Up Front by Emma Hart

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Up Front: Will Work for Foo

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  • Russell Brown,

    The title made me think you were planning to be on the organising committee for the next Foo Camp.

    The organising committee's name is Jenine. You'd like her.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    And guess where I first used a computer - Vern's lab next to that same library and that same school field. The foo pix were rather nostalgic..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • Vaughn Davis,

    When I was a freelance writer I would dream of the day a client would treat my work with the same respect as he or she would a plumber's.

    Client: "Can you please apply a 25mm wrench to that fitting and turn it five times clockwise to remove it, then replace the washer with this black one I found in the garage, remembering to use plenty of thread tape when replacing the fitting."

    Plumber: "Cabbage cabbage."

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 21 posts Report Reply

  • Vaughn Davis,

    I presented to a conference in Chicago (an advertising thing) where people stopped breathing whenever I spoke like a plumber (to return to a theme of my own making) but were more than happy to talk openly about God.

    With an NZ advertising audience, the responses would have been exactly the opposite.

    And that, chickens, is the difference between us an them.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 21 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    The difference is that we know plumbers are god.. :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Client: "Can you please apply a 25mm wrench to that fitting and turn it five times clockwise to remove it, then replace the washer with this black one I found in the garage, remembering to use plenty of thread tape when replacing the fitting."

    Plumber: "Cabbage cabbage."

    ROFLnui.

    I know! You're me!

    That'd be weird.

    Weirdness abounds. The person who finally defined my attitude to work for me was a friend (and co-writer) who drank two bottles of wine and did my horoscope. (Caveat: I don't believe in astrology.) Sinead'd say you have Pisces in your tenth house. Then she'd laugh, drink for six hours and leave with Some Guy. I love that woman. Anyway, Sinead on me 'n' work:

    your work tends to disappear and reappear, you lose sight of the fact that your work IS Work and recognition doesn't always happen if and when it should (if at all). It probably slips under 'the' radar and possibly even your own radar too.

    Because, as it seems to me, No one sees you work (elves and the shoemaker styles, It Just Happens! There isn't any magic! the shoes make theeeeemsssseeeeeeeeelvessssss!), but! you love to work and as long as you work at what you love your eternal wound (chiron) is going to be kept in check. It'll play now and again because it hurts not to be recognized for your work in the world, but, hell! You work and you love.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    Maybe we need to do a "people who work at home" session at foo-camp (we can either commiserate and get drunk together or swap working tips). I've done it for about half of the past 20 years - so far I have 2 rules:
    * you must get dressed by lunch time, no hanging around in your bath robe
    * you must leave the house and interact with actual people at least every other day

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2608 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    So that was two bottles o wine before the horoscope, right?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Sensible rules those, Paul. <checks what is wearing>

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Beard,

    Interesting comment Tom -while, as a writer, I am obviously part & product of the wider culture/s, I dont see interconnections between my story/poem/whatever and readers & critics. It's just me and the words.
    Readers & critics come after everything is finished.

    I wouldn't have worded my response quite they way that Sacha did, it's basically what I mean. When I wrote seriously (and that's a loaded term, but by that I mean poems and criticism rather than blogs about boozing) I was always conscious of being part of a conversation.

    I also came to make not much of a distinction between creative and critical practice, to the point where I would aim for intensity, prosody, allusion and ambiguity in my essays and analytical rigour in my poems. Funnily enough, that was about the time I stopped writing...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1040 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Sacha -of course 'readers & critics''ve come beforehand (no writer actually creates in a blank space)BUT when I write, I am focused on my work and any interconnectivity between me & others is - sooo limited. I work via words & theatre-in-the-head/dreams/drawings, and potential readers & critics have no place therein.

    I've been self-employed/home-working for tha last 26 years. My rules are: always wash/shower when you get up. Make sure you put on clean clothes each day. Eat as well as your purse allows. Dont give a shit about what other people think about you or your life style. Always be as kind as you can be. Love what is important (for me, family & friends.) And - be openminded & curious lifelong-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    I wouldn't have worded my response quite they way that Sacha did

    Heh - neither would I. Imbibing complex academic theory followed by years of procedural writing seems to have eroded the previous simple strength and beauty of my writing. May take ages to come right..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Damn good home-working rules too, Keri. <surveys fridge, pats visiting cat>

    when I write, I am focused on my work and any interconnectivity between me & others is - sooo limited.

