Tracy's blog

I’m Tracy Au and I have graduated from the Professional Writing program from university. I am an aspiring screenwriter, so this blog is used to promote my writing and attract people who will hire me to write for your TV show or movie. I write a lot about writing, TV, movies, jokes, and my daily life and opinions. I have another blog promoting my TV project at

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Sears/ effort quote/ charity work

Oct. 28 Sears: I have read in the business section of the newspapers that Sears isn’t doing well.  I remember in 2011, a line was: “Does Sears have a Target on it’s back?”  I was on Yahoo and there are these photos of a Sears stores.  The captions on it are about how disorganized it is.

Recently on Family Guy, they dissed Sears too.  Lois and Peter go to Sears and the store has turned into a post-apocalyptic wasteland.

Healthy business tips:  Ginny Grimsley sent me this article “Improving Leadership through the Brain-to-Belly Nerve.”  It’s not just for stress at work, but it’s applicable in life:

• When angry or afraid, take a high quality breath: People might tell an agitated person to “take a breath,” but it’s the quality of the breath that makes all the difference. For someone who has practiced breathing has wired in an automatic relaxation response, one breath immediately begins to calm them. To practice do this when you’re not under stress: As you inhale, relax your belly and the muscles of your torso, and soften your muscles on the inhale. On the exhale become still. Widen your peripheral vision – take in more of the room, and rest in a more wide open awareness. At this point, your vagus nerve will be sending you messages that the world is a safe place and your ability to respond intelligently will be greatly enhanced.

• Move forward with a relaxed vagus nerve. Now, in a calmer, more resourceful and masterful state, you can apply a saner perspective to a variety of tasks: connect with employees; complete the agenda; let good ideas emerge from employees, with less pressure from management, so they affirm their own competencies. Acknowledge what’s already working well by giving individuals and teams credit. Enjoy your work, knowing that whatever emerges, you can handle it.

• Get over thyself and lighten up: See how much you can accomplish with the least amount of force. And drop self-importance. Remember, unless you’re Donald Trump or Miss Piggy and self-aggrandizement is part of your brand identity, it’s bad for business. It introduces unnecessary noise into the system and distorts communication. Drop self-importance and you’ll hear critical bad news faster, and people will trust that you can handle it.

Effort quote: I put this in my inspirational quotes collection, but I want to write about it here.

“Humans need something to get them excited.  We seek the most pleasure for the least amount of effort.  As far as I’m concerned, it is a jumpstart to get people interested and engaged in doing something healthier for the long term, then I’m supportive of that.”-Loreen Wales, dietician of Revive Wellness, Edmonton Journal.  Oct. 25, 2013

The article was about those cleansing smoothie drinks.  There is no 100% scientific data that it’s helpful, but it’s helpful to some people for losing weight.  This does apply to my job search, because I put so much effort in my work, looking for a job on the internet, and job interviews.  

CACEE: I was going through my papers and found this magazine, that I did write about in my weekly emails:

“The Canadian Association of Career Educators and Employers (CACEE) is a national non-profit partnership of employer recruiters and career services professionals. Our mission is to provide authoritative information, advice, professional development opportunities and other services to employers, career services professionals, and students.”

They release an bi-annual magazine called Career Options to universities.  They are looking for submissions:
  • Ask yourself: Is your article fun to read? Is your first paragraph a good "hook"? Is your writing lively and clear?
  • How relevant, new and compelling is the info? How is it presented?
  • Use bullets, steps, tips, numbers, "how to", "dos and don'ts", subheads, lists, questions, and balanced examples whenever possible to break continuous blocks of text
Me: I don’t know what exactly to write about into a job article.  What tips could I give?

CCHRA: There was an ad in the Career Options magazine for this.  I went to the website and it’s for people in human resources.  The website is pretty good:

“Established in 1994, the Canadian Council of Human Resources Associations (CCHRA) is a collaborative effort of human resources associations from across Canada, representing more than 36,000 professionals, 21,000 of whom hold the Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP) designation. The CCHRA is the national voice on the enhancement and promotion of the profession across Canada, through established and credible designations, collaborating on national issues related to the profession and proactively positioning the national human resources agenda at the international level.”

Self- analysis:

Interior designer: I do like reading and looking at the pictures in the homes section of the newspaper.  I like how the furniture and how it’s placed in the home.  I don’t think I really want to become an interior designer because there is no real need for that kind of job.  It’s not like nurses, where people need them.
No disrespect to interior designers, but I don’t think this job is for me.  It wouldn’t really bring me any satisfaction in the job.  I have seen those home decorating shows where people decorate or renovate and there is a whole before and after shots.

Question: What brings me satisfaction?  I’m sure you guys may have noticed that I seem to be writing more about charity news.  I would like to work for a charity or something that helps others.

Charity work: Maybe there is something here: I was reading “From sir, with love” by Paul Naim on Oct. 25, 2013 in the Globe and Mail.  He’s a teacher and he went to Tanzania to teach.

“Having the little ones give me a hug to thank me for repairing their blackboard, which had been full of holes, nearly brought me to tears.  It took so little effort on my part, but meant so much to them.”

“The people truly crave education.  They want to improve their lives, and they know that education is key.”

Nora Furber: I was reading in the Edmonton Journal on Oct. 25, 2013, about this entrepreneur in St. Albert.  She was on CBC’s Dragon’s Den to sell her Monjeloco jeans that means “lift the bum.”  The judges were impressed with it, and were prepared to invest it as a group, but thought the company’s valuation was too high.  

