Tuesday, April 17, 2012

It's not you ...

I've started and deleted this post so many times it's getting ridiculous so I'm just going to say it. I have some stuff that I have to do that I thought would take a few days but is actually going to take a few weeks. It also needs my full attention, which it isn't getting at the moment. So, I'm taking a break from blogging. I think for at least a couple of months, I'm not sure exactly yet. Let me be clear, I'm not 'burnt out' or bored, or tired of blogging. It's that I still, after more than a year, haven't learnt how to manage my time effectively.

For those of you who I promised Musical Impressions to in May, I'm really very sorry and I'll be in touch when I get back to see if you're still interested. I'll be taking a complete break from the internet for a week or so, but then I'll be back to reading some of my favourite blogs, so you won't get rid of me that easily!

To all of you, thank you for making this the most fun I could ever have with my clothes on. I'll truly miss you. I felt it was only right that I should leave you with a song. This song is dedicated to everyone but especially those who are old enough to remember Lenny before Cinna was even thought of .

Take care guys, love you.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

M: Magical Words

Blogging from A to Z: M

I'm falling behind on visiting people's blogs, but hoping to catch up over the next few days, so please forgive me if I haven't visited you for a little while. I'll get there, I promise!

This video is a little longer than I've been putting up for the challenge, but I hope you'll have time to listen to it. Whether you agree with Mr Fry or not, there's no denying his love of language, and it's a joy to listen to him speak. I first heard this when someone left a link to it in my comments. I'm afraid I can't remember who it was. If it was you, please let me know so I can credit you!

Friday, April 13, 2012

L: Light of Love

Blogging from A to Z: L

We have music over here every Friday and I don't see why we should change that just because of the challenge. Usually there's some sort of writing slant to the music I choose, but April is a writing holiday (you may have noticed this from my previous, distinctly non-writing related, posts). That's why the song I've chosen today is for no other reason than I love it :-)


Thursday, April 12, 2012

K: Kitties

Blogging from A to Z: K

Depending on your point of view, one of the greatest - or worst - things that the internet has brought us is the invention of the LolCats. Actually, that's not quite true.

Harry Pointer, a Brighton photographer, did a bit of lolcatting himself in the 1870's.

Okay, so it might take another 140 years or so before anybody put a bit of effort into the captions but it's true what they say; there really is nothing new under the sun.

All images taken from Harry Pointer's Brighton cats page where you can see plenty more if you so desire :-)

(Images removed).

(I know, I know, but I wanted something silly after my slightly grumpy mood yesterday. I can't promise my posts are going to get any less silly either, at least not during April!)

ETA: I just found this video, and had to add it :-)

J: Job-hunting

Blogging from A to Z: J

Sorry this is late. Something came up yesterday that took longer than expected. Also, I'm not trying to insult anyone, especially teens, (I have two hard-working ones of my own), with this. I'm just fed up with being seen as inferior. Apologies. I'm not feeling very funny today. I'll come back with something better for K, I promise!

Five reasons prospective employers don't like me.

1. I'm too old
That's very short-sighted of them, considering that next month I will be The Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe and Everything. That's got to make me worth having on staff, surely?

2. I'm over-qualified.
It may look like it, after I went back to school to get my degree a few years ago. But honestly, a general sociology/social psychology degree doesn't actually qualify me to work in those fields without further study, which won't be happening.

3. I haven't had much experience in the past ten years.
I know I've only had one job, but I do have five years of study and a set of well adjusted twin daughters. It's not like I've been sitting around doing nothing.

4. Hiring a teen is cheaper.
Probably, but you know when you and your friend each buy a kettle, and she buys an expensive top-quality one whilst you buy the cheap one? You're on your fourth cheap kettle by the time she needs to replace hers, and it's cost you a lot more than her in the long run. Do I need to say any more?

5. I haven't worked in this field before.
I'm smart. I can learn to operate a cash-register, stack a shelf or greet a customer in the corporate manner fairly quickly. I already know how to write a letter using real words, and answer a telephone using words of more than one syllable. That should count for something.

One more thing, prospective employer. I should thank you. Your policy of 'no response means no' may be irritating but at least it's preparing me for the industry I'd really like to enter. Apparently, they are masters of it :-) Don't worry though. If you hire me, you'll never know there's something else I'd rather be doing. As long as you never find my blog ;-)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I: Imagination

Blogging from A to Z: I

I couldn't work out a way to embed this onto my blog, but please go look at it. You'll be glad you did.
I had this on my blog a long time ago but, even if you've seen it before, it's worth reminding yourself of why we do this thing we do :-)

Born Like an Artist

Monday, April 9, 2012

H: Harlequin

Blogging from A to Z: H

I was whining to  discussing with my daughters the fact that I didn't have a great word for H. Thirty minutes later this picture turned up in my email in-box. I love the school Easter holiday :-)

Copyright: My Daughter :-)

Saturday, April 7, 2012

G: Grab this book

Michael Offutt: Slipstream

Today's title is the most tenuous of links to this post but it's there, (and the book is green), so I think we're covered. I don't care anyway, I'm just so excited to be writing this post.

