Tag Archives: blogging

1135. Hi Blogging-Boo-Boo-Blondie

Hi Blogging-Boo-Boo-Blondie.

We’ve followed each other’s blogs for so long now that I almost feel like I know you. You must have buried yourself deep in my psyche because last night you appeared in one of my dreams.

You were a lot shorter in the real than I thought you were. I always thought you were relatively tall. But no! You are quite dumpy. When you threw off your dress I got the fright of my life. Thank goodness you were wearing something underneath. But the bulges! I never knew you were that over-weight. In fact, from the photos on your blog, I thought you were quite thin.

The thing I would like to know is why did you refuse to shake my hand? Quite frankly, it upset me. I put out my hand to introduce myself and you looked at me like I was stupid or something. I never knew you were that rude. I’ve always thought we were friends, and then once we get to meet you weren’t as polite as I thought. In fact you were straight-out almost offensive if you ask me.

Anyway, we can carry on sharing our blogs I suppose, but it was a good lesson for me not to take everyone at face value.

Poem 33: Take flight

(The poetic form selected for this month is the ghazal, and this is the last one for the time being!)

Godwits wade, and in late summer light, take flight.
Gulls on beaches, crowds in black and white, take flight.

Old owls wake at dusk and opening wide each eye
(Stealthy phantom hunters of the night) take flight.

Nectar-feeding bellbirds in white blossom trees,
Hearing gravel footsteps near, take fright, take flight.

Raptors rip apart a captured careless hare;
Falcon, eagle, vulture, hawk and kite, take flight.

Ducks waddle in a hapless clumsy manner,
But unmindful of their shuffling plight, take flight.

Dodos without wings were stuck upon the ground;
Bruce’s blogging friends, with visions bright, take flight.

900. The 900th on a plate

(No audio today!)

It’s the 900th story on the 900th day! How to celebrate? Some people in their excitement toss their handbag in the air; some throw high their mortar board; yet others get tipsy and post pictures of themselves in the nude. I need to find something equally exciting to celebrate this occasion…

I know! I shall tell you about my crockery!

I don’t have much crockery, but the bits I have are used frequently and with pleasure. My regular plates are Libretto by Mikasa. It cost a pretty penny about sixteen years ago in North Carolina, and has been used almost every day since. It’s stoneware, and is now starting to look a bit scratched. I never saw the point of getting a dinner set for cabinet display. There’s eight pieces in the set, although one saucer broke when bringing it to New Zealand from Quebec, and I dropped the sugar bowl a couple of years back.

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Then about fourteen years ago, in a quaint second hand shop on the banks of the French Broad River, in Asheville, North Carolina, I spied a turkey dish. It was selling for nearly $100, but I liked it, so bought it. It has been used (and washed) lovingly every celebration (turkey or not) since. It’s called “Home for Thanksgiving” by Johnson Brothers. It might not be that rare or unusual, but it’s quite my most cherished thing.

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Then, to impress with finger food on hoity-toity occasions, there’s this little dish, again by Johnson Brothers. It is called “Leaving the Village”. Although costing only a couple of dollars, it was purchased online at considerable personal cost. I lost a lifetime of good reputation in a single purchase. The woman selling the plate online via a fairly reputable website never sent the dish I purchased, so I complained. She answered with an apology; her grandmother had died and she had to attend the funeral. Scanning through previous comments on her pages, I replied that I was sad to hear her grandmother had died for the sixth time. Well! Did that press a button! “The characteristics of this trader: callousness and arrogance beyond compare. A ‘lovely’ email acts as testimate to the true calibre of his character. With a 100% reputation from over 600 trades I have come across some prickly people, but this ‘gentleman’ takes the cake. Do yourself a favour and blacklist, he’s simply not worth the effort.” This stands as the crowning achievement in my online-purchasing-career, and serves as a story repeated whenever cucumber sandwiches are served. I’m still blacklisted by the website. I follow the seller with interest. Her grandmother sadly passed away several more times, but seems to have eventually snuffed it permanently. The seller is now a simple student struggling to earn money to become an eye specialist so she can help poor blind people in Africa! I would buy another dish to help her out if I wasn’t blacklisted.