They did encourage here to follow up another time.  Her store is at #103 20 Perron St.  After the show, she got 455 emails wanting to buy her stuff.

“Her jeans are produced at a factory in Medellin, Columbia funded by the Canadian and Colombian governments that employs 275 single mothers, offering good wages, health care and subsidized schooling for their children.”

There is charity in production.

Feedback: I’ll be straight-up.  Right now I’m biding my time until my benefits start up so I can talk to my counselor and we can think up some new directions for my career and life.  I’m kind of stuck in a rut.  So right now, I’m reading a bunch of articles in the newspaper and the internet about business and writing.  I’m also trying to find some inspiration.  If you have any thoughts of where I should go, then email me.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

We have not forgotten Omar Khadr


I got this from Amnesty International:

An interview with Omar KhadrFrom Guantamamo Bay to maximum security facility in Edmonton
Dear Tracy,

From Afghanistan to Guantánamo Bay and now the outskirts of Edmonton ...

Who would have thought that human rights campaigning that began with a short news report that a 15 year old Canadian had been arrested by US forces on the battlefield in Afghanistan in the summer of 2002 and continued through a decade of activism, media interviews and legal work while that same young Canadian endured the lawlessness and injustices of Guantánamo Bay; would now bring me to a maximum security prison outside Edmonton.

But that is where, after eleven years of working on his case, I recently travelled to meet and spend some time with Omar Khadr.

Please read on for an account of my interview with Omar.

Thank you for speaking out against the human rights violation that was Guantanamo Bay and helping us protect the rights of this former child soldier.

I leave you with a quote from Omar:

"To members of Amnesty International in Canada and everywhere I want to say thank you for the support and all the work that you have done for me. It has been incredible to come to the realization that there are all these wonderful people out there helping me with my ordeal. Knowing that makes it a bit easier. I am so grateful. Perhaps the one positive thing coming out of all I have been through is to know that there are so many good people in the world, like the members of Amnesty International, willing to stand up for other people. That means so much to me."

His message so perfectly sums up the essence of Amnesty: our willingness to stand up for other people.

I was able to assure him that, with the support of people like you, we will most certainly continue to stand up for him.
Alex Neve
Secretary General,
Amnesty International Canada

P.S.  During my visit, I had the pleasure of personally delivering over 2,100 messages from Amnesty supporters welcoming his long-overdue return to Canada. If you would like to send a letters or cards direct to Omar, please use the following address:

Omar Khadr
Edmonton Institution
21611 Meridian Street
PO Box 2290
Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 3H7

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

journalism/ write a book/ Pity the Interns

Oct. 23 Journalism: Today I was reading the Edmonton Journal business section and it says the Edmonton Journal and the Edmonton Sun has increased in online readership and decreased in print readership.  Metro has increased in print and online readership.

So that’s my counter argument to The Simpsons joke:

News reporter: I’m from the newspaper.
Grandpa Simpson: What?  The newspaper?!  That’s going to die before I do!

STC Alberta: I found this brochure and I check marked it.  That means I wrote about it already.  I checked my blog and here it is:

It’s for technical writers and I didn’t take that as an elective back at Grant MacEwan.  STC stands for Society for Technical Communication.  The website is good, but it’s not really for me.

Hart Hanson: I also have a “Gaze into the Stars” brochure from MacEwan.  My friend Dan L went to it.  On Feb. 2010, there was “Corus Entertainment Distinguished Lecturer Hart Hason, the Gemini Award-winning Canadian film and television writer and producer, and creator of the long-running Fox Television series Bones.”

Dan L. and I chatted and he told me.  I took notes about it.

City Palate: I found this piece of paper about this Calgary magazine.  It’s about food and drink.  If you’re a foodie, you’ll like this magazine because it has recipes.  Lol.

Filling Station: I have written about this before.  It’s a literary magazine in Calgary.  They are looking for a volunteer non-fiction editor and a fiction editor.  On the website it says it will take about 5 hrs a week for these positions.  I’m going to email them and ask if I can work from Edmonton.

It says send a resume, cover letter, and 3 references so it’s pretty serious for a volunteer position.  Unlike the Golden Vanguard, they will usually post any movie review I have written within the 500 words limit.

Editor: After going to MacEwan’s Professional Communication website, it made me think of going into editing.  I went to the Editor’s Association of Canada:

“Whether an editor is working on an article, book manuscript, report, speech, news release or some other form of communication, the editor is responsible (along with the writer) for ensuring that the document is
  • accurate enough to satisfy the most informed audience member,
  • clear enough for even a novice to follow and
  • interesting enough to catch and hold the attention of all readers.”

If I get the volunteer position at the Filling Station, then it would be a good start into becoming a paid editor.

Oct. 24: I got an email from Filling Station, and the woman said that I had to reside in Calgary to work there.

Oct. 28 Todd Kipp: I was reading the Edmonton Journal about fashion.  It talked to Todd Kipp who is a Calgary Filmmaker.  I had to look him up.  He has made short films and premiered his movie at the Calgary Film Festival.

Write a book:

50 Shades of Grey: I read that Jamie Dornan from Once Upon a Time is going to be Christian Grey in this movie.  He was the Huntsman and Sheriff Graham on Once Upon a Time.  I didn’t read the book.  The book was self-published, and now made into a movie.

Maybe I should write a book, and then get it made into a movie.

