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Rated: 18+ · Book · Biographical · #2149468
My journal and mirror
cover art for my blog

Possibly a mistake, definitely an experiment.

A politics free journal of personal reflections and achievements.

This is my first blog, so any feedback or advice would be appreciated.

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January 17, 2019 at 10:43am
January 17, 2019 at 10:43am
There are bees buzzing buzzing buzzing round my head.
They're going to make me cry.

There are bees buzzing buzzing buzzing round my head.
I'm scared I'm going to die.

There are bees buzzing buzzing buzzing round my head.
Why me oh why oh why?

There are bees buzzing buzzing buzzing round my head.
They're going to make me cry.

There are bees buzzing buzzing buzzing round my head.
Why me oh why oh why?

There are bees buzzing buzzing buzzing round my head.
I'm scared I'm going to die.

There are bees buzzing buzzing buzzing round my head.
They're going to make me cry.
September 10, 2018 at 9:08am
September 10, 2018 at 9:08am
Give me proud and prowling men.
Give me cocks with bright gleaming plumage,
who know what they've got and mean to prove it.
Give me men who mind their looks.
Give me dandies who'd rather go nude,
than clad themselves in clothes lazy or crude.
Give me men who strut and stride.
Give me gents of grace and poise and style,
who will take time to make women smile.
Give me men who give a damn.
Give me men who understand.
The rest aside and alone can stand,
I'll take a sophisticated man.
June 28, 2018 at 2:09pm
June 28, 2018 at 2:09pm
I said, when I started this blog, that I wouldn't get political, so I won't.

I just want to share a thought   with you, one I have whenever I see an article in the tabloids or hear twenty-somethings on the radio talking about any diversity issue.

Things have changed a lot since I was a kid and overall I feel British, and Western, culture has improved. In many ways we treat each other better than we used to. Not every individual, not in every way, but on the whole we have become more accepting and inclusive.

I also feel it's important to stay grounded when thinking about these things. It's harder to identify a cause to an effect, or the full effects of a cause, than we sometimes consider and sometimes it takes longer than we want to see results.
June 10, 2018 at 4:59am
June 10, 2018 at 4:59am
'The Ugly Duckling' is a meaningful story about identity.

But it's not a story about transformation. It's not about a duckling that becomes a swan. It's not about a hero evolving or inner beauty blossoming.

The cygnet was always a swan.

What happens in 'The Ugly Duckling' is a cygnet is held up against a duck's expectations and standards. The baby bird is grey with a black beak, not bright and bouncing. It doesn't look like a duck or quack like a duck. The ducks don't recognise the cygnet is swan and the poor little thing doesn't know any better the ducks tell it.

Then the cygnet matures and one day he meets swans and learns who he is and to hold himself to his own standards. He doesn't have to be what a duck is, because he is not a duck.

The story of 'The Ugly Duckling' is not about an ugly duckling, it's about a young swan.

If the standards you think you're supposed to live to are making you unhappy, really think about whose standards they are. Is there another path which works for you? There is no universal truth. There is no perfect answer. There's only your answer.
June 3, 2018 at 7:51am
June 3, 2018 at 7:51am
I have not been good at blogging. I can do better.

When did I last post? Mid April. Let's see...

I have completed a staff development programme and (almost) completed the accompanying personal/professional project. I need to finalise the second draft and start working on the follow-up actions.

*Scholar* I am to start reading for a Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) Diploma to start doing exams in November.

*CarR* I have started driving to work an back, which is slightly faster than getting the train, a good bit cheaper (at least if you only count petrol) and more flexible. It has given me a lot more confidence with my driving.

As you can see in my Biography tab, this week I've written The Oracle  for "WEIRD TALES CONTEST"   [18+] by Beacon-Light Forever and opened World Weavers' Network . I'm also showcased in "OPEN HOUSE Forum"   [E] by Jayne this month, so there will be a few minor edits to my other items. I have a story planned for "Distorted Minds Contest"   [XGC] by warpedsanity as well, so expect that by the end of June.

