K is for kindle – #AtoZChallenge

kindle1

[kin-dl]
verb (used with object), kindled, kindling.

1.

to start (a fire); cause (a flame, blaze, etc.) to begin burning.

2.

to set fire to or ignite (fuel or any combustible matter).

3.

to excite; stir up or set going; animate; rouse; inflame:

He kindled their hopes of victory.

4.

to light up, illuminate, or make bright:

Happiness kindled her eyes.
verb (used without object), kindled, kindling.

5.

to begin to burn, as combustible matter, a light, fire, or flame.

6.

to become aroused or animated.

7.

to become lighted up, bright, or glowing, as the sky at dawn or the eyes with ardor.
And the timer begins…
This is another one of those words where the first meaning that springs to mind is not one listed in the dictionary, until a few years ago these meanings would have all rattled round my head but now Kindle is a trade name for my ebook reader. Don’t get me wrong I do still prefer real books but my Kindle is a life saver when going on long journeys, and free ebooks have been a great way to find new authors that I can then happily invest my limited funds in at a later date.  In one way of course, the very name Kindle for the device, ties in with one of the original meanings, because if you find a good book to read upon it then it does indeed kindle the imagination. Maybe on a winters evening you could even light a bonfire, using kindling of course, then sit with your Kindle and allow it to set your mind ablaze round the fire, while paying suitable attention to the actual fire of course, I have recently bought a incinerator bin so when the weather allows a few dry days I hope to sit by that as it burns my garden rubbish and enjoy a book in peace, of course dry weather also means having to wait until no washing is out and no one is having a BBQ as rose wood can be quite smoky.
I have to admit I do like having fires, even without reading a book just sitting watching the flames can let the imagination run lose, the pictures you can see in the flames the way the embers glow and move as the fire dies, so many chances to think on things. I grew up living in a coal board house where we had coal fires and there is something very comforting about sitting reading by a nice warm fire but I have to admit I do like the ease of modern heating systems where the house can be kept warm with the turn of a thermostat instead of getting up in the cold and having to wait for the fire to be built and lit to get warm, in an ideal home I would love to have both.
The timer has pinged so time to do some house work then get another post done.

J is for jester – #AtoZChallenge

jester

[jes-ter]
noun

1.

a person who is given to witticisms, jokes, and pranks.

2.

a professional fool or clown, especially at a medieval court.
Let’s start the timer…
My initial thought when I think of the jester is to think of Harley Quinn and the Joker, probably because I only just re-watched Suicide Squad a few days ago but when I consider the actual definition I am reminded of a book I once read though I cannot remember the title. When you first think of the medieval court jester I think it is easy to dismiss them as fools, weaklings, people of no consequence but when you actually think about it logically they really were in an incredibly dangerous and potentially powerful position.
Think about it they had more access to the monarch than probably anyone else, they could hang around without raising suspicion after all their job was to be there at their masters beck and call, to amuse him whenever he saw fit, and because they would often be of small stature, possibly with impediments or deformities, either physical or mental, that would have held them back in life. In the book I read the jester was a dwarf if I remember correctly but incredibly intelligent and used his position to manipulate the King’s opinion on his courtiers, of course it had to be done carefully mock the wrong person who had too much power and there may be repercussions but do it in such a way as to make the person look bad if they react to the jester and subtle undermining of a person’s character can be achieved.
Got distracted and the timer has gone off but going to leave it short as I am behind on these posts.

I is for insane – #AtoZChallenge

insane

[in-seyn]
adjective

1.

not sane; not of sound mind; mentally deranged.

2.

of, relating to, or characteristic of a person who is mentally deranged:

insane actions; an insane asylum.

