The Beginning of a Poet, Again

Upon discovering that Mike Hopkins is following the example set by Jennifer Liston to post a new poem every day throughout April, I decided I’d like to follow suit.

UPDATE (15 April 2012):
I am delaying this project until October 2012, when I get my new computer.

#52 - "Man in Reflective Black" Yes, I am a poet. Have been for almost thirty years. I don’t publicise this fact all that often, and I haven’t published any of my work. At least not yet.

Ok, that’s not quite true. I’ve compiled all my poems into book-format. Did that about 18 years ago. Back in the late 1980’s, I hand-typed them all. In the early 90’s I spent hundreds of hours typing them into computers and saving to floppy disc drives. In the late 90’s and early 00’s I then saved them to multiple CD’s.

I even followed advice given by the SA Writers Centre many years ago to mail to myself, but not to open the mail. Thereby giving a stamped date to prove I was the writer and owner of the work, only to be owned in a court of law. This is the reason why I continually choose not to publish online. Because, seriously, who wants to go through the hassle of proving to be the writer of text you hold near and dear?

I wrote a lot to express moments of my life, to display the inner workings of my mind, and to vent issues that have annoyed me over the years. A few are about happiness, others about time spent trying to become a church-goer, plus a few are about finding and losing myself. A great many are about love, both the gain and the loss. And a portion are simply cryptic interpretations of life, the universe and nothing important.

But I let it all slide away many years ago. Life took over, I got a job, I found someone willing to marry me and my twisted complex mind, and I turned toward a corporate working life.

These days I mostly use my photography to stay sane and to remember moments of my life that mean a lot to me, much the same way I used poetry all those years ago.

Which means I have a huge backlog of written-work that I may consider posting online. Personally, I’d like to skip all this and move to straight to publishing a book. Much of my poetry has been read by a woman who has not only published a few of her books, she has written biographies for my father’s grandparents, plus has worked with the SA Writers Centre – and continually wonders when I will take the next step.

Before I do anything else, I’m looking for your thoughts:

Should I post them individually as
~ text;
~ PDF’s; OR
~ or as an image? (which means I screen-dump the text and save as JPEG’s then display within separate posts.)

How do you post your poetry online, and how should I present mine? Feel free to respond here, upon Facebook, even Twitter. Or chat with me tomorrow night (3rd April 2012):

Friendly Street Poets Presents – 36th Annual Anthology Launch

Venue: Malcolm Reid Building
Address: SAWC, 2nd Floor Atrium, above Cafe Brunell, East Rundle Street, Adelaide, Australia

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Cats, Books and More!

Every few days I shoot an amazing photograph of our three remaining pet cats. With Trouble no longer one of the family, I now shoot cute photographs whenever I can.

Here is ‘Fluff’ sitting in her new favorite cushion in the lounge window.

Fluff

Fluff looked down out the window to see a bird on the flowers in our front-yard, so I snapped a few more shots of her eyes…

Dark Eyed Cat

I don’t know what would make a cat smile, but I swear she is here. Maybe just the joy of living comfortably as a family pet is enough to make her smile.

Smiling Cat

Enough about cats:

I have a book of photographs now available on Blurb ! It is entitled Lines on the Horizon.

It depicts photographs from my 2010 Sala Gallery , all shot on Kangaroo Island. You’ll love it! Buy it today to enjoy the framed photographs I see in my office every day!

Did I Really ‘Just Fall Over’?

One of my Facebook friends is saying “I fell over” is not much of a story!

Whilst it is up there in the top#10 of painful events I’ve ever endured, I truly wish I could tell it another way.
Maybe I should have chosen one of these options:
Jetty Wedding

  1. I got hit by low flying Archaeoraptor that had flown through a rip in the time-continuum.
  2. My attempt to teach bath towels how to tango ended up in me tripping over onto my face into a bowl of petunias.
  3. You should see the other guy. Before he knocked me flat on my face, I … um, I … well, you don’t want to know. Your lunch needs to stay down.
  4. The wife and I were … wait, wait, NSFW!
  5. Seriously, Whilst photographing a horizon on a sand-dune at Normanville beach, I stepped into a soft-spot of sand and tumbled down – end over end. I’m surprised to have landed on my bum, but not before twisting every limb, fracturing an arm, screwing up my right ankle and leaving painful abrasions down the right side of my face.

Option 1 is hardly likely, yet proof that I watch too much TV! Option 2 tells you that I have read ‘The Hitchhikers Guide to the Universe‘ one too many times. Option 3 is what most men would say. But do you seriously see me getting into a fist-fight? No, not likely. Option 4 is an amusing thought. Dreaming!

