Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Newspaper Blackout

Only six hours left to make an entry in the Writers Online monthly One Word Challenge and I am struggling to produce a poem based around the word 'putrid'. The 200 word story was difficult enough but this seems to be beyond me. ( I have less than 6 hours left really, because I won't be able to stay awake till anywhere near the deadline of midnight tonight)

But then I just happen across the headline in today's news that Alastair Campbell has used the word today at the Leveson inquiry. Then, by luck, fate, chance or coincidence, my wandering mind also rests on the website of  Newspaper Blackout
Problem solved. Wonder what anyone makes of it.

(ironically this is the perfect time to use the highlighted text which I have been trying to lose for the past few posts !) |

Newspaper Blackout Poem

Take one newspaper,
Cross out words. 

Leave only those you like,
and soon you’ll have a poem,
they said.

Created from
running puddles of text 
still visible.
what others declare dead. 
enigmatic ransom notes,
funny and zen-like, 
collages of found art.

Reclaimed Reformed

from a 
putrid press industry.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

That's my line - all seven words of it

Well, I've told everyone and anyone that I can think of about this so I ought to write it here as well. 
I HAVE WON a  competition  BY WRITING ONE LINE !
I've never quite had the opportunity to say "less is more" but I think in this case I can.

Here's part of the "press release" (yeah, you did read that correctly ... ! )

"Brenda co-authored an eight-line poem inspired by Sir Andrew’s work on Vintage Inns’ latest press campaign, which honours the Great British rural pub. He has been judging the best line submitted each week, so they can be added to gradually complete the verse.

When Brenda entered, the competition stood at six lines completed:

The muted brilliance of autumn leaves
The wind’s deep voice soft-tickling the trees.
The parting notes of swallows’ cresting calls
As dappled sunlight fades and evening falls.
The bonfires’ tongues call to the dying sun
Bright harvest moon ascends, her reign begun.

And Brenda’s suggestion for the next one – chosen by Sir Andrew over hundreds of entries from all over the country – is: Then glittering starlight sprawls across the sky 
 Brenda will receive a framed copy of the eventual eight-line poem, plus a meal for four with wine at her chosen Vintage Inn, but also a signed copy of Sir Andrew’s latest collection of poems, The Cinder Path, which has been shortlisted for The Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry. "

I am, needless to say, chuffed to bits. 
Thanks Vintage Inns
I am inspired to write further - maybe eight,nine or even ten words next time.

(Read more of me promoting myself on Facebook )

Monday, 28 November 2011

'Mega Monday' is here !

I'm not one for quoting statistics, mainly because my memory is so bad I forget the figures in between reading them and writing them down. But I thought a few numbers might wake me up a bit this morning, so sit up and pay attention !

Today is "Mega Monday"  according to the media  and estimates are that there will 3,300 purchases a minute online.
High street shops are struggling with sales down by 2.1%
25% of all our Christmas shopping will be online up 16% from last year
12% of online sales will be made on a smartphone
1 in 3, that's 11 million will use the computer at work to online shop.

Does this mean we prefer shopping online to going to the shops ? Not really, is the apparent response - it depends who we are and where we are and what mood we are in that day.

This sounds about right to me. I went shopping on Saturday and am still feeling that if the only shop I walk into again is our corner shop, then that's fine by me.
I'll probably feel differently on another day but for now I'll stick to browsing online.
But not today.
I don't want to cause internet chaos by taking 3 hours to decide whether to buy an individual Christmas pudding or a large one that can sit in the cupboard till next year as no one here likes it except me ... ...

Happy shopping !

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Keeping an eye on things

This is probably old news to many people, but it's new to me, very interesting, amazing, almost unbelievable and more than a little disturbing. 

Scientists have developed a prototype contact lens which can generate info-vision – the ability to stream information across a person’s field of vision. 
"Do what ?"  I hear you asking. I said the same to myself.
Soon we could be sending and receiving texts and emails, catching up with the latest news and generally social networking without even logging on to a computer or phone.
Images and messages will just appear in front of your eyes. It will one day be able to show directions and TV programmes. 
Yes, honestly.
Just imagine, you might never need that old fashioned Sat Nav ever again and you could watch Corrie and Enders while you are driving too. Get rid of that ancient Sky HD recording thingy that you just got installed. 
After blogging about my new phone just the other day, it seems a little 'previous' to be now talking about doing all the things I have not yet got to grips with in a blink of the eye - literally. I know there are many things that my poor brain can't fathom, but just the concept of this is quite scary to me. The next stage in this ever 'advancing' technology might be to connect our thoughts to this information stream. I find it difficult enough to keep my mouth under control, never mind my thoughts, so I dread to think of the consequences.

Within weeks  a number of people in Britain are to be implanted with a tiny device in their retina which, if successful could be on the market by 2013.It stimulates nerves in the retina which pass signals down the optic nerve to the brain to turn into an image.Robert MacLaren, the surgeon who will lead part of the  trial warned that 'the surgery is still experimental and the device does not work in all cases.'  Well, it's been tested on rabbits and squirrels so far, so that's reassuring.

