Friday, December 5, 2014


I’ve been pretty quiet on the writing front this year, mostly from a lack of inspiration. My mum had the theory a while back that I’d become too content. To be honest, this has been a pretty great year. I got a new job, which has resulted in a lot less staying up at night stressing about things. I have a lovely gentleman friend, who shares my passion for seeking out delicious burger joints and lets me scratch his beard. And I got to travel again, making my way around the UK and Ireland with a quick jump over to Paris so I could cross Euro Disney off my bucket list.

So was my mum right? Am I one of those tortured people who can only make art when I’m feeling all the feelings? ‘Tortured artist’ is too cool an image for me. And ‘No longer an artist because I’m feeling pretty great about things’ is not a cool image at all. Something needed to be done. I had to prove this theory wrong. But how? I needed to find inspiration deep within myself. And deep within myself, there was a passion that can only be understood by those who share it: I really freakin love Doctor Who.

 I have an ever increasing collection of DVDs, books, merchandise, t-shirts (even a skirt patterned with tiny TARDIS-es) and an urge to fight anyone who speaks ill of David Tennant. I think very little of Stephen Moffat, will correct anyone who refers to the Daleks as robots, and on one occasion even found myself defending the sixth Doctor. I know, right?

And that UK trip I took this year? I met up with my aunty over there, and we booked in a few days in Cardiff just so we could go to the Doctor Who Experience, a magical walk through experience and museum of props and such that I went to a few years ago in London before it moved. Having booked the trip at the start of the year, we were unaware that it was actually closing five days before we got there for ‘regeneration.’ Also, on account of the fact we arrived in Cardiff the same day as all the world leaders arrived for the NATO summit, most of the city was closed and there was nothing we could do except take a photo of me in front of the closed building, on my knees, with my arms in the air, cursing the sci-fi gods (I have chosen not to post the photo as it is still an open wound oozing with disappointment and nerdy, nerdy heartbreak).

‘Hey, Lauren, why not give writing sci-fi a crack?’ my brain said late one evening when I was tired and delirious enough to think this was a good idea. ‘You’ve got a notebook and pencil, you’re halfway there!’

Now I present to you, ‘Lauren’s list of things you need to write 
A notebook
A pencil
A mysterious hero
A human to ask aaaall the questions
A spaceship
A popular TV program to steal this formula from

So yeah. That’s what I’m playing around with at the moment. And even if it’s badly written balls, I’m just happy that I’m trying, which is another sign that I’M TOO EFFING CONTENT.

Things that are working well:
The worlds, and the people and things in them, run by MY rules. Because I made them. I am their creator. I AM THEIR GOD.

Things that are not working well:
Naming things. Everyone is cool with Jerry the alien, yes? And describing things. I’m not convinced that ‘Jerry the alien looked like an alien’ is going to cut it, or ‘The spaceship smelled like a spaceship, and had a cold chill like… a spaceship.’

Finally, because I’m feeling generous and can see the need to face my emotional demons, here’s that photo of me at the Doctor Who Experience.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Charity begins at home. My home.

This time last year I had never heard of BRF, a condition that affects many women throughout the world. For the last six months or so I have been constantly plagued by it and looking for coping mechanisms. The signs and symptoms have been present for years, but being unaware of the condition I was oblivious as to what was causing them.

Late last year I received a text message from my supervisor telling me that a friend of ours, after observing me at work, believed I had RBF and that there was a Youtube video I could watch for more information. I arrived home that night and searched those three words that would change my life forever: Bitchy Resting Face.


Exhibit A: My face in both its smiling and resting states (apologies for the lack of quality, blogger and my compter don't get along)

For the uninitiated, Bitchy Resting Face is when a woman’s face appears upset, angry or just plain bitchy when in its relaxed, natural state. Suddenly everything was clear. This explains so much of the behaviour I have experienced from other people since my mid to late teens. This is why people are always telling me to smile. This is why people are always asking ‘What’s wrong?’ or ‘Are you OK?’ when everything is fine. This is why people tend to think I’m bored when they’re talking to me (sometimes I genuinely am, though. But out of politeness I’ll blame my face).

It doesn’t help that I’m a quiet person, or that my hearing is terrible, which leads people to think I’m ignoring them or giving them the silent treatment. Of course I am. I mean, look at my face, obviously I’m mad at you EVEN THOUGH YOU’VE DONE NOTHING WRONG AND THEN YOU GET MAD AT ME WHEN I TRY TO TALK TO YOU A FEW MINUTES LATER LIKE NOTHING HAS HAPPENED. Why am I acting like this? Why don’t I want to talk about it? BECAUSE THERE’S NOTHING TO TALK ABOUT!

In mid February I was a bridesmaid in the wedding of one of my oldest and best friends. The anxiety I suffered in the lead up to the wedding was horrible. What was I going to do? I’d be standing up there, watching my friend marry the man she loves, with a sour and disinterested look on my face. I made sure to smile as I walked down the aisle, then the universe smiled upon me. When I reached the front I found out that at a Greek wedding, the bridal party faces the front with their backs to the guests. Tradition can be a wonderful thing.

The reason I now feel we need to raise awareness about the condition is that my life has been affected by it quite dramatically in recent times. About six weeks ago I started a new job. This means I’ve had a whole new set of co-workers and customers form their own opinions about my face. The early comments of ‘Relax’ and ‘Don’t stress’ I took as signs of friendly encouragement, but as the days went on, I learned the impact my BRF was having.
‘You alright?'
‘You always look so stressed.’
‘He always gets someone else to ask you to make his coffee because he’s scared of you.’
And the clencher?
‘You’re scary when you’re not smiling,’ my boss said to me behind the coffee machine. I tried to explain my condition to him.
‘I wouldn’t go that far,’ he said. ‘But yeah. You look angry.’

Wouldn’t go that far, eh? That’s because BRF is not a recognised condition. It’s a disability, dammit, and needs to be recognised as such. We need some kind of government benefit scheme. Or at least someone to back my ‘It’s not me, it’s my face’ awareness campaign. Basically I need $3.2million to produce some ‘It’s just my face’ tshirts, badges and hats. The rest of the money is for shiny trinkets. I need them. Because I’m hurting. Because of my face.

Monday, January 27, 2014

The Other One

Last week I spent the night at a friend’s place. Many a drunken evening has wound up with me asleep on the floor of her lounge room, a task that would be far easier were it not for her two, furry, precious babies. For the sake of protecting their identities, I shall refer to them as 'Fluffy Butt' and 'The Other One.'

Fluffy Butt
Comically large tail - hilarious to play with when drunk.

The Other One
Ginger - has no soul.

The Other One is younger, fatter, and seemingly stupider than Fluffy Butt. I say ‘seemingly’ because the more I get to know the ginger fur ball, the more I start to think that maybe he’s not stupid at all. Maybe he’s a genius. An evil genius hell bent on making life as hard as possible for everyone around him. Here is a step by step breakdown of an average night sharing a space with The Other One:

Fall asleep

Feel something ticking face

Assume it is a giant spider

Swat at the spider

Realise you just smacked a cat in the face

Feel guilty

Close eyes

Hear rumbling sound

Open eyes to see cat staring at you

Roll over and face other direction

Rumbling sound resumes

Open eyes to see cat is now on the other side

Sit up to shoo cat away

Cat sits on pillow

Immediately stop feeling guilty about smacking it in the face

Push cat off pillow

Fall asleep again

Wake to strange noise

See cat pulling shoe laces out of your shoes while older, less evil cat stands by and does nothing to stop this, proving once and for all which side he’s on.

Lose will to go on

Go to work on a combined total of one hours sleep