I may be late but I couldn’t resist

Brevity Pulls

“I would have written a shorter letter, but I did not have the time.” — Blaise Pascal
Where do you fall on the brevity/verbosity spectrum?

Today’s (or rather, yesterday’s) Daily Prompt is a subject that I have only recently truly understood.

I downloaded an app on my iPad which was some sort of brain training thing. To be honest, I’d never heard of brevity before. But I have experienced it constantly over the last few years without even realising it.

You see, my ‘other half’ doesn’t have much listening power and, as such, can’t digest – as he describes it – “a million words” whenever I try to explain something. He listens in, what he calls, soundbites. He is one of those people who just doesn’t have the time or interest to listen to other people, yet he repeats what he says so many times that I’m beginning to think he just talks for the sake of talking, whether he has something new to say or not!

I find his attitude to words infinitely frustrating. Me, now, I love words. My favourite book, as I’ve mentioned before, is the English Dictionary – any version, I really don’t mind. I love reading and I love quotes. I also like to know where words have come from, how they started out and how they’ve evolved into the words we use today.

To me, using only a few words doesn’t really clarify or clearly explain what point you are trying to make. If I am talking to the OH and he asks my opinion on something, of course I’m going to use a million words, simply because he will not understand what I’m saying otherwise. The trouble comes with the fact that his brain seems to process only the odd snippet of information which leads to some dreadful misunderstandings and wrong judgements about me and my personal life.

What would be the point of having all those lovely descriptive words if we are to cut them out of our letters, books and conversations? How can our imagination soar on the wings of flowery language if we are to just leave out the elaboration? I failed my English Language ‘O’ level exam when I was 16 – why? Because I had trouble back then with putting down enough words to make a good story. I don’t know if this is the reason why I love words so much as an adult. I think the only reason I wasn’t good at making up stories is because I’m not very good at lying either – which is okay with me, I don’t like liars anyway.

So, in brief (if you could call all that waffle brief) I am more a fan of using a lot of words to get my point across. It reveals a passion in me that I do not wish to conceal. I cannot live my life in black and white, I need all those beautiful greys in amongst it all and if people around me don’t want to listen, they have the free will to misunderstand and judge me to their heart’s content. I could change the way I am but I’m not going to. Why would I? After all, I am me and I am, most importantly, true to myself.

(Please forgive the lack of trackbacks and pingbacks, I haven’t yet figured out how to do it now that the prompt page has changed, so much easier when it was just a list :s)

My nearest book


Daily Prompt: Bookworms

Grab the nearest book. Open it and go to the tenth word. Do a Google Image Search of the word. Write about what the image brings to mind.

Photographers, artists, poets: show us BOOKS.

My nearest book just happens to be my Wordpower Dictionary.  As the prompt didn’t say where to open the book, I just stuck my fingers in and went for the first wording on the page.

My word happens to be symbols.

Having then carried out the Google image search of said word, I found a lot of pictures of rows and rows of little pictures.  I’m very familiar with symbols of certain types because my cross stitch charts are all made up of them.  Lots of them in some cases.  When I design my own charts, my computer program also uses symbols – one for each different thread colour used in the design.

UniGuide Vol. 2 Chap 2.1, SEGD Recreational SymbolsOf course, there are many symbols depicting many different things.  There are religious symbols, zodiac symbols, runic symbols, logos and wingdings of all shapes and sizes.  They can make a presentation look more interesting (or not) or they can mean something special to an individual.

tumblr_lr8l7sHmyD1qemfl0o1_500Everything can be seen as a symbol to someone.  I’m looking at my screen as I type this and realise that the letters are also symbols.  Not only does each one represent a shape, it also represents a sound; together they make words, sometimes altering their sound.  The cursor is a symbol that here is the point at which we should start.  And the bars at the top of the window have all manner of strange signs and symbols which indicate certain functions of the program I’m using.

downloadSymbols are everywhere we look.  Road signs are another prime example.  You see an image and you’re supposed to know what each one means.  Generally it’s a relevant diagram to the meaning, other times they can be a little confusing.  And then there are the chemical labels…

UCB_Alchemical_SymbolsClothing labels are another example.  Laundry instructions sometimes in words, most often in little symbols which vary depending on material composition, guiding you to the correct care for your garments.

japan-symbols-tokyo-japan 1152_12957111941-tpfil02aw-21234Symbols are a pictorial indication for those who may not understand the written word for whatever reason, maybe it’s the wrong language.  And languages in certain parts of the world are all made up of intricate symbols which can sometimes just mean a single letter, sometimes a whole word.

