Tag Archives: writing

Don’t Make Me Do Research

Oh, my goodness.

I had great plans on writing a post about church budgets, Communion and tarot cards, but a co-worker blow-up caused me to want to write about music at work, but alas, I don’t want to do that now. There is no use complaining about the denial of access to brain-saving devices if no one is there to reverse the decision.

I am still coping with the effects of the accident. I get so tired, yet as I am the only one able to drive right now, I need to be more attentive. This is affecting my ability to do my normal tasks, like making coffee and climbing the stairs to sort papers. Climbing stairs … please, just the thought causes grief. My mental state was being tested and I think it was going well. I almost fell apart, but thanks to my music and collection of audiobooks, I had come out less battered.

Until the Friday meltdown about the music. This time it was not me.

Step back a bit, for just a moment. One of the saddest results of this accident is my ability to read and type for long periods of time. I need to use email at work and our accounting program is on the computer, but I need to take eye breaks more often. My last post took a few tries to finish. I have needed to use a dimmed screen to and even enlarged the display size on my laptop at home and computer at work. Reading from books will come back, I hope. In most cases, the fonts are too small for me to read for long periods of time. My doctor does not think this sidestep is permanent. If I had a concussion, it was a very mild one and is healing quite well. He knows I have to drive and told me to make sure to do it in stages.

I give Richard a lot of credit, he is ready to go back to work tomorrow (10 Jan). I do not think I am ready yet, but there is nothing physically wrong with me. Mentally, I am a shambles, but not bad enough to take leave. Now that the one solace I have at work has been taken away, I am afraid of going mad; again.

I have to speak the words: “it is going to be okay” out loud so I can believe them.

Oh, there will be a post about church budgets, Communion and tarot cards (a continuation of a previous report I put up), but it will be less angry and may include videos of cats.

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Filed under Health Check, Mental Illness, Musical Fruits, Work

Juss Cuss

If you feel you don’t fit in with a group, whether it being your workplace, a family function, or a Facebook collective, please remember that you were hired, born into, or invited for a reason. In some cases, the very people who roped you in may feel the same way. I am not saying you should do a survey, but I have a sneaking suspicion I am pretty close.

You may have people tell you to adjust your behaviour, yet it seems the one who has served thirty years at the same job (for example) did not get the same message. This may be true, but you also don’t know what changes they’ve made before you arrived on the scene; they may have been a lot worse. Stuff went on before you/me arrived. That is not to say we do not need some improvement, only thing to do is review the criticism (as this is what it is 98% of the time) and take stock of what can be changed versus what you think should be changed. Remember, you may feel you are in a place that is the personification of inbred cocker spaniels doing human things, but your introduction may have off-set the balance. You may have to re-calibrate yourself at first then slowly introduce your real self.

Goodness gracious, change can be good … for everyone. Speaking on a personal level, I am so lucky to have been able to express my innermost feelings (at a price), my dreams (no matter how far-fetched), and my artistic abilities (relating to finished projects). Take pride in change, even the bad ones. Of course, the bad one is not good, but the good one will not be bad.

I am not the same person I was two years ago or five days ago. We all have something holding us back and something pushing us forward. I have made concessions, agreements, and promises – some of these welcomed, some through sheer disapproval. Now, you know that not everyone will like you, and in turn, you will not like them. That is part of human nature. Actually, not all lions get along, so it is a NATURE thing, human or Panthera leo. Do not be upset; yet on the flipside, do not be the one upsetting. The thing about relationships is sometimes it is not about you, me, him, or her. Other times is is always about you, me, him, or her. Developing a good relationship comes with altering behaviour and accepting behaviour.

Forget the saying “walk a mile in someone else’s shoes.” That is a ridiculous concept. You should be prepared to support, or as I do, carry people in your heart. You cannot experience a person’s joys and sufferings, and they cannot do the same for you. We are only witnesses to each other’s happenings, whether we are physically there or we hear about it over the waves. Compassion is the key to surviving the relationship thing. When I was a practicing Christian, I found it more difficult to care about someone, for fear I was doing it wrong. No, I take that back, I cared differently. Now that I have stepped aside, I see compassion exists. There are people who I have worked with who believe in the power of the Ouija even though it is a made-up game. I giggle, but I have learned not to mention this out loud. I have seen charitableness in a thousand-million forms from my Christian brothers and sisters with no judgement (well, maybe a bit, but they are human). My Atheist and Agnostic cohorts are some of the first to step up and help someone in need. That is awesome!