3.

utterly senseless:

an insane plan.
And the timer begins…
I think I am insane for taking one this challenge every April, don’t get me wrong I love it but is always seems that things crop up when I try, this is probably why I don’t try doing Nano in November. Insanity is a perfect subject for me I remember first seeing this info-graphic which I am going to insert here…
now you can obviously see why this made me stop and contemplate so many of the things you could be committed for let’s start with the first, being kicked by a horse! I totally get that if you are kicked in the head by the horse it could cause some form of brain damage but what if the horse kicked you and broke your leg, then clipped your head as you fell down but did not actually do any damage to your head do you still get locked up? Does it make a difference what you were doing to the horse when it kicks you? You can imagine for the writer side of me the endless possibilities each of the ‘reasons’ above. Many of them of course were aimed at women but I imagine that a few young men may have also ended up confined should they fail to live up to their families wishes.
My ex’s mum worked in an asylum a few years ago, a place which is now closed down, but she always said it was so sad that there were women there who were institutionalised by their years spent shut away, usually on the orders of their families for falling in love with the wrong people, getting caught having sex outside marriage and having children out of wedlock. I have an idea in my head for a story involving an asylum and a rich family which I would love to write at some point.
What is surprising is how many of the reasons that a man could probably be committed involve trauma, I know your normal hospital would not have been equipped to deal with brain damage or mental illness but you wonder how shutting someone away with depression or shell shock, in an institution full of people with serious mental illness (though of course many would not have the sort of diagnosed conditions we know of today) could eve hope to lead to their recovery.
Personally I would have been committed on numerous counts, let’s just mention the novel reading and as the timer is going leave you to imagine the others lol.
Leave a comment below for which you are most likely to be committed for is you dare!

Lazy Sunday #38

It is lunchtime I have been productive, well sort of, I have washing out on the line and I have planted a load of veg seeds, not guaranteed anything will grow but we can but try. Am just about to go take the second lot of washing out of the washer and go put that out but I still feel lazy. Yes, it is that one day of the year that I feel guilty having a lie in, it is marathon day! I have never been one for running long distances in fact I hated stamina days when I did athletics as a teen but after make back surgery I realised that my chances of ever running one were more or less gone, it is on my bucket list so I have not given up on the idea completely but the one thing I love is not only watching the excitement of the elite races but watching all those running for charities, joining in the atmosphere on the course, they may not get records but they will have achieved something truly incredible. So between housework and writing today I shall be watching the unicorns, firemen, nurses and a hundred other fancy dress outfits cross the finish line.

  1. the first blog post I am sharing is one that made me jealous, would love the chance to attend events like this, it just seems that time wise it never quite works out for me https://isleofbooks.com/2017/04/10/an-evening-with-neil-gaiman-in-review/
  2. As mentioned above it has been school holidays here and sometimes you just need a good laugh https://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/2017/04/10/when-saying-oops-is-not-enough/
  3. If you are scared of spiders you might need to skip this one but other wise it is an inspiring post about how you can look death in the face and say not today thank you https://accidentalspacegirl.com/2017/04/17/the-tarantula-who-saved-my-life/
  4. My final two blog for today are both A -Z posts, I am doing so badly and will take a few extra posts to catch up and make the finish date, I haven’t quite given up but we shall see, I picked this first one because it hit a nerve with me as we all have that point where we have to decide at what point we class ourselves as writer, authors or still make excuses for doing the thing we love, https://lindaghill.com/2017/04/20/qualification-atozchallenge/
  5. The final one is just because it’s Doctor Who themed and well why not https://nerdygirlconfession.wordpress.com/2017/04/22/s-is-for-im-so-so-sorry/

D is for discotheque – #AtoZChallenge

discotheque

or discothèque

[dis-kuh-tek, dis-kuhtek]
noun

1.

