My first blog
|This is my first ever blog, so I'm not really sure what I'm doing . I guess I'll learn as I go along.|
|Oh my. I apologise in advance for this post. It's going to be depressing. I'm not sure what I want to say, really. I just feel I want to say something. I want to try to explain how I'm feeling. For myself, as much as anyone else.
Okay. So I've been in a bit of a funk for the last few weeks. I think maybe it's post-G.o.T. exhaustion. Maybe it's because the story I wrote for Love Shouldn't Hurt brought a lot of horror back to me. Maybe it's just that it's time for the sadness to return. I don't know. Whatever it is, it's made writing really difficult at times. And what I do write isn't all that good. (Except for my project with Joey, which is coming along fabulously!)
This is my confession. I got to the point last week where I was almost phobic about logging onto WDC. Which didn't make any sense, because this is my favourite place in the world to be. But the thought of writing, of "speaking" to people, frightened me. You see, it's crazy. I know it's crazy. I couldn't leave the house for about a week. I really don't want to go back there again.
But I think I'm starting to feel better. I'm on here, anyway. I've written a couple of stories, I'm writing with Joey. All is good. Really it is. It is. Wouldn't it be good if we could switch our minds off? Or swap with someone else. But I wouldn't wish my mind on another person.
I'm rambling now. This has, really, been a blog about nothing. I just wanted to say something, and this was the only way I knew how.
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|Oh dear, oh dear. I'm hanging my head right now. It's been months since I've written a blog entry. I really want to start writing them more regularly, but I never know what to say (which is pretty rubbish for a writer, right?).
Well, last month was crazy. Intense, stressful, fun, hilarious, tear-inducing. Game of Thrones. Three little words. So much impact. It was my first experience of taking part in the games. And, oh my gosh, what an experience! Honestly, I loved the challenge! I loved being part of such a great team of people. I loved feeling like I was important in something, like I wan't completely useless. That was a good feeling.
Of course, it wasn't without its fair share of stress. We worked so hard. I wrote 278 reviews in August! Or 268, I'm not sure. But, anyway, it was a lot. I loved the writing challenges. Because we had to do all of them, all within a short period of time, it kind of forced some good writing out of everyone. It's surprising what you can do when you have to. One thing the games showed me is how much I want to write from now on. Yes, I'll still write reviews, and take part in other things, but writing fiction is where my heart is.
Speaking of writing, I'm embarking on an exciting writing project with another WDC member. I can't say too much just yet, only that I'm pumped to be doing this.
Project Write World is about to start, and I'm part of Team GB. I've no idea what it will involve, but I'm looking forward to it.
I'm helping out with the PDG Camp at the end of August (if I can ever work out how to move those dang cars, Hannah ♫♥♫ )
Witchy woman prays 4 Ukraine , I'm excited to see the Love Shouldn't Hurt contests running this month. I'm in the process of writing something for both of those. My story, this time, is even harder than my last one. But I will write it, because I know it can help. I want to say thank you for holding these contests. They help people like me so much more than you know.
October, I move on to NaNo prep (and yet another birthday!), then NaNoWriMo in November. So I have a busy plan of activities. I'm crediting with WDC Power Reviewers, looking after NAG Special Occasions Forum, and helping out with PDG. Busy is the plan.
Even so, I'm feeling a little flat. Maybe it's the post G.o.T. slump. I'm not sure. I guess I'll just keep on keeping on. Sounds like a plan.
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|There is all kinds of mayhem taking place outside my front door today. It is Spring Bank Holiday in the UK, which in my town of Tetbury, means it's time for the Woolsack Races.
This is a really odd event that takes place every year. Teams of people sign up for a gruelling race up, then down a 1 in 4 gradient hill (means nothing to me: sorry), carrying a sack of wool on their backs. Okay, I know what you're thinking. Wool isn't heavy. Well, no. But the sacks that competitors carry weigh 60lbs for men and 35 lbs for women.
Here is a picture of a competitor, to give you a feel of how it works:
Crazy, crazy people. Not as crazy, however, as the event which is taking place about six miles from where I live. Today is the day for the world-famous Gloucester Cheese Rolling Event. It really is what is says on the box. A whole bunch of people get to chase a 9 lb roll of cheese down a ridiculously steep hill. Here are a couple of pictures, to show you what I mean:
The person who catches the cheese at the bottom of the hill wins, well, the cheese! Every year, multiple injuries are sustained. It was cancelled a few years ago because no insurance company would cover it, It's an insane spectacle. Truly. I will never understand the bravery (or crazy) you need to do this.