It is also a crutch.

We all have background things to deal with, some are more frontal than others. I am not afraid to share. Hey, it’s all part of healing. I have learned to be nice to everyone, obvs. I have also learned to carry secrets. I have experienced high-school behaviour amongst forty year old adults. We all have. Granted, some of us are guilty of being one of the accused. Be honest. 

Please, let’s all just be good to each other. Stop collecting info on Facebook, start collecting Pokémon. I do not have the capacity to work at your high-speed level. You may not be able to comprehend the works of Geoffrey Chaucer. Teamwork, I think is the word I am looking for. We are in this together, but sometimes others are more enthusiastic than their partners. Punishing a friend or a co-worker for a meltdown is not how we are supposed to get things done.

Humiliation is not the key to compliance. I do not like a clean desktop (the one on a desk not a computer). You may not like photographs in silver frames. As I mentioned earlier, we need to accept the fact we need to make adjustments, we have quotas to fill, we have cupcakes to make, and sometimes the procedures change. Like living in a new city, we have to learn to read a new map.

We need to rely on each other to make sure the squeaky wheel gets greased. We need to follow the rules, yet be prepared to change things up. We all have gifts and skills along with issues and problems. If a co-worker does something to piss you off, say something. Don’t shun and play favourites; it makes you look silly. It is up to us to encourage each other and break down barriers.

By breaking down barriers, I do not mean break the coffee pot.

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Filed under Atheists Are People Too, Family and Friends, Fretting Muchly, Just Because ... Everyone Has This Kind of Moment, Musical Fruits, Progressive Christianity, Work


Oh my gosh! I have been looking forward to this day for a while.

The UK recognises the first Thursday in March as World Book Day. Children (and I am guessing some adults) are encouraged to dress up as book characters. The rest of the world celebrates this day on 23 April, St George’s Day, which is one reason why the date in the UK was moved. I guess you can’t have people dressing up all crazy on a saint’s day.


(Morris dancers celebrate St George’s Day at Leadenhall Market Picture: Alamy)

I acknowledge the worthiness of books every day, but I showing it a bit differently. I am sharing books with friends. I have started by sending copies of my cousin Adele Dueck‘s books:

Anywhere But Here
Nettie’s Journey
Racing Home

I am also sending some of my favourite books by Canadian authors. I believe in sharing books. Mind you, if a book is beyond repair it should be re-purposed into another form of art. Sometimes books get sent for recycling, but this should only be done if there is no other course. My husband’s job depends on paper and book recycling. The books I have shared are, as stated to my friends, gently used and loved. Sending a care package of books is a great way to learn about someone.

I also promote books suggested (and written) by friends on Facebook. A newly acquired friend, Matt Bolton, has written a hilarious book: The Kumber In Norway: The Adventures Of The Kumber Of Kew (this is the Canadian link). I am just about reading it and I hope there is more!

Through book recommendations I have learned about the places in which my friends live. One of the most entertaining book I was suggested is Pies and Prejudice: In Search of the North by Stuart Maconie. I now want to to see Manchester and Liverpool more than ever. I have a ton of books that reference Regina, none as fine as 100 Facts About Pandas by David O’Doherty.

I have been connected to authors of all types: Carmen DeSousa, Louis Hemmings, and Matt. I love the chance to talk about books and how they have changed the way I think about human existence. I love the chance to delve into a genre I never would have thought I would; ever. I am so glad for meeting and conversing with such a rich group of friends that can expand my reading universe.

I did not dress up today, but the thought did cross my mind.


Filed under Contentment, Downtime, Writing and Reading

Han Solo Dies In The Movie


I have been under a lot of pressure, but this time it is a good thing. I have decided to use my creative ability for the good. Not that I have made things for the bad, only the end result of the things have turned out bad. I have not joined the Dark Side, but then again, I heard they have cookies. 🙂

I am sure most people on the planet who wanted to have seen the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie. As mentioned in a previous post I couldn’t care less about finding out the ending before seeing the film. As the film itself did not affect me in any way, shape or form, finding out the ending before seeing the beginning did not take any more years off from my life expectancy. I took the news as any sane person. Richard on the other hand wanted to remain unclued.

At least I hope I  have not lost any years. I should not tempt fate, now that I think about it.

