Category Archives: books

bookclub

What a bunch of wild bitches. Need some bitchslapping if you ask mizzles.

sponsoratized post: MiMoney helps me experience ‘being just rich’

So MiMoney sent me a R500 voucher to spend on something nice so that I could get a feel for how it works y’ulz. Tested it out on the 2 things I mostly order on the interwebs, sex and prescription drugs. Kidding. Ordered 2 books from Kalahari.net that i’ve been wanting for ages: Rainer Maria Rilke’s ‘Letters to a young poet’ (recommend reading it if y’ulz are ‘cre8ive’ and ppl give you shit for it) and Jung’s ‘Memories, Dreams, Reflections’ (is Jung’s autobiography, recommend reading it if y’ulz ‘know too much about the world’ & ppl give you shit for it). They arrived this morning. Happy times y’all!

Oooh, a package. What could it be?

Oooh, a package. What could it be?

Just what Ive always wanted!

Just what I've always wanted!

Happy times.

Happy times.

Also, after having a day when I thought it might be ‘better to be just rich’ than to ‘be creative’ i went home and gorged on sushi from Mr Delivery that MiMoney also paid for (thereby giving me the opportunity to know what ‘being just rich’ feels like). My verdict is that ‘being just rich’ ‘totally rocks’, and that ‘being creative’ needs to work harder at ‘bringing its A-game’ to the task of ‘making my life awesome’.

How MiMoney works:

1. You register with www.mimoney.co.za

2. You purchase MiMoney vouchers which then get sent to your phone.

3. You then use your vouchers as cash, quoting the code sent to your phone when you need to pay for a movie, online order, dinner, or whatever else you want to pay for. Right now it’s a little limiting as to what you can buy, but in future you’ll be able to use your MiMoney everywhere, thereby eliminating the need for cumbersome 19th century trappings such as ‘wallets’ and ‘money’.

Read what kalahari has to say about MiMoney here (putting this link in because app the mimoney site is giving some trouble).

found: A Wild Book

found a book that had been ‘released into the wild’ yesterday. no jokes. see for yourself:

I found it at Vida in Wembley Square while going for our morning dose. Mark and I had a scuffle over it and (obviously) I won.

I went to bookcrossing.com and filled in its details and it seems the book has travelled from Coffee Bean in Rondebosch, to Sinnful Ice Cream Parlour in Camps Bay, and now to Vida Wembley. Riveting in a small-town kind of way.

I guess now I’m supposed to read it and then ‘unleash’ it once more. Hmm. Maybe if it was the new Lauren Beukes I’d think about it, but am starting to feel like life’s too short to read books that might be good?

bibliotheque online TV

creepy, but it made me watch it 3 times.


new Moxyland cover

the real die-hard readers of this site will remember a time, quite long ago, when I was helping a friend with her book launch. well that friend has since had her novel snapped up by Angry Robot publishers, who have bought the first novel and are paying her to write a sequel, and have also insisted on a new cover to go with an international launch (Moxyland will be launching in the UK and Australia - read about all the details here). i’m very sentimental about the old cover because it took up a very real part of my life, but i like the new cover too. here are both:

The South African launch cover, designed by Joey Hifi. Click the image to see more of his awesome work.

The South African launch cover, designed by Joey Hifi. Click the image to see more of his awesome work.

The UK / Australia Angry Robot version.

The UK / Australia Angry Robot version.

The new cover definitely takes the book into teen territory, which may or may not  make Lauren a billionaire (achoo-Twilight). Anyway I look most forward to watching Lauren take over the world, one Moxyland at a time. And now for a picture of the author in repose with her beautiful daughter:

Too cute. Thats a baby creative genius right there.

Too cute. That's a baby creative genius right there.

What I’m reading right now.

Fascinating. Hoping it will heal my family.

Fascinating. Hoping it will heal my family.

The boyfriend is quite demanding.

The boyfriend is quite demanding.

A guide to dealing with client service.

A guide to dealing with client service.

Exploring some new exercise options.

Exploring some new exercise options.

Kidding, kids. These are the new King James Coporate Gifts. You get a blank book, with ‘What’s your Story?’ printed on the front, and 2 reversable dust jackets that you can change according to how badly you feel like shocking people at Vida.

Oooooh, clever.

Oooooh, clever.

thinking of showing my boobs. trying to make my porti unique.

it’s tough being in advertising today. once upon a time, nobody even knew it was a career. nobody believed that you could get paid to think up funny / smart / relevant / enagaging / viral / cool / prestigious / down-to-earth / honest / housewifey / working daddish / [insert name of target market and or their values here] ideas and call it a job.

things have changed. these days everyone is in advertising. everyone is zany. everyone is cool. warhol said everyone would be famous, but he didn’t say everyone was going to be awesome.

