March 30, 2008

Interesting sources regarding self help and motivation.
I was asked who the author of the seven habbits of highly effective people was at the beginning of the month. That's Steven Covey! I knew, I think I have a good general knowledge when it comes to books and authors really. This book isn't actually on my shelf at home but sure I have read it, and from time to time I shelve it at the library.
Looking at my book shelves I've read a few, however I don't necessarily reread them and find biographies and great fiction can often provide the desired increase in vocabulary or language acquistion to keep with it and current (Both entertained and informed of life and news and all that is bizarre in it).

I am currently enjoying this blog from my e - coach Mike Litman. He is a modern day writer on motivation, business growth and self development.

Previously I have read the Road Less Travelled and Beyond by M Scott Peck which I did like. Steven Coveys has a recent book out called "The Speed of Trust, the one thing that changes everything". One of his older ones was The Power Principle: Influence with Honour ( about "heart-centered visionary leadership). He has written at least 10 top sellers.

Self help books do sell in volume and some great writers have made their name well known this way and provided good instruction.

Some of my favourite examples of truely great writers came from an honours history course I did on historiography. I particularly liked the Annales school historians. Also the Feminist Historians. This writing and reading was such a step up from my current self styled reading programme but I can revisit the readings if I wish anytime. With blog writing I am looking mainly for a paragraph, I don't know if its worth while to write about such mundane stuff but then its sharing something and writing something. so...

Best, Helena

Defn: Bizarre: adj. strange in appearance or effect; eccentric; grotesque. bizzarely adv. bizzarreness n. [French, = handsome, brave, via Spanish & Portuguese
bizzaro from Basque bizarra 'beard']
Quarter-acre dream history, says institute
By BEN FAWKES - The Dominion Post | Friday, 28 March 2008

The quarter-acre dream for first-home buyers should be relegated to the history books, according to the Real Estate Institute.

Instead, wannabe home owners should be steered toward apartment living to get a foothold on the property ladder.

Institute president Murray Cleland told a housing policy forum in Wellington yesterday that policies aimed at putting people onto the quintessential quarter-acre section were anachronisms.

"We need to gently dispel the myth every New Zealander deserves the quarter-acre dream.

"It's somewhat misty-eyed and trying to deliver a modern-day version of the 1930s state housing nirvana."

Mr Cleland said the growing shortage of affordable housing meant there was a need to look beyond expanding cities outward.

New Zealand's land use had traditionally been lazy, he said, and prime agricultural land had been squandered in a haste to develop.

"Drive through the Auckland airport area; the developments there are sitting on the most fertile land in New Zealand."

Mr Cleland said that higher-density housing was crucial in order to maximise limited land availability and to keep costs down for buyers.

He acknowledged the concerns over "shoe box" apartments, which he said were an aberration, but conceded they had not helped the argument in favour of inner-city apartment living.

Wellington City Council director of urban development and transport Ernst Zollner said concerns over smaller apartments were driven by middle class attitudes toward housing.

"It's a well-meaning middle-income benevolent attitude ... Part of it is because we have always had quarter-acre [sections].

"Some people are happy to have Scopa cafe as their living room. They don't want to be able to have friends around, they use cafes and pubs instead."

If the council were to clamp down too heavily on the size of apartments, it would price many people out of the inner-city market, he said.

The main challenge to encouraging apartment living was they were seen as an unattractive option for families.

"Most New Zealanders are completely shocked at bringing children up without a backyard."

Mr Zollner said infill housing was the best solution to affordable housing concerns, as it made the best use of existing infrastructure, alleviating pressure on local and central governments.

New developments required amenities such as roads, sewerage, water supplies and schools, which ultimately would have to be paid for by ratepayers, he said.

PS all: I first wrote about this topic in 2002 for a paper as part of my honours thesis in history. For this I used the Real Estate Institutes back issues of its own magazine which is has a great collection of historic holdings in their freezer archive space at their Auckland Offices. I titled my thesis, Houses and the Real Estate Industry post 1950: Selling the 'New Zealand Dream'. The Institute retained a copy along side other publications gifted them made over the years. I also gave a copy to the Hastings Library. So I do like to keep an eye out for topical articles of this type to archive. I wrote about the topic at a time I was personally struggling to save the deposit for a house. It allowed me to read alot of relevant literature about housed in New Zealand within the time frame of 1950-2000. Great and interesting topic..Subsequent to this I worked as a valuers assistant in a very busy small office and was able to go into the finer details of describing many houses in detailed valuation reports. I wonder did Institute president Murray Cleland read my earlier student work?