I have become interested in writing again. I have even thrown my hat into the poetry game. So far, as per my mentor’s comments (Louis Hemmings), I am not doing a bad job. You can find my examples of wordsmithing at: Cowbird. OK, there are only four “stories” listed, but I have been too busy trying to get my crafting projects lined up. That is another blog post entirely. You have been blessed (or cursed) with my ramblings here, but at Cowbird I am now kickin’ up a notch. I will be honest, I will not be doing any poetry readings any time soon.

I do read poetry, just not out loud.

I think the reason I have gone back to writing is not for the monetary rewards; there are none, really. I have no need to make money from anything I do whether it is crafts, baking, or writing. Sometimes creating anything is the reward. Did Bede make a fortune from his Historia eccesiastica? I don’t know. His name is well-known now, that is for certain. I am sure he wanted his work to be read by the world and now it is available online. The authors of the Anglo-Saxon ChronicleI suspect, did not make money from the distribution of said collection; copyright laws and editorial controls were nonexistent.

I do not think my writing is of the calibre of those who have been able to make a living (sort of) out of writing. This has become a great form of therapy for me. Though I still go through moments of heart-wrenching pain and need for closure, I am slowly using my writing as a way to do this. Cowbird has been a great discovery. I thank Louis’ tweet to Petroc Trelawny for this introduction. I thank Petroc Trelawny for introducing me to Louis, even though he does not realise it.

Oh, by the way, Ben was actually Luke Skywalker’s son’s name. In comics and other Star Wars novels Han and Leia do not have a son named Ben. Then again, Chewie actually died by a having a planet fall on his head. Well, you can’t win them all. That really is not a spoiler, is it? No, just me trying to make things right.


Filed under Arts and Mines, Hobby Go Wild, Poetry in Emotion, Writing and Reading

No Dwelling On The Thing With The Stuff

With the exception of my post last Monday, this religiousless posting thing is actually working well for me. The removal of the political is a bit harder, but I the weight chained to my brain has lessened considerably. Thankfully I am beginning to get my groove back.

Or getting a groove, since I never really had one to lose. I also have to see how long I can go without mentioning the Manic Street Preachers.

My writing has taken another break, maybe for good. I feel sad about it, but maybe I was hoping for something that actually belongs to someone else. Admitting defeat is OK. I have too much real life things to worry about. I need to get a new mats for the front entrance and the bathrooms. I need to find my grandmother’s perogy recipe. I need to pick up some cherry pie filling and cherry Jello for the Christmas dessert. I need to …

Nevermind. The perogies and Christmas stuff will get done whether I write a book or not. In fact, they will get done quicker if I don’t worry about the next chapter or new character. I am also wrapped up in books with characters too complex to be real people, yet that label would make them more real. Creating a fictional real-life person takes talent. My talent is reading about them and using creative language to describe the experience.

I had been listening to BBC Radio 3 during the sleepless moments of the night. As the BBC Music player works intermittently, Petroc Trelawny’s weather reports get cut off mid-temperature. The Breakfast comes on here at 12.30am, which makes for a long day if I make it through the whole show. I get to sleep just in time to wake up and get ready for work. Thankfully these times are less frequent since my change of direction. Also, Mr Trelawny hasn’t been on this past week.

If it is not the sweet, soulful sounds of Saint-Saëns at one in the morning, it is the uncompromising words of C.S. Lewis or the ramblings of some Middle English theologian-slash-poet on my Kindle device. Even those moments are become less common. I do not feel compelled to check my messages or read a couple of pages as much as I did before. Do not get me wrong, I did a post Sunday morning at around 3.00am on Facebook. It will not stop completely.

The break I am on may be permanent. I will only discuss my religious beliefs/disbeliefs in private. My political views will be treated the same. I may slip every now and then if the feeling is too overpowering not to. Being human allows for this. I will still complain about the thousand-million baby photos; that will not change.

Before I go, I will leave you with this little ditty:


Filed under Contentment, Downtime, Family and Friends, Progressive Christianity, Writing and Reading

Between Friends

I am sharing a post from a blogger friend Cinda (C. C.) Yager. We have had some good discussions about writing, poetry, politics, and coffee. I have chosen to write a response to each of question asked on her post listed below:

What are your reading habits?

