Here’s an interesting article  about medical writing and social media



November 6, 2009

4.53 am. Have been awake since 3am.

Today launching a new form of post: the “insomnia” post. This is a censored stream of consciousness post, with origins relating to the “morning pages” concept from the famous Artist’s Way course. Anyone also struggling with insomnia is free to comment here.

The insomnia post can only be written under conditions of extreme sleep deprivation. Generally just write any thought that comes into consciousness, but in contrast to morning pages, editing is allowed.

Why blog? That’s a good question for today, lack of sleep produces thought disorder which means it’s incredibly hard to stay on one topic, hopefully adding some of spice to the post. My blog is a kind of net to catch the random thoughts for the day, rather than drive myself crazy with an endless stream of ideas for writing topics, which has been happening for years. I blog to get myself writing, as a kind of kick-start for something. What?

My daughter sings in the room next door, she’s been doing that for about an hour now. Strange things happen on insomnia nights, children move around and beds break. My hoodie has lost it’s zipper.

I guess we also blog because we want someone else to read our thoughts, otherwise we could just write a journal. I do like visitors (watching the stats) – but then again I don’t – why would anyone want to read this tripe? I like the blogging community of writers who have never met but leave nice comments on each other’s musings. Now that I have a link from my facebook page, someone I actually know may read this – which is much scarier than complete strangers. I’m still unsure about the facebook linkup.

The other question about blogging is does it benefit anyone else? obviously in my case the main beneficiaries are people who dream about tsunamis and people who are afraid of death. There are a lot of those in the world, I have disocovered. The reason those posts have been beneficial is that people have commented about their own experience. So maybe in future I will write more discussion posts.

Does a blog need a theme? Mine is eclectic because my brain is very random. Blog statistics are interesting because you can find out exactly how many people have visited your blog, which posts they viewed and which pages referred them here. When I post every day, traffic to the blog increases, but not necessarily to the recent posts – which I can’t quite figure out.

Sympathetic insomnia is interesting, or tandem insomnia. Sometimes I wake at odd hours, unable to get back to sleep and often I am visited by the small presence of my 3 year old son, who lies next to me for hours wide awake. Now, who is keeping who awake? This doesn’t seem any good for anyone. We may be pretty quiet there, but sometimes my daughter (18 months) also wakes up and she doesn’t have the option of joining us because she is stuck in her cot. So she lies there and sings in solidarity. Recently I have been surprised that it is possible to get on with life with so little sleep. Of course I can’t remember any of it any more…

Maybe one day I will end up like the guy in “Memento” (movie) constantly leaving notes for myself, or the people in the town in 100 Years of Solitude (Marquez) who suffered from an insomnia plague. Gradually everyone’s memories deteriorated to the point where they had to label the furniture to remember its name and use. I have sympathy for that.

Now it’s 5.35 and my son, who insists I rest my feet on his bed while I sit in a chair to work at night, is asleep. My daughter isn’t singing any more, and I haven’t had any coffee. Maybe that’s my chance…


Dreaming of Dr House

March 7, 2007

Last night I had the strangest dream, and a strikingly real one. Basically, I was transported into the series “House” as one of his students. I may have been Cameron, but I hope not.

The twist was, House himself was dying of cancer. He was lying in a hospital bed, attached to all sorts of medieval tubes, some of which were spraying out bodily fluids. He also had a wife, a blond, well-dressed lady. The wife and House were not talking, I suspect because he had not behaving and was carrying on with his students.

Anyway, so there was a particularly moving scene where the entire hospital staff (and some of my friends from primary school) gathered around the bed and started singing gospel songs, as he died.

I told my husband about it this morning, and his suggestion was, why don’t you write to the producers. It would be a great episode. And why didn’t they think of bringing in another estranged wife.

I’m trying a new approach to blogging this year. I was using the blog as a writing journal but finding I had to censor myself due to the “public” nature of the internet. Rather than empty the entire contents of my consciousness onto the internet I have opted for a home journal and discovered “Journler”, which looks like a nifty little (FREE) program for the mac, which is everything I need. Basically it’s the same thing as a blog with categories, just not online. There I can be completely uncensored and write the intimate details of other people’s lives without fear.

Here on the white elephant, we will get the improved, edited and censored version of events. Things which are not going to breach anyone’s confidence. I don’t mind being controversial but some things are a little well, personal.

Hope this works!