I can’t imagine a world without symbols, they are so much a part of every day life.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks
  1. Well, Well. | Godrick Gnomish
  2. My very own Land’s End | A Teacher’s Blog from Land’s End
  3. Gone | Daily Prompt: Bookworms | likereadingontrains
  4. Daily Prompt: Bookworms in a Bookish Home | SERENDIPITY
  5. Daily Prompt: Books | Books, Music, Photography & Movies : my best friends
  6. Found on Road Side Dead [Fix or Repair Daily] « RPMAS
  7. Thoth: Daily Prompt | alienorajt
  8. Daily Prompt: Bookworms « Vicariously Poetic
  9. The tenth word. | Crossroads
  10. I | thoughtsofrkh
  11. S. Thomas Summers | Why I Visit Books
  12. Daily Prompt: Bookworms | Uncle Spike’s Adventures
  13. Daily Prompt: Bookworms | lena de almeida
  14. Perched on the branch of life | mostlytrueramblings
  15. Floating | Motherhood and Beyond
  16. Look Before You Jump . . . To Conclusions | meanderedwanderings
  17. Through Big Thompson Canyon | Conversations
  18. Daily Prompt: Bookworms « Mama Bear Musings
  19. Daily Prompt: Bookworms « Mama Bear Musings
  20. A Pile of (Old) Books | Shilpa Sharma Online
  21. Daily Prompt: Bookworms “Conversation” | Let There be Peace on Earth

Don’t like this one


Daily Prompt: Snark Bombs, Away!

Try your hand at parody or satire — take an article, film, blog post, or song you find misguided, and use humour to show us how.

Photographers, artists, poets: show us WRONG.

I’m not really impressed with today’s prompt.  I read the blog posts which have been highlighted on WP over the last couple of days and I didn’t much like either of them.  The original post was bad enough, but the satirical reply to it was even worse.

We all have opinions and the great thing about the internet and WP (and other blog sites) in particular is that we can all post our opinions on things that matter to us.  We should be able to do this without other people taking the p*ss out of us for what we feel.  I understand humour, I also understand that sometimes it isn’t funny.  I haven’t linked to those articles simply because I don’t want to give them more traffic but suffice to say that I see the second article as a form of trolling.  There wasn’t really any need to write a post mimicking the original just because you don’t agree with what’s being said.  And then to complain that the original post was changed… well, to me, it’s beyond nasty.

The woman who wrote the original post clearly felt strongly enough to write her thoughts on her blog, in a sort of open letter.  Maybe she didn’t think it through thoroughly enough, or didn’t re-read it before posting, but whatever her reasons for posting that blog, well, they’re her reasons.

Personally, I don’t think the reply post was witty or even remotely funny.  It was rude and insensitive in a sneery kind of way.  And that, I feel, is wrong.  There’s enough bitching and trolling going on around the internet and it’s not good to encourage it.  We all know it’s there but – and this is my personal opinion – if you have nothing nice to say, or nothing original to post then just shut up and keep your nastiness to yourselves.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks
  1. Syria’s chemical weapons create job openings | DCMontreal
  2. Devotees | shame
  3. Snarks and Boojums | the scroobious pip
  4. Good Dog? | It’s a wonderful F’N life
  5. Not so Bizarre habits of writers « RPMAS
  6. Snark Bombs, Away! | Geek Ergo Sum
  7. Wrong Suspicions | Mara Eastern’s Personal Blog
  8. Daily Prompt: Video Games and Psychology | lessthanthreechickens

Days gone by


Daily Prompt: Toy Story

What was your favourite plaything as a child? Do you see any connection between your life now, and your favourite childhood toy?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us MEMENTO.

