Sunday, November 30, 2014

Soulful Sunday: 4th NaBloPoMo Favourite Blog Posts: Mine and Yours

Photo by Roberto Kaplan

It seems that Forecasting my Foggy Bloggy Future was my favoured post this past week which surprised me, and yet I suppose it makes sense. Followers of my blog may especially be curious as to where I am going with my blog(ging) for various reasons.

I had hoped that my inspired poem and its reverse mirror image - A New Angle on 'You' or is that 'Me?' ;) - would achieve first position. However, that post tied with NaBloPoMo Social Media Challenge at

Now, onto a number of blog posts I enjoyed this past week, in no particular order (except possibly date wise going backwards) are as follows:

Laurel Reagan's very short post but with a long title, Today’s Gratitude List – Linkup No. 56 + 100 Happy Days – Day 72 at on enjoying life: forget everything else, just zentangle! At least for her! ;)

Shailaja Vishwanath's Pushed to the brink- #Five sentence #Fiction with a witty mother-in-law!

Shilpa Garg's post on Toilet for Babli, though a sad read, is important to help those in an important and basic need for sanitation, women and girls particularly:

Carol Grahama's post, Were You Born With It? was an interesting take on selling: was a delightful read on how to sell and how not to, a post within that post! ;)

Pixie wrote Peter's Treasure, a short nonfiction story which was a suspenseful read, at least for me:

Roshan Radhakrishnan's post, Year 10 - Happiness is the Path at was inspiring as a blogger. I was SO excited by his post and felt inspired by it; however, I hope I do not have to wait 10 years to be recognized for my writing aptitude! ;)

SanchLivingLife's post had a different viewpoint on this important topic: Eliminate Violence Against Women #WhiteRibbonDay at

Rajlakshmi H Boruah's post Sunrise at Huskisson, featured a lovely sunrise that I would have loved to see perhaps as a video as well:

Nisha Sanjeev's post on I am too precious! was a refreshing read; I absolutely loved what she had to say including her powerful statement at the end.

Inderpreet Kaur Uppal's post Nurturing My Child’s Explosive Potential For Change at I found an inspiring post for children and mothers alike.

Aditi Kaushiva's post, Each Morning Beckons, her gratitude poem at

Tulika Singh's endearing post, Pigeon mums don't quite make the cut was an amusing post on motherhood:

Shailaja Vishwanath's important post on Would you write about your pain? rendered views between fiction and non-fiction writers: no surprise there at least for me! ;)

Rajlakshmi H Boruah's first attempt on a short piece of fiction, Drabble - Oh No !! at was a delight to read.

Nabanita Dhar's post on To Do or Not To Do... at probably because I can SO relate! ;)

Carol Graham's post The Best Gift ..... Ever was a tender touching story about an unusual gift that made her day and her Christmas! ;) Read for details.

Nabanita Dhar's post on I've Spoken..It's Your Turn Now! on a clean India offered some practical ideas and solutions to an environmental issue: street litter! Something about the following lines that she wrote in particular that I bolded appealed to me: "...this campaign for a cleaner India. I quite like it you know and it's about time we do something about it. After all cleanliness is next to Godliness, isn't it?"

I sure do hope you get a moment to enjoy these posts! Or rather, did you get a chance to read any of these them? ;) And did you find them as enjoyable as I did?

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Smorgasbord Saturday: 4th Week of NaBloPoMo

Photo by Roberto Kaplan

Below is a review of my posts this past week which were a potpourri of topics - from blog titles to a social media challenge, to a different perspective on an inspired poem to my future blog, and TV and non-fiction bloggers: such a mishmash as usual! ;)

Monday's post, Favourite Headline/Blog Post Title? featured some of my favourite blog titles as I can't only choose one! Considering some of the comments I received, I think my readers and I were on the same page about that! ;) Check out some of these titles at

Tuesday's post, NaBloPoMo Social Media Challenge was an idea to revolve social media on the theme of kindness:

Wednesday's post was entitled A New Angle on 'You' or is that 'Me?' ;) Yes, a wink is a part of the title and I love how this blog site now can understand or rather take my wink and possibly - sometimes? - heart-shaped symbols! Woohoo! ;) This post was a different take, a reverse, a mirror image of my inspired poem that came to me a number of years ago:

Thursday's post, Forecasting my Foggy Bloggy Future was an aim at predicting my future behaviour regarding blogging. I think I would need to look into a crystal ball to determine what fate lies ahead! ;) Read for some ideals that I have in mind. ;)

Friday's post TV and Non-fiction Bloggers is a take on being a cast member for a TV show, and possibly on bloggers who write non-fiction like I do! ;) OK, well I wanted to tie the latter in somehow! ;) See featuring some attractive men! ;)

Thank you again to all of you who read my posts and especially those who commented on my posts this past week.

What post would you most favour of mine this past week, and why?

P.S. Blogging friends, you may be interested in my post tomorrow ...

Friday, November 28, 2014

TV and Non-fiction Bloggers

Picture from clipart

The writing prompt for NaBloPoMo today is, "If you could be a cast member on any television show, which one would it be? Tell us about your character."

I admit, I haven't watched TV for a long time, except a few movies two Christmas seasons ago. I actually am not sure if I know how to operate the fancy gizmo black box that accompanies it!

And when I turned on the channel station, I was flabbergasted: how many channels?! Whoa, no wonder ADHD is on the rise! Ok, just kidding, but seriously, why THAT many?! That's crazy!

When I was a little girl, I think we had started off with three channels and of course that grew over time.

My favourite show as a child was Walt Disney on Sunday evenings often featuring Jodi Foster as the primary actor on a lot of shows.

Especially as a youngster, I did watch tons of cartoons and shows. Some of my favourites included Picket Fences, a brilliant drama based on controversial cases involving the town's sheriff and judge ending up in court. According to google search, "An aging sheriff tries to keep the peace in a small town plagued by bizarre and violent crimes." Read here for some of the issues they covered: I found it an excellent program to stimulate thinking.

I also enjoyed Ally McBeal, a legal comedy-drama TV series featuring love and infatuation relationships amongst lawyers. According to Wikipedia,
Ally McBeal is a young attorney who joins a prestigious law firm with a highly sexual environment and whose staff includes Ally's ex-boyfriend. The series contains fantasy sequences, flashbacks and voiceovers to reveal what Ally is really thinking. Many episodes contain an appearance by singer Vonda Shepard, who performed the show's theme song.
Interesting they didn't mention the unisex washroom! ;)

What I loved most were the special effects, animated and comedic in nature, as well as hearing Ally's thoughts. That show I considered my laughter therapy for the week.

