Life in progress


11 Comments

JusJoJan 31 – We Did It!! 2015 edition

Hard to believe the month of January is done and dusted for yet another year. Just Jot It January 2015 was a roaring success this year, and I have all of you participants to thank for it. 😀

I think the idea of having prompts worked out well for some, so I’ll think about doing that again next year – maybe even one per week or every three days.  Anyhoo, here are the links in case you’d like to read some of the pingbacks.

Prompt # 1 for January 1st to 10th inclusive: reading.
Please visit the prompt post for more details. https://lindaghill.com/2015/01/01/jusjojan-day-1-10-prompt/

Prompt # 2 for January 11th to 20th inclusive: ‘rithmatic.
Please visit the prompt post for more details. https://lindaghill.com/2015/01/10/jusjojan-day-11-20-prompt/

Prompt # 3 for January 21st to 30th inclusive: sex.
Please visit the prompt post for more details. https://lindaghill.com/2015/01/20/jusjojan-day-21-30-prompt/

as well as the main pingback and rule post, where you can find most of them:

https://lindaghill.com/2015/01/01/just-jot-it-january-pingback-post-and-rules/

I promise to get to all the posts in the next month or so. In the meantime, I’d like to invite everyone who joined in to choose their own favourite JusJoJan post and link it in the comments below–please keep it to just one so as not to overwhelm–and I’d like to invite everyone to check out the posts that are linked!

Thanks once again!

Oh, and here’s a present for you! Your official Participant 2015 badge. Grab it and post it as a widget on your blog! Remember, whether you posted your jot every day, or simply jotted down a phone message for a loved one, you’re a Just Jot It January Winner! 😀

JJJ Part 2015

Happy February, all!


216 Comments

JusJoJan 30 – It’s a Blogaversary!

It’s kind of official! I began seriously writing on my blog two years ago today! To celebrate, I wanted to do something special – an experiment of sorts. Please bear with me while I explain.

A number of years ago I worked as a bookkeeper in an office where, whenever someone had a birthday it was their job to bring in a couple of dozen donuts for everyone to eat. It was a great way to make sure everyone pitched in, it was fair and it was fun, and we got a lot of laughs out of it.

Since it’s my blogaversary today, I’d like to throw a party in my comment section. It’s going to require some effort from you. The benefit is that you’ll get to chat and maybe even meet someone new!

What I propose is this: I’ll comment first. When you comment, say hi to the person in the comment below yours. EDIT: Please comment and then reply to the comment below yours after yours is posted. If you know the person already, ask them how the weather is, what’s new, whatever. 🙂 If you don’t know them, ask them where they are in the world, or how they came up with their blog’s name – anything you can think of. You can even go visit them if you’d like, or share a link! And don’t stop there. Talk to everyone in the comment section! I’ve extended the “reply” button to 7 comments deep, but if you need more, just let me know. It might be a good idea to follow the comments by clicking the(paraphrased) “notify me by email when there’s a new comment” box.

Let’s get to know each other! 😀 And have a virtual donut!

OH, and one other thing: It’s my good friend Joey’s blogaversary too! After you’ve commented here, click the following to say congrats to her! http://jolenemottern.com/2015/01/30/heat-pumps-are-stupid/

JJJ 2015

Wow! Only one day left! https://lindaghill.com/2015/01/01/just-jot-it-january-pingback-post-and-rules/


41 Comments

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for SoCS January 31/15

Hi there! It’s early morning here and as I’m waiting for my coffee and still trying to come alive, I’m contemplating all the things I want to do on my blog this weekend. At the very least I’d like to get the reports and pictures of my trip to Japan posted… which brings me to my idea for your Friday prompt. Imagine that!!

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “scene/seen.”  Let your imagination wander. You could even add a picture!

After you’ve written your Saturday post tomorrow, please link it here at this week’s prompt page and check to make sure it’s here in the comments so others can find it and see your awesome Stream of Consciousness post. Anyone can join in!

To make your post more visible, use the SoCS badge! Just paste it in your Saturday post so people browsing the reader will immediately know your post is stream of consciousness and/or pin it as a widget to your site to show you’re a participant. Wear it with pride!!

socs-badge

Badge by: Doobster @ Mindful Digressions

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” or “Begin with the word ‘The’.”

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours.  Your link will show up in my comments, for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. Have fun!


11 Comments

JusJoJan 29 – Kamakura, Japan – Part 2

It wasn’t the perfect weather to go to the beach, but for me, living where the nearest large body of water is Lake Ontario, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to visit the Pacific Ocean. So off to the beach I went.

PacificI wrote this about the day:

I could have spent much more than the two hours I was there had I been able to sit. The weather was cool but quite comfortable in my winter jacket. A group of adults were there with their children, one of which–a two year old boy–was completely naked. Not something you’d see in Canada.

