Tag Archives: ideas

Twelve Ideas

Lat night I wrote a list of ideas when I was looking for subjects to write about.  I ended up with eleven, which grew to twelve when I decided to write about writing a list of things to write about. Ideas, as I may have said before, are not difficult to come by. I could probably have thought of 20-30 more, but I find that having too many ideas is not always a good thing. If you have too many the quality tails off and you never get to the end of the list.

I meant to start using them last night but by the time I’d written the blog post and edited work in progress, I ran out of energy. This morning I started with some reading and commenting and have just looked at the list un front of me.

Twelve ideas became ten because two are undecipherable. That became  eleven when I remembered what one of them was, and twelve when I decided that writing about bad handwriting could replace the idea I couldn’t read.

As I said, I don’t lack ideas, just the ability to turn ideas into results. I think I may have told you we once had a meeting on the farm and someone said, with a perfectly straight face, “My talent is having ideas, rather than doing things. If you want any ideas I have plenty of them.”

If you’ve ever been on a committee I think you probably agree that talk and ideas are never in short supply. One person putting one idea into action, that’s what’s in short supply.

On that subject, what happens next? Well, I have twelve ideas. You are reading the result of one of them. Four of them have moved on to be the prose sections of haibun. Three of them now have lines of poetry attached. Two of them will become blog posts. One, I have not developed, but will do. The twelfth, which was going to be about the trials of being a prince with a trophy wife and a massive trust fun, doesn’t really appeal. I am going to cross that one off. Sometimes you realise you just don’t want to develop an idea.

The next stage is typing the haibun prose and the first drafts of the blog posts. Some results will be good, some not so good. It’s all a process of natural wastage. Eventually twelve ideas will be turned into a few finished pieces and the rest will be used as spare parts for other things.

 

Too Many Thoughts

It’s a bit nippy today, but seems bright enough as I look past my computer screen to the world outside.

I made a start on a couple of projects last night – cataloguing my collection and sorting things out to make a start at selling on eBay. I’ve been saying I will do this for several years now. I will do more today,in the hope that it will become a habit. Later I will have to order some padded envelopes.

Recently I have fallen behind with my blog reading, which is a shame, as there are lots of great blogs to read. Again, it’s a case of establishing a habit. Unfortunately my head is full of other things, and I really have to get that done. I will b back to reading blogs later today but for now I need to write.

Ten minutes with pen and paper upstairs has given me enough to write about for the rest of the day and I want to get that done before I lose the impetus. I’ve not done much writing recently and need to start  again. When I’ve done today’s notes Istill have a couple of weeks of ideas to work on.

So that’s where I am – to many things to do and not enough time or brain to do it. Today I will do the things that make me happy – writing and reading and tomorrow I will do things that need doing but aren’t as pleasurable – listing, sorting and cookery.

And with that plan in mind, I had better get on with it.

Heron at Arnott Hill park – he looks as happy as I feel

Just a quick note about parker pens – the orange one I use in my stock picture is almost deceased. It seemed flimsier than previous pens, and when I gathered them for a comparison, it definitely was flimsier.

The first problem was an internal leak which left staining that you could see from the outside – this looks shabby. Then a crack developed in the cap. The nib is excellent, but the rest of it is not up to scratch. As Parker have ignored all my hints that I would like free pens in return for mentions on the blog, I feel I can mention their shoddy build quality. My Parker experience has been disappointing. I have several older pens that have lasted 30 years so this one is a particular disappointment.

I only buy cheap pens, I admit, because I am forever putting them down and losing then, but Parker prices seem to have gone up and build quality has gone down. This, as history shows, is a perfect recipe for losing market share, or even bankruptcy. You don’t need as degree in business to spot that, but it’s an error people still make. All those young geniuses in their shiny offices with big salaries and gleaming German cars, and they can’t spot that.

Parker, I don’t want free samples of your inferior pens, but if you have any well-paid jobs in marketing or  quality control I’d be happy to sell my principles and work for you.

It’s leaf. It may or may not have a deeper meaning. But mainly it’s a leaf.

Meanwhile, Julia has had her results from yesterday’s covid test – negative again.

A Fresh Start

I was so full of ideas this morning that I filled two pages of my A4 notebook before I even got my trousers on. It’s maybe not the most dignified of mental pictures, but it shows the wisdom of always keeping a notebook close to hand.

Most of them will, of course, not develop much further. I could feel that from a few of them as they hit the page and scurried across the book. Some will not be good enough to develop, though a few will be merged with other ideas. Some will, I confess, be illegible by the time I have another look. My handwriting is truly, and embarrassingly, terrible.

That will still leave plenty. It’s quite likely that some will never be developed simply because I move on to other things before finishing the list from this morning. That is the life of a poem. Sometimes it soars, but it, more often it staggers or simply slumps.