*Heel* I have started customising a second pair of shoes and making a handbag, or rather I started the bag first and decided I wanted to do some shoes to match. There will be a blog post about those when they're done. I make no apologies for this *Pthb*. That's been on hiatus a couple of weeks because... *Hug1**hug**Hug2*

A family friend lost their father in March. He's being very needy, which is understandable, but it's taking up a lot of My Darling's time. Specifically time after he gets home from work, which is time after I get home from work and means My Darling and I aren't getting any quality time together until the weekends. Weekday nights consist of My Darling running frantically about the house trying to get things done, dreading an inevitable phone call that will last over an hour, and breaking down if I'm anything less than chipper. That's the part that's always been hard: I'm allowed to feel low or awful because My Darling implodes. Going through and extended period of stress has caused a few implosions.

But that seems to be easing up now.

We have successfully saved enough money to pay for my car insurance renewal next month. My Darling has been working diligently to bring in the extra and we're doing our best not to spend anything we don't have to for a while because... *Dog1*

The dog has to go back to the vet. Again. Roxy has a misshaped dew claw (inside of the front paw like a thumb) which is causing her pain and has to be removed. At the same time we are going to get a cyst taken out because it might be a cyst or it might be another tumour. And of course no-one on My Darling's side of the family helped with the £1500 bill last August despite the fact Roxy isn't legally our dog, so we can't expect any financial support from them this time either.

And then we have the car tax and MOT as well as probably having to replace my windscreen thanks to a chip that I suspect is more than a chip. You can probably guess by now that money is source of frustration. The reason for this is that My Darling and I have already put our wedding plans back a year and it is looking increasingly likely we might have to do delay again.

All of which is why I have been too angry, depressed, anxious, or busy to write.

What I have done is collect 868/900 korok seeds in Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild for the Nintendo Switch. This is mainly because the task is easy to pick up and put down when you're interrupted every fifteen minutes by drama. I've also watched through all of the Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Tales from the Crypt and Goosebumps episodes I can find on YouTube. If anyone has suggestions on similar horror anthology series they are very welcome.
April 17, 2018 at 4:57am
April 17, 2018 at 4:57am
‘I was a teacher for 17 years, but I couldn’t read or write’  

It's incredible that John Corcoran retired from teaching before learning to read. He went to such lengths to keep his secret and lived in constant fear of discovery. Even his wife didn't believe him when he tried to tell her.

Just think of how critical literacy is to our day to day lives: Bank account and job applications. Emails or letters. Product descriptions and instructions. Driving theory tests. There are graphical cues for things and ways to learn without reading, but this modern world is hostile and exclusive to anyone with a low level of literacy. Our world operates on the written word.

Just thinking on how hard this was to do, how afraid and ashamed John was for so long, sheds a new light on dystopian fiction and human drama.

John has now gone on to write three books: an autobiography and two books on the subject of teaching and illiteracy.
March 31, 2018 at 1:07pm
March 31, 2018 at 1:07pm
Back in September Professor Q posted "Note: I am officially writing something about this. A pl..." linking to an article about the magazine Seitou.

Like her, I this story excited me and gave me several days worth of plotting.

'The Dragon Speaks' is a story about a poem that breaks caste. The titular poem is written by a man assigned a police vocation, and based on a martial art form. But that is as much as I have so far. I have the world build around Rya-Karin and I've written the poem, but I can't settle on what the story is about other than that poem featuring as the trigger event in his life.

Is it a story about sacrifice and love? Is it about self-realisation or a sinister tale about manipulation and indoctrination? Do I want to draw it out broader and write a story about civil unrest where the poet is just one key character? I don't know yet. So this one is going to have sit in a file for now.

"Finding the Right Story Sparks by Jay (away for a while)
Sometimes you have a good idea--and no idea what to do with it yet! (Short Stories Newsletter - February 28, 2018)
March 16, 2018 at 2:43pm
March 16, 2018 at 2:43pm
We should take all the bad chemistry jokes and barium.

My Darling has been on a relentless rampage of bad jokes all week.

But I don't want to cut my hair!

Her sister has been encouraging her. They're exchanging jokes by text message.

I shouldn't have ordered the seafood.

It has been nothing but stupid and naughty puns for days.

What do you call a fish with three eyes?

Somehow she's still catching me out with the ones which are disguised as genuine comments.

I want to throw an amazing space party.

But the way she titters holding in a punchline, knowing full well she's going to get told off...

What's green and has wheels?

