Why?

  • Why did I decide yesterday to begin healthy eating again when there is still half of my Christmas fruit cake left?
  • Why did the Tween and the GG wait until NOW to open and share their Christmas treats?
  • Why does my “Twitter for Dummies” book still leave me confused about this whole Twitter caper?
  • Why do I still suck at Space Invaders?
  • Why have I decided to make another quilt using the same pattern as last time?
  • Why do I still need to buy more fabric even though I have enough fabric to clothe an army?
  • Why does the word “menopause” start with men?
  • Why does the Tween seem to spread her mess all over the house?
  • Why can’t I make up my mind just what my calling is?
  • Why are there too many questions and not enough answers?
  • Why do I laugh when the GG and the Tween tease the cat? Does this make me a bad person?

Theres just too many questions…….. maybe 2014 will bring the answers. I only have to wait another two hours…..

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Fellow Blogger – Nav from The Mirror

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Many of us have seen Nav or Navigator1965 around the blogosphere commenting here and there in his wicked way. He seems intent on world domination but I believe that is just a cover up. Underneath it all, he is a perfect gentleman with an acerbic wit. As an Aussie, I find his Canadian culinary tastes quite different (Head to Trader Joes)  and have discovered he has questionable gift wrapping talents but I’ll cut him some slack since he’s the same age as me 😉 You can find Nav at his blog The Mirror. He kindly agreed to answer my probing questions:

So Nav, thanks for taking some time out from taking over the world to answer my questions. I’d like to ask what drew you to blogging?

I needed to learn about marketing for my self-published book, which should be out in February 2014. I really knew nothing about blogging, other than reading suggestions that an author should have a blog. Like a lamb to the slaughter, in I went!

I like your analogy. So how long have you been blogging?

I’ve been blogging since around August 2013. I started shortly before Opinionated Man’s “Project O” initiative at his HarsH ReaLiTy blog. It was during “Project O” where I really broke into blogging in a significant way.

So, does your blog have a particular theme or something in particular that you write about?

The blog mirrors—pun intended—my forthcoming book The Mirror, Book One—Welcome to the Evil Sisterhood. It deals with narcissism, feminism, the ideologically corrupt family “justice” system, and parental alienation. However, these aren’t particularly pleasant topics, so there is humour and writing/self-publishing aspects to The Mirror (the blog) as well as in the book. Sometimes laughter is the best medicine.
I’m currently working on a series of posts regarding how to write a book proposal, as an example of happier posts.

And have you gained anything from blogging?

Absolutely. First and foremost are the many wonderful wordpress bloggers that I have met. I cannot put a value on these blogging relationships. Some have read my manuscript and made trenchant suggestions on areas to tweak for improvement, or they have found some of those niggly little typos and errors that always seem to elude my detection. Their support has been a significant boost to my confidence in terms of being able to pass muster as a book author.
Others challenge me in my thinking and expression, either directly or through their own insightful posts.

It sounds as if you have gained a whole lot there. Are there any challenges in your life that blogging has helped you deal with?

Yes. A big yes, in fact. Starting in 2008, I underwent a prolonged divorce from hell. It seemed like every feminist within a 100 miles lined up to put the boots to me. I had to deal with government-approved, child protection-sponsored, court-ordered, and expert-confirmed serious child abuse. I ended up not seeing my kids for 15 months due to this, and haven’t seen my 23 year old daughter in over five years as a result. When I assessed that there had been serious criminal malfeasance in my case, the system went into cover up mode.
Writing a book about this, which includes blogging about the book, has proven to be therapeutic to the point of being cathartic. Blogging also keeps the writing skills sharp, even if blogging is a somewhat shorter form of written expression. It will also help me in spreading the word about my book, as I hope to effect positive social change through it.

That’s a lot to deal with. I’m glad blogging has helped you. So how often do you blog?

I am religious about purging my 300+ blogging email alerts every day, to keep from getting inundated. I do make an effort to comment on friends’ posts as much as I am able to. In terms of posting, I have tried to get a post a week in, on average. The effort it takes to keep up with all the comments and emails does impinge upon the posting, but it’s worth it IMO. I can’t expect people to support my blogging efforts if I don’t reciprocate. WordPress is a community.

I’ll second your sentiments about the community. It is why I started this series. So where do you find inspiration for your posts?

A number of places, but primarily either newspaper articles or with topics related to my book, including publishing and marketing. I find many bloggers are aspiring writers, and so we share similar interests in figuring out how to be successful in the brave new self-publishing/self-marketing world. I also find other blogs can have inspirational posts.

