Serenity

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/serenity/

IMG_3943Nothing says Serenity like a deserted beach.

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The Liebster Award

Can’t believe it!  Nominated for the Leibster Award again – thank you so much Susan Ddhavle at  Searandyellowleaf.  If you haven’t done so already, please check out her blog.  It is a very honest and heart felt blog about her life taking care of her mother.  I am addicted to it, she has such a gentle, compassionate voice, I almost feel like I can hear her speaking in her posts.  Since I was awarded just the other day, I am not going to nominate again (it would take me a few hours to find another new 11 blogs that I genuinely like and although that is always worthwhile and a great way to find new blogs to follow, I am going to spend the time posting blogs tonight).  I will however answer the questions because I love these questions!!!

1. How difficult is it to think up eleven questions?

I actually found it quite easy – I am an avid questioner (just ask my sister) and I love all those little things about people you find out by how they answer the questions.

2. Did you grow up close to grandparents?

I did grow up very close to both my mother and my father’s parents and loved them all dearly.  They were all very different from each other, but I guess the thing with grandparents is you never ever doubt the love they have for you (i.e. they let you away with murder).  Unfortunately I only have one grandfather left who is 90 and in a care home.   I have very fond memories of both by grans.  We called one big gran and one wee gran, because my dad’s mother was tiny, we used to go to her house for lunch every day during primary school and she also babysat for us, we used to love dressing up in her clothes and we used to sneak chips from the chip shop into the room and race to finish them before she noticed.  We used to visit big gran every week (she wasn’t big, just bigger than wee gran) and I used to nearly always ask her to make pancakes.  When we stayed at her house, we slept in my mum and her sister’s old room (my aunt Moira who also unfortunately died many years ago) and when I was really young, I remember there was a big Peter Pan poster that I loved.  When she babysat us she used to make us rolls cooked in the oven with butter and she used to tell us stories at bedtime that she made up.  I think about them often.  Once I got reiki practised on me by a friend and when I drifted off, I saw the two of them smiling at me and it made me cry.  I am not sure if that is normal but it was nice.

3. What is your favourite film?

Oh I hate and love this question because I adore films and there are so many to choose from!  One I love is actually a silent movie that we watched at university where I studied Cinema and Cultural Studies called “Seventh Heaven”. It is basically the first melodrama and has influenced every romantic drama since.  The chemistry between the two leads and their acting is superb and it is really romantic.  It is well known within cinema studies, but obviously few people will have seen it because it is a silent movie and so old!  I just discovered there that there was a remake of it with Jimmy Stewart so I will have to check that out!

4. Do you spend too much time online?

Probably.  I have to reel myself in when I get carried away with things.  I spend most of my time online reading and writing.  When I think am I spending too much time on it, I think to myself, what else would I be doing, what is everyone else doing? Unfortunately in the society I live in, the answer to both questions would be watching television, so on that note I absolutely know that reading and writing is much better for me.  What I don’t do is turn down seeing people or doing other things, like running, walking or going places because although I sometimes feel like staying in and writing, it is important to experience life as well!

 

5. Where is your favourite famous monument and what is it?

I am not sure I have a favourite monument to be honest, I don’t visit any regularly.  I like looking at them when I am in new places.  Actually I love the monuments in graveyards and my favourite graveyard is the Necropolis in Glasgow.  How funny – I never thought I would be saying “my favourite graveyard is” in a sentence ha!

6. Do you like to remember friends’ birthdays?

Oh yes, I like to at the very least send them a message on their birthday, and I get a present for my close friends and celebrate it with them.

7. Do you vote in elections?

I do always try to vote.  I think people fought a great deal to have the right to vote and we should use that.  I understand the same inequalities and injustices still exist within a democracy (I believe that is just the nature of the world unfortunately – ying and yang)  but I believe I should have an input in who gets put into power, because there are lesser evils in politics.

8. What is your favourite breakfast dish?

For a treat – poached eggs, smoked salmon and advocado.  Daily, sultana bran.

9. What is your favourite non-primary colour?

Very deep, dark purple.

10. Have you ever been on a cruise in a ship?

I have been on an overnight ferry to Amsterdam which was cruise like.  The room had no port hole or window which I hated but the food was quite good and I found it thrilling to look at the open sea in the middle of the night.