Everyone is zany and creative and pushing deadlines and consumer promises.

Everyone is zany and creative and pushing deadlines and consumer promises. It's called Being The Brand. You are the brand. You are the trend. You are the future. You are now. Be with me. Here. With my brand. Now. Together we will collaborate and appeal to more people than we would appeal to if we were apart.

these days  even the beggar who sits outside my gate at home has his own corporate colours for the chalk board he holds up. i know this because i offered him some spare chalk the other day and he only took the blue and the orange chalk because ‘these are my colours’.

struggling to come to terms with what the world is coming to.

been feeling something like this:

new year! / new porti!

so been looking over other peoples’ portfolios to get some inspiration as to how i can differentiate myself from the masses of creatives out there and their personal creative copywriter / art director brands. and then further differentiate myself as a professional who can create brands that i’m not personally involved with.

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“Talent is no longer about original ideas. Talent is about being able to come up with original ideas that are not based on or created for / by you or your experiences, but look like they were created by the person they were created for.” – Alex van Tonder, in an interview with Bill Bernbacklett

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i’m not sure how not to get personally involved with the brands i work on. just like i’m not sure how to not hook up with all the men at my office. wish i’d saved one of them for a rainy day. maybe i can create controversy within the agency by pulling a Lindsay Lohan and kissing a client service chick and then refusing to answer any questions. although when i kissed Jenny that one night at Diaz Tavern no one even asked any questions.

you see what i mean when i say that it’s hard to differentiate yourself these days?

Another agency party at some obscure pub in Gardens Industria. Ive got sooooo many of these pics its almost not even worth uploading it. Ever feel like all truly great ideas have already been done? Paris Hilton did blowjobs and penetration. Lindsay and Britney did their crotch-flashings. Sharon Stone did that leg-cross thing in Basic Instinct. The world is so competitive yulle. Really hard for me to keep ahead of the curve when it comes to showing what makes me special as a copywriter, what makes me different to all the other copywriters out there.

Another agency party at some obscure pub in Gardens Industria. I've got sooooo many of these pics it's almost not even worth uploading it. Ever feel like all truly great ideas have already been done? Paris Hilton did blowjobs and penetration. Lindsay and Britney did their crotch-flashings. Sharon Stone did that leg-cross thing in Basic Instinct. The world is so competitive y'ulle. Really hard for me to keep ahead of the curve when it comes to showing what makes me special as a copywriter, what makes me different to all the other copywriters out there.

NEwayz… back to the porti. should it be digital? should i invent a program that allows you to download my porti in a nanosecond? maybe i can make it so small that you have to view it with nanoglasses on nano chips? will nano still be big in 2010 or am i running with a fad here?

Should I pressurise my own blood and spray out my headlines under water so that Creative Directors see that I understand new media?

Should I pressurise my own blood and spray out my headlines under water so that Creative Directors see that I understand new media?

or should i keep my porti old school? big red leatherbound book with my name embossed in Cooper Bold in White letters? feel like there is a certain amount of gravitas when i whack down a beast of a porti like that on a Creative Director’s desk. although i haven’t actually used it since i graduated way back in 2004. since then, a well-written email that conveys my ability to stay calm in the face of chaos has gotten me every job i’ve ever had.

An example of the well-written, to-the-point letter that got me my job at King James.

An example of the well-written, to-the-point letter that got me my job at King James.

i’ve heard that some legendary creatives don’t even have portfolios, they just email a list of awards annuals and corresponding page numbers when they’re looking for a job. that feels a little wanky to me. i feel like if someone made me wade through crusty awards annuals that gather like dust in the corners of agency toilets, i wouldn’t want to offer them a job. unless it was dusting the awards annuals gathering weevils in the agency toilets.

Does NE one out there still care about awards? If i have a list of awards longer than my hair will you want to hire me? Or would you be more inclined to hire me if i just sent you a link to my blog with pictures of myself taking photos of myself on it? Wish someone had answers for me. Im feeling the photo vibe more. Just coz I know my good side.

Does NE one out there still care about awards? If i have a list of awards longer than my hair will you want to hire me? Or would you be more inclined to hire me if i just sent you a link to my blog with pictures of myself taking photos of myself on it? Wish someone had answers for me. I'm feeling the photo vibe more. Just coz I know my good side.

maybe i should record my porti into an album and take off my clothes to promote it. i’d go around the country doing signings which double up as interviews. being Gen Y, it is all about me interviewing the agency and not the other way round. i’d listen as they tell me how they want to help me ‘grow my craft’ and ‘collaborate and cross pollinate‘ my tech-savvy skills with their experienced eye for Letraset.