Whilst option 5 actually looks feasible, it’s a complete lie – except for the injuries. How would I answer these questions?:
Where are the photographic results? How did my camera survive without a dent? Where was my wife when all this happened? What was I doing there so late in the night
… Oh, gawd, that’s all too hard! (BTW: The image attached was shot in 2007 at Normanville!)

About now ‘falling over’ is looking good.

How to Make Money from a Liquidation

Most Australians would know by now that BORDERS are in liquidation. As an avid book reader, I am dismayed by this, yet am thankful we have other great book suppliers in Adelaide. (Dymocks and Angus&Robertson to name a few!)

The Shelf

Despite knowing about the liquidation a few months ago, it wasn’t until tonight that I actually took notice. I’ve walked passed their Rundle Mall outlet a few hundred times over the last few years, I’ve probably only been in-store twenty times. No matter.

Tonight I was walking by when the sun had gone and all the stores were lit by their own lights, so I couldn’t help noticing the huge signs reading “80% OFF“. They had originally said “UP TO 80% OFF“, but now they are serious about closing shop ASAP, the “UP TO” has been covered over on EVERY sign!

So I stepped inside to see what was going. WOW! It’s true, EVERYTHING is 80% off the retail cost. That is a huge saving, particularly on books valued over $100. Aha, that is $20 for a book that I would otherwise sighed and walked passed thinking I could never afford.

Walking up the escalators, 3 steps at a time, I turned toward the COMPUTER (and related fields) and SELF-HELP areas. They’re all I really want, plus maybe a few cook books to appease the wife for spending so much. As I headed towards the shelves, I got to thinking that maybe these books could be sold again on eBay or similar.

When I got to the shelves, I almost laughed. Seems other tech-geeks had probably the same idea, or the same sentiment regarding over-priced books they would have normally not considered.

Yet I did manage to find a few interesting books amongst those remaining…

Social Media Club Tshirt (on Lee Hopkins)

1. The Power of Influence – The Easy Way to Make Money Online – by Sarah Prout.
I follow Sarah on Twitter, so it was great to find a book by someone I (sortof) know. I’ll reference this book in my next article. Yeah, Sarah has (re)ignited my passion for writing. This blog is about to get a power-boost!

2. Odditude – Finding the Passion for Who You Are and What You Do – by John R Powers
This one was spotted at the checkout, and it was the subtitle that screamed at me. Aha, just like everyone else, I am forever searching for that one thing that makes me passionate about life and happiness, and not just money.

3. Ajax on Rails – Scott Raymond
Some of you are probably saying, “This is a little outside the arena of self-help. Why?
I won’t lie, it was a little bit spur of the moment, a little bit of “Hey, I could learn!” and a lot of “Wow, that retails at $94, imagine what I could sell it for!“. Well, maybe I’ll sell it, maybe I’ll learn it, who knows. I could learn it, I know that already. But what a bargain: I got it for $18.80.

Escape the Rat Race

4. Starting your Career as a Freelance Illustrator or Graphic Designer – by Michael Fleishman
I was shocked to find myself grasping for this book. Something in me just had to have it.
Yeah, I am passionate about graphic design. I’ve scribbled, drawn, created and labored over many graphic design ideas over the last 40years, but only in the last 4 years have many of my ideas come to fruition and been built upon – and consequently sold. Yeah, I predominately stick to t-shirt graphics, but I like to dabble in various other areas. This book is going to help me push my boundaries a little further!

I’ve got some reading to do. I’ve already conquered the first chapter of Sarah’s book, and it is what inspired me to write this short article. And it has inspired me to start using my blog ‘Being an Online Entrepreneur’ and a domain I purchased last year more effectively and helpfully. Will I be able to write daily? I hope so. That is the plan. I trust you’ll be here to read it. Bookmark my site!

Wait, wait, what about that title?!

How do you make money from a liquidating business? Simple – By NOT spending as much as you intended on products which will help you to learn new skills – and then use those new skills to pursue goals, ambitions, careers and happiness.

Ok, I’m going to start writing more articles that’ll help the average entrepreneur become an awesome entrepreneur!

Reading Books to Make a Difference in Your Life

I don’t deny I’ve bought a lot of self-help books over the last twenty five years. Yet there are only a few that I regularly read, particularly pages and portions that pertain most to my want to fix my life.

I’m one of those kids that walked around at high-school saying This is a stepping stone between kindergarten and the real world.” No, I never said it out loud, it would have fallen on deaf ears. But since then and still, I firmly believe that.

Pick your Noose!

Some might say that the biggest mistake I ever made was not pursuing further education after leaving High School. Oh, I did a few courses, mostly in computer program studies, a couple of financial-management courses and anything the CES was willing to pay for me to attend. Thankfully it was a time when I could pick and choose.