There is only one cure for this afflication that has come over her:

You know you're a '90s kids when...
March 15, 2018 at 5:03pm
March 15, 2018 at 5:03pm
I'm currently working my way through "PORTFOLIO STUDIO"   by Whata Awarding4Cs which is why everything in my port keeps moving around every couple of days and why my biography tab is now a game of leapfrog.

It has been hard tricky finding cover art for my items. Most of these are small resolution wall papers cropped down. I have looked for free to use art, but the websites I've used don't always have information on the artist, so I haven't been able to credit them, which I would have liked to do.

But the workshop is fun. It's encouraging to receive feedback on the presentation of my items and hopefully attract more readers. I've received several reviews in the last few weeks; I'm not sure whether that is because I have edited most of my items recently or just because from luck.

The workshop also took me to my back-up hard drive and retrieving files I haven't looked at since at least two laptops ago. I don't think I have used that drive since 2012. Most of the files... need at lot of work, if I decide to pick them up. There is an Angelo story I started a long time ago which I might revisit soon. Most of the stories I know I won't revive, but it's been interesting to flick through old memories. And of course amongst that I found what I was looking for: The Blessings , which brings my poetry tally up to three. I am working on a fourth poem, but poetry is hard :/.

I'm also clearing newsletters out of my email folder and sorting most of them into World Weavers' Library  or Tilly's Reference Library  depending on the content.

And the other thing I'm doing this week is reviewing the entries for the latest round of the World Weavers' Championship . Once the rewards for that are done, it'll be time for the debut of the World Weavers' Network  activities, at which point I will be turning off my review requests and asking people to make requests in the forum. This is just so I can get more reviews done and do them in my own time without having to reject requests for coming in at the wrong time or limit my comments to a glancing pass.

And then at the end of next week we are off to my sister's wedding. So it's a busy month in this rabbit hole.
February 26, 2018 at 11:33am
February 26, 2018 at 11:33am
I finished my shoes today. *BigSmile*

When I visited my sister at Christmas, she showed me her wedding shoes: Irregular Choice "Peach Melba". These shoes are a glittering pale pink or lilac 4-inch heel. The toe of the shoe is covered with lase and tiny cut-out blossoms. Metallic pink piping circles the top of the shoe and separates the lace sections from the 'plain' pink glitter. Two satin flowers, one pink and one lilac, perch together on the toe and the shoe is lined in something like velveteen. These are shoes on the same scale as the wedding dress.

I've never been a shoe person. I like boots in certain styles, but I haven't been the sort of person to spend a lot of money on a lot of shoes. But Irregular Choice and Ruby Shoo? Now that I know about them, the only thing keeping me in check is the price tag. I just cannot spare that kind of money for shoes. And yet I cannot get them out of my head. So I turned that energy into making some pretty shoes, or rather making some shoes prettier.

I bought a pair of canvas wedge heels online for £10 and dyed them in the kitchen sink for about 20 minutes. They're now sage green, although the dye didn't take where the uppers are glued to the sole, so there's a thin ribbon of cream there still. The strips of hessian cord covering the heel are also slightly green. I stuffed the toes with tissue paper to help the canvas keep its shape while it dried. This shouldn't be done with newspaper though: the ink can soak through and stain the fabric, which is what happened to My Darling's mother when she tried to stretch out brand new patent nude T-bars.

After some searching online and in the stash, I pulled out a wide cream guipure lace and, scarily, cut it to pieces. The top half of the lace is stitched around the top of the shoe, stretching net lace half down the sides to where a line of embroidered flowers end the lace. The bottom half of the lace has been chopped up more: a straight line of guipure arcs over the top of the toe sole to sole and I've arranged individual pieces to decorate the rest of the toe. Sewing the lace on was hard: I had to use a leather thimble to get the needle through the canvas. You can see the finished results here  .

I did some internet research before I started. Sadly a lot of sites relisted the same entries from the same blogs, but there are a lot of ways people have customised shoes.

*Heel* gluing fabric or lace over shoes;
*Heel* painting shoes (there are specialist paints available);
*Heel* using fabric pens or dye on fabric uppers;
*Heel* adding brads or studs or adding eyelets;
*Heel* adding appliqués or patches;
*Heel* adding flowers or bows, or making removable shoe clips;
*Heel* colouring the soles of old high heels with nail polish.

Has anyone else tried anything like this before? How did it work out? I admit I wouldn't have tried it if I hadn't found a nice pair of shoes so cheap.

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