Collaboration across the generation gap is key to moving forward in the future.

Collaboration across the generation gap is key to moving forward in the future.

i’m going to make this porti quest my holiday project. gonna come back with some fresh material. gonna come back with a come back.

“I see you. And I just wanna dance with you. LOLOLOLOL.” – Brutney Spears

self-conscious media

my boyfriend. he’s making it:

A final proof in a test prints body.

A final proof in a test print's body.

this got me thinking about things. about how we go about our days in-agency, creating stuff that sometimes gets used, but let’s face it most of it doesn’t. and where does it go? what does it do? i’ve also been reading Eckhart Tolle’s new book called A New Earth and in it he talks about how everything – even a rock – has an energy or a spirit. which makes me even a little more creeped out by the ideas we have which never come to fruition and instead lie around on scamp pads and in expensive half-filled Moleskines for ever and ever.

One of my books filled with ideas that will make me a millionaire.

One of my books filled with ideas that will "make me a millionaire". Will this happy rainbow hand sign come and poke my eyes out in the night? I'm not coping.

“Inside every double-paged spread is a billboard waiting to break free.”

I once read a book called The Raw Shark Texts about a guy who got haunted by Conceptual Sharks – which are basically forgotten ideas that have ganged up together and become quite vicious and ready to bite a chunk out of your brain. That book freaked me out as well. I had visions of that half-finished campaign about a sneaker cleaner creeping up on me at inconvenient times. Like when you burp up tequila in your monday morning status meeting. And then the realisation dawns that you weren’t drinking tequila last night and all you can remember is kissing your mom goodbye when it was still light…

So ANyways:

Check out this new fashion (also invented by my boyfriend) when you print out text brackets and stick them on your REAL face to give yourself a touch of digemo / abbbreviated text cool / to better convey what you are feeling  to young people who only understand stuff when it’s followed by an emoticion :) Coming soon: (!!!) in the middle of your forehead.

At first glance this young lad appears to be slightly perturbed, but from the smiley face brackets on his glasses you can see he is actually in quote a good mood.

Digemo Doo: At first glance this young lad appears to be slightly perturbed, but from the smiley face brackets on his glasses you can see he is actually in quote a good mood.

book review: Design – a Tom Peters essential

my mom bought me this book. she doesn’t work in design and never has so she is forgiven. I’ve been reading it to get some outsider perspective on design for a job I’m working on.

Even though Tom believes design is at the heart of business, he doesnt seem to think people judge a book by its cover. Which is why he designed it himself. In PowerPoint.

Even though Tom believes design is at the heart of business, he doesn't seem to think people judge a book by its cover. Which is why he designed it himself. In PowerPoint.

The Economost calls him ‘The Uber-Guru’, so he must be worthy of some sort of worship. His writing, not so much. The content is not that bad – his sentiment is actually good. He elaborates on Design being the new currency, the only point of differentiation in business these days. Which is true.

But the fact that every second word is either bold or in italics serves to only emphasise my slight stigmatism.  It’s filled with little boxes that says things like “We are A-L-L designers”. Tom likes to spell things out. To help you see what I mean I have taken some photos.

I think what Tom is trying to do is emphasise the word all. He really means it.

I think what Tom is trying to do is emphasise the word "all". He really means it.

Just in case you thought it said Things that make me rad. R-A-D.

Just in case you thought it said "Design is why I get rad. R-A-D."

Take note all you young uns who spell this word L-U-V.

"Take note all you young 'uns who spell this word L-U-V."

Tom also uses quite a few inverted commas, which results in me wondering just what it is he R-E-A-L-L-Y M-E-A-N-S.

Is he referring to something else by putting dreams in inverted commas? Is this a code? What could dreams stand for? Is Tom being ironic? After a good 10 minutes thought along these lines, i finally turned the page. Defeated.

Is he referring to something else by putting dreams in "inverted commas"? Is this a code? What could "dreams" stand for? Is Tom being ironic? After a good 10 minutes thought along these lines, i finally turned the page. Defeated.

If someone asked me who I was, I would naturally think they were referring to who I am these days. But now Toms pulling a fast one on me again - should one be thinking about who one was, or who one is yet to be, when one is asked the question, Who are you? Have I been answering this question wrong all along, telling people I am a writer from Cape Town when I should be telling them about one of my other lives as a slave in borneo? Will anyone ever really know the answer to this question?