I wonder where this wonderful country's weird events like these come from. I'm so glad we're a country of eccentrics, and eccentricities. It's so cool. But so weird.
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|I'm a little bleary-eyed this morning, as I stayed up until gone 3a.m. watching the amazing Quill Awards. I've never been a part of anything like this before, so I had no idea how much a part of it I would feel. I had six nominations, but settled down to watch with zero expectations. I mean, come on. I've only been here a year. There are so many outstanding writers on this site, I was under no delusions that I was good enough to win anything. Anyway, the honour of being nominated really was fantastic. I was nominated. Me!
I loved being able to really put faces (and voices) to some of the people I've met here. Cinn , you are every bit as much of a riot as I thought you would be. You have such an infectious laugh. Sally , you look exactly how I imagined you would look. It's rare that happens, but you really do.
But, I come to the most exciting part. I won an Honourable Mention for my poem 'Royal Wootton Basset'. I was stoked (which is a huge understatement) when I received this. I couldn't believe it. Then, I won Best Drama/Emotional for my Poetry Folder. This brought a tear to my eye. My poems are emotional, and they do hold a lot of drama. Most of them are incredibly personal, written from horrible past experience. So, for them to be acknowledged in this way is kind of like I am being acknowledged. I can't describe the feeling. Humbling. Mind-blowing. Awesome!
Some of my talented friends won awards, also. I have to say, Whata Turkey , I'm so proud of you! You totally deserve your win; your poem is beautiful. I think I might have told you this last night, but I woke David when I squealed at your win! I also have to mention sybarrios and Sally , both of whom had an incredible night. Alexi , you also had a good night. I'm so happy for you; it was your time One more important win: "The Newbies Academy Group" won Best group! Awesome! I would like to think I've played a (tiny) part in this. A lot of the success, though, is down to sybarrios and ♊️GeminiGem💎 . You guys rock!
I'm not sure when the Quills Buzz will wear off. It hasn't yet. You guys have made me so happy. I'm sure I'm not as deserving as some people. But these awards mean the world to me.
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|Today's prompt for The Challenge is to write about a childhood memory. I've spent the last hour trying to think of something happy: some fun, carefree incident. But I got nothing. Nada. So I will tell you the story around my thirteenth birthday.
My grandfather (who was not a good man) lived with Mum, Dad, and me. He always had. I was terrified of him. At the same time, he was the only person who was always there for me (just a little background info, to try to explain). He died in his sleep in the bedroom next to mine about nine or ten weeks before my thirteenth birthday. Despite the terrible things he'd done, I mourned him, and missed him greatly. It didn't make any sense back then. It still does't. I should have just hated him.
Anyway, my thirteenth birthday. My Mum had gone into hospital the day before my birthday, as she was having a knee replacement surgery on my birthday. Just a little more background info: Mum had severe rheumatoid arthritis, and was constantly in and out of hospital. Like, all the time, since before I was born. So the morning of my thirteenth birthday, Dad woke me and left for work, with a quick birthday hug. Then, when I returned home from school, it was to an empty house. No Mum, no grandad. Dad was still working, and my instructions were to cook a meal for as soon as he got home, so we could go to the hospital and see Mum, following her surgery.
I let myself into the empty house and felt more alone than I had ever felt. So this is what it was like to be the magical thirteen. I sat in the kitchen, crying, and wishing I could die and feel nothing. Things had been tough before, but after that day, things were never the same again. I was never the same again.
I'm sorry, to all other people taking part in The Challenge, I'm sure the prompt "childhood" is supposed to be happy. But this is all I could find.
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|I'm writing this because tomorrow (21st) is my first WDC account anniversary. Can you believe it? A whole year! I've wanted to celebrate because it's had such a major impact on my life. I want to look back, and acknowledge everything I've done. I want to look forward, at the many things I will be doing in the future.
My enthusiasm for this post isn't as great as it was this time last week. So much has happened this last week, and none of it good. But I still need to write this. Probably, more than ever. For anyone who has read my previous posts, I apologise that this one is similar in many ways. This is the last time I do this for a long time. Promise
The first, and most important, thing to mention is the friends I have made. True friends, who enrich my life. QPdoll , Whata Turkey , Hannah ♫♥♫ . These are just a few of my closest friends, I'm going to be tagging a whole load of others later! I love speaking to all the talented, shiny people on WDC. They are what makes this site so awesome. They have given me some confidence, which I have never had before. They have taken away some of my self hatred that has always been so prevalent. Yes, the friends I have made are my favourite part of WDC.