November 4, 2006

Hehe, I don’t write poems, but here’s one anyway…

You take me, gradually in the early evening
In softness leaving no fear
I long for you in the small hours of the morning
Or at breakfast time

You hold my baby in a caress of peace
Just occasionally stirring
You teach me wild and fanciful things
Fleeting stories of the unknown

We already have:

1. NaNoWriMo (National novel writing month)
2. NaBloPoMo (National blog posting month)

(Incidentally, I think these are actually international rather than national but I’ll just ignore this technicality) But what else could we dedicate a month to? Here are some other ideas:

3. NaNoTeMo
National No Television Month – my husband really wants to do this and we have been intending to try it for about 2 years. Something always comes up, ie Australian Idol or some more worthwhile TV show. As he is a school teacher, he is also thinking of getting all the kids to try it at school, it could even be sponsored with proceeds to charity.

4. NaHuBaMo
National Hug a Baby Month – well this is no challenge for me, but it might be nice for getting extended families together and all the kiddies would get lots of cuddles.

5. NaWaDoMo
National Walk the Dog Month. My poor neglected canine would love this one, and I would be so much fitter. Walking dogs is great for your mental health as well as bodily health. It means getting out in a nice environment, exercising, bonding with someone who loves you and meeting new people.

6. NaNoChoMo
This one would be great for me. National no chocolate month. I once succeeded in losing about 5 kilos and it was done by giving up chocolate, my greatest weakness.

7. NaShoStoMo
National short story month. Write a short story every day. Somewhat more do-able than a novel, in my opinion.

8. NaDaHoMo – National dance around the house month.
9. NaSiShoMo – National sing in the shower month
10. NaCaFriMo – National call a friend month

Day 1, NaBloPoMo

November 1, 2006

So here we are at NaBloPoMo. I might even be one of the first posters for this thing, how exciting. It’s about 8am here Down Unda so all of you Yankees are probably just about to turn in for the evening yesterday.

Reflections on last year, when I attempted NaNoWriMo while 8 months pregnant with twins, is covered in an earlier post. So this year I am doing NaBloPoMo, a much easier and potentially more useful thing for me. Today’s effort is marked by the activities of 2 toddlers (yes, technically no longer “boddlers” as they are walking, in a fashion) whose dual aims are to seize the laptop and get as many cuddles as possible – which runs slightly counter to my aim of posting on a blog.

While this post is just a friendly, introductory chat-type post, I am going to make up some strict rules for myself this month, to avoid boring any potential readers.

1. Each post has to contain an original idea
2. Each post has to have a definite theme
3. Posts can be any length

ie these are not “what I did today” posts! That means, that this post is technically not today’s real post, which is going to follow soon…


October 30, 2006


Signing up…

too many books

October 26, 2006

I don’t know what goads are, but does anyone think there are too many books in the world?

The other day I bought “The Authoritative Guide to Self-help Resources” written by psychologists. With great excitement I perused the 400+ pages of true gems of literature. Surely this would be useful for work, I even went to the library to check out some of the titles. After a while I was overcome by a great weariness. What was I doing there, exactly? I didn’t know.

Going to the library is often stressful because there are too many books. I’ll never read all of them and I don’t know where to begin. I have 11 month old twins, and reading one chapter of one book is a great achievement. Even with all the time in the world (as when I was pregnant) I still couldn’t read everything.

It’s a bit like life, really. There are too many options. How do you narrow them down? There is a lot of stuff I have to do but still more things I’d like to do, so I write lists. I spend 5 minutes on one item and then a baby calls, a month passes and I’ve lost the list.

I don’t blame the babies or the lack of time. It was still the same in the old days, when there was plenty of time. Different things, people take over and it’s hard to prioritise.

Too many books, too many ideas, too many people?

The Conclusion of the Matter
9 Not only was the Teacher wise, but also he imparted knowledge to the people. He pondered and searched out and set in order many proverbs. 10 The Teacher searched to find just the right words, and what he wrote was upright and true.
11 The words of the wise are like goads, their collected sayings like firmly embedded nails—given by one Shepherd. 12 Be warned, my son, of anything in addition to them.
Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body.
13 Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.
14 For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil. – Ecclesiastes 12: 9-14

Here’s an idea for a self-help book. The problem with sticking all my ideas up on a blog, is that theoretically anyone could come along and steal one of them. However I guess it’s quite easy to come up with ideas and another thing to put them into practice, so if anyone does write these incredibly clever books, good luck to them!

Anyway, this book would be based on “The Golden Rule” I could start with a description of the various religious scriptures that contain the golden rule (ie Christianity, Islam, confucianism etc) with calligraphy even!

Then an introductory chapter on my interpretation of what the golden rule means and how to apply this to relationships and life.

Then I could have subsequent chapters on, oh anything really. Perhaps a section for community & friendship, another for intimate relationships, one for children etc.

Oh, for those who may not know, the Golden Rule is basically “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” or “love your neighbour as yourself”.

I would also include a section on loving yourself as it appears to me that it’s included in the Biblical version, but no one talks about it really.