a nightclub for dancing to live or recorded music and often featuring sophisticated sound systems, elaborate lighting, and other effects.
And the timer is go…
When I think of discos I have to confess I am transported back in time, these days we have clubs, places that are about being seen and looking good, somewhere in the late eighties disco’s turned into clubs where ravers met to dance the night away that morphed into the clubs we have now, more about drinking and looking good than the actual dancing.
For me disco means dancing, not just John Travolta in a white suit but school disco’s where we all copied the dance moves from the videos that were just starting to appear, copying the moves from Top of the pops dancers or the set routines for songs such as the Time Warp, Wigwam Bam and the Locomotion. The boys would go mad at Adam Ant, girls fled the dance floor as they leapt and whirled slapping their thighs in their best highwayman impression.  Of course looking back, although I claim it was not about being seen we all know the fashions, well let’s just say the neon colours did not really flatter anyone neither did Ra-Ra skirts, and the less said about the lyrca well enough said. I recently remarked to a friend that I was so glad that smart phones did not exist when I was younger, as a teen in the 80’s your camera was generally to clunky to carry round, and the fact you only had twelve or twenty four exposures meant that you didn’t take a lot of photos, most of those well orchestrated group shots as you attempted to feature as many people in one picture as possible. I am so glad no evidence exists of the fishtail skirt I made especially to match my bright yellow jacket and the silk shirt that trailed down behind my knees at the back, actually I take that back I would happily have one in that style today, just not a white one with luminous yellow velvet tiger style stripes on it. I have to confess I thought I looked cool but then we all did.
The other miracle of surviving the 80’s is of course that more of us did not do a Michael Jackson and have our hair go up in flames do the the amount of hair stray we used during the attempts to make our hair bigger and more voluminous that anyone else’s, Even before I ever put the first dye on my hair I hate to think of the damage inflicted by the hair-drying, back-combing then the blasting with a can of Insette, a hairspray that was so powerful nothing could move your hair once you had fixed it but that you had to hold your breath while spraying. If someone had wanted to blow up the High School all the would have needed to do was throw a couple of lit matches onto the dance floor at the Youth Club Disco. Ah the Youth club, discos, table tennis and trampolines but that will have to wait for another day the timer has just gone…

A is for air letter – #AtoZChallenge

air letter
noun
noun: air letter; plural noun: air letters
  1. a sheet of light paper folded and sealed to form a letter for sending by airmail.
    Set the timer and let 30 minutes commence…

I like writing letters, even today in the digital age there is something so much more personal in sitting with a pen and paper, and letting the words, flow from the heart. I have written letters I have never sent, cathartic, vitriol filled rants at those who have done me wrong, well in my eyes anyway but I have written just as many love letters filled with words I cannot say, that I could never allow to spill from my lips.

As a child I used to write to my grandma once she moved away, I have some of those now, returned to me before the dementia took hold, such innocent lines of nothing but they had meant enough for her to have kept them for over 25 years. I think of the letters I wish I could write now, that it is too late for, to give her news of my books, my first grand child impending, so much more information than those lines she saved on the floral notelets that you unfolded to give you more writing space. I need to write to my great uncle, I have not been in touch with him for a while, at one point we rung every week but then my grandma passed away and the contact got less, not from a desire to lose contact but laziness, he probably feels I do not want to hear from him and I know he struggles with the phone so writing is better for him but I put it off so often. My great aunt is on Facebook so I keep in touch there with a series of likes, comments and tags, but my great uncle is not as tech savvy and I know he had trouble accessing the emails I sent him with stuff about the family tree.  U have photos of him and my great aunt as children, I know in theory the idea of digital albums people tagged and shared should mean they last forever but you have to wonder whether with the accidental hit of the delete button will entire sections of history disappear.  there is of course another reason the letter is so much more personal, the writing. In the family tree research we came across an uncle of my grandma’s repatriated to Australia after the first world war, in this cache of records there was a letter, scanned into the computer but a request for his army records, it seems so silly, the least personal type of letter you could imagine but as I sat staring at the screen I thought about the fact this man, dead before I was born, on the other side of the world had written those words. It had an address and though I am pretty sure the area had chanced I could put it in Google Maps and look at the address he had written that letter from, the street he would have walked down to post it. I love the idea that history is passed on in something tangible, that you can smell perfume on the letters, just the faintest smell of what the writer might have been wearing, that you can look at their choice of paper, pen and even in my case wax seal to tell you even more about them, I love the idea of something that though it will not last forever will, if passed on tell far more than an email ever could.

