Posts Tagged ‘writing’

Mummy Mayhem

March 9, 2011 Leave a comment

Jodie Ansted is a wife, daughter, sister, friend, blogger and mother to three busy boys.

“I married in 2000. Turned 30 that same year. Hubby and I bought our first house in ’01. We had our first son in 2002, followed by our second in ’04 and our third in ’06.”

I found out about Jodie through ‘Bloggers without makeup’. More on BWM later. In her blog Jodie writes about her family, shopping mishaps, tooth fairy antics, kids illness, shares her trials and tribulations with baking “Baking is not my forte” and a whole lot more.

She is very candid about her younger experiences. Sharing her first deodorant experience and student life with ‘My High School Nemesis. Plus sharing her ‘Looking for love’ posts.

Admits she has a love of stationery and is easy drawn to buying more hair product “And when I open the bathroom cabinet, it will mock me, sitting next to the “styling mud”, the “hair straightener”….All of which are rarely used, and Hubby will complain are taking up space in the bathroom.”

Mummy Mayhem: Jodie

Accepts that “Some days, it just doesn’t go to plan.” So her blog is not all family happy stories. But “For as long as I can remember, I always wanted to be a mum” she declares.

“Since I’ve had my kids – I get it. There’s nothing more precious than a homemade card, drawing, letter – especially when it’s addressed to you with lots of hugs and kisses.”

And declares when she has a busy week “Tell me…is it age? Is it because I have too many balls in the air I’m trying to juggle? Whatever it is, it makes me feel like a right ditz at times!”

Jodie turned 40 last year and acknowledges the changes life brings. “But what has changed is me. I am far more confident than I was all those years ago. I care (much) less about what people think of me. I don’t hold grudges (what’s the point?) and I have strong, close friendships with a couple of girlfriends (who actually don’t know each other – so no chance of note passing)!”

“I’ve always been a daydreamer. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been dreaming up scenarios in my mind to both amuse myself, and plan out what I’d like to happen.”

On the paid work front her first job was with a business magazine. “I took on advertising sales, and even though I was pretty good at it, I hated it…. I moved in to another role as the magazine’s Circulation Officer (promotion), then eventually their artwork coordinator, before moving in to a (far) less demanding role as a receptionist with a real estate office.”

She also has done some temp work before taking a PA role. After moving from Perth to Sydney with her husband, she worked with a large corporate bank before leaving to have their first son in 2002.

Jodie often writes about writing. “I remember the first time I became interested in writing. I was in primary school (8 years old), and my Aunty Maun brought me a pen back from Singapore. I loved it – it had a digital clock built in to it, and it inspired me to sit down and write a story called, Why Baby Boys Wear Blue.”

Her teacher at the time made a big deal about the story and gave it an award. “Miss Millar – you have no idea just how much your encouragement meant to me back then, and how much you inspired a love of writing in me. (And thanks, Aunty Maun for the cool pen. It’s probably your fault I spend so much on stationery these days. 😉 )”

At 14 Jodie was inspired by the TV Series Return to Eden and wrote Dance of Revenge.  Fourteen sections (so far) are available online on her blog. Enjoy!

She re-discovered her love of writing in 2009 when she helped write the school newsletter. It was where she delivered information for the parents mixed up with stories.  She received a great response, and encouraged by a friend launched Mummy Mayhem in October 2009.

On the topic of writing she writes “I’ll be honest. I don’t really consider myself a ‘writer’. I write, yes, but I think of myself more as a ‘blogger’.” And “But I’m not using my blog as a platform to kick-start a writing career.” And more “I’m doing this because I just like writing, and I like to entertain and get feedback (from you)! Occasionally, I like to vent (with a good rant), and I also think that some of what I write might actually help others, even in some small way. I guess this blogging thing is kind of like a hobby to me.”

About others blogging “If I can relate to that piece; if it moves me and makes me think, and it tells me a story then…what does it matter whether that person is considered a ‘writer’ or not? ”

Her blog is read by many. “If you had said to me, when I started this blogging caper last September, that within 6 months I’d be on the radio talking about it, I’d have laughed out loud!”

