ColetteB….

not exactly work in progress…


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person-578958_1920

(Image from pixabay.com)

“If you think in terms of a year, plant a seed; if in terms of ten years, plant trees; if in terms of 100 years, teach the people.”

Confucius

~

“If you do not think about your future, you cannot have one.”

 John Galsworthy

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“The future is no more uncertain than the present.”

Walt Whitman

~


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I believe…

…my future looks…

Image via unsplash.com

Image via unsplash.com

I believe my future looks as rosy as the lens through which I view my life today, tomorrow,

those far distant tomorrows beyond and out of reach. I’d like to plan

my future as if a garden: sow the seeds, nourish and nurture, tend and mow.

Cut back weeds and watch my garden grow. Dig the earth and yield sufficient harvest then

to sustain living once again. I’d like for flowers there to thrive

to bloom and blossom, spring through life, gift nectar for the flutterbies

and through all these days and all these nights live life like song, full harmonised.

A very quick draft, needs some reworking, response to writing 101 day 20 assignment (and with poetry in mind!)


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What about day 20?

What does the future hold? What would I like the future to hold? Can I think beyond today, this week, next month? Writing101 provided several suggested ways of writing about our personal futures. I had thought I’d like to write myself a ‘twenty years in the future…’ I’ll hopefully be heading toward a healthy enough seventy by then. I will have had these recent years practise of geriatric living and have learnt a lot that may make old age less of a shock. I might even hope to be comparitively capable by then amongst my peer group. My generation will also be expected to be capable of work under current legislation. That’s interesting given the mortality rates and statistical health outcomes of my ‘social class’ as a direct result of deprivation. It’s also interesting that with more or less a century of ‘knowledge and understanding’ and social research to back up political opinion, our current UK government seems determined on wiping out the ‘underclass’. As if policy determines that if we fail to climb their imposed ‘social mobility ladder’ we will be flung to the devil’s pit below.

That’s beside the point of this post but I cannot help myself for reeling.

I should have made a Look Ahead Monthly post by 1st October, not usually at this blog but so far it’s been one at that other blog and the one before at the other other blog… so I could kill two birds with one stone by looking at the month ahead and linking a late entry to that event… day 20 of writing101 task was writing about ‘The Future’ and I really should get something down for that assignment. I might yet make a ‘Look Ahead Monthly’ page…

The only problem I had with Writing101:Finding Daily Inspiration, apart from my blogs being a muddle along journey of process, is that a dozen different ideas would hit me at once – or at least within that day. I can’t keep up with myself. I won’t be doing it again in November as I have done it now and still completing. I’m rubbish at sharing links and requesting feedback. I have a back pocket full of assignments, unmade or outlined, so much to return to. I’m taking Writing201:poetry on the slow for a crash course reminder of form and terminology. I will write poems but more slowly than one each day in a rush. As usual, I will be littering them all over my blogs – or just letting them settle on paper for a while. I love knocking out ad hoc responses but during Iowa’s MOOC ‘How Writers Write Poetry’ earlier this year I learnt to draft and refine my poetry. I haven’t written any like that since but it’s a very different experience and makes for a very different type of poem, carved and sculpted.

Rumour has it (reliably sourced) that there’ll be a blogging201: intermediate customisation course in November.  Perhaps that could be really useful for getting my muddles better presented. I still haven’t managed to retain some of my previous Blogging101 learning although I know how it works in theory. Sort of. I look at doing those things and even with crib sheets my brain won’t process the info to be able to do those actions. Maybe doing a technical blogging ‘course’ focusing on customisation will help me absorb and finally assimilate those earlier learnings. it would provide a clear timeframe and motivation for blog improvements and changes. Hopefully.

So that’s a maybe for next month, having said in the Commons that I wouldn’t be taking a November course!

I wish I’d bought a stylus before this Wednesday for typing on my phone and tablet. It’s so much easier! So maybe I’ll learn to be more productive and efficient with less negative health impacts while I blog. Of course that involves visiting lots and actually reading. I’m hoping to find a screen reader to use to help me enjoy more posts. It could also come in handy for checking my own. It would be nice to think I could make posts and pages that are accessible to visually impaired people. Should I wait for the first such person to visit before considering their needs?

