Monthly Archives: February 2012

Versatile Blogging: loved, listed and a little random.

At this point I feel like squealing. I am reminded once again how wonderful and supportive this community is as a new visitor of my blog (Step On A Crack) nominates me for the ‘Versatile Blogger’!

I discovered her blog yesterday through the list of ‘Liebster’ blog nominations on another person’s thread and was drawn to it through Jen’s ‘no bullshit’ approach to dealing with and discussing the effects of alcohol abuse on her mother’s health, and how this then affected the rest of the family:

I am hoping to clear the air about alcoholics dementia. I will chronicle my mothers decline and how my family has managed to survive intact through it all.

I will not candy coat my experience or that of my mother. This is not a happy story and it is unlikely there will be a happy ending.* (This was written before the death of my mother. There is NOT a happy ending)

Whilst I appreciate it isn’t the most cheerful of topics, I think there is much to learn from other people’s experiences. Particularly if you know or have lived with someone that have suffered like those you read about. Speaking from personal experience, I am aware of how destructive alcohol can be even without Alcohol Dimentia added to the mix and I’m very grateful to people like Jen who are so willing to be open and honest about their experiences in the hopes that they can make a difference to others.

The Rules of the “Versatile Blogger Award” are as follows:

  1. Nominate 15 fellow bloggers.
  2. Inform the bloggers of their nomination.
  3. Share 7 random things about yourself.
  4. Thank the blogger who nominated you.
  5. Add the “Versatile Blogger Award” pic to your blog post.


So, here are the people that I have found most inspiring, insightful and wonderful company in this community we have here and certainly deserve lots of love, likes and attention – so get to it! In no particular order:

1. aroundofwordsin80days – because many of the wonderful people I have met have been through this page. It inspires, it urges us to develop as individuals, as well as writers, and so full of useful tips.

2. showard76 – a candid account of everything that happens through her personal journey as a BPD sufferer, also choc-ful of creative projects and reflections.

3. aseekersmusings – personal insights, as well as reflections on the world at large.

4. deidraalexander – a combination of witty prose, life experiences and pretty pictures.

5. shaggygirl – life experiences, the craft of writing, insights, reviews… you name, she’s probably got it.

6. abumptothehead – food, life, recovery, the world… a busy lady!

7. Brad Geagley – The craft of writing, film, points for discussion.

8. Madison Woods – prompts, general discussion, nature, photography…

9. Depression Cookies – writing, publishing, life, family values, food, books…

10. Michael Graeme – the publishing industry, points for discussion, personal experiences.

11. Daily Health Boost – diet, lifestyle, inspiration, motivation.

12. Grumpy Comments – reflections (or criticisms) on the world at large, life, work, and generally being a satirical arse (which I totally recommend trying).

13. Frume Sarah – a very social lady sharing her cooking tips, life lessons, discussions, books.

14. Coffurge – reflections, writing, discussion, life.

15. Robotic Rhetoric – life, health, work, society, comedy – just general good fun to read.

7 Random things about me…

1. I currently work in mental health with teenagers whilst my own sanity is often brought into question (I frequently hear our little angels saying to me: “And you think we’re nuts?”)

2. I would quite happily live in pyjamas and socks. Forever.

3. My ‘garden’ is a graveyard for a failed mini self-sufficiency project – the slugs destroyed my crops (disgustingly fat gymnasts that they are) and I haven’t the heart to go out and face it. Only the lavender survived.

4. I like solitude. I crave solitude. I moved several towns away from family and friends to a rural village (though my place is on a main road) to ensure I could have it when I wanted it. Social situations sometimes make me feel very uncomfortable and yet, people see me as being very outgoing and social. How does that work?

5. I sleep with the curtains open though my lounge curtains are always closed – too many nosey passersby.

6. I like odd conversations that would normally weird people out – the more disturbing the better. Though many people don’t realise that until they attempt to freak me out. My brain works in some very peculiar ways.

7. I hate mushrooms – why would you want to eat fungi? I keep trying to train myself to eat foods I keep saying I don’t like but I just can’t get myself to eat a mushroom. As close as I’ve got is champagne mushroom sauce (blended mushrooms and teeny-tiny bits that you can’t really taste). I don’t actually know what a mushroom tastes like.



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Once again it’s time for my little winter/spring writing classes. I have a basic writing course and an editing course. I have a few people who repeat the courses so I always try to vary my examples and how I present the information. Lately, I’ve been reading about voice in preparation for those classes.