But there are writing related achievements that I have to remind myself of. I am proud of these. This time last year I was a mess. Now, I have a reason for getting up in the morning. I love writing. I couldn't live without this outlet now. So. The achievements:
* I have had eleven newsletter features
* I have placed first in sixteen contests
* I have placed second in seventeen contests
* I have placed third in five contests
* I have had an Honourable Mention in six contests
* I have received fifty-five awardicons
* I have received 180 merit badges, including a Reviewing MB every month I've been on the site!
* I have given 302 reviews
*I have made 1,943 forum posts
* I have added 285 items to my portfolio - some are images, so they aren't all pieces of writing
* I took part in NaNo 2015, and completed my first 54,000 word book
* I have started guest judging on various contests
* I created and held a raffle for Newbies Academy Group, which raised 940,000
* I have undertaken various classes - PDG Rockin' Review Class, PDG Poetic Pen Class, New Horizons Grammar Garden Course
* I'm currently enrolled in the New Horizons Punctuation Inc. Class
*In February, I completed the Soundtrackers Challenge
* In March, I took part in the Pursue The Horizon poetry activity
* Other activities I have taken part in include WDC Does Pointless, Newbies Relay Review Race, It Takes Two, and Smiling Skies - I've thoroughly enjoyed all of these
* I have written, "Behind Closed Doors" . I never, ever thought I would be able to do this, but I'm so glad I did
* Lat month, I successfully completed every day of The Challenge. I'm on course to do this again this month
* I became a captain with WDC Power Reviewers, and I have credited during raids, and manned a three day shift on my own
* I have become a leader with Newbies Academy Group, and I've been running the Special Occasions Forum within that group
* I have taken over running the Verdant Poetry Contest. This is the first month of that.
* I have become a leader in the Paper Doll Gang, reviewing and helping update forums
* I have been nominated for six Quill Awards, not including the genre based ones
Whew. It's been a whirlwind. Just writing it all down feels kind of weird. You forget (or, I forget) just how the smaller things add up into one big sense of achievement. It feels like yesterday I joined, and I still feel like a newbie in a lot of ways. At the same time, this place feels like home. I'm utterly addicted to WDC. Some of my best friends are on here. I don't know what I would do without this site now. I know my life would be a lot less bearable.
So. Now for the mass tagging. I really hope I haven't forgotten anyone, but I know I probably have! This is a shout out to all these people, whom I have loved getting to know in the last year:
♊️GeminiGem💎 , sybarrios, Sally , Witchy woman prays 4 Ukraine , Alexi , kerrimiller, Samberine Everose , Beautiful Candy , eyestar~* , Tiggy , Cinn , candiedinago, amyjo-Keeping it real and fun! , abbyer , Patrece ~ , Cubby , Shaye💻 , Andy~hating university , Spacecat , Gaia Heap , Elle (she/her) , ~ Aqua ~ , ~Minja~ , Pat ~ Rejoice always! , Sand Castles Shopgirl 739 , The Run-on King PDG Member , Life's a Beach... says Joey C , Bikerider , Cheri Annemos Charlie ~ sunnystarr, Sanita , Fivesixer , lazymarionette, Maryann , Marci Missing Everyone , Lornda , Nixie , Prosperous Snow , tucknits , Fran 💜 💜 💜 , Word Warrior beating cancer!! , Angus , pinkbarbie, gardengirl, Kitti DollarDays is painting , Angels in my Ear , ~ IVELTAC ~ , Intuey , River , Lexi , Jellyfish-Holidays on for 2023 , harperpaul, seshat, Shana-Batgirl-Allen ~WeGotThis , ♥HOOves♥ , ~Lifelessons~ , Jess stands with 🇺🇦 , Tiger Cub 🔱 . I have to also mention Jen~ , even though she's no longer here to read this. She was a good friend, and touched my heart. So I have to include her name on my list.
All of you on this list have been an important part of my year here on WDC. Some more than others, some of you I didn't really meet until recently. But at some point, each of you has helped me in some way, or made me smile, or laugh.