Speaking of inspiration, do you have a particular quote or mantra that you believe fits your life?

Why, from Edward Gibbon, of course!: The winds and the waves are always on the side of the ablest navigators. I’m surprised you even had to ask. };-)>

Of course I knew that 😉 I asked purely for those who are reading this that have no idea. Onto my next question… What draws you to other blogs?

I think it’s the person’s character, which I find tends to be reflected in their posts and comments. It can be a sense of humour, being fun loving, writing thought provoking posts, lovely poetry, super photographs, eloquence, position on certain topics, having had problems dealing with narcissists, especially the female ones, or other things.

I know time is precious for those of you out to take over the world so is there anything else you would like to share before we close?

I’ve gotten highly encouraging feedback from my test readers regarding my book, which has strong elements of human interest, interesting concepts, insight into difficult people, scandal galore, and a little humour thrown in. Seems to be a gripping read for many readers. Anyone interested in a free pre-release read is welcome to contact me at themirrorbooks@gmail.com, with the simple caveat of not forwarding the .pdf on the honour system. No strings attached, although future book reviews are always appreciated.
I am also starting to write the sequel starting in January. Since I have taken it upon myself to destroy the Matriarchy, I’m afraid that it’s no “rest for the wicked” for this humble navigator.
And, lastly, I’ve learned that the best way to market a book via blogging is to not market a book via blogging, paradoxically. Sometimes less is more, so build the relationships.

Thanks Nav, for taking the time to answer my questions.

My pleasure, and thank you for having me here. }:-)>

I am really enjoying doing these posts. If anyone else would like me to take part in this, you can email me on smudgetheattackcat@icloud.com

Let’s talk about Goals

ImageIt’s that time of the year when many amongst us turn our mind towards New Year’s Resolutions. Over the years I stopped making these because I think I set myself up for failure by aiming too high too quickly. Last year I tried a vision board for the first time. I realised that the trick to goal setting was not to put too much stress on myself and to keep at the goals all year long. The vision board gives me a daily reminder of what it is that I am striving for. I take it one step at a time. If I become overwhelmed I know I will give up and not continue.

This morning during my meditation I focused on what my ‘calling’ in life was. Whilst I was meditating on this, the subject of goal setting popped into my mind. Any goal that we wish to achieve needs our spirit to be a part of it. If we aren’t 100% on board with things (mind, body and spirit) the job becomes more difficult.

Part of my job at work is writing plans for our clients. It involves setting goals for them for the coming twelve months. The process that we use for our clients is one that I believe is excellent for all of us. It works in three parts:

Long Term Goal

Your long term goal could be something that may take may years to achieve e.g. writing a book or attaining perfect health. Think about what you really want to achieve and write this down. If you set this goal and then leave it at that, I guarantee that very few of you will actually achieve it. Therefore, we need the next step.

Short Term Goals

What do you need to achieve in order to attain your long term goal? If it is perfect health, there may be many steps you need to take in order to reach this. Break your long term goal down into short term goals e.g. Have regular doctor checkups, Maintain a healthy diet, Get regular exercise and Make time for Relaxation. There could be as many short term goals under your main goal as you like. Don’t be stingy with them if you don’t want to.

The next step is to break this down even more:

Strategies

Say you’ve set your short term goal as “Maintain a Healthy Diet”, how do you think you could break that down? Strategies for this could include:

  • Aim to eat two pieces of fruit each day
  • Drink at least 7 glasses of water each day
  • Drink one – two glasses of water before breakfast
  • Reduce the amount of takeaway I eat to once a week

Can you see where I am going with this? Once it is broken down into smaller (and manageable) sections, your goal becomes more achievable. Rather than saying that my goal for this year is to attain perfect health and leave it at that, turn it around and say “This year I will achieve perfect health by………”

Whether your goal for the year is to move on after divorce, recover from depression or to finally submit that manuscript, just remember that any goal is attainable if you just keep putting one foot in front of the other.

I wish you much luck with any goals or resolutions that you choose to set in the coming year. 🙂

Just like life

ImageHow many of us envy the idyllic lifestyle of birds on the water be they ducks, pelicans, swans or other water fowl. Wouldn’t it be lovely to just float around all day without a care in the world?

There are so many of us like these birds. We appear calm and collected on the outside but under the surface we are paddling like maniacs to stay afloat! Take some time today to just ‘drift’ with the current and give yourself a break.

And don’t forget to breathe!

Just had to Share – April 22, 2006

ImageWhen I was designing digi stuff, I had a blogger blog. Before I closed that account off, I printed out all of my posts for posterity. For fun, I went through some of them and found this little gem. It was titled “Just Had to Share”.