Years ago someone at a course in the Iowa Summer Writing Festival said that it sounded like I had discovered my voice. I didn’t respond because I liked the person. The fact is, I don’t like the idea of voice which is what I later told my teacher. I wanted to be able to write different types of stories that deserve to be written in different ways. I remember that then he didn’t say anything to me which might have meant that he thought I was wrong. I don’t really know for sure except when I…

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What if tomorrow never comes?

Sometimes the world feels like it’s an incredibly dark and treacherous terrain, set out in such a way that we are frequently snared or scratched on sharp protrusions of events as we pass.

Anyone that hasn’t spent time on a forum or in some form of ‘community’ setting online may not fully understand why news of an online friend passing away is upsetting, but those of you who have should know how completely you can form those bonds of friendship without ever knowing what that person looks like.

Today, I found out that my friend of over 2 years, who had been suffering for a very long time from various illnesses, had passed away after a period of time in hospital for a chest infection. She died of pneumonia.

This individual was such a beautiful character, so warm and welcoming. Easy to talk to and loved to listen to others. She loathed to moan about her own illness, preferring to focus on other people’s lives. If you asked her directly how she was getting on, she’d dance around the question so that you’d get just enough to answer your question and ease your concerns, but never any details. You were never truly aware of just how serious her condition was. That is, until she passed away.

I am now told that her illness really was a case of ‘it’s just a matter of time’ rather than her actually getting better. She had ‘good’ days, but an awful lot of painful and uncomfortable days since she was frequently having surgery and other treatments that seemed to cause her more discomfort. But, as I say, we were never given details. A lot of this was inferred before she’d swiftly move onto another topic.

And so young! Born April 1991. How fragile life is. I am repeatedly reminded that life truly is short and could take any one of us at any time, and it’s often the most sweetest and kindest natures that are taken from this world. How is that fair? Paedophiles, murderers, abusers, criminals seem to just keep going on and on like a duracel battery. But these lovely, warm individuals are snatched from the earth before they’ve really had chance to live.

I know some people will argue that they are God’s creatures and are fit for some other purpose, but these are not my beliefs. Life is full of chaos, pain and suffering for no purpose other than for us to learn that life needs to be made the most of for we only have one. There is no selection process, the good may be taken just as surely as the bad, though we notice their loss and their suffering more than we would the ‘bad’.

And I feel the loss. A young woman I have only ever spoken to online has managed to make such a strong impression of goodness that she has imprinted on my life and on my memories, a person that will not be forgotten just as people from my past who have died will still be remembered.

It brings it all home how much we take for granted. Just little things really like a conversation you wish you’d had, or something you should have done… it really makes no difference now to them but you wish that it was something you’d done all the same.

I guess that’s my moral this time around: If there’s something you want to do, something you want to say, or someone you don’t want to lose touch with – make sure you do something about it now. Don’t wait for tomorrows, because you just don’t know what tomorrow has in store for any of us.


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Liebster Blog Award – accepting & spreading the karma

Oh my! I’ve been on WordPress since just after new year 2012 (when I joined ROW80) and, when I joined, had only an inkling of what a wonderful community existed here. It was the snippets of warmth, companionship, comraderie and support that lured me here to begin with and it certainly feels like the best move I made!

One of my lovely blog friends left me a comment on one of my blogs (A-Muse-ing Adventures) to inform me that she’d nominated me for a blog award on hers (Liebster Blog Award – accepting & spreading the karma) – I couldn’t believe it! In all honesty, I had no idea what one was but an ‘award’ is rarely a bad thing, I’m sure.

For those of you that don’t know:

Leibster is German & means ‘Dearest’ or ‘Beloved’ but it can also mean ‘Favourite’ & the idea of the Leibster award is to bring attention to blogs with less than 200 followers all in the spirit of gathering more connections

  1. Show your thanks to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them.
  2. Reveal your top picks for the award and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
  3. Post the award on your blog.
  4. Bask in the love from the most supportive people on the blogsphere – other bloggers.
  5. And, best of all – have fun and spread the karma.

It really is a wonderful feeling to have someone say that your words, whatever they may be, help to inspire or give them the desire to create something new (these thoughts have been explored within A-Muse-ing Adventures), and I am truly touched that abumptothehead believes my words to have that effect at times. I am so thrilled that I even came to mind when she was to think of people to pick for this ‘beloved blog’ award. Thank you!

In the interests of sharing this feeling, and offering recognition where recognition is due, here is a list of the blogs I wish to show my support of (they must have less than 200 followers – I’ve had to remove some people that I could see had lots from this list because of it):

1. – I am aware that this is the lovely lady that nominated me but I can not fail to draw attention to the fact that it is her blog that often inspires me!