Here are some of the characters dancing in the washroom pre-show to Barry White's deep and sexy voice - listen to the beginning when he talks: ;)

And here is a video clip of Episode 1 with a taste of some special effects:

And then of course there were shows that I loved due to certain characters, ahem, had a crush on one of the main actors. For instance Noah Wyle in ER (short for Emergency Room) as follows:

And also Eric James McCormack in Lonesome Dove: The Outlaw Years and also some episodes of Will & Grace.
I think I would love to either be a patient seen by 'Dr. John Carter' (played by Noah Wyle) on a regular basis or be the love interest opposite 'Clay Mosby' (played by Eric McCormack's) antagonist character. ;) Ooh la la! ;) ;) (that deserves a double wink!)

On an aside, in my post Envy AND Kindness: What a Combo! - - I mentioned some of my favourite 'characters' online known as fiction blogging writers or the like (whatever they call themselves), whom I met through a few blogging challenges.

Now I would like to feature a number of non-fiction bloggers who are also extremely gifted and talented in their writings, in no particular order: Corinne Rodrigues, Vidya Sury, Usha Menon, Carol Graham, Amy Bovaird, Francene Stanley, Judy Yaron, Penny McDaniel, Rajlakshmi H. Boruah, and Asiya Fathima (aka Asma Feroes).

Perhaps one day I can be a 'cast member' on my non-fiction blogging friends' posts - I have so far at least on one! - or likewise on mine! ;)<3

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Forecasting my Foggy Bloggy Future

Photo of fog taken by me

NaBloPoMo's writing prompt today is, "Where do you see your blog in one year? Five years?"

So that means I have to look into a foggy future to forecast my blogging fortune does it? ;)

Okay seriously though, I can only speculate what might occur as life just loves to throw curve balls at times! Did you notice life's circumstances are never linear? ;)

A few years ago, on April 25th 2011 to be exact, or at least when I wrote a brief post entitled, Blogging Switch,, I was considering some changes to my blog.

I had considered changing my blog name from 'Xpress Your Essence' (as 'Express'... was taken) though I was fine with that. At the time, I was playing around with the terms 'express' or 'expression' or 'expressive' for two main reasons: I had graduated from an Expressive Arts Therapy program and love and appreciate the expressive arts, and self-expression is important to me. I think it is for everyone, though may be unbeknownst to various people.

Another possibility I was thinking about at the time was changing my blog site, i.e., from Blogspot (now called Blogger?). Readers, please note that I would love your feedback on this, i.e., those of you who have transferred from Blogspot (or Blogger) to WordPress in particular, and if not, then those who use WordPress or another favourable blogging site. Please keep your comments succinct, perhaps in point form if need be.

Contemplating a different possibility would be a second blog; however, there are pros and cons to this (as with everything in life). ;) For example, one post could be targeted towards my vision (what I used to call 'dream') and anything related to that such as music and similar forms of expression. The other might be a mishmash of topics such as this blog has become.

I may consider a different path, though I enjoy blogging - I had at one point declared that I wanted to be a professional blogger, when I learned what it entailed, I had a slight change of heart. Read Me? Professional Blogger? And You? for details:

However, for the reasons listed in Talented Thursday: Blogging AND...?!, I write about my juggling acts, or rather responsibilities:, well, keep me busy and not necessarily able to post every day ad infinitum! ;)

However, I would love to enjoy the success that fellow blogger Roshan Radhakrishnan experienced. Did he blog daily? I would have to check! ;) However, he stuck at blogging for seven years before he published a few stories and that increased over time.

Godyears, the name of his blog features a post written a few days ago on Year 10 - Happiness is the Path:

I think he could teach me and others a few tricks or rather tips about blogging. Perhaps I can ask or interview him (if he will allow me the opportunity) so I can pick his brain if I am to keep at this.

On the other hand, I may end up writing a which will take time. One, I have already written - a young children's storybook - and I am looking for either a hybrid publisher or to self-publish it. Another book or two I have yet to write. See Books inside Me? at

These are some ideas that are floating around in my mind right now. Which actions I will pursue and take within one year and five years...well, time will tell. I'll let you know how things go as best I can, or else you will find out for yourself. ;)

However, I am open to ideas and suggestions. Feel free to let me know; however, again keep as succinct as possible. Those of you whom I know, feel free to FB me. Thanks kindly! ;)

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A New Angle on 'You' or is that 'Me?' ;)

Photo from clipart

Today's interesting and unusual writing prompt is as follows, "Take a post or scene you've written and find a new way in by rewriting with another angle."

Well that's quite a challenge when you - or in this case I - have written quite a number of posts already! Which one do you, or in this case I, choose?! (Should that be ?! or !?) ;)

Tribute ... to You!, a post written on November 9, 2012 - - featured an inspired poem that came as a result of a relationship I had with an ex-boyfriend. I thought he was the beginning of a change in the men I seemed to choose, i.e., be in relationship with.

I'll repeat it here for your benefit. The original poem simply entitled "You" is as follows, though I’ve had several slightly different versions of the poem's ending:

a perfect reflection of me
A reminder of my own glory
as I see [slight pause] your inner and outer beauty

a mirror
of my thoughts
my feelings
my desires?

Oh, how I am in awe of you
and thus me as you

who reflect that which is pure and deep
and light and love and happiness
within me

whom I cherish with all my heart
my mind and spirit

Thank you,
thank you for being you
and all that which you are

God bless,
God bless you
and thus me
as our spirits intertwine*
and become one

I am in love!
I am in love with life
with God
with you
and thus me

Again thank you,
thank you for being you
and all that which you are. ©

*intuitive movements with my hands here like a DNA/RNA spiral

So, on a slightly different angle, a different take or perspective, how about this:

Tribute ... to Me! Well, that sounds rather weird or the title would definitely need to be changed, to what I do not know, yet! ;)

a perfect reflection of you,
A reminder of your own glory
as you see [slight pause] my inner and outer beauty

a mirror
of your thoughts
your feelings
your desires?

Oh, how you are in awe of me
and thus you as me

who reflect that which is pure and deep
and light and love and happiness
within you

whom you cherish with all your heart
your mind and spirit

Thank me,
thank me for being me
and all that which I am

God bless,
God bless me
and thus you
as our spirits intertwine*
and become one

You are in love!
You are in love with life
with God
with me
and thus you

Again thank me,
thank me for being me
and all that which I am. ©

*intuitive movements with my hands here like a DNA/RNA spiral

Ok, now be honest here, which version do you like better or better yet, which do you find most grabs your attention? Is more inspiring?

P.S. I ended up enjoying this post 'cause it gave me a brilliant idea if and when I publish this in future. And I need to remind myself to send it to a local singer so she can make it into a song! ;) <3

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

NaBloPoMo Social Media Challenge

Photo credit: Roberto Kaplan

I have a confession to make: I lost my mojo, my 'magic power' according to the world of google, my spark, my joie de vivre according to me.