Sunset over Wilford, Notts

Sunset over Wilford, Notts

I really must get a grip. I have some haiku to finish, because they need to be submitted tomorrow. I also need to arrange my buildings insurance (which just means remembering to pay for it) and order the Christmas food. It’s only ten days to Christmas and I am not at all prepared. I’ve ordered Julia’s main present (which probably won’t get here until after Christmas) and a supplementary present which I hope will get here before Christmas. The post is unfortunately very random. In my defence, she didn’t tell me what she wanted until last night, so it’s not entirely my fault. However, we don’t currently have a turkey. I’m not that bothered myself, I’d be happy with a tin of corned beef and a sprig of holly, but everybody else expects turkey.

At the moment my only proper preparations for Christmas are two tubes of cheese footballs I bought several months ago, a Christmas pudding and a packet of stuffing. As preparations go, it’s not impressive.

Sunset over Wilford, Notts

Sunset over Wilford, Notts

These area few sunset photos I took last week. I’m not sure they were successful, looking at them in this size, but at least they are new.

 

Another 100 Day Challenge – Haiku

It’s Day 100 of the Haiku Challenge.

I now have over 1,000 haiku of indeterminate quality. Some of them aren’t haiku, some are senyru. Some are more like fragments, or notes. And many of them are merely bad.

Having taken all that into consideration, was it worth it?

Undoubtedly. I’ve learned a lot from the experience, including that in any 100 day challenge you are going to come to hate what you are doing. Whether this holds true for my new challenge remains to be seen.

I first came up with the idea from reading this this post whilst browsing the net for haiku-related posts. I then moved on to reading this article, which is a lot more ambitious.

My “rules”, garnered from the article, were simple. Ten haiku a day for 100 days, avoiding too much censorship and writing extra to catch up if I couldn’t manage ten one day. As the article admitted that experienced writers were only getting one good haiku out of ten or twenty attempts I felt justified in taking a laid back attitude.

So, what did I learn?

Well, I became more fluent in my writing and found ideas came more easily.

I became addicted to writing and couldn’t rest if I didn’t write at least ten a day. Apart from the days I needed a rest, because there were several days where I hated haiku so badly that I couldn’t write one. That did happen a couple of times, but I soon got over it after a day off.

I also ran out of nature several times. Despite becoming more observant and making better notes as time went on, I found I was struggling with enough nature observations to keep myself going. You don’t see much nature when you are just driving through town to work and back, and magpies and bare branches are simply not enough to feed a heavy haiku habit.

Towards the end of the time I noticed I was writing three line poems with the rhythms and vocabulary of haiku.

That last point is quite important. I started with a lot of long words and details which aren’t really needed in haiku. A three syllable word in a haiku, remember, is three thirteenths of the syllables needed for a modern haiku (seventeen is now considered old-fashioned). Three thirteenths of a sonnet is near enough three lines, so you can see how condensed a haiku is, and why you can’t waste a single syllable.

That was probably the most important thing I learned.

Now, it’s time to take Number Two Son to work.

Over the next few weeks I will do some rewriting and may show you a few poems.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inspiration

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Heavily stamped envelope

This is my version of the Random Idea Generator. I just stick a load of stamps on and take a picture to remind myself later.

Spanish Armada, Fishermen, Sign Language, Tropical Fish, Horse Chestnut, The Mallard, Landscape, Flowers, Gramophone,  Postal Union, Fire Engine, Radio Broadcasting, Inigo Jones building, Inigo Jones masque costumes.

That’s just a taster. Many of them lead on to other thoughts.

Here are a few others.

More Stampish Inspiration

More Stampish Inspiration

 

Roald Dahl, Cats, Morgan Le Fey, Merlin, Christmas, Cricket, Edward Lear, Pathe News, National Trust Cliff, Bittern, a couple I’m not sure about (including a French Horn), Rugby League, Golf, Football, something to do with Springtime and Queen Elizabeth II.

I really must read them more thoroughly next time and remember what they are.

I’m not sure they will convert to haiku very easily, but they should work for haibun and other forms. The prompts will be incorporated into my writing challenges. (Because they aren’t already hard enough…)

 

Ideas (Part 1)

By the time I’d finished my frittering yesterday I had twenty minutes to post before midnight. At that point I decided that it was time to take a more relaxed attitude.

I’ve become adept at knocking out a quick post over the last year or so in order to maintain a record of daily posting. The post is the easy bit – adding photos and tags is what seems to take time. You can meet the deadline despite this, simply post before midnight then edit to add all the other bits after midnight.

At the moment I have photographs with no words, words with no photographs and ideas with no words or photographs. For the sake of symmetry, I really should add that I have words and photographs with no idea, but I don’t. One thing I’m not short of is ideas.

They say that the most frightening thing in the army is a new officer with a map, and I can see this being true. In civilian life the most frightening thing I know is a committee member with an idea, or even worse, several ideas. I was at a committee meeting on the farm once when a new member announced “I don’t do things, I see my role as being more about having ideas. I could probably write a list of fifty ideas now.”