I was very lucky as a child.  I had a lot of toys and so did my sister.  We were never short of anything to play with. 

I think I must have gone through phases of which toy was my favourite.  For many years it was a cute yellow teddy bear.  He was about 12” tall and he had lovely orange and black glass eyes.  I remember how I used to cry when Mum washed him and pegged him out on the line to dry.  One time, he needed washing in the winter and as he couldn’t be hung outside (and it was before the days of the tumble dryer) Mum pegged him, by his ears again, to the fire-guard which was placed some distance from the roaring coal fire we had going in the grate.  Imagine my horror though when we discovered that, even from a distance, the heat from the fire had been enough to melt his eyes a little.  They were just starting to ooze out of shape when we noticed.  He was promptly taken down and laid on a towel on the table to cool down.  I couldn’t take him to bed that night because he wasn’t dry.  To this day I don’t know what happened to him after I grew up.

Teddy 2003_0824_220209AAThe connection between then and now is that I still take a teddy bear to bed.  And, no, I don’t care that I’m 47!  The one I have now was given to me by a friend in 1988 as a Christmas gift.  He is white – or at least he used to be – and about 12” high with brown and black glass eyes.  One has a chip missing where my son used to have him when he was a baby and he accidentally put him down rather hard on a brick wall, face down.  The other mishap Teddy’s suffered is that, one time when I was washing him many years ago, I tried to dry him in my shiny new washer/dryer.  I’d never had a combination machine before and previous tumble dryers had been vented, but this one was a condenser dryer.  What I didn’t realise about it was that the temperature inside got hotter than a standard vented dryer and although his eyes didn’t melt, his fur matted very badly and he gained a flat spot on the other eye where he was being chucked around in the drum.  He wasn’t alone in there, he had a lot of clothing to mix with but it wasn’t enough to save him from that particular fate.

He’s been patched and re-stuffed; I’ve made clothes for him to help stop the wear on his threadbare patches, of which he has quite a few.

Teddy is nearly 25 years old now but he still sleeps with me, and a whole host of other furry friends.  Winks, my cute little cheeky grey elephant.  Smiler, a huge 6’ long multi-coloured caterpillar with a daft grin on his face and cute green furry antenna.  Edward, a little Reiki healing bear.  And numerous others.  I have a double bed but there’s only just about room for me in it with all my furry friends.  At least they don’t steal the quilt!

Trackbacks & Pingbacks
  1. A Toy | Bright Moments Catcher
  2. I HAVE A DREAM, A DIGITAL DREAM! (Not to sould like MLK Jr. up in here, but we need one.) | Lord Aoshi’s Latest Finds
  3. Toy Story | Geek Ergo Sum
  4. (Lost) Toy Story | The Ambitious Drifter
  5. My first boyfriend. | Crossroads
  6. Chip Hazard | Sogna Grandezza
  7. A Horse is a Horse, of course, of course | Conversations
  8. Toy Story- Barbie | mcpw
  9. Daily Prompt: Toy Story – My littlegirltoy | littlegirlstory
  10. Daily Prompt: Toy Story | Under the Monkey Tree
  11. Memento | Mara Eastern’s Personal Blog
  12. Dhingali Maari Hala | મન ની વાત
  13. Green words | Phelio a Random Post a Day
  14. Cops and Robbers | MC’s Whispers
  15. Adorned With Skinned Knees | sayanything
  16. Dad, Me, And A Toy Jeep | The Jittery Goat
  17. Daily Prompt Repost: Toy Story; Simba’s Praise Song | Virginia the Viruliferous
  18. A Toy | Puggle | Ellen Gregory
  19. Daily Prompt: Toy Story « Mama Bear Musings
  20. Toys!! | mostlytrueramblings
  21. Playthings | Tony’s Texts

A day to give thanks


Daily Prompt: Thank You

The internet is full of rants. Help tip the balance: today, simply be thankful for something (or someone).