With certain circumstances weighing me down, my heart feels heavy today, and my somewhat vague concept for today's writing prompt seems to be one that I would prefer to throw out the window. I feel completely incongruous to it at the moment, feeling extremely disheartened. This manifests as a lack of interest and motivation.

However, (since) I am determined to keep my NaBloPoMo commitment, i.e., blogging daily this month, AND considering the time and for the benefit of my readers and this blogging challenge, I will let you in on my original idea for today's theme. Consider though that this is a work in progress.

Today's themed post is a challenge for one's intellect or at least speaking for myself! I'm not exactly sure if my mind is quite ready for it given that I haven't given it much thought with my busy schedule of full-time work and blogging and reading and commenting, not to mention travelling and cooking and eating and the like in between, during, before, and after all that! ;) However, I will do my best - that's all I can do anyway, right? ;)

The question posed today is in the form of the following statement: "You are given unlimited funds and a fabulous team of programmers and told to create your own social networking platform. Tell us all about your ideal, fictional social media site."

Off the top of my head, what comes to me (not as an immediate reaction) is the following.... No, wait! BEFORE I share my idea, I NEED to share the definition of social media in the first place! After all, we may not all be on the same page about it, right? I want to ensure that I understand the question!

So this is what google has to say about it: so·cial me·di·a - if you sound this out phonetically the way it is written, you may sound like a robot! ;) - social media is a noun (with social medias being the plural: I don't agree with that! Shouldn't it be 'medium' as singular and 'media' as plural?)

Anyway, getting back to the definition, here is what google defines it as: websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking.

For a backup coverage definition I sought out Wikipedia's opinion and this is what that site had to say, "Social media is the social interaction among people in which they create, share or exchange information, ideas, and pictures/videos in virtual communities and networks." And for those research buffs, there is a more expanded, i.e., continued definition at

In advance, what I would like to ask of you dear readers is to be gentle with me, keeping in mind that I am not technological savvy. I am learning as I am going and my limited technological tools, i.e., computer and cellphone, not to mention my limited knowledge of them, testify to that! ;)

Thus, I would appreciate if you file that in the back of your mind as you read the following, remembering that this is my initial reaction to the question.

How about something along the lines of a site (website) on which people could only write positive comments? Yes, you read that correctly! For instance, what a person thought about their day, the weather, their work, what they love/appreciate/admire about another whether a loved one - human or pet (they're family anyways) - or what good deed someone did for them.

IF there were to be likes on a page/site, it would be in the form of points, solely based on the accruation - that word was just invented by me - not in terms of number of admirers, but rather how many good deeds a person did with a maximum of one (1) point per day.

And perhaps once they reach a certain level of points, like say one for each day of the year, then they receive a reward of some sort: a small token of appreciation for their gestures...possibly to be determined by them and/or another.

Then, if the points increase to a maximum limit (of so many points undetermined at this time of writing), a person can choose where an allotted amount of money goes towards a charitable organization of their choice or perhaps they get to interact with an author, inspirational speaker, movie director, or artist - favourite? - online via Skype or other medium for a short period of time; they are busy people after all!

Thus, people get rewarded for kindness. And this is all created with a pseudonym or avatar identity - or is that only for bonus points? - so no one really knows who is who (except for the behind-the-scenes registration information). It makes giving and being of service more genuine.

After all, is there enough positivity in the world? It seems there is too much focus on negativity, including and especially sensationalism to the nth degree; see the fourth definition at

Photo of billboard I took

Those were my thoughts on the question, however strange they may seem. Tell me how they sound to you: what do you think of my zany idea?

I won't be offended if you don't like it at all...I don't think! ;) After all, this 'game' would need to be expanded and thought out more at length in terms of its details.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Favourite Headline/Blog Post Title?


Today's NaBloPoMo prompt is, "What's your favorite headline/blog post title you've ever written? What was the hardest post to title?"

My apologies but I cannot only name one. You see, I have many as I get titles a lot intuitively. I will categorize some of my favourites below.

My favourites include some of my first blog posts titles in particular:

Call to Action which initiated my blog:

And A Matter of Degrees as I thought it a perfect title - judge for yourself here at - though a possible twist on the words as it can have a different interpretation. I certainly don't mind that, as that can intrigue a potential reader's interest, I think! Or at least, I hope so! Doesn't it? ;)

Continuing on the theme of my love of playing with words, I came up with this title for one of my posts, Part 1: To Write or 'Write' ... Right?: 0

However, I loved this one even more: how about A Rat's it was a play on the word 'tail.' ;) Though in retrospect, it could have easily been called "Rats' Tales" as my post shared not one, but two stories of rats! ;)

Mulling over Mulled Wine was another word play title I came up with:

A mix of two musicals and a play on words was this post title, Defying Gravity so No One can Steal Your Rock ‘N Roll! -

Picture from google search

I also like my tribute post titles such as A Tribute to David: Connection with a Stranger, the first one on my blog, or Touched by a Stranger, an indirect 'tribute' post if you can call it that - I think I can! ;) -

My favourite tribute blog title though was, An Angel in Boots: Tribute to a Life-Saving Hero:

One of my favourite post titles (and posts) - perhaps my favourite? - was an easy one to title, Beauty in the DTES: It also happened to feature the first of many posts (when my camera was working) with my photos on it (which I prefer and preferred doing).

Picture from clipart

I'm not sure if it was my hardest post to title, but I certainly think it was at least one of them: my very first blog post title! The reason being that (1) I was just starting my blog and wanted to make a good, or rather as best an impression as I could, and felt the title was important to convey the theme of the post and possibly the blog (at that time) as well, and (2) I was just attempting to play with the word 'sole' or more likely 'soul' but I just couldn't quite come up with a captivating title. I'm sure there was at least one, though I couldn't rack up my brain enough to come up with something clever/witty/amusing. ;)

Another challenging post to name due to the sensitive nature of it was Aftermath of an Almost Glorious Victory about the post-hockey game in Vancouver, BC: There are a lot of die-hard hockey fans here in Canada, including Vancouver, BC!

Which of the above do you most favour? Naming more than one is okay. ;) I would love to hear and also the reason(s) for it! Thanks! :)

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Soulful Sunday: 3rd NaBloPoMo Favourite Blog Posts: Mine and Yours

Photo by Roberto Kaplan

Wow! There were A LOT of wonderful posts this past week; however, I think I may have read more than the usual number of posts - I think! - so quite a challenge to name only a few.

