Category Archives: Awesome Observations

The Ultimate Guide to Writing Better than you Normally Do.

I found this hilarious article on www.mcsweeneys.net

BY 

WRITE EVERY DAY

Writing is a muscle. Smaller than a hamstring and slightly bigger than a bicep, and it needs to be exercised to get stronger. Think of your words as reps, your paragraphs as sets, your pages as daily workouts. Think of your laptop as a machine like the one at the gym where you open and close your inner thighs in front of everyone, exposing both your insecurities and your genitals. Because that is what writing is all about.

DON’T PROCRASTINATE

Procrastination is an alluring siren taunting you to Google the country where Balki from Perfect Strangers was from, and to arrange sticky notes on your dog in the shape of hilarious dog shorts. A wicked temptress beckoning you to watch your children, and take showers. Well, it’s time to look procrastination in the eye and tell that seafaring wench, “Sorry not today, today I write.”

FIGHT THROUGH WRITER’S BLOCK

The blank white page. El Diablo Blanco. El Pollo Loco. Whatever you choose to call it, staring into the abyss in search of an idea can be terrifying. But ask yourself this; was Picasso intimidated by the blank canvas? Was Mozart intimidated by the blank sheet music? Was Edison intimidated by the blank lightbulb? If you’re still blocked up, ask yourself more questions, like; Why did I quit my job at TJ Maxx to write full-time? Can/should I eat this entire box of Apple Jacks? Is The Price is Right on at 10 or 11?

LEARN FROM THE MASTERS

Mark Twain once said, “Show, don’t tell.” This is an incredibly important lesson for writers to remember; never get such a giant head that you feel entitled to throw around obscure phrases like “Show, don’t tell.” Thanks for nothing, Mr. Cryptic.

Let me seduce you with my writing...

FIND YOUR MUSE

Finding a really good muse these days isn’t easy, so plan on going through quite a few before landing on a winner. Beware of muses who promise unrealistic timelines for your projects or who wear wizard clothes. When honing in on a promising new muse, also be on the lookout for other writers attempting to swoop in and muse-block you. Just be patient in your search, because the right muse/human relationship can last a lifetime.

HONE YOUR CRAFT

There are two things more difficult than writing. The first is editing, the second is expert level Sudoku where there’s literally two goddamned squares filled in. While editing is a grueling process, if you really work hard at it, in the end you may find that your piece has fewer words than it did before. Which, is great. Perhaps George Bernard Shaw said it best when upon sending a letter to a close friend, he wrote, “I’m sorry this letter is so long, I didn’t have time to make it shorter.” No quote better illustrates the point that writers are very busy.

ASK FOR FEEDBACK

It’s so easy to hide in your little bubble, typing your little words with your little fingers on your little laptop from the comfort of your tiny chair in your miniature little house. I’m taking this tone to illustrate the importance of developing a thick skin. Remember, the only kind of criticism that doesn’t make you a better writer is dishonest criticism. That, and someone telling you that you have weird shoulders.

READ, READ, READ

It’s no secret that great writers are great readers, and that if you can’t read, your writing will often suffer. Similarly, if you can read but have to move your lips to get through the longer words, you’ll still be a pretty bad writer. Also, if you pronounce “espresso” like “expresso.”

STUDY THE RULES, THEN BREAK THEM

Part of finding your own voice as a writer is finding your own grammar. Don’t spend your career lost in a sea of copycats when you can establish your own set of rules. If everyone’s putting periods at the end of their sentences, put yours in the middle of words. Will it be incredibly difficult to read? Yes it will. Will it set you on the path to becoming a literary pioneer? Tough to say, but you’re kind of out of options at this point.

KEEP IT TOGETHER

A writer’s brain is full of little gifts, like a piñata at a birthday party. It’s also full of demons, like a piñata at a birthday party in a mental hospital. The truth is, it’s demons that keep a tortured writer’s spirit alive, not Tootsie Rolls. Sure they’ll give you a tiny burst of energy, but they won’t do squat for your writing. So treat your demons with the respect they deserve, and with enough prescriptions to keep you wearing pants.

Read more by Colin Nissan here

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Blacktop Live Rally – Random High Five 2

The guys on the Black Top Live Rally, Powered by Ford have sent me their latest *high five*

Peter from TopCar was brave enough to do the Blacktop Rally in a KTM X-Bow. For those who don’t know (or can’t tell,) it doesn’t have a roof, windshield or anything else really besides an engine, wheels and two seats wrapped in a carbon fiber shell.

So when rain hit during the 500-odd km journey from Bloem to East London today, it’s no surprise a high-five was in order after the ordeal was over…

What crazy dudes.

