Blogging, Feminism, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, TGIF, Writing

My Silent Fight #Clickbait #FightClub #AtoZChallenge

What’s the first rule of Fight Club again?

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Honestly, was never a big fan of the movie on my one and only viewing, but I decided to go for the dreaded clickbait, something I usually stay far away from doing in my writing.

The A to Z Challenge – R is for Rules

But today I am breaking my own rules.

I am breaking the rule of this A to Z Challenge, which is post on the corresponding day of the month, but I didn’t feel good, didn’t feel like it, and am instead posting the following morning.

I just had a conversation with my sister about this sort of thing. I am known to family and friends and possibly vague acquaintances as the woman who is nice and polite and doesn’t make much of a fuss.

Or, just maybe I like to break that rule. Or, perhaps, I’m simply waiting for the right moment to break it.

The common rule in the writing world (though I suppose it applies to many other things) is that first you must learn the rules, before you can even consider breaking them.

Once you do that, however, break away. Rules not laws of course, but even so…even if…even sometimes then, them, or that.

So maybe I’m still learning and you just never know when I’ll know enough to break the rules I choose to finally break.

Or maybe I’ll do it, so sneakily, it will be as if to never tell I’ve done it at all.

***This is my first year of joining the A to Z Challenge and so I’ve decided to post randomly, as a way for new visitors to my blog to get to know me a little better. I look forward to discovering some interesting new blogs too.

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1000 Voices Speak For Compassion, Blogging, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, IN THE NEWS AND ON MY MIND, Kerry's Causes

Stuck in the Muck #AtoZChallenge

And so here’s where it gets muddy.

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And we’re all stuck deep in the muck.

The A to Z Challenge – Q is for Quagmire ***And a bonus, Quicksand

Coming up with something for this hardest of letters gave me a chance to use a word I like. I like the sound of it. I was just having a discussion with my sister and she asked me what words I like the sound of because I have some I dislike. This is one and it starts with Q.

The meaning fits the world right now. What a mess we’re in, or so it feels like.

We study history, yet we never learn enough from it. This gets us stuck in the chaos and a quagmire of destruction of another’s life, in the name of who the hell knows what.

I could rant for a long time on this, but I’ve been keeping these A to Z posts fairly short.

It feels like we’re stuck in the quicksand of bad decisions for humanity. Will we ever learn?

***This is my first year of joining the A to Z Challenge and so I’ve decided to post randomly, as a way for new visitors to my blog to get to know me a little better. I look forward to discovering some interesting new blogs too.

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1000 Voices Speak For Compassion, Blogging, Bucket List, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, IN THE NEWS AND ON MY MIND, Special Occasions, The Insightful Wanderer, The Redefining Disability Awareness Challenge, TToT

TToT: April Showers and Scoops and Slurs, #NationalSiblingsDay #10Thankful

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much” – Helen Keller

The birds have been keeping me sane all week.

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Their songs, tweets, chirps, and twittering melodies have calmed me, any moment I felt anxious about a bit of a difficult week.

It was Billie Holiday’s birthday. Her voice brings me back to a different time.

Ten Things of Thankful

I am thankful for a glimpse into an unfamiliar place.

The Colours of Kenya

Love the colours.

I meant to include this last week. Lizzi wrote this incredible story about her time in Kenya. If you haven’t read it, you should.

I am thankful for tall mountain pose.

Someone who knows a lot more about yoga than me found this one. I’ve been trying it out. The woman describes the poses well, though I don’t know I am all that good at following the instructions. The deep breathing is the nice part.

The music in the background is rather soothing, but for the clanging bell sound that makes me think of that warning bell you hear at a train track as a train comes near. Not so relaxing for me. Kind of triggering.

I am thankful for a challenging week.

I have been doing A to Z for the first time and this week has been rather fun. I’ve not put too much pressure on myself with it.

I am thankful for an opportunity to share a little piece of myself.

It Was All a Blur #MyBlindStory

I am thankful for a night out at an author reading which involved some helpful men who showed me through the library and a kind word from an author, on a night I almost missed out on entirely.

It had been a rather bad week and I almost backed out and stayed hidden at home. If I’d received the rejection to a writing pitch I would receive while I was at said author reading, or if I’d heard the unsettling news that would come later on that night involving 45 and missile strikes, I may have chosen to stay hidden. Thankfully, I hadn’t. It was a rainy night, but I am glad I braved it anyway.

“Ann Walmsley author of the Prison Book Club will be sharing her experience of becoming a book club volunteer at men’s prisons in Ontario. This incredible book recently won the Edna Staebler award in 2016. One juror Bruce Gillespie quoted: “Walmsley’s book provides a unique glimpse into the lives of incarcerated men and the transformative power of literature and fellowship.” Featured several times on CBC it is truly a honour to have her come to Woodstock Public Library.”

After the reading, I introduced myself to the author and bought a copy of her book. I spoke to her about being a writer and she gave me a bookmark with her email and told me I could email her if I ever had any questions about writing.

http://www.annwalmsley.com

I am thankful for scoops and slurs.