1. Do you have a certain place at home for reading?

I used to be able to read in any room, but I find my bedroom the most comfortable and comforting. My favourite chair in the living room is possibly a close second. I tend to gravitate to a place where I my OCD will not have a breakdown. When visiting my parents spot is the right-most side of the chesterfield (sofa, couch) and in the bedrooom, the furthest right side of the out of mirror view. The stress of finding the right spot has its moments, but once found it is awesomeness from that point forward.

2. Bookmark or random piece of paper?

I used to collect bookmarks as well. Now I use whatever piece of paper I find. I would like to find my collection again, as some of them mean a great deal to me. I have some bought for me by my cousin, some made for me, and some I bought for collecting only. Why have bookmarks if they are never used to mark pages? I really need to get back into the habit.

3. Can you stop reading any time, or do you have to stop in a certain place? 

I try to stop at the end of a chapter, or if there are no chapters, a double-space between paragraphs (Terry Pratchett-style). I will occasionally stop in the middle of a page, but only if it to fall asleep with utter exhaustion or a wee break. Sometimes the wee break will turn into a stays update on Twitter or Facebook, which means the book will not be looked until another time. That is when it is a good time to break at a more efficient spot.

4. Do you eat or drink while reading?

I do both quite often. I read whilst eating my lunch at work, at home, and sometimes on the bus (for the one in a hundred times I take the bus). I do not like sitting at the lunch table at work with noting to do, as most time I am by myself. Reading at home during supper is a no-no, but I will eat my breakfast and read in the morning while waiting for the husband to finish his shower. I need to get some knowledge and culture in before I make myself physically clean to start the day.

5. Can you read while listening to music/watching TV?

It is easier for my to read while listening to music – any music – when reading, but in the last few years I have found it difficult to read with the television on. Now I find myself closeting myself away when Richard watches television in the livingroom. I will say it is more difficult to read with a panel show or BBC 3’s Music Matters playing in the background. Something by Haydn or Thomas Tallis will do just fine.

6. One book at a time or several at once?

Several. One at a time all at once. I am so guilty for starting something and not quite finishing it. I want to get the complete collection of Philip Larkin poems done, but first I have to read something by F Scott Fitzgerald. No! I need to start the collection of Spinoza before I even think about getting past page 27 of the book by that author. Oh, it is a terrible place to be in.

7. Reading out loud or silently in your head?

I do not think I have ever read out loud, not counting school. I try to keep the writings inside my head, as my Kindergarten teacher wrote my parents – I do not share well. Actually, I have a tendency to share too much, but these writings are mine for the moment and I would like to keep them to myself.

8. Do you read ahead and skip pages?

I am too afraid to miss something. I will be honest, I have on occasion skipped pages, and due to that I got put into the remedial reading class in Grade 6. I was so bored with what we were taking that I jumped to read the Norse tales of the reading textbook. I was labelled as “slow” because I refused to answer the questions listed at the end of the section we were studying. I still hold a grudge over this.

9. Break the spine or keep it new?

This is rather an interesting thing – I tend to break the spine. Oh, only on my own books! If I borrow a book, it is always returned the way it was borrowed, except read by one more person than it was before.

10. Do you write in books?

I think this counts as writing:

2015-10-16 21.34.05

This is after three years of Music History (we used the same text for all three years). I do not write much in books anymore, as I rarely need to. I write what points I want from a book in notebook and store that in a place where I will never find it again. Either that or highlight the passage in my Kindle then delete the book after I am done reading it. Note to self: do not keep notes.

11. Electronic or print format?

I cannot answer this question without causing myself stress. I like the feel and the touch of the printed book. Paper books offer photographic offerings in better detail than you can find on the computer version, oddly enough. I do like to 968-book option available on the Kindle, though. Right now I am reading books on ly Kindle more often than paperback or hardcover. I spend, at times, 99¢ on a self-published book for Kindle that may not be available in printed form. Then again, I prefer some books to be in printed form, as the book itself is a work of art. I will not get into the carrying problem of paper books and the battery problem of e-readers.


There are so many more ways for me to answer these questions, but I open this up to you. Please leave me note here or on your own page with your own answers. I will challenge you with a twist: answer these questions with as much humour as possible. Canada is going through a horrible election campaign right now, and like most of us, I have become rather depressed with the whole thing. Photos would be even more awsomer!

I ask that you read Cinda’s complete blog collection here: Anatomy of Perceval. She is a fine writer and I want her to know what a great influence she has been on me.

Thanks Cinda, you’re awesome!!