11. What do you think you excel in?

I think I do excel in my job as a PA.  I am very good at organising other people!  I am a good people person.

Thanks again Susan!  It always makes me so happy when someone appreciates my writing.

 

The Liebster Award

I am so pleased to be nominated yet again for the Leibster Award!  Thank you so much Ana Linden for nominating me!  Please check out her blog, it’s a wonderful world of fiction with lots of short stories and a serial and some great writing.

Now… there are a few rules that need taken into account when receiving such a nomination:

I. Thank the blogger who gives it.

II. Answer 11 questions he / she asks.

III. Nominate 11 more bloggers for the award.

IV. Ask these 11 bloggers 11 questions.

V. Let the bloggers know that you have nominated them.

 

HOWEVER I am one for breaking the rules as I was only nominated for this a week or so ago, so I am simply going to post below a list of blogs I follow that I really enjoy (many of which I know have received the Liebster Award recently and may have over 300 followers, so I am going to leave it up to them whether they want to repost, answer questions and nominate again) and I will answer the questions because I think the questions are also great fun!

My answers to the questions:-

1. What three places describe you best?

Wow very interesting question – I love questions you have never been asked before!  The sea, a winding country road and a pub.

 

2. There must be an author or book close to your heart; would you like to share this information with us?

There are many books close to my heart.  Pride and Prejudice I have read numerous times because it is my little romantic indulgence, and I see myself as a bit of a Lizzy Bennett (don’t we all) however my absolute favourite is Lord of the Rings because it is just so rich and wonderful and has so many depths and layers to it.  It is basically a book about the bigger picture, but with wizards and elves and kings and queens who all have depths to their characters.  I also think the friendship between Sam and Frodo is one of the most beautiful relationships in literature.

3. What is you dream destination, that mysterious place you always wanted to visit?

I have always, always, always wanted to visit Tibet (and will).  A lot of my friends and family are worried that if I go, I will start meditating with the monks and never come back!  I just know that I will love it there.

4. Where did you spend the nicest vacation?

The “nicest” vacation I have ever had was when I was travelling Australia and I stayed in Port Douglas on the East Coast for just over a week.  it was just before the wet season and it was still fine weather but it was very quiet because it was the end of the season.  I spent nearly every day lying on a hammock reading and writing and it was exactly what I needed at the time.  Bliss.

5. What historical period would be best suited for your personality?

I am sure I would be perfectly suited to the sixties.  I am a hippy at heart and I love the music and the youth movements that went on then.  I would have been a hippy travelling around music festivals loving everyone and everything.

6. Do you identify yourself with any artist(s), and if so, with whom?

You are almost afraid to answer that question in case it makes you look like you think you are as good as them.  However, I will have the balls to answer what I honestly think.  I think I can relate to Jane Austin, she did not really fit into the social conventions of her time and suffered a lot of loneliness because of that and her writing I think.  She was a romantic, but also a pragmatist and in the end her writing came before anything else.  I also have always related to John Lennon, he just cared so much about the universe and wanted it to be a better place and he was ridiculed by a lot of people (and loved by a lot of others).  I admire that a lot of the time he choose to say and do things that were the least expected of him.  He was a good person who fought for what he believed in but he was also flawed and made mistakes, he was very human. “Imagine” is such a beautiful song, I just completely get what he is saying with that song.

7. What nice memory from your childhood would you like to share with us?

I remember dancing around my living room to Madonna when I was about 8 with a floaty skirt and lacy gloves on, completely lost in music and in my own mind.

 

8. What’s the greatest satisfaction you derive from blogging?

I get a lot of satisfaction when people like or comment on my blogs, when people compliment my writing or can relate to it.  Writing gives me a great satisfaction and blogging is ensuring that I am writing most days. I no longer watch television!!  I also enjoy sharing a community with people interested in the same things as myself, reading other work, getting inspiration.

9. What are three of the most important principles you try to observe in life?

Honesty, guts and kindness.

10. Do you like to plan everything or are you a spontaneous person?

I do like to plan and make lists, but I am also very earthy and like to go with what feels right at the time.  I love to surprise myself and consciously change my habits all the time (even if it is just not taking the same place in yoga class every week).  Change is good.

11. What do you prefer: a good book or a good movie?

Oh dear, I am afraid nothing in the world will ever make me choose between the two.  I thank the universe that I have both (and music).