Pity the Interns: I cut out this article called “Pity the Interns” by Mireille Silcoff from the National Post on Nov. 10, 2012.  This article really discusses about being an intern and a writer.  This is a really good article and I bolded all the things I liked about it:

Every three months, a new intern begins working with me. They arrive and I apologize. Because usually they are in their early thirties, and would probably rather be making a living as a journalist than working for free. The internship is as much of an exchange as I can make it. I offer access to my contacts and to any skill or wisdom I might have that could help the intern get published in good venues. I spend a lot of time talking to the interns, offering advice, direction, and if needed, solace, about making a career of writing. And yet there is still someone in the equation working gratis.

Perennially, I have a waiting list of youngish people wanting to intern, sometimes wanting to intern very badly. This might be because working with me is one step closer to actually being paid for words written than the other option open to them: writing for free for the web, where the culture of content is relentlessly unpaid, and unapologetically so. The standard offer from an online magazine is: Do what you do on your blog for me, kid, and I will give you more eyeballs per word. The proposal is presented as favour more than content grab.

Earlier this year, I read Ross Perlin’s Intern Nation: How to Earn Nothing and Learn Little in the Brave New Economy, an impressive, timely book about what Perlin calls the “recent chaotic phenomenon” of the contemporary internship, an umbrella term, once belonging mainly to the medical profession, under which we now place “an explosion of intermittent and precarious roles we might otherwise call volunteer, temp, summer job, and so on.”

There are no official numbers on internship, either in the United States or Canada. But in his book, Perlin makes an educated guess: perhaps as many as 75% of the nearly 10 million Americans currently in four-year university programs will take on at least one internship. We can figure the numbers in Canada are not too different.

For Perlin, who writes that interns are the fastest growing segment of the U.S. workforce, it’s a landscape that contains a wide plain of illegality. Because here we have a large group of workers without any benefits, and very often not receiving overtime or anything close to minimum wage, if any wage at all.

And while I am clearly not Condé Nast or the Hearst Corporation — I am something more along the lines of a non-profit — the question remains: Am I employing bad ethics by having a helper who, for about four hours a week, orders books for me, helps me with research, explains Twitter to me (uselessly) and schedules my interviews?

It’s an issue I think about a lot. When I was starting out as a journalist, I had a few mentors. I stayed close to these people, and learned from them. I received not just information — here are some interesting ideas — not just shaping — what is your take on these ideas? — but also education in real-world process — this is how you will be able to make a career from your ideas.

And I did work for a few of these mentors — a bit of transcription here, some bookshelf or file organizing there. I had one mentor, a well-loved professor of cultural studies, who never asked me to fetch so much as a glass of water but got me my first book offer. I had another, a writer, who dishonestly used my ideas for her own articles. In a way, it all balanced out — some instances were more than fair, some less.
And while as long as there has been trade, craft and vocation, there have been apprentices, mentors and systems of teaching and guidance, plunging into these areas now brings up new issues, because of the intern economy that is without question slicing into the number of paid positions on the job market, possibly harming the understood worth of work in the process. You work for free so you can later get a good job. There are fewer good jobs because of all the people working for free.
Up until about four years ago, nearly every established magazine I had written for had a fact checker on staff. Now it is just as likely that a marginally skilled intern will be checking copy.

What this de-professionalization of “lesser” editorial tasks does to articles is one major problem. The way it deflates and distorts the position of the fact checker — and believe me, a good fact checker has bigger balls than your average opinionated columnist will ever grow — is another, larger issue.

And yet, to have the right kind of résumé, today’s aspiring journalist wants to intern, or even needs to, and it seems easy to get trapped in this zone.

Last year, I met one woman who had done six internships and was looking for her seventh. She was about to graduate from journalism school with honours. Among her greater worries was that, once out of university, she would no longer be able to apply for a large number of major magazine internships, which give class credit, and thus hire only students.

One woman who interned with me writes prolifically for the Web, has been doing so for years, has a following, and has never earned anything close to a living wage for her efforts (sometimes she lands a story at a Montreal newspaper. For her last story, she was paid 20 cents a word. This is less than I made per word 20 years ago).

And I know I am conflating issues, but on a sinking ship, everything can get a bit mixed up. The print industry, currently leaking money, is also a place where full-time unpaid or badly paying internships are generously in place. In this environment, it’s hard to figure how any new journalism school graduates can ever expect to make it in their area of study without wealthy, supportive parents. The hope, I guess, is that they will be the one-in-a-thousand shooting star — the intern who gets hired as staff (I am glad to say that at this newspaper, there are a happy number of those.)

Last week I went for lunch with the woman currently interning with me. She is only 21 years old, the youngest helping hand I have had yet. She asked me what it was like when I was her age and freelancing, and I told her, contritely, about making enough to live in my own apartment as a music journalist writing for some very marginal publications in the early 1990s. Even to my ears, it sounded like a spun-up tale from a fantasy universe.

We discussed her pitches and talked about her plans — should she move to New York? Should she start a blog? And I didn’t say the thing, my standard cold-water rinse, about having a backup career plan outside of print journalism. Because to me, this girl looked like someone who could be the one-in-a-thousand. So sometimes it’s best to keep your statistics to yourself.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Article: Healthy Business Tips

Improving Leadership through the Brain-to-
Belly Nerve

Business Execs Should Embrace Mind-Body-Business
Connection, Says Veteran Consultant; Offers Tips

You’ve heard the expressions: “He lost his nerve;” “He doesn’t have the stomach for it;” “No guts.” 

