An App for an App?

Xcode (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So, I recently blabbed on and on about creating an app. I downloaded an app to help me, knew that it would not be an easy task but, I’m always keen to give something new a go.

However, at the moment, I’m feeling like I may have to quit before I even begin. I’ve tried a couple of times to start creating, but I can’t. This is not due to lack of ideas, I know exactly what I want, I just can’t seem to use the app!

A bit of light reading to do
A bit of light reading to do

I now have my hands on the manual, which I intend to tackle and hopefully it will unlock the gate and lead me into my new world of creating an app. Either that, or I’ll end up getting extremely frustrated, have a tantrum and then make myself a cup of tea.

If you’ve used Xcode before, do you have any advice?


As always, I have the idea; it’s the execution I’m worried about.

So things have started to wind down at work, summer is fast approaching and I’ll admit, my head is not so much in the classroom as it is up in the clouds!

Cartoon Clouds
This is a cloud, if you squint, you can almost see me. Almost. (Photo credit: calebunseth)

I’ve begun to think about all my wonderful summer projects and what I hope to do in the long break. I say this often, and rarely make a dent in the plans I have, but I’m going to keep the list small and hopefully manageable.

First in line is to finish the draft copy of my second manuscript. It’s almost there. Then I intend to make a serious list of all the ideas in my head, think Dumbledore and his pensive.

Albus Dumbledore
Albus Dumbledore (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I hope in doing this, that I’ll be able to become more focussed on each task instead of acting like a kid in Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory (look what happened to them!)

Despite all of this, I’m rolling full steam ahead with my latest idea. I’m considering creating an app. Everyone is creating apps. Maybe there are too many apps….

I started researching how to go about achieving this. Many people have said it’s easy, although, no one I know has actually created one. In my research all the ‘experts’ are talking about marketability, interfaces, android vs apple, scalability…ARGH!

I have what I think is a good idea and I love trying new things, so…I’m currently downloading an app (funnily enough) that will help me create mine. I have no idea what to expect. I’ve done the reading on it, and I’m wondering if I’ve bitten off more than I can chew with this latest idea, but I’m keen to give it a go.

I’m not a web developer, and I’m certainly not doing it to earn big bucks, but as a teacher I see the value in technology and the impact it can have on kids.  So I’m going to give it a go…when the app I’m downloading to help me create my app is fully installed…

There’s always an app…

Things aren’t always what they seem…

Why does this always happen to me? It’s such a nightmare having such big ears and such a big teeth. Everyone immediately blames me. All the cookies have been eaten! It must have  been Mr Wolf, they say. Belle went missing, they whisper, Oh must have been the wolf.  My lawyer told me not to get involved but it’s pretty difficult when you have the entire forest pointing their finger and accusing me. Even the trees are now looking at me differently.

What they don’t realise is that it’s just one big cover up, there has been something strange going on and I am determined to get to the bottom of this.  I saw a caped figure floating through the trees with a basket. I knew she was up to no good, so I followed her. Problem with that was, Mr Bluebird saw me.

Now, Mr. Bluebird has always had control of the forest and everyone in it. No one admits that though. He sits there on his branch looking all innocent, singing his song and having all the girls fall at his feet. If only they knew. People don’t take the time to get to know one another anymore. If they did they’d realise that I’m not even a meat eater; that Mr. Bluebird has connections of the evil kind and the caped figure is not as innocent as she makes out to be…

The Nature of Australia*


In a recent post I spoke about bookshops being one of the joys of coming home . Being, as I call it, starved of books in the middle of the sandpit, I do end up spending most of my time in bookshops when I return home, and as a result I’m collecting a nice little pile.

These are the latest additions to the pile, both are Australian writers and what I love about these books is the use of native wildlife.  I tend to use nature  in a lot of my own writing, and birds are my current obsession.  So, my reasoning for buying these two books was of course research. Every good writer (aspiring or otherwise) needs to research, or at least that’s what I keep reading. So, naturally I have jumped right in and I have to say, I’m rather enjoying it!

This research business is reminding me of my Uni days when I used to write for the Uni newspaper. Well, when I say write for the paper, I certainly wasn’t a journalist, no, I was a book reviewer. What a great way to save some money, getting books for free, the only catch was I had to write about them; but as an English major it wasn’t hard and I loved it and, now it seems I miss it.