Now for the blogs I am loving right now (just a little heads up to say well done)

 

61 Musings

 

Melissa Barker Simpson

Cee’s Photography

Searandyellowleaf

Burning Imagination

Scribbling Gizmos

Vagrant Contradictions

Reflections and Nightmares:  Irene Waters

Edward Hotspur

 

Questions if you want to answer them:-

1. Where are you right now?

2. Where would you like to be?

3. What other than a person would you miss most if you did not have it?

4. What is your favourite movie?

5. What is the one thing you remember most from school?

6. What are you doing at the weekend?

7.  What do you think humans could not survive without?

8. What do you think the world will be like in 20 years time?

9. Do you live in your home country?

10. What do you think of money?

11. What do you want most?

 

Thank you again Ana!  It is very much appreciated.

How Blogging is For Me

I have been thinking about writing a post about blogging for the last couple of weeks because I just really wanted to write about what a rewarding experience I have found it to be and today I have been given the perfect opportunity to share my newfound love of blogging by being made Blog of the Week by the lovely and talented Ailsa MacNab!  Thank you so much Ailsa – be sure to check out her blog if you haven’t done so already.

I had always thought about starting a blog (ever since Ugly Betty started one.  Yes really, god I loved that show) but I never got around to it and it took me a long time to work out how to actually go about doing it.

I started writing again when I was having my late twenties crisis (yes, you can have a crisis at any age) just before I left to go travelling.  Why I stopped and why I started again would be a novel in itself, but to put it simply, I just felt I had to and I have never looked back.  Travelling was incredibly inspirational and I met some people (two girls in particular) that I wrote poems for as a gift and then decided to write them a short story.

Nearly 3 years later, I am still writing that story and let’s just say that it is no longer short.  It has inspired a lot of my submissions to the Weekly Writing Challenge (you can view them at After the Lights Went Out ) and it has helped me to develop my characters wonderfully.  I decided to write many of the weekly writing challenges from my characters point of view, so although some of what is written in those posts will be in the novel, some of it is for WordPress only – as a space for my characters to come to life and for me, in this sense, blogging is a wonderful new tool as a writer.

Sitting on your own writing stories and poems and submitting them to publications and competitions is incredibly lonely and at times very disheartening.  Writing a novel that takes up most of your free time is at times wonderful, but at times you do wonder if you are doing the right thing.  When you first start writing, you have this fear that what you are writing is utter garbage and that people are going to laugh at you for daring to think that anyone would want to read what you write.   A blogging community allows you to share your writing experience with other like minded people who appreciate what you are trying to do, because they understand.  It is so encouraging and there is nothing more gratifying for me right now than to see that someone liked a post or that I have a new follower. I have to confess I have become a tad obsessed with checking my notifications and stats.  It just makes me so happy when someone somewhere has read something I have written and either liked it or related to it.

Blogging allows you try different styles, to hone your skills and to get a feel for what things people generally like.  What I have found is that the more honest and open I am, the more people like it.  Sharing your writing for the first time is terribly scary, but after a few posts on your blog, you begin to really open up and your confidence grows.

One of the worst feelings in life is feeling alienated and alone.  Although there are thousands of writers out there doing similar things and feeling the same things, in your day to day life, chances are you are not like your friends and your family and it is difficult for them to relate to what you want to express.  I am a deep person, I like talking about the big things, I like talking about philosophy and religion and the meaning of life.  Most of my friends accept this, but there are few who constantly want to talk about these things, so blogging has given me a forum to get all of these thoughts and ideas out there where I can communicate with people who are also interested in them.

What I also love is that you find that the people you connect with and who appreciate your writing might not necessarily have the same beliefs as you or have lived a similar life to you, but still you are able to find common ground and you can share things with them.  You connect with people from all over the world and learning about their lives and how they feel about them is incredibly interesting.  Reading stories and seeing photographs from all different kinds of lives is such a rich experience.  It is a huge world out there and if we were all more able to share our feelings about those experiences, the people in the world would have a much better understanding of each other.  Social media is often criticised, but I find it is like everything in life – it depends what you choose to focus on.   Reading about other people’s achievements and happy moments gives me hope.  I see a world full of kind, appreciative, engaging people, all just wanting to feel a apart of something and a connection to each other.  I choose to see that, I hope that is what I put out there and that is what I get back.