Soft, deep sand and gentle waves… Again I was warned about the hawks, but the crows were in abundance. The highlights of what they were eating were a stingray and a small (2-2.5 ft. long?) shark.

The conch shells were many – giant clam shells and starfish as well.

blue starred star
conch

The next day it rained, but nothing was going to keep me indoors. I walked with my umbrella to Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine, where there was a wedding going on. I didn’t get any pictures of the bride, but I did spend 500Yen to make a wish and write it on a wooden board. It’s probably still hanging there.

Some pictures:

Near the front gate

Near the front gate

Autumn colours in December

Autumn colours in December

green reflection

A reflective pond

I wrote:

I want to go shopping in Yokohama, but I’m reluctant to leave the quiet of here. Five days in Tokyo will be busy enough.

And they were. To be continued.

JJJ 2015

This post is part of Just Jot It January!! https://lindaghill.com/2015/01/01/just-jot-it-january-pingback-post-and-rules/


An Open Letter To WordPress

Thank you to Fish of Gold for posting about what we’ve all been thinking. Get your act back together, WordPress!
Note: Comments here are disabled (if I can find the button). Please comment on the original post.

Fish Of Gold

Dear WordPress.com,

I am loath to write yet another letter to you, since I typically prefer to spend my time writing actual blog posts, but I’ve been bitching on Twitter and in your forums to no avail, so maybe you’ll pay attention to a blog post. It’s not likely, but hey, you never know.

Please, stop. Just put down whatever you’re working on and stop with the futzing. You have been tinkering under my hood long enough and you know what? None of the “improvements” you’ve made are actually improvements.

Below, you will find explanations as to why your improvements aren’t improvements sorted conveniently by feature.

Post Editor

Let’s talk about this “Beep beep boop” post editor nightmare with less than half the functionality of the old editor. Thankfully, you haven’t taken away the old editor yet. However, I fully expect that one day, I will go to write a…

View original post 1,081 more words


28 Comments

One-Liner Wednesday – You’ve got something stuck between your teeth…

All this instantaneous gratification of social media and being able to have our words read immediately is somewhat dangerous: It’s not just “putting your foot in your mouth” anymore; now you can “put your keyboard in your mouth.”

__________________________________________________________________________________________

Anyone who would like to try it out, feel free to use the “One-Liner Wednesday” title in your post, and if you do, you can ping back here to help your blog get more exposure. To execute a ping back, just copy the URL in the address bar on this post and paste it somewhere in the body of your post. Your link will show up in the comments below.

As with Stream of Consciousness Saturday, if you see a ping back from someone else in my comment section, click and have a read. It’s bound to be short and sweet.

The rules that I’ve made for myself (but don’t always follow) for “One-Liner Wednesday” are:

1. Make it one sentence.

2. Make it either funny or inspirational.

Have fun!


21 Comments

JusJoJan 27 – How Parenting is Like the Weather

Long ago I read a story–it’s probably a famous one, but I’ll relate it here in brief–about how the sun and the wind entered into a competition to make a man take off his coat. The wind, of course, tried to blow it off, but the harder the wind blew, the tighter the man held his coat around him. The wind eventually gave up and then the sun came out. The man, becoming hot, took off his coat. The moral of the story is that sometimes coaxing is better than trying to force someone to do something.

The story came to mind today, as it often does on a bitterly windy day, when I try to bury myself in my scarf. For some reason the thought led to parenting.

My motto has long been, “Pick your battles.” If it’s not that important, meaning no one is going to get seriously injured or be more than ten minutes late for something, I tend to either let the issue go or do my best to be persuasive rather than forceful. The practice has improved my powers of persuasion to the point that I’m getting pretty good at it. Failing that, I’ve learned to be patient. To take a deep breath and remind myself that it’s not the end of the world if Alex completely empties a drawer of perfectly folded clothes to do it again himself, or insists on cleaning his own feeding tube when I know damned well he’s going to ask for the help he at first refuses because it can’t reach where it has to hang.

But I’m only human. There are times when I feel I must stuff him in the car against his will, or restrain him to keep him from falling out his second storey bedroom window. Part of these necessities come down to the fact that I’m not completely fluent in sign language – part of it comes from his own behavioural issues and the fact that he’s mentally well below his age level but physically entering puberty. This puts him in the range of adolescence mixed with the terrible twos.

Still. It’s better to be sunny than windy.

JJJ 2015

Just Jot It January is nearly over – link your post today and get your participant’s badge at the end of the month! https://lindaghill.com/2015/01/01/just-jot-it-january-pingback-post-and-rules/


1 Comment

The Cost of Self-Publishing

Another great article and an upcoming freebie from Steve Vernon, Storyteller.
Note: Comments here are turned off. Please comment on the original post.

YOURS IN STORYTELLING...

