Life in progress


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I am a stranger here

A great post and a must-read. If you’re anything like me you’ll be shaking your head in disbelief… and yet is it really all that surprising?

Atomic Seconds

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Skyscrapers, my photo

Sometimes I question my
Humanity,
And not because I think I’m
Better
But more that I’m a
Stranger
Here, and I want to contribute to the
World, but I just don’t know
why

It started like most conversations at work
With a person
That wasn’t there anymore, and
two other people
Telling stories about all of the ways that this lady
Fucked up, or mostly in this case
Was lazy and kind of grumpy, and I was only
Halfway listening from under my headphones, I
Wasn’t really feeling the whole thing that day, the office
And the cubicles and the small talk and
The rituals of staged
commiseration
over this grinding
Exchange of time for money, I was just
Trying to ride it out under a blank
Expression, but
I know they were talking about a woman, a former
Administrative Assistant, or probably when she was there

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One-Liner Wednesday – He’s At It Again

My best friend, John, after I told him my son Chris has been washing dishes to earn money: So that’s why there are clean dishes in your cupboards!


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Z is for … Zed

I was going to write about sleep today, but since seeing two other people I follow with “Zzz” for today’s title, I decided to change my mind. I hate being unoriginal. So, zed it is.

But what does it mean?

For any of my American friends who might not know, “zed” is how we Canadians, and those in the U.K. and I believe Australia and New Zealand too (please correct me if I’m wrong), pronounce the last letter of the alphabet.  Here we don’t go as far as to call a zebra and zedbra, but I have an aunt in England who does. We do call a spiffed-up Camero a Zed-28 however.

What does this have to do with writing?

It’s all tied in with spelling, and the way we do things differently. “Colour” and “color” are pronounced the same, but I have a hard time keeping the “u” out of my words. You may have noticed this about me. But what is the preference when writing a novel I know I’d like to sell south of the border? I believe most Canadian authors resort to the U.S. spellings. Still, I wonder how much it throws my American friends off to see all our added letters in words?

I’d love to hear from you.

 

For the final chapter in the saga of Jupiter and Xavier – and Zach and Erin – click here: http://lindaghillfiction.wordpress.com/2014/04/30/z-is-for-zach-and-aarin-the-topless-pirate/

Hope you enjoyed it. 🙂


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Y is for … Yodeling and Other Strange Noises

I can pull off 50,000 words with no problem. Yeah, okay – it takes me a while. But out of those 50,000 or 5,000 or even … whatever … the words that I get the most stuck on are those pesky noises that come out of our mouths and noses that there are no words for. In fact, it makes steam whistle out of my ears.

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Image courtesy of pixabay.com

Some noises are much easier than others, admittedly. Onomatopoeia is a wonderful thing for sounds like banging, clanking and sneezing. The list goes on and on. But what about coughing? “Khe, khe, khe!” How about a sound of derision? “Pff!” Yeah, that’s easy. So many of them are so hard though!

I was quite proud of myself when I came up with the sound for blowing a raspberry. But then people didn’t understand what I was trying to say.

So I’m making it official. And feel free to use it any time. This, “Pthththththth” denotes blowing a raspberry.

As for yodeling? Pthththth. I’m not even going to try.

 

Will Jupiter say yes? If you haven’t read all the chapters, you should before you read this one: http://lindaghillfiction.wordpress.com/2014/04/29/y-is-for-youre-going-to-leave-me-dangling/


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X is for … XXX – How Far Do You Go?

Writing sex scenes, for some authors, can be most intimidating. I’ve seen this mentioned time and again when reading other people’s blogs. Whether you enjoy reading about hot sex or not has little bearing; for one thing, you probably don’t know the intimate details of the novelists life, and so you can pretend or not that they did or didn’t actually experience what you’re reading. When you’re the one writing it, however, I suppose it depends how self-conscious you are.

Take the scenario where you’re sitting down to watch a movie with your parents and a graphic sex scene comes on the screen that you weren’t expecting. Awkward, right? If so, you probably don’t want your parents reading your steamy novel. My own mother used to get up and leave the room when I tampon commercial came on tv. I don’t think she’ll be down for reading my novel.

The question is, do you tone down your writing for fear of family and pointing fingers saying, or even thinking, I know what you’ve been doing, or do you just ignore it and omit from every conversation with your family that you’re a published author?

Where do you draw the line? What do you do?

Only three more installments to go in my fiction A-Z! Read today’s here: http://lindaghillfiction.wordpress.com/2014/04/28/x-is-for-x-marks-the-spot/

Any ideas for a title for my A-Z story? Please let me know!


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What would you do?

How do you deal with people who are slowly but certainly losing their mind? They’re becoming paranoid. You want what is best for them but they just don’t understand. You go out of your way for them: do everything in your power to be kind – but that’s not what they can see. Rather, they see you as cruel; manipulative; out to get them. Nothing you do can ever be good enough.

How long do you keep trying before you give up?

What if you love them?

I’m a strong believer in the philosophy (if you can call it that) that anyone, no matter what their circumstance, can choose to be happy. But what about those with mental illness? It seems that the decision to be anything isn’t an option. Depression, dementia … any number of disorders, are rife within society; within my own scope of experience. Those who voluntarily care for people with mental illness should be granted sainthood, at the very least.

But what of us with only life experience, and no formal training or expertise?

How long do you keep trying?

What if you love them?