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Then there is the French Fish Dish (top of the two pictured), along with a French Cake Dish. I do like them. They are Sarreguemines and are not of great value. And I have never managed to find a fish long enough to fill the length of the plate. Besides, if I did, such a long fish wouldn’t fit in the oven. But the plates get used daily on the table piled with fresh fruit for the taking. And on special occasions they get used for this and that – nibbles, a bit of this and a bit of that!

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Finally, a few years ago I visited a second hand store and there was a Christmas dinner set for six on display. “How much?” I asked. It was $15. I bought it, and it gets used from American Thanksgiving until the Feast of the Epiphany! Who said I wasn’t organized? The picture has food on the plate – just to prove that I sometimes eat.

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There now! That’s my crockery! Fascinating eh? I bet you’re glad I didn’t celebrate the 900th by throwing my handbag in the air.

Award 14: Where the sun doth shine

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I have been nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award! Thank you P. J. Lazos of Central Pennsylvania who blogs at Green Life Blue Water.

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I am delighted to accept. At first I wasn’t sure what country P. J. Lazos came from, and then I spied the use of the word “gotten” and I thought s/he’s either Shakespeare or from the United States! Thank you!

The few rules are: 1. Say thanks. 2. Answer the 11 questions posed. 3. Choose 11 more bloggers and pose 11 questions.

Here are the 11 questions and answers. I ask the same questions of others who may wish to partake:

1. Why do you blog?

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In The Arabian Nights Scheherazade tells 1001 stories – one a night – else she would get her head hacked off. I sort of began this blog with the aim of writing a story a day for 1001 days. There are 148 story days to go. One stumble, one omission, one falter, and I lose my head; cut off, psychologically-speaking, by the Scimitar of Fate.

2. When did you start blogging?

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I started blogging on 9th May 2013. I stopped on 30th June 2014 because I reached story number 555, which was the number of keyboard sonatas written by Dominico Scarlatti. (At that stage Scheherazade’s 1001 Nights seemed too far off). Then towards the end of 2014, filled with regret and ennui, I began to post the stories again, but backdating them from 11th October 2013. Why that date? I have no idea.

3. Do you see yourself blogging in 10 years?

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On 7th July 2016, when 1001 stories are reached, I might continue for another hundred or so, because some of the stories should be scrapped. After that I might change the blog altogether. I thought of going for a walk each day with the camera and posting that. Some bloggers do so, and I find it often immensely interesting. As for ten years? Do the dead blog?

4. What’s the hardest thing about blogging?

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Blogging is a “community event”. Anyone can read, participate, rejoice, and sneer. I try to answer each comment positively, but sometimes things really REALLY get me down. I have a personality that sometimes lashes out before it has time to think! Once I’ve posted a response that might be taken as mildly offensive, you can’t withdraw it. For example, if I wrote: “You whiskey-fermented, love-sotted, spongeful of belfry bat milk. You amorphous hunk of incontinent stag plaque. Why don’t you get a life?” Suddenly I discover I’ve lost a follower. I find it overly stressful at times.

5. If you could be any literary character, who would you be?

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For today I would like to be Gilbert Blythe; a handsome, smart, witty and chivalrous classmate of Anne of Green Gables who has a crush on Anne the moment he sees her. Unaware of Anne’s near-pathological sensitivity about her red hair, he tries to get Anne’s attention by holding her braid and calling her “Carrots!” Anne’s explosively hostile reaction only causes Gilbert to be more smitten. He makes several attempts to apologize, the failure of all of which do not seem to mar his admiration. He attempts apology one last time when he saves Anne from drowning; Anne crassly rebuffs this attempt, only to regret it almost immediately. Years later, he gives up his job offer of teaching at Avonlea School so that Anne may live at Green Gables, upon which the two reconcile and become good friends. And then beyond the book they get married, and presumably have wild sex and lots of kids.