I will categorize them so you can pick and choose if you prefer; however, I will start with mine: My favoured post this past week was Books Inside Me? not surprisingly as those who responded are all writers! ;) ... with From the Kindness of Strangers following second (

On the topic of realism including posts for a good cause are the following (in date order from oldest to most recent chronologically):

I had read Vinodini Iyer's post first, A plateful of compassion to help feed starving children in India ( before I read a few others on the same theme.

Adita Kaushiva's Food Over Education, or Both? #BlogToFeedAChild at was also contributing to this noteworthy cause (as stated above).

Inderpreet Kaur Uppal's brilliant idea to feed children in India in #DonateYourParty & #BlogToFeedAChild can be applied anywhere else in the world, I think!:

Another important issue effecting many people in India is noted by Nabanita Dhar on her post from nothingness to I've Got Something Important to Say... ( And with the click of your computer mouse, you can make a big impact on the lives of others, similar to the two posts above.

Vidya Sury's witty titled post, Do you #giveashit @worldtoiletday #ToiletForBabli @DomexIndia @UN_Water was an eye-opener for me as I wasn't aware of this. It makes perfect sense though and I hope her blogging will contribute to spreading awareness, hope, and money and the means to build toilets for those in need, especially women, children and the like:

Contrast Nabanita and Vidya's posts above to Francene Stanley's theme. France wrote a very important, must-read post, How clean are you really? If you wish to keep healthy, this is one way to do it! ;)

On a much lighter note and with a great sense of fun and joy, I particularly enjoyed the second video in Shilpa Garg's post to make a case on Staying Healthy Can Be Fun, Do watch: it's a riot!

Carol Graham's post, 6 Ways to Turn a Blogger Off is a practical post with important tips essential as a must-read for all current or potential bloggers:
(I know I used to be guilty of two or three of these blogging 'sins' as I was still learning...wished I had known way back then, right at the beginning!)

Usha Menon penned a lovely poem on the way of being a parent, i.e., mother in My Home,

Never say never at was SanchLivingLife's post on the amusing power of this word. Like Sanch, I too came to learn the true meaning of saying "never!" That is I should say "never" IF I want something to come true! ;)

Now, onto some fiction (though some could be non-fiction...sometimes I can't tell!) - and rather short posts:

Kathy Combs, Destiny within the Jaws of Death, a powerful read (which I don't want to give away):

Cold Haiku was another powerful post by Kathy, this one of lost love,

And yet another by Kathy Combs, The Money Pit - realistic and what a predicament:

Cat Graham's post, Ten things you would tell your 16 year old self if you could was 'motherly advice,' ahem 'wisdom' to a growing teen - yourself - at that age: Who could resist that!?

And Cat's unusual take on a prompt, Dinner Invitation:

Usha Menon's delightful and amusing post of photos, smile a while of sleeping animals and babies at

A longer, though extremely amusing, even hilarious and witty post, this one by Nabanita Dhar on When Writers chat on WeChat brought a huge upward curve to my lips: A brilliant post! Don't you think she's a writer? I keep telling her, "Nabanita, you ARE a writer!" :)

Nabanita Dhar's more serious and true-to-life version of A Missed Touch was extremely sweet and tender. I was definitely moved! (Even though it featured an appropriate commercial, I wish that video was in English or had English subtitles!)

A category on its own is a hand-drawn picture entitled Wanderlust - Zentangle from Rajlakshmi at

I'm stopping there, only Monday to Friday as there are a ton of favourable blog posts. Except for the first few posts, most are quick or relatively quick reads.

I sure do hope you get a moment to enjoy these posts! Or rather, did you get a chance to read any of these them? ;) And did you find them as enjoyable as I did?

Have a great blogging and/or reading week!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Smorgasbord Saturday: 3rd Week of NaBloPoMo

Photo by Roberto Kaplan

Below is a review of my posts this past week which were a potpourri of topics - from controversial kindness from strangers to being (naturally) funny - not! - to helping feed a child in India for one year and writing a book to favourite appliacnes.

Posts of the Controversial Kind! posted on Monday, November 17 answered the prompt question: "What is the most controversial thing you've ever written on your blog? What compelled you to write it?" - Self-explanatory!

From the Kindness of Strangers on Tuesday, November 18th was a blog that began from, "Tell us about one time that you benefitted from the kindness of strangers." I loved this theme as I had three stories to share, though two were of me being a recipient of kindness. Can you get what the other one was? ;)

Wednesday, November 19th’s post was my idea of merging two blog prompts into one: I barely mentioned one only to go into another, thus the title: NaBloPoMo Prompt to Feed a Child: Universal Children's Day ;) -

The original prompt was actually as follows: "Are you the funny one in most groups? What kinds of things do you find funniest?" In one line: No, I tend to be serious, quiet, and contemplative generally; however, I do love to tease and have fun (though I have to feel comfortable/safe in order to do that). ;)

Books inside Me? on Thursday, November 20th was in answer to, "Do you have a book in you? Fact or fiction? Related to your blog or totally different?" (

Appliances: My Favourite?! was written from this prompt, "What is the one appliance you can't live without?" Otherwise, if I wasn’t so lazy/tired that day, I might have blogged about something else! ;)

What post would you most favour of mine this past week, and why?

Thank you again to all of you who read my posts and especially those who commented on my posts this past week.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Appliances: My Favourite?!

My blender

The writing prompt for NaBloPoMo seems rather silly to me, "What is the one appliance you can't live without?" I mean it doesn't seem an important question, at least to me; however, I will answer, in a bit. ;)

I thought I'd look up the word appliance to get some ideas as not one particular one popped into my mind. On google, appliance means, "a device or piece of equipment designed to perform a specific task, typically a domestic one."

I pondered the various appliances I have starting with the small ones:

1. a hairblower that I rarely use? No more curling iron! I prefer au naturel.
2. a blender to make smoothie drinks?
3. a chopping blender to chop spinach or grind almonds for my Mom's European cookies that i bake at Christmas time?
4. a toaster which I don't use often anymore as I don't eat bread as much as I used to?
5. my mini-rice cooker?
6. my mini-crock pot (slow cooker) that I love to make organic stew or mulled apple cider for example, ready for me within a few hours?

The large(r) appliances include:

1. the portable fan in my bathroom to diffuse steam and smells? ;)
2. my vacuum which is way too heavy and cumbersome, sometimes seems way too big, especially for my small place?

3. gas fireplace - is that an appliance? - to keep me warm at times when I require it?
4. the washer and dryer that I use from my landlord which I am grateful for, though I love to dry out my clothes outside during the summer and early-to-mid-autumn depending on the temperatures outside?

Are there any others I have forgotten? I don't think so!

It's a TIE! I think between my rice cooker and my crock pot. The rice cooker so I no longer overcook (boil over or burn) my rice, and my crock pot so I can make organic stew for example, ready for me at the end of the day (within a few hours or longer if I prefer), or mulled apple cider (to keep warm and smell up my place fondly).

