Writing 101: Day 3 – One Word Inspiration

Writing 101 – Day 3 (Wednesday 9th September 2015) – One word inspiration

Today I am so loosely basing my post on this Writing 101 assignment that you could almost say I haven’t really done it at all. But I’m hoping it will all come together in the end.

Anyway, as so often is my defense, this is my blog and I’ll go off on a tangent and spout shit if I want to.

The word I picked is “Love”.

But rather than waffle on about my adorable husband and how perfect married life is, how photogenic the two of us are and how we never fight, I never fall over his shoes, he never gets annoyed with me forgetting the important details of almost everything he’s ever told me: I thought I’d focus on Love of Self, because I think it’s one of the most important fucking things in life tbh. So when I say “Love” in the context of this post, I mean me.

I ❤ Me.

image
New sneaks

Now I’ve got these babies (above) and the temperature has dropped (praise Jesus), I’m thinking of trying to run again. How’s that for self-love?

I recently heard about The Fat Girl’s Guide to Running and I thought it sounded pretty good. I’ve also downloaded the NHS Couch to 5K app to my phone to see if I can’t get to grips with slowly pushing myself a little further. I’m definitely in the market to exercise more, whatever my core activity ends up being, beyond hooping in the yard.

Alas, I’ve been in masses of pain for a fortnight with a bad arm. Self diagnosis has ruled it an RSI but I’m going to have that confirmed/denied by the doctor tomorrow before I make my moves too energetic (and award myself a doctorate). I’ll be somewhat annoyed if I come out of there without at least a small bandage.

So watch this space. My new regime is purely about core strength and over all self-care. If I start talking about weight, you have my permission to slap me. I’m so sick of weight and calorie talk, food being assigned moral values and fat shaming (or body shaming of any kind).

My body is bloody glorious now, it just needs to be taken outside and exercised, like a horse. Or a panther.

So today I am feeling all the love for myself.

I hope you do too, because take it from me, you’re freaking beautiful ❤

Writing 101: Days 1 & 2 – I Write Because… and Write a List

I decided to sign up for Writing 101 because Jillian mentioned she would be doing it and I’m a dreadful copy cat.tumblr_mqlndk0Tlp1r2an97o1_1280

I must admit that I thought I’d already done this series of prompts before and not handled it very well time wise, but looking back and into my own archive, it looks as though that was Writing 201 (Poetry addition). So this is all new and exciting. No wonder I was crap at 201 (poetry!) when I hadn’t got to grips with the first part – running before I’ve learnt to properly walk, obviously.

I’m already a day behind because of this weekend’s film assignment, so I’m combining Day 1 and 2 to catch up. I hope that’s cool with everyone?

Let us begin.

Writing 101 – Day 1 (Monday 7th September 2015) – I write because…

I write because I love to. I like to mould an image out of words if I can, share my day, make someone I love smile. I write because it’s all I’ve ever wanted to do with my time, that and read books.

So easily I could become a hermit, shut out the world and build my own cave out of blankets and books. Something stops me but one day maybe that will be me.

I write because my mum likes to read what I’ve written. I write because I want to get better, more skilled. I write with a view to digging deeper, scratching the surface before I dive below. I write because I want to see what lurks beneath.

I write because I need to, whether it’s good or not. It’s therapy. It’s my mark on the world, however small. I write because sometimes I just need to get things out.

Writing 101 – Day 2 (Tuesday 8th September 2015) – Write a list

The assignment suggested to try a list such as Things I Like but I want to tackle Things I’ve Learnt instead. There must be something at the grand old age of 37, innit?

Things I’ve Learnt

  • Don’t waste your time on people who can’t make eye contact
  • Similarly, don’t trust people who can’t break it while they’re promising you the world (they’re lying)
  • Never read The Daily Mail
  • Don’t read internet comments, on anything, particularly anything political, religious or about women and their bodies. You’ll never speak to another human being again, outside your immediate circle
  • It’s okay to be who you are if what you are isn’t what you see in adverts
  • Men will likely still sleep with you (Delightedly! Freely! In abundance!) if you’re a fatty – see also: any perceived flaw you think you have (hook nose/crab hands/thin lips)
  • Cheap boots never last beyond a season, if that
  • Credit cards are the devil and do not equate to free money (sadly)
  • Not having kids is as acceptable as having 20 of the little fuckers, to each their own (and no, it doesn’t mean you’re a cold fish)
  • You’ll never win the lottery if you don’t buy a ticket…
  • …and nothing worth having ever came easy (just like Mama says)
  • Following your heart might not always work out but 60% of the time, it works every time
  • Oh, and all men are not bastards but a lot of them are serious shit heads.

