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Some recent ponderings…

“Wolf! Wolf!” cried the boy. It was just a bit of fun, getting the villagers to run up the hill; relieve him from the boredom of looking after sheep day after day after day. Sure, they got mad at him, but hey! it was something different. Different was good; even being yelled at was preferable to boredom.

“Wolf! Wolf!” he cried again. The yelling continued. This time, it was harder to hide his smirk. Furious, the villagers tramped back down the hill again.

“Wolf! Wolf!” he cried once more – but this time, in fear. The wolf had come, and was ravaging the sheep. The villagers, wise to his tricks, paid no attention. And later, when the sheep were dead, the villagers’ anger at him knew no bounds.

The problem here? Besides the dead sheep: the boy hadn’t thought about what name he’d been making for himself. He’d thought his ‘game’ was just a bit of fun. Just jokes; perfectly harmless. And yet – what had eventuated? He’d made a name for himself. ‘Liar’, ‘untrustworthy’, ‘deceitful’. No-one believed him, even when he told the truth.

The question ‘what name are you making for yourself’ is one I’ve been discussing with my students recently. Our words, our actions, our attitudes towards others, define who we are. People recognize us by them. What impression do we give others of ourselves? And are we happy with the name we are making for ourselves? At the end of the day, are we going to be satisfied with the consequences of the choices we have made?

One of my favourite Bible verses is 1 Tim. 4:16. It says, “Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.”

If I profess to be a Christian, I need to watch that my life reflects this choice. Timothy tells me to watch my life – my choices, my attitudes – closely. And to persevere in this watching. So what name am I making for myself? Is my life one which reflects Christ’s? I’d invite you to ponder this question with me, and with my students, this week.

And have a wonderful week, dear Reader!
— KRidwyn

And on the topic of donkeys…

My phone’s Lock Screen shows the words ‘remember the donkey’.

Unusual, probably, but it’s a constant reminder: to be conscious of my decisions, of my actions.

You see, there’s a story in the Bible about a guy called Balaam. He’s riding his donkey one day, going to meet King Balak, when his donkey stops. So Balaam beats it, and it continues. Then it stops again, so he beats it again. Then a third time – and this time, the donkey talks to him. “Why are you beating me?” it asks. “Because you’ve made a fool of me,” replies Balaam. [Not ‘what on Earth? Why is my donkey suddenly talking?!’ – but maybe that’s just me…]

Then the angel of the LORD appears in front of them both, and explains that the donkey was turning aside each time because he (the angel) was blocking the way. The story continues, and it turns out that Balaam’s attitude towards doing what he’d been asked to do, was the wrong kind of attitude. Balaam continued, with the angel’s reminder in his ears to only do what God had asked him to do.

So those words ‘remember the donkey’ reminds me to check my own attitude. Am I doing what God is asking me to do, or am I doing only what *I* want me to do? I also think about a donkey’s character: it can be obedient, or obstinate. And I check: which one am I being? Obedient? Or obstinate, not doing what I know I should be doing?

What decision am I making in that instant I use my phone? To spend my time on social media? Or am I using my time more wisely than that?

Anyway, just a few thoughts this Monday morning. Next week, it’s my Lock Screen’s turn. And that one’s all about neurons and dendrites…

Here’s wishing you an excellent week, dear Reader!
— KRidwyn

 

On deadlines

I work quite well to deadlines, I think. Not so much when a task is open-ended. That’s when I have trouble.

That New Year’s resolution: get fit? See, that’s a tricky one. Too open-ended. No specific goal; nothing measurable. “Get to the gym at least four times a week”? Much better. It’s achievable. And maybe I’ll even make that ‘get fit’ resolution.

Take that #AtoZchallenge, for example. 26 posts in 30 days: that’s do-able. The difficulty was, life = busy = no blogging after Day 16.

New, self-imposed deadline: finish all 26 posts before May 1 in every timezone. See? Do-able (just!) and I did it! (also just…)

It’s sad, really, I know. Self-imposing deadlines just to complete work that I set myself anyway. How much of a slacker am I?!

But I guess it just boils down to the fact that without that extrinsic motivation of ‘THE DEADLINE’, things just don’t get done.

I’ve got two new ones looming, by the way. Finish JUSTINE BROWNING AND THE MEDDLING MERMAN by May 14, and also finish knitting child #2’s blanket by May 31, ready for winter (the following day LOL).

Wish me luck! [I’m going to need it…]

And have a great day, dear Reader!

— KRidwyn

CC image courtesy John Morgan on Flickr

… and the new word is: FOCUS

Hello again, dear Reader 🙂

If you’ve visited recently, you’d have noticed that my last 26 posts were alphabetical, in order to meet the requirements of the #AtoZchallenge, where bloggers post daily using sequential letters of the alphabet, every day in April except Sundays.

Well, I failed that challenge in my time zone. I was fine up until ‘p’, but then school holidays finished and work got crazy-busy… and it wasn’t until late last night I realised that today was May 1st. And the challenge deadline was over!

Hence a massive amount of blog posting this morning. Q through to Z, and before April finished worldwide. So I *can* kinda still say that ‘I made it’… but not really.

Oh well.

My new thought is: focus. It’s what I need to do. I gave myself a deadline of Mother’s Day to finish Book 5 in my children’s adventure fantasy series – and I believe that’s less than two weeks away. 13 days, 21 chapters. I can do this…

If I focus!

