Posts filed under ‘Writing’

It is the Little Things….

I do this for a reason. I want you to donate to a children’s charity and write to me. Please see the About Lesley page or read the instructions at the end of this post…..

I haven’t been here for a while. I should perhaps apologise but can only say that I lost my words for a while. Hard to lose your words, you know you should be writing but the letters will only float about in your head, they won’t come together to make anything coherent. Feeling like that I thought it best to be quiet, I write enough nonsense to know when to leave well alone.

But now it is the New Year, all hail 2013. I am feeling better, more refreshed and ready for what is out there. Have you made your resolutions? I have done the usual healthy eating promise to myself. You know the one don’t you? Eat less, move more is the mantra:) I have my low-fat dinner prepared and am enjoying the new exercise regime. When you get to my age walking isn’t enough, you need to get a bit more vigour into your life and so it’s me and Davina. I don’t plug on here but promise that the new Davina workout is good and I am enjoying it even if my stomach muscles are off sobbing in the corner.

Beyond that, what do I want from 2013? World Peace? Unfortunately, I think chances of that are slim. While we have people who know they are right and everyone else is wrong then compromise will never be part of the picture. Watching the news about my own country proves that to be so. (I am considering a blog about what we are going through at the minute but it will take time and effort so will be one you have to wait for, at least for now).

So, should we have an end to hunger? Please Sir, let them have more? Another one on my big list. Alas, again I think we aren’t going to solve this one in 2013. And again, doesn’t it come down to mankind? Politics, power, greed drives so much pain in this world and my feeling is that curing this will cure hunger, disease and poverty. Pity the big pharmaceuticals can’t make a pill to cure that.

What then are we left with? We are left looking at ourselves in the mirror. Take a long hard look folks. Are you happy with what you see? I’ll wager we all struggle with that long hard look, I know I do. How do we make ourselves feel better? I think it is simple. Do something that isn’t for you. Do something to make someone else smile or their life just a little better. I have read reviews of the new book by Lucy Mangan and how she worked through 2012 by doing one good deed a day. Lovely idea and a great book so why don’t we all take a leaf from Lucy’s book. Stick a pound in a collection box, visit an elderly neighbour, volunteer. These can all be done with only a little of your time or money. Perhaps that is what we should all aim for this 2013. Do the little things and hopefully they will start to impact the big…..

I close, as always, with this:-

  • Please donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice.
  • Visit this blog and comment about your donation. Please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I still want to collect those tales and hope that some child will read about your words and deeds and want to do the same when they are older.

I will:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • Store all comments so that everyone can read them.

Thank you for reading,

Lesley

January 8, 2013 at 2:54 pm Leave a comment

Should I? Shouldn’t I?

I do this for a reason. I want you to donate to a children’s charity and write to me. Please see the About Lesley page or read the instructions at the end of this post…..

I am in a quandary. I have been mulling a long time about writing something more substantial. I could say time and energy are against me with a demanding but satisfying job and a busy life. However, there are words in my head and I want to try and get them on paper/keyboard.

I did start writing a children’s story a while back and showed a few chapters on the blog – Chapter One, Chapter Two and Chapter Three. I know what I want to write and I know the Chapters I added into the blog need work. I have started on this but we are in the early stages.

The question is what to do? Approach a publisher? I know that most publishers are very risk-averse these days, book sales are dropping and new writers are finding it harder than ever to be signed up. This naturally brings me to the dreaded phrase in social media – self publishing 🙂

I don’t want to be the scourge of social media *weeps quietly* but I do have a inkling how this could be a good thing. If I go for self-publishing then I can make sure that at least 50% of any profits go to children’s charities. When I consider how much time I spend nagging folk to donate to charity then isn’t it time I put my money where my words are? Yes, I donate regularly, both monthly and by never passing a collection box, sponsoring etc. However, if I can raise money with my words then I am putting myself out there.

I will still blog, will still nag you all but there will be time spent on putting this book together and seeing where I go. Even if I only raise a few pounds then at least I have tried. I will use Facebook, Twitter, even Linkedin and Google+ to publicise and we will see where we go.

Why post about this today? Simples. I work better when I give myself a deadline. If I say out here that I am going to write then the pressure is on and a little self-imposed stress can be good for one:) I will update periodically on progress but my initial deadline to me if to have it completed by next summer. Research is needed as well as re-writes and more chapters so this should be enough time to spend my weekends on this. Wish me luck folks, I most definitely need it.

Think of me looking like this!

I close, as always, with this:-

  • Please donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice.
  • Visit this blog and comment about your donation. Please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I still want to collect those tales and hope that some child will read about your words and deeds and want to do the same when they are older.

