Monthly Archives: July 2016

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This is a great way to explore other blogs, and get the word out about your own! Let’s have some fun!  Put your blog’s URL in a comment below, and then check out each other’s home bases! 🙂

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Musings on the A-Z Challenge

After a month of daily posts, A to Z plus weekend excursions into “Odd Jobs”, I can say that it was worth it; I’ve enjoyed the challenge of writing to a word limit, which meant that I could really only focus on one aspect of any given topic… that’s not something my brain does by nature, as it’s usually deep into networking ideas and possibilities long before I’ve finished typing the first sentence.  Along the way I’ve enjoyed spending more time surfing around cyberspace, discovering other WordPress blogs, reading into what makes others tick.  At the same time, I’ve felt the detour of time usually spent in writing manuscripts, editing, researching, and even housework and administration bits and bobs.

Would I do it again?  Probably.  When?  After my next novel is published, and I have more time again!  The feedback from my beta readers is starting to come in, and my own read-through has begun with the fresher eye of passed time and distance, so some other things in life will slide onto the back burner once more.  Through the challenge, I’ve been reminded of why I only post 1 or 2 blogs per week:  Real life is busy!

I hope you enjoyed the challenges along with me, and the breathing room once again afforded by my resumed “schedule”!

blogging-quote

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Musings A to Z Challenge: Z

Challenge:  Write a short paragraph (100 words or less) daily on a topic beginning with the sequential letter of the alphabet.

Zenith

Astronomical zeniths are easy enough to calculate; it’s the metaphorical ones that get tricky.  How do you know when someone is at the pinnacle of their career, or their success?  If someone could precisely know the zenith of stock prices and when to buy and sell, they’d make a handsome fortune.  The thing about zeniths, on a personal level, is that the word implies an end to growth or progress, and as such, is not something to be desired.  When we stop growing, learning, and maturing, we die.  Seen in that light, I suppose you could classify know-it-alls as zombies.

Zenith

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Musings A to Z Challenge: Y

Challenge:  Write a short paragraph (100 words or less) daily on a topic beginning with the sequential letter of the alphabet.

Yarn

To spin a yarn, in the meaning the quote implies, comes from the literal act of spinning a yarn; first recorded in the early 1800’s, sailors would tell tales as they worked on sedentary tasks such as spinning yarns for ropes, or strands of oakum to ram into the cracks between deck boards.  Sailors could tell tall tales, and as they were generally superstitious, those tales could grow; most firmly believed in mermaids and sirens and Davy Jones’ locker, and the old sailors would spin yarns to strike terror (or at least respect) into the hearts of the Johnny Newcomes.

Yarn

 

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Musings A to Z Challenge: X

Challenge:  Write a short paragraph (100 words or less) daily on a topic beginning with the sequential letter of the alphabet.

X

It’s interesting that no other letter in the English alphabet has so many meanings attached to it than the simple X:  It marked buried treasure on pirates’ maps (that’s debatable, but it’s one of those urban myths, like horned Viking helmets, that everyone “knows” is true); it provided a legal signature for an illiterate; it’s the symbol of a kiss; it denotes strongest quality, whether on liquor or films; it’s the unknown quantity in algebra, and from there became the symbol for any unknown value or thing (as “A,B,C” represent known, “X,Y,Z” represent unknown); and the list goes on.

X 2

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Musings A to Z Challenge: W

Challenge:  Write a short paragraph (100 words or less) daily on a topic beginning with the sequential letter of the alphabet.

Wiring

Mark Twain once said, “Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; truth isn’t.”  Life is usually smoother than its fictional counterpart; true stories made into film, such as It Could Happen to You (Nicholas Cage, 1994) would be “too boring” if they only told the truth.  But wires need to be crossed… relationships gone stale must be electrocuted back to life, communication hampered by misunderstandings, and obstacles placed in the path of the hero/heroine to make it more interesting.  Crossed wires are the bedrock of most tales, no matter the genre.

Wiring

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Musings A to Z Challenge: V

Challenge:  Write a short paragraph (100 words or less) daily on a topic beginning with the sequential letter of the alphabet.

Vulnerability

Ashton Kutcher hits the nail on the head:  Vulnerability is the essence of romance.  No one wants a perfect, untouchable hero, heroine, or partner:  Iron Man has his shrapnel; Superman has his kryptonite; Bella Swan has her clumsiness; Peter Parker has a past that haunts him; Darcy and Lizzie have their pride and prejudice.  How the character deals with that vulnerability is what makes them relatable, and even what makes them the hero/heroine or the villain – for even villains have their flaws; it’s vulnerability in some shape that gives them enough depth to be loathed or sympathised with.

Vulnerability

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Musings A to Z Challenge: U

Challenge:  Write a short paragraph (100 words or less) daily on a topic beginning with the sequential letter of the alphabet.

Unknown

The more we learn, the more we realise we have yet to learn.  For years, astronomers speculated about planets outside our own solar system, called exoplanets, but none had been discovered.  Then in 1992, two planets were discovered orbiting the pulsar PSR 1257+12.  Once the first were found, there was an explosion of discovery, and since that time over 3,400 have been confirmed.  The unknown became known, opening the door for new discoveries, theories and understanding about our physical universe.  Still today, previously unknown species or insects, birds and mammals are being discovered, though they knew about themselves all along…

PS:  And speaking of the exploration of space:  On this day in 1969, the Apollo 11 crew returned from the moon to Earth… and had to fill out a customs declaration form just like all the rest of us!

Unknown

 

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Odd Jobs #7: Fragrance Chemists to Gumologists

This week’s lineup of oddball jobs includes a literal odd-ball job:  Diving for lost golf balls.  That might seem like a perfect job for someone who loves the outdoors and diving – that is, until you face alligators in Florida (and yes, the video footage is real).  I think it would be a cushier job (pun intended) to be a furniture tester.  Being a greeting card writer might be fun for awhile, but I think it would be difficult to stay fresh year in, year out, unless you could switch “genres” – if that term doesn’t exist in the greeting card industry, I think it should:  Birthday & anniversary genre; condolence genre; or flippant, schmaltz, generic, and even hate-mail genres.  Can you think of others?

Odd Job - Golf Ball Diver, Nancy Rica Schiff

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Musings A to Z Challenge: T

Challenge:  Write a short paragraph (100 words or less) daily on a topic beginning with the sequential letter of the alphabet.

Talent

All of us have talents and giftings; finding them is the challenging part sometimes, but using them – even if it means hard work, study and persistence – is the fun part!  If one is multi-talented, the challenge becomes finding out which one to pursue either in general or at a particular moment in time.  Like a grape vine, sometimes the fruits are sweetest when all but a small number of clusters are pruned away, allowing the energy to flow into a choice few.  Once you find your talents, use, hone, and tune them to their finest quality, whatever they may be!

Talent

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