If someone asked me who I was, I would naturally think they were referring to who I am - these days. But now Tom's pulling a fast one on me again - should one be thinking about who one was, or who one is yet to be, when one is asked the question, "Who are you?" Have I been answering this question wrong all along, telling people I am a design writer from Cape Town when I should be telling them about one of my other lives as a slave in borneo? Will anyone ever really know the answer to this question?

The following page stopped me in my speed-reading tracks. My twitching eyes were drawn to a US Marshall’s sheriff badge. What could that possibly be doing in here? I wondered. And then I read the words underneath the badge.

Design cops! What a brilliant I-D-E-A! I feel inspired. I suspect they might do the kind of job a Creative Director might do, but its the cop part Im so down with. Im considering getting a badge for my boss to wear.

Design cops! What a brilliant I-D-E-A! I feel "inspired". I suspect they might do the kind of job a Creative Director might do, but it's the cop part I'm so down with. I'm considering getting a badge for my boss to wear.

I don’t think I could with good conscience recommend this book. The layout and design alone might take your genetic predisposition to epilipsy and turn it into a thriving condition. I do, however, appreciate Tom Peters’s passion for and belief in design as the way forward for business, even though I wonder why a designer wasn’t employed to make the book walk the walk. Hell, what am I saying. They probably did have a designer, but he was just so damn scared of those design cops that this was the best they could get out of him once they’d managed to coax him out of his lift shaft hidey hole.

south african novel of the year: Moxyland

25th of April is the launch date for Lauren Beukes’s first novel – Moxyland. I have been privvy to the manuscript pre-publishing, and i sincerely hope it goes cult classic. set in a future Cape Town, your life is controlled by your cellphone, you are hostage to a government that oppresses its citizens through censorship and genetically modified Alsations called Aitos watch your every move. the character cast is made up of an artist who sells her body to an energy drink in exchange for being able to create her art, a super genius hacker who helps her digital graffiti friends break through information control to disseminate the truth and a rich kid blogger who has a sociopathic lack of conscience. i sincerely hope it gets picked up by a large rich studio looking for something different to produce and gets made into a movie. anyhow watch this space, i will be well documenting the launch.

moxyland cover

it’s been a big one

the end of a mad year. this last week has been so hectic at the office, wrapping up last minute work for clients and organising (and recovering from) a mid-week rodeo-themed christmas party. for once i decided NOT to take any photos, since i tend to concentrate too much on getting cool shots more than just having fun. so i have nothing to show you, although i will find everyone else’s pics, maybe early next year.

i will say that i can barely walk as my inner thighs are stiff from being a little over-zealous on a mechanical bull, and i have a graze on my knee, and it took me 2 hours to get the rhinestones off the top i wore, which i spent a good 3 hours rhinestoning in the first place. it was also kind of a farewell party for Daniel Beatty, our MD, who will be moving to Tokyo to run our Japan office (very sad for us) so it was a bit crazy. crazy good.

i just have one more thing left to do before i can chill, namely the grass newsletter, just to let everyone know what’s been happening. our office and business has changed so much in one year, it’s hard to keep everyone up to speed with what’s happening. we’ll be opening some new premises in jozi early next year, and we’ll also be opening in dubai and brazil next year. we’ll also be appointing a new MD as Dan has made himself a Super Valuable Human. but i may leave that til next year since i would rather have everyone’s input.

but it’s been quite crazy – i for one, have moved cross country twice in one year, and residential addresses 7 times throughout the same year. we’ve had massive growth in business through both new and existing clients, and instant seed as a business has really taken off and done some pioneering stuff in this country when it comes to word of mouth marketing. and the russian business has grown and is now a bit bigger. and we’ve had an insane amount of fun throughout it all.

i plan to turn my computer off for at least a week. my camera’s had a bit of an episode – the first since i’ve had it which is remarkable considering what it’s been through (it’s a Canon Ixus i, old school one, and a best friend) so i’ve taken that as a sign to do a bit of information detoxing. instead i’ll be filling my head with number9dream by david mitchell, the wind up bird chronicle by haruki murakami, and proof reading my friend lauren beukes’s novel Branded due for publishing early next year. that will be peppered with Heroes season 2 – which i have not had time to watch yet, shocking – and chilling with friends who have flown home from their perches around the globe / country. but what i’m most looking forward to is lying in the sun by the pool. not so much the beachdue to the trauma surrounding getting to and from it, but just being outside in the sunshine. hooray for summer.

hope everyone has a great christmas. i’ve got a bit obsessed with wrapping paper and am fully kitted out this year. i love christmas. happy holidays and rest well, see you next year.

oh and thanks to sarah johnson for showing me this, which got me laughing much, and got the peoples’ choice award for Best User Generated video (take note those interested in New Media):