Still I Rise

This weekend, share with us a poem that you love (by someone who isn’t you,Maya_Angelou please). Via Writing 201: Poetry Potluck (21st February 2015)

This may not be the most surprising choice from me but this is without question my favourite poem.

It works on every level and is essentially perfect.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

~ Maya Angelou

Imagine if you could encapsulate the sentiment behind this and give it to every woman in the world?

Miss you, girl.

image via Google.

Journey

tumblr_nijgtuOn3D1qdk7neo1_1280
Not actually me as a kid

Today’s word prompt is journey. Write a poem about anything that word evokes for you, from the excitement of a trip you’re about to embark on, the mental progress you witnessed someone make, or the struggles, pleasures, and extreme emotions that travel can bring about. Via Writing 201: Journey (16th February 2015)

Today’s form: limerick

I decided to base my limerick today on the journey of self love. It was fun to do and I think, quite effective.

Continue reading “Journey”

Water

How awkward, I'm wearing exactly the same outfit today...
How awkward, I’m wearing exactly the same outfit today…

Today, let’s write a poem about water. And/or a haiku. And/or use a simile. Via Writing 201: Water (15th February 2015)

For some reason I thought it would be a nice challenge to do the Writing 201: Poetry course via The Daily Post this time around. I was looking for Writing 201, the normal edition but couldn’t find it, so might make that my next port of call.

When the first poetry assignment popped into my inbox, I was a little deflated – write a poem, preferably a haiku! A haiku! I have done one, it’s not very good but then it is my first one, by the last prompt, I’m sure I’ll be a regular John Keats. Maybe.

Continue reading “Water”

Stories*

Margaret_atwood_quote_1

Today’s task: create a recurring blogging event on your site, and/or make plans to attend a conference. Via Blogging 201: Make the Most of Events (27th October 2014)

I have thought long and hard about the things I like to write about and how I can best turn them into a regular blog feature. What keeps coming up are relationships and the stories that have stemmed from them.

Since this is an organic process, it may evolve into something completely different, but I’ll kick off today with a tale from my dating past. I intend to see if I can get guest bloggers in to share their experiences and their own adventures. I would also like this to become a regular thing, I’ll be aiming for once a fortnight.

So which of the stories from my car crash past shall I start with?

I was 20 when I left home for the first time.

I stayed on a little extra at college to finish a secretarial course and an A Level in Film then decided the last thing I wanted was to continue my education in the classroom. Hardly the academic, I was done with awkward social encounters and eating my lunch in the back café where only the weirdos went. So I allowed myself to be talked into going travelling instead, with a friend I never really liked.

She was the kind of person who would say things like “Aw bless you, you do try” and make you feel like shit. But back then I just felt lucky to have someone willing to do something exotic with me so overlooked most of her heinous personality defects. Anyway, we saved for what felt like years for our trip to Australia and then suddenly we were on our way, 24 hours on a plane and a million light years from home (actually 10,552).

It didn’t take us long to settle in. Full of adventure, we spend good cash on a vintage Toyota Corolla to nip around in. Puke green and years past its sell-by date it ran like a dream. We were free to pursue any avenue we pleased and what pleased us then were boys.

I was on the path to vascular destruction and I didn’t even know it yet. It happened one night, in a pub in the sticks. A cross between the Mos Eisley Cantina and The Slaughtered Lamb, this wasn’t a pub for two bumbling teenagers but still it was where we found ourselves.

Sharon, my obnoxious travelling companion was designated driver and had already zoomed in on some company for the night but I was a shy girl. Spurning the advances of an enthusiastic and burly youth who promised to show me the back of his Ute, I was about to give up until I saw Him. Mine.

All I really remember about that first night was the rain. We’d arrived slap bang in the middle of Monsoon season and NSW was awash.