Though I have to admit, I sure do love my gas fireplace too! Does that count as an appliance though? ;)

What is (or are) your favourite appliance(s) and why?

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Books inside Me?

Photo credit: google

Today's NaBloPoMo writing prompt should actually be the one I wrote yesterday due to today being Universal Children's Day.

However, the question for today is, "Do you have a book in you? Fact or fiction? Related to your blog or totally different?

I have been informed by at least two people, possibly three - I can only remember one at the moment - that I have at least one book inside me. I had thought so myself, at least one or two at that time.

That statement made me wonder: Don't we ALL have at least one book inside us? It may be simply (though not necessary 'simple') our life story! And we all have that!

I have never been pregnant, at least not in this lifetime; however, it would be a dream for me to give birth to a book: I would so LOVE that! I would be ecstatic and in joy! that how one feels after birthing a baby? ;)

I hear birthing a book is quite like pregnancy from several book authors. The waiting in particular - pregnant pause (pardon the pun) - can be painful at times and all that goes with writing, editing, and publishing in order to produce a final copy, whether a beloved hard copy or e-book.

My pregnancy would look, I imagine, as follows:

1) The birthing of a book of my inspired poetry which initially came to me spontaneously at age 18 or 19 (don't ask me why...I do not know and it doesn't matter for me to know now)

2) A hopefully easy birth of an inspired children's story I had written based on a creative arts program I designed and facilitated for young children. I love this story as they are all heroes and become friends! ;) I just need an artist (one whom I have already met and the money and time to go ahead with this project).

3) An excerpt or excerpts of my life story. I truly wish I had kept a diary or journals as I have had a number of unusual experiences; however, a few in particular stand out. I would write it in the hopes of empowering females - girls and women - so they do not experience the almost tragic consequences that I did (which I had blogged about previously in part).

4) Perhaps a book related to my blog or rather my vision (used to call 'dream') which is why my blog got birthed in the first place! ;) Call to Action written July 5, 2010, was my very first blog post followed by Why Me? Why this Choir? On July 17, 2010

Those two posts originally – keep in mind, I was a brand, spanking new blogger – were rather lengthy; however, I think they read relatively easy as they are rather storylike in nature.

And lastly, there may be other books that I do not know about hidden away in the recesses of my mind and body. Perhaps they are not ready to be born just yet. For the time being, three is enough and especially since three is my favourite number. (wink, wink)

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

NaBloPoMo Prompt to Feed a Child: Universal Children's Day

Today's NaBloPoMo post is one I can answer in one short sentence to summarize this writing prompt's questions: "Are you the funny one in most groups? What kinds of things do you find funniest?"

Instead, I would much rather blog about Universal Children's Day which happens to be tomorrow.

I learned about International Children's Day years ago when I was studying a program at a local college, Children: Our Challenge based on a book with a similar name, Children: The Challenge by Rudolf Dreikurs. The course/program no longer exists; I believe it ended years ago too.

However, the point being that children are important. Just because they are smaller in size with developing brains doesn't make them less important. They count. They DO matter!

I love children, perhaps because I am an older version - at times when I feel comfortable and/or carefree, i.e., couldn't care less (what others think) - with a strong inner childlike nature. Now, do understand that there is a difference between childish and childlike, though indeed I can display the former just as well at times, when I get set in my ways, i.e., stubborn in my thinking! ;)

However, there is a more important issue that pulls at my heart strings and I hope tugs at yours to take action:

"The United Nations' (UN) Universal Children's Day, which was established in 1954, is celebrated on November 20 each year to promote international togetherness and awareness among children worldwide. UNICEF, the United Nations Children's Fund, promotes and coordinates this special day, which also works towards improving children's welfare." (

And it is for that reason, that I post on the following -

"Tell us how you think we can eliminate classroom hunger. Imagine what India would be like if no child goes hungry and an entire generation is educated."

Taking a lesson - pardon the pun - from a local school board that runs a number of warm and healthy breakfasts, they have received healthy donations of money - possibly food too - in order to provide such a service. Breakfast can be fresh fruit such as bananas, yogurt, even pancakes, as well as a drink of juice or milk.

Quoting one of my Indian blogging friends who wrote about the subject, Vinodini Iyer:
When blogadda invited bloggers to make a difference in the lives of underprivileged children by writing a post that promised that bloggadda would feed a child, who is an Akshaya Patra beneficiary for an entire year, I couldn't help but do my teeny bit as a blogger for that one needy child I might be able to reach out to, by means of this post. The Akshaya Patra Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation headquartered in Bangalore, India. The organisation strives to fight issues like hunger and malnutrition in India. - See more at:
We all require energy in the form of food to nourish and fuel our bodies: that includes the brain. That gives children the energy and stamina to learn and to do well in their studies.

Have you ever noticed, for example, how hungry you get when you study, hard? That is why! And what happens when you're hungry: are you able to concentrate? Likely not or not very well.

Now imagine a young child in class unable to concentrate or learn because their tummy is rumbling, they are SO hungry. To feed these children a nourishing meal is vital to their education. In India, the cost is only a few rupees that provides one square meal a day for a whole year. Imagine that?!

"For every blog post that is written for this cause, BlogAdda will sponsor meals for an Akshaya Patra beneficiary for an entire year, as a part of their Bloggers Social Responsibility." (

"The Akshaya Patra Foundation is the world's largest non-profit organisation. It is an Indian NGO providing the mid-day meal to 1.4 million children in every day." (

I am going to #BlogToFeedAChild with Akshaya Patra and BlogAdda. (See details at

P.S. My apologies for this hasty post but I am on a time crunch due to an unexpected factor (which is why in part I am using a number of quotes.)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

From the Kindness of Strangers

Photo credit: google search on law of attraction

Today's NaBloPoMo prompt is the following: Tell us about one time that you benefitted from the kindness of strangers.

Though I can be a pessimist at times, I do believe in the general goodness of people. That is, I believe there are more good people - and that they perform kind deeds - than bad in the world, despite the portrayal of the media otherwise.

I know some people - one in particular - who would disagree and that's ok. It's everyone's right to believe what they will; however, how is it working for them? And, does it work for you?

Instead, why not take heed of the 'law of attraction' or LOA for short. It is a spiritual principle which you can read about it here, though I do not like the example they cite as it's not necessarily so cut and dry, black and white like that: It's actually more like the message in the box in the picture on the top of this post! ;)

I had actually written a blog post inspired by a particular incident on this very subject. I entitled it A Kind Stranger: a Samaritan named Rob and I believe I felt such compassion when I wrote it: I was extremely grateful.