So it’s back to weekly blogposts, and hopefully this time next Monday I’ll be closer to finishing JUSTINE BROWNING AND THE MEDDLING MERMAN than I am right now 🙂

See you next week, dear Reader! And have a lovely one until then!

— KRidwyn

Z is for ‘zany’

Lucky I choose this word ahead of time, before Hubby wanted help in the garden. Because I’m outta time and need to get this post written!

Zany. I love, love, LOVE this word! I think it describes me… although it probably doesn’t, unless you know me really, really well. And that’s only a couple of you.

I *can*be zany. Extremely comical, clownish; slightly crazy, fantastic or ludicrous.

Yup… that’s me. But only if I’m comfortable around you. And not when I’m in my ‘I’m a responsible mother / teacher / person’ mindset.

Just out of curiosity… is it just me, or is everyone kinda like this to some extent?

Have a great day, dear Reader!

— KRidwyn

Y is for ‘yelp’

Two posts to go, with just an hour or so left til it’s no longer April 30 anywhere in the world, and Hubby comes in from where he’s been working in the garden and say he needs my help.

I yelped. Deadline! [Self-imposed, but whatever…]

Yelp. To give a quick, sharp, shrill cry. (often as dogs, foxes etc)

What a beautiful verb. An expression of a vocal utterance that perfectly encapsulates the sound, the surprise, the emotion.

And now I’d better get going! One more post to go…

X is for ‘xeric’

Okay, so I got stuck with this letter. Seriously – how many choices are there for ‘x’? Really?

And so I opened my dictionary, and discovered the word ‘xeric’.

It’s an adjective from the ecological world, meaning ‘pertaining to an environment containing or characterised by little moisture’ (comparative more xeric, superlative most xeric). A xeric environment or habitat is extremely dry, lacking humidity and water. A xeric organism is one which has adapted to live in a very dry habitat.

Cool, hey!

To me, it conjures thoughts of a ‘Dungeons and Dragons’ style cleric who looks like John the Baptist. Powerful, with a dry, sardonic sense of humour.

Hmm… a new character for a new story, perhaps?

Have a great day, dear Reader!

— KRidwyn

 

W is for ‘wavelet’

I was writing a short story one day a year or so ago, and I needed the word for one of those small waves that washes into shore. You know, the ones that squealing toddlers get lifted over, that little children run backwards from, that bring the flotsam and jetsam of an uncaring world to deposit on the beach?

“Wave” was too big. Too much power for what I wanted. So I made up ‘wavelet’. Or so I thought…

Wasn’t I surprised to find it in my dictionary, the following day!

Wavelet. Noun. A small wave, a ripple.

Exactly what I had wanted! Don’t you just love the English language?

I do.

Have a great day, dear Reader!

— KRidwyn

PS If you’re interested in the story I was writing, sorry. It was about a woman’s murder at the hands of her drunk ex. It was a pretty intense story. Far too ‘dark’ for this blog. *shrugs shoulders*

V is for ‘volition’

“He did it of his own volition.”

Volition. Noun. The act of willing; exercise of choice to determine action. A determination by the will. The power of willing.

In my trusty thesaurus, the phrase ‘of one’s own volition’ is synonymous with:

of one’s own free will; of one’s own accord; of one’s own choice; of one’s own choosing; by choice; by preference; by one’s own preference; voluntarily; willingly; readily; freely; intentionally; consciously; deliberately; on purpose; purposely; spontaneously; without being asked; without hesitation; without reluctance; gladly; with pleasure; with good grace; eagerly; enthusiastically.

Them’s pretty powerful words, methinks.

And it’s all about the attitude. What we will to do; what we decide to do and then act upon.

I have chosen to finish this #AtoZchallenge today… of my own volition. In spite of it being May 1 in my time zone; it’s still April 30 elsewhere in the world. And I have four more posts after this one.

I’m determined! It’s going to happen… just watch me 😀

And have a great day, dear Reader!

— KRidwyn

U is for ‘unknown’

Jan 1, 2016, saw me decide I needed to ‘practise’ my writing. I realised that I’d never get anywhere if I just started a story, get stuck, get frustrated, start another story, and repeat the same process.

Mentally, I compared this to my chess game. Okay in the opening, wobbly in the middle, and pretty woeful at the ending. I decided practise was in order. Practise of ‘end-game’ stuff; then recourse to the middle, and finish at the beginning.

“Smiling nervously at each, they started walking into an uncertain future.”

So: I worked out the final sentence (above) and worked backwards. Ended up with a 1500 word short Sci-Fi story about two teenagers crash-landing their spaceship onto an unknown planet.

Fast forward a few weeks, and I related this story to the members at Beerwah Writers Group. Inspired, they used my final sentence, and produced their own stories. I joined them, and ended up with a 500 word story about a Greek God who’d been cast out from Mount Olympus. Prophemius, I called him. God of the Future… except his powers were stripped from him, meaning he couldn’t see the future anymore.

I wrestle, regularly, with the fact I can’t see the future. I want to know what will happen before it does, so I can prepare for it. Part of my control-freak-ishness, probably. (Yeh, I know. Not a word.)

But I always come back to the fact that it’s good I don’t know. I’m glad, deep down, that I’m in the same boat as everyone else. That the future – for all of us – is an unknown. I like that. We’re all on the same playing field, as it were.

And there’s so much freedom in that!

Have a lovely day, dear Reader!

— KRidwyn