Posts filed under ‘writing’

Work hard, reap the rewards.

I have had one of the best days of my life today. Well, best afternoon to be more precise! Today I found out something so exciting that made me jump up and down and smile non-stop for hours. My friend told me he’d seen another piece of my writing published in the New Zealand Herald College Herald!!! At first I was really confused and thought he just meant the last piece I had published, but then he was like “the one about your Grandma” and instantly I knew he wasn’t joking because how would he have known? After our year 11 and 12 class plays (which were great by the way) I stopped by the supermarket with mum on the way home and bought a copy of today’s Herald and this months issue of Girlfriend magazine which I’d been told I was going to be in (exciting coz I actually got to write my own story). I told mum that if I become successful in Journalism it’ll probably become quite costly for her haha.

Sure enough, I opened the herald and found this:

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This has been particularly exciting for me as Breast Cancer is something so close to me as I’ve lost my Grandmother and currently have a very close (and young) relative battling it. I’m trying to help raise awareness and for that to be in the New Zealand Herald just meant so much.

Secondly, I was super stoked to firstly just be in the same issues as Katy Perry! hahaha, that sounds ridiculous, but I think she’s amazing.

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I opened it up and saw my piece and it looks so beautiful and so bright and colourful 🙂 I couldn’t have been more pleased.

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I also got some part-time work in the holidays at the local Newspaper!!!! EXCITEMENT!!

Not bad for a days work, eh? 😉

In other news…

My mother bought the most incredible… amazing… beautiful contraption I’ve ever seen in my life.

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It is funky and awesome and retro and rides like a dream! I took it for a 40 minute bike ride the day mum got it and it was amazing. It was the best exercise I’d had in ages because I was so content and happy and relaxed. I was just taking my time, enjoying the sunshine, watching people garden, walk the dogs, little kids play hide and seek as well as enjoying the beautiful smells of spring and fresh flowers blooming. Nothing could ever compare to the happiness I felt during that ride. In my previous blog I talked about ways to make exercise fun and I think this new bike may just be my spring and summertime love. I’m selling my scooter (because I never use it) and will by my own vintage bicycle for myself. If you think biking is lame, then quite frankly YOU’RE the lame one. It is a great form of exercise, fast-paced and extremely invigorating. Be thankful for helmets as well because those things could save your life. NEVER cycle without one. Just read this post on Kelly’s blog to hear exactly WHY wearing helmets is so important.

Tomorrow afternoon I’ll probably take it for a bike ride after school, a long one and I’ll just cruise along and enjoy myself 🙂

August 31, 2010 at 9:08 am 4 comments

Inexperience + Pride= Shame

The Ski Trip at Mount Ruapehu was filled with funny stories of embarrassing crashes, battle scars and wet clothing. My own particular Tale Of Humiliation was quite a funny one that cracked a smile on even the most humourless of people.

Being the inexperienced skier that I am, I stupidly wound up in the “Next Step” group for my ski lesson. There were three groups: Beginners (self-explanatory), Next Step (for those who have skied before and are ready to take things further) and Explorers (experienced skiers and snowboarders). Because I’ve skied before- once before, five years ago- I was put into the Next Step group. Right away I knew I was out of my league, firstly I couldn’t remember how to even get my skis on, and then once I had that sorted I lost control of my skis (because I couldn’t remember how to stop) on flat snow and took out some poor innocent snowboarder in the line for the chair lifts. I apologised profusely, and, bless his heart, he offered me a hand up and once I was upright I quickly proceeded to slide forward and fall over again. I sat there feeling disheartened and in despair because I knew I should be back in the beginners class, but stupid me, I had too much pride to turn around and head back down to Happy Valley. After another bout of profuse apologies, the nice snowboarder offered me a hand a second time and I took it but at the same time grumbled “thanks, I’ll probably just fall over again though…”

I managed to get to the chair lifts somehow and head on up the mountain to our group lesson. The further the chair lift went, the more I regretted not heading back down to Happy Valley because I realised just how far away I was at that point. The chair lift ride took quite a while, four or five minutes probably and it began to dawn on me that I’d managed to successfully get ON the chair lift, now the next problem was getting OFF it. The fear in my chest rose and I started to formulate a game plan as the little foot-high slope that you slide off the chair lift and down came into view. I managed to get off it without hurting anyone and slid over to the rest of the group and after that I felt my confidence start to come back. It was a short lived feeling though.