Hi My Name is Paula and I am an April Addict! An Alternative For Lazy Sunday #36

Now the question is how many of you know I am not referring to the month? For those who don’t know what I am talking about say hello to April…

Yes I have been bit by the pregnant giraffe bug as well. I first saw it mentioned on FB a month ago, a few people were talking about it but then it went quiet and I assumed she had given birth and life moved on but a few days ago she reappeared in my feed, this beautiful majestic animal obviously now heavily pregnant and speculation growing that she is about to drop the baby, literally, any second. Every time her tail raises the comment threads on various live feeds pauses waiting to she if she is going to push or merely empty her bowels again.

The fact is I too am now fascinated waiting for this live birth to take place, though I am convinced I will miss it either sleeping or going to work, not sure ringing in and saying can’t come to work waiting for a giraffe to give birth is an option lol.

There are several aspects to this that I admit to being hooked on first is watching this amazing creature, the long spindly legs which look like they are going to snap as she tries to lower herself to lie down, and I confess I never though of giraffes laying down, obviously in wildlife documentaries it is not something you really see. watching her move round she is doing a good impression of a duck waddling and I can personally recall that stage of pregnancy, also as she lowers her head to pick up the food she had dropped one leg leaves the ground and swings, certainly with the monster I could not just bend forward to pick things up, manoeuvring was required.

I am watching the feed via Youtube (bigger picture, less buffering) but I have to admit that I regularly check in on the pages showing the feed on FB, it is great to see the way that people around the world have come together and formed a community all awaiting the birth, yes of course there are trolls, they get every where but in a time where our world is divided on so many issues it is nice to be reminded that when you take, colour, religion and all the other factors out of the equation that the human species is not a complete loss.

And I guess there is another reason this mamma to be has me hooked and that is that I can now officially announce that later this year our family will have a new member, I am going to be a grandma in the Autumn but more about that later.

So there was no vlog this week due to me forgetting to pick up batteries but there will be one next Sunday alongside the Lazy Sunday post and I will talk more about the baby news there, I am already one post behind for my A – Z challenge for this year due to being ill with a bug yesterday and still feel rough today so I am going to try to get caught up in between housework and having a lie down.

Lazy Sunday #35

I have had a really busy weekend, actually make that week lol so I have not read many blogs but I have quickly picked out a couple then I have a video for your viewing pleasure…

  1. First up being overweight I get totally how hard it is to take those first steps and also the stigma that surrounds fat people exercising, the same people who tell you to lose weight and exercise are the ones who taunt you when you try so I have so much respect for anyone who is willing to share their journey https://theconsultingwriter.wordpress.com/2017/03/13/inspiring/
  2. I have to confess I very rarely take the time to treat myself in terms of someone else performing treatments on me, I might throw on a face mask at home, or, file and paint my nails  but I feel guilty spending money on luxuries like that unless it is a special occasion but I had to goggle at this description https://lucywilliamspoetry.wordpress.com/2017/03/25/lucys-diary-25032017/

I am going to leave it at just the two blog posts because yesterday this happened…

It was day two of the day jobs Comic Relief fund-raising and I ended up joining in doing a little wiggling, the video is quite long, 27 mins but that is because it does show two days of activity so you can either watch through and see our fund-raising fun or skip forward and watch me embarrass myself lol

Resolutions 2017 – February

Another month gone and I feel I have not been particularly productive this month but we shall see

01)  Lose weight, yup this old chestnut again, I lost a stone and a half in the second half of last year so just set up a fresh spread sheet and new targets, while I know I have a lot more weight to lose than my target weight I am simply being realistic about losing weight in a healthy way.

No change or should I say no weigh, I have had a really weird month and I have avoided getting on the scales, I have changed a couple of things in terms of routine and with half term everything has been up in the air, I have a feeling I may have put weight back on as I feel really bloated but I will get my backside on the scales for a fresh start on Sunday then really need to get a move on with shifting some weight for Darker I need to get into that dress lol

2017-02-01-2

02) Publish the remaining two parts of the Queen of Ages trilogy

I am still down on where I want to be but I know that by focusing and getting stuck in I can get back on track next month, I just need to get my time managed better and get my focus back.

03) Exercise more

I have managed a couple of trips to the pool this month though still not as much as I should have. My average step count over the 28 days is actually down as last months was 6,740 however in my defence you will notice a whole day missing there on the Thursday of week 19th Feb – 25th which was as a result of me heading off for a day out without checking it was sufficiently charged, also that whole week is down overall with the fact it was half term and therefore no school run.

