Tag Archives: sunshine

Eine Kleine Tagmusik

It’s a Bank Holiday, and the sun (the actual sun! Accept no substitutes!) is merrily flowing forth upon the spume-bespattered pebble that is my country. Not only has my brain short-circuited from all the light, but I’m feeling an irresistible urge to get my rickety old bones out into it; accordingly, the following Public Service Announcement will have to do for a blog post today:

Happy Easter, to those of you not in chocolate-induced comas today. And to those of you in chocolate-induced comas – good job, my friends. Good job.

Image: citybibleforum.org

Image: citybibleforum.org



So. I set up a Tumblr blog.

Ever since I did so, I’ve been looking at it little like this:

*bok?* *boooook?* Yes, exactly, Mr. Chicken. Exactly. Image: flickr.com

*bok?* *boooook?* Yes, exactly, Mr. Chicken. Exactly.
Image: flickr.com

It’s difficult for a person like me, who grew up in the Stone Age, to keep up with all this progress. I had just barely managed to get a handle on Facebook when suddenly Twitter burst on the scene; I resisted for years, but eventually caved. Now, every time I turn on my computer there’s some new and largely terrifying-looking technology staring me in the face, trying to convince me my life is meaningless without it. I’m finding Tumblr tough, I’ve got to say – it requires a level of coolness that I don’t think I possess. Not yet, at least. And as for Vine? Don’t even ask me. I set up a Pinterest page a while back, too – or, well, I opened a Pinterest account, which isn’t quite the same thing as pretending to have a Pinterest page, really – which also bamboozles me.

All of these have different passwords, too, of course. Sometimes I feel like a modern chatelaine, except my keys aren’t hanging from my belt – they’re rattling around inside my skull instead.

This is my chatelaine, because I am the *boss*, all right? All right. Image: nps.gov

This is my chatelaine, because I am the *boss*, all right? All right.
Image: nps.gov

Because my skull can be a bit porous when it comes to remembering things like passwords, though, I have them all written down on random scraps of paper, masquerading under codenames, too – I must get them all together, one of these days, so I don’t have to scramble around for half an hour to find a password simply in order to spent five seconds on a particular website. Every time this happens, I tell myself not to let it happen again, and yet it does, repeatedly – as soon as the search is over, you see, the decision to put away the password gets forgotten again. For a person whose working day is largely self-directed, I can at times be the most unorganised klutz in existence. At other times, however, I am more efficient than a cuckoo-clock factory, so let’s hope they balance one another out most of the time.

The benefits of Tumblr – at least, the ones I’ve seen so far – are many. It’s sort of a cross between a blog, Twitter and Pinterest, insofar as you can put up really small blog posts – more like thoughts, really – and you can ‘reblog’ images or .gifs or quotes or whatever you like from other Tumblr users. Because it seems a little less formal a space than WordPress, I went a little bit loopy yesterday and posted a poem to my Tumblr blog, one I wrote myself; it was an experiment, more than anything else, to see how it would appear on the site once I’d posted it. It taught me a lot about how to keep your temper when a document’s formatting won’t appear the way you want it, and how far my patience goes when something just won’t work, and the point at which I’m prepared to sacrifice my artistic vision in order to just get something to post to a website.

(For those who are interested: I’m not very good at keeping my temper when a document’s formatting won’t work; my patience (stretched thin at the best of times) doesn’t go very far when technological stuff refuses to cooperate, and I’m prepared to throw in the artistic vision towel pretty quickly if it means I can wriggle out of trying to figure out things beyond my intelligence level and get back to reading, or writing, or something else I enjoy. So, now you know.)

Anyway, so – a poem. Yeah. Written by me. I really enjoy poetry, but writing it is not my forté, at all. I love to read it, and some of my favourite books are collections of poetry – Sylvia Plath’s ‘Ariel’, for instance, which I often just dip into for the sheer beauty of it – and I marvel at how a good poet can make the whole world shimmer as you read. Anyway, if you do take the long and arduous trip over to my Tumblr blog, and you read the poem, don’t be expecting Sylvia Plath, is all I’ll say, but if you do read it I hope you enjoy it.

And before anyone asks – no, don’t worry. I’m not considering becoming a poet full-time or anything, so you can all relax on that score.

Trust me, I'm a President. There ain't gonna be no more poetry. Image: blogs.psychcentral.com

Trust me, I’m a President. There ain’t gonna be no more poetry.
Image: blogs.psychcentral.com

It’s Friday, and the sun is shining here, and I’m about to get stuck into another bunch of words. I hope your day is looking good, and that your weekend is shaping up to be a good one. And if anyone wants to send me some Tumblr tips, you know, feel free!



Shedding Skin

The weather in Ireland for the past few days has been like this:

Image: startribune.com

Image: startribune.com

It is, in many ways, utterly wonderful – it’s sort of like everyone in my little green sponge of a country has been given a free holiday to the Mediterranean (well, besides we’ve all brought our work with us, which isn’t so good) – and it has lifted the mood of the nation a little. Of course, the sun coming out in Ireland means that a lot of people are going around with the ‘farmer’s tan’ – i.e. snow-white body, sunburned arms and face – and are doing crazy things like running across motorways in order to fling themselves bodily into the cool canal waters far below (I kid you not); generally speaking, though, the sun is a blessing, and one we badly need.