First off, I operate  my self-publishing business on a deep discount budget that would make Loblaws-shilling William Shatner look like a piker.

I make my own covers or use a Fiverr cover service. I do my own formatting. I do my own promotion. I do my own editing.

I am NOT saying this is the best way to do it. I truly WISH I could afford an editor – but budgetary constraints are a reality in my world.

So I was pretty interesting in reading these two separate versions of the very same story – how much does it COST to produce a self-published novel?

Take a look for yourself.

Lisa Medley, Missouri indie author, has this to say about how much it costs.

Ben Reeder, Missouri indie author, has this to say in reply.

As for myself – well, I spent absolutely NOTHING on the creation of my latest…

View original post 359 more words


26 Comments

JusJoJan 26 – It’s the Little Things

While there are large things in life that cause stress, like selling your mother’s condo whilst trying to maintain your own home, keep your family reasonably comfortable and happy and hanging on to your sanity (yes, I’m making this about you, because if I don’t I may realize what seventh circle of purgatory I’ve landed myself in), sometimes it’s the little things which finally make you snap.

Like when you take your kid for a haircut and the barber grazes the back of his neck with the trimmer and oh my Lord it’s the end of the world. He gets home, strips off his shirt and wraps himself in a fleece blanket that he refuses to take off even when he goes to bed that night, waking himself up at 2:47 (and you with him) because he’s so tangled up in coverings and the next day you find yourself applying Polysporin to a pink-tinged area that (point to it again? I can’t find it.) is so minute but he still refuses to wear a shirt over.

And then! And then! later when he’s almost forgotten about the agony he’s in over his haircut and he’s helping your mother wash the dishes (he’s washing, she’s drying) and he’s all done and putting the Tupperware bucket upside down on top of the clean dishes in the dish rack and your mother is taking it off to get to the dishes that HAVE to be dried and your kid is putting it back on and she’s taking it off (because by this time your mother’s OCD is battling to the death with your kid’s OCD) and he’s putting it back on and screaming and she’s taking it off and yelling at him in a language he can’t even hear (because he’s Deaf) let alone understand and all you want to do is run away from home…

…because it’s the little things that finally do you in…

JJJ 2015

This crazy slice of YOUR life was brought to you in conjunction with none other than Just Jot It January. Click on the link and join in today – only 6 days left! https://lindaghill.com/2015/01/01/just-jot-it-january-pingback-post-and-rules/

 


15 Comments

Passion

Note: The following is something I posted yesterday as a Guest on HarsH ReaLiTy. Apologies if you’re seeing this in duplicate.

I went to Japan for five minutes and thirty-six seconds. I’m not talking about a virtual trip on the internet. I’m not talking about astral projection. I’m talking about an eleven day trip which included 25 hours of flying time from Toronto to Tokyo and back for the sake of a five minute and thirty-six second long song.

I fell in love with it the first time I heard it. It moved me to tears and I knew deep inside that I HAD to hear it and see it performed live. I was that passionate about it, about the man who wrote it and sings it – about the deep meaning in the lyrics and just the way he sings it and how utterly beautiful it is… So I made it happen. I couldn’t not.

Before you write me off as insane, please consider…

Merriam-Webster’s definition of Passion, ganked off the internet:

pas·sion
noun \ˈpa-shən\

: a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something

: a strong feeling (such as anger) that causes you to act in a dangerous way

: a strong sexual or romantic feeling for someone

Passion is something we humans share. It’s responsible for much of the world’s most beautiful art in all its forms; it is the cause of some of the most heinous crimes. It gives us the ability to love deeply and to hate with seemingly every fibre of our being. It’s something that our children have also. And how scary can that potentially be?

You can say to a ten-year-old, “Son, there are things you will be passionate about when you grow older. You may feel like killing someone one day. Don’t,” but what’s the use? Because in the heat of passion we lose all reason. Logic goes off into the stratosphere and all that is left inside of us is pure emotion.

Passion is one of the things I believe we can only teach our children by example. For instance, if we talk about killing the guy in the car that cut us off, they will learn that passion can turn us against one another. If we follow our passion and turn it into a career, we will teach our children to follow their dreams.

And so I come back to my adventure – my trip to Japan. Aside from personally needing to make the trip, I feel in doing so I showed my children that if they want something badly enough, they can make it happen, no matter how unlikely. And no matter how insignificant it might seem to someone else and no matter how they may be judged for going for it; just do it.

The song? It doesn’t really matter. But here’s another one by the same band. It is appropriately called “Passion.”

The lyrics, in English, can be found by clicking here. But if you read them, don’t do the stuff he sings about – just sayin’ 😉

If you’d like to read about the absolutely incredible experience I had at the concert, click here. The post includes a picture of me, taken by the lead guitarist of the band from the stage during the concert!

Thanks very much for reading,
Linda