Word of the Week – Loquacious

WOTW Loquacious

This is my word of the week; it’s plain and simple; it doesn’t have multiple applications; there is no need for interpretation; it just means what it means; you don’t have to write for ages to describe how and where to use it.

There is one simple reason to explain why I came up with this as my word of the week: I have finally introduced a new character into the first draft of my novel and now my main protagonist has someone to talk to. The first few chapters have been very short on dialogue (I’ll have to have to fix that later) and that has suited me because generally I enjoy writing great swathes of description about inner thoughts and feelings, postponing action and dialogue for as long as possible. However, I experienced a palpable sense of relief last night when I could finally write a whole bit where two people were talking to one another.

They talked about sausages, probably because I was coming down with a cold and when I have a cold I just want to eat and eat and eat. Clearly food is on my mind even when I am supposedly hard at work practising my craft. In fact, now I come to think of it, there are a lot of biscuits so far in this novel. Hmmm, don’t write and diet?

I hope you have a loquacious week and remember: if no-one is listening to you it is the universe’s way of telling you that you are not talking quite enough!

I’m doing this…

17-05-19 I'm doing this

Here’s a snapshot of what is going on around here these days. This is what was piled on my settee when I started to tidy up last night prior to heading off to bed (before I took the photo I did move them into a more pleasing arrangement than the ‘old heap of stuff’ that they had naturally formed!).

The new Avon brochure commences today, so I had been busy setting them up and getting a .pdf version of the brochure up on my beauty blog  – feel free to head over there, or visit my webshop where you can browse through the products and, so long as you are in the United Kingdom, order online for delivery direct to you from Avon’s warehouse. I’m trying out the Vitamin C Serum that’s launching this month. I like a nice serum and, truth be told, I’d rather use one cream day and night but add in a serum in the evening than have separate day and night moisturisers.

Then, of course, there has been knitting. The photo shows how far I have got with the first sleeve of my cardigan. I have been resting my hand but still doing a few rows each day just to make sure the cardigan continues to grow. I am enjoying working with this yarn and the pattern is really simple but effective.

The book, The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll, was an impulse purchase this week. I have been following the buzz about this method of planning/tracking over the past few years, but ultimately have always felt that a lot of it is not for me. Then again, the basic concept of keeping all your incoming information in one distinct place is very much to my taste. I find having things scattered all over the place makes them easier to ignore. In one of the best jobs I have had, it was common practice to keep a hardback notebook in which you noted whatever needed to be done – in my secretarial role this meant I had lots of notes every day on responses I needed to send to e-mails on behalf of my manager. I found it a very workable system and the Bullet Journal is not dissimilar to that. I am enjoying reading it so far, although I may not adopt the method in its entirety. I decided to buy it after watching a video online that was originally shown at the European Planner Conference; this runs to just over 30 minutes, but I think it’s well worth watching because Mr Carroll comes across as such a genuinely lovely chap. Earlier in the year I read about nine-tenths of Getting Things Done by David Allen, but it didn’t entirely gel with me. It felt to me like it was devised by, and addressing the needs of, business owners and top-level managers, whereas Ryder Carroll seems to be coming from, and addressing, a much broader base of both workers and creative professionals. Have to see if I make it to the end of this one!

I am consistently referring to the diary pages in my Filofax notebook, and also using it for broader list-making and note-taking. I am still very pleased with this set-up and I can foresee it serving me for some time to come. I chose a verse by Dorothy Parker for the creative area this week and I used my fine-nibbed Parker 51 filled with the Lamy Peridot ink. When I am writing in the diary I mainly use the Waterman Hemisphere in the blue finish which you can see in the photo, and that is filled at the moment with Graf von Faber-Castell ink in Midnight Blue. Underlining is done using my Cross Century II filled with the Lamy Ruby ink (speaking of which, I am in love with all the red inks Michael Jecks has been testing recently on his Writerly Witterings YouTube channel – you can check out Ink Comparison: Red and/or Ink Comparison: Red Second stage if you’re interested). I use my other Waterman Hemisphere – the Rose Cuivre finish – to write in my journal every morning. That one is currently filled with J Herbin Poussiere de Lune which is a purple-to-brown ink. In this way I am getting to play with a lot of the pens and the inks in my small collection. I feel a return to a brighter purple ink is imminent when one of the pens runs dry.