Simply put, a man who was a stranger came to my aid when I fell and injured myself about 2-1/2 years ago. You can read the short story here: (dated June 17, 2012).

A brief video interruption that is rather touching - moved me actually - that I saw on Facebook yesterday that I'd like to touch on the theme of kindness from strangers:

One other story that I'd like to share that I will never forget, though I think some of the details are a bit hazy is as follows:

Years ago when I was a young student, studying full-time and working part-time to make ends meet while living on my own, I met this man who happened to be the brother of a man my sister dated or was dating.

We befriended each other and he had asked me what I wanted for Christmas. I was about 21 or 22 at the time and all I could think of was a live pine tree as a Christmas tree. However, I told him that that might not be allowed in my building due to fire regulations, though I wasn't !00% sure.

One day, about a week or so later, after I arrived home from a very long day of school and work, I opened the door to my apartment unit. To the delight of my eyes and nose of the look and smell of a large, live pine tree! My mood immediately brightened as I was SO ecstatic. I wanted to call him but figured it was too late, so waited to thank him the next day.

Photo from google search

If memory serves me correctly, I think the tree was already decorated, albeit partially as it was a large tree. The following day or shortly thereafter from what I recall, we both decorated the tree while playing Christmas music in the background.

That seemingly small gesture was a big deal to me. It was HUGE and truly didn't care to receive anything else that Christmas. It is a memory I shall always treasure forever. Though he has since moved back to Europe from whence he came, that particular Christmas will always be remembered as a special one, and in my heart as a fond memory.

Photo credit: google

Likewise, I was also the giver of kindness to a stranger: In Pay it Forward...with an Umbrella!, I wrote a post dated February 3, 2012 on how kindness prompted me to act the way in which I did. Read to find out how:

How has a stranger paid you a kind deed? And how have you been a stranger to help another in kind?

Monday, November 17, 2014

Posts of the Controversial Kind!

Photo: courtesy of Solus Decor Inc.

Today's NaBloPoMo prompt is, "What is the most controversial thing you've ever written on your blog? What compelled you to write it?"

I swear I thought I had only written one or two controversial posts, but over time I see that I had written a number of posts that potentially could be considered as such.

Rather than single one out, I would like to list them all from my perspective. And then, if you have the time and/or inclination to read them - all?! - you can let me know your thoughts through your feedback (known as comments) on this blog post and/or the others that I link to. Enjoy? ;)

Going backwards from the most recent in terms of controversy - wondering if I should do it the other way around as my favourite, A Matter of Degrees is listed at the very bottom - The 11th Hour of the 11th Day of the 11th Month, in part due to the title and also due to my referencing spiritual and secular references. That might struck a nerve or chord with some people. See

What compelled me to write it was initially the blog prompt for that day, "If you could permanently get rid of one worry, what would it be?" as I had seen these question or one like it on Facebook once it not twice recently. Thus, I thought it a good one to address.

Fear is the opposite of love and fear is underneath the emotion of hatred may be controversial points to some. It may also be controversial due to a question I ask about war and thus purposely wrote with the theme of Remembrance Day in the background.

On Friday, September 12th I bared my soul like never before: for ME it felt controversial to post it! Entitled, LOA: Suicide, Homicide, and Me could have potentially been extremely controversial because of the two questions I pose at the end: "Was I a 'victim' of my thoughts/feelings/circumstances? How did the Law of Attraction play out in this (true life) story?" as I could have been, ahem, murdered. Yes, you did read that correctly. (

Similarly, my post Self-Love: Suicide Prevention from the previous day was also somewhat soul-baring, and could have been rather controversial as well for I ask a potentially blazing question: "...are you ready to hear my lesson concerning suicide? And what I believe may be a lot of other people's lessons, primarily women (considering the culture/society we live in)?" That’s a strong statement in the form of a question! (

Part 1: Aftermath of a Brilliant Comic’s Death: Funnyman Robin Williams could have been a potential volatile post as I discovered a comment on Facebook blasting the ALS organization. I think it had to do with appropriation or rather misappropriation of funds. Without divulging details, I suggested to my readers in a follow-up comment to do their own research:

Do You See What You WANT to See? (An Enigma to Solve) was my take on a rather preposterous theory. Did I say that right? Check it out and tell me what YOU think? ;)

Tribute to Women: (Happy?) International Women's Day could have been possibly threatening for me considering the number of hockey fans there are in Canada. I accused a local newspaper for featuring the men’s hockey team front and centre of the front and back pages when the female hockey’s team should have been splashed on them! (I'm sure I'm not the only one who thought that!)

Now I am NOT a hockey fan; however, I was so upset by this outright non-display that I wrote a letter to the editor, though I believe it did not get published. I was upset – not surprised though unfortunately – that women are still treated the same as eons ago, discounted to say the least.

I was especially angered when the theme for this year for International Women’s Day was get this: "inspiring change" that is, inspiring change for women. Such a paradox when you witness stuff like that. What else is new?! When will women become first-class citizens instead of second-class as often seems to be the case? Not surprisingly, no one touched the comment box, at least yet! ;) (

Last year on Remembrance Day I wrote, Part 1: Peace in Times of War where I asked a rather controversial question that I will not repeat here. Read and see if you can discover it for yourself! ;) And also controversial in that a lot of people will disagree with the concept of the law of attraction which is what I infer. I understand if you disagree to disagree as I wasn’t there at one time either! (

The Dance of Politics is a tricky post as we just had a municipal election in the Vancouver area, though thank goodness perhaps that I didn’t repost this on or before last Saturday when it was the actual day to vote! (

June 12, 2012 prompted the following post, A Year Later: Canuck Jerseys for Sale in response to the second riot Vancouver had after our local hockey team lost the Stanley Cup championships again! What does this ay about ahem, certain individuals? I have to be careful what I say here...

Similarly, Aftermath of an Almost Glorious Victory was written in response to Vancouver’s first hockey riot about a year prior to the second one. When will we learn?! (

Contests and Competition is written with some controversial comments, including that I would love to interview President Obama if I could. Some people, no names mentioned, would take major offense to that, vehemently disagreeing and/or forbiding me to do so! (

A Matter of Degrees was my earliest and I believe my favourite controversial post. My third writing and I was already brave enough to tell the world what I thought of degrees, not speaking of the weather! ;) Read here for details:

Which post or posts did you find most controversial, and why? I would appreciate hearing from you!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Soulful Sunday: Favourite 2nd NaBloPoMo Weekly Posts - Mine and Yours

Photo by Roberto Kaplan

It seems that my post entitled the 11th Hour of the 11th Day of the 11th Month
was favoured this past week with some interesting dialogue initially fuelled by my question:

Another post that brought up some interesting dialogue - forced kindness vs. spontaneous acts of kindness - that followed a few comments behind was my post on Thursday. Envy AND Kindness: What a Combo! was my attempt at writing on two prompts, one on something I admired about other bloggers, and also on the theme of World Kindness Day (

Thank you again to all of you who read my posts and especially those who commented on my posts this past week., it's my turn to salute some blog posts that I've particularly enjoyed this past week.

