Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Batten down the hatches!

I'm feeling a little like Eeyore

original sourced here

I was so enjoying the sunshine. The warm glow on my skin. The smell of sun cream and cut grass on the light breeze. The fun and games punctuated by laughter and screams. And the colour it brought to my life. I enjoyed having it all in my life again, it was nice while it lasted.

Now the storm is on the horizon again. The pressure is building, starting to feel truly oppressive.  I knew it wouldn't be long, I knew I couldn't out run it and there it is creeping closer. Stormy grey clouds looming and starting to block out the light. This time I don't think there is any dodging the eye of this storm. Soon the first cracks of thunder will rumble out. Then the light show will begin, few may even be struck by bolts of lightening.

Truly awesome
find original here

It's interesting to see how people prepare for a storm:

1. The Ostrich - stick their head in the sand and make believe nothing will touch them.
2. The Leopard - watch them take off and attempt to out run the storms path.
3. The Beaver - build, re-build, shore-up, all in an attempt to minimise the effects of the storm.
4. The Humming Bird - known for their fantastic rate of flapping.

Storms, in general, don't scare me. I love our little British efforts (most of the time they're a flash in the pan with no damage); the anticipation, the show and then the relief of the rain. I get the feeling though, it's going to be quite some time before we will get to dance in the rain with this storm. And that is what worries me, that is what sends me through all of the above character types (not an exhaustive list sourced from anywhere other than my brain). With only the leopard removed from the equation, I won't run again, I wonder which I will settle on.

Yet I can't help but think this storm we're facing is just a baby compared to the ones our Grandfather's and their Father's before them faced. Who are we to fear when they faced World Wars and Depression?

Do you know which character type you are? Is it listed? Or do you behave completely differently when a storm is on its way?

Friday, 13 June 2014

Just a chip

A Lesson in Smashing Plates
view original here

You have probably seen on the wider tinternet the meme or short conversation that can be view in full at the above link...the general gist is; if you smash a plate, then say sorry, will that fix it?

Now I've worked with the public since leaving university so I have developed somewhat of a thick skin. Don't get me wrong, once upon a time peoples comments did cut through me like a samurai sword through butter, leaving me shredded and  lifeless. I came to realise after a while that most people were venting about their own situations and not being purposefully mean or hurtful. Slowly their comments and sideways glances started to wash over me until I stopped noticing them at all.

Few people still have the power to wound me with one comment; take me down like a plate from a shelf and shatter me. Sometimes if I'm lucky they just chip a corner and leave me functional; whole but damaged.

Mostly these aren't people who intentionally want to break me...but does that make it any less hurtful? An analogy I know Tangled Lou will appreciate (because I know she hoards mugs), is it any less upsetting when you accidentally drop and smash your favourite mug?

The only problem is, attempted breakages from strangers at work (in the past mostly) or from "friends" when I was younger where ten-a-penny. Even when they had an effect on me picking myself up from those was easy. But how do you pick yourself up from the surprise attack that cuts deep? The one you didn't see coming, the one that's left you doubting and questioning yourself for the first time in a long time. I'm not sure I know that answer to this one!

Be careful which plates you chose to smash, it may be someones hard earned confidence!

One of my favourite songs in a new found acoustic version :-)

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

I Wish....

We've all read one of those books that's really stayed with us. Ones that give you a stonking book-hangover? ...Yeah, I've just finished one of those. In fact all three books in the series have been a bit like that, but this last book has been the worst by far.

Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor. The final part (kind of) of an epic love story between Karou and Akiva amidst impending apocalypse. Parts of this story have been coming to mind ever since I finished it, for example whilst watching my daughters football team win a match at a recent tournament 10-0 I found it comparable to the angels massacre of Loramendi (at least in my head it was). I now find myself yet again remembering another part of this fantastic story.

At the beginning of the series we see  wishes being traded, usually for teeth, and they come in various denominations a little like money. There is a scene in Dreams of Gods and Monsters where Karou's best friend Zuz and here boyfriend Mik end up with a violin case full of wishes. They spend some considerable time debating the right or wrong way to spend the gavriel's, which are worth more in terms of wish granting capacity. However they eventually decide to try not to spend these wishes and save them, becoming the self titled 'Wish Police'.

I tell you all this because this song became available to download today on iTunes, which I did as soon as I knew. It got me to thinking though and you know how that can be a bad thing with me! Have a listen while I tell you all about it.

I must have listened to this song at least twenty times today, I just love his voice. But not only that, this song in particular throws up visions of dancing in my head. A sensual, foot to foot Argentinian Tango. Two bodies moving in perfect synchronicity and fluidity. Eyes meeting with intense passion, heat and flame dancing between the pair as they share the beat of the music and the meeting of souls. It makes me wish with a passion so deep that I had never given up dancing, that I had a partner to share a song like this with in its entirety. That I could play a track like this and get lost in the movement and the beat with only another body to ground me.