Clearly I’m not visually impaired other than in the sense that I cause myself lots of pain by trying to read online and my brain either drains quickly from reading or I’m trying through thick fogginess and can’t follow what I’m reading well and don’t retain it. There are thankfully better moments between but trying to read lots affects my ability to write my own posts. A screen reader might help no end. By the time my generation are in our seventies visual impairment rate is likely to be much higher than the current 70% or so. Imagine not writing in an accessible format and waking tomorrow with no sight. What an awful thought!

[Time stamp to add to day book, 17:36, tried screen suppression of tiredness by drafting on phone while lay back in bed. Left arm aches for holding phone even though supported. Eyes hurt and getting that kicked in face feeling back. Full rest…(08/10/15) ]

I didn’t write any posts yesterday other than drafting this one, as above, to this point – although in editing I added a bit extra. My ability to think was slowed, my concentration incredibly poor. Not for the previous efforts of blogging but for one simple outing in a taxi to visit the doctor and fetching shopping, with a taxi home. So I walked a few steps from a car into the health centre, had my appointment; there’s a bus stop outside about thirty steps away and for £1.10 bus fare I can travel two stops and get off right outside the supermarket. There’s a couple of steps and a slight slope to walk up, the whole walking journey into the store must be about a hundred steps – of course it’s a lot more to walk round those aisles. it’s my second or third visit there since it opened a few months ago. I also feel like complaining that the freezer aisles are at the opposite end of the store to anything useful forcing shoppers to travel the full distance.

It’s very strange that the freezer cabinets are surrounded by the alcohol aisles and seems very poor store management, ethically. Not that I have a problem resisting the suggestion to purchase some alcohol. A taxi home with a few bags of shopping to carry in:  the one important thing I went in for (a birthday card for my son) forgotten; the confusion a busy environment with so much visual stimuli causes and the discomfort of other shoppers and staff perfumes; too much reduced food that luckily could go the freezer; easy meals to microwave once I manage to wash up and have plates and cutlery and things for cooking  vegetables in; some easy grab snacks like pasties and quiche to eat cold and pot noodles for in the meantime.

 Soon after getting home I had to fall off my feet to bed for horrendous pain. Yesterday was a very slow day, my blogging ground almost to a halt. Today and tomorrow are potentially the biggest after effect days so I’ll have to manage accordingly. Fingers crossed my early rest in response to symptom onset will reduce or even remove the inevitability of pay-back for trying.

I’m trying to get a visual chart together showing my daily life patterns. I’m asked to show diaries for assessment of my current health. I’ve been keeping one for two years now, but it’s a never-ending scrawl and difficult even for me to pick out the relevant detail. It’s also not symptom focussed as it’s not good for esteem or positivity to focus heavily on how dreadful things are. Every entry occurs once I’ve woken, once I’ve made it downstairs, if I forgot to feed the dog even, once I’ve had breakfast, if I wash up or do any housework, if I had a shower and changed my clothes, accidents of various kinds, once I’ve used computer. Some days there’s not much in the way of entry or I’ve been too ill to not even leave my mark – but those are very infrequent as it’s my priority task of the day to keep my record. The process of collating data takes ages.

I managed to complete September’s chart this week but still more detail to pick out and a key to devise. I tried previously using tables or spreadsheets but got in such a muddle with them. Now I’m working on paper, a month to a page, maybe some relevant small notes to add for each day – anything the key does not reveal. An eventual spreadsheet copy would allow ‘reports’ and all the ways of selecting specific types of data content – but I have to learn to use a spreadsheet for anything other than simple data entry first.

My September chart looks nice with less sleep mostly at wrong times of early morning- I’ve been keeping myself awake too much (and causing pain) by using my various screens each at their lowest possible brightness and cursing each for not going lower. Dinner usually happens late in the day or not at all. I’m looking forward to charting my data from June to August to see the differences in patterns while I’ve been blogging. Blogging has been good for both my skills development and ongoing learning and also for my self-esteem. For the first time in six years I now have a small online social life of a sort. That’s really nice.

So, tomorrow, the day after, next month…? Onward!