6. Favorite literary genre, and if possible, favorite book?

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My favorite literary genre is the Short Story. Possibly my two favorite Short Story writers are Guy de Maupassant and Katherine Mansfield. Maupassant’s The Diary of a Madman is a delight:

I saw, under a willow, a fisherman asleep. It was noon. A spade, as if expressly put there for me, was standing in a potato-field nearby. I took it. I returned; I raised it like a club, and with one blow cleft the fisherman’s head. Oh! he bled, this one – rose-colored blood. It flowed into the water quite gently…

Katherine Mansfield’s dying man in The Daughters of the Late Colonel is equally memorable:

He lay there, purple, a dark, angry purple in the face, and never even looked at them when they came in. Then, as they were standing there, wondering what to do, he had suddenly opened one eye. Oh, what a difference it would have made, what a difference to their memory of him, how much easier to tell people about it, if he had only opened both! But no – one eye only. It glared at them a moment and then… went out.

7. Do you belong to a writing group? If so, how often do you meet? Are there any rules?

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I have a fairly substantial inferiority complex, and have never called myself a writer, and think I am not worthy of joining a writers’ group. You have to be good at it! One day I was happily weeding my garden and Margaret Mahy suddenly appeared – she is now dead but world-famous for writing and selling millions of children’s books. The Writer’s Group was having a meeting. Could I come and chair the meeting? as all the writers felt “chairing a meeting” was beyond them! Besides, some of the authors were chatterboxes and they needed a chairperson who wouldn’t mind telling them to sit down and shut the heck up! So I did chair the meeting – even though I was not a member of the group. There were about a dozen famous authors there and me! You had to be a published author to belong to the group. I was invited to join the group but I said “Oh but I’m not published”. They said (see my answer to Number 9) “You’ve had more plays performed than anyone else.” But I never attended another meeting as shortly after I left the area.

8. What’s a typical day look like?

I rise at 5am and feed the cat and dog and turn on the coffee machine. I check the news online and download the emails (usually around 150 or so from the blog) while I get my coffee. I attend to the emails and read the blogs of others. At 7am I take my first pill. By 7.30am I have finished taking my pills, and then I have breakfast. (I’m not joking about the pills – my specialist says that people these days underestimate the value of modern medicine! I trust him! I’ve no option anyway!)

Around 8am I write a story or stories for my blog and attend to comments.

If it’s not raining I mow the lawn, or weed the garden, or just mess around. If it’s raining I mess around. Usually I practice the piano for an hour or so daily. This year I’m concentrating on Joseph Haydn’s keyboard works – it’s only February; the guy’s a genius but I’m tired of him already.

About 10 o’clock I start working, which is formatting in MSWord, Chemistry Safety Procedures that have to be translated into other languages. There can be up to 82 languages that a document might need translating into, and if the formatting is not exactly correct, when the translation is made there’s not a chance in hell of getting the formatting right. Try formatting a document in Malayalam if you can’t read Malay!

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I take the dog (and usually the cat comes too) for a walk around 3 o’clock.

I start drinking preparing the evening meal around 5/5.30pm and eating at 6/7pm. After that I mess around and go to bed about 9pm.

9. Have you ever been published and if so, indie or traditional and why?

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This is a hornets nest! The New Zealand National Library (that’s a Government Department – pictured) says that if a work “is available to others” then it is classified as “published”. Twenty years ago – or something – a New Zealand playwrights’ association advertised in their newsletter that if you wanted to perform any unpublished New Zealand play, here is a list of titles, playwrights, and how to contact them. The National Library jumped up and down and said there is no such thing as “an available unpublished work”. (You see, they have to get a free copy of everything published). So I guess I have got everything published, because all my writings are available for free. No, I am not Indie. No, I am not traditional. I am “Available”. And not a single copy resides in the National Library.

I used to tell teachers that if they had a copy of a children’s play they were welcome to photocopy it as many times as they wished. And they did! It meant in the long term that I have become “the most performed playwright in the history of the country” – and probably the poorest. And not a thing “published”!