“And yet, the other day on Twitter, the lovely Carol Duncan of ABC Newcastle, tweeted me after reading my post on Taker Mums, and asked if I’d join her on her show the following day as her guest blogger. Wow – what an honour! I jumped at the opportunity. I just thought it would be a lot of fun, and a great experience.”

Listen to Jodie being interviewed by Carol Duncan of ABC Newcastle.

Blogging is not easy “I read a post recently that asked if a blogger needed to have thick skin in order to blog? I believe the answer is: yes, it most certainly helps. But even the most thick-skinned of people are not immune to nasty, spiteful and/or inappropriate comments.”

“For a writer/blogger, writing can be a healing experience when dealing with a difficult/traumatic situation. I know this for a fact.”

Jodie writes about other people she finds out about in other blogs or on Twitter. Sharing Layla and Angela’s stories with her own blog readers.

In a recent posting about Lori and her husband’s death Jodie writes “How can writing about depression be a bad thing? Why is there such a stigma attached to admitting a mental illness? If writers/bloggers didn’t write so openly about it, how would anyone know they’re not alone? How would anyone know that the feelings they are experiencing are not unlike what others are going through Right This Moment? How would people know it’s ok  – more than ok – to ask for help?”

“(Any blogger who tells you comments don’t matter to them is LYING! Bloggers love to know what you think and know that you’re reading.)”

Blogging comes with pressures, she write in Feb 2011 when she was “contemplating finishing up my blog”. But acknowledges “I thought back to the reason I first started blogging: to just write. And write, is what I’ll continue to do.”

Lots of give away products, product reviews and even book reviews. Time where does she find it? A list of her blogs is listed below. I am sure I have missed a few.

Jodie admits to loving lists, as well, so here are a few.

The 10 thing I just don’t have the guts to do….

  • Bungee jump
  • Skydive
  • Go on a really scary
  • Drive over 120kms per hour
  • Bake and decorate a cake for my sons’ birthday
  • Tell some people what I really think
  • Scuba Dive
  • Write completely openly – Some people have no problem detailing everything about themselves. Their strengths, weaknesses, their sex life… I mean, I read a lot of very, personal information in some of the biographies I read. But nup. Not me. I’m fairly open, but there are just some things I couldn’t write about. But I also think this is kind of ok. Only do what’s comfortable, I always say…
  • Cut my children’s hair
  • Pick up bugs

Seven food loves
Brie, chocolate mousse, eggs, chocolate cake, Milo, smoked salmon and bread.

Other Loves

  • I love family time: movie nights, holidays together, picnics in the park, a good game of Trivial Pursuit.
  • Dinner dates with Hubby. They’re rare – so we always have a good time and a nice, big old chat. We eat somewhere fancy schmancy, or somewhere we know serves good food.
  • I also love entertaining friends with Hubby (and family too – when they are here! They live interstate). Eating great cheese and drinking great wine is a favourite way to spend an afternoon or evening.
  • I love quiet time. It’s rare, so I cherish it.
  • I’m a sucker for chocolate cake, and if you invite me for a cuppa, I’ll probably outstay my welcome, because I love a good chat.
  • I love reading. Especially biographies. (Check out the home page for more info.)

Her blog has won awards and Jodie was the instigator of ‘Bloggers without makeup’ in May 2010. Why? “I just figured, why should we be afraid to show our true selves? ”

“I simply put out a little idea (and believe me, I thought it just a little one at the time) and it just went from there. So many of you were busy encouraging others to join in; were re-tweeting posts; tweeting me with encouraging words, and I thank every one of you who did so. You made BWN Day what it was. I can’t tell you how emotional it was for me at times, reading some of the blog posts. Women felt liberated by a simple act of posting their true self online – which was the point. That put a huge smile on my face.”

Body image is a consistent theme and Jodie was quite saddened about Heidi Montag and the surgery she did to her body. “It’s a mixture of sadness and frustration, actually. Here is a beautiful, young (23!), really gorgeous girl… What on earth makes someone do this to herself?”

