Sunday, 27 May 2018

For the Love of Dogs

I love thee agreeably - enough to let your stinky doghide on the bed after a run through damp leaves, mud and slug infested gardens.

I love thee steadfastly - enough to devote a year to raising you from a wobbly speck into a strong healthy adult (who promptly attempts to seize control).

I love thee passionately - despite your repeated efforts to probe my ears, eyes and mouth with the same tongue you use for various other atrocities.

I love thee well - despite the amazing odours you produce.

I love thee deeply - though you use me as a napkin at every opportunity.

I love thee madly - despite the various bodily functions you have performed at inappropriate moments - in inappropriate places.

I love thee constantly - despite the dog "bladder curfew" I have lived by for many years.

I love thee truly - despite the "doggie landmines" hidden in the grass.

I love thee absolutely - because you never (well, hardly ever) hog the remote control.

I love thee gratefully - because you stay by my side (or on my side).

I love thee devotedly - more than clean carpeting, clothing, furniture, floors or walls.

I love thee bravely - enough to battle the indomitable flea on your behalf.

I love thee monetarily - enough to put the vet's children through college.

I love thee openly - I will bear any embarrassment for your furry sake.

I love thee totally - more than free time, excess cash or a predictable life.

(Author unknown)

Sunday, 20 May 2018

The Cleaning Angel by Pamela King

The clouds blocked the stars and the moon. I fumbled trying to get my key into the darkened lock. Aaah, home at last.

The throbbing in my head and aching body needed relief. If I don’t look at the bombsite that is my home I won’t toss and turn wondering when I will get around to some housework.

Three days in a row of long hours and night meetings were taking their toll and tonight’s meeting was particularly tedious.

I flicked on the light looking forward to a hot drink and bed. But wait.

What is the pile of clean ironing on the table? They are the same clothes spilling out of the dirty laundry basket this morning.

Where are the three days of dirty dishes piled in the sink?

Why does the house look bigger? Because the floor is clean, you idiot.

I looked around some more. There was no dust on the furniture, the bathroom was clean, and my bed was freshly made with clean linen.

Has there been a cleaning angel in my house? Yes, there has, but I call her Mum.

Sunday, 13 May 2018

How Many Dogs Does It Take to Change A Light Bulb?

Another oldie but funny goodie

Golden Retriever: The sun is shining, the day is young, we've got our whole lives ahead of us, and you're inside worrying about a stupid burned out bulb?

Border Collie: Just one. And then I'll replace any wiring that's not up to code.

Dachshund: You know I can't reach that stupid lamp!

Rottweiler: Make me.

Boxer: Who cares? I can still play with my squeaky toys in the dark.

Lab: Oh, me, me!!!!! Pleeeeeeeeeze let me change the light bulb! Can I? Can I? Huh? Huh? Huh? Can I? Pleeeeeeeeeze, please, please, please!

German Shepherd: I'll change it as soon as I've led these people from the dark, check to make sure I haven't missed any, and make just one more perimeter patrol to see that no one has tried to take advantage of the situation.

Jack Russell Terrier OR Wire-haired Fox Terrier: I can reach it!  I just KNOW I can reach it! Another twenty jumps, and it's mine, ALL mine!!

Old English Sheep Dog: Light bulb? I'm sorry, but I don't see a light bulb!

Cocker Spaniel: Why change it? I can still wee on the carpet in the dark.

Pointer: I see it, there it is, there it is, right there.....

Greyhound: It isn't moving. Who cares?

Shi-tzu: Puh-leeze, dah-ling.  Leave it for the servants.

Malamute: Let the Border Collie do it. You can feed me while he's busy.

Chow Chow: I'm with the malamute. After I take my nap that is!

Akita: I'm with the chow and malamute! What's for dinner?

Mastiff: Mastiffs are NOT afraid of the dark.


Chihuahua: Yo quiero Taco Bulb.

Doberman Pinscher: While it's dark, I'm going to sleep on the couch

Kelpie: First, I'll put all the light bulbs in a little circle…

Poodle: I'll just blow in the Border Collie's ear and he'll do it. By the time he finishes rewiring the house, my nails will be dry.