“As it turns out, those expressions are anatomically accurate,” says Dr. Stephen Josephs. “The nerve that you lose when you’re afraid is the vagus nerve, which runs from the belly to the brain. It transmits messages about whether the world is a safe or dangerous place. What we now know about the functioning of this nerve has direct applications making leaders more effective and all of us happier and more courageous.”

Josephs, author of the new book, “Dragons at Work,” (, teaches executives how to reliably create states of optimal performance by achieving control of the vagus nerve. When making decisions about resources, leading teams or talking with the board of directors, courage and poise in the face of rapidly changing business environments are essential for a leader.

“Rather than losing your nerve, you can strengthen it. Courage is a skill you can learn and a capacity you can systematically build. The vagus nerve has been linked to everything from digestion issues to stress and depression,” he says. “A benefit of inner body balance includes the projection of true poise; authentic confidence from a leader is what can create a business culture that breeds financial success because employees and clients trust the person in charge to make important decisions from a stable perspective.”

Using specific techniques from martial arts, meditation and other mind-body disciplines, Dr. Josephs guides executives to build resourcefulness and courage as a habitual response to challenge.

He offers tips for business executives to promote a healthy, vagus nerve-friendly environment:
• When angry or afraid, take a high quality breath: People might tell an agitated person to “take a breath,” but it’s the quality of the breath that makes all the difference. For someone who has practiced breathing has wired in an automatic relaxation response, one breath immediately begins to calm them. To practice do this when you’re not under stress: As you inhale, relax your belly and the muscles of your torso, and soften your muscles on the inhale. On the exhale become still. Widen your peripheral vision – take in more of the room, and rest in a more wide open awareness. At this point, your vagus nerve will be sending you messages that the world is a safe place and your ability to respond intelligently will be greatly enhanced.
• Move forward with a relaxed vagus nerve. Now, in a calmer, more resourceful and masterful state, you can apply a saner perspective to a variety of tasks: connect with employees; complete the agenda; let good ideas emerge from employees, with less pressure from management, so they affirm their own competencies. Acknowledge what’s already working well by giving individuals and teams credit. Enjoy your work, knowing that whatever emerges, you can handle it.
• Get over thyself and lighten up: See how much you can accomplish with the least amount of force. And drop self-importance. Remember, unless you’re Donald Trump or Miss Piggy and self-aggrandizement is part of your brand identity, it’s bad for business. It introduces unnecessary noise into the system and distorts communication. Drop self-importance and you’ll hear critical bad news faster, and people will trust that you can handle it.
About Dr. Stephen Josephs
With more than 30 years experience as an executive coach and consultant, Stephen Josephs, Ed. D, helps leaders build vitality and focus to make their companies profitable – and great places to work. His doctorate at the University of Massachusetts focused on Aesthetics in Education: how to teach anything through art, music, drama and movement. Josephs is particularly interested in the intersection of business performance, psychology and mind/body disciplines. His new novel, "Dragons at Work," tells the story of a tightly wound executive – a fictionalized case study of coaching that produces fundamental changes in a leader. Josephs has also co-authored "Leadership Agility: Five Levels of Mastery in Anticipating and Initiating Change" (Jossey-Bass, 2006) with Bill Joiner, which shows how certain stages of psychological development affect leadership.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Yale/ offensive African-themed party/ human trafficking

Oct. 7 Yale: I read this in the Metro today: “Culprit dubbed ‘poopetrator’ at a Yale college.”  There has been at least 4 incidents where someone has been ruining students’ laundry buy putting their human feces inside clothes dryers.  Here’s more:

"Now people are standing watch in the laundry room, so it's been kind of a campus wide phenomenon at this point," said Yaman. "But hopefully one day they catch the person."

I thought that was weird because this is happening at this good and prestigious college.  The person who is doing this seem really stupid and immature.  I don’t know why.  Maybe the prankster didn’t get accepted into Yale and he’s committing revenge this way.  I don’t know.

Oct. 11 Charity: I was reading in the Metro on Oct. 10, 2013 that NAIT students have deboned 60 turkeys for the weekend meal at the Boyle Street charity.

The University of  Alberta are hoping to raise $2,500 for the Canadian Breast Cancer foundation by playing big pink kin-balls.  

Oct. 21 Breakfast Club: Nivea donates $25,000 to the Breakfast Club of Canada so kids can eat breakfast.  1 in 7 children in Canada lives in poverty. 
Oct. 23 Charity pizza: I put this on my Facebook status update: 

Buy a Smile Pizza at Pizza 73 from Oct. 14-Nov. 10 and a portion of the proceeds will go to the Stollery Children's Hospital Foundation. 

The Tenors: The Metro news is giving a contest so fans can see the musical group the Tenors.  They recorded a song called “I Thank You” for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada.  50 cents of each digital download will go to the charity.

Habitat for Humanity: I was reading in the Metro on Oct. 18, 2013 that this charity is not only building homes, but also making it more energy- efficient. 

Don Iveson: I’m sure all of you learned that the new Edmonton mayor is Don Iveson.  I voted for Karen Leibovici because I think a woman should be the mayor.  She seems to have a lot of experience.  Well Iveson is my second choice.  

One of his campaign team did call my house over the weekend to see if I would vote for him.  I told the woman that he was my second choice.  Lol. 