So, my thoughts turn to my next year. Writing, that is going to be the main focus for me. I intend to take the Exploratory Short Story Workshop next term. I hope to take part in Nano in November. I have lots of ideas for stories. But I also want to continue reviewing as much as possible, and working with Power Reviewers, PDG, and NAG. I love this part of WDC. I love reading other people's work. Which leads me to my final point. I know I've already advertised this a couple of times, but just in case you've missed it somehow I'm holding an Anniversary Contest. All I want is for you to send me an item from your portfolio that you particularly like, or that you think I would like. Anything. Any genre, style; whatever. I will then judge them and choose twelve winners. One for each month I have been here. My favourite three will win an awardicon and a merit badge, and the other nine will receive either an awardicon or a merit badge. That's it. It's really that simple. This is my way of giving just a tiny something back to the community.
I think that's it. This has been a long post . I applaud anyone who made it all the way to the end. Thank you!
|I'm writing this through tears of sadness and shock. I've just learned that Jen~ has passed away. She was 38, and died in her son's arms. What is going on with the world that something like that can happen? She was so young. She had so much to live for. Her son is so young to lose his mother. God, this sucks!
Right from when she first joined (which was not long after me), we became friends. We hung around in the same kind of circles a lot of the time. No. I can't get my head around this. It's not right. Not right. I'm so sad right now.
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|Just a quick blog entry, to forewarn anyone who reads this that another, much longer entry is on its way. I've made a few notes today, and I know it will take me a while to write. It's going to be kind of a look back over my first twelve months as a member of Writing.com. It will look at my achievements, memories, all the self-centred kind of stuff people think of when they reach important milestones.
I am aware I have written similar blog entries, with my I WDC entry, and my New Year's summary, so this will be the last time I do it (for a good few months, anyway). I promise. I think it's important for me to do this now, though. I had a bit of a 'wobble' yesterday. My confidence crashed, and I followed behind. But David reminded me just how far I've come over the last year. He pointed out the things I have achieved on Writing.com. He reminded me I'm now (occasionally) able to walk to the shops on my own. I don't hate myself quite so much. He gave me a nudge, and made me tell him about writing I have done in the last year. And it helped.
So, I'm going to write this. You don't have to read it (of course, if you read that, you will have already read it). But you know what I mean
|I've been taking part in 'The Challenge' this month, and I'm starting to think I might actually make it to the end. Not bad for a first attempt (of course, you know what they say about pride, right?)
For this challenge, I have to write about a favourite school memory.This is hard. Not because I hated school and it's painful to think about it. Actually, it's the opposite. I loved school. I have so many memories that bring a smile to my face when I think of them. So many. Like, a couple of school plays where I played the lead and (if I do say so myself, brought the house down). Or, maybe, the school prom where I and my friends sneaked alcohol in and got wasted, but had the best night ever. Or, just maybe, I could write about the feeling of getting good exam results.
These are all wonderful memories. But, I think, the one I will write about is a memory referred to as the "Sutherland the Witch Incident". I was in Year 11, so I would have been 15 or 16, and there was a teacher called Mrs. Sutherland. She had a reputation for being a little crazy, and by crazy I mean completely cuckoo! I'd never had many dealings with her, so I liked to give her the benefit of the doubt (I was never one for being told who I should and shouldn't like). One lunch time, I was walking through the foyer with three friends (Nina, Shell, and Mel) and Mrs. Sutherland walked past. Our ears were suddenly assaulted with a roar: "Stop right there!" We looked around, but there was no-one else there. We all froze, not sure what was happening. Sutherland then launched into a tirade against us, yelling at us for calling her a witch. Umm, what?! We had been chatting amongst ourselves, barely even noticed her presence, and suddenly she was screaming at us for calling her a witch. Seems the 'crazy' label was pretty much on the money.
Once she was finished yelling, she told us to apologise. However, there was no way I was apologising for something I hadn't done. I told her this, which kind of made her even angrier. She marched us to the Headmaster's Office, but he wasn't there. So she told us to wait outside, until we were ready to apologise. All afternoon, we sat there. Teachers kept walking past, making it clear they were on our side. But, if we just apologised, it would all be over. Say, what? Apologise for something I hadn't done? I don't think so. By the end of school, Sutherland said she had phoned our parents and informed them of the situation. At which point, Shell and Mel caved and said they were sorry.
Nina and I, however, refused point blank, even when Sutherland said we couldn't return to lessons until we apologised. Seriously, this woman was off her rocker! When I got home that night, I was expecting to be grounded, or something. Instead, Dad asked me what happened, and when I told him, he thought about it, then said, "I wouldn't apologise. The woman sounds like she's got a big problem, mentally." He gave me a hug and I felt vindicated. My mother pointed out that something needed to be done to end the deadlock, so we met with Nina and her parents (who were equally supportive) and wrote out statements of "apology" that didn't actually say we were sorry.