“Last night my children were playing dominoes at the kitchen table. They were setting them all up in rows to be knocked down.I’m not sure exactly how it all came about but my son said to Miss Four “Don’t make the same mistake twice”. Quick as a wink, Miss Four comes back with “I won’t. I’ll make them one at a time.”I laughed so hard, I had tears running down my cheeks. I have no idea where she gets these from.Then today, we were laying on top of our bed and discussing going out for a drive and the point of discussion was where we should go. Daddy had his eyes closed and told Miss Four to be quiet because he was trying to think. Miss Four was insisting that Mummy sing songs with her (but Mummy didn’t want to). So Daddy said, “If you don’t be quiet, I won’t be able to think of where we are going to go”.Miss Four’s reply…. “But you don’t need Mummy to help you to think”!

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again “That girl has been here before”! 🙂

Fellow Blogger – Belinda from Idiot Writing

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I have been playing with the idea of introducing fellow bloggers through my blog. This gives me an opportunity to get to know some of you and it also gives you an opportunity to read about some others in this Word Press family. I ran this idea by Belinda and she willingly offered to be the first cab off the rank. If anyone else would like to be included in this, please email me and I’ll send you out the questions.

Belinda is originally from South Africa and is currently residing in the U.K. She is a mother, wife and an extremely talented artist who sells her prints online. She also writes terrific poetry. Belinda’s blog can be found here.

So, Belinda, what drew you to blogging?

a)      A place to put my poetry and prose in SOME sort of organised manner.

b)      I hoped to get feedback and responses to my writing – to understand what audience my writing speaks to.

c)      To develop an online presence for my writing.

d)     BUT – the main driving force was to share my experiences and encourage other people to keep their heads above water when the tide is coming in, in full force. To say thank you to the universe for all the dirt it threw in my face that made little steps for me to climb up on, allowing me to get out the dark hole I had dug for myself to fall in to. You know? To give something back at the same time as working towards personal goals.

And how long have you been blogging?

Since July 2013 – Six months now.

Does your blog have a particular theme that you write about? Please share what this is.

Geeees! I THINK so…I HOPE so. I like to dig to the heart of the human psyche; I like tying ideas together and gaining an understanding of how and why people think and react the way they do… AND exploration of my own ideas on life and spirituality and how to implement them practically (ho hum).  Human relationships intrigue me –Human nature is fabulous; frustrating; complicated; simple; fascinating; predictable all at the same time. The funny part is – life has a funny way of making me see just how stupid I am  – JUST when I think I understand something…all the rules change…and I am off to unravel the next phase – the next mystery that has taken hold in my brain. I like to write about it and figure it all out in poetry mostly. But sometimes I paint too. They feed each other. I have a deeper goal in mind regarding society at large – ideas and thoughts I wish to share. But that can not be shared in a short paragraph – books have been written on social commentary…we all have our opinions right.

Why yes, they have. Now for my next question. Have you gained anything from blogging?

a)      Knowledge

b)      Understanding

c)      Time management skills!

d)     Motivation

e)      Inspiration

f)       Direction

g)      Joy

h)      Confidence in all the above

i)        Friendships and connection with kindred spirits

j)        The ability to be able to ‘give’ – it is important to me…no matter how small it is or seems.

It sounds as if you have it pretty much sorted there. So, do you have any challenges in your life that blogging has assisted you in dealing with?

a)      Time management!

b)      Organisation

c)      Social interaction (The UK is still very unfamiliar to me and I am not a great speaker really)

d)     I felt very alone in my thoughts sometimes – as if people just could not see the horseshit out there. It is pleasing to me to know that there are MANY MANY folk who get pissed off with the same stuff I do…AND who treasure the same things I do.

So how often do you blog?

a)      As often as I can now – started at every other day or so… Since being on WordPress it has become amazing how much I can let flow out in just one evening or day depending on what’s going on around me…you know like my ACTUAL responsibilities!

b)      Having said that – it is at a point where I feel my blog IS part of my RESPONSIBILITY. And responsibility is a subject I do not take lightly…it is something I only had opportunity to fully grasp a bit too late in life. So I kind of feel like I need to finish what I started too – whatever that is…

c)      To be clearer – I TRY to post at least once a day – but some days I will post nothing and on other days I will post 3 or 4 things. (so much for organisation and time management hey!!)

It can be difficult finding inspiration for posts. Where do you find the inspiration for yours?