Offensive African-themed party: I found this on Yahoo news.  There were photos of a white Australian woman who threw a 21st African-themed party.  The first photo is a KKK member with 3 black-faced guys.  People saw the photos on Facebook and were offended by it.  Here is the woman’s apology:

“Okay don’t even know how to use tumblr but wanted to clarify this.
It was my ‘African themed’ party and it was honestly made that theme because I have always wanted to go to Africa (to teach english) but haven’t made it there yet. In no way was this party intended to hurt anyones feelings or upset anyone at all. In fact as you can tell from the photos I dressed up as cleopatra, whilst MAJORITY of my guests came as animals, that can be found in africa or wore traditional african clothes or even dressed up as famous people who come from africa. If anything this was to celebrate the amazing country and people. However, some guest did decide to paint themselves, although this was in no way my intention or encouraged in the slightest. I understand that this has offended some people and I have no idea how these photos have even been seen, they were simply put on facebook for my guests to see the photos of themselves. I am 100% sure that parties would be held that would be ‘Australian themed’ or American themed or even countries of the world, and in that instance I don’t believe anyone would be offended. People wear oktoberfest cotumes to parties and no one cracks it that they are not German? So what I am saying is I do understand the people who have painted themselves have offended people, although none of them intended that…. but how can people be annoyed that the majority of the people at the party were celebrating another countries culture.

Also one of my friends who is Mauritian painted himself white, but that photos didn’t make it to this page along with the MAJORITY of people who were amazingly detailed costumes that no one could take offense to!! I am sure that not one person at my party felt upset that said guest painted himself white as it was not meant in that way at all.

Also, I have NEVER been asked to take these photos down, however if I had of course I would have done so, as I had no idea that anyone other than friends and guests could see these photos, and to be honest I am not a racist person at all so I didn’t think anyone could possibly take it that way. I intend to spend 2 months teaching english in cambodia in January, and cant wait to do the same in Africa. If you will still have me.
To reiterate, I was cleopatra and did not encourage my guest to wear anything racist simply to come as something African Inspired, much like if you went to an australia day party (Which I am 100% sure people of all races and cultures do every year!!!)

Again I am sorry for those I have offended and the photos have now been removed now that I have eventually been made aware people were upset. For those who know me at all you would know the last thing in the world I would want to do would be to offend people.”

Yahoo comments:

Sean: Well, ask an American to throw a "Mexican themed" party and see what you get.

LK: Avoid African-themed parties. Avoid talking to strangers. Avoid crossing the street. Avoid throwing an apple core into a forest. Avoid giving life. Avoid writing to the editor. Avoid petting your neighbour's dog. Avoid caring for people. Avoid voting. Avoid reading books. Avoid shaking hands. Avoid leaving. Avoid imagination. Avoid creation. Avoid recreation. Avoid tying your shoes. Avoid leaving your shoes untied. Avoid collecting. Avoid disposing. Avoid speaking your mind. Avoid timidity. Avoid riding the metro. Avoid hugging. Avoid lighting candles. Avoid protest. Avoid concurrence. Avoid dreams. Avoid reality. Avoid Avoid, avoid, avoid.... This society has become too cantankerous for it's own good.

My opinion: I read the apology and it seems sincere.  I think some of the party-goers are really stupid to be dressed like that.  When I write for my blog, and I am about to say something that may be offensive to some people, I always give a forewarning like: “I was watching MADtv and it’s funny and dark.  You may be offended by it, so here it is:”

I always thought I was considerate, but you can’t always predict or control the consequences.  I will mention again like that time I offended my friend by accident when I thought I was telling a light and fun joke.  It wasn’t about race, gender, sexual orientation, politics, or a controversial topic, so that’s why I thought I could say it.  She was offended, so now I am even more cautious.

I do agree with LK’s comment, but I am careful and thoughtful.

Human trafficking: I was reading in Metro on Oct. 18, 2013.  The Chrysalis Anti-human Trafficking Network launched a website called  It says on the poster “ is not real, but human trafficking is.”  It’s a good website.  It talks about how to protect your kids. 

There is an indicators part of the site to notice signs in your child.  Your child is either becomes really confident and wears provocative clothes, or also suddenly depressed and fearful.

The signs in your neighborhood if you see someone denied food, water, healthcare.  A house seems to get a lot of traffic, especially at night.

Woman Sting: I read this in Metro on Oct. 18, 2013.  Woman Sting is a self-defence ring for the Save my Sister campaign in Sept.  It was created after the New Delhi gang rape.  “The ring comes with a micro needle, and pump, and a takn filled partly with Capsaicin, a chemical compound that is a component of chili peppers.”  The four men are sentenced to hanging for the rape and murder of a New Delhi woman.

Fetus in bag: I found this in Metro.  It was about 2 teen girls at Victoria’s Secret and they were stopped by a security guard.  There was a fetus in one of the bags and the girl said she was pregnant and gave birth.  She didn’t know what to do with it.  In this article, it says she gave birth at the other girl’s house.  It’s still kind of vague.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

script writing/ my emails & blog

Oct. 21: This will be a kind of mental health email.  It’s self-analysis and assessment.  It will also touch on business and writing.  I usually keep business and writing separate, but I want to combine these two together so I can figure out what kind of writing career I can get.  I was at the Grant MacEwan Professional Communications website (previously called Professional Writing.)

Scriptwriting: I’m going to say it.  I have lost motivation and enthusiasm for this.  From the years of 14 yrs old to 22yrs old I was writing scripts while going to school.  I had to finish gr. 9, graduate out of high school, upgrade a year, then a year at NAIT, then 2 years in Professional Writing.