I enjoyed reading Mary Burris' post, Sir Duke on Stevie Wonder with some surprising facts about him that I didn't know about. Check out

Similarly, Francene Stanley's post, The Cost of a King's Desire, had some rather startling news about King Henry VIII in how he changed the course of Christianity.

SanchLivingLife's tribute to her parents on 30 Letter Series: Dear Parents was endearing -

Speaking of parents, Meena Menon's post on A Father's Gift is a lovely tribute to her father and I think men who are like him as well. Read to find out why.

Sanch again with A Fairy Tale about her real life story fictionalized that may give some women hope:

Shailaja Vishwanath's post, Anything you want- #FridayFictioneers was an unusual twist on a gift of a dream destination (

On a more fun note, Whatta Blunderful Day by Rajlakshmi H Boruah on exercising was amusing and made me laugh.

Cat Graham's post on Mannequins was also a fun and unsuspecting read:

Did you get a chance to read any of these posts? And did you find them as enjoyable as I did? Have a great blogging and/or reading week!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Smorgasbord Saturday: 2nd Week of NaBloPoMo

Photo by Roberto Kaplan
Monday’s post on Knowledge and Skills was interesting due to the wording of the prompt that day: "What knowledge do you have that others don't? Write a "how to" post about anything you've got skills for, small or large." I actually had a challenge answering that question, even though responses to my post were overwhelmingly in favour of me having tons of experience; perspective is a funny thing. Read more about it at

Tuesday’s post on The 11th Hour of the 11th Day of the 11th Month was my attempt at paying tribute, albeit a small one, to Remembrance Day. However, I actually think I answered the question incorrectly! - "If you could permanently get rid of one worry, what would it be?" What do you think: did I answer okay? -

Wednesday’s post on Writer’s Block: Not! was in answer to the prompt, "Have you ever had extended writer's block? How long did it last? What did you do to break out of it, and do you have tips for other bloggers?" which appeared as if I had it, but I hadn’t. Find out why at and let me know what you think.

Thursday’s post on Envy AND Kindness: What a Combo! was my aim at combining two prompts in one! One writing prompt from NaBloPoMo on a skill I admired in bloggers, "What is the one skill you see in other bloggers that you wish you had?" and World Kindness Day from Write Tribe Bloggers -

Friday’s post on Aging Gracefully or Not: That is the Question! was an interesting theme from "Do you enjoy growing old or do you fight against it?" Perhaps because of the way I was feeling that day, for some reason or other, I only (managed to) focus on the negatives, hmmm... (

What post would you most favour of mine this past week, and why?

Thank you again to all of you who read my posts and especially those who commented on my posts this past week.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Aging Gracefully or Not: That is the Question!

Moi as a model at a fashion show in 2007

Today's NaBloPoMo's writing prompt seems rather rhetorical and strange to me, and to you? The question is, "Do you enjoy growing old or do you fight against it?"

Does anybody really enjoy getting older?! If so, I would like to meet with them to interview them! Really?! "WHAT is it about aging that YOU enjoy?," I would ask. That would probably be my first or perhaps only question! ;)

I tell you the only thing that I can think of that I enjoy about aging – and there are pros and cons to this ladies believe it or not – is the ending of the menstrual cycle. No more this, that, and the other, i.e., all that is associated with it physically, mentally emotionally, and otherwise. I need not divulge details to offend; however, my sincere apologies as I don't mean to: I'm just being honest about the question! ;)

The only thing maybe, maybe, maybe that I miss associated with that is crying more often as I don't cry enough. Yes, I realize that sounds bizarre! No, not that I don’t want something to cry about! But I can’t help it! My eyes, after all, have been rather dry lately due to the aging process (most likely), drier/warmer fluctuating temperatures from one extreme to another at times, both at home and at work, not to mention a lot of screen viewing time.

And, well, tears can be actually soothing. That is, they cleanse the eyes and one’s mental and emotional and perhaps spiritual bodies, cleansing one’s soul. I miss that!

And apparently, I didn't know this until towards the dregs of it (speaking for myself as I never had nor wanted to give birth to a baby), that a woman is actually very sensitive, i.e., intuitive (though others ways as well too), during her cycle. I didn't know that and wished I had known so, years ago. If I had, I could have monitored it and been more attuned and developed my psychic abilities.

Going on a brief tangent here, I know we all have intuitive abilities; however, some people are more in tune with or aware of them.

Ok, getting back to the question! ;) Acceptance or resistance regarding aging?

I think I am fighting aging. Can you blame me? On the one hand, I am extremely cognizant of the fact that society in general, the Western world at least, worships youthfulness and thus youth rather than seniors or elders. Interesting that the word 'wisdom keepers' just came to mind as I typed that! ;)

Another model pic of me

There are only a handful of people, some actors for example, who seem to age well and do so gracefully. How do they do that? But all in all, there aren’t everyday idols who worship their aging bodies with dignity. They’re far and few in between!

Supposedly Capricorns have the ability to age younger as they get older and I'm sure hoping that's true! ;) However, I have had quite a number of grey/white hairs sprouting between and underneath my now-coloured burgundy hair, previously more copper-like (?), a warm, reddish hue for the past two or so years.

A part of me is curious what I would look like with hair no longer brunette (gotten darker as I've gotten older), and yet, a part of me is not ready to face the music, face change, face the reality, the reality of aging.

And yet my body has been doing other things like putting on extra padding in places where women – myself included of course! – generally do not want it - midriff primarily and, well beyond too!

Initially, I had added extra cushioned padding and support to ward off, wait for it, potential suitors. Uh huh, you heard me right! To keep potential suitors at bay after being deeply hurt/rejected etc. the last time I was in relationship. Not that I did this purposefully; this was at unconscious and/or subconscious levels.

Some of this may also be attributed to menopause: there's that other 'men' word! LOL ;)

My body, currently due to factors known and/or unknown: an increase in weight or age (not an increase in exercise, at least not for me), though I think improper footwear over time has developed symptoms of plantar fasciitis, an at-times extremely painful foot condition that has grown into an annoyingly irritating issue to say the least( And this is actually I believe my third such trial of pain and suffering! (See

But rather than run rampant all over the place, let's start from head to toe, shall we? ;) The head may turn silver, grey, white or a combination thereof and/or even thinning/balding scalp. I may have a form of female pattern hair loss or balding due to hypothyroidism, a common condition unfortunately.

