not exactly work in progress…

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vor-tex-d’mappin’ (dash!borgd)

arc-decade minus 10
                            ****~~~arc-decade minus 10~~~~***                              /////////////


(Are you sure you know how to drive this …ding!)


(hell! bray…~…cluse!!!)



Balancing …

Writing101 Task today:

1. Writing and not writing – what do you do when you’re not writing?… how do you maintain balance…? return refreshed…?

In general I’m very rarely ‘refreshed’! Life is generally sustained unrefreshed. Not for writing necessarily – although this activity can be incredibly draining, as it can be for anyone.


(snail found in my garden 20/09/15)

I don’t get out of the house most days, not even in my garden usually, but I enjoy looking out from my back door and have a good view of trees and sky beyond my garden fence. I like to play at snapping photos but currently have limitations of mostly housebound subject matter(!)

When I’m not writing, usually I’m either attending to the mundane necessities of everyday life or obtaining full rest because I have fallen off my feet. That’s the phrase I use for overstaying my vertical out of bed up and about the house time. I reach the point of such pain and struggle that to return to bed is the only option. This can occur less than an hour after getting up on a bad day or after a few hours on a good day if I’m fairly inactive (but standing, not sitting).

Sometimes I can then get comfy in bed, be propped up and still have concentration and ability to write. Sometimes I am fighting against the fog of inefficiency and incompetency. Sometimes I will battle on determined to finish. Other times there is no hope for activity at all and all there is to do is rest, kind of meditate the pain away, sleep if it’s what my brain insists though I try to defy it.

This week and for the next few weeks (or taking as long as a year) I have committed to the distraction of some formal poetry learning. I enrolled for the online Upenn Modern Poetry course (MOOC), so I have some poetry and discussion to watch and read. I don’t usually watch videos, mostly listen to them as if radio if playing them at all. I’m not undertaking the full course activity and will just drift through it. There’s no writing your own poetry, just critique and close readings. I’ve never studied poetry this way so it should be enlightening, although I’m not keen on formal discourse nor fluent in it. I say ‘study’, but I doubt I’ll be producing much in the way of notes or writing essays!

Splurging out words (creative writing) isn’t as intense a cognitive activity as reading, or attempting to write discussion based on reading or organising information from research. I’ve noticed some writers use reading as a resting activity, but I mostly can’t read when tired from writing. I don’t usually write much when focussing on trying to read. I don’t usually read or write much anyway…


02/09/15 – my last objective drawing sketch

Writing (via computer) doesn’t cause as much pain as drawing. I’d rather be drawing but haven’t done any for the last ten days. I’d hoped to keep drawing daily after my #DrawingAugust efforts when I managed an average of 20 minutes drawing each day. From 4th September I moved to a very quick non-dominant hand excercise, using a single line to draw just one small abstract ‘doodle’ daily taking one to two minutes max. I haven’t drawn anything at all since 11th September, ten days ago but I’ll start gain when I’ve rested from it.

There are so many things I would rather be doing than writing – but not much I can claim to be managing to do other than my little bits of writing…


Our first virtual coffee date (prose poem)

Image via

Image via

If we were having coffee right now I’d hope we’d meet in town, I’m too behind with housework to invite anybody round – My hair’s a mess, I’d like to shower, and I need to be in bed, so you’d have to make your drink yourself and please excuse the mess.

If we were having coffee now…You’d see the state I’m in, how I’m in such a big muddle and how my talking-points worn thin. You’d have to move some things around to sit beside my bed – I’m not sure what we’d chat about while I’ve an aching foggy head.

If we were having coffee now, my ideal day will have arrived, I’d have the energy to catch the bus and meet you just in time. We’d chat upon the surface of warm conversational flow… You’d never know the real me, the one that lingers so.

copyright, Colette Bates, 18/09/2015

(if you missed it while here, I’ve an index page of writing101 stuff, though does need updating, and made a short page for today also.)


Reading reflection

Notes on Reading Reflection

Notes on Reading Reflection (and my new microwave delivered yesterday that I’ve been learning how to use).

With thanks to Jane at Making It Write and Calen (Cherry) at Impromptu Promptlings for being such inspiring, supportive co-learning company. They’re also both great conversationalists as well as admirable, talented writers.

This is the first idea I had as a response to today’s writing101 task to expand on a comment. I’ve combined two seperate conversations via blog commenting from yesterday in making this post.