Because I am far more middle-aged than I really ought to be, however, perfect weather doesn’t mean crazy things, to me. As soon as I see the sun peeking out I immediately think ‘that’s great drying weather, right there. Let’s wash everything in the house, and get it out on the line!’ So, we’ve spent the past four or five days washing anything that can be washed, getting four or five loads of laundry done every day. Now, there are piles of clean and fragrant clothes everywhere, and I’m waiting patiently for the energy to put everything away again. That’s a struggle for another day, though.

However, we also had the bright idea of clearing out the wardrobe in our ‘home office’ (really a bedroom, awaiting its transformation into a home office. Bear with me); this wardrobe was, until the other day, jammed full of stuff that neither me nor my husband will ever wear again. The doors used to groan under the weight of clothes that used to fit me in my younger, slimmer days (let’s have a moment’s silence in memory of those blessed times), but now they groan no more. Every stitch of it has been washed, and dried, and now awaits a new future, via charity shop recycling. Hopefully, the clothes will bring someone else the same joy they brought me, and I’m looking forward to passing them on. Going through it all was sort of bittersweet for me, though, as it was like throwing out a whole different life, and each item of clothing was more than just a shirt, or a skirt, or whatever – it was a memory, and it represented my youth, and I remembered the life I had when I was able to wear these items of clothing, what I was doing, and my dreams for the future. Perhaps it’s because I look different now, or because I was much younger then, but I find it hard to even recognise that ‘other’ woman as being myself.

It reminded me a little of what I’ve been doing with ‘Tider’ over the past few days, too. I’m almost 12,000 words into the first draft of the reworked version already, and the words have been flowing, so far, with ease. The book is almost entirely unrecognisable from the first version; the only thing it has in common with the earlier book is that the character names are the same. The planning, and the work, and the effort, that I poured into ‘Tider’ (Mark 1) have not been wasted, as such, but all the words, and the dreams I had for them, are going to have to be jettisoned, and I’m gradually coming to terms with that. The older version of ‘Tider’ is like the outer shell of the story now, or a layer of shed skin, which falls away to reveal a new and hopefully better tale which had been lurking beneath it all the time.

Sometimes, this skin-shedding is painful. It’s hard to watch the dreams of another life pass away and fall into disuse; believe me, I know. It hasn’t been easy for me to put away the giant box-folder that holds ‘Tider’ (Mark 1), and tell myself I won’t be looking at it again for a long, long time – if, indeed, ever again. But something deeper than my hurt and disappointment is telling me that I’m doing the right thing, and that the story will be so much better for this extreme form of pruning, and that this story – the one I’m writing now – is what ‘Tider’ was always meant to be. I couldn’t have reached this point any other way, and so the layers the book is shedding are, in a way, more vital than anything else in its development process. That doesn’t mean it’s easy, but it’s true. Shedding skin, getting rid of excess, closing doors on the past, changing direction and going around new corners are what life is all about, and this is just part of that process. I’m embracing it as hard as I can!

Perhaps it’s fitting that my brain felt ready to tackle ‘Tider’ (Mark 2) at this time of year, when the sun is shining and the whole country feels new. It’s easy to feel positive and full of hope when the world is sparkling with happiness and everywhere you look you see a smiling face, and when inspiration is in the air.


Well, okay, so what's mainly in the air is pollen, and not inspiration, but you know what I mean! Image: treehugger.com

Well, okay, so what’s mainly in the air is pollen, and not inspiration, but you know what I mean!
Image: treehugger.com

Anyway. Even though we’re going to have fifteen hours of sunshine today – allegedly – I’d better get started on the work before any more of it passes me by. Happy writing, and happy Thursday, everyone!




Sunny Saturday

I won’t detain you for very long today, as I hope you all have better things to be doing on a Saturday than reading a blog post. If you don’t have anything better to be doing, then go and find something better to do! Perhaps you could dance around a bit:

This guy = hero.Image: beforebigs.com

This guy = hero.
Image: beforebigs.com

Or maybe you’d prefer to read a funny book:

Image: 123rf.com

Image: 123rf.com

Or (best of all), maybe you could find someone to go for a walk with, or just even snuggle up to:

Isn't this lovely?Image: fineartamerica.com

Isn’t this lovely?
Image: fineartamerica.com

I’ve just been out for a wonderfully long walk myself, where I did a lot of thinking and quite a bit of rocking out (thank goodness for phones that are ‘smart’ enough to pick up a decent radio station!), and I’m back behind my desk now to get stuck into the last few chapters of ‘Eldritch’. It has been an easy and enjoyable write so far, but I know I have some work to do, particularly with tightening up my narrative voice. The commenters on http://www.authonomy.com have been very helpful, but I’ve been getting brilliant feedback from a few friends too, all of which will go towards making the story better. Keep an eye on the Authonomy site over the next week, if you’ve been following the ‘Eldritch’ story – I’ll be posting up some redrafts there soon.

Today is such a beautiful day here in my corner of Ireland – it’s bright, sunny and crisp. It’s like the whole world has taken a deep breath after the oppressive, dark, rainy weather we’ve had over the last few weeks. I’ve thrown open all my windows, and I’m buzzing with energy and determination to see ‘Eldritch’ through to the finish line. Hopefully it’ll be today. Wish me luck!

And have a beautiful Saturday, whatever you’re doing. I’m sending you a little bit of sunshine!

Image: cauldronsandcupcakes.com

Image: cauldronsandcupcakes.com