I will:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • Store all comments so that everyone can read them.

Thank you for reading,

Lesley

October 26, 2012 at 9:56 am 2 comments

Creative Writing? I Can Only Apologise….

I do this for a reason. I want you to donate to a children’s charity and write to me. Please see the About Lesley page or read the instructions at the end of this post…..

WordPress is made for writers, story-tellers, humourists, observers, artists, photographers, cooks, techies and many other types. I’m not sure what category I fall into as I don’t really regard myself as a bona-fide writer, more as a person who types in a very random fashion. I like reading posts from others and I have learned much. I do enjoy those who write creatively and have decided that I should so one post where I have a bash at the more creative side of WordPress. So here goes, Lesley does poetry, you have been warned!

My Haiku

Bathing, swirling eddies

Soothing, calming sad thoughts

Refresh my spirit

———————-

My Limerick!

I tweet, I talk and I blog

My nonsense may leave you agog

But I loves to witter

Through WordPress and Twitter

Write to me, I’ll give you a snog!

———————-

That will do me for now, I don’t really think this creative poetry is for me:) I will continue to admire those who can put their words into beautiful and intricate structures, they reinforce my belief that prose must be my medium. However, if it gets people to read the blog and write to me then I am prepared to torture you all with more attempts at the creative stuff, regardlesss of how crappy I am at it. Again, you have been warned!

I close, as always, with this:-

  • Please donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice.
  • Visit this blog and comment about your donation. Please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I still want to collect those tales and hope that some child will read about your words and deeds and want to do the same when they are older.

I will:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • Store all comments so that everyone can read them.

Thank you for reading.

Lesley

April 16, 2012 at 10:35 pm Leave a comment

The Sense of an Ending – A Piece of Perfection…..

I do this for a reason. I want you to donate to a children’s charity and write to me. Please see the About Lesley page or read the instructions at the end of this post……

This is not a book review, it is about the thoughts a book prompted in me. That book is ‘The Sense of an Ending’ by Julian Barnes. Fair to say I am not the only person who found this book to be a pure delight, it was the Man Booker Prize winner of 2011. The title is not misleading, there are no cut and dried answers with this novel. I will not disclose the plot, will say only that the book made me smile, sigh and think. One passage in particular touched me, I share it here.

‘But time . . . how time first grounds us and then confounds us. We thought we were being mature when we were only being safe. We imagined we were being responsible but were only being cowardly. What we called realism turned out to be a way of avoiding things rather than facing them. Time . . . give us enough time and our best-supported decisions will seem wobbly, our certainties whimsical.’

Brilliant words, I am sure we have all thought them in one form or another through our lives. Didn’t we all think we knew it all when we were eighteen? I considered myself wise beyond my years I am ashamed to say:) That is not to say that all my opinions have changed, I still believe that the answer to poverty is for people and Governments to work together. I still believe that mankind has it within him and her to do great good but too often it is easier to blink away the bad things and dwell only on the good. This may get you through the day but if we focus only on the good the bad will gain ground.

I wonder how much I have changed in the intervening years. I could flatter myself and say I am less self-obsessed but that is part of every human, it is how we process thoughts and outwardly display them that changes. I know my life needs affection and laughter, I think aging makes one very conscious of the need for support. When young we need that support to endorse our ‘rightness’, aging helps us understand that flexibility and compromise are not the enemy.

Words continue to be a constant for me, I have always read and it would be a hardship for me if I couldn’t. When I need to escape I find comfort in books, they take me elsewhere. I know the manners of Jane Austen, the wit of Philip Roth and John Irving, the history of Victor Hugo, the atmosphere of James Lee Burke. I am a reader of many books and many writers, I love to be surprised by words, it does me good to have my beliefs challenged so that I can ensure that my core has some substance, that I am not mere fluff and nonsense. Reading and conversation have helped form me from a smartass teen to, I hope, a grounded adult. I thank my lucky stars that my childhood ambition was not to be ‘famous’ as it is for so many young people today. What does that mean? Fame? Who wants public visibility for the sake of it? At eighteen I wnated to make a difference but wasn’t sure how. Today I still want to make a difference. This blog may help me do that, I am not always sure but will keep putting my words out there, this is the way I have chosen.

Would I change the decisions I made at eighteen? Some of them certainly. Does that mean I regret my decisions? I may wonder about them sometimes but they were and are my choices. Regrets will not change the here and now, actions do. So no, I do not regret but will use my memories to help me move along.

My thanks to Julian Barnes for such a novel, I hope you get to enjoy it as much as I did…..

