Tag Archives: blogging

Some Housekeeping

To start with, we are literally doing some housekeeping and saying goodbye to the lovingly hoarded rammel of a decade. Actually, according to some of the paperwork, that’s two decades.

I have to keep documents for seven years for tax purposes, but the problem is that I never remember to throw things out. I need a system of rotation, like a shop, rather than my current system of piling, like a compost heap.

With the help of a shredder, I intend that most of the old paperwork will shortly be entering a compost heap, but after that, rotation will be my watchword.

Another watchword is, of course, good intentions. OK, so it’s two words, but it’s close enough.

The writing exercises are going well. This is Day Three of the blogging challenge, so it’s still on track. It’s not particularly impressive viewed against the record of some of the more prolific and regular bloggers on WP, but it’s getting back to where I want it to be.

The more I write, the more I want to write, so it’s working well. That’s probably a theme I will return to, as I recently read an article on prolific writing and the way it helps generate ideas. It’s working for blogging, and it’s working for Haibun.

So, decluttering and back to writing. That’s two things. I’m now going to get to grips with making a list of all the irksome little jobs I have to do.

There are a lot of them.

But first, I’m going to make Julia a cup of tea.

And they say romance is dead…

No photos today – the ancient netbook doesn’t seem able to handle photographs tonight and just spent twenty minutes freezing.

 

 

Why I Started Blogging

 I started blogging for two reasons. One was that I thought Quercus Community needed a profile on Social Media. That reason has passed, as there is no group now, and I really should change the name. I did say I was going to do this a year ago but I am famous for my inertia.

The second was that I needed more practice writing. I’d become slack and lazy and unproductive. I’m still slack and lazy, but it has made me more productive. I can, as I found yesterday, knock out a thousand words in an hour. I didn’t mean to time it but I had about an hour to fill and I did two posts in that time (one still to be published) which came to 970 words. In my world that’s near enough a thousand.

The reason I wanted to write more was that I enjoy it. I had also looked at something called “content writing” and thought it offered a way of making money. Not a fortune, but enough to keep us fed. Unfortunately, when I had a serious look at it the sites offering employment they all seemed to be full of American students offering to write for next to nothing.

My plan of writing to keep us supplied with groceries collapsed. That sort of money is only enough to buy biscuits and, to be honest, it’s easier just to give up biscuits and write things I enjoy but don’t get paid for.

At the moment I’m going through a bit of a slump with the blog and failing miserably at my self-inflicted target of a post a day.

It’s partly to do with time, partly to do with inclination and partly to do with equipment. I still haven’t had the laptop repaired and the netbook isn’t very inspiring. In other words, I only have myself to blame.

And that’s it. Just 300 words in twenty minutes today, because there’s not much more to say. However, it is interesting to note, as with poetry writing, that the more you do, the more fluent you get.

I’m avoiding the word “better” as I’m not convinced my writing is better than it was – just that there is more of it.

Distractions…

I have 25 minutes before I have to take Number Two Son to work, so just 25 minutes to write this post. I’ve had all day to do it, but haven’t been able to concentrate and get anything written.

I’m slightly distracted by the different colours that seem to have appeared on WordPress. My “Publish” button is an unattractive shade of red, instead of green and several other things have changed colour too. I’d love to know why, as it’s definitely not an improvement. Things were fine just the way they were, and I can’t help thinking there were more important things to do, like fixing the inability of my site to search for photos that are more than a couple of weeks old.

Apart from that, I’m distracted by the number of things I have to do. I have three book reviews to write, for instance, but can’t seem to get to grips with any of them.

At least I managed to run a few errands with Julia today (it was an unadventurous day off today) and finish a book that arrived in the post yesterday. It was a short book.

And so, in twelve minutes I’ve accomplished what I couldn’t manage in the previous twelve hours.

Amazing what a little time pressure will do.

When I post this I will be in the final week of my 100 post challenge and down into single figures for the haiku challenge. Time to think of what will replace them. I’ve gone off the 100 tearoom challenge as I’m having to think of my weight.

The photographs are from a visit to Anderby Creek in 2017, which was a day I remember fondly.

 

 

 

Decisions…

I’ve delivered Julia to work, I’ve re-set my car clock to GMT and I’ve had a drive round to look at nature from the inside of a heated car.

I hadn’t intended driving round so didn’t have a notebook with me, and have returned with two haiku and a couple of notes scribbled on the back of a car park ticket. I keep meaning to get a recorder to carry with me – this phone doesn’t seem to offer that facility.