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Filed under Contentment, Downtime, Writing and Reading

I Did Not Celebrate National Poetry Day – Oops!

I have been reading the works of Philip Larkin, but for the last few years I have delved into the art of poetry by Canadian, American, Chinese, Japanese, Irish, Welsh, and English writers. Though some have been translated into Modern English (I need to distinguish it this way, as a number of my collection is in Old English).

On Thursday I did try my hand at writing a poem, but it was a reminder for me to finish The Ode Less Travelled: Unlocking the Poet Within by Stephen Fry. I think I need to learn how to do this. Modern poetry does not have the a-b-a (so on …) format and there is no need to have rhyming bits. You do not need to have a poem look “normal”:

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in my heart)


i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
                                                      i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart) (1)

Of course, you have your standards:

The Song of Hiawatha (excerpt, you will thank me)
By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Part I: The Peace-Pipe

On the Mountains of the Prairie,
On the great Red Pipe-stone Quarry,
Gitche Manito, the mighty,
He the Master of Life, descending,
On the red crags of the quarry
Stood erect, and called the nations,
Called the tribes of men together.
From his footprints flowed a river,
Leaped into the light of morning,
O’er the precipice plunging downward
Gleamed like Ishkoodah, the comet.
And the Spirit, stooping earthward,
With his finger on the meadow
Traced a winding pathway for it,
Saying to it, “Run in this way!” […] (2)

OK, that is all I can take.

And here is one of my favourites:

“To a Mouse”


On Turning up in Her Nest with the Plough, November, 1785

Wee, sleeket, cowran, tim’rous beastie,
O, what a panic’s in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae hasty,
          Wi’ bickerin brattle!
I wad be laith to rin an’ chase thee

Wi’ murd’ring pattle!

I’m truly sorry Man’s dominion
Has broken Nature’s social union,
An’ justifies that ill opinion,
          Which makes thee startle,
At me, thy poor, earth-born companion,

An’ fellow-mortal!

I doubt na, whyles, but thou may thieve;
What then? poor beastie, thou maun live!
A daimen-icker in a thrave
          ’S a sma’ request:
I’ll get a blessin wi’ the lave,

An’ never miss ’t!

Thy wee-bit housie, too, in ruin!
It’s silly wa’s the win’s are strewin!
An’ naething, now, to big a new ane,
          O’ foggage green!
An’ bleak December’s winds ensuin,

Baith snell an’ keen!

Thou saw the fields laid bare an’ waste,
An’ weary Winter comin fast,
An’ cozie here, beneath the blast,
          Thou thought to dwell,
Till crash! the cruel coulter past

Out thro’ thy cell.

That wee-bit heap o’ leaves an’ stibble
Has cost thee monie a weary nibble!
Now thou’s turn’d out, for a’ thy trouble,
          But house or hald,
To thole the Winter’s sleety dribble,

An’ cranreuch cauld!

But Mousie, thou art no thy-lane,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men
          Gang aft agley,
An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,

For promis’d joy!

Still, thou art blest, compar’d wi’ me!
The present only toucheth thee:
But Och! I backward cast my e’e,
          On prospects drear!
An’ forward tho’ I canna see,

I guess an’ fear! (3)

In case you are wondering, quotation marks are used for individual poems, e.g. “To a Mouse”, italics or underline is used for a collection, e.g. The Canterbury Tales or The Divine Comedy.

The Divine Comedy is not to be confused with The Divine Comedy:

Poetry, at its core, is essential to writing. Some of the earliest English stories were in poetry form: Beowulf by an artist unknown, The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer, Confessio Amantis (a 33,000-line poem by John Gower, friend of Chaucer), Nibelungenlied or The Song of the Nibelungs by another unknown poet (this is considered to be one source for Richard Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen). I think we take for granted the value of poetry and we label it as avant garde, beatnik, a form of protest, you name it. Then again, when you see poem spoken you do get the sense of hippage:

After the murder of King Richard II (starved to death in the Tower of London, put there by King Henry IV), John Gower was forced to rewrite portions of Confessio Amantis due to hints at support for King Richard II. Up until recent times poets, composers, and artists were commissioned to create works of art. The threat of death influenced a number of commissioned poets to change allegiances. Today poets are using words to protest established laws and current governments. Some writers are still being threatened with torture or death for their writing. Unfortunately, the idea of freedom of expression through word art is just not allowed in some places.