I had never seen anyone so beautiful. He told me I looked like Ginger Spice (it was the late 90’s) and when we retreated to the Corolla in the car park and he asked if he could kiss me, I let him.

What followed was the most confusing, heart wrenching, shameful, awakening year of my life.

It’s hard to describe how easily I went from being a barely kissed (but not longer virginal) teenager to a woman obsessed with a pretty but not very nice boy. After the romance of our first meeting, I fell hard and I guess my English accent made me just intriguing enough to keep around.

It didn’t encourage him to keep his dick in his pants though and many a night ended in (my) tears because he’d stayed out with someone else. One night he brought home another woman while I was there. In his bed.

This was my first experience of love and frankly, it wasn’t great. But I finally felt alive and thrived on the pain. This Small Town Girl was crazy in love and what did it matter if it felt bad 85% of the time? This was real.

Luckily, I have grown out of the notion that love and pain go hand in hand. For decades I believed that you had to work relentlessly to make all relationships work. I was wrong.

I sometimes count The Australian as my first love but of course I didn’t really find out what that was until much later on. This was my first experience of heartbreak though. If only I had a pound (or Australian dollar) for every tear I shed that year.

I found him on Facebook not long ago and the optimist in me hoped for a paunch, a bald head or no teeth; some light retribution for all the wrongdoing.

Sadly, I can confirm that time has been kind and he’s still flawless.

So that’s the tale of my first heartbreak. I have more stories, and love each and every one. They lead me here afterall.

What do you think of this feature? Could it work do you think? And would you like to contribute?

If you would like to tell us a tale, on anything from relationships to travels, email me: avoluptuousmind@gmail.com.

* A regular blog feature in which I tell stories, sometimes about relationships.

Say Your Name

For no other reason than woman with a dinosaur head!

Today’s assignment: edit your title and tagline. Make your readers’ first impression a good one!
Via The Daily Post’s Blogging 101 program (15th September 2014)

I’ve decided not to do the assignment today because that’s just how I roll (not really).

I have good reason to excuse myself and it’s not just because I’m being pig headed. I genuinely love both my title and my tagline, and it took me a good while to arrive at them. I will, however, talk more about them and why I am sticking to my guns.

In yesterday’s Introduction, I explained why I chose the blog name I did and what it means to me.

My tagline is a little different, in that I just like it. I saw the term ‘force majeure’ in the Terms & Conditions of something and I liked it immediately, even though I didn’t know what it really meant. It was listed in a segment talking about ‘forces of nature’ and ‘acts of God’ so I knew it would be something big and it is!

Force majeure in the dictionary is defined like so:

Noun

  • Law
    Unforeseeable circumstances that prevent someone from fulfilling a contract
  • Irresistible compulsion or superior strength

Wikipedia goes into even more detail, if you like law and law talk.

Anyway, as soon as I had wrapped my tiny brain around what it meant, I decided it would work well on my blog. I mentioned it to my mum and she thought it was very humble of me (not). Of course it’s meant to be tongue in cheek. I don’t honestly consider myself a superior being or strength, but it’s kind of cute, right?

A few months ago though, I found out that good old Eddie Izzard (who grew up in my hometown) called his tour by the same name. I like to think he stole it from right under my nose since mine’s been in print since March, but the truth is, he was already on the road in 2013 and I’m just not that original.

Still, originality (or lack thereof) aside, I’m not changing it and I can’t imagine that I ever will. I have this thing where I can get very angsty if my blog doesn’t look exactly as I think it should.

I’m not driven by what other people say (although I love feedback), it’s just a very personal thing. I think I’m there are the moment, aesthetically speaking.

So there we are. I’m not changing for the foreseeable future and you can’t make me!

See you tomorrow for Day 3.

Blogging 101

tumblr_li45ozwf331qz6gwho1_1280

I’ve decided to register for the September Blogging 101 course via The Daily Post, which starts on Monday.

I’ve found a lot of worth in both the DP and Writing Exercises, so I think it might churn up some interesting stuff.

The goal is to have six or more (I’m hoping more) good posts and drafts by the end of the 30 day run  and maybe a few more followers and friends. I’ve never been that bothered about gaining millions of followers, I have to admit, but it is lovely to meet people who are like-minded and appreciate what I am trying to say. Which sometimes isn’t all that much!

