Year: 2017

I Have a New Blog: Self-Empowerment Through Creativity

Greetings all. I am moving on from this blog and am taking up at residence at http://www.jennifersando.com/blog/ It’s a whole new site with a different focus. Here’s an excerpt: I aim to offer inspiration and guidance as you work towards freedom, fulfilment and empowerment (let’s shorten those desirable states to “FFE”) within your creative environment and agenda. I believe we’re a step closer to FFE when we follow our heart and go where the love is. This process involves rejecting and overcoming our fears. It’s true in any situation we may find ourselves in, including (and especially) our creative adventures, and this is what my blog posts will focus on. Not only are creative pursuits good for the soul, they also help us get in touch with our core self, and reach out to others. We can gain more confidence in ourselves and become better communicators thanks to our creativity. Some of us suffer from low self-esteem and feel that we are not natural communicators (I’ll put my hand up here), and diving into creative projects …

Part 4. Memphis.

Memphis was my favourite part of our holiday. (If I had been able to see Pearl Jam in Seattle then it could have quite possibly been a tie–just in case you were wondering.) It’s a lively, accommodating city and I wish that we had spent more time there. I could have ridden the “trolley” through the city-centre all day.  The locals boldly project their inward colours. It’s like everyone wears their heart on their sleeve. Everyone we met anyway. Graceland was a spiritual experience for me. Hubby’s regret was not eating authentic southern fried chicken. Mine was not going to a blues club down Beale Street (tricky with kids). Next time, huh?

Part 3. Denver.

In my previous post about Seattle, I said that I could live there. However. Denver took me by surprise and I would definitely live there. Capitol Hill, where we were based, was utterly delightful. Not in a picturesque sense. You can just relate to everyone and everything and there is an easy flow of life that you can imagine being a part of. This feeling crept up on me and I didn’t really notice how liveable the town was till about the end of day two. By that time, I was certain that Capitol Hill would be a wonderful base for my family–if we ever decided to be brave enough to leave Australia for America. It wasn’t just my imagination either, my hubby agreed with me wholeheartedly. It was ridiculously cold at night, but during the day the Denver sun was very welcoming. I don’t have pictures of Wax Trax, Queen City General Store, Sub Culture, City O City–such places that made me gush over our Denver neighbourhood. My eldest, Xavier, wanted to see the snow …

Part 2. Seattle.

Here is part 2 of my delayed recap of our United States family trip: SEATTLE. There’s a cosmic level of support that you can feel within this city. From the ground up, it lives in the buildings, people, the air, and it forms a culture that you can easily attach to. Art and individuality. Home and hearth. Something like that, but deeper, richer. Seattle, yes, I could live here. Part 1 was Los Angeles.

Part 1. Los Angeles.

My family and I went to America in February for my 40th birthday. It was my first time visiting there. We had two weeks to play with, and a toddler and a nine-year-old in tow. From Los Angeles, we went to Seattle, Denver, Memphis and San Francisco, before returning to LA and flying back home. The night before we left Adelaide, I received guidance that America’s cold temps were going to be detrimental to the health of my youngest (he had fallen sick the day before). Then my eldest got sick too, and I felt like the odds were against us. Naturally, I was worried about the kids and thought it best to postpone the holiday, but what do you do when the whole trip, worth thousands, is non-refundable?! Of course, I did not want to cancel; it was the kids’ first international holiday, and not to mention that the last time I had been abroad was over ten years ago. Despite our terrible start to the trip and reasonable share of crappy moments: the …

I’m Just Going to Leave You With This

A couple of days after hearing that Chris Cornell died, I’d planned to pen a short piece on my thoughts but then I read the excellent It’s Not What You Think by Rich Larson, which totally resonated with me — a lot of it I wished that I’d written, and then coupled with Tom Morello’s moving poem, I decided that there was nothing further I needed to say online. Everyone that has dwelled on the news of his passing appears to have taken away something different from it: a rock era is dying (or has died), prescription medicine contributing to suicidal thoughts needs to be stopped, it was selfish of him to leave his family behind, Eddie Vedder is the last one left… to name a few, but whatever it may be, it’s not the point. Grief is grief, surfacing in different ways among us, and loss is loss, and through social media we have come together to feel this together. I don’t really know what to take away from Chris Cornell leaving us just yet. Only that I …

Next Steps – Writing and Photography

More kilometres have been added onto my novel journey unfortunately. In its present state (draft two), it doesn’t work, but at least I know it, and I know why, and now all I can do is hunch over my desk and just keep going. I need to make some drastic changes and the thought of the rewrites ahead leave me paralysed with fear. But I can do this. In other writing news, I dug up a short story of mine from a few years back and I reworked it to the point where I was satisfied with it. I submitted it to one place but it was rejected. That’s fine—it was only one try and I was stoked that I actually submitted something for the first time in years. I left it for months, reworked it again very recently and found another place to submit it to this week. Fingers crossed, yeah? It’s not a traditional short story—it’s a piece of flash fiction at around 700 words, a little vignette if you will. With my …