OK, I lied, I have written a few poems in  my day, as found in my book Short Poems 

“Unnamed 11” (4)

2015-10-10 10.50.56-1


(1) “[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in]” Copyright 1952, © 1980, 1991 by the Trustees for the E. E. Cummings Trust, from Complete Poems: 1904-1962 by E. E. Cummings, edited by George J. Firmage. Used by permission of Liveright Publishing Corporation.
(2) Steve. “The Song of Hiawatha.” Poets’ Corner. © 1994 – 2009 Poets’ Corner Editorial Staff, n.d. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.
(3) Pechman, Alexandra. “To a Mouse.” Poetry Foundation. Poetry Foundation, n.d. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.
(4) Jensen, Wendalynn P. “Unnamed 11” Short Poems © 1982 Used by permission by the author.


Filed under Hobby Go Wild, Poetry in Emotion, Writing and Reading

Here, Let’s Try This Nice Thing Again

I am going to try and be nice again.

My book writing has been on a feverish roll, mostly due to my anger. However, I have steered this towards good thoughts, and it has reflected a bit in my story. I am very amazed with the progress, though it has been only a few days.

My characters, as I can tell, are going to be ones that I would love to hang out with. Of course, there are also others, like in real life, that cannot seem to be the type to have any friends – on purpose. Literature, regardless of the format, is about people. Or animals that talk like people. Or elves and orcs. Or you get the picture.

I have decided to have the events of my story happen on Earth, in Canada, in Saskatchewan, in a place to be named. I do not want to make it a sci-fi-fantasy adventure, as I am not very good at making up names that will never be pronounced by a real person. If a place name does not include at least one ‘x’, it cannot be included in a fantasy story.

At least that is what I have discovered. The Discworld series is an exception. 99.987% of the place names are words that can be said by us common folk. My story will not be anything like Mr Pratchett’s genius. I also will not be writing the next The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. I do not even think I will come close to those works of art. Mind you, I have not read the former and I have started to re-read the latter.

Much like a human child, my book will be its own being. I can only put my best into it. My characters, though created by me, will expand and grow through the eyes of the reader. Each person will take the events in my book differently, and that is awesome. I know I will have a favourite, as any person would, and I think that is a good thing as well. As I have not even fully started my book, I cannot begin to think of a sequel.

As mentioned, the book will have some religious tones. Tunes? Yeah! The separation of church and state will be a huge subject that will be wreatled, tied down, and argued over. I do not know the direction it will take, but my growth and expansion on the church front will be reflected here.

Let’s see how I progress. For now I will continue to do my ten-minute writing exercises, makes notes, rewrite the written in a readable form, eat some sorbet, have a rum and coke, then have a nap.

Now, I should of thought about the last bit seeing as it is 8.59pm on a Wednesday night.

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Filed under Just Because ... Everyone Has This Kind of Moment, Progressive Christianity, Writing and Reading

Hey, This Niceness Is Not So Badness

I am on my way to being OK. Though I am in need of a holiday, overall, things are coming along.

After considerable thought, I have decided to go the short story route for my book. I do not want to give too much away, but there will be happiness, sadness, and weather. Oh, that weather can be a right ruiner of stuff.

The development of my characters will take place throughout the course of the work. I tried the point plan in character modelling, but human lives don’t happen on paper, so why should my pretend ones? Don’t get me wrong, certain events and traits will have to be carefully documented, like eye colour and favourite jam flavour; otherwise, the rest of it will come when it comes.

Sarcasm will abound. If done properly, it can be funny and biting at the same time. I hopefully will not need to announce when it will be used, like Neighbour/Co-worker. But then …


I am glad to be on track again with this writing thing. My detour was a blessing in disguise. This election has added a new spin on the record. Developing my characters is, in my opinion, possibly the most fun I am going to have in the next little while. I have so much to prepare for.

Until then, I have Christian Persecustion Complex Season to look forward to. That’s always something.

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Positivity Challenge – First Attempt

‘The great charm about me (concluded Reginald) is that I am so easily pleased. But I draw the line at a “Prince of Wales” Prayer-book.’ – Reginald by Saki

I am back on the writing road. I always seem to do a reading trip before I start a writing binge. Whist doing this, I am surrounding myself the glorious sounds of the BBC Proms. I have not been reading as much as I hoped and I have missed a few episodes of the Proms. Thankfully books will always be available and the BBC keeps the Proms performances up for thirty days. I have a few weeks to catch up on the Classical music front.