Hearing and/or vision loss, wrinkles and sagging skin, dropped parts of anatomy, arthritis, knee pain, arthritis, and so forth are all potential effects of the nagging process. How exciting! Not!

Would things be different if I wasn't single? Perhaps, though not 100% sure. I think it would depend if I was accepted the way I was/am with my warts and all. ;)

How do you feel about the aging process? Are you doing so gracefully? If so, please share as I would love to learn your secret(s)!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Envy AND Kindness: What a Combo!

Pictures from Clip Art

The NaBloPoMo writing prompt for today is, "What is the one skill you see in other bloggers that you wish you had?"

At first thought, I was thinking perhaps in terms of finding the perfect word, as sometimes I find it a challenge, believe it or not given my intuition with words at times. I find that a number of bloggers whom I follow, particularly from India seem to be more adept at the English language than I am! I am truly amazed by their expansive vocabulary! ;)

Actually, I think I know what skill I most admire and covet from other bloggers: a number of these same bloggers whom I have encountered via blogging challenges are extremely gifted at writing fiction ('cause I primarily write nonfiction). For some reason unbeknownst to me, a lot of them just happen to be from India! ;)

I could name a reel of them (in no particular order): Vinodini Iyer, Shailaja Vishwanath, Nabanita Dhar, Nisha Sanjeev, Beloo Mehra, Meena Menon, Shilpa Garg, Nibha Gupta, Aathira Jim, Anmol Rawat, and some whom I have met more recently include Shalini Nair, Vinitha Dileep, Sheethal Susan Jacob, Inderpreet Kaur Uppal, and Pixie.

Did I miss any others? You perhaps? I am likely remiss in naming you all here. If so, PLEASE do let me know, i.e., those bloggers whom I have met and commented on your posts, and I will gladly add you to my list!

Though this isn't a skill of course, I am envious of the time zone most of these bloggers live in as they can and usually do post before me and receive (more) comments than mine as a result. Mine sometimes feel somewhat neglected at the end of the day. ;)

Today for the Write Tribe Bloggers challenge (, the prompt happens to be World Kindness Day which I discovered about two weeks ago and meant to write about. Thus, I thought, could I somehow combine both topics, kill two birds with one stone kind-of-idea?

I used to have a daily practice of taking action on committing one good deed a day, no matter how big or small. Even the simplest gesture like a smile or a greeting may brighten someone's day: you'd be surprised. However, I haven't consciously been aware lately of doing a good deed on a regular basis like I used to. And I have no idea why.

Regardless the reason, with the approaching Christmas season not to mention this cold front we have been experiencing the past few days is certainly a good time and an easy one to remember to perform kind deeds. Whether at work or elsewhere, kindness is appreciated and well deserved. To do so anonymously is even better ideally, yet at times that may prove impossible.

One person who is the epitome of kindness in the community is a local Vancouverite named Brock Tully. Brock co-founded a nonprofit organization, 'Kindness Foundation of Canada' and also 'Kindness Rocks in Schools,' a program to prevent bullying and abuse. He also initiated the annual 'World Kindness Concert' featuring many local musicians/singers performing on the theme of kindness. And Brock has also written a number of unique books, some with themes of kindness and joy woven in short prose - his original thoughts - amongst whimsical drawings.

Everyone who meets Brock is touched by his warmth and humour as well as his exuberant, infectious energy. He truly is an inspirational one-of-a-kind guy (pardon the pun as that just came out of me). ;) Read more about this wonderfully inspiring man here,

Now, getting back to you! How best can you act in a kind way towards others, today or any day? Truly, I think every day should be World Kindness Day, don't you? What a different world we would live in if that were the case! ;)

What kind deed can I offer - you too! - that will benefit others, even one person? A pure in-the-moment gesture as otherwise it may feel like forced kindness, if you know what I mean. (Ah, and I just realized by acknowledging some of you, that this is in fact, a kind deed in itself. That was by happenstance.)

Would you agree with the latter: is there such a thing as forced kindness when it comes to a good deed? And what makes you think so or not?

By the way, just curious readers: Do you prefer the title as above or "Envy AND Kindness? What a Combo! (I was too tired to think through this properly.)

This post is linked to Write Tribe Bloggers and Ultra Blog Challenge.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Writer's Block: Not?

Today's NaBloPoMo prompt asks, "Have you ever had extended writer's block? How long did it last? What did you do to break out of it, and do you have tips for other bloggers?"

I did experience a bit of a writer’s block that lasted a short period, less than two months and maybe even less than that. From almost mid-November 2010 to almost mid-January in 2011. I actually wrote a post on that, appropriately entitled, "Lost ... and Found."

It was an extremely busy time for me as, at that time, I was searching for a place to live on my own (having moved from a house with roommates) and everything that was associated with that, including moving boxes and stuff from storage, downsizing including donating and selling stuff, and the actual process of moving. On top of that was the Christmas season filled with attending choir concerts, baking my family's traditional European cookie recipe, with my birthday following shortly thereafter.

This is an excerpt from the blog I referred to above:
I have an expression that I made up about myself to describe some of my passions: "If I don’t sing or dance, I’m either sick or depressed."

Similarly, I sometimes can't write. It’s usually a matter of being either really busy and/or not feeling inspired. My preference is to write ‘in the flow’ when words come intuitively to me (as they often do) or through my fingers when I type (or write). When they don't, I prefer not to write.

Unfortunately, not all my writing comes from Spirit, that state of natural flow and grace (though I wish of course! That would be ideal!). Though ideas for my posts flow for the most part, I usually have to 'work' at my writing when I force a deadline upon myself.

Acquiring writer's block (if you can call it that) was the other situation that took place. I was so excited and ready to post a blog, an inspirational piece entitled ‘A Tribute to My Parents.' Not only did the words flow easily and effortlessly across the page (that I know came from Spirit), but also did my tears flow. I really felt what I wrote at such a deep level as I was in an incredible state of deep gratitude to my parents.

Even though I was certain I had saved this writing piece somewhere in a computer file, I realized later that I actually hadn’t because I couldn’t find it anywhere (either on my home or work computer!). Now, how frustrating is that? Have you ever experienced that? If so, you understand what I’m talking about!

Well, since I didn’t feel like rewriting it because it wouldn’t be serving the original script justice, I’ll explain the essence of it and write about something else briefly.
For the full story, read my original post that had an essence of writer's block in it:

Before and after this period, I generally wrote every two weeks with the odd exception of writing an additional weekly post or less frequently by missing a week. I purposely committed to writing biweekly as I felt once a week might be too much, at that time anyway. Now you can see why these daily blog writing challenges are a challenge for me! ;)

Have you ever experienced writer's block? If so, what did you do to get out of it?

I'm linking this to Ultra Blog Challenge.