Lovely mystery couple.
image found here

Would that be a waste of a wish? Would Zuz and Mik be on my tail? And what would I wish for anyway?...the chance to dance or the willing/able partner to dance with? If I had a gavriel would I frivolously spend it on regrets or spend it more wisely on sensible things. I guess it depends if this track was playing!!!

What would you wish for given the chance? And no world peace or generic happiness please, those are too big for simple wishes to handle.

Friday, 30 May 2014

A Hard Lesson to Learn

The response from my eldest munchkin. "Mum I hate it, it doesn't suit you!"

The response from my youngest munchkin. "Wow Mum, you have mermaid hair!"

And the best response from a stranger in the street - "Did you have a fight with a Slush Puppie machine?"

With a million other comments in between. Who would have thought striking another thing off my buckets list would elicit such wonderful conversations with such a wide variety of people.

When I was younger I spent a good proportion of my time conflicted between trying to express myself and trying to fit in. Eventually fitting in won out, growing up seemed more important somehow than frivolous things like dying my hair a strange colour or an extra ear piercing.

Now I'm a little older and a lot more confident (though that isn't hard and I'm still not all that confident) I have come to realise there is becoming an adult, that part is inevitable, but one does not ever have to grow up! Why shouldn't I dye my hair, no matter how old I am? Call it a mid-life crisis if you like, though I personally am saving that until I'm 40 and then I can go riding a motorbike. No it wasn't for a bet. I just want to live my life with no regrets.

I've had a few conversations where people have told me, 'I wish I had your guts.' My reply to them is just go for it, it's worth it. However the best conversation my wild hair do has sparked has been with my eldest munchkin. It has been a great way to tackle the whole concept of acceptance with her. She may not like what I have done, but then she doesn't have to...I did it for me and no one else. At nine she has barely started to push the boundaries with us as parents. My mother thinks she is beyond shocking but in truth I haven't ever pushed that hard either. But I explained to my little munchkin, who I am steadfastly denying will be hitting a decade in this world next month, that at some point she will want to express herself. And when that time comes I will support her in anyway I can....within reason (hey I'm not completely stupid as a parent!)

If there is one thing that comes from this item being crossed off my bucket list, I hope it is that my kids confidently chose to be themselves in whatever they do as they get older...but never grow up completely!

(If you can't beat 'em join 'em heh?)

The only question remaining, what colour next?

Monday, 28 April 2014

Teach me to fly

Ladies and Gentleman I give you Shake Shake Go. I recently saw them live and they are awesome! Anyway this song is part inspiration for today's little flash of fiction. Listen and enjoy! (Also there is a longer version of this song on You Tube but for some reason it wouldn't link to this post, go check it out if you want.)


“Ow...Beck. I kinda need to breathe here!”

“I’m sorry.” Beck stopped tightening the straps across Keira’s chest.

“This will work. I will be fine.”

Touching his forehead to Keira’s he whispered, “Just stay put. Don’t go anywhere until I have my wings on, please?” Laying a kiss on her forehead. “Just in case.”

He still didn’t believe this would work. He still thought she was too small, too weak to join the Pteronchos. Why couldn’t she fly? She was smarter and stronger than they gave her credit for. She wouldn’t be a good little woman when she could be so much more.

Turning, she started taking small quiet steps towards the cliff edge. The thermals were perfect; she’d watched the training runs often enough to know. She needed to fly, like the butterflies in her stomach. Beck was still finishing strapping on his traditional feather wings. Now was her chance to prove herself to everyone. These wings were worthy.

Keira curled her toes over the edge in her soft shoes. Extending her arms her wings stretched out to each side, shimmering silver in the moonlight. A shrug of her shoulders, pushing the power down her arms forced the wings out giving her the extra extension she was going to need. She took a deep breath in and dived into the black.

Oh crap...oh crap...not your arms, don’t flap...focus...cogs, turn the cogs. Click, click, click.

original image here

Slowly at first, through the fog of panic, the mechanics of her invention began to force her wings to beat. Up and down.

“KEIRA!” Beck’s pained cry cut through the night, he was nowhere near ready for flight. She would hit the water and die before he reached her.

Shit...still falling too fast. Focus, you can do this. Breathe.

Closing her eyes Keira visualised the cogs and the mechanism, the wings beating across her back. The push of air every time her wings came down, her mind moving it all faster...harder. She was levelling off, opening her eyes just in time to skim the ocean with her fingers. Letting out a squeal she beat her wings and soared back up into the sky in time to see the white of Beck’s wings leap off the cliff.