2017-03-01

04) Blog at least four times a week

Failed terribly again but now feeling much more positive about what I want to do with both the Vlog and the blogs, it can be quite difficult sometimes thinking what to write but I also have the A – Z to start thinking about and planning.

05) Get out more

Nope not been anywhere though I am guaranteed to have at least one for next month, and the following month. I blame the fact I am single and the big event this month was Valentines!

06) Write every day

As you can see I have had a terrible start to the year in terms of productivity/word count but I have done some plotting in on paper a lot of mental brain storming and plotting now just to get back to getting it all on paper.

07) Work on my self belief

I know this month I have fallen short of my goals but carrying on from last month I am not getting stressed, instead I am looking more at what I can do to change my own actions to achieve what I want and to accept some things are beyond my control and I just have to deal with that.

08)  Time management

I just reinstalled my Pomodoro app to help me focus on set tasks for periods of time and set my Freedom app back up, both these help with focus and productivity so fingers crossed next moth you will start to see results.

09) Update my wardrobe

Because my weight has not changed I have not really thought much about this, other than drooling over clothes in the Joe Browns leaflet that fell out of the paper if you are unaware of this company you can take a peek here, I love the books and tweed type jackets.

10)  Publish the newsletter each month

Two weeks into March and I am ashamed to say that the newsletter has not gone out yet however it is on my list of things to do in the next 48 hours so do not despair also need to try to contact last months prize winners again as they have not responded to the email.

11) Work out what I want in my personal life

My personal life is still stalled but I think it will be a case of if/when it happens it happens. I have so much going on, so many exciting things coming up with signings, new books etc and of course would love to have someone to share them with but it is not the end of the world, would rather wait for the right person than settle for just anyone.

12) Keep my website up to date

As I write this need to post two updates, to be fair I had done one of them and saved it but because I didn’t hit publish for some reason it did not save properly and it wiped it, lesson definitely learnt, if I am not ready to publish then write the post in word and copy and paste at the appropriate time.

Lazy Sunday #34

Apologies for missing last week but as I had a busy weekend I had been trying to catch up on housework when my daughter rung to take me out for dinner, you can see what I ate over on instagram and if you don’t follow me there and have an account that look me up here hopefully over the next few months I will have far more to share there.

Today is the first day of the year where I have been able to get some washing out on the line with the hope of it drying and I want to get some extra washing caught up with today so forgive me if this ends up being posted late as I am back and forth between writing and house work.

So what do I have to share today…

  1. Last week at the Leeds ticket launch I met the lovely Nadia and it gives me great pleasure to introduce her blog here through this very heartfelt post about self published authors https://nadiaworldsite.wordpress.com/2017/03/05/online-writing-authors-commitment/
  2. As Saint Patrick’s  day is just around the corner I thought it would be cool to hare this, not that I think you really need a recipe to make stew but because the recipe featured is over a hundred years old and also because despite my Irish heritage it is one I will never make, the truth is I don’t like lamb in fact if I ever have to eat it the only way I can get it down is to drown it in mint sauce https://marthareynoldswrites.com/2017/03/12/irish-stew-1908/
  3. The wonderfully talented Lucy has a new facebook page so visit her post like her poem then head over to her facebook page and give her a like you won’t regret it https://lucywilliamspoetry.wordpress.com/2017/03/11/poetry-69/
  4. I love it when people I have been lucky enough to get acquainted with are successful, not only is it obviously fantastic from them but it also allows you hope that one day it might happen for you too https://suemoorcroft.wordpress.com/2017/03/11/i-love-dubai-dubailitfest/
  5. A final link for today but it is mainly the link within the link you need because we all like to read a good story especially if it is a freebie https://janerisdon.wordpress.com/2017/03/11/under-cover-free-to-read-in-the-indie-publishing-newsletter-issue-10/

I hope you enjoyed these, I really should go outside and do a little gardening while the weather is good but to be honest I am not really in a the gardening mood, instead I think I might sit and write a little more.