As I was writing a post for Show & Tell, and thinking about the book as a product got me reminiscing about the reviews I used to write. I would always choose the crime/ mystery books as a break from my studies and it seems this may be the reason I am becoming so absorbed in picture books, it’s not the books I generally spend my days with (or rather, I don’t spend as much time with this genre as I want to). During term time I am teaching anything and everything, but rarely picture books, which in my opinion is a shame. After finding, buying and reading “The Shaggy Gully Times” I am now seriously thinking about using it in the classroom when teaching newspapers ( really, it’s any excuse! ), it will certainly grab their imagination and well, if I’m honest, it will give me an opportunity to read aloud to my class ( something I don’t get to do with high schoolers)!

Now, I’m going to make a cup of tea and investigate the world of the internet and see what other books I can find….

*Please visit Show & Tell for a longer post on these two books.


Lamps, who doesn’t love them?!

Tiffany dragonfly desk lamp with pigeon sculptures









Lamps. Everyone has at least one lamp in their home. They are everywhere. In our homes, on the streets, in shops…They come in all different shapes, sizes and colors. They can even have a variety of different purposes, they are functional, decorative, some remind of us of a time that was or what will be.

You don’t realize how important they are until you don’t have any. I am currently living in a place that doesn’t really place emphasis on street lighting. I’m embarrassed to say that it took a while to realize what was acutely wrong with the street one night as I was walking back from the shop , add to that no pavement and you’ve got yourself a treacherous journey!

It is one of the unique aspects of my dusty city, one that makes no sense.  I’m not even sure what kind of street lights would fit in to the neighborhood anyway. We are in a state of transition, buildings are being knocked down, my favorite corner shop is now gone and every day the pile of rumble seems to grow.  Maybe this is what gives my suburb its character, but what I do know is that as we approach the summer holidays and I start to think about where I’m going, I start pondering about odd little things.

Street light...years ago

I know that where I’m going I will see streetlights in abundance, and they will be in all different shapes and sizes. That’s the thing about going to Europe, it’s steeped in a different kind of history, one that spills over into its architecture. This short piece below, was inspired by architecture, a student of mine was applying to university and part of her application process was to write about architecture, but the instruction told her to be creative.  This confused her, she wasn’t sure how to tackle the task. I  got right into it and ended up with a couple of examples, this one is my favorite:

The street was quiet, still, except for the figure standing hunched over, bathed in the flickering light. His head hung low as though sad or ashamed.  He had been a fixture on the street for years and was now beginning to feel like it was only a matter of time until he would be replaced, he was just no match for the bright young bulbs on the block.


These bright bulbs that stand up tall and proud, fitting in to the modern surroundings, their youth could easily be confused with arrogance. Their slim metallic lines and steel finishing only accentuated the rusty, tired figure at the far end of the street….

Jasper not the Colonel!

The writing process is an interesting one. You start with an idea of a character or plot and go with it, but it’s a constantly evolving thing, you never really know what the final product will be.  About two years ago, I started with my character the Colonel, I started writing a story about him and became completely absorbed in him; and then just recently I woke up in the middle of the night with the realization that it’s Jasper’s story!

This might not seem like a big deal, but to me it is. I’m excited to find out what this means and part of me feels bad that I ignored Jasper and didn’t let him have the limelight. Now, I’m going back to look at my story and see what changes I can make so that Jasper gets to have his say.

Lesson learnt: Don’t get obsessed with one character and forget the rest, they have feelings too.

Sorry Jasper.

The first post for 2012- finally!

Well, it’s now February and this is the first time that I written on my blog since 2012 began.  It is certainly not due to laziness. This has already been a whirlwind start to the year, and quite frankly I am not sure why.

I did what many do at the start of the new year and made some resolutions, one of which was to finish a project that I have been working on with my friend.  I set a deadline of February but alas, time just keeps escaping me. It sounds like an excuse, I know, but it’s February already and I have done no writing at all this year!  It seems like my new year’s resolution of being more proactive about my writing and being a writer is all talk!

Well, this is my way of doing something about  it. I am blabbing about what I intend to do, and I will get this done.  I have, as usual been using my students as stepping stones to aid my inspiration. We are currently studying fairytales, and I have asked them to bring fairy tales/ traditional stories from their culture.  One was that story of Hamda and Fisaikra, an arabian version of Cinderella.

This got me thinking…I should be able to transform some of my experiences in to something similar. Perhaps not a fairy tale but I should be using the culture that I’m surrounded by as my inspiration. So watch this space! We have a holiday coming up and I am intending to use that time to get some serious writing in! I will work like a machine to make sure I have very little marking to do so that I can do a JK Rowling and spend some quality time in a coffee shop writing.

I feel a few trips coming on…I’m thinking goats, camels, falcons, sand dunes, tents….oh the possibilities are endless!