I have made some friends for life through my blog (and former blogs), so I know it can be done.

Anyway, I am looking forward to the challenge and am really going to pull my finger out. I have a busy week next week, so I will have to be conscious about how I manage my time. If in doubt I’ll do some at work on my lunch break (and maybe when things are quiet – naughty!).

Watch this space.

Also, if anyone else wants to get involved, there’s still time to register (here). They’ll send you an email which outlines the course and what you can gain from it. I think you should do it and keep me company, just saying.

Good luck everybody else doing it. See you in the community!

Road Tripping

tumblr_n96p3qRDM71rne19vo1_500

‘Tis the season for road trips — if time and money were out of the equation, what car-based adventure would you go on? (If you don’t or can’t drive, any land-based journey counts.)

Via The Daily Post (27th July 2014)

Like all predictably cliched girls, one of the items on my bucket list is indeed ‘Go on a Road Trip’. I like the idea of getting in a van or a car and going anywhere the wind takes me. I have been lucky enough in my past to have been part of more than one.

In Australia, my brand new Irish friend and I bought into a battered old station wagon with two Canadian boys and we travelled together for a few months, boogie boards in the back, love beads hanging from the rear view mirror. See? Cliche.

tumblr_n9c6ctxECJ1tu3m8ao1_500I don’t even remember what happened to the car in the end or the boys, although I do remember on the night of my 21st birthday that I threw myself at one of them, the first and last time I ever took the initiative with a guy (sad but true). Later my preferred mode of transport was the trusty Greyhound. Every time I scored a window seat I would imagine I was Julia Roberts in Sleeping With the Enemy, off to start a new life.

Now, I have someone I want to see the World with and ironically we’ve not been on holiday abroad for years. This is both for economical reasons and more besides. I’m not worried though, for my love makes me feel as free and as invincible as the breeze in my hair and the sun on my face.

But if I could choose my ideal trip it would, unsurprisingly, be the whole USA/Route 66 experience. Those wide open roads, the skies; nature. I want to live it, breathe it all in.

I want the cabin in the woods, the tent by a stream, “You kids ain’t from around here, are you?” treatment, without the killings, obvs.

I want to turn off my phone, pull out my Polaroid camera, listen to Skynyrd in t-shirt and jeans, no make-up, tangled hair. I want laughter and adventure. Burgers and pancakes. Freckles on my arms.

I want it all.

Yes, I have thought about this a lot and maybe one day I shall have my wish. One day we will take a month off and just drive. Until then, there are mini-trips and bus rides and the countryside.

Adventure is in the heart.

 

Obit

tumblr_mmuoqgvfoy1qzb2hmo1_1280

Write your obituary (via Writing Exercises)

God, this will be a challenge. I was going to say it’s a bit macabre to think of now but actually, should we be looking at death in such a negative way? There’s a beautiful simplicity to the fact that we’ll all face it one day and, of course, I don’t want to dwell on it for too long but I don’t think we should be afraid. So I’m going to attempt this with some relish.

When I go, to be fair, it won’t matter what anybody says; I won’t know.

One person could turn up to say goodbye and that might just be the person leading the ceremony. There might not be a ceremony at all. I might be fed to the neighbourhood strays in bite size chunks. If the World ends before I’m ready to go, we’ll all be in it together. Here goes:

Sad news comes in today of the passing of Christa Bass. Mrs Bass, of Austrian descent, was a well loved daughter, sister and wife, best known for her clumsiness and ability to make a mountain out of a molehill.

A mediocre writer, Bass spent an awful lot of time talking about writing when she should just have written but did enjoy minor celebrity when she had published a slim tome of tongue-in-cheek life advice.

Bass was quite nice, sometimes funny and without question one of the best tea makers of her generation. She was also good with little paintings in nail enamel and quite eloquent in small groups.

She is survived by her handsome husband who has full permission to remarry as long as the new wife reads, her step son, three cats and a dog named The Hound. Yes, she finally got the be the pet owner she was born to be.

She will be missed. Quite a bit, actually.

Here’s hoping, eh?*

*That I get to have pets.

Is this a depressing topic or do you think we should all be better at talking about these things? What will people say about you do you think?