Photographers, artists, poets: show us THANKS.

9/11 – remembered the world over for the atrocities that took place in the USA.  For all the lives lost in that terrible business, and the lives lost since because of that.  I give thanks that I, nor my loved ones, were involved in that and hope that all who were can find some comfort and peace as time passes.

imagesI purposely haven’t read any other blogs today on this subject, simply because I think we all have so many things to be thankful for and by reading what others have written it might jog my memory a bit too much.  That would lead to an epic post which would, quite frankly, bore the pants off of anyone reading it.

I have decided to take the (slightly) lazy route on this one and go a little bit general.  If I were to list every individual item for which I am thankful, it would take all day.  While I’m thankful for having the time to do that, I have got other things to be getting on with.  Like my stitching, for example.

Without my eyesight, my brain power and my hands, I wouldn’t be able to enjoy this hobby.  But it’s not all about those things either because the money has to come from somewhere to buy the products I use and the designs I stitch.  And those products that I use have to be designed and manufactured by other people, who I’m thankful have those abilities.

Ok, I’m going to stop there with that one.  It could snowball…

So, what else am I thankful for?  My sense of humour.  I owe that to my Mum and Nan.  They were both a bit warped when it came to laughing at things.  Not in a nasty way, you understand, but just found so many things to smile and laugh about, even though their lives were dreadfully difficult at times.  As mine has been, and looks likely to continue to be.  But with my sense of humour and my son – who also has the same warped sense of humour – I think there will be much to laugh about, and in the face of, in years to come.

I am thankful for my friends.  They are the family that I never really had.  I do keep in touch with some family members but most of them are far-flung now and I don’t see them at all.  But it’s true what they say.  Friends are the family that God forgot to give you.  They like you because they want to, not because they’re obliged to.

I am thankful for technology.  Without it, I wouldn’t be sitting here typing this on a computer, sat next to my mobile phone and with many other digital devices strewn about the place.  Some are old, some are very old.  They still work and that’s what matters.  I am grateful for broadband internet which means I don’t have to worry about how much the bill is going to be.

P1010554And as I sit here, looking at the monitor shelf of my desk, I am suddenly reminded of perhaps the most important thing to be thankful for.  My desk is littered with crystals and minerals.  The true beauty of Mother Nature on my desk.  Mined by people who all too often risk their lives in pursuit of these gems.  Brought to me by worldwide postal services.  So that I may enjoy the fruits of Earth’s labour.

Which sort of brings me full circle to what I said at the beginning about eyesight etc.  And I could, in all probability, go on and on about things I am thankful for but here’s something you can all be thankful for… I’m not going to!

Trackbacks & Pingbacks
  1. Leftover Ramen | Daily Prompt: Thank You | likereadingontrains
  2. To Jinnah, with respect. | Randomlyabstract’s Blog
  3. Thanking You | The Magic Black Book
  4. Thanks For The Flowers | The Ambitious Drifter
  5. Daily Prompt: Thanks (a 9/11 Tribute to our first responders) | Gotham Chick
  6. Daily Prompt: Thank You | Under the Monkey Tree
  7. Thank You, Mom | Sogna Grandezza
  8. Thank You | Tony’s Texts
  9. Thank you for the music. | Everyday Adventures
  10. Many Thanks | Motherhood and Beyond
  11. Daily Prompt: Thank You | Being a Huntress
  12. Recovery and Reflections: Relief | mentalrollercoaster
  13. Daily Prompt: Thank You | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss
  14. Thank You Dear Chocolate | મન ની વાત
  15. Open my eyes, Break my Heart, continued | It’s a wonderful F’N life
  16. An attitude of gratitude. | Hope* the happy hugger
  17. thankful for me | wannabepoet
  18. You, thanks! | boo!
  19. Thank You | Geek Ergo Sum
  20. Daily Post – Thank You | awritersfountain
  21. Thank you, Daily Post, for a reminder to be thankful! | Reinvention of Mama
  22. Daily Prompt: Thank You « Mama Bear Musings
  23. INTERNET | ayimas
  24. Walking through my front door | mostlytrueramblings
  25. I Don’t Wanna… | Lori’s Life and Other Stuff
  26. September 11, 2013 | joymamalife

Just six words?