The ski instructor came over to us and introduced himself, he asked us to all introduce ourselves as well and then said we were going to ski to the top of quite a small slope that was just behind us so he could get us to show him how good we were. That’s when the next problem presented itself- I couldn’t move. It was quite funny going from being unable to stop on a flat slope to being unable to get moving. The rest of the group trudged onwards whilst I was left there flailing around unsuccessfully until the instructor grabbed my arm and dragged me over to the rope tow. I was pulled up to the top of the slope along with the rest of the group and the instructor followed. He said he wanted us to zig-zag down the slope, and he went first to demonstrate. The familiar feeling of horror returned because I had no idea how to do that and it only got worse as I watched my group do it with ease, one by one. I waited until the end because I wanted to put off my turn for as long as possible, but then my turn came and I knew I was going to embarrass myself.

I set off, obviously with the best of intentions, and wound up HOONING down the mountain at high speed in a straight line and was horrified when I skied straight past the rest of the group and remembered I didn’t know how to stop. In an effort to “zig-zag” I fell over on my side and did a somersault for a few metres before coming to a grinding halt. I felt my face go red with embarrassment and I looked up back at the group to see them all staring at me, “not exactly the most graceful landing!” I said whole-heartedly in an effort to regain some of my dignity. No such luck. I can’t remember how but I ended up back with the group (they may have skied over to me), and then the ski instructor introduced me to another ski instructor whose name I couldn’t pronounce or remember, and insisted on how great she was and said he thought I’d be better off with her. I gratefully accepted a position in her ski class as I couldn’t bear anymore shame in front of my current group.

I went off with the new instructor and watched my old group ski off to the distance to take on Rocky Garden and I was instantly grateful that I didn’t continue on with them.
It was then that I realised that I was now in a beginner’s class with seven and eight year olds… Great. I felt even MORE embarrassed at the drills we were made to do, but it did feel good being the best in the group and I managed to pick everything up quite quickly. Through the embarrassment of being in a group with such a young general age, I actually learnt a lot and when it came time to catch up with my initial group, I was able to do most of what they could! So thank you, ski-instructor whose name I can’t remember or pronounce, despite the humiliation it was very worthwhile.

Needless to say, I still wiped out at every corner of Rocky Garden on the way down to Happy Valley, but I’m sure my wipe-outs would’ve been far worse without the lesson I participated in, no matter how shameful it was 🙂

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August 14, 2010 at 6:14 am Leave a comment

Just Write Recap Part 2

Sunday morning was harrrrd to rise from… The combination of two very very late night for me followed by an action packed day was getting to me. Nevertheless we needed to check out at 8.45am so I got up and moving. Showered, had breakfast and packed my bags. Leaving my favourite face-wash in the bathroom accidently on the way 😦
We headed to Global Focus Aotearoa after checking out to do some further research for our podcasts and to finish writing them.

The view from Capital House when we were leaving was pretty cool.

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Upon leaving we stopped to have a group photo.

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Once we’d written our podcasts some more we went into a conference room to have a workshop on “Eating The Media Lunch” which was all about what to expect when you flick on the news or open a newspaper. After that we went to Access Radio to record our podcasts!

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We got a tour of the radio station and taught about what everything is and how it works.

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My group were really really nervous but it went surprisingly well. After that we headed to civic centre for lunch!

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We had a feast and then decided to take one final group photo before heading back to Global Focus.

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Back at Global Focus we had a journalist come and speak to us about their journey to success and things to consider when going into the industry. It was really really thought provoking and enjoyable. At that point it was just about time for two of the group to head to the airport to catch their flights back home. We went through some goodbyes and then they were on their way and we got to talking about potential topics to write about and publishing opportunities. Before long it was time to head to the airport.

I was really nervous about flying home and my flights were both delayed for quite a long time that lead to some stress, but in the end I got home safely 🙂

It was an awesome weekend and an amazing opportunity that I was STOKED to get. I’m off on my P.E Ski Trip now so another 3 days without blogging. Enjoy the rest of the week!

xoxo

August 10, 2010 at 7:10 pm Leave a comment

Just Write Training Weekend Recap Part 1!