Then overhearing a conversation with two woman in their 50s in a cafe about plastic surgery. “I felt annoyed. The second woman was basically telling her friend that she ‘needed’ the surgery (without using those exact words). ”

“I got up, paid my bill, and then handed my letter to the waitress. “When I leave, could you please give this letter to the woman sitting over there?” I pointed to the first woman.” ….”I will never know how everything turned out after that point.”…

But Jodie does have a sense of humour about body image and her columns like what is Hot or Not. “I have brazenly borrowed…OK – STOLEN… this idea from Insomniac Mummy”. Mark Wahlberg was 2010 Hottest of the Hot. So far in 2011 Hot or Not includes Simon Baker, Nicolas Cage,  Gerard Butler and Enrique Iglesias.

Jodie is modest about her use of technology but really has nothing to worry about. She started her normally monthly video blog vlog in September 2010.

At the end of 2010 Jodie reflects on the year that past “Gosh it’s been a great year. From publishing my very first post (with another 284 posted since!), to the surprise of discovering my first comment (thanks Nicole) to the joy of discovering my first official ‘follower’ (thanks Dramaqueen), to the fun that was writing my Looking for Love series, to the unbelievable surprise that was Bloggers Without Makeup Day, to being voted one of Kidspot’s Top 50 Bloggers for 2010, and to the dizzying heights of my Vogue cover shoot. ” (BTW it’s not a real Vogue cover, but it looks almost).

Jodie is a mummy blogger but mayhem, not always.

Of interest

Blog as at 9th March 2011


The Best of all possible worlds

August 13, 2010 Leave a comment

I met Indydreaming/Jayne Kearney at a Lunatics Society of Newcastle event in June 2010. Jayne is a Newcastle NSW writer, blogger, tweep was one of the panellists on the topic of social media for business.

Jayne started blogging for WebChild one of the first online parenting websites I visited. Jayne is now the editor of Sunny Days a parenting newspaper in Newcastle with a circulation of about 20.000. She has also done a stint on The Punch.

In November 2009 Jayne started her own blog Indydreaming and includes two main passions; her family and her writing. Jayne is a fantastic and observant storyteller.

On the one hand she writes that it is sad that kids have to grow up and that we have to say goodbye but accepts there is a paradox “…it’s also incredibly joyous to watch kids blossom. I feel blessed to have the opportunity to fall in love with the continuous emergence of the people I know as my children.”

“Motherhood – The Greatest Gift of All”

Jayne blogs about writing a novel. She acknowledges she has the seed to write but knows she needs the time to write. She has the first sentence and knows how it ends. Possibly, there is a more of the story still to happen.

Language is very important to Jayne…”(btw: grammar, punctuation and spelling are incredibly important to me. Exclamation points should be used with caution. None of this applies to Twitter)” Eeek, I hope my critique is up to sCRatSH!! 😉
Now to her use and love of Twitter “… while I was on my holidays and going through a little withdrawal (Twitter) I came up with an analogy:
  • Social Media and Alcohol
  • Stumble is beer. It makes you feel like crap.
  • Facebook is white wine (occasionally it’s French champagne – but not very often)
  • Blogging is red wine – quality dependent on the vintage. The vintages I like can be seen to the right.
  • And Twitter – for me at least – is like your favourite cocktail mixed to your own personal specifications. That would make mine a French Martini.”

More on her love of Twitterverse, Tweeps and writing can be heard on 1233 ABC Newcastle radio with Carol Duncan. Below is a snapshot of that interview.

  • Twitter is a way to reach out to a network without leaving the home/office.
  • Jayne decided at 4 years she wanted to write.
  • She went into communications at uni and specialised in print publishing.
  • Unfortunately she lost her daughter Sienna 4 years ago. And has written about it and her miscarriages to help get over the pain. Also to share, speak and be heard.
  • Being a parent she says had helped her get her ideas to write her blog. “Parenting has helped me find my voice”. Her blog posts has received not so pretty comments which hurts “But it gets you back up on your horse with a sword”.