Courtesy of Julian Barnes website - http://www.julianbarnes.com

I close, as always, with this:-

  • Please donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice.
  • Visit this blog and comment about your donation. Please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I still want to collect those tales and hope that some child will read about your words and deeds and want to do the same when they are older.

I will:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • Store all comments so that everyone can read them.

Thank you for reading.

Lesley

April 10, 2012 at 4:38 pm Leave a comment

Bile, Invective, Vitriol.

I do this for a reason. I want you to donate to a children’s charity and write to me. Please see the About Lesley page and read the instructions at the end of this post…..

I  have been reading random blogs over the last couple of weeks. Most of them have been educational, people wanting to share their knowledge on cooking, knitting, books, films, any topic of interest. I also read many funny posts, there are so many smart and witty people out there. Then I moved to more ‘opinionated’ posts and they have a different nature altogether…..

The thing about bloggers is that they have no filter except themselves. No sub-editor will check the words to ensure that there is nothing libellous or offensive therein. The words are written, they may be proof-read by the writer. Then they are sent out there, one person’s opinion into that cyber-void.

This is a good thing and a bad thing. The good? Blogging is a personal thing, it is one person sending their opinions and knowledge out there for all to see. It encourages people to be creative, develop their writing skills and share something with all those who choose to read. The bad? It is one person’s opinion without check. If an individual chooses to lie they can. I don’t suggest for a second that many bloggers do this; I think most people who choose words as their medium are very consious of the joys and danger of doing this. However, everyone’s perspective is different. They say that six witnesses to a crime can provide six different descriptions of a suspect. Isn’t it just the same with opinion? Two people will see a situation in very different ways. I think we only need look at the reactions of politicians to, for instance, the cost of education, to understand that is possible. Just read the comments sections of some of the popular political blogs and this will be perfectly illustrated.

This is the way of the virtual world and I accept that. We can’t plunge into the water and not expect some sharks to circle. What concerns me is how easily it can turn, how it can become personal. I have written before about the power of words; I am fascinated by the skill of those who can put words together to capture our interest and even our hearts. What I don’t enjoy is the attack-blog as I tend to think of them. They can come from a need to defend against words already out there from another individual. I understand the need to defend one’s position and portray a balance, this is only fair isn’t it? Yes ‘but’ is my answer. The style becomes crucial when taking this action. Surely words are more effective when calmly and factually put? Reason will persuade more than rant I think. When bloggers react to the emotional words of one person with more emotional words it will easily spiral into tit-for-tat. I don’t think that is how most bloggers want to see themselves. Bloggers write because they want readers, fact. For me this means there is an inherent responsibility associated with blogging. If you blog you want to influence, isn’t it your responsibility to make sure this influence is used in a benign way? Persuade by all means but persuade truthfully and without attack on those who don’t share your opinion.

I am not saying that blogs should be cold and emotionless, that would make the blogsphere a very dull and uninteresting place. I want to see love and anger coming out from the words I read. I love getting goosebumps from reading words that come from the heart, this makes me smile. What I will never enjoy is the name-calling and singular perspective that one person is always right and another wrong, the world is shades of grey…….

I close, as always, with this:-
  • Please donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice.
  • Visit this blog and comment about your donation. Please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I still want to collect those tales and hope that some child will read about your words and deeds and want to do the same when they are older.

I will:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • Store all comments so that everyone can read them.

Thank you for reading.

Lesley

February 5, 2012 at 10:56 am Leave a comment

Hackneyed!

I do this for a reason. I want you to donate to a children’s charity and write to me. Please see the About Lesley page or read the instructions at the end of this post…..

The thing about blogging is that you have to write words. The thing about writing words is that you worry about your prose. If you want readers you need to be smart, funny, incisive and interesting, a bit of a challenge. The thing I fear most is sounding trite, hackneyed and clichéd. I am sure that all bloggers fear this, whatever their interest. I decided that the easiest way to deal with this is to tackle it head on and do a blog with as many clichés as possible. So, deep breath, here I goes!

Let’s get down to brass tacks here. In this world there are children without food and shelter, am I letting the cat out of the bag or did you know this already? In the final analysis this is not a fact of life I enjoy thinking about. It is as easy as 1-2-3 you know, donate to a charity that helps children, make my day please:)

We all have to knuckle down, these are hard times. Not everyone can grasp this nettle but perhaps we can aim to do our good deed for the day? Make it easy on yourself, pick a charity close to home, then it is just a hop, skip and a jump to pop in and pass them a few of your hard-earned pounds.