The final item I had to clear away was a tube of hand cream because my hands have been very dry recently. This particular hand cream is from one of Avon’s fragranced bath ranges and it is a lovely consistency, but there are more subtle fragrances around. I happen to like this one, but I don’t imagine it would be for everybody – but then, what is?

After a few nice sunny days, we’ve got a fine drizzle this afternoon although it held off until I was back from my regular Friday-morning swim so that was good. Our electricity went off for a few minutes at lunch-time, and all the alarms in the neighbourhood started ringing so it was an exciting few minutes.

Now we are heading towards another weekend which I hope will provide plenty of opportunities to knit, read, and ponder the meaning of life.


 

Word of the Week – Accomplish

01-04-19 Accomplish

Looking forwards as we start a new week and a new month, my chosen Word of the Week “Accomplish” is an exhortation to set goals and strive to achieve something. To set oneself a challenge, to determine a course. It is wise, in setting goals, to accept that we can still accomplish something even if we do not ultimately reach our target. Sometimes it is enough that we accomplish the understanding that a certain thing is not for us, we do not find it important enough within our life, we do not enjoy it as much as we thought we would, or even that this is simply not the time for us to get the best value from that particular activity.

As well as looking forward, we can apply this word to the month just past, using “accomplish” to celebrate what we have done.

I set myself the challenge for March 2019 to do some creative writing every single day and I am proud with myself for meeting this challenge. It took a slightly different direction from the one I originally envisaged, and in the final analysis I wrote for 25 days on the first draft of my novel, adding 16,730 words to it which averages out to 669 per day. That is amazing progress. Now, not all of those words were freshly-minted during the month because I took some pieces that I had written previously and imported them into my novel. That was part of the evolution of the novel which has become more solid and cohesive in my mind as I have been working on it daily. That being said, it is still a successful contribution given the original context of my challenge: “to work on the creative writing”, not to write a set number of new words in the time period.

I also worked on other pieces over 8 days, adding 16,870 words. Now this was definitely more a case of importing and typing up pieces written previously. However, it means that I now have most of my creative writing within the Scrivener software on my computer, making it much more accessible and seamless to work with.

The big thing to come out of this month for me is that I am loving writing, really engrossed with the story I am crafting, and I am going to make the effort to carry on writing every day even though March is now over.


Do you set yourself goals/challenges/targets? How do you feel if you achieve, or fail to achieve them?


 

A song list

15-02-19 Old New Tech
Old tech in the foreground, new tech in the background

As well as a quote this week, I’m going to share a song-list with you.  The quote is hand-written and shown in my photo. The song-list is playing along with it:-

‘Only The Lonely’ sung by Glen Campbell
‘Who Knows Where The Time Goes’ sung by Judy Collins
‘Crossroads’ written and sung by Don McLean
‘I Wonder Who’s Kissing Her Now’ sung by Harry Nilsson
‘Until It’s Time For You To Go’ sung by Glen Campbell
‘It’s Over’ sung by Glen Campbell

(For the record, ‘It’s Over’ isn’t the same song which Roy Orbison sang. I love both of them.)


Diary by Mark and Fold
Fountain pen inks by Lamy and Graf von Faber-Castell
Fountain pens:
Waterman Hemisphere (blue)
Lamy Safari (black)
12″ MacBook by Apple
Steel ruler made in Germany – just like me!


 

Knew this was a one-way ticket…

21-12-18 Moon

As I sat knitting at the weekend, I was pondering the sweetness of sharing things we enjoy with a whole new generation. This specifically related to watching “The Abyss” with my grandson who enjoyed it immensely (and why wouldn’t he?).

So today’s quote is a short and sweet thought from the film, typed by Brigman as he resigns himself to his fate at the bottom of a deep-sea trench, not enough air to get back to his friends and just-coming-back-from-being-estranged wife on the undersea drilling rig, his helmet reflecting the light from the hidden alien city that he has just saved from extinction:-

Don’t cry baby. Knew this was one-way ticket, but you know I had to come.

That seems to sum up life itself; in fact, it would look superb on a tombstone, and if I was intending to have such a thing I would probably request it myself.

So, wherever any of us is on that deep-sea dive from arriving at and departing from Planet Earth, we are all contributing in great and small ways to the life of the universe, and we can all take a moment to appreciate that. Hopefully, not with our last lungfull of air, though!


 

Scent and Scissorhands

18-01-19 scissorhands avon
I’m not totally sure which one of these I am!