Life has its up and downs and so do house renovations. But “Don’t mention the ‘decorating feature’.” “And secondly (and most importantly), plumbers are, quite simply, gods.” Her family lived without a kitchen, bathroom, laundry and running water at times.

She has written a lot of the changes in her family and writes a very personal piece about her mum. “I was 20 when my mother became permanently disabled. One December Saturday the line between parent and child became blurred. It’s a challenge many of us will face – how do I parent my parents?”

She is very candid and a bit tough on herself at times, I think. “I can’t play with my kids. Not something you want to admit at mother’s group, but there it is.” The replies to her blog show that she is not alone. We can’t be good at everything.

There are bloggers and authors like Kylie Ladd who Jayne says have inspired her. “A couple of years ago I started following Kylie’s weekly blog on Web Child. It was around the time that I was making moves towards writing seriously myself. ”
Not only are other bloggers inspiration to her, but so are her children. They too are her teachers.
Pondering over her makeup prior to having a family photograph taken, Indy, Jayne’s daughter says “Mummy, you always look beautiful – even without make-up.” At this stage the cockles of my heart were warmed but my inner cynic was still scoffing. However, the defining moment was yet to come. Indy continued, “But,” she said as she snuggled in closer , “Maybe you should wear some make-up for the photos – other people mightn’t see you the way I see you.”

Zoe Taylor’s book Pregnancy Loss: Surviving Miscarriage and Stillbirth spurred four blog postings. I was totally drawn in. It was pure emotional whiplash for me reading as well for Jayne writing. Jayne at one point reflects about her husband Luke “His presence was another reminder that, when it comes to babies – including babyloss – it is always, always about two people.”

Kids always have an innocent take on life and sex. “Luke and I saw fit to use a story about how the daddy has a seed which he puts inside the mummy where it grows into a baby – just like a tree.”… “Both kids accepted this version of events which was a relief because I had heard a story about a mum who had told her little one a similar story only to be asked, “But how does Daddy get the seed in? Does he have a magic wand?” Well, yes, he’d like to think so!”

“But how did it get there?” four-year-old Indy wanted to know….. “Remember how we told you the story about how the daddy puts a seed in the mummy and it grows into a baby? Well that’s what Daddy did to Mummy.”

“Oh,” she said, her crestfallen face accompanied by a tone of frustration and dismay, “I wanted to watch!”

“Speechless doesn’t even come close.”

In a blog posting sometime later about writing a novel Jayne writes “It’s all fun and games calling yourself ‘a writer’ until someone says, ‘how’s the novel’s going’. Then it just sucks. It’s time I pulled my finger out.”

Jayne started her Masters in Creative Writing and then put herself in Twitter rehab to get the writing rolling. One of the first pieces she share on her blog is a piece about her childhood “…if I want to be a fair dinkum writer, I think I have to try to find some of that emotional truth. To occasionally reveal the wound, raw and weeping, before I put it away again.” Again, well written but a very sad story.

June was a quiet blogging month and in July there was some sole searching. Jayne decided to put aside her half planned manuscript (for now), back away from the Twitter tribe “…to take leave of absence from Uni; as I say goodbye…”

“My grief isn’t done yet. But one day it will be. And then, maybe then, it will be my time once again. Time to work. Time to write…”

Wanting more time to spend with her family she blogs “As my lovely children watched me struggle they have displayed humility, courage, bravery, compassion, empathy, a sense of justice and, most of all, love.”

“They are twenty nine thousand shades of awesome. And I’m proud to say I made them.
As they reflect back at me the things I tried to instill in them during their early years I think that maybe I’m not a complete #fail.”

“But, in the struggle to have it all, sometimes something’s gotta give in the best of all possible worlds.”

I like others, admire your bravery, raw honesty and your personal quest for self truth. Take your time to regain and regroup. Jayne I thank you for sharing your stories of life thus far, look forward to the next chapters…in the best of possible worlds.

Of interest
Blog as at 13th August 2010
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