During my last semester in Professional Writing, I started pitching my script The Vertex Fighter.  (Back then it was called The Fighter.)  I worked full-time at the Soup place and did look for an office job.  However, I was mainly putting all my time and effort into looking for TV production companies in Canada, and pitching it to them.  I was also busy rewriting and editing my script.  

I have worked for 8yrs (14-22 yrs old) towards the goal of finishing all my schooling so I can have the Professional Writing diploma on my resume, to pitch my script.

I spent 2008-2009 intensely pitching and working on my script in my spare time.  There’s 2 yrs of constant work.  I kept pitching for 4 months of 2010: The Year of Unemployment.  The other 8 months was where I was constantly looking for a job and applying to places to work at.  The script has to be put in the back burner.

2011: The Year of the Office Job Search is where I was constantly going to lots of job interviews.  I did complete a 43 page script for this TV series.  It took me a month to write it.  It’s not until like maybe a year later, the producer said they weren’t going to produce the script.  That’s fine.

2012: The Year of New Directions.  I did start applying to all the TV production companies in Edmonton to work at.  If anyone remembers, I did do an interview for one in 2008.  I only met a couple of producers to do interviews in 2012.  I got more hours at the restaurant and did some temporary jobs like Telemarketer #1 and Telemarketer #2.

2013: I only sent my script to be read by one producer.  I had to look over my notes.

Obstacles: I know that getting a TV movie script produced was going to be hard.  I didn’t expect instant success that it will be produced.  I knew it was going to be a lot of time and effort of me sitting in front of the computer looking for production companies to pitch to.  It was good if one producer even reads the script.

Oct. 22 Professional Communications: Here is the Grant MacEwan website for this program.  Back when I took it in 2006-2008, there weren’t these 3 majors.  You either take it for 2 yrs to get a diploma or you go in 4 yrs to get a bachelor’s degree.

There wasn’t a Strategic Communications class.  At least not in the first 2 yrs I took it.  There was Technical Communications as an elective.  The only Editing and Publishing was the Proofreading and Copyediting class in 2nd yr.  That was a required class. 


The professional communications stream has three majors, allowing you to choose what you want to do based on what you like to do! Wondering what kind of career tasks would be included in each stream?

Strategic communications
  • research, plan and deliver key messages and campaigns to move people to action
  • manage complex communications processes in a range of industries, including government, health care, education, private sector and non-profit agencies
  • understand and respond to mass communications needs and trends
Technical communications
  • research and write for specialized audiences in the sciences, health, education, business and industry
  • write instruction manuals, policies, procedures and educational materials, both individually and as part of a team
  • use industry standard software
Editing and publishing
  • improve communications by checking for correctness, concision and clarity
  • edit and manage publications (books and magazines, online and print)
  • understand and navigate the publishing process

Communications professionals are in high demand and the types of jobs you can do are almost endless. Here’s just a sample:

Strategic communications
  • publicist or agent (managing other peoples’ reputations)
  • media relations officer (dealing with the media)
  • communications consultant (providing communications advice)
  • strategic planner (planning what to say, to whom, when and how)
  • advertising copy writer (creating copy that makes people want to buy things)
  • information service coordinator (writing, managing and producing documents)
Technical communications
  • manual writer (telling people how to do things: safety, education, instructions, etc.)
  • instructional designer (writing content for courses)
  • computer software manual writer (explaining how to get software to do what people want it to)
  • policies and procedures writer (writing rules)
  • technical descriptions writer (explaining complex ideas simply)
Editing and publishing
  • book publisher or editor (creating books from manuscripts)
  • magazine publisher or editor (creating magazines from articles and photographs)
  • production editor (overseeing the physical production of a book or magazine)
  • technical editor (making sure the complex copy is technically correct)
  • web content editor (making sure copy going on a website is correct and appropriate)
  • news editor – broadcasting (making sure what goes on the news is correct and appropriate)

Feedback: I would like your guy’s feedback.  What career should I go into?

My emails & blog: I want to say that I can not give a 100% time and effort into my emails/ blog.  I give my best effort at work because I get paid.  I look for a job and go to job interviews and give it my all.  I’m not a perfectionist.  Some of my writing will be good, or at least good enough.  Writing is subjective.  I can’t please everybody with my emails.  I know and I can guess some of your thoughts on it.  Correct me if I’m wrong:   

“I like reading the business emails because I can learn about careers from her job articles.”

“I don’t like reading the business emails, because they are not as fun and entertaining as the fun jokes email.”

“I don’t like reading the fun email, I rather read the news emails because she can always find interesting news.”

"I don’t like the news emails because it’s too serious and sad.  I rather read her writing emails where she analyzes TV shows and movies.”

The thing is though, is that I write for myself first.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

human ecologist/ journalism

Oct. 17 Human ecologist: I was reading the Edmonton Journal that had an “Edge” education section on Oct. 11, 2013.  There was an article about being a human ecologist.  That sounded like someone in a lab and scientific.  I then read the article and it’s more psychological and helping people.  I went to OCCinfo:

Human ecologists use a holistic, preventative approach to help people optimally manage their daily lives. For example, they may develop and deliver programs on a wide range of topics:
  • parenting
  • intimate relationships
  • financial management
  • community leadership
  • meal planning and food choices
  • small business development
  • marketing and public relations
  • textiles and clothing production and consumption
  • life skills and lifestyle management
  • career planning. 
Human ecologists may:
  • provide leadership for organizational and community development
  • advise and coach individuals on career development, lifestyle management and personal image
  • conduct research on the impact of public policy on children and families
  • link individuals and families with community resources
  • provide leadership in delivering family and youth support services
  • work as specialists in nutrition education and promotion, food preparation and food safety
  • specialize in fashion merchandising, protective clothing design, apparel design or production, interior decorating, textile science or quality control testing 
  • teach and advise adults and children regarding life skills.
Then I looked at more of the education requirements and it’s a Bachelor of Science.