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‘Swishing up for…(w201-poetry)

‘Swishing up, for writing now – pull up a chair and write stuff how…s’why swish-up? s’what? s’why – collaboratively some of us tied and tried, we’ll try again alliteratively p’raps now and then and then and then again – ModPo’s grabbed hold and grabbed my pen – pertained pretends pretense per se per say pursed lips no way…

S’time an’ Stein goes rock and sway and in prose poem does merely say I surely can’t alliterate – s’what! S’why it’s sounding swaggered – s’when I free-write words get staggered stone cold sobre supping tea and in no need of sympathy but simply saying hear see hear say here stay a while and sit and play and play and playful words can make a poem so absurd …

S’what! S’fun s’pose it’s not wrong to muddle words and tag along and drag a song so poetry does start today so still stuck w101 someway with day 19 so slightly stalled takes such long steps to hop and trawl and so day 1 of poetry’s alliterate attend freely…

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As you can see I need more practise …

In ModPo this week we are reading the likes of Gertrude Stein – I’m quite new to formal study of poetry but  my writing above is a prose poem, attempting to alliterate which is always fun, as per writing201(poetry) day1 assignment.

‘Swishing up is just the url for an online ‘writer’s lounge’ for some us in writing101 to continue with one way or another of collaborating. The Commons will be closing soon, but there’s some way of dropping by, hanging out, grabbing a virtual coffee and having a chat and some fun hopefully. Some will be sharing posts for feedback, setting challenges or leaving a prompt they created. It has like a notice-board or a showcase function and maybe even some writing practise going on. Some of us are working on ideas for collaborative writing in pairs or as a small group – it was primarily built for such use but results of our writing for those projects will be a while in the making…

I’ll get around to writing101’s day20 assignment by the end of this week, hopefully…


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Rounding up for collaboration

Back to real world with writing101’s day 19 assignment. Although not clear my previous day’s post relates to the day 18 task to pull something from an archive (my admin dashboard yields nothing of interest but I chose to finxionalise it and feature it as the ‘dashborgd’…). I combined that task with the day 17 mapping task and chose to approach that differently too. It maybe seems a bit out of this world or not on the same planet, but that was the idea… or rather it may be an emerging idea to continue journeying into the future…

Today’s collaboration task for day 19…or one of them…

One of the options for today was to publish a recommended reading post linking to five other blogs. I’ve been inspired by the first of these I’ve seen today to write a round-up post of my own. specifically of day 19 reader recommends posts. I’ll visit some throughout today, I’ll add others that I’ve visited and include (at least?) four more. In addition to linking to their round-up post of great reads, I’ll be making tiny screenshot buttons to illustrate and link to another post I really enjoyed at the featured blog. (Also see footnote re:task).

geekergosum has made a fantastic post for this task and I was really pleasantly surprised to find one of my posts here mentioned in that article. Whenever I have time for a visit there is so much to enjoy reading at this blog that to receive  a mention and in such fine company is an absolute honour. I love this closing statement from geekergosums’s about page “I geek therefore I am”. I’m looking forward to visiting those recommended blog reads at the weekend and settle down with some relaxed time for a good read. Earlier in writing101 I really enjoyed the unique response and way geekergosum  tackled and presented his vignettes assignment response. The preview button below links to that particular post.
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While I’ll be eventually adding more buttons and featuring rounding-up post links, I’ll add in the comments below this post quick links to some I visit along the way, until I have time for editing and including some to feature, similarly to the opening one above. Please feel free to also leave a link to your own day 19 reading round-up post if you have made one. I may or may not have time to visit you today, but you’re welcome to join in the blog-hop celebration that way and I’ll pop over to visit your post as soon as I can. Cheers 🙂

I’ll leave this mention of my first post relating to the collaboration task here, at the final paragraph of my post so far. That post is over at ‘The Wishing Well, where later today or soon after I’ll be featuring a special guest blogger collaborative post and tomorrow will be publishing a collaborative group poem. There’s still time to take part if you like – but only until mid-day tomorrow, UK time. Details available in that post linked above – and another contact page if you’d like to get in touch (there is also one in the menu at the top of my blog here for a day 11 task page).


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vor-tex-d’mappin’ (dash!borgd)

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

Ignition…lift-off…arc…ode…ade…Z…

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

[PLEASE FASTEN YOUR SEAD-BELL…zzz]

(hell! bray…~…cluse!!!)

[sat-elite-desist…ON!]


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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.

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(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…

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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…


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Our first virtual coffee date (prose poem)

Image via unsplash.com

Image via unsplash.com

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.)


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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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A quiet time for reflection. Global Suicide Awareness Day

WHO-WSPAday-banner-appropriated

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 unsplash.com - attribution-free stock image (unaltered)

Image courtesy of the originator via unsplash.com – 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…