progressed through the land of memories.

Memories of debating trips – so many debating trips.

Here we debated.

Here we lost.

Here we won.

Here I learnt that the line between conviction and contradiction truly is a fine one. Continue reading “Throwback: Roadtrip Through History”

My Booming Frontal Cortex

Unborn Ideas by Catrin Arno
Unborn Ideas by Catrin Arno

I remember it clearly. I was twelve years old and one day, without any precipitating events, I looked at the world as if with new eyes. I felt as if I had been living in a bubble, and suddenly the world was big and I wasn’t a child. Or I was, but I didn’t want to be.

It was my first experience with “growing up” and I can only postulate that as it was roundabout the time that I hit puberty, my frontal cortex was busy myelinating like crazy. I of course believed that my brain was fully developed and that old people who claimed it was still developing were, well, old – but what would a twelve year old know, right?

It wasn’t so rapid this time but I think I may be having a similar experience now. I have been trying to put it into words but having largely neglected any kind of writing besides the odd blog post, that hasn’t gone so well. It started with a feelings of disconnect and then intense reconnection; and a lot of confusion about my role in society as a doctor, a daughter, a sister, a partner, a citizen. Continue reading “My Booming Frontal Cortex”

The Passion Deception: Beyond What You “Like”

Last week, I wrote about how the idea of “passion” can overwhelm us into unrealistic future prospects. I actually got some good feedback from readers, which leads me to believe that I am certainly not the only one with this experience.

But if you’re a high school student – or otherwise at the threshold of choosing a career – you might wonder, WHERE DOES THAT LEAVE ME? If you have been told your whole life that you need simply to do what you love (and you’ll “never work a day in your life”, yada yada yada), you might not know HOW else to choose a path forward.

My suggestion? Ye ole’ trusty mindmap.

Many of ours (mine included) may have looked something like this:

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When in reality, it probably should have looked something like this: Continue reading “The Passion Deception: Beyond What You “Like””

The Passion Deception: Why Passion Is Not Enough

I had the pleasure of visiting my old high school recently to talk to some of the Matrics about life, their final year of school and their future plans in general. I spoke at length about what I call the Passion Deception. It sounds like a bit of a downer but to be honest, it’s real talk and the more I think about it, the more it makes sense.

passion deception

I feel like many talented youngsters have a pressing desire to do a job that makes them “tick”, and they are taught (myself included) from a young age that the profession you choose should be one you feel passionate about. I can understand why we tell people that too: talented youngsters can often do anything they want to, so “passion” becomes a good indicator of what to leave and what to dive into. Continue reading “The Passion Deception: Why Passion Is Not Enough”

Why I Run

I run because once upon a time I was told that there were two kinds of people: people with brains and people with brawn and that I was the former and that it precluded me from physical activity of worth. I run because although it was meant to be a good thing – brains – it made me feel restricted, faulty, half-human.

I run because I reject the dichotomy. I run because when I am working long shifts and saving lives and keeping the economy afloat (I like to flatter myself) it is not just my brain, but also my body doing it.

BLD6I2fCMAEOcuR Continue reading “Why I Run”

The Future of this Blog (and other record-keeping)

This is a scheduled post as I am currently camping! 😀

Over the past while I have had questions about the continued existence of this blog and I want to say right off the bat that I do not plan on closing up shop. I will probably change the name of the blog (the url will stay the same) and maybe at some point I’ll move to self-hosting, but all in all the blogging community has become so important for my sanity.

journaling Continue reading “The Future of this Blog (and other record-keeping)”

Book Review: Vanessa and her Sister by Priya Parmar

London, 1905: The city is alight with change, and the Stephen siblings are at the forefront. Vanessa, Virginia, Thoby, and Adrian are leaving behind their childhood home and taking a house in the leafy heart of avant-garde Bloomsbury. There they bring together a glittering circle of bright, outrageous artistic friends who will grow into legend and come to be known as the Bloomsbury Group. And at the center of this charmed circle are the devoted, gifted sisters: Vanessa, the painter, and Virginia, the writer.

Historical fiction tends to be hit or miss for me. I love history and I have lists of favourite historical fiction novels (and not-so-fictional ones too). Still, I often DNF historical fiction simply because it is on a completely different wavelength. It’s just such a niche genre that they often miss me completely. Continue reading “Book Review: Vanessa and her Sister by Priya Parmar”