I thought I’d show Calen the book I referred to when we were discussing reading. For the quotes excercise I chose a quote from a book I’ve not read yet and we had a quick chat about reading and my writing. The book pictured above is the one I set myself to read recently. I got as far as the end of chapter 1 almost two weeks ago, promised myself I’d read some every day and still haven’t. Overdoing writing101 because I have to expel burning ideas and keeping up with challenges and blog-hopping as much as I can makes for quite a lot of reading already. I will settle down to reading some of this book later (I promise myself).

So that’s ‘Shoes Were for Sunday’, set in Glasgow, post World War One, from the times of the author’s childhood. (ISBN: 978-0-241-95792-9) The author, Molly Weir, was born in 1910. She was also the actress who played Hazel McWitch in the popular BBC children’s television series ‘Rent-a-ghost’. Does anyone remember that programme (late 1970s?1980s?) I’m probably showing both my age and unwillingness to distract by research and linking again!

This photo and post also fits with my conversation with Jane – she’d written a fantastic poem about her ‘thingymijiggy’ in the corner of her living room. My new thingamijiggy (microwave) is set up in the scullery corner of my living room. I’ve adapted the one room to accommodate both my sofa and living room furniture, my dining table in front of the window, used my tall wall units as if a dividing wall and have my fridge freezer, an old kitchen cabinet with worktop-top and a wooden kitchen trolley to use as my necessarily compact kitchen area. The kitchen makes a very good dog-run and shed, but is still used for occasional washing-up and laundry. Out of necessity.

Reflection in my new bargain price (less than £40) Tesco microwave in my compact kitchen area. Reflecting ...

Reflection in my new bargain price (less than £40) Tesco microwave in my compact kitchen area. Reflecting …

Among other reasons, the extra steps a long kitchen requires is often problematic at times of low health and poor mobility. While there are risks to my dog to have me using and dropping sharp things, hot things and other hazards, it makes it safer all round to improvise a small working kitchen area.

Jane, re: your wonderful poem,  I hope you understand my comment better when you see this post – Thank you also for inspiring my essay-writing this morning too! (by the way, the photo of my actual kitchen at the top of that essay page is cropped, also from a reflection in my new thingamijiggy… it’s coming in handy for culinary art and reflective practise today and for future use for sure.)

If you’re visiting from writing101 and you have a W101 post or poll you’d like me to check out, please live me a link in the comments below. Any other feedback or suggestions most welcome.

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so, that was my play with voice recognition… I did
not say ‘I send lies’ it’s like there’s some one
there having to type what you say and making it up!

Now even my typing is wonky! Gonna try a sillitoe
passage next, new page!

I’ve seen in my WordPress admin that there’s an option for ‘post by voice’ – I don’t think I’d be trying that given the results I achieved while playing with my tablet. I don’t know how WordPress uses voice to text software but the google talk function on my tablet was really dumbed down language in place of the words I was using or reading.

The block quote texts are taken from the text created following two experiments back in April/May. I typed that text quoted above and below after my voice tests. The links takes you to the pages with the voice recognition output in case you’re interested. It’s quite nonsense…

Appears it may take longer to edit on a tablet than its worth but wonder if it LERNS somehow… Anyway, could be a fun way of sourcing bizarre fragments and it doesn’t offer capitals or punctuation even with pausing and crossing your fingers!

Although I didn’t make any writing from that play experiment I had found a potential way of generating unexpected and sometimes interesting fragments to use.

I used a quote post here because on the page I made for a Day7 blockquote task I was left with a horizontal scrolling text  (different piece of writing, page here at this blog). There’s no scrolling text on this post’s block quote, but no grey block background still, just the tumblr type line. Perhaps it is confinements of the theme, so I’ll post my first idea for this task that I’ve not yet tackled over on The Wishing Well and see what happens there with the Sorbet theme and a block quote…


A quiet time for reflection. Global Suicide Awareness Day


A Candle lit for Remembrance, Condolence and Hope

for all those globally who may be, or have been affected by suicide.

A quiet time for reflection:

Image courtesy of the originator via - attribution-free stock image (unaltered)

Image courtesy of the originator via – attribution-free stock image (unaltered)

Positive action and attempts to raise awareness or support good causes, or to help an individual or group and perhaps make any small difference, need not be limited to just one day…


Level(ling) Uncertainty

I’m starting this post loosely drawing together my beginning and end points of my activity for today’s Writing101 assignment and indulging in time travel along the way. From a choice of six single word prompts I rejected Love, Home, Secret, Treasure,( another one that’s lost from my memory right now in a hurry to post and can’t afford distraction).

I made a snap decision choosing to use the prompt ‘Uncertainty’, in part because it sums up my situation in so many ways. I don’t actually want to use that prompt in that way of writing about how uncertainty affects me. Enough already is all over my blogs about such issues and more will likely appear anytime it springs out or seems relevant.