The ironic thing, as anyone who has ever served on a committee will know, is that everyone has at least fifty ideas, but what you really want is people who will do things. If committee work was about sitting round having ideas we wouldn’t be permanently short of people on committees.

The phone has just rung. I should have left it but I am conditioned to answer telephones. Four rings later, as I am half-way there, it stops. This is more irritating than actually picking it up to find either the noise of a call centre or the inane scripted chatter of an operator.

So, idea number one – see if there’s a landline that offers call barring.

Two – go ex-directory.

Three – disconnect the phone.

Four – look into the Edgar Wallace plot device that allows you to kill someone via a telephone line. I can’t remember the story, but I do remember the ability. My grandfather often mentioned the story, so I assume this is a case of genetics.

Five – see if it’s possible to set it to stun or sting, as killing someone for being irritating is a little harsh.

Six – look up You Tube footage of sturgeon. I saw some on TV and at the Garden Centre yesterday. There must be a celestial purpose to it. I like sturgeon.

Seven – remember that the irritating Scotswoman is called Sturgeon. Nicola Salmon is just a figment of my imagination.

Eight – and remember Salmond, Alex Salmond. See above.

Nine – look into careers that offer fame, fees for speeches and generous expenses.

Ten – look into careers where you can promise much and get away with delivering nothing.

Eleven – find address for Liberal Democrat Party.

Twelve –

Is that the time already? Better get ready – I have an appointment to be stabbed in the arm in half an hour.

Twelve – develop a better blood test. Preferably one that involves no stabbing.

Thirteen – develop a blood test that uses a mobile phone app.

Fourteen – check what a “mobile phone app” is. I’ve heard people talk about them but I really have no idea…

More Random Titles and Happiness

I took another look at the random generator and came up with: Is there anything you regret?

The answer, of course, is “yes”.

I think I’ll leave it at that as going further into an answer is like opening a big bag of misery and reaching in right up to the elbows. Yes, I regret a lack of confidence, parenting skills, education and skill at saving. But all the wallowing in the world won’t change it, so on to the next question.

Those of you who are able to put up with bad language might like to read a bit of Larkin on the subject.

Write about how you drive (or why you don’t).

I drive less well than I did when I was in my 40s. However, I make up for that loss of quality with the increasing volume of advice I dispense to other drivers.

Write about an experience that made you very happy.

Starting on WordPress made me happy. It was a bit of a trial at first, and still can be on some days, but overall, I’m happy when I’m typing and thinking of all the interesting people out there.

I was also happy when I found the random subject generator. I was having a tough morning thinking and it has eased the burden of thinking quite nicely.

Who from your past do you wish were still around?

Actually, shelve what I just said about it making me happy. You can’t live your life looking back and thinking about what might have been.

There are dozens of family members that I’d like to have around, but I’d want them back in healthy and happy times, not how they were when they died. And that sounds a bit like the plot for a horrible sci-fi plot.

I’m not sure whether to go for another random title or not.

Write about your feet.

Yes, time to call it a day. My feet have done sterling service over the years but this is one subject too many…

 

In which I have some Brilliant Ideas

I dropped Julia at work this morning then went to the jewellers.

We didn’t talk about jewellery much, but we did set the world to rights and form the idea for a new TV programme.

The programme will take place in two shops in Nottingham and feature two groups of miserable old men sitting round moaning about how things used to be better. We already have one shop with three miserable old sods (even though one is quite young, he moans with the best of us) and have another shop and group of old gits in mind for the second one. We’re going to pitch it to a successful producer we know and see what happens.

People like antiques, reality shows and grumpy old men so I think it has legs as an idea. Personally, I’ll be looking for some advertising and a book spin-off. If Scarlett Moffatt can do it I’m sure I can, though, looking at her profile, I may need a new middle name. Karloff seems good. It has the right ring to it and you can see why William Henry Pratt adopted it as a stage name.

We were talking of the things that used to worry us, like Russia invading Afghanistan. Do you remember that – we all thought how stupid they were for trying – it rarely ends well for the invader.

Now we worry about recycling and financing kids through college.

We also spoke of the good old days and a local dealer who just bought a forgery of a rare coin, losing £2,000 on the deal. It was offered to him, gleaming and uncirculated, in the middle of a parcel of average worn coins. There’s a place where enthusiasm for coins, and the love of profit muffles the alarm bells that should be ringing.

How, he should have asked, did such a remarkably well-preserved coin end up in a batch of worn silver? It takes remarkably little wear to downgrade a coin in the eyes of a collector. Terms such as bag marks and cabinet wear are used to denote the sort of damage that can be done to a coin even before it is circulated. Bag marks are the marks that occur during manufacture and packing into bags. Cabinet wear is the light scuffing that occurs when a coin moves in a cabinet as you open and close the drawers. That is how fussy they are.

Anyway, he didn’t ask, he paid the money, and he can’t get the seller on the phone number he supplied, which gives me an idea for the next TV programme – CSI Coin Shop.

Stranger things have caught on…