I have had the most AMAZING weekend of my entire life! This weekend was the weekend of the long-awaited Just Write training weekend as a part of my involvement in the Just Write project.
For those of you who don’t know what the Just Write project is, it’s a part of the Just Focus network (hosted by Global Focus) which aims to strengthen youth voices on important global issues in the New Zealand media.

10 students were selected to take part after an application process. I was one of the lucky ones chosen!

On Friday night I flew down to Wellington after school, and let me just say that before then I had NEVER EVER flown in a plane before. I was so nervous! I had no idea what to expect and I was convinced I was going to lose my luggage or miss my connecting flight to Wellington.
I checked in at the Whakatane airport and waited anxiously.

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Eventually it was time to board the plane and after much reassurance from the staff that I would be fine and all would run smoothly, I felt comfortable getting on the plane. It was tiny! It seated 20 people and it was very loud. I was amazed when we took off and looked out the window to see all the land beneath us and I was so stunned at the sight, it was unlike anything I’ve ever seen before and it felt surreal. I also got to watch a WICKED sunset.

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The trip went super fast and we landed in Auckland and I rushed to catch my connecting flight to take me to Wellington. It was in a MUCH bigger plane this time- and Boeing 747 and it was complete with flight attendants and refreshments! haha. That trip also flew by (like my pun? 😉 lol) and before I knew it we were preparing for landing in Wellington. I didn’t have a clue where to go and a lovely man who I’d made friends with on the flight took me to baggage claim- bless him- otherwise I would’ve been wandering around like a headless chicken. It was at baggage claim that I first met two of the people involved, Jamie (a team member) and Mel, one of the coordinators.

We left the airport once I’d gotten my bags and we went to collect Hells Pizza for dinner before heading to the Capital House where we were staying. As soon as we met the rest of the team there was instant chemistry. We all got along from the moment we met and we connected in such an amazing way. There was no awkward small talk and we hit it off right away. We had a great dinner and then head to our rooms to settle in before coming back down to watch some short films with powerful messages and to eat some delicious fair trade chocolate 🙂

The view of the Wellington lights from my room was AMAZING!!! I tried to capture it on camera but it doesn’t even come CLOSE to doing it justice.

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Watching the movies was great and they held some really really powerful messages. We all talked about a lot of really huge issues that related to the messages in them and didn’t end up getting to bed until 11.30!!! I slept solidly and was up early the next day to prepare for the action-packed day ahead.

Here’s a day-time view from my room:

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We got straight into things at 9am in our conference room which looked like this:

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We started with a session on Globalisation and how we’re involved, also the key word: Interconnectedness! I could go on for pages on each session, but for the sake of my time and yours I’ll keep the main points pretty simple.

After that we had a workshop on writing basics, things like how to actually WRITE a piece. Relevance, audience, tone, structure and tone. Following that we had a workshop on writing basics part 2 which included interviewing people and researching.

Then we had a session on learning about the Official Information Act and how we can utilise that to the best of our ability. Each workshop ran for 1.5-2 hours and in between we ate LOTS of food.

like this: (my lunch)

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We were fed so well the whole day with scones, cake, what you can see above and more! It was a feast at every meal!

After lunch we decided to get some fresh air and give our minds a chance to recover from the cramming of information we’d had all day. We went for a walk to explore the Capital House grounds.

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Then it was back to work to start planning our podcasts. We had to think of a theme and then branch off from there to think of our own individual podcasts. In amongst all that we managed to lose like, an hour or two and then it was afternoon tea, back to planning and then we had to get ready to go out for dinner and to see a show called “Dog Sees God” at Bats theatre.

We went to see Parliament and have some photos:

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Then we headed to a food court to get some eats before the show.

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We had quite a wait at Bats before the show started and gave us all a chance to kick back and have some bonding time. We had some good laughs 😀

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The show was AWESOME! The acting was amazing and we all really really enjoyed it. It ended up running a lot later than we expected, but it was well worth it. Once again we had a very late night but an excellent day full of useless information which I think will REALLY help me with my writing which means you can look out for improved articles from me. I’m working on a brand new one at the moment which I’m very excited about.