10. What inspires your writing? Does your family support it?

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I don’t have any family – well, I have 5 siblings and not a single one is on Facebook – but I have a friend. I don’t think he has ever read my blog. He read my novel and rather disliked it I think. Then again, he might be fussy, as he’s read Wuthering Heights in 9 languages! He has translated for me to read lots of Victor Hugo and a pile of unpublished-in-English Jules Verne.

Nothing in particular inspires my writing. I usually get an idea while having breakfast, or in the shower. The period between sleep and wake is great for ideas, but almost impossible to remember. There’s a certain curve in the road here in Levin where I live. 90% of the time, when coming back home after getting the groceries, I get an idea with a jolt at that curve in the road. Funny, eh?

11. Tell me something unique about yourself.

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I can water divine. Not with a twitch of willow, but with a twisted wire that bends and warps towards water.

In my younger, and at times unscrupulous, days I divined the city water supply pipe running under the school property. We tapped it and had free water for several years, watering the cricket wickets (think baseball diamonds) during the long dry summers. They were beautifully green.

Nominees:

As you may know, I never nominate. But here are 11 blogs that I enjoy – amid dozens; you might like to look at all or some. They can take the award if they wish. I would take the nomination if so “nominated” – but then again, I’m an egotistical so-and-so!

I recommend these 11 for your possible enjoyment (please don’t be offended if not mentioned!) I’m just doing my best guys… bloomin’ heck!… I haven’t all the time in the world… And these are some I read almost daily…

The Kitchen Garden
Vultureşti
Mrs. Walker’s Art and Illustrations
The Wayward Warrior
Snips & Snaps
Pickin’ Petals Farm and Mud Room
Traveling Rockhopper
Almost Iowa
One Grain Amongst the Storm
A Narcissist Writes Letters, to Himself
Topshit Photography

768. Lavinia’s blog

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My name is Lavinia. This is my blog. I call it Smudgy-Wudgy-Kitchy-Koo, Author. Here is today’s posting:

I would like to thank all my followers, and everyone who has given me a like. Without you no one would read my blog.

At the moment I have writer’s block. It’s terrible to be an author and have writer’s block. It’s when you can’t think of anything to say. That’s why I’m taking this opportunity to thank everyone who follows my blog, while I think of something to say.

Another thing I could do, while I have writers block, is to post some poems and to reblog my friends. Also, thank you to everyone who comments on my blog. I love getting comments and also on Facebook and Twitter and Tumblr and if anyone wants to reblog this I would appreciate it and also give you a like. I have been reblogged eight times by my friends.

Also I want to thank Partridge in a Peach Tree for nominating my blog as the Most Inspiring Blog on the Web!!!! I have to say forty-one things about myself and nominate twenty-seven other inspiring bloggers who also have the most inspiring blogs on the web. I shall answer those questions in a future posting. Partridge in a Peach Tree yah!

Thank you for reading. And to think!!! This is only my second posting.

Award 11: Aow, wouldn’t it be loverly?

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Aow, wouldn’t it be loverly?
Loverly, loverly, loverly, loverly
– “My Fair Lady”

Wendy of Ramblings and Musings has graciously bestowed upon my humble personage the One Lovely Blog Award. Thank you, Wendy. Wendy’s blog is for “cultivating gratitude and sharing joy”. It certainly does that; more so for me with the nomination for this award! Wendy writes that the initial intention of her blog was to find something to be grateful for every day. Do visit!

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Here are the rules for accepting the One Lovely Blog Award:

1. Thank and give a link to the person who nominated you.
2. List the rules and display the award.
3. Share 7 things about yourself.
4. Nominate 15 other bloggers and comment on their blogs to let them know. (I’ve suggested only 10).