I'm all for improving things for health reasons and education is by it's nature an ever evolving concept, but I am sure I am not alone in feeling wary of some of this. Or maybe I am just showing Luddite tendencies,  or whatever today's equivalent may be.

Monday, 21 November 2011

"Homeland"- 200 words

 Stars flickered in a sky not yet diminished by electric light. The USA was twelve years old and ended at the Mississippi River. The camp, near the town now called Salmon, was fragrant with cedar needles smouldering on a fire when I was born into the Agaidika tribe. 

They named me Sacajawea and taught me to hunt and trap in the forests and fish in the streams. I skinned deer to make soft leather for clothing. I painted the partings in my hair with red clay, a symbol of peace. I learned early and worked hard for survival.
Captured by horsemen trading with the white men, I was taken from my tribe. Sold, I became the wife of Charbonneau and the mother of Jean Baptiste.
More men came, with strange looking boats and wearing uniforms. They built a place they called Fort Mandan. I was useful for the skills I had learned from my tribe, so I went with them to what they thought was unexplored territory and reached my homeland where my family was killed five years before. 

I died of putrid fever in St Louis, but my spirit soars still, above the Lemhi Valley of my birth.

(One Word Challenge entry for Writers Online )

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Managing Wants, Needs and Time - can you do it ?

I've done it now. 
After being the owner of a variety of mobile phones over the years, which have met their demise by being stolen, lost, put in the washing machine, dropped in the bath and down the toilet, I was sure I was perfectly happy with the basic one that I've been using this past year. 
It has the basics - phone calls (why else would I need a phone ?) texts and even has a reasonable camera. But I've got a camera for taking photos, a camcorder for video, a notebook computer  which does everything I can think of that a computer does, and a laptop for when I need a bigger screen and keyboard.  Why would I need a Samsung Galaxy ? Aren't I just being too materialistic, something that I am quite averse to - usually ?

Well, I think this situation is a bit like when I had a twin tub washing machine years ago when my children were babies. I could do whole loads of washing (including towelling nappies !) in that twin tub, in a couple of hours. What was so good about an automatic one ? I didn't need one. Obviously I found out when I got one. It was the same with a dryer. And central heating. And electric and gas and so on ... and presumably with the wheel.

A year ago I blogged about Twitter on To - witter or not. Now I think about it differently and can see it's power and influence throughout society - 'Arab Spring', NOTW, last summer's riots and so on. Changes and progression in technology are constantly impacting on us as time-saving gadgets and machinery affect us all, even though  time can't be "saved" as such  (I think, unless someone has found out differently) 
We have to differentiate between 'wants' and 'needs', individually and globally and prioritise work and leisure with family and friends and ourselves. We may even find that we have extra time that we didn't know was there.  That's time management.

John Rowles sings "If I only had time"         

Monday, 14 November 2011

The Blogathon Challenge

A colleague at Writers Online Talkback has set a challenge for those of us who need a bit of a push sometimes, to get on with the task in hand and also to give other bloggers the promotion they deserve.
Always up for a challenge (!!??) I have decided to take part.
I am of course, later than I intended in posting this, so don't worry dear reader, this post is going to be short.
So ...
Thanks to  Patsy Collinsfor the idea and the challenge. I am sure we will all rise to the challenge, and some of us may even complete it.

Next post coming up soon. In the meantime, take a look at The Blogathon Challenge in action.

The Blogathon Challenge

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Testing...testing ...

Well, seems I have well and truly messed up with the background colours and goodness knows what on the layout of this blog. Unintentionally and unknowingly of course.
This is therefore a test (similar to the numerous pieces of paper I have with TEST printed on them when trying to sort out the printer) to see if I have managed to put it back to what it was.
Many thanks to all on Writers Talkback for your advice - gratefully received. Not sure whether I have interpreted it correctly though.

So, I'll now press the button ... ...

Friday, 4 November 2011

One thing leads to another, even when stationary

Not been on here for over a whole 2 months but seem to be in writing action mode past couple of days so am making the most of it.

A discussion on Writers Talkback about a member's 10yr old daughter writing some very perceptive thoughts on existance, has made me remember my Big Plan for The Environment. This must surely be a case of the time being right for it to see daylight and be brought to the attention of those that ought to know.
So here it is.
My plan is to have one large motorway type construction running length ways through the whole of the country north/south and another couple going east/west.
The road itself will be a conveyor belt system which cars get onto and park until they get to the point where they can drive off onto the other conveyor belt and park till they are nearer their destination. A bit like a ring road only not necessarily a ring and a moveable belt as opposed to the cars themselves moving. The belt would be powered by waste cooking oil or wind power or maybe even water power on the more coastal routes.
I have not come across any negatives to this invention myself, so far !

I hope to produce an artist's impression of the system, just as soon as I can get the artist to do it. Then I sit back and wait for the offers from Dept of Transport etc to come in .