Irish Wolfhound: Can somebody else do it? I've got this hangover.....

Westie: Dogs do not change light bulbs. People change light bulbs, I am not one of THEM, so the question is, how long will it be before I can expect my light?

Staffordshire Bull Terrier: It only counts if it's the fridge light....otherwise, I can still sit on your lap in the dark

Beagle: Light bulb? Light bulb? That thing I ate was a light bulb?

Sunday, 6 May 2018

Boost Creativity by Writing on Paper

I read Jenny Bravo Books Blog Why You Should Write Your Novel on Paper.  It had some valid points, so I gave the concept a try, not with a novel but a short story. Here is what I discovered. The link to the original blog is below.

Jenny begins with a comment on how a blinding white screen is tiring and can deaden creativity. I agree. There is nothing inspirational about it at all.

When I am stuck on how to phrase something, what word to use etc, I get up from the desk, wander around the house a couple of times, tossing the thought in my mind. 

The movement seems to help get the ideas going. I also get to pick up dirty washing, rinse the few dishes in the sink and do other little tasks that don’t require great concentration.

In relation to hand writing she said, “the tactile movement, the distraction-free nature, and the feeling of connection encouraged my story.”

Let’s look at some of her points.

  • Margin writing. - If I'm writing a scene on paper, I get tons of ideas. I use the heck out of my margins, writing ideas for future scenes or characters, and brainstorming when I need it. Comment: It’s true. It is easier with pen and paper to note down ideas as you write. Just make sure you use pre-ruled paper. Nothing stifles creativity like having to draw lines on a piece of paper.
  • Page-flipping, line-filling greatness. There's something amazing about the feeling of flipping a page filled with your own words. This is a great way to see your progress in full scale!

When I wrote Angel with Drumsticks I conducted several interviews with the central character. I used a recorder, but I also jotted down notes of key points. The book was always handy to note additional ideas and thoughts. When I finished I had a large exercise book filled with my handwriting. It was very messy with scribblings all over the place, but it made me feel proud. It hit home how much I achieved more than the final printed edition of the book.

  • Prevent Self-editing - There is no “delete” key when it comes to pen and paper. When you write your novel on paper, it allows you to get everything out in the open before your brain kicks in to fix it. All the misspellings, all the unfinished ideas, all the questions are welcome on the page. It starts with a big mess. Editing comes later.
It really does allow creativity to flow better. How often have you lost your train of thought because that wiggly red line popped up and you went back to correct it.

You can still edit your story. Don’t like what you have written? Put a line through it. You can still read it later if you change your mind. I live in horror of deleting passages on the computer because once they are gone you can’t get them back unless you save draft after draft after draft.

Take it with you - Notebooks are portable and easier to carry than your laptop around. Tablets work, of course, but then there's the keyboard. Also, you never have to charge a notebook. Hooray for eternal battery life!

I hate keyboards on both laptops and tablets. OK I’m showing my age because I started with typewriters but honestly, you really can’t bash away at their keyboards when you a are in the middle of knocking off your villain.

Transfer your text, get ideas - There are plenty of good things to be said about the process of transferring scenes from paper to print. It gives you new ideas, a new way of seeing things, a fresh look at what you’ve already written.

My other thoughts
I am a bit of colour code freak, so I always have an array of coloured pens on the desk. I use these to make any changes as they come to mind. They stand out more than using the same blue or black pen and much quicker then changing the colour of fonts on the computer.

Like many writers I lie in bed and concoct the most brilliant storyline or wake in the middle of the night knowing exactly how to describe my character. You too?

Now, think about it. You get up, turn on the computer, wait, and wait some more while everything loads, open your word processor, wait some more – idea gone! All you manage is jotting down odd bits and hope they make sense in the morning.

It’s a lot more effective to just get up, grab a pen and paper and write, write, write.

Even when I was writing this blog straight onto the computer, I got distracted with formatting the document and lost my train of thought. Idiot, time to take your own advice (or Jenny’s)

Now, the only thing I must do is improve my handwriting, so I can read it and avoid having to type it up straight away.