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Since Halloween is about to shriek its gruesome face from out behind the door, I thought seven ghastly-ghostly chocolate-coated candies that have happened to me would be an appropriate seasonal gift. These are true:

1. I had poltergeist in the attic of my house. Noisy activity would begin exactly at 11 p.m. and cease at precisely 3 a.m.
2. Lights in the house would be turned on and off.
3. The toilet in the bathroom would flush on its own accord. One time an empty bath was filled with water; I heard it filling; I saw it filled.
4. Footsteps above my ceiling and on the staircase would tread up and down, ceaselessly; mercilessly.
5. A bunch of keys hanging on a bookcase hook would swing merrily without a gust of wind (or an earthquake). Doors would unlock and door handles turn of their own accord. Bang! Bang! Bang! Would slam the doors.
6. The luggage stored in the attic would get rearranged – nightly.
7. I was a sleepless wreck after three weeks. I asked a priest to come and bless the place. He said: “Don’t tell me! Not that house! Not again!” Anyway… they stopped…

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As some may know, I do not nominate, but I make recommendations to readers to increase the pleasure and wisdom of their lives by venturing possibly into an exploration of the blogs of others that they may have failed to notice! Here are 10 of the blogs I follow and am enriched by. I would list 15 if time was on my side… Some of these blogs are “Award-Free”, but presumably they are not agin intelligent people observinging their postings. If they wish to consider this recommendation as an award nomination, they are very welcome! I follow many more blogs, but these are the 10 that get a little push today:

1. Uma of One Grain Against the Storm presents a mélange of memoirs, fiction, short stories, verses, book reviews and uncorked angst. Here are examples of writing at its most evocative. It is a brilliant example of how the internet presents us with a universality of expression and experience.

2. Cindy Knoke has an award free blog. Cindy doesn’t simply take photographs; she captures the very essence of the subject. I’m sure too she has the gift of bilocation. There doesn’t seem to be a nook or cranny in this world that has not been captured! Fabulous!

3. A Note from Abroad features Joanne and Tim Joseph’s travels of the world. They leave a trail of descriptions and visuals that surely would make us all envious if we weren’t so nice! I’m amazed that they’re not forever bumping into Cindy Knoke (above)…

4. Yaz of The Falling Thoughts. Yaz is a travel enthusiast, who is multi-lingual – fluent in Arabic, English, and Spanish. (A bit like me, but I don’t have the Arabic and Spanish bits). I always find a surprising image hidden in a Yaz Poem – Let me move those clouds So you can feel the sun…

5. Oscar Alejandro Plascencia of In So Many Words presents a NOH8 scene where he posts poetry and thoughts often with a same gender leitmotif. Currently he is in the running to win the A Star is Born online competition, and would undoubtedly appreciate your weekly vote.

6. Chris at chrisnelson61 presents poetry, stories and some random words… He is a great and faithful support of the blogs of others too!

7. Pacificparatrooper is not just Pacific War era information. It is more than a boring list of wartime events. It is a tribute to the bravery of countless men and women who fought in war. GP Cox presents a daily tribute and a feast of stuff you never knew before…

8. Sarah Angleton’s blog at The Practical Historian is always well-researched, beautifully written, slightly odd-ball, and highly entertaining. One of the best blogs, surely, around. Award-free.

9. Cynthia Jobin is an unrecognized National Treasure. Her blog at littleoldladywho is a goldmine. Cynthia writes poems using traditional (and sometimes ancient) poetic forms using everyday language. There’s an audio of her reading them as well. Award-free.

10. Susanne at Redosue aims to take sometimes some of her previous postings and rethink, revisit, rewrite. The result is style with a great deal of panache.

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Thanks again, Wendy for the nomination.

711. Thank you for sharing this

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Thank you for sharing this, Amber, it’s so uplifting. When you said your boyfriend left without saying goodbye, I just about cried. And then when he came back I did cry, it was so beautiful. I actually sat there and wept all over my keyboard.

I can’t believe that anyone would be so heartless as to leave you for someone else, and later that same day when they discovered they weren’t wanted at the new person’s place, they came back to you.

And to think you took him in! Took him back! And then he left again for someone else, and he came back and you took him in again. I cried three times.

And then he left and came back, and left and came back. Each time you took him in.

Sometimes I suspect he might be using you.