I have been introduced to some great authors that have been around for what seems like forever and some new one that hopefully will make more greatness. Here are the ten authors I have discovered through friendship, Twitter, and television:

1. Saki (H.H. Munro) (1970-1916) – Finding a good biography of Mr Munro that does not include adverts for skin cream and Oprah magazine was tough. I have just started his complete collection, meeting the character that may actually be my hero – Reginald. The short-story method used to describe the adventures of Reginald is perfect; one in which I was considering for my project. Mr Munro died in 1916 while serving in Mailly in World War I – Saki (H.H. Munro)

2. Philip Larkin (1922-1985) – Beowulf not counting, I do not normally read poetry. He also wrote essays, plays, two novels, and letters. He was very keen on preservation of his works, a process most writers do not think about until it is too late, or they are dead – at that point it is too late. – Philip Larkin

Don’t read much now: the dude

Who lets the girl down before

15 The hero arrive, the chap

Who’s yellow and keeps the store,

Seem far too familiar. Get stewed:

Books are a load of crap.

– “A Study of Reading Habits” by Philip Larkin (v. 13-end)

3. Alan Bradley (1938) – His Flavia de Luce series is probable one of my most favourites. If I was not so inept at maths and science, I would be Flavia. I have stated that I was born forty years old, but I think I would have to say I would have been Flavia when I was eight. I named my bike after hers; Gladys. –  Alan Bradley

4. Mrs Stephen Fry – Edna Fry is possibly one of my most favourite authors and expert on all things wifey and motherly. I think being the wife of someone as famous as Mr Fry, I am sure, has its moments. Having five, six, or seven kids can surely be a blessing and a curse. I really need to consider keeping a diary; it may be cheaper than therapy. – Mrs Stephen Fry

5. Geoffrey Chaucer – I first read the modern translation of Canterbury Tales when I was ten years old. I fell in love with the poetry even though I did not know of his works of prose, such as Troilus and Criseyde and Book of the Duchess. After finding a book containing his complete collection of poetry and the book Who Murdered Chaucer? A Medieval Mystery by Terry Jones (#6) did I fully understand the works, trials, and tribulations of being a writer in the 14th century. – Geoffrey Chaucer

6. Terry Jones – Of course, we all know Mr Jones from Monty Python; however, I also know him from his Crusades, Terry Jones’ Medieval Lives, and Terry Jones’ Barbarians television documentaries. I also have the accompanying books as well. Along with documentary films and go-long-with books, he is also a fantabulous children’s book writer – Erik the Viking and Fairy Tales and Fantastic Stories.

7. Christopher Hitchens (1949-2011) – A speaker at the church I used to go to said we need to have Atheist friends. Mr Hitchens would have been a bit to forceful for me to consider a friend, but I admired his ideas about why he was no longer a Christian. God Is Not Great was a good book. I encourage all – believers, non-believers, Vulcans and Broccoli – to read it. I did not stop believing in God, but I got a better understand as to why someone would not. – Christopher Hitchens

8. Alexander McCall Smith (1948) – I love his No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency and Isabel Dalhousie series. His serial novels 44 Scotland Street and Corduroy Mansions have both influenced my short-story idea for my book. Mr Smith’s books make me smile. Through all the troubles I have been going through lately, reading his books again have brought back some of the jive in my step. – Alexander McCall Smith

9. Stephen Fry (1957) – I had a crush on him in university and lasted well into the 2000s, even though I knew he is gay. After reading The Hippopotamus just after university (I was late getting into his books) I knew I found a friend. I did watch his television series Jeeves and Wooster, but his novels and subsequent autobiographies were what sold me. Though, I will be honest, I will never be a poet (in reference to The Ode Less Travelled; Unlocking the Poet Within). – Stephen Fry

10. Terry Pratchett (1948-2015) – My brother introduced me to the Discworld series with Moving Pictures. I saved writing about Mr Pratchett until I finished his last book The Shepherd’s Crown, which I finished 6 September, 2015. I do not remember reading books that made me cry and nearly pass out from laughter as much as those from Mr Pratchett. His passing this year hit me very hard. After reading The Shepherd’s Crown, I am no longer sad. – Terry Pratchett

I think I may do a Ten Favourite Music post next, though I am not sure if I should split it into Classical and Popular, or combine them both. We’ll wait until I decide. Feel free to drop some suggestions.

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