2. – full of useful advice, points for discussion and lovely images.

3. – a lyrical blog that never fails to make me laugh, whatever the subject.

4. – an incredibly diverse blog that again, manages to make me laugh (I’m sensing a pattern here…)

5. – thought provoking and inspiring musings.

6. – such stunning pictures!

7. – discussions and reblogs re: art, literature, humanitarianism and society.

8. – informative, inspirational, supportive… what more could a woman ask for?

Well, I am sure I have taken up quite enough of your time already. I hope that I can continue to provide pieces that others enjoy reading.

Happy blogging!


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What a wonderful post! If it must be done, it should be done well. To have spent so long with someone only to seemingly set about trying to hurt them far more than necessary is rather disgraceful treatment of someone you once claim to have loved. I’m obviously not referring to ‘you’ as in you as an individual, but more ‘those people that…’ I see it happen frequently around me, it’s also happened to me but I refuse to let it be something that I do if it can be avoided.

I hate break ups (I’d be a right sicko if I did like them, right?) but I’d rather take the time showing someone that a break up is the best for both of us, that they’re still worthy of ‘someone’ it’s just not right for ‘us’. I want said person to still be a part of my life, since they were such a big part before. Sadly, not many people seem to share this view. Often my compassion makes it seem like there’s still a chance of reconcilliation and, when that waiting game is finally accepted as being fruitless, they either turn bitter and vindictive, or just ‘uninterested’ in maintaining any friendship anymore. At least I know my conscience is clear.


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Thought of the week – 19th Feb 2012

Thank you to ‘a bump on the head’ for posting this blog: Thought of the week – 19th Feb 2012.

It is amazing to me that people seem to have so little time to offer others, even when very little is asked of them. As in this article where a gifted man is playing in the street a piece that the following night he will charge $100 a seat, but few people stop to acknowledge his talents.

I must admit, I am just as guilty at times of being so wrapped up in my own world that I sometimes miss out on the wonders the real world has to offer – maybe next time I may just stop to think…

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A-Muse-ing adventures.

Dante Alighieri, in Canto II of The Inferno:
O Muses, O high genius, aid me now!
O memory that engraved the things I saw,
Here shall your worth be manifest to all!
(Anthony Esolen translation, 2002)

Lightning strikes not once, but three times in the course of two days and I’m completely thrilled! It seems that, despite struggling to keep chugging along at the hard pace I keep trying to set myself for my own works, I am still able to play cheerleader or inspirer of other people’s projects.

For the Greeks, a muse was a goddess that inspired their craft, whatever their chosen creative pursuit. In more recent times, we have come to see muses as being any individual that sets that little spark off in ourselves to give us either a gentle prod or a massive shove in the direction of awesomeness. I don’t necessarily mean we achieve perfection, or something of such great magnitude that the world will stand and stare or gasp with delight at the wonders of our minds. What I do mean, is that somehow we are able to create something that did not exist before. We have shaped and preened words, inks, images and so forth into something new, fun and wonderous for us to behold (and, hopefully, others too).

I am beginning to see that a huge part of my being is devoted to encouraging others to find or harness their own aspirations along the creative vein. I love nothing more than to set that spark to smoulder, producing flames of passion in their eyes; enraptured by the urge to ‘do’, and not just be content with dreaming. I offer tidbits of ideas, pull on their own comments and turn them around into something they can pursue, offer guidance or borrowed knowledge from books I’ve read, send prods and prompts to excite or help focus those ardent desires… and any other number of things.

All these are for those that make their dreams known and it is such a delight for me to discover ‘new’ people braving the world of creativity, finally admitting what it is they would love to do if only they had the time, the drive or the inspiration to do it. And in steps their muse. I’m not saying that I answer all their questions, nor am I saying that I successfully manage to give them the push they say they need. What I am is the little voice in the back of their head that attempts to turn the pesky critic in their heads into a faint buzzing in their ear. I want to quash fears in favour of actions, however imperfect. I want to encourage dreams to be realised, and that people would want to improve on whatever they choose to do.

So, in reality, my own aspirations aren’t so purely entrenched in what I want for myself but are, in fact, tied to what I want for others do. In me gaining knowledge, I then wish to share it freely. To offer what little I know up for discussion, for use, for support, for encouragement. In my journey, I want to pull many others in and along for the ride, to experience a mutual rollercoaster of discovery.

Here begins the adventures of a muse. 😀 [I wonder if an event of sorts could be ‘inspired’ by this?]


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