The poetry pamphlet which I promised my 500th follower is now ready and will soon be on its way to the lucky winner, Lastflyingcow. Also, coming soon… I plan to make it available to other readers! Yes, you lucky people can also have a copy in return for… no, not money but for publicity. All I ask is that you read the pamphlet, give it a quick review and post a link on your blog/web page/Facebook page/Instagram or whatever other platforms you may have. It doesn’t have to be a long review; just a couple of lines will do – at this stage I just want to get the word out there. Making my first million can come later…
Ho ho ho.
Well isn’t life wonderful? I was just sitting here cogitating on what else I can say to you on this rather dull morning, and I saw a little thing I’ve noticed before on my toolbar. AMP it said cryptically, and I briefly wondered what AMP might be before realising that I need wonder no more, for Google will tell me. Pausing only to scroll down through a million irrelevant adverts, I found this page which tells me exactly what AMP is. And lo! I am utterly none the wiser. I simply do not understand any of it. For example, what does this mean?
‘enabling full-site AMP experiences without sacrificing the flexibility of the platform or the fidelity of content.’
‘enabling AMP compatibility for all core themes, from Twenty Ten all the way through Twenty Twenty.’
In English please? Can anyone explain? Brian? Anyone? Because all I get from this is that it enables something without sacrificing something else. But what is it? What is it for?
In the same way I used to give up on the MS Help pages because they spoke a foreign language. Why can’t they explain this stuff properly? I know why, because Silicon Valley is full of bright young (mostly) men who think everyone speaks their language. They ought to start appointing some people over fifty, preferably women with good translation skills.
Ah well. I wish you a very happy Wednesday, Mercredi, Mittwoch, Miercoles, Mercoledi, Budhavara or, since I’m a Quaker, Fourth Day. See? I speak numerous languages – it’s just that Techie isn’t one of them.
Sometimes in life things just keep coming atcha till you take notice. At first I was all, like, no – I don’t need a recipe to write a novel, thank you; I’ll just use my imagination but sometime the universe just keeps on nudging you till you take notice. And when I was struggling with the highs and lows of my radio play (I’ve got the storyline, I just need the structure) I thought hey ho, and off to Alibris I went, throwing in a fairly recent Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook and a guide to getting published while I was at it.
There is a Save the Cat guide to novel-writing but I plumped for the screenwriting original, thinking that some of it at least would be relevant to writing radio plays and whatever wasn’t would be a fascinating insight in its own right. For the dedicated writer, no experience is ever wasted: you can always work it in somewhere and it adds to your store of knowledge about the world. I’ve only read a couple of chapters but so far so good; it’s approachable and down-to-earth.
I hate to go there, but sometimes you gotta realise that all the talent and imagination in the world just might not be enough and that one has to engage with ‘beat sheets’ and what have you (I don’t even know the technical terms yet so bear with me) in order to break through. It’s a case of know thine enemy I suppose, or possibly know thy pet…
I’ll keep you posted about what I learn. Oh, and my 500th follower has plumped for an ebook of poetry which will shortly be winging its way to them. And soon after that it will be available to all, for a very reasonable fee.
Watch this space!
Can I just say how chuffed I am by the responses lately? Everyone’s been so encouraging about me reaching the 500 mark. I was worried that I’d get comments like ‘500? That’s nothing, I got 6000 in my first week’ or whatever but everyone has been lovely. An ebook of poetry will shortly be on its way to Last Cow Standing, my 500th follower – other such offers may follow in due course…
Keep it up. I always read comments and usually respond the same day. If you follow my blog I will take a look at yours and may follow you back.
Wow. You guys really stepped up yesterday. I told you we were two followers short of a retinue and you followed me in – well, not droves exactly but there was a definite spike. I shall now reveal who the 500th follower is…
Drum roll… it’s….Last Flying Cow, whose blog can be read here: https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/141273795
So, Last Flying Cow (if that is indeed your real name) thanks for following and please step forward to claim your prize. You can choose between a guest blog post (to be posted before the end of March) or a FREE e-book of poetry. The choice is yours, but get in touch now and congratulations on being my 500th follower. To the rest of you, commiserations but I offer this shoutout: via GIPHY.