My pocket notebook is a special gift from my mother from last Christmas, unused until April’s ‘How Writers Write Poetry’ mooc when it was used for poetry sketching excercises – that is sketching with words in note form of observations to gather potential material to use for poetry writing. I only managed to get out for observations once, along the way of an essential bus journey. I didn’t manage any more notebooking as per the course suggestion once I’d worked through that particular writing task and was more than a bit disappointed to have not made better use. I’m much happier now it’s become a mini sketchbook and doodle pad…Below is my final sketch in my pocket notebook for #DrawingAugust. 



Whenever I see or hear the word ‘Uncertainty’ a particular contemporary artist springs to mind. John Newling is a locally acclaimed and much respected artist of international renown. I was fortunate enough that whilst at uni I was referred for a tutorial with him and advised to go seek him out to make an appointment. On finding him at a workbench in the art workshops I had a there and then unexpected tutorial, even though I’d interrupted his work to ask for an appointment .I remember that day very well, twenty-one years ago (in another month or two – maybe noted in my files if I ever get round to looking). The conversation we had that day was probably fairly brief but enjoyable, encouraging and an absolute privelege. It had a profound effect on the way I interacted with art from then on, whether my own art or the work of others, based on the simple advice to “document everything”.

That word, uncertainty, now always makes me thing of ‘Singing Uncertainty’, a project by John Newling in circa 2011. A resulting video was shown in the main entrance of Nottingham Contemporary during his exhibition there. I’ll have to add links later, but you can google or whatever if you wish 😉

Singing Uncertainty

I love working with colour, even in the simplest ways, as if a child with a box of crayons and a piece of paper – or any other way I find or fancy. Yesterday, on my blog ‘the Wishing Well’, I made a colourful visual list of music I’d like to listen to ‘when I feel well enough’. I forgot some, as we do with long lists. (Indexed in page at top of blog if interested to view that list.)

I was really pleased with having used colour and the simplicity of that music play-wish-list. Somehow it made me feel a bit better to have made it. Late last night having decided on ‘uncertainty’ for my prompt for today’s task, I sat up in bed, grabbed a handy piece of paper and my cheap kiddy style jumbo pens. I didn’t want to write another poem for this and typing to work my idea through would have turned into a poem,

I counted the letters in ‘uncertainty’, selected my colours and decided to make another list type response for an acrostic type piece of automatic writing, not shaped this time as it was inappropriate for the task in mind. So I wrote very quickly the first sentence that came to mind for each letter. (Pic of that piece of automatic writing at Fishing4Soup)

I didn’t post it straight away but once made and I felt satisfied I was able to sleep at still a reasonable time to be going to sleep rather than by first light(!) I’ve had a fun day today deciding how to further this task. I really needed the time away from the computer and not straining my brain any further than I have these first two days of writing101 or I’ll be more ill for days. So, I posted my pic of my writing first, able to relax feeling ‘mission accomplished’ with at least one post that easily meets the brief.

Next, something I’ve been meaning to do for ages (since HWWP2015 back in April) – source some ready prompt-box-potential vessels. Luckily I keep all sorts of likely to come in handy resources such as jars, tubs and boxes, even though I recycle plenty. Quick assemble of stuff and another photo snap that speaks for itself in how I would be proceeding, for my next step at least, for a photo post on my blog ‘One 4 Fun’.

I left it there at that point because I do have priorities like looking after myself, my dog, my home. Myself and domestic duties are quite neglected most days. Along the way of my mostly non-blogging domesticated day I had, in a round about way, three wishes come true – I’m saving that for another post to link up later. But I certainly found myself with singing uncertainty.

Later in the afternoon I decided ‘how long will it take to just…’ and grabbed my stuff and made play. Documenting each step along the way with quick photo snaps perhaps reads like expect a Blue Peter style tutorial on making a prompt box. You’ll be sorely disappointed if you’d like that post to be the result of my next post(s) –  as you will if you expect anything like pieces of writing 😀 It’s probably fair to say… expected any kind of rubbish…

By the end of my play I found one stray word on a tiny slip of paper that had been knocked to the floor and missed during my main play. This is the word that dictated my title for this post and I reveal it to you here, below.


A snap of the penultimate step of today’s project

Finally, with my project done for now, one last snap at the packed away project, awaiting re-birth in some new way another time, maybe:


The words revealing themselves in this picture are those that settled to the surface after a good shake having finished my play with this prompt task.

(further images and links for above text to perhaps be added at later date – in case you’re interested but don’t have or can’t use a search engine)