Tag Archives: Master of Communication

A long overdue update

Wow hey hi it sure has been a year and a day since my last update, huh…

Yeah, I know, right, I graduated with the Master of Communication (with Distinction, I shall have you all know), so why have I been so quiet?

Thing is, as well as the MComm, I also have a Master of Depressive Brainweasels, which is to say that I spent most of the latter half of 2016 and the beginning of 2017 struggling to do All The Things. Finish the MComm! Get The Fear Collectors self-published as part of that! Start a new full-time job in a different department in September! The list goes on; I’ve been feeling like someone is periodically dropping bricks of pure condensed stress on my head. Hoppy ship, as my friend Iggy would say. But a year is far too long for anyone to leave their website unattended. I had to clean spam out of the corners before I could post.

So! Here are some writing news updates from me.

I have a new psychologist (well, she was new in September, she’s less new now). That’s not a writing update per se, but she’s told me I have to accept compliments, even if it’s just with a ‘thank you’. So when people say nice things about me, I have to at least say ‘thank you’. It makes me think about the things they say, even if what I think is ‘augh, they’re just saying that because I was stupid enough to mention the compliments thing and they’re checking to see how often I can accept a compliment before I explode in a burst of tightly contained self-deprecation’.

This includes writing compliments. Compliments like seeing my story ‘Tea Party’, from Defying Doomsday, on the very-long-list for the Aurealis Awards. It didn’t come near the shortlist, but someone who was not me liked it enough to put it there. Plus Defying Doomsday itself is up for Best Anthology, and ‘Did We Break the End of the World?’ by Tansy Rayner Roberts is up for Best YA Short Story and Best SF Novella, which makes me absurdly happy for her. I’m genuinely just happy that someone thought of me to put me in the list at all.

Thank you.

Compliments like seeing ‘Tea Party’ again on the super-long-list for the Ditmar Awards, along with The Fear Collectors–again, because someone who was not me put them there.

Thank you.

And compliments like when I asked A.C. (Andi) Buchanan if I might submit to Capricious three days after the deadline. They said yes, as long as I had the MS ready, which I hurled at them (via email, not physically) about thirty seconds later. The real compliment being that ‘Island, Ocean’ was accepted and will be published in the Gender Diverse Pronouns issue of Capricious, due out in October.

Thank you, Andi. I promise not to be an authorzilla.

And thank you everyone who supports me in so many ways with my writing. I will try to keep doing it, because on the days where my brain is buried cerebellum-deep in weasels and fog, those compliments can be the one thing that keeps them at bay.

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Transformative Works and Creative Commons

The following post was my final assignment for Law and Regulation in Communication at RMIT, semester one 2015. This particular assignment got 92%. It’s about copyright, transformative works, and creative commons. I had an inordinate amount of fun writing it.

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Uni update: Semester One 2015

Semester one 2015 starts next week, and I have finally wrangled my subjects into some sort of order. I’m doing Public Relations Writing, and Law & Regulation for Comms. I haven’t checked out PR Writing much yet (I don’t even know which room it’s in, oops), but I’m rolling around in delight at the L&R stuff. Social media! Parody and defamation! Intellectual property!

This is gonna be fun.

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Stirring the subject stew

When I was doing my BA, back in 2002-2004, I planned out my whole three year course, subject by subject, from the subject handbook available at the start of 2002. I stuck to it exactly except for one subject that got cancelled (it was an editing subject, and I was furious).

If I could go back I would maybe have ditched the Italian (I did it from Prep to year 12, minus year 9, which was the year of the class trip to Italy. I was the best in year 12 and the worst in first year uni), and done some more Linguistics or something. Maybe a Science subject of some description.

For my Grad Dip in Editing and Publishing it was all a set course so I did what I was told.

Now I’m doing the MComm and things have gone all skew-whiff. I had this plan mapped out. Year One, Semester One was fine (although Story, Genre, Medium was more screenplay-based than I thought). Year One, Semester Two went half-wrong because I disliked Electronic Publishing, so I ditched it and used recognition of prior learning to not have to find a make-up subject at five weeks into semester.

Everything I planned for Years Two and Three is stuffed because, of the ~18 electives offered for the MComm when I started the course in 2014, there are only 4 being offered in 2015, and I’m only interested in one of them. So I’ve been emailing around, and now the outline for the next two years looks like this:

Year Two

Semester One

COMM1179 Law and Regulation
???

Semester Two

COMM1229 Media And The Law (if it’s not too similar to Law and Regulation)
???

Year Three

Whatever’s compulsory by then, IDK
???
Profit?

Normally I’d be panicking if something I had planned out this much was as uncertain as this now is. I’ve always liked it when things go according to plan (although I would also love a surprise party or holiday!). But in the last few years I’ve had some massive ups and downs in my work life and personal life. I now work in three different roles at my workplace and I’ve been in and out of hospital with depression. These things have, I think, made me more adaptable to change.

Also more determined to figure out how the fuck to get the mail merges I do for the finance department to display response dates Australian style, as per the spreadsheet they’re drawing from, instead of American style, which I have to manually change each time, but that’s another story.