Daily Prompt: Six of One, Half a Dozen of the Other

Write a six-word story about what you think the future holds for you, and then expand on it in a post.

Photographers, artists, poets: show us SIX.

If only I knew the answer!

Six words that say everything and nothing at all.  Nobody really knows what the future holds.  We are all at the mercy of fate and the powers that be.  I’m a great believer in fate, that if something is meant to happen it will and if it isn’t, well then it won’t.  I have spent a lifetime trying to make things happen, without much success it has to be said.

I had hoped that my future would be secure, with a loving husband and family around me.  Lots of lovely moments, nice things, a nice home.  You get the idea.

The reality is very far from that.  Most of my family aren’t close, either in distance or emotionally.  I haven’t seen many of them for several years.  I couldn’t honestly even tell you if half of them are still alive.  When you get to my age, they start dropping like flies.  But I’ve managed to get this far (albeit not actually very far, only in years) without them.

My husband, well, I’ve had two of those over the years and having been on my own for some 16 years, it isn’t looking likely that I’ll have that for my old age either.  My family only turned out to be the one child (and he’s awesome!) despite wanting more; the situation just never arose.  The relationship I’ve been in for almost four years now is rubbish and I’m too old for any more kids now.  Just have to wait for the grandkids… suspect I’ll have quite a wait for them too but that’s okay.  I’m not planning on going anywhere for a long time yet!

My home isn’t exactly a palace either, it’s very sparse and meagre though I’m grateful to have a roof over my head and food (cheap, value stuff) in the cupboards.

I don’t really see the future changing much, but I don’t mind that.  Better the devil you know…

Trackbacks & Pingbacks
  1. Six | The Magic Black Book
  2. Keep calm and carry on – an update on managing thunder phobia | We Live In A Flat
  3. Creative Slumber (short fiction) | The Jittery Goat
  4. Six of One, Half a Dozen of the Other | Geek Ergo Sum
  5. Six Amazing Things Before Breakfast | The Ambitious Drifter
  6. i would like another baby please | wannabepoet
  7. The Minute they turned SIX | It’s a wonderful F’N life
  8. Daily Prompt: Six of One, Half a Dozen of the Other | Imperfectly Perfect
  9. Daily Prompt: Six of One, Half a Dozen of the Other « Mama Bear Musings
  10. She Woke Up Happy | Out Of My Head
  11. Who knows what the future holds? | Okay, what if ?
  12. Deep Sixed | Just Visiting This Planet
  13. I never think of FUTURE | મન ની વાત
  14. Texans Pick 6 | Better Than Reality
  15. Daily Post – Six Words, One Dream | awritersfountain
  16. Do you want to believe? | MC’s Whispers
  17. September Daily Prompt: Multi-Profession Wanna Be | Portofolio Prita
  18. In Six | The Cheese Whines

You’d never have guessed it but…


Daily Prompt: What a Twist!

Tell us a story — fiction or non-fiction — with a twist we can’t see coming.

Photographers, artists, poets: show us SURPRISE.

The surprise today is that there won’t be much of a blog post!  I am totally useless at writing stories.  In fact, it’s the reason that I failed my English exam way back in 1982.  I just can’t write stories and most things that have happened to me have been totally predictable so there aren’t really any twists you couldn’t guess.

So I’ll leave you instead with an image found on a Google search:


Trackbacks & Pingbacks
  1. A twist. | Crossroads
  2. DP : What A Twist | Experimental Fiction
  3. Phoneography Weekly: Drift and Fall | We Live In A Flat
  4. Spill the (Coffee) Beans | Mara Eastern’s Personal Blog