Alberta College of Art and Design: There was also an ad for this school.  It’s in Calgary.  There are lots of art programs in Edmonton like at University of Alberta and Grant MacEwan University.  NAIT has more like Digital Media and Graphic Communications.  The website does look good.

Oct.18: Today I dropped off my resume at a Halloween costume store.  They said they were hiring.  There’s a couple of weeks of Oct. left.  I always ask myself: “Am I doing enough?”  As in am I achieving enough?  I work 30- something hours a week, I can probably do a little part-time job.

What am I afraid of?  A lame job experience.  If it’s bad, well then again it’s only temporary.

Journalism: Maybe I should go into journalism.  It’s probably because I’ve been reading so much of the newspaper since I got laid off in 2010.  Then I got a job at my restaurant and I just kept reading the news.  It’s not too much of a stretch for me because it’s still writing, and the Journalism program is a companion program to Professional Writing at Grant MacEwan.

What am I afraid of?  I think The Simpsons joke puts it best:

News reporter: I’m from the newspaper.
Grandpa Simpson (laughs): What?  The newspaper?!  That’s going to die before I do!

Lol.  Yes, the lack of job security.   I did some research on Grant MacEwan.  There are a few courses that seem to about news online and on TV.  The courses listed here seem to be 3rd yr courses.

“BCSC 311: Online Journalism

This course examines the production of knowledge within the field of online journalism. It builds on students’ experience of creating online news in other courses and compares it with the challenges and realities of professional journalists around the world. Students examine the production processes in newsrooms and the evolving impact of technological developments on those processes such as verification of fact and inclusion of user-generated content. They examine the ideals and values of journalism and contrast them with actual journalistic practices, questioning whether those practices reinforce dominant cultural/social/political/economic influence.”

“BCSC 312- Multimedia News Production

This course introduces students to the best practices and principles of multimedia news production. Students create interactive stories and engaging online news features under deadline and working in a convergent newsroom environment. They analyze online readership behaviours to design user-friendly multimedia news products. They also manage and deploy user-generated content.”

Feelings: Now I’m getting a flashback of the days when I used to watch Dr. Phil.  In his opening credits he says: “I want you to get excited about your life!”  Now that I have gone to the journalism website and read this, I’m getting more enthusiastic.

“Journalism is a huge field with loads of career options. Here’s just a few of the cool things you could do:

Columnists write regular features for newspapers and online publications often on specific topics such as:
  • arts and entertainment
  • fashion
  • sports
  • current events
  • civic affairs
A reporter’s job is to track down the facts on a news story and then present those facts to the public. Reporters will sometimes specialize in specific areas such as:
  • features
  • financial
  • investigative
  • network
  • foreign affairs
  • cyberreporting
Critic or reviewer
Critics and reviewers specialize in the evaluation and appreciation of literary or artistic works, forming an opinion and then sharing that opinion with the public. Works can include:
  • books
  • music
  • movies
  • art
  • film
Broadcasters share news and information over airwaves and through networks such as radio, television and websites. Broadcaster roles include:
  • news anchor
  • news analyst
  • radio commentator
  • foreign news correspondent
  • sports announcer
  • website and blog writer”

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Mad trippin'/ charity/ Xie's story

Oct. 9 Mad trippin’: I found this Globe and Mail article on Dec. 29, 2012.  It’s called “2012 Hall of Infamy Awards” by Doug McArthur.  It’s pretty funny.  I found the full article here:

Here are my favorites: 

The Writing is on the Wall Award
… goes to Mathew Davis, a British Airways steward who hoped to win a promotion by performing calmly in a crisis. During a flight to Tokyo from London, he scribbled a bomb threat on the back of a toilet door, then alerted fellow crew members. After the plane had landed safely, the captain asked Davis to submit a written report on the incident. His handwriting matched that on the door. He was fired, arrested and sent to jail.

The Go Fly a Kite Award
… goes to British billionaire Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Atlantic Airways. On a trip to Vancouver to launch new flights to London, he met with B.C. Premier Christy Clark and invited her to go kite surfing with him. On a blog posted later, he added that she would have to be naked. The Premier called his remarks disrespectful. “Someone said to me as a joke,” she quipped, “that if that’s his best pickup line, then maybe there’s a reason he called his company Virgin.”

Good news: In the Globe and Mail on Sept. 19, 2013, there is a article called “Best-before Buffet” by Andrew Ryan.  Broadcaster French 24 says there is a restaurant in Copenhagen that specializes in making dishes that are made from food that is about to be thrown away in supermarkets.  The restaurant is called Rub og Stub and translates to “lock, stock and barrel.”  It’s run by volunteers and the proceeds go to charity.

On the menu, it says they serve meat patties with red cabbage.

Oct. 16 Robin Thicke: Today is my day off and after doing my productive work, I can treat myself to a little fun.  Robin Thicke was on Oprah’s Next Chapter and I don’t have OWN.  I follow RT on Twitter and I got this link to his interview.  I was listening to 91.7 The Bounce radio and they played a clip of it.