I believe mine was something like, "I am sorry you were upset because you thought we called you a witch." It was a little longer than that, and I read it from the card, monotone. Afterwards, it was all over.
I will never forget this, though. It is the one time I really stood up for myself. I took on a teacher, and I won. Nina is still my best friend, as is Shell. This, for me, is a fond memory.
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|I completely forgot that Fivesixer and ~Minja~ both challenged me to do this quiz. Then I read Whata Turkey 's list and it reminded me. So, here we are. I've no idea what I'll come up with yet, I'm gonna do it as I go along!
The iPod Shuffle Quiz
Your favorite thing to say when drunk is...
Song: Lawdy, Miss Clawdy
Artist: Elvis Presley
Comment: I was so tempted to cheat and move on to the next song! This is embarrassing. But, actually, it is the kind of thing I would say when drunk
Your biggest fear….
Song: Lullaby For A Soldier (from Sons of Anarchy soundtrack)
Artist: Maggie Siff
Comment: I'm not sure this is my biggest fear, but I do think it's a poignant song.
Your deepest secret...
Comment: I try to keep my Carpenters love a secret. But I love the mystery of who "you" could be.
Your innermost desire...
Song: Can't Stop
Artist: Red Hot Chilli Peppers
Comment: Well, now. I'm not telling you what I can't stop
The best thing about you is…
Song: I'm Going Slightly Mad
Comment: I'm not sure it's the best thing about me. I'm also not sure it's "slightly"
Where would you rather be right now?
Song: Silver Lining
Artist: Kacey Musgraves
Comment: Yep, I'd like a silver lining.
If you found yourself lost on a desert island, you'd yell...
Song: Are You Ready For The Country?
Artist: Neil Young
Comment: Well, I guess it's as good as anything.
You are happiest when…
Song: Blue Skies
Artist: Willie Nelson
Comment: Oh, I'm ready painting my musical taste in a good light. But, it is true. Blue skies do make me very happy.
One of your biggest regrets is….
Song: Family Portrait
Comment: Well, yeah. There are things I regret.
What couldn’t you live without?
Song: American Triangle
Artist: Elton John
Comment: Hmmm. Not sure. I couldn't live without my American man. Does that count?
Right now, your feelings are...
Song: Two Timin' Woman
Artist: Johnny Cash
Comment: No! I'm not. I promise
You scream during sex...
Song: Ernold Same
Comment: Ooh, I think I'd be in trouble if I did.
What best describes your personality?
Comment: Does that mean I'm deep? That would be true.
What will be a big challenge in life for you?
Song: I Have Nothing
Artist: Whitney Houston
Comment: Great. That doesn't bode well!
The best advice you’ve ever gotten is…
Song: Man Of Constant Sorrow
Artist: Bob Dylan
Comment: Nope. This one is just too random.
What do you say when life gets tough?
Song: Singing For The Lonely
Artist: Robbie Williams
What do you avoid if possible?
Song: Rock Your Body
Artist: Justin Timberlake
Comment: No. I don't avoid this. Not a at all
Will you ever become manically depressed in your life?
Artist: Dusty Springfield
Comment: Yes. I may well become manically depressed. Probably will. Not about my reputation, though. Unless it happens because I have nothing and my reputation is shot.
Your life's soundtrack should be….
Song: Run, Baby, Run
Artist: Sheryl Crow
Comment: Ohhh, so fitting.
Where will you be in 25 years?
Song: At The End Of The Day
Artist: Les Miserables Original London Cast
Comment: So that's when it's lights out then. Twenty five years. Okay.
Your farewell message to the readers of this:
Song: Just Dance
Artist: Lady GaGa
Comment: Yes! Do it!
That was fun! I only cheated once, when an incredibly embarrassing song came up and it didn't fit. The rest are genuine. I really enjoyed it. I'm going to tag some people, but I apologise is you've already been tagged, or already done this, or if you're not in the least bit interested. Anyway, here we go.
amyjo-Keeping it real and fun! QPdoll kerrimiller Life's a Beach... says Joey C ♥HOOves♥ Sally Spacecat eyestar~* Witchy woman prays 4 Ukraine Jen~ pinkbarbie ~ IVELTAC ~
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