For more to read on this topic please visit my back link blog ==>

With regards,


March 17, 2008

Hi all,

This morning I am at home catching up with some things. At 11 I am heading over to EIT to help a friend with a international food exhibit a spin off of the International Food Day held at Cornwall Park last weekend. Hers is a Czech/German food stall but the weekend event was incredibly diverse with Chinese friendship society, Maori foods, such as battered mussels, smoked fish, plus sweetcorn, apples, Indian specialities, Samoan dancing etc. It's also Saint Patricks Day today and incidentally the United Nations' International Year of the Potato.
I thought it may have been a good idea to contribute with seed Potatoes but to be honest I would have to be quick to the garden store to get some before I meet with my friend with the stall this morning.

Coming up next Wednesday 26 March is the third of the Landmarks Public Forum Debates for 2008 at the Shakespeare Room in the Hawke's Bay Opera Precinct.
The themes were Gardens, Trees and the final One I'm attending History.
Time Wed 26 March 5.15-7.00 pm.
The Community are invited to participate in...discussion forums. No booking required, just turn up. We need your voice.

How can we increase awareness and protection of our rich history?

How can we celebrate it in innovative ways?

How can we form linkages with these celebrations and compatible events?

" Our local heritage buildings are being sympathetically repainted and appreciated. Interest in their history; our earthquake experiences - a wish to exhibit our peoples' artifacts successfully and celebrating our close rural ties are worthy of debate".

It not always you have time to attend these types of events, but certainly the refurbished Opera House is a great venue and I'm sure the evening will be well worth the effort to attend and learn from.

March 03, 2008

The Cliche and what you can do to reinvent it

The Cliche and what you can do to reinvent it. from "cliches must die workshop"

The dictionary defines a cliche as a "phrase, an expression, or idea that has been overused to the point of loosing its intended force or novelity". The appearance of cliche in writing or speech can indicate a lack of creativity, innovation, or sincerity on the part of the author/orator.

Common Cliches

when pigs fly
fall head over heels
rotten to the core
an uphill battle
he's all thumbs
throw gasoline on the fire
a shot in the dark
get off your high horse
no guts, no glory
white as snow
running on empty
a fish out of water
penny for your thoughts
airing dirty laundry
in glass houses, don't throw stones
through thick and thin
life is like a box of chocolates
thorn in your side
you are my heart and soul
love you to bits and pieces
Darkness is looming
From here to Timbuktu
The whole nine yards
A fly in the ointment
Ugly as sin
Put it on my tab
Dimond in the rough
Lost in no mans land
See you later alligator
Life is a bowl of cherries
Flat as a pancake
A good man is hard to find
Idle hands are the devils workshop
Rome wasn't built in a Day
It doesn't cut the mustard
I will have the last laugh
Never look a gift horse in the mouth
Cuts like a knife
Armed to the teeth

Try to reinvent a simple idea and saying for eg.

cliche: "get off your high horse" ==> "Your stride is as high as the horse you can't get off".

You can use these cliches in a poetry exercise.

You incorporate the cliche somewhere in your poem. Use the cliche wherever, however, and whenever you want. You don't have to use the whole line as it is printed. Just try to reinvent the cliche. Write as if the idea is brand new to you, make it brand you to others. Make bizarre comparisons to it. Compare it to your life. Compare it to someone else's. Play around with it like cold mashed potatoes. Roll with it take your time, Don't be afraid to share your poem with others.

Heli: this is somewhat of an Americanised and potentially dry word/vocab exercise. (From a poetry mag in the usa) Although, when you think carefully about language aquisition there are many corny yet connecting cliches and in some particular styles of writing there is a place for reinventing them and using them for any desired effect, or for trying to avoid them having recognised the cliche. In New Zealand our cliches, out slang and our sense of identity expressed via language are very much influenced by a changing and incoming flux of ideas from various markets, voices, texts and imagery. Historically this is not new news and in my opinion, writers eager to preserve a place in the discourse need to keep looking both forwards and to our pasts for making their written contributions relevant to their purpose and to an audience/or reader that is so diverse and unique.
I came, I saw, I commented!

Veni, vidi, vici.

I came, I saw, I conquered.

Caesar, 47 B.C

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