There’s a video of the X-Bow on blacktoplive.co.za #BlackTopLive

WIN with TomTom Navigation:

Because the Black Top Rally is such a WIN of a moment –  They have assured me that they will be throwing up lots of random high fives.

Over the next week, up till the 4th May – They will be sending me a “random high five” from the road every day… and have collaborated with the awesome people at TomTom to give one of YOU a free TomTom.

All you have to do is TWEET ME a photo of an epic random high five with the hashtag #BlackTopLive (so we can find it) and we’ll choose the best one. 

Check back here daily to see the Random High Five of the BlackTopLive rally, and I’ll be putting up the best submissions from you guys too.

Competition ends on 4th May 2012.

Get high fiving… and let TomTom help your palms find one another.

For news updates, photos and video, visit www.blacktoplive.co.za

*high five*

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BlackTopLive Rally Random High Five

The boys on the Black Top Rally have sent me their RANDOM HIGH FIVE of the day: 

Random High Five on the Black Top Rally

 

“At Phakisa race track in Welkom. Dave was monkeying around in the pit area so well that Gary (aka teddy) couldnt help riding past for a random high five.” #BlackTopLive

What is #BlackTopLive Rally:

Ford  Black Top Rally runs from 29 April until 4 May 2012 and will see teams trekking 3 500km of back roads, race-circuits and party venues across seven South African cities. Twitter’s own Brent Spilkin (@spillly), Dale Imerman (@idale) and Mark Hamburger (@Mhammies) They’re doing it all for charity. Check out the website to read all about it. Ford are donating R50 for every new follower they get… so do your good deed and go FOLLOW them. *high five*

WIN with TomTom Navigation

Over the next week, up till the 4th May – Black Top Rally will be sending me a “random high five” from the road every day… and have collaborated with the awesome people at TomTom to give one of YOU a free TomTom.

All you have to do is TWEET ME a photo of an epic random high five with the hashtag #BlackTopLive (so we can find it) and we’ll choose the best one. 

Check back here daily to see the Random High Five of the BlackTopLive rally, and I’ll be putting up the best submissions from you guys too.

Competition ends on 4th May 2012.

Get high fiving… and let TomTom help your palms find one another.

For news updates, photos and video, visit www.blacktoplive.co.za

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Win with High-Fives and Blacktop Live Rally

It’s no secret that only winners high five. Even if you’re a loser – when you high-five you feel like a winner. #fact

Lose a race, throw up a high five, and you become a winner. The guys on the Black Top Live Rally, Powered by Ford are obviously winners… so they will be high fiving all the way.

Naturally, then, it makes sense that YOU should use random high fives to prove you’re a winner and if you do… I can make you a LITERAL winner of a TomTom Navigation system…

What is #BlackTopLive Rally:

Ford  Black Top Rally runs from 29 April until 4 May 2012 and will see teams trekking 3 500km of back roads, race-circuits and party venues across seven South African cities. They’re doing it all for charity. Check out the website to read all about it. Ford are donating R50 for every new follower they get… so do your good deed and go FOLLOW them. *high five*

“The long long road to ... #blacktoplive” - @MHammies

Who?

Twitter’s own Brent Spilkin (@spillly), Dale Imerman (@idale) and Mark
Hamburger (@Mhammies) will pilot Ford’s new Ranger on the event. The trio will film and photograph the adventure and social media it back to us. You can follow them and the #BlackTopLive hashtag.

WIN with TomTom Navigation:

Because the Black Top Rally is such a win of a moment –  They have assured me that they will be throwing up lots of random high fives.

Over the next week, up till the 4th May – They will be sending me a “random high five” from the road every day… and have collaborated with the awesome people at TomTom to give one of YOU a free TomTom.

All you have to do is TWEET ME a photo of an epic random high five with the hashtag #BlackTopLive (so we can find it) and we’ll choose the best one. 

Check back here daily to see the Random High Five of the BlackTopLive rally, and I’ll be putting up the best submissions from you guys too.

Competition ends on 4th May 2012.

Get high fiving… and let TomTom help your palms find one another.

The Black Top Live Rally's Ranger outside Clarens.

For news updates, photos and video, visit www.blacktoplive.co.za

 

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THINK THAI – The Hunger Games

If you’ve followed my “Team Gale” vs “Team Peeta” tweets you’d have noticed that I was recently pretty obessesed with the Hunger Games book trilogy – Little did I realise that i’d be ‘living it’ to an extent.

Happy Hunger games – and may the odds be EVER in your favour.

4 people, all friends BUT – there can be only one. *duh duh duuun*

Simply Asia are giving away a trip for 2 to Thailand.
And they have asked 4 people to compete by throwing the best Thai Themed banquet… The best banquet ALSO wins a trip for 2 to Thailand!!