Stay tuned for part 2 which covers Sunday!

Goodnight, xoxo

August 9, 2010 at 4:54 am 1 comment

It’s all happening this week.

I have had possibly one of the most exciting weeks of my life. Remember that College Herald competition that I’ve been harping on about for weeks? Yeah well one of my stories was chosen to be published 😀 I was so so ecstatic when I found out! I also won a $100 JB-Hi-Fi gift voucher!! For anyone who knows this store and who knows me, they’ll completely understand what a HUGE deal that is. I see a new Ipod in my future!! 😀

I found a copy of the paper it was in and photocopied the page. Nothing will ever compare to the elation I felt when I read my name in bold lettering under the title and above the body of a story I’d written, published in a national paper that is read by upwards of half a million people every day. It only proceeded to further solidify that this is what I want to be doing with my life, it’s the career path I’m going to follow.

Guess which story was chosen? THIS one. I’m so happy! It’s the first submission I made and I am quite proud of it so I’m very glad to see that in the Herald. This couldn’t have come at a more convenient time as I will be applying for Wintec at the end of the week. Also, this Friday I am flying down to Wellington to embark on my training weekend for the Just Write project!!! 😀 The time has finally come, and the combination of being published in the Herald and getting the opportunity to be involved in this training weekend should dramatically increase my chances of being accepted.

In other news… Here are some photos I’ve taken recently. Winter is good for one thing and one thing only… Interesting pictures.

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I think I’m going to start going back to Jujitsu as well. I have a new friend who’s interested in going with me so that’s new motivation and potential fun 🙂 I’ll keep you updated.

Hope you’ve all had a good start to August!

Ciao

xoxo

August 2, 2010 at 5:24 am 2 comments

Grandma- College Herald Entry

Your beautiful, smiling face. So bright and welcoming, so happy and fulfilled, is my safe haven. Your embrace, so full of love, so secure, the best place I could ever hope to be. Your spirit is uplifting, you’re a joy to everyone you meet, your positive energy is infectious.

Everybody loves you, your heart is full and constantly giving, your life is filled with love.

But then disaster strikes… A lump. One small lump to cause such grief. The lump spreads across your body, firstly to your Lymph Nodes and from there it becomes unstoppable, getting worse and worse.

Before long you’re sicker than ever, the treatment breaks you down and our hearts break more and more every day. Why you? You’re such a beautiful person, you shouldn’t have to endure this pain. The inevitable soon comes, you were strong, but not quite strong enough to beat Breast Cancer.

That’s the story of my Grandma’s battle with breast cancer. The Breast Cancer Foundation is one to be supported 100%. Everyday they are one step closer to discovering a miraculous cure for the ruthless and deadly disease. They can help people such as my Grandma, who passed away from Breast Cancer 9 years ago, to find their feet, have support and feel safe in the knowledge that the New Zealand Breast Cancer foundation is there to give them hope. Breast Cancer is the most common disease among women with 2,600 women being diagnosed with it each year. If you support the NZBCF then you are helping them fund ground-breaking research to get us closer and closer to minimizing those statistics. The Breast Cancer Foundation not only help fund research, medical grants and scholarships, but they focus their attention hugely on stressing the importance of early detection. They help save thousands of women every year simply by helping them become aware of how to properly examine themselves to stay safe. I recently discovered that a very close Aunt of mine has been diagnosed with breast cancer, therefore increasing my passion for the Breast Cancer Foundation and my mission to raise awareness and gain more and more support for the NZBCF. As individuals we have so much power to make a contribution to society, and a great way to do that is by supporting the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation.

June 29, 2010 at 5:46 am Leave a comment

The Abuser- Creative Writing

Here’s a little something I’ve been working on. It’s a different approach to writing than I’ve taken before, let me know what you think of it an how it makes you feel. Keep in mind that it’s not finished yet, I still have A LOT to go.
COPYRIGHT.