I have moved on from Brahms’ Lullaby and on to learning a song I didn’t recognize from my teacher’s description, until she played a little of it and a song that came, preprogrammed on my brother’s little keyboard from childhood, it all came back to me. I love the different violin techniques in this one. It will be a challenge, but one I am quite excited about taking on.

There are scoops when playing the violin. Going from one string to another.

Not all slurs are nice, but the one that occurs in this song is a new technique to me.

I am thankful for family members who are handy and generous with their talents and time.

A leak somewhere in my shower, dripping water down through my ceiling and into my living room are a different sort of April showers. Keep that outside my home preferably.

I have an uncle and cousin who do this sort of thing, fixing showers and leaks for desperate nieces and cousins like me.

The machine they had to use up in my ceiling was loud and reminded me of a dentist’s drill. Again, triggering.

Now I have a layer of dust over everything, including my books, but all is well again.

I am thankful for a day of family, an early Easter/birthday celebration.

Family days include fun, laughter, children playing, and scoops of vanilla ice cream.

I am thankful for my siblings and the siblings (my nieces and nephews) who have each other.

My nephew now has a sister, a sibling, and all of them have a friend for life.

This makes my list every year (National Siblings Day) and every year it is more and more true.

This year mine are willing to do something special with me in a few months, zip lining alongside Niagara Falls, to celebrate my twenty-year anniversary of my kidney transplant.

They are the best.

I am thankful for a surprise phone call from a friend.

I was tired, after this week, but it was nice to talk and catch up.

It’s been raining, off and on, all day long. This is April – to be expected. Not so bad.

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Blogging, Bucket List, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, History, IN THE NEWS AND ON MY MIND, Kerry's Causes, Special Occasions, The Insightful Wanderer

I Don’t Like Hockey, #AtoZChallenge

I am proud to be Canadian, but I do not like hockey.

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They’ll be showing me the door any day now, for that confession, but I just had to get that off my chest.

The A to Z Challenge – C is for Canada

This is a preview of any Canada Day post I may still write for July 1st, but it is a bit of a tricky subject, this year especially.

I am staying random, as this is my first A to Z year, but writing about the things I love is a good way for anyone who is new to this blog, for them to get to know me better.

Canada is celebrating our 150th birthday, but not everyone is so thrilled about that.

There were people living on this land before 1867 and they don’t like feeling like before that year of
Confederation
they didn’t exist. I don’t blame them.

My ancestors came here a long time ago, but it simply can’t compare.

I am glad my ancestors came here. I like living here. I need to see more of it.

Canada made the list for happiest countries in the world. We cracked the top 10 and I would have to agree.

World Happiness Report

Lots of people complain, and their lived experiences are probably a lot different than mine. I am one of the lucky ones.

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Contagious

Welcome to April!
Okay, so maybe a joke or prank of some kind is expected at this juncture. Perhaps I should claim I just can’t handle the pressure or I have run out of things to say here, as my little contribution to today’s occasion, but I just can’t do it.
🙂
April Fool’s Day and I don’t understand. It’s fun for some and more power to them.
I don’t ono what it is in me that, even for a split second, I believe whatever someone says on this day of High Jinks and mayhem.
I will be the first to admit that I am highly gullible. Perhaps I have more of an autistic tendency in myself than I thought, as I am the first to believe something when someone says it, but on closer inspection I pick up on the irony, sarcasm, or total implausibility of a certain situation I know couldn’t possibly be true.
Laughter is important and I applaud anyone who can make a joke today, but we should all see it coming and I am surprised this day hasn’t lost its allure.

It’s funny how the term “going viral” has become the new thing, as far as things catching on.
There’s no rhyme or reason why one story goes viral and why so many do not.
It feels like a strange term to me though, as if the virus that travels is such a good and positive thing.
Since when is viral a thing to be sought out?
In today’s age of social media it is the thing to strive for.
I still want to wash my hands of it all, as a germophobe, and avoid catching the fever.

Today is also the start of a new month, just so happening to be April, and there are three pretty widely talked-about things going on in the blogging/writing world over the next thirty days.

NaPoWriMo/About
Following World Poetry Day last week, April is National Poetry Writing Month, an extension of National Novel Writing Month. I struggle to write one poem, let alone one for every day of an entire month. I love to follow along.

November has passed and until it comes around again there’s:
Camp NaNoWriMo/About
This happens again, as camp should be, in July.

And last but certainly not least, there’s:
A to Z April Blogging Challenge
I don’t know how I missed hearing about this one, not until over the past few months I heard about it all at once.
I am not participating. I have a lot of other things I should be focused on. I do hope to try it next year at this time. I already have a topic picked out, although I am sure if I Googled it I would find that I was not the first to think of it.
Shall leave that for now.