I’m now facing a big decision. Do I do the laundry or do I write a post? I think you can probably guess the answer from the fact you are reading this.

It will save time later, as the days soon pass and I’m so disorganised that it could easily be close to midnight before I actually press the button to publish. That’s what happened last night. I  started writing around 7.00 and it was close to midnight when I eventually posted. It didn’t, as you may guess, take me five hours to write. But somehow I managed to fill the rest of the time with eating, napping, watching TV, talking to Julia and surfing eBay.

At the moment “out of control” is the theme of my life. The garden needs tidying, the house needs a serious declutter and I have letters to write regarding both health and finance – all important stuff.

I have also lost control of my haiku. I don’t know how many I’ve written on my challenge (though it is at least ten a day, so I’m keeping up with it) and I still have a lot to edit,  type and index. It’s the indexing that’s tricky. They don’t have titles. They don’t lend themselves to numbering due to my habit of making and keeping multiple edits. Quite often they have the same first line (see previous comments on multiple edits). All in all they are slippery little creatures and trying to keep them under control is like trying to herd hamsters.

Looks like I’m going to have to look at numbering again, or risk upsetting an editor.

This post marks 21 successive days of posting. Early days yet, but I’m starting to establish a habit.

At this point the 21 days could be significant, as the old saying is that it takes 21 days to form a habit. This, as with so many things, is a myth. Newer research indicates that it takes between 18 and 254 days to form a habit.

Writing haiku, which was a development of my normal poetry writing only seemed to take a week to take hold but my broken blogging habit doesn’t feel established after 21 days. Eating salad would probably take 254 days to become a habit. Even at 254 days it wouldn’t so much be a case of forming a habit, more like breaking my spirit and me losing the will to live.

Challenge Reports

The 100 Posts/100 Days Challenge is on course, with seventeen successive days done. Only 83 days to go.

I’ve done better in the past, so I’m not getting too excited yet, though it’s nice to see things taking shape. I’m struggling at the moment, to be honest. I have plenty to say but  either a lack of enthusiasm or a lack of skill seems to be slowing me down. It will come. I have plenty of things to say but I’m struggling to write them down.

I’m sure it will get better.

Meanwhile, the Haiku Challenge is going quite well. Sixteen days in and I’m starting to find things a bit easier. With writing regularly I’m finding it easier to understand the structure and, as a result, easier to write things that look and sound like haiku.

Now that I can do that I’m able to relax and generate more ideas.

However, I’m not going to make any boastful claims just now. I’m going to send some of the new haiku off over the next few weeks and see if any editors like them.

That’s all for now – I just thought I’d let you know that life isn’t all fun and curry.

 

A Note About Laurie Graves – Author, Raconteur and Eater of Ice Cream

I referred to Laurie Graves as a “noted author” in a recent post. She, of course, modestly demurred.

Well, apart from her blog, Notes from the Hinterland, she has also written a Young Adult book – Maya and the Book of Everything.

Having searched for those links I now feel a touch of shame that I have fallen behind with her blog, and have not reviewed the book on Amazon. I did review it on this blog, but that didn’t really reach many people compared to reviewing it on Amazon. I really must do better.

According to her latest post Laurie has just completed the first draft of her second Maya novel.

I’m looking forwards to the new book.

So, there you are – I’ve written a note about her. She is now definitely a noted author.

In time she may become well-known, famous, prize-winning or even legendary. Who can tell? But for now, she is definitely a noted author.

🙂

Two Hours

I returned home after dropping Julia off at work and noted the time – 6.09. As I type this line it is 8.02 and I have just finished part of my catching up with WP. I have read and replied to all the people who posted comments over the last few days and made reciprocal visits to the first few on the list. I’m hoping to visit more by the end of the day but I thought I’d post now as “Two Hours” seemed a reasonable title, I’m also finding that if I leave it until the end of the day I find more work to do, or fall asleep in front of the TV, and end up not posting.

It’s 8.06 now. Am I really only writing a line a minute?

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Budgerigar Society badge

The photograph is a Budgerigar Society badge. It dates from 1930 – 1950s. In 1930 they changed from the Budgerigar Club to Budgerigar Society. On the back it has a fitting to go through the buttonhole in the lapel of a man’s jacket. This sort of fitting died out in the 50s as clothing became more casual and pins became the norm. It’s currently on our eBay site with a bid of 99 pence.

When I was 16 I dreamed of working for Spinks. In my 20s I wanted to be rich and successful.

Today I’m happy to have a job that pays me to write about Budgerigar Society badges.

Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair! as Mr Shelley said.

It’s 8.20 now – where does the day go?