It’ll eat you alive.
“Can you tell me exactly what happened?”
There’s no escape, you only get sucked deeper and deeper into the pit of crap.
“Explain how he did it..”
There’s nothing you can do, they’ll eat you alive and you’re left with only your soul, torn and broken, merely a shell of what it used to be.
“I need you to tell me the full truth ok? Don’t leave anything out”
They pretend to be nice, they pretend to be on your side, but in reality? They’re all the same, thinking I’m just another messed up girl, making up crap to get revenge.
I guess though that yes, I was just another messed up girl, and yes, revenge would’ve been sweet, but my story? That was far from crap.
Isn’t it ironic that the people who most deserve to suffer are often the ones who suffer the least?
And those who don’t deserve it, rarely get the justice they want and end up suffering due to lack of?
It’s funny, isn’t it?
We’re ruled by a government who wouldn’t know true abuse if it hit them in the face. They don’t understand that abuse goes so much deeper than they think.
Emotional abuse.
Physical abuse.
Psychological abuse.
Each is horrible and traumatic. At least with physical abuse though you can take it and maybe even fight back, but emotional and psychological abuse? Nothing can compare to the horror in those.
The abuser breaks you down to a painful point where you lose all respect for yourself. You start believing the shit that they say, and eventually become just a hollow shell, devoid of feeling and respect, unable to survive on your own. And that’s when the abuser knows they’ve got you.
It’s a vicious cycle and very few can resist it. It’s hard to resist because you don’t see it coming, the abuser ‘grooms’ you, lulls you into a false sense of security to make you feel safe and loved. Then slowly they begin to change, it’s a slow change and you don’t pick up on it for a while, but then you do start to notice it… you tell them things are wrong, you try to get things back to how they used to be, but it never will be because it wasn’t real. This, now is what’s real.
They manipulate you and convince you that it’s all your fault, you made this happen and you’re just not good enough. You might get mad at first but the abuser is quick to nip that in the bud by threatening to leave you. This doesn’t sound bad but it’s a slap in the face because you didn’t realize it, but you’re in love with them, they groomed you to depend on them. The shock and the fear of being alone grips you and you apologize madly, truly believing it’s your own fault and you beg for forgiveness.
They string you along, play with your head for a bit longer before eventually “accepting” your apology, you think they’re amazing for taking you back, all the while they’re smirking quietly to themselves in satisfaction. 1 to the Abuser, 0 to the victim.
One they’ve “forgiven” you, they tell you nice things about how much they love you, how beautiful you are, how you ‘complete’ them… Just to make sure you don’t get bored and risk slipping off their little finger.
You delight in the kind words and feel that familiar rush of love and happily think to yourself that maybe it was just a small glitch and that now things will go back to the way things were, back to normal.
But then they push you. Just out of the blue one day. You standing and having a conversation and all of a sudden they become unresponsive, their eyes bore into yours, into your soul, and then with one swift motion and a lot of force, they push you and you fall to the ground.
Tears fill your eyes and you look up in disbelief, you look up in shock. You yell at them, you want to know why they did that, what did you do?
Then they cover their ass, they apologize, help you up, hug you, tell you how much they love you and then tell you it was just a joke.
You get mad, you want answers, and that’s when they turn it around, turn it on you and make it sound as though it’s all your fault, tell you you deserved it and YOU should be the one apologizing to them, not the other way around. After a few minutes of arguing, you’ve become deluded and convinced that they’re right, you are in the wrong and deserved it, you apologize profusely and beg them not to leave you. They storm out, leaving you, a teary-eyed mess, behind to pick through your guilt.
You text them an hour or so later, apologizing again, saying you’ll change, you’ll be a better person… Although you’re not entirely sure what you did wrong to begin with…

To be continued…

June 18, 2010 at 4:57 am 2 comments

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Introducing…

Hey there, my name's Jenny. I have a huge passion for cooking/baking, writing, yoga and photography. I love nature and my favourite thing to do is spend an entire day outside, breathing in crisp, fresh air. Even better if I have a pen and paper with me. I started out running in March 2009 but sustained an injury in October 2009 which has unfortunately prevented me from running. I've been experimenting with other kinds of exercise to find another one that clicks. Follow me on my journey to maintaining good health + surviving high school and pursuing a career in Journalism. I Hope you enjoy reading my blog!

Questions? Comments? Email me at jennyeatliverun@hotmail.com

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