To save you the suspense, unlike the real Hunger Games, I’m useless with a Bow and Arrow so don’t panic, no apples will be shot out of pig’s mouths. Besides, roast pig is not very Thai. Simply Asia is serving all the food. So the only “hunger” would be inspired by fantasising about dishes like this one:

Simply Asia - Green Curry

I also don’t predict any Hunger Games love triangles (although, I do have a bit of a girl crush on Robyn Hobson) Yup, I have some pretty stiff competition in the form of Social media gurus Mike Sharman and Bangers and Nash… and of course Robyn, but she’s not stiff. She’s girly and soft and lovely. (I made a naughty joke *high five*)

So thus embarks our Simply Asia Hunger Games. Less blood, sweat and tears (but perhaps a few… from Siv mostly.) Oh yes, that’s right. If I win, I’m taking my roomie. The ever bubbly actor and comedian Siv Ngesi. this is a picture of Siv the last time he was in Thailand:

Full Moon Party Mayhem

Imagine the shenanigans  we will get up to together, once our forces are combined.

Watch this space as we plan our Thai Banquet to beat all Thai Banquets.

Think Thai – Find out about how YOU can win a trip to Thailand with Simply Asia HERE

*thai high five* May the odds be EVER in your favour.

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Santam aren’t Chicken

Nando’s are famous for spoofing political events, sporting heros and other brands in their ad campaigns. From Dictators to Religious debates – no one is safe from their parodies. But the insurance company Santam have come back from the parody Nando’s pulled on their ad campaign with guns blazing, fists swinging and their tongues firmly in their cheeks.

How awesome is that!? *high five* Santam. And I bet Nando’s will rise to the occasion. What marketing genius. And it’s helping everyone. Bravo King James Ad agency. Bravo! If you missed the first swings here’s the original Santam ad:

And Nando’s Parody:

Keep it up ad agencies. *high five*

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World’s most downloaded Male Model

I have a lot of male model friends. In fact a lot of my closest friends are male models. This is something I can say with a slight pucker of the lips and nod of the head. Hell yeah. Poppin bottles and chilling with models. Take that feminism. Objectification works both ways!

But in all seriousness. Aside from being really, really, ridiculously good-looking they are some of the nicest people I know. And even my (non-model) male friends have gotten to know them and realised that whilst they do spend SOME time staring at their reflections in spoons, and take more on their hair than I do – the rest of the time is spent being awesome.

One of my best friends - Zeke.

Zeke over there is also a very talented photographer and has been one of my best friends since we met at a braai in 2007 and bonded over our mutual love of The Beatles and live music. He’s been there to pick me up when I got my heart broken, send me funny texts when I’m bored, listen when I need to rant – He even cheered me up with a framed photo that he took in Thailand of the Thai coke bottles on the back of a tuk-tuk. Because he knew how happy Thailand makes me, after a particularly bad break-up.

The thing about Zeke is that he pops up EVERYWHERE in print. In airport billboards in England, magazines in Germany, computer game adverts in Asia… even inside the Kulula magazine that I’m on the cover of – The article I did with Loyiso Bala – on the left hand side of it – BAM there’s Zeke waving his hands looking mighty happy. The website I write for moneysmart even has a photo of Zeke on their community pages. In a nice multiracial group – laughing at camera. He’s a dad, a cop, a tennis player and a host of other hilarities that make me and all those that know him peal over in fits of giggles every time he’s spotted.

That’s what makes this youtube so much more hilarious. That.

My friend Brian from Denmark.

And the fact that two of my other favourite people are male models from Denmark. I swear I have never met a bad looking person from Denmark. On all my travels through Asia and South East Asia – all the back-packers encountered. Every remotely beautiful person was a Dane.

The guy in this YouTube is the MOST downloaded man on the internet. AKA – Zeke aint got nothing on him… He’s Danish. Obviously.


The Best bits of this video is how the photographer old-guy seems to be hitting on the model dude. And everything he says crashes and burns. In his defense though, the model dude seems to be a huge douche and very odd… This is not so for the other danish guys I know. And now – because we can all do with eye candy – and because I miss them… here are a few other lovely (straight) male models that I’ve called friends… (another reason why I love my life)

Objectification of the Fairer sex … word!

Aquilles from Brazil. (Pronounced Achilles... yes. like the god. Naturally)

Christian from Austria - Possibly one of the happiest most witty people I've ever known.

Kasper from Denmark. Yet another Great Dane. An intelligent, soft natured human.

Sam from England. My closest friend for a summer.

Yoav from Israel. Phwoar....! (and he knew it)

Remko from Holland. The good kind of Dutchmen.

*High Five for Abs*

This youtube crossed my path thanks to @ThatsMeAngela on Twitter.

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