I still believe that a person can learn all they need to know from a book. The trick is not in the reading, but in the perseverance, the desire and the will to do more with one’s life. I still find it hard to believe that the average kid will learn anything from a teacher ranting at them for 6 hours of a day. (How many hours do kids spend in school these days?) When I was at TAFE, I made sure to ask MANY questions, to question all options, and to suggest alternatives. On two occasions I became a tutor for other students willing to listen. My next course-of-study will either be marketing or small-business management. Guess why?

Today’s article quotes from one of three books that I find the most interesting and informative.

I’m not saying this to change your way of thinking, but merely to remind myself of what I read and what I do with that information.

This first book I purchased in 1998, long before it was fashionable and faved by everyone. I cannot recall if I had it recommended to me, or I just spotted it on the shelf. Either way, I still read it. It’s because of this book that we own several houses around Australia.

35mm Photography For Pleasure

Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T Kiyosaki and Sharon L Lechter

I never had a rich dad, but I had a dad who knew how to live without having a lot of money. All three boys learnt some invaluable lessons in our teenage years, mostly pertaining to how little money one needs to be happy, why naming farm-animals leads to pain, and how to milk a goat without getting kicked in the teeth. (Oh yeah, that photo to the left is of another book I like. And it made you look!)

Within twenty pages of this book I got kicked in the teeth, hard and painfully:

“…that is not how life teaches you, and I would say that life is the best teacher of all. Most of the time, life does not talk to you. It just pushes you around. Each push is life saying, ‘Wake up. There’s something I want you to learn.’ “

Some might think that is elementary, but you’d be surprised how many times I’d wake up to a new day and do nothing new. There is nothing more boring than doing the same shit, day in, day out, for so many years of our lives.

“If you learn life’s lessons, you will do well. If not, life will just continue to push you around. People do two things. Some just let life push them around. Others get angry and push back. But they push back against their boss, or their jobs, or their husband or wife. They do know that it’s life pushing.”

Castle

It took me many years to realise how true it is: There is no point getting angry with anyone else when the real blame is within oneself.

“Life pushes us all around. Some give up. Others fight. A few learn the lesson and move on. They welcome life pushing them around. To these few people, it means they need and want to learn something. They learn and move on. Most quit…”

Some days I feel like quitting, yet somehow I never reach that chasm. Something always draws me back and reminds me that I only get one life, and that I must find or make the answer to my problems.

“If you learn this lesson, you will grow into a wise, wealthy and happy man. If you don’t, you will spend your life blaming a job, low pay or your boss for your problems. You’ll live life hoping that big break will solve all your money problems …”

The previous quote is why I stopped buying lottery tickets. Well, unless they have massive payouts – and even then I only buy one ticket. My wife and I have established an amount of money we call: ‘Disposable income‘. It’s what we spend on ourselves, not the bank-manager, not the strata-costs on our investment property. We can either spend or save it. At the moment I am saving it up for a new lens and my next block of shares.

“… or if you are the kind of person who has no guts, you just give up every time life pushes you. If you are that kind of person, you’ll live your life playing it safe, doing the right things, saving yourself for some event that never happens. Then, you die a boring old man.
You’ll have lots of friends who really like you because you were such a niche hard-working guy. You spent a life playing it safe, doing the right things. But the truth is, you left life push you into submission. Deep down you were terrified of taking risks.
You really wanted to win, but the fear of losing was greater than the excitement of winning. Deep inside, you and only you will know you didn’t go for it. You chose to play it safe.”

Wow, just typing that out from the book brought out a lot of emotions. Particularly writing “Then, you die a boring old man.” It’s inevitable, we are going to die. But which of us is going to make a difference RIGHT NOW knowing that eventually all of this is going to end? That should be enough to wake up the entrepreneur in everyone!

Orange Buoy

There are lots of interesting paragraphs in this book , I have given you just a few. If you seriously want to change your life, buy it, steal it (kidding), get it and read it over and over. I trust you won’t put it down. Tomorrow I tell you about book two of three that help me get on with life.

Postscript.
There are sites that have discovered that the Rich and Poor Dad didn’t actually exist , that they are fictitious characters. Does that really matter? The fact is, it’s great story, it combines two stories that tell us how people think about money, how they go about making more for themselves, and in the end, this book helps us stop and think before we work ourselves into the grave.

The 8 Best Photography Magazines

It would be fair to say that I read too many photography-magazines. I have a few years of editions Many were disposed of in mid 2016.

You’d think I would subscribe. It’s certainly a great way to save a LOT of money as many magazines offer incentives.