Michael Offutt wrote a book which was due out in May. He has a blog tour set up for May and everything. I really really want this book and, luckily for me, my birthday is in May – neat plan huh? Well, he went and ruined my plan by releasing the book. It's okay, I'm going to buy it anyway, there's no way I'm waiting until May. From what I gather, everyone who has read it thinks it's amazing. This is the blurb:

Jordan Pendragon is crazy good at fixing situations that have gone bad. It's a talent prized by his high school ice hockey team. However, when a car accident puts Jordan in the hospital, he wakes up with more than just an amazing slapshot in his toolbox. Jordan can manipulate space-time and in just a few weeks, he'll depend on it to save his life. 

When earthlings detonated the first atomic bomb in 1945, something incredible happened. The detonation triggered an extinction level event on a parallel world. A computer program saved humanity and became the ruler of this place. However, its brilliant mind fragmented and became insane. 

Jordan's power strands him in this nightmare universe. To get home, he becomes a professional in a sport where athletes are killed to boost network ratings. To survive, he discovers that the most broken among us can be fixed and that love is unpredictable. Near the end, he also learns a startling truth about his own birth. If he fails to fix the computer’s insanity, both Earth and this sister world are doomed

I nabbed that from Goodreads, as I didn't tell Michael I was writing this post but I'm hoping he won't mind :-)

I should warn you, from what Michael and others have said, this is a book that doesn't shy away from tackling dark themes and tough issues. It's not a frothy romance that's for sure. Of course, that just makes me want to read it even more :-)

Congratulations Michael, I hope the book is a huge success.

Buy it from:

Friday, April 6, 2012

Thursday, April 5, 2012

E: Elephant

Blogging from A to Z: E

You're either going to think this is as funny as I do, or you're going to think I'm nuts. Either is fine.

Nobody wanted to be the one to mention it. Well, they never do, do they? It's that thing, the thing that nobody talks about. Our family secret. The obvious, that nobody states.

Leave it to Grandma to break the unspoken code. She doesn't do tact.

“Marjorie!” She bellowed at my mother, in that special decibel level that old people who are deaf but won't admit it, use.
“Marjorie, why is there a bloody great elephant in the living room?”

Denise Covey over at L'Aussie Writer has been kind enough to feature me today in her Bloggers Were Children Too! series. Check out seven-year-old me :-)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

D: Dejection

Blogging from A to Z: D
Insecure Writer's Support Group 7

I could write a post much longer than you would want to read about dejection but, as it's the first Wednesday in the month, let's stick to it as it pertains to writing.

One of the simplest definitions of dejection is 'lowness of spirit'. I'm not talking about depression, that's something very different. Dejection is that feeling where everything seems grey. The words that seemed absolutely fantastic yesterday now appear less interesting than a telephone directory. Or, and this is the one that's plaguing me right now, the idea you had that you thought was so brilliant and innovative just seems ridiculous and implausible.

I've learned that when I feel like this I'm not a good judge of whether something is working or not. If you feel dejected, often everything seems wrong and it's hard to tell the good from the bad. The one thing that works for me is editing. If I focus on looking for grammar and punctuation mistakes, I can tell myself that the quality of the words aren't important right now, they're not my focus. When the mood passes, as it always does, I can more accurately judge what I've written.

How do you deal with dejection?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

C: Courage

Blogging from A to Z: C

"Come to the edge."
"We can't. We're afraid."
"Come to the edge."
"We can't. We will fall!"
"Come to the edge."
And they came.
And he pushed them.
And they flew.
Guillaume Apollinaire

Are you courageous?

Monday, April 2, 2012

B: Blame

Blogging from A to Z: B
Note: The video below was made over two years ago.

(Five pictures of Mr Jackson and guns removed).

Sunday, April 1, 2012

A: Anniversary

Blogging from A to Z : A

Even though I've thought of, and discarded, several themes for the A to Z challenge, the one post that I never had any doubts about was the first one.

It's one year ago today that I started blogging. I spent weeks following other blogs before finally jumping in so I'll never know why I picked April Fool's day to start, but I did so today is my anniversary :-)

In the past year I've finished another three first drafts, experimented with flash fiction, let other people read my work and written 118 posts.

More important than all that though, I've made friends. People I care about . People who I visit and who visit me. I've continued discussions over email, received support when I've needed it – sometimes from the most unexpected sources – and hopefully, offered support of my own.

What I'm trying to say is thank you. Thank you for making this blogging lark so much fun :-)