So, this week I have joined the legions of Avon “ladies” and on mentioning this to my daughter, the first thing she said was “Oh, we watched Edward Scissorhands and I had to explain what an Avon Lady was!”

Edward Scissorhands is a great film about being different and about being kind and about being slightly outside the mainstream. Of course the mother in the film should represent the mainstream, but actually she is as far outside it as anyone. I have a sneaking suspicion that everyone is outside the mainstream in which case what on earth is the mainstream? Feel free to comment on that!

Whilst I don’t intend for this blog to become a sales ground, it is inescapable that some of the things I do within the Avon realm will also fit inside my personal life because skincare, makeup and perfume are lifelong interests of mine. When that’s the case I will write about them in my blog. This being one of those occasions.

I wrote in November about finishing a bottle of my favourite perfume and making-do with a couple of Clinique sample bottles as a short-term measure. Well, I consider joining the Avon bandwagon to be the ideal opportunity to try out some different scents and see how I like them. I’m starting off with a bottle of Rare Gold – just because it is the one that arrived in my initial demonstration kit – and I am quite impressed.

16-01-19 rare gold 2

This perfume opens with a sweet, fruity-floral note of white peach and Jasmine, speaking of which does anyone else remember Avon’s Pretty Peach from the 1960s?

18-01-19 pretty peach

Rare Gold is rather more sophisticated and it reminds me of springtime – I can definitely see myself wearing this a lot as we move out of the winter. As it warms and matures, the lovely jasmine part of the scent really comes through. Jasmine is present in almost all the perfumes I really love, not to mention in an unrelated favourite – Jasmine Tea – so we know we’re onto a winner there. The lingering ‘base’ of the scent is the only part that I feel is not entirely to my taste, although that is putting it too strongly, it’s just that that there are base notes that I prefer. Rare Gold has a musk/amber base and I’ve found from my favourite perfumes that I really go for a good, lingering woody note. I do accept, however, that you can’t have everything you want in life or in perfume! This one does appeal to me more than the Clinique Aromatics in White which I have been using, although I should note that I did come to enjoy that one the more I used it.

All in all, this is a good, solid start to my exploration of Avon’s perfumes.

And finally, well it’s Friday – how could I leave you without a quote from Edward Scissorhands?

You can’t buy all the necessities of life with cookies.

A fact that is both sad and true!

 


Do you love Edward Scissorhands or have you never seen it? Don’t be afraid to comment.

If you are interested, please feel free to take a look at my Avon online store – you can place orders from anywhere in the UK. Alternatively, if you already get Avon products from a local representative, let me know your favourites.


 

Quote of the Week – Shakespeare

57
Stormclouds gather, Collioure, September 2015

Start the year with Shakespeare, of course, and words from “The Tempest” which have blown into my mind this January morning.

Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits, and
Are melted into air, into thin air;
And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp’d towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve,
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on; and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.

I like a good number of Shakespeare’s plays, struggle with a few, and adore one or two. “The Tempest” is one of my favourites. So much so, that my daughter is named Miranda after the leading lady (although that was inspired by John Fowles naming the lead female character in his book “The Collector” after this Shakespeare heroine). I saw an open-air production of the play in York whilst I was pregnant. It was performed in the garden of The Treasurer’s House, in the dusk of a balmy evening with bats flitting overhead and the performers entering and exiting through the audience as we sat on the grass.

On the odd occasions when my daughter complained about her name, I would happily inform her that she got off lightly, because I was intending to name her Desdemona after the character in Othello, The Moor of Venice. Naming children is a strange thing, but once you are named you become the embodiment of that name for the people who know you. My Miranda is definitely a Miranda and not a Desdemona, although had I named her Desdemona she would be the exact thing that I expect of a Desdemona. Actually, there wouldn’t be a whole lot of preconceptions with that name as virtually no-one is called it. Apparently it is considered an unlucky name, so it’s lucky I avoided it and went with one meaning “admirable, wonderful’ instead. I fully intended for Miranda to be shortened to Mindy for everyday use, but my family were so horrified by this suggestion that she always ended up being called by her full name.

In creative writing you get the chance to use lots of names, and finding a name that suits a character, or dreaming up a character to suit a name you are using, is a lot of fun. I will need to use Desdemona in a written piece, just to get her out of my head once and for all. Perhaps she can be lucky.