Dear Lord – everywhere… inspiration is everywhere. But…

a)      Human nature

b)      Nature

c)      Society

d)     Music

e)      Just a sound or a scent of something

f)       Writing inspires me to paint – painting inspires me to write

g)      Seriously…any event that happens triggers a thousand images and sentiments and pictures in my head.

God – but He holds the above together

Do you have a particular quote or mantra that you believe fits your life?

‘Just Breathe’ and  ‘Do not try and reason with a fool – for they will not understand the meaning of your words’ (pretty fun when I am trying to reason with myself about what I should and should not be doing in any given situation).

What draws you to other blogs?

a) Similar interests

b) Completely opposite interests

c) Conversation

d) A well laid out theme or formatting…I get put off very busy blogs

e) The title oddly –

f) Blogs I think MAY offer me information I may want in the future (ranging from cooking to spiritual to writing/poetry sites; gardening; photography; tech )— Sometimes I follow a blog for a distinct purpose – sometimes etiquette – sometimes because I believe the author will find my blog and work interesting or helpful. It is a bit of a gut feel thing sometimes isn’t it?

Most definitely. We all have so many reasons for following other blogs. Is there anything else you’d like to share?

I don’t like the word ‘blogging’ – it presents images to me of sitting on a toilet having a dump…which I guess is a fair analogy for a large amount of us sometimes. Shitting into that big wide open space of a bog and letting it all hang out. Ta Suz – that was fun.

Thanks for sharing with us Belinda. I’ve learned so much more about you. 🙂

End of Year Awards – Part 2

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I have had two wonderful ladies nominate me for this award. I love that it is on the pocket of a pair of blue jeans because denim is my all-time favourite fabric to wear!! So Glynis Jolly from Speculations Impressed and PardenMe both nominated me for this awesome award. I love both of their blogs and they write some awesome stuff. I highly recommend that you check them out.

Rules

  1. Provide a link to and thank the blogger who nominated you for this award.
  2. Answer ten questions.
  3. Nominate 10-12 blogs that you find a joy to read.
  4. Provide links to these nominated blogs and kindly let the recipients know they have been nominated.
  5. Include the award logo within your blog post.

The Ten Questions

  1. Your favorite color …Purple. I love the deep, richness of this colour.
  2. Your favorite animal … Giraffe
  3. Your favorite non-alcoholic drink … Tea (I’m a bit of a tea snob)
  4. Facebook or TwitterFacebook (I’m still reading the Twitter for Dummies book).
  5. Your favorite pattern …That’s an interesting question that could be interpreted in many different ways. Clothing? That would be solids. Anything else? A good crosstitch pattern or patchwork pattern have been known to get me excited. 😉
  6. Do you prefer getting or giving presents?… Giving. It’s just more fun.
  7. Your favorite number … 7
  8. Your favorite day of the week … Saturday mornings
  9. Your favorite flower … Arum Lily
  10. What is your passion? … Apart from sleeping? I’d say creating :

Nominees

Wildersoul

April from Finding Beauty in Spite of Myself

Rusha from Oh the Places we See

Kerrie Anne from ??Journey or Destination??

The Nocturnal Laundress

Glynis Jolly (I’m regifting it back to you)

Belinda from Idiot Writing

Stuff My Brain Thinks

The Adventures of Fanny P

To See the World in a Grain of Sand

Me – Who Am I?

Jennifer Windram

ImageI have also been awarded the Dragon’s Loyalty Award once more. This time by Glynis Jolly at Speculations Impressed.

“The Dragon’s Loyalty Award is an award for the loyal fan/commenter, whether the recipient is a fellow blogger or just someone who follows and comments regularly.”

I am so far behind in my commenting and following. Sometimes I like without commenting and sometimes I find the time to comment. I have noticed many amongst those who follow me who always like my posts. That means so much to me.

As always there are rules to follow for this award.

The Rules

  • Write seven facts about yourself.
  • Nominate 7 blogs you believe should be given the Dragon’s Loyalty Award

Seven Facts

It is so hard to come up with these facts without repeating myself over and over. So here goes:

  • I am more often behind a camera than in front of it
  • I am partial to Oatmeal & Raisin biscuits
  • I collect ribbons and buttons
  • I have a streak of white hair on the left side of my head
  • I absolutely adore Christmas but it causes me so much stress
  • I was once stuck on the same level of Candy Crush for four months
  • I have never been overseas

And my Seven nominees are:

Ian at Welcome to My World

Harbin 77

Jenna Dee

Cindy Knoke

Laura Mackey

Zoe at Lose Weight and Gain Health

e-Tinkerbell

That wraps up this post of awards…. but wait there’s more!! 🙂