8 Best Photography Magazines What I like most about magazines is full access to articles. Alt+Tabbing back and forth on the internet can be annoying. Flicking to any article that helps reproduce a Photoshop-plugin, or has a lists of the latest gadgets, lens or Canon is much easier.

I remember saving entire pages from websites for instructions to use automated scripts in Photoshop. Check your browser functionality, you can do that! Then I used freeware programs to convert to a PDF whereby I follow the instructions carefully in my own time. It’s not always a perfect method, but after removing chunks of comments & advertising from the HTML, it saved so much time.

Wait wait, let me finally get to the point of this article:

Here is a complete list of all the photography magazines I have ever purchased. Some are Australia, and cool ones are from the UK.

1. Australian Photography
Since this is my country, I love this one. It is a quality color magazine, with heaps of interesting info’, data, appraisals, and camera and lens tests. If you are an Australian resident, look for “Your Best Shot” where they add a theme each week. Submitted images are appraised and given good reasons how the technique might be improved.

2. Capture, Australia
This is my favorite magazines. There is grand advice on every facet conceivable, including holding your camera effectively in any environment. This is more a text-based magazine: Their aim is to educate the user, not just overflow the eyes with high-gloss photography. Take your time to read this magazine. It’s worth it.

3. Digital – Photography & Design, Australia
What can I say? It’s a thin magazine, but packed to the brim with great articles. The best part is the HOW-TO section where they display step-by-step diagrams regarding Adobe products. I have learnt a lot of great techniques here!

4. Digital SLR, UK
I don’t buy these so often, they’re a more expensive magazine. The upside is the contents are irrefutable. You’ll get your money’s worth in every edition! It’s also a glowing endorsement for UK tourism: Some photographs make me want to walk across water to my ancestors!

Hand Strap on Canon EOS 400D5. Digital Photography, Australia.
As the title suggests, they have one target market.
I only bought one edition,”Volume 1“, predominately focusing on ‘black and white‘, entitled ‘The Essential Guide for Enthusiasts and Professionals’, plus ‘130 pages of expert advice and inspiring photos‘. Like all the magazines listed prior, it covers every section conceivable – from selective coloring through to camera testing. This edition goes into a lot of detail regarding ‘circular polarisers’, plus a massive-in-depth analysis of all the main cameras. That is the main reason I purchased it!

6. Practical Photography – The UK’s Best Photo Mag. I couldn’t find a website.
Of all the non-Australian photo-mag’s, I couldn’t give this a higher level of appraisal.
They rely on heavy advertising, but don’t let that fool you: They have lessons that many other magazines merely dabble upon: They go in hard, display the easy-to-follow data and colorful text – so you won’t forget soon how to light that shot or remove that dust-bunny!
PS. You must get your hands on their ‘50th Birthday Collectors Issue‘, displaying 50 useful photo tips & essential camera skills, plus photographs shot between 1959 an 2009.

7. Digital SLR User Magazine , UK
I love the magazines out of the UK. Their budgets seem to be massive. This one might be thicker than the rest, but it’s well worth the carry-home or the packed post-box! It is filled with the same intensity of all UK TOG-mags, and well worth the read.

8 Best Photography Magazines8. PhotoPlus
I love Canon, so you can understand why I like this magazine: The subtitle is: “The Independent Mag for Canon Photographers“.
The upside of having this magazine is that the articles can be easily related back to my camera-learning. From the one magazine I discovered Canon Accessories that I never knew existed!

Having them delivered home has problems: Theft, Weather and non-arrival. My post-man, the neighbours and mother-nature might all be a budding photographers. Therefore having a Post-Office-Box avoids all these problems in one fell-swoop.

 

Change Your Money Personality

Unlock the Secrets of your Money Personality and Change Your Life I’ve recently read this interesting book entitled “Unlock the Secrets of your Money Personality and Change Your Life“. It has proved to quite enlightening, and similarly somewhat life changing.

I am not going to say I have become a online millionaire because of what I have learnt from this book, but I will say that my approach toward saving and spending money has improved for the better.

My Review:

Most of us have some form of business sense that effects how we spend or save any money we get. Whether it’s from a salary, online earning or gifts, the money we receive either stays in our hand or goes straight onto debts, or converted into assets – both appreciable and non-appreciable.

This book helps you to stop spending needlessly, helps you to find out whether you have good business sense … and then change your mind around to the better way to keep your money, and consequently convert it into more cash.

I found this book more believable than a lot of online resources. I’d recommend this to anyone who is spending more than they are earning, and now seriously wants to invest in their own future.

I’ve not reviewed any other books as yet, but when I do: You can read my book reviews here.