You might say, ‘Hold your horses Lesley, you are just jumping on the bandwagon’. I may be but I am in this for the long haul. Repeated blogging is my labour of love, I will continue until I have one foot in the grave. I blog ergo I am, that is my motto for life. It can be hard to get the words out but you know what they say, when the going gets tough, this tough old broad gets writing.

Perhaps you think my purpose for blogging is too hard, I have picked too tough a topic? Sometimes I am between a rock and a hard place, it is difficult to point people towards painful truths, we all prefer to look at the sunny side of life. But when I take a long, hard look at myself I know that I am inexorably drawn to nag you all into donating to a charity that will help one child, many children. For me it is no pain, no gain. Do you think I am all mouth and no trousers? I promise you I put my money where my mouth is, I donate monthly to two charities that help children. It wouldn’t do for me to preach, I need to live into my intent.

I love blogging but it is a joy and a sorrow. I have to think outside the box, dreaming up themes that will catch your interest. I have no hidden agenda, no place to hide. I will take the long hard road, throw in everything but the kitchen sink. If it catches your imagination then it is worth it to me. I won’t be a fly by night blogger. I do dream of my fifteen minutes of fame, I want more readers and more people to donate. I will crawl out from under my rock if it gets those readers to think and act.

Almost done, promise:) I hope my cliché-ridden blog will catch your eye and won’t take my prose in a new direction, the road to hell is paved with my good intentions. This is my attempt to cleanse myself of all clichés, I hope it isn’t easier said than done! I am being light-hearted today but know my aims are true, it would be beyond the pale if this post made you think my prose doesn’t cut the mustard. If that happens I will run away to sea….

I close, as always, with this:-
  • Please donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice.
  • Visit this blog and comment about your donation. Please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I still want to collect those tales and hope that some child will read about your words and deeds and want to do the same when they are older.

I will:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • Store all comments so that everyone can read them.

Thank you for reading.

Lesley

January 21, 2012 at 11:54 am 4 comments

What Do I Need To Do?

I blog to get people to donate to kid’s charities. I don’t want money, I want you to donate direct to a children’s charity then write to me by commenting on the blog. Please read the ‘About Lesley’ section of the blog to find out why I do this; the Comments and Running Totals pages to see how far we have come…

Okay, did you read the usual spiel at the start of my blogpost?  It is possible that you have seen it so often that you skip it now? I am conscious of this and have been thinking. Do I need a new tack? Should I look at gimmickry? I do want more readers and I want more people to write to me. Simple, some might say. However, it has been a while since I had a new comment about a donation to a children’s charity. I’m not too scunnered, we all have busy lives. This is only my attempt to make you think about the charities you would like to support. I’m not here to push guilt, I am here to divert you occasionally, at least I hope so.

So, what do I need to do, where do I need to go? I am open to suggestion, please feel free to point me in a new direction. I don’t really do politics on here, I don’t want to be partisan. I touch on politics when I write about news; the rest tends to be my opinions on life, sport, the odd spot of humour. However, I am well aware of the dangers with the blog; I sound the same and you all get bored, that wouldn’t be so good.

I have done a little research too. A note of caution, google ‘blog ideas’ you only have yourself to blame. The world of the internet marketer must be fascinating to some but really doesn’t grab me. Dig a little deeper though and the general advice is this:-

  • Link to sites that are interesting/related to your blog? Check – link to the Running Totals page with the list of charities donated to.
  • Current Events? Check – many of my posts are related to news.
  • Recommendations? Hmmmm, do you want to read my list of favourite books? Really? Let me know.
  • Reviews? Hoot! I am not a critic and do not want to be but if you want my opinion on a film then leave a comment; I will be glad to go all Barry Norman.
  • How to? Check – you have my recipe for broth.
  • Tips? Not an area I have explored yet. What tips would you like? Personally, I think google may have this one covered.

One link I will share with you before I close. The reason I blog is that I want all children to smile like this. This always makes me smile – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_JmA2ClUvUY&feature=related

I close with my normal request to you:-

  • Donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice. It is easy to do – online, collection boxes, Give as You Earn. Any amount is important and I am delighted for one pound, dollar, euro, yen to reach a charity. Donate a present to a family or child that will not have the holiday season that you might expect and plan for.
  • Visit this blog and comment anywhere with the charity, amount including currency and please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I love the stories of childish ambitions.

I will then:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • All comments will be stored on the comments page so that you can see what charities people are interested in and also what a variety of 8-year-old ambitions we have already. I am looking forward to way more surprises from you all.

The steps are simple. Again, if you like the idea please tell others so that they will come and tell me their stories.

Take care of you and yours.

Lesley

June 5, 2011 at 4:39 pm 4 comments

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