WordPress Meet and Greet – Take 2

This is a great way to meet new bloggers and gain more followers. Thanks so much to my amazingly generous friend, Jason for opening up his site. 😀


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How Many Bugs in a Box – Stream of Consciousness Saturday (Question)

“How many bugs in a box?” It’s a stupid little song that has been going through my head for years. When I’ve finished writing this post (because I don’t want to stop) I’ll look it up and if I can, insert it so that everyone can be tormented by it.

It’s from an animated game for the computer that my kids used to play when they were little. The game was called “How Many Bugs in a Box” and it was a counting/math/number/pattern recognition game. Why am I writing about this? Because every time – and I mean EVERY SINGLE TIME – I try to write a blog post I think of that sentence. The question has been plaguing me now for around fifteen years. Fifteen years of wondering how many bugs are in the damned box!

Why is it that songs get stuck in our heads, anyway? There’s a name for it now: ear worm. Usually it lasts a morning, or a few hours after we either think of a song or hear it after not having heard it for a long time. It doesn’t usually happen – at least in my experience – when it’s something that’s on the radio or my playlist all the time. I think my worst ones to date have to be “C is for Cookie” by the Cookie Monster, or “The Song that Never Ends” by whatshername with the lamb puppet. (Holy crap, “whatshername” didn’t get a red squiggly line underneath it!)

Anyway, by finally writing “how many bugs in a box” in a blog post, I’m hoping to dispell the magic that keeps me wanting to come back to it. I’ll let you know if it worked in another post. Maybe in next week’s SoCS post.

(Phew! Got my Stream of Consciousness Saturday post in just in the nick of time!)


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W is for … Writer Mode

Writer mode is something I never go out of. It’s the perpetual state of creating, of observing, and of learning. I don’t see and hear things going on around me as much as I absorb them.

This came to me one day about a month ago when I was in the grocery store. I reached the end of the aisle where there was a display of bleach on sale, and I thought to myself, I’m going to need some of that to get all the blood stains out. In reality, I don’t have a pool of blood anywhere in my house – so where did the thought come from?

I wonder about this a lot. The characters, plots and scenarios manifest in my mind in so many different ways. Whereas most of my fictional dilemmas are solved when I’m completely relaxed, such as when I’m in the shower and not having to concentrate too much on what I’m doing, my initial ideas often appear when I’m trying to do something else. Possibly it’s the part of me that worries, what if? It’s those moments when I’m frantically looking for something to write on, or searching for a place to pull over so I can write a note on my phone so I don’t forget.

I feel kind of blessed that I have this seemingly infinite source of thoughts and ideas coming to me. I think maybe everyone does, to some degree. Whether one puts them to use is what makes the difference between one who creates and one who lives on other’s creations – not that there’s anything wrong with that, to quote Seinfeld. We all do it.

So which is it do you think? I ask all creators: artists, photographers, musicians, and writers of fiction, blogs and poetry, is there something in the ether which those of us who create are in touch with? Or is it something that comes from inside, that we’re simply more in tune with than other people?

Gasp! What’s happening with Jupiter and Xavier? Go here to see! http://lindaghillfiction.wordpress.com/2014/04/26/w-is-for-wedded-bliss/


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It’s Been a Day … And a Half

My day started with a nightmare and a strange noise at 1:30am. The dream terrified me, the noise that I woke up to paralysed me for about five minutes. It sounded similar to my tormentor, Giggling Bob, only closer: Giggling Bob is in a box on the opposite side of the house to my bedroom. Other than not being quite the same noise, it wasn’t Bob’s usual time of 3:14. The conclusion can only be that Bob has invited a friend into the house.

So after five terror-stricken minutes, I picked up my cell phone and called my best friend John, who luckily is working nights this weekend. I wouldn’t have called him otherwise, knowing how precious sleep is. Being the nice guy he is, he talked me down from my panic to the level where I was able to put on pants and get up to check that all the doors were locked. They weren’t – the garage door was open. But after a quick trip around the house to make sure the kids and I were alone (with John still on the line) I went back to bed and, after a full hour of being on the phone, went back to sleep.

To properly explain the next part of my story, I must back up a bit. Last week I scratched the roof of my mouth. It’s been so resistant to healing, and so painful, that I decided to fast today to give it a break. Knowing that the kids would be going with their dad tonight, I wasn’t worried about being hungry well into the evening – I could go to bed early. I’m exhausted anyway from my adventure of the wee hours of the morning. Two proverbial birds with one stone and all that.

Can you hear the scratching of a record needle? Of course you can. My ex texted me to say he wasn’t coming.

In the meantime, I had a doctor’s appointment for my shoulder (which has been hurting since January) so I thought, why not ask him to take his handy-dandy light thingie and shine it in my mouth to see what’s wrong in there. One prescription later, I’m now the proud owner of something I didn’t know existed – steroid-laced dental paste.

Dry your palette with a paper towel, the pharmacist said, (eww) and then put the paste on your thumb and spread it on the roof of your mouth. But don’t try to rub it in. It has to stay there. Just a layer of paste for at least half an hour. And don’t lick it.

….

Do you have any idea what happens to your mouth when you can’t allow your tongue to touch the roof, and you’re thinking about it? You drool. Try to swallow without touching your tongue to your palette. Go ahead. Do it now.

See what I mean? Now sit like that for half an hour.

Now it’s 10:40pm on the same day I woke up terrified. I’m exhausted, waiting for Alex’s feeding pump to finish doing its thing, I’m starving, I’m drooling, and I still haven’t figured out if I have yet another possessed toy in the house to terrorize me in the middle of the night.

If I do find the toy though… it’s going home in my ex’s trunk the next time he picks up the kids. WITH Giggling Bob.