Twerking: RT was performing with Miley Cyrus on MTV Music Video Awards.  I haven’t seen the entire performance.  I just watched a few clips here and there when it was on TV, with pictures.  RT talks about how he was recording the song “Blurred Lines” in the studio and Miley was in another studio.  She came over and listened to the song and was dancing and twerking to it.  That is how she dances.  When RT was performing on stage, he says he wasn’t thinking about sex and more about fun in performing.

Blurred Lines: He discusses how his wife actress Paula Patton thought about the controversial music video.  There is an interview where she says the video is fun and campy.  RT says she was a little jealous, but it’s healthy just like how he got jealous when he saw the Two Guns love scene that Patton was in.

Marriage: RT talks about how 20 years with his wife Paula.  They known each other since they were teens.  He says they are like any other regular couple.  They have in common that they are big huggers and kissers, and have an energy.

His son: He talks about his 3 yr old son Julian Fuego who wants to be a singer.  Julian says things like: “This song is for the radio and this song is for the album.”  In the 1:18 sec part, Julian is singing with a microphone and he is walking around in circles on the stage.  The band is playing.  Lol.

RT says: “He says ‘I wuv you daddy.”  Aww…

Charity: I read that Taylor Swift opened her $4 million Taylor Swift Education Centre at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.  There’s a classroom, hands-on instrument room and ongoing education opportunities.  That’s good.

This is more of a fighting crime one: I was reading in the Metro on Oct. 15, 2013, that “Rihanna’s tweets lead to arrest of bar owner.”  Rihanna was in Thailand and tweeted an Instagram photo with her and a protected primate.  She mentioned about this place that had naked dancers and the bar owner was arrested for obscenity and operating and entertainment venue without a license.

Oprah on Fresh Prince of Bel-Air: It must be the law of attraction, because I was watching Robin Thicke on Oprah today.  Then in the afternoon I was checking to see what’s on The Simpsons on MuchMusic, and I see that Oprah is on the old sitcom Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.  The ep was about the Banks’s family going on Oprah because the dad is planning on being a judge.  Will is upset because he’s not able to get on the show and has to sit in the audience.  However, he does ask questions on the microphone.  It was kind of funny.  

Oct. 18: More charity news:

Miley Cyrus: I read in the Metro on Oct. 15, 2013, that Miley Cyrus’s broken engagement with Liam Hemsworth.  She found some of his clothes in her house and donated it to a local charity store that benefits people with AIDS and HIV.

Stephen Chalmers: Also in the same newspaper: “B.C. man thankful for help getting trailer.”  Stephen Chalmers was suffering from depression and his leaky 1989 trailer is too old and broken down to be accepted by other trailer parks.  His sister Marilyn Chase and Metro created a fundraising campaign for $5000 to buy a used and newer trailer.  They got to $4,660.  Now he has to find a trailer that doesn’t leak for the amount of money.  Chalmers thanked everybody and also wants to say there are 8 other tenants in the park who need help too.

Geena Davis: She played Thelma in Thelma and Louise.  She was at Canadian Women’s foundation annual fundraising breakfast in Calgary.  She discusses how there are males to females on TV, that’s still 3:1.  She wants more women and girls on TV and not just stereotypes, sexualized, and in the background.
$620,000 was raised for the Canadian Women’s foundation, and 25% of it went to the long-term flood relief in Calgary.

War Horse: In Sept., the play about a young Albert and his horse Joey set in pre-first World War England.  One of the actors James Retter Duncan is one of the actors playing the horse at the Jubilee auditorium.  I saw a promo for it on TV and I thought the horses looked so real.  They really moved and snorted, and carried the riders.

Coca-cola apology: This was in the Metro on Sept. 19, 2013 “Coca-Cola apologizes to family for ‘you retard’ on bottle cap.  An Alberta woman Blake Loates opened her Vitamin Water bottle and the bottle cap said ‘you retard.’  The company was to put one random English word and one random French word.  “Retard” means late or delayed in French.  The Coca-Cola Refreshment Canada director of brand communications Shannon Denny says: “We did not mean to offend at all.”

They said they will draft a formal apology letter to the Loates family.  Blake’s younger sister Fiona has cerebral palsy and autism.

My opinion: I think it was really an accident and that sounded like a genuine apology.

Oct. 20 Xie’s story: I came home from work and my grandma was watching a Chinese newsmagazine show called Guangdong Today.  There were English subtitles so I read along.  They profiled this man who looks like he’s in his 60s or 70s.  He has adopted 8 kids.  3 of them died young.  2 of his daughters got married.  Another got married.  He has one daughter that he spoon feeds all her meals.  He is poor, but he adopted those kids because life is important to him.  He pays for their education and food by begging for money.

In 2008, there was an earthquake in China and he found out about the Red Cross.  He needed relief efforts, but he went there to donate all his money to it.  The secretary- general who works there told him to keep his money because he’s poor.  They decided to take some of the money like 200 yuan.  Later the roads opened and he donated 4 quilts and 4 big boxes of ramen noodles.

My opinion: I think it’s great that he’s adopting and helping his kids.  However, I’m also about helping yourself first before you help others.  Like in 2005-2007, I donated like $600 in total though I made less than $10,000 each year.  You guys maybe thinking: “That’s a lot.  You’re generous, but you should save money for yourself.”

My parents told me that too, like my tax receipt isn’t going to make that much of a difference since I don’t make a lot of money.  However, I can still redeem this in another tax year because it doesn’t expire.  So I don’t really donate to charity.  I just go on and it’s affiliates to donate for free.