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Why Australian editors should get used to the singular ‘they’.

The below post is the oral presentation I gave for Editing Principles and Practice on the 16th of October 2014. It was very well received and earned an HD (High Distinction). Our assignment was to choose any editing-related topic, interview someone relevant to the topic (I spoke to two people), and give a six minute presentation with at least three references. I stuck to the overall theme of transgender representation in the media from semester one and focused on one of my favourite topics: pronouns.

(Yes, I am aware I am an immense geek.)

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MComm update – July 2014

I got a Credit for Story, Genre, and Medium — I nearly got a Distinction, but my non-fiction screenplay wasn’t quite as amazing and wonderful as my fiction screenplay, which is only to be expected because I’m a fiction writer, not a non-fiction writer.

Except maybe not, because I got a High Distinction for Professional Research and Evaluation, and that’s the non-fictioniest non-fiction you can get, really. I blame it on my passion for proper media representation of GSMs — that’s Gender and Sexual Minorities and is the quickest way of saying trans and bi and asexual and intersex and lesbian and gay and… well, you get the idea. (My preferred term is QUILTBAG or just queer, but I’m toying with GSM as a more academic-sounding term. Although writing a paper on ‘giblets’ would be fabulous.)

I really have to commend Dr. Jonathan Smith as a lecturer and tutor for this subject. He referred to us all as ‘researchers’ throughout the semester, and by the end of the semester I felt I’d earned the title with his guidance and suggestions for how to take my personal interests and tighten the focus on them to make the basis for a research paper.

I’m two weeks into second semester now. My two subjects are Electronic Publishing and Editing Principles and Practice. Both are nice small classes (I think the enrolment cap was 30?). I’m enjoying Editing immensely as a refresher for skills I learned when I did the Grad Dip in Editing and Publishing; I was glad to see that my copyediting skills haven’t declined too much. (I love Track Changes in MS Word, but boy oh boy is it not the same as pen and paper editing!) Electronic Publishing is interesting and one assignment involves website creation, so my vague ideas of learning CSS ‘one day’ might need to get kicked up a notch.

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Continuum X and MComm update

I got an email. It says to dress nicely for the Awards Night part of the Continuum X convention.

No, I didn’t secretly pull a Beyoncé and publish something and then get awarded a Ditmar without telling you all. (As if I could.) It’s rather lower-key than that. But it’s a thing. A good thing. I will post less mysteriously about it after the night.

As far as Continuum X goes, I’m a panelist on four panels covering a range of topics: The Big Bang Theory, Writing Fanfic, Othered Sexuality, and the Gets Personal panel at which I’ll be talking about my experiences with mental illness and queer sexuality. (As two separate topics, I must stress!) I also plan to be all over the place in between those things. If you want to find me, it’s probably safer to tweet at me or something, because I have over two thousand spam comments on this blog and no idea how to filter the fuckers.

And as far as uni goes, I’m nearly done with the first semester of the MComm. So far I’ve had a mixture of marks for the Research subject but also the feedback that my project topic (how the media represent transgender people and how they could do it better) will make a great Masters final project (there was mention of it being PhD material; I tried not to hide under a table). My fiction screenplay treatment was well received (Distinction!) and I got told I was gifted, so my ego is now offering early morning hot-air balloon rides over the city.

It’s still only the start of what will be a long journey, but I’m feeling pretty good.

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Complexly inferior

I have my first class for Story, Genre, and Medium tomorrow (yeah, I am sticking to the subject plan I made months ago, as far as possible). It’s actually a two-day intensive workshop. At which, I fear, I will be unmasked as the total fraud that I am.

There’s a discussion board for what people want to achieve with their storytelling, what message they want to send out. Other people have said things about capitalism, asylum seekers, and other big important topics.

My post on there basically boils down to ‘um duh hi I write book’.

I shall continue to hope that there will be other people who are just out to tell a story in the subject, since not everyone who is in the subject has posted to this discussion board (I know this because more people have posted in the intros thread than in this other thread and I can still manage basic mathematics even if I can’t break my stories down into political soundbites).

Or I could turn up tomorrow in my Bazinga t-shirt and earnestly tell everyone why Chuck Lorre needs a punch in the junk.

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Everything is coming up Lauren!

I’m officially enrolled in the Master of Communication at RMIT, commencing in 2014, with the exact classes I wanted. It only took a couple of login attempts (my account got locked on my first attempt!) and a mad scramble for my birth certificate, but it’s all done.

Also, my first novel is currently in the hands of the lovely and capable Vanessa Lanaway, who will be shredding it to bits (I hope!) and then we’ll see what rises from the, um, bits of shredded paper. (That got away from me a bit.)

I’m terrified about these big things, but I’m definitely excited, and that’s the main thing.

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Accepted!

I put my application in for the Master of Communication at RMIT just a couple of days ago. I wasn’t expecting a reply until after the 31st of October, when applications close.

Instead, I got an email this afternoon to say that I’ve been accepted and my information pack is in the post!

I am super excited for this opportunity and looking forward to getting back to studying.

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