- Published 03 Apr 2014
A Twitter idiom challenge
After months of silence and embarrassment that I had not blogged or written about anything - actually I had, I just used Twitter and Blogger and whatever else was at hand - a new post.
Actually it is not a new post. It is a copy of my post on my blogger site, which I am now using to draft out the ideas that keep popping in my head.
I have done a lot of writing as well over the past few months, and editing. But, when you are writing a book, no one sees what you have written until you publish it. Which is frustrating sometimes.
Finally, I finished and completed, and published Mitchell Muffin and the Rotten Eggs. (It's on CreateSpace, Amazon and Etsy)
Then I started writing the sequel, and laying out another book. And then rather distractingly, I had yet another idea that I could not afford to lose. So, in between the fact that I have three stories that need illustrating, writing four books and laying out a picture book, I came up with the idea of taking a new angle on idioms for my English students.
D-Dah! The twitter idiom challenge materialised, which no one has bothered to comment on. Consequently, that proves that most people do not care about whether you are a twit or a tweeter or have anything of significance to put into 140 characters.
As for FaceBook, well ... there is the idiom that if you pay peanuts... can $1 buy a bag of peanuts though?
The purpose of my twittery witty (because I think it is) idiom challenge is because, when you learn a language you should have fun. When you enjoy doing something, it becomes easier. Or so the theory goes.
Idioms so far:
April Fool: like a rhubarb fool but with April rather than the tarty rhubarb.
To be at sixes and sevens: just before you’ve learnt to count up to eight.
Loquacious Diarrhea: when you can't stop writing (or in some other cases talking).
(Not strictly an idiom, but a derivative of verbal diarrhea)
Out of sorts: when you’re only left with the nasty brown Liquorice Allsorts
A piece of cake: well, obviously not the whole cake, as everyone knows you can't have your cake and eat it.
Let sleeping dogs lie: because if you wake them up, they'll start barking.
He was a peppery individual: every time I met him, I sneezed.
(His sister was well-seasoned - she always rubbed salt into her wounds.)
Beside oneself: when you meet your clone.
To bend over backwards: what athletes are good at and can do with ease.
Have an axe to grind: what Vikings had after plundering. There were a lot of axe grinders in the middle ages.
Hold your horses: not that easy if you don't have a horse.
More to follow ...
- Published 14 Feb 2014
Oh and it's Valentine's Day too.
Flowers wilt and fade,
A book creates memories that last,
Chocolates give you spots,
A book gives you words to read,
Cake gives you a belly,
A good book makes your belly shake.
Giving comes straight from the heart, and so does a story, written from the heart.
So, here is my message for Valentine's Day:
Today is full of flowers and hearts,
And everything is painted red,
There’s cupid with a bow and darts,
Shooting love at everyone’s head.
And then there’s this that I impart,
A story written and then read,
A great idea straight from the heart,
A gift of love, a book instead.
Make someone's day - give them a book!
- Published 03 Jan 2014
Do I write about animals or people?
I have been working on sorting out my writing schedule for 2014. I already have one resolution that is sitting behind my shoulder, nagging me: complete Rotten Eggs (the Mitchell Muffin and the Rotten Eggs story). I have finished the story, which is one milestone, however. The challenge comes in the actual completion of the book. I created chapter introductions and images, I have laid out the book, created a table of contents, and I have sketched the characters. There still remains the tidying up of the images in Photoshop (yawn), a page of Who's Who (I am told the story is quite character rich) and then I have to redraw the map of Crumstead. A southern English town that is crummy by name, and crummy by nature.
There we have it, a project, almost broken down into bite-sized, do-able, achievable tasks. So I am already tucked into my lists rather than resolutions.
The other writing tasks I have on my plate are growing, so I shall need to be organised - is that the secret to success? organisation? or should I just go with the flow?
Which reminds me, I got a jolt about a story I have half-planned out in my head about the Tarsier - I squealed and squeaked as I watched the BBC Earth's Tarsier Tails last night and then started worrying again about the second paradise tree snake that had visited me just before New Year, on the Fifth Day of Christmas.
This morning, just to add some icing on the cake, I heard a rustle in the garden as I was sweeping those Uncle Vernon leaves and out popped a squirrel, and then of course there is my grumpy cat who really needs her own twitter account.
Oh, goodness too many leaping and slithering animals to choose from. Better make a list.
- Published 02 Jan 2014
Could this be a resolution?
I did one of those quick sweeps in at FaceBook this afternoon. A cursory scan across what was going on in my network and a particular slice of time. I am sure that I must miss many life changing events, but I have so much fun fluff in my brain (yes, I used fluff not stuff), that I need to put on paper.
There is absolutely no excuse for not getting on with writing rather than being a Flâneur (what a wonderful French word that is).
Actually, my life probably is that of a Flâneur. After all, I fill my day, almost every day, with whats and nots.
People tell me - 'ooh you are so busy all the time.' and 'how do you have time?'.
And yet, I really don't feel busy like someone in an office. Oh, yes, wait, I am not in an office. I have my own study, I sit at my desk in shorts and sip green tea, my favourite has been some fresh JiangXi green tea, while I attempt to be creative, prepare a lesson, read a book with my lunch, do a little research, sketch a character for a book or tediously Photoshop what I drew. I did not even include the leaf sweeping, vacuuming with my new funky vacuum (no it is not an expensive Dyson), or cooking a concoction for dinner.
What a way to be busy, or not as I am telling myself.
Horribly, I have succumbed to the idea that perhaps I am busy. Too busy to go and meet friends. Too busy to stroll around and look at the nature. Whoops.
So, the only solution, is to ban the concept. What persuaded me? Life, looking at myself in the mirror, realising that I had been flâneuring around too much, which is why my next book isn't complete yet, and reading an article about how un-respectable telling everyone you are busy, really is.
- Published 01 Jan 2014
So how do I start my New Year?
The cliche is to create a long list of New Year Resolutions. All very well and they work for about a week or two and then you get tired and the list gets put in a drawer.
A list, however is exactly what you need if you are going to stick to anything! Not a list of huge world changing events, but rather bite-sized chunks of actions that you can tick off as you do complete each one. This gives you a sense of achievement and accomplishment. When you can see a load of ticks down a list, it becomes a motivator to continue. A list of bite sized activities also make it easier to embark on getting things done.
I suppose it is like climbing a mountain. Look at the mountain and your eyes grow wide. Break it down into a reasonable list of actions, to achieve the goal and you just might climb that mountain. (Boots, Equipment, Rope, Supplies, Training, Support, Map, Weather Check and the list can go on).
Even Richard Branson advocates making a list or two. Although his choice or twitter response by someone who "wants to do something worth being stressed about" leaves me wondering whether humans are stress addicts?
As for me, I've made a list and completed some already:
- reorgansied my to do book,
- set a goal to write one of my blog posts every day (ha, ha),
- resolved to finish Rotten Eggs, including the illustrations,
- embarked on a project to document my mother's childhood memories,
- decided to tidy up Artful Art and get it published, sort out my two short stories about stars (including the illustrations),
- made a Honey Dew list (and even completed a good few of them - 3 in total yesterday and one before 8am this morning!), and
- make a tin for collecting memories of 2014 (taken from a great idea I saw using a glass jar - but glass breaks).
And who knows I might even complete my next Business TESOL course.
Of course, my eldest son shoved the tin back at me with a glaring teenager look. Sigh.
My youngest son was not sure that the New Year had started, but that was my fault as I wickedly told him on New Year's Eve that there were still 3 days to go. Maybe I should resolve not to joke so much!