OH: (looking at GIF) Oh, minions
Me: Do you like Minions?
OH: I have no strong opinions about Minions.
And to the rest of you – my heartiest thanks for being here. I really appreciate you all – it gives a real fillip to my day to see a little yellow dot on my notifications and to see I have another follower.
Last year I said it was my aim to get to 500 followers by the end of the year and I’m so close now – just two more to go till we get there. Next stop 1000 and then the sky’s the limit, so if you read but don’t follow, now’s your chance – just click on the ‘follow’ button and if you’re the lucky 500th follower you will get a choice of EITHER a guest blog post OR an ebook of poetry.
Here’s a bit of Genesis to get you in the mood…
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that nine-tenths of what I write is rubbish. I don’t mean on this blog because what you see here are finished posts, hacked from the raw rock-face of thought, messed around a bit, buried in soft peat etc etc, honed and polished, sanded and rubbed and sent out to seek their fortune in the world. More on this later. But much of what I write as a first draft is pure unadulterated junk, mostly because I’ve set myself a word limit and I’m trying to reach it. This however does not make it worthless.
Why not? Well, firstly because it’s something instead of nothing. Where previously nothing existed, I have created something, even if it’s only a flat thing like Kipper’s cake (obscure children’s book reference only family members will understand.) And Something can be worked with and improved upon, even if most of it is ultimately deleted. Secondly, there may be some gems in the rubbish, which is why it’s always a good idea not to delete anything while writing the first draft, no matter how bad it seems. When you’re writing a story (this goes double for poems) you have intentions about it. But the story (or poem) has intentions too, and often these come out when we’re not watching. So don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.
For example, I once wrote a dialogue between Father Christmas and Jack and Jill. They were talking in the snow and Father Christmas took off his jolly red suit to reveal a convict uniform with arrows on. He was supposed to be giving Jack and Jill their presents and only gave them snow and ice so they weren’t very happy. It’s a short scene and when I wrote this I had no idea what it meant. I still have no idea what it means, yet a little voice tells me that it has some significance and so I hold on to it.
This blog is nearly at 500 followers. I realise that’s tiny in blog terms but I’m just pleased it’s still growing – so remember, my 500th follower will get the choice of either writing a guest blog post or receiving an e-book of poetry.
Keep it up.
I know I’m bombarding you with posts at the moment but the brain is very fertile right now and who am I to resist? So as a companion piece or riposte, if you will, to the last post here is a tried-and-tested method of dealing with perfectionism, called Santosh.
It’s a Sanskrit word meaning ‘contentment’ (the very sound of it is comforting, and that’s no coincidence, as I’ll explain) but not the lying-on-the-sofa-watching-TV kind of contentment, if indeed that is contentment at all. No, it’s the contentment that consists in being satisfied with what you’ve achieved, no matter where you might end up. To paraphrase Kipling, it’s meeting with triumph and disaster and treating those two impostors just the same (Kipling was born in India and was very influenced by ‘Eastern’ thought.) Anyway, leaving Kipling on one side for a moment, contentment or santosh is the practice of being content in the moment with what one has achieved. It does not imply self-satisfaction, nor does it prevent future progress; in fact I would suggest that without santosh there is no real progress.
Consider the case of someone (I know wherof I speak) who is overweight and desires to be slim. Their life may be dominated by self-disgust and thoughts of how they would like to look. But far from being a spur to achievement this is an obstacle because acceptance is lacking. Unless you can accept where you are – however briefly – you can’t move on: it’s like trying to find your way somewhere by putting the wrong postcode into your satnav.
Sanskrit is an ancient and astonishing language, and one in which sound and sense work closely together. This can be seen more clearly in the practice of mantra where a word or phrase has a meaning, a sound and an appearance, each of which can be used for meditation.
T-t-t-t-t-that’s all folks!
I miss seeing cartoons on telly.