    I miss regularly exeriencing the pleasure of the trance flow where creation comes to me and my connectedness is unconscious. I could layout magazines all day and forget I'd missed two meals. And I'm very hedonistic.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    ROFLnui

    Quite like that variant.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Sacha - that is the glory eh? The trance flow, the creative immersion, the deep wherein you are so yourself and your work at one & the same -untime.
    I live for that.
    Urrmm, as well family, friends, fishing, food etc. etc. etc!!!
    (I know you cannot sustain one without the other. Which is why I am also an archivist and a book collector. Store the other less-ephemeral
    states...)
    It may also be of moment to note that - when any of my family/friendgroup are fraught or - forfend- dead, I cease to be able to work as writer. I can sing ephemeral stuff, I can draw (but not paint) but I cant really write. Pity that people have regularly died over the past 7 years. May this year we are all lively & happy.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Judi Lapsley Miller,

    Maybe we need to do a "people who work at home" session at foo-camp (we can either commiserate and get drunk together or swap working tips).

    Oooh - count me in!

    I've done it for about half of the past 20 years - so far I have 2 rules:
    * you must get dressed by lunch time, no hanging around in your bath robe
    * you must leave the house and interact with actual people at least every other day

    Hmmm... might need to add
    * must not take teleconferences in bed.
    * must remember to speak to husband sitting only 2 m away rather than using IM.
    * must do at least 30 mins work for every 5 mins reading PA

    And on that note...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 106 posts Report Reply

  • Kerry Weston,

    Islander, I like your philosophy. I wonder, apart from fraught times, do you impose a discipline of writing so many words a day, regardless of what they may be?

    I share the inability to create when family/friendgroup are fraught. For me, it's meant I've lost the flow - for a while there I had "another world" I stepped into every time I walked in the studio door, it was alive and constant, but worldly concerns have pushed it underground.

    I also wonder if your process has evolved over the years? There's a lot I'd love to ask you to share but don't wish to impose :>

    Manawatu • Since Jan 2008 • 494 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    * must do at least 30 mins work for every 5 mins reading PA

    Or the other way around, as the case may be for some.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Judi Lapsley Miller,

    I do wonder sometimes...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 106 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I've done it for about half of the past 20 years - so far I have 2 rules:
    * you must get dressed by lunch time, no hanging around in your bath robe
    * you must leave the house and interact with actual people at least every other day

    I'd change that to:
    1) If you're going to hang around in your bath robe all day, have a shower and change into clean PJ's/underwear.

    2) Leave the house and exercise for at least an hour a day. A long walk is not only good for the body, but as often as not your brain in going to process a problem better when you're not staring at a blank screen working yourself up into a stroke.

    3) Remember to eat. Don't know about anyone else, but I find it far to easy to get caught up in a project and end up wondering why 1) it's hard to see (because it's night, doofus) and 2) I've also got one mutha-frakker of a headache (because you're hungry and dehydrated).

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Judi Lapsley Miller,

    3) Remember to eat. Don't know about anyone else, but I find it far to easy to get caught up in a project and end up wondering why 1) it's hard to see (because it's night, doofus) and 2) I've also got one mutha-frakker of a headache (because you're hungry and dehydrated).

    We're the opposite - there are track marks through the carpet (and probably a trail of crumbs) from the sofa to the kitchen and back. In our defense, working from home means there is more time to make nutritious meals, homemade bread, etc.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 106 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    I am sitting in a dingy, windowless cubicle with coffee in a travel mug after commuting for an hour. I hope you work-from-homers take this in the fond and tender spirit in which it is intended:

    I hate you all. :)

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Judi Lapsley Miller,

    Danielle said:

    I am sitting in a dingy, windowless cubicle with coffee in a travel mug after commuting for an hour. I hope you work-from-homers take this in the fond and tender spirit in which it is intended:

    I hate you all. :)

    Can I rub salt in to the wound? Can I? Can I?

    I'm lying here on the sofa, in the sun, with a fresh cup of coffee lovingly made by my loving husband, earning USD (which are finally worth something again!). I might go for a potter in the garden later... if I can get off the sofa... but it all seems like such an effort.

    :-D

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 106 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    No, it's nothing personal. I'm from New Zealand, we all swear like that.

    While I was working in a lab in CA I used to say "bugger" when I stuffed up - again.

    One day two of the students commented that they really liked the sound of the word and my accent - what did the word mean?

    I explained, and had to stop using it from then on :(

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    I'm lying here on the sofa, in the sun, with a fresh cup of coffee lovingly made by my loving husband, earning USD (which are finally worth something again!). I might go for a potter in the garden later... if I can get off the sofa... but it all seems like such an effort.

    Wow. Now *I* hate you, and I'm a work from home type too.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

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