As for the viral stuff, so many things catch on and travel all over the Web and from blog to blog. It’s crazy that these bloggers are taking part in something that makes it a point to blog every day, except Sundays, for the entire month of April, but it really is, in a lot of ways, a bigger deal than NaNoWriMo.
As if there weren’t already enough blogs.
Not that I am complaining or anything.
🙂
I love to blog and would be a hypocrite if I were to say otherwise and I can’t wait to see what is produced.
As for my own stuff…I must make it a point to stay as authentically me as possible, to do what’s right for me and not to be tempted to follow what everyone else might be doing, in blogging and in life.
My first day of April I will not be playing a prank, but if any of you think you can get me with one, you are probably correct.

No. I am going to speak, as it is Wednesday, on a few news stories that have me thinking and pondering why people do what it is that they do.
I had a list of topics for Wednesday’s In The News And On My Mind posts, but I have not been sticking to that original schedule.
Oh well.

First there is the terrible story from last week about the plane crash in the French Alps.
This adds to my fear of flying, however remote the chances that it could be me on one of those doomed flights.
Everyone has been speculating and demanding to know what was going through that co-pilot’s head when he made that choice to end so many people’s lives and his own.
Innocent babies and young students with their whole lives ahead of them were taken way too soon and nobody can dispute that.
Mental illness has been pushed back out into the forefront of our consciousness. Why did he do something so cruel and senseless?
What could have been done to prevent this, in the chain-of-command?
We can dig and dig into this disturbed man’s past and life as far back as we want, but it won’t bring those people back and it won’t explain it all away.
All we can do is keep talking about how mental illness affects us all.
Of course, do what we can and put as many safe-guards in place for more screening of pilots. Of course.
Just don’t obsess over the why’s and the what-the-Hell’s and forget to focus on remembering the victims, while allowing anger and hatred to overwhelm.
The pilot, right now, is probably feeling like he could have or should have done more to break into that cockpit. The powers that be must be under a whole lot of scrutiny. There is a way to take preventative steps in future, without losing sight of the fact that anyone so desperate and fatalistic as this guy must have been in a whole lot of pain.
Why should we care you say? Because we are all humans and anyone can suffer. Compassion must be muster, somehow.
Were I one of the members of the lost passenger’s families, I would probably be writing some very different words, but perhaps not.

Secondly, on a slightly less serious note, there is the resignation of one of the members of a popular boy band.
This, on the surface seems much less important, but I took a second look at the situation.
“Kids these days!”
I find myself thinking that, if not saying it, at the ripe old age of thirty-one.
In the 60s there were The Beatles. In the 80s it was New Kids on the Block.
I just missed that craze myself.
Then the whole hype of The Backstreet Boys, 98 Degrees, and others in the early 2000s.
I never screamed uncontrollably at a concert or had these band’s posters plastered all over my bedroom walls like other girls.
I listened to other music that wasn’t,perhaps, so clamorous.
This kid, from One Direction, he is young and may have gotten lost in the madness of fame and celebrity. He may just need a breather. He may soon realize he made a big mistake. He may soon realize he misses the attention and the spectacle. OR he may not.
I heard such things as a cry to cut on Twitter.
Personally, I hope this is some sort of early April Fool joke because the idea that a bunch of girls cutting themselves, as is the serious mental illness that exists, is utterly ridiculous.
Cutting, as brutal as it sounds, won’t bring this guy back into the group.
I am not so old. I know how important music can be.
How it speaks to your soul and soothes a broken heart.
Nothing is worth hurting yourself.
Girls will be girls and they certainly love their boy bands, but there are other ways of better expressing oneself and always another song to speak to your soul.
It’s important, however, not to downplay the importance this one band might play in even one girls’ life, if she feels she is understood nowhere else.

And finally…

There’s the existence of the shirt made entirely out of hair.
This is disturbing to me on many levels, but none of them have anything to do with the fact that the hair comes from the heads of gay people.
Sometimes people try so hard to make a statement, their statement, that they end up losing all hope of sensibility and the message becomes lost in the mix.
I don’t want to think of a sweater made out of hair from anyone.
The fact that one “lucky” person can now walk down the street, sporting a sweater made entirely out of gay people’s hair is the most ridiculous thing I’ve heard of in a while.
I am not one of those people who walks around calling everything “so gay”. I have never had the urge. I can see how that might grow tiresome to hear.
Yet, sometimes, as with things contagious, the cure winds up being just as radical as the disease.

And that’s my somewhat random, welcome to April, In The News and On My Mind, contagious themed post for your mid-week reading/scanning pleasure.
Any virus can and will catch on and latch on. How many of us will catch it?
I try to remain immune to the pressures and writing this blog helps a lot.
If I haven’t yet gotten my point across, it’s to A:
find compassion
and B:
to listen to what you like, to not be afraid to live because every day might be our last, to watch what we say and how it affects others,
but to please…oh please, never make a sweater out of human hair.

Okay, so it’s Wednesday and I am a bit all-over-the-place, and that is exactly why I’m not adding my own brand of madness, by attempting any of the above blogging/writing challenges. It just wouldn’t be the best idea right now.
Goodbye April fools’ and hurry up Easter weekend.
Chocolate is the only cure I need.
Here’s hoping the Easter Bunny will bring my nephew a tricycle and my niece and other nephew lots of treats.

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