On days when I feel a little lost, and I wonder why I am doing this at all, I ask for a sign, a sign that I should keep going, a sign that this is the right thing for me.  Being praised and appreciated keeps me writing and for that I am truly glad.

Thank you to everyone who has liked or commented or read my posts, thanks to WordPress for giving my writing a home and thanks to Ailsa for your kind encouragement.  It really does mean a lot to me.

Feel free to comment on what you love about blogging and keep writing folks!

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The Liebster Award: I’ve been nominated!

The Liebster Award

Thank you so much ailsamcnab who nominated me for the Liebster Award!   I am so grateful this as well as for your thoughts on my blog, and your support, it is appreciated.   If you haven’t already, go and check out Ailsa’s blog,

The Liebster Award is like a chain to promote new, up-and-coming bloggers which I think is great since I am just new to the world of word press and I think it is a great way to engage and be engaged in new blogs.  I think it is a great way to get new bloggers out there.  I have already found some new blogs to follow from Ailsa’s nominations and some great new pages for writing prompts Featured Fiction.

Rules for the Liebster Award

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.

2. Answer the 11 questions given to you.

3. Nominate 11 other blogs with less than 500 followers.

4. Post 11 questions for your nominees to answer.

5. Tag your nominees & post a comment on their blog to let them know you nominated them.

Now, onto the questions…

1. A genie grants you three wishes, what are they? (No wishing for more wishes!)

I would wish to get a book published that changes the world for the better, for everyone to agree to end all wars and for everyone I love to be happy.

2. What accomplishment are you most proud of?

I am probably most proud of having the guts to share my writing with the world.

3. If someone were to make a movie about your life, who would you hope would play you? Why?

I think it would have to be Michelle Williams, I think she is one of the best actresses out there, she is around the same age, she would have the ability to play a character that is full of contradictions and she commands the screen.  She chooses great roles and I think her performances are always very true to real women – flawed and fragile but strong and beautiful.

4. What is the best gift you have ever been given?

I am going to have to go for the red Sony Walkman I got for my 8th birthday.  I wish I still had it and I don’t think anything else has every given me so much pleasure – it was the first musical device that I could use to listen to music on the go with earphones in – I have never looked back.

5. What is your favourite thing you have written? (If it’s on your blog, link to it so we can read)

I am not sure I know what my favourite thing is, I am really enjoying writing “After the Lights Went Out” (working title) but it is not finished yet although I have been using it as inspiration for daily prompts and DP Challenges.

I really do like my story “Angel of Pain” https://justbeverity.wordpress.com/2014/02/03/angel-of-pain/.  It appeals to the romantic in me but still with my same interest in the human condition and how it relates to the earth and the universe.

6. Aside from the necessities to live, what one thing could you not go a day without?

Kindness from someone.

7. Where do you see yourself in 20 years?

In 20 years I hope that I am living in a nice little house full of vintage furniture and creations.  I hope to either be living in the country or by the sea.  I hope to be a writer, to have made my life and some other people’s lives better.  I hope to have lots of stories to tell about travelling and to still have the same love for life, the earth and everyone in it.

8. What is more important to you in a relationship: trust or passion?

I wouldn’t be capable of a romantic relationship without both.

9. If you were a superhero, what would your superpower be?

The ability to replace hate with love in everyone I talk to.  There would be no need to fight then.

10. Would you rather be hated or forgotten?

I would rather be forgotten.

11. How are you? 🙂

I am very well, cosy, stimulated and hopeful and very happy I got some new followers today!

And now for my nominees and questions!

1.  What was the first book you remember reading?

2. What was the first thing you can remember writing?

3. Who is your soul model?

4. What do you do to inspire you?

5. Where do you write?

6. What is at the top of your current bucket list?

7.  Where is the most beautiful place you have visited?

8. What are you most afraid of?

9.  What movie most inspires you?

10.  What do you think would make the world a better place?

11.  What do you believe in?

Nominees

Ephemeral Optimism

The Conundrum

Little Tiny Scribbles

Ponderings of a Youth

litadoolan

Nola Roots, Texas Heart

Anawnimiss

Laura Howell

JR Photography

Ride, Run, Wander

A “Minnie” Blog