Controlling the mechanism was getting easier with every beat; Keira could push the basic wing beats to the back of her mind already. A bit like breathing. This is amazing.

“What the hell were you thinking?” Beck shouted as he flared his wings to fall into flight next to her.

“That I trusted myself Beck. I trusted that I could make it work Beck, but you didn’t did you?”

“Forgive me if I’m not in a rush for you to prove that you’re capable of going off to die with the rest of us”

“I am not having this conversation again” Keira turned with the grace of a seasoned smintis. Let’s see what these wings are made of.

Flying straight Beck could just about keep up, manually flapping his wings. The smintis were all strong, manual flying required great stamina but Keira didn’t tire as easily. Her slight frame and fine wing structure gave her greater manoeuvrability, not to mention the fact that her wings moved with a moments thought. Just as the sun was starting to colour the horizon Keira brushed the crest of a wave one last time with her fingers then let her wings take the strain of the vertical assent up the cliff to where Beck was waiting, having given up chasing her about an ago.

“You could act like it’s a little hard.”

“What?” Keira couldn’t hide the hurt, after everything now he was jealous?
“Just a little friendly advice, if you want to hide your abilities, don’t try a vertical climb like that again.” With that he slung his wings over his shoulder and left her stood there.

Keira retracted her wings and fell to her knees, but she would not cry not until her was truly out of earshot.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

People Should Smile More

The shy smile.
The nervous smile.
The 'you have to be kidding me' smile.
The 'I'm so glad you walked into the room' smile.
The sexy smile.
The great big toothy grin.
The 'it's threatening to turn into a belly laugh' smile.
The 'I'm up to something' smile.
The 'I'm so proud of you' smile.

There are so many more smiles than this in the world, all with their own unique magic. Even the polite 'please go away' smile is nice in it's own way. At least someone is trying to be nice  to another instead of just telling them to '*$%~ off'

We all love those little rays of sunshine that even on the greyest day brighten your life. But I can't help feeling that bacteria could learn a something from the little ol' smile. It is the most contagious thing I have ever observed, one smile and a couple of seconds later it spreads to the next person and the next and the next. It's one thing I never mind catching though!

But if there isn't one around to catch and you haven't got a reason to smile, try faking it for a never know, it might turn into a real smile and start a epidemic.

My munchkins...two of the best smilers in the world (of course I am completely biased) and they infect me every day. Who have you infected lately? When was the last time you smiled at a passer by or a cashier and brightened their day? May be we should start smiling more?

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Right around the world...

That's about how far I feel I am going on this learning curve!

At the beginning of this year I set myself a target to write my first full length draft of a book. I didn't think it would be easy. However I also didn't expect to have to learn so much about myself either.

The theory of writing is easy, there's one main rule....

Just write.    From the series: Have Typewriter, Will Travel by Kelli Russell Agodon  inspiration for #writers
Found on Pinterest

So why in the hell do I find this so hard? I can't seem to settle into a writing routine, mainly because our lives don't seem to have a stable routine. And then when I do find a day, like today for example when I have a glorious amount of time to myself where I could write, I find I can't. Please, don't say it, I can already hear my Grandma telling me there is "no such word as can't." I know there isn't, I know this is all in my head and I just need to get over it but as Mr Gaiman nice puts it, "it's that easy and it's that hard."

24 Quotes That Will Inspire You To Write More
Link to original and some other amazing quotes

My realisation today is that I am a very emotional writer. I don't mean in terms of my actual writing, although I do hope that is packed with emotion, I mean if my emotions are slightly off kilter then I really struggle writing. Take today a great opportunity wasted because all I wanted to do was this:

view original here

After all it would have been better than someones face! Then I just ended up in a self-perpetuating cycle of anger, getting angry with myself for letting my emotions get the better of me. Allowing logic to take over I realised that this is me and it's going to happen over and over again, so I can stand there screaming every time or I can find a coping mechanism and fast before I run out of time!!

view original here 
Tea? Apparently not, though very tasty (Thanks Deb for the pin!).

A walk in the fresh air. Apparently tweeting birds are good for the mood, or so I've heard. Ok this one helped a little bit, and much better than the hours of procrastination on the internet!!

But do you know the one thing that helped more than anything today was my friends! You guys between you all defused the ticking bomb, making me feel more balanced and ready to face the screen. 

Even though I may not have made the headway I wanted to in terms of writing today I know a little more about me and I'm a step closer to working out how to do this!! Oh to have worked all this out when I was younger.

Can you pin point what you have learnt about yourself during your writing journey? Are you still learning more every day? And is that the point, do we write to learn more about who we are?