Monday, October 20, 2014

The X Factor

Many people will be talking about Marlisa's win on The X Factor last night, and therefore I will. I had a beef, and have that very same beef with young contestants on these types of shows. Marlisa is undoubtedly a good singer, and developed during the course of the show into a fine performer, and I am happy for her and her family, (and for Ronan who finally cracked a win after 5 years) but...

Marlisa's age was constantly referred to during the competition which gave her an unfair advantage over the other contestants. It was used to excuse poor performances and to garner sympathy. Secondly, this young lady clearly struggled more than others with the emotional strain of being on The X Factor. It may only be a television show but the contestants work very hard, and are under a lot of pressure and public scrutiny. I don't think children should be subjected to such stress. Thirdly, I felt uncomfortable watching Marlisa: dressing beyond her years, and singing songs with which she could not possibly have had any emotional connection.

I wish her well, and I am happy for her success, but...

Any thoughts on young contestants on TV shows?

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Reader's Flow

Here's a reading update in case you missed my statuses on Facebook and/or you don't follow me on Goodreads. I just finished Meditations by Marcus Aurelias (long, repetitive and hard to read but very interesting and thought provoking), and The Many Loves of Marriage by Thomas and Nanette Kinkade (a lemonade and apple pie look a marriage with lots of inspirational analogies and anecdotes)

I added Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express and The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner to my exclusive 'to read' (only 20 places available). I started reading The Four Loves by my favourite author, C.S.Lewis, and I purchased Never by Crash Froelich to read on my phone.

Writing? How's the writing going, I hear you ask. Nothing to report. 

What are you reading at the moment?

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Rain Storm

Still on my mind this morning is the rain storm which hit Sydney and Wollongong during the week, and in particular the interview conducted with a home owner after a flash flood destroyed his home, endangering his life and the lives of his wife and children.

His description of what happened was delivered so matter of factly that it was clear he was still in shock. In the blink of an eye their situation worsened from a little water coming in under the door to a raging torrent smashing down the door and filling their house almost to the ceiling.

They managed to escape with some assistance from their neighbours as the water rose to knee level. They were lucky. The house was a complete mess. Imagine the contents of your home thrown into a mud filled tumble dryer.

This story reminds me again of the fragility of our lives, and the God given resilience of people to fight back from and overcome adversity. We are both weaker than we care to admit and stronger than we realize.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Shock departure

Jarryd Hayne 2011 (cropped).jpgJarryd Hayne is a rugby league superstar. Rookie of the year in 2006, and Dally M Player of the year in 2009. The 2014 season was his best, with another Player of the Year award, the highest number of tries and player of the series in New South Wales State of Origin series triumph. At just 26 years of age, Hayne is a player of rare and ubiquitous talent who has achieved everything in the game except for a premiership with the only NRL club he has played for: the Parramatta Eels. With the signing of a new contract, he was set to become the highest paid player in the game.

Now he has quit rugby league, and is heading to the United States to have a crack at American Football. He has his sights set on playing in the NFL, and who could deny that such prodigious talent will not be as highly prized in the US as it is here. It's a huge shock for the rugby league community and a massive risk for Hayne personally, but I say good luck to him.

Hayne said in the press conference that his goal was to become a professional rugby league player so he could buy his mum a house. He said he had achieved that, and everything since had been icing on the cake. It is time, he said, for a new challenge.

Thanks for entertaining us Jarryd, and all the best with the pursuit of your dreams. When you are ready, come back to us and we will welcome you with open arms. Champion.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


Assuming most of my regular readers will remember what the acronym W.A.S. stands for, won't help deal with the ignorance, no offence, of new readers or casual visitors. There is an army of Square Pegs fans who storm the gates of hyperspace every morning to see what the great and not at all famous writer, D.A.Cairns has to say.

Sadly but not quite inexcusably, I have been neglecting my fans, and my writing. I've been neglecting a lot of things lately as a matter of fact, due to...let's call it an emotional distraction or two.

This Writing Activity Statement (W.A.S.) is proudly brought to you by...I've been watching too much television. Since the last W.A.S. I have had three short stories rejected, and zero published. I have added barely a paragraph to my novel and I have not written any new short stories. I'm barely a writer. I'm a shadow of a literary craftsman. I'm a vague idea. A long held but inconsistently pursued dream. I'm a bit stuck.

Never mind. It's raining and cold today. Winter has returned uninvited and unwelcomed. Never mind. It's all good. I feel good. How are you doing?

Monday, October 13, 2014

Shine with me

Out on the road this morning with my iPod shuffle supplying tunes for my mind while my legs and lungs battled on, I found peace. I felt settled in my mind, my thoughts clear despite the lack of oxygen in my brain. The song which particularly struck me, resonating encouragement, was Shine With Me by POD. Just a song. Just a guy singing some words while his mates play instruments. How beautiful is the way music connects us to each other, and to the Almighty. How it touches us, moves us, inspires us.

It's actually not that hard to find peace, you just need to know where to look. The God of all peace is never far away, you just need to find a way to connect. Shine With Me is an invitation to a perfect relationship.

How and where do you find peace?

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Tennis anyone?

My family gets together once a month or so to play tennis. None of us are very good although I have noticed some improvement. However, it's not about being good or winning (official lie: if you play, you should always play to win), it's about spending time together. We get together on other occasions naturally, both organised and spontaneous, but playing tennis is something we do to make sure life doesn't pull us away from each other.

Life can tear us loose from the moorings of our family and friends, so we must be vigilant with the maintenance of our anchors. (Sorry for the double boating analogy. I don't even like boats very much.)

Aside from family and friends, do you have any anchors in your life?