Day 12 #blog12daysxmas

So this is a little embarrassing. But then again, it’s Maths and counting, and let’s face it, that’s NEVER been my strong point! Perhaps I could blame it on ‘blogging from my iPhone’, perhaps I could blame it on ‘I’ve been on holidays and I’m not checking as well as I should have been’ (actually, I haven’t really been checking at all…!) etc etc etc but the fact remains – I have two ‘Day 8’s” in this #blog12daysxmas challenge. Which is pretty silly. Yes, I *could* reorder the posts, as was suggested by a twitter friend this morning, but no, I won’t. Only cos I’m lazy. Plus I guess I should really own up to my faults and flaws. Keep myself humble etc – which is something that doesn’t happen much, or anywhere near as much as it should!

So yes. This is Day 12 of the #blog12daysxmas challenge, and I must say it seems to be getting easier each year. I am glad I do it. And I’m even more happy that I don’t do this challenge alone, but share it with good friends on twitter, who write about many and varied things and make my online life such a joy.

I probably should have done this at the start, but at the end will have to do. On most days this challenge, I’ve started with “On the xth day of Christmas, my family and me” – and each time, I’ve walked away after blogging, with the ’12 days of Christmas’ in my head. Which has been cool. But I just wanted to state (for Jo’s sake, although she hasn’t picked me up on it yet) that yes, I realise that the grammar I have been using has been entirely incorrect. That it should have been “my family and I”. But that wouldn’t have rhymed, so I chose to write it incorrectly. Sorry to all you grammar fanatics out there!

So. #blog12daysxmas is now finished. And that reminds me that this time last year, I was on the cusp of a different blogging challenge: #blog5daysAustenese – a challenge to write in the “stile” of Jane Austen for 5 days straight. I was joined by 4 others – @jobeaz, @Girlwithshoes, @kalgrl and @jzgarnett  – as brave as (or is that “as insane as?!”) me. I wonder if they’re up for it again this year? Or a different author’s style maybe? Either way, it’ll be good to continue this daily blogging bit, I think. Even if I can’t count past seven with any reliable certainty of accuracy!

Have a great day, dear readers!

Getting older, getting wiser?

Today is the last day of June. Today I’m finishing this #blogjune challenge, where I’ve tried diligently to blog every day. This was my second attempt at #blogjune, and I’m proud to say that I was a lot more consistent this year!

So, according to my calendar, I am one year older. I wonder however, whether or not it’s possible to measure if I am one year wiser?!

I certainly had a lot of new experiences this year. Since my last #blogjune, I have (in chronological-ish order):
Studied an elective outside the LIS sphere. I didn’t like it.
– Added six new clients to my new “Bloxham Marketing” business.
– Started, and finished, gymnastics lessons for Miss 7.
– Started, and have continued with, swimming lessons for Miss 7.
– Used the #blog12daysxmas challenge to start blogging regularly again.
Read so many Jane Austen novels that I initiated the #blog5daysAustenese challenge… and had four brave fellow bloggers join me in the journey!
Presented a 3 hour digital marketing presentation live on LEQ TV.
Plucked up enough courage to see if Mr 3 was autistic.
Had my daughter’s eyes tested, and sure enough Miss 7 now wears glasses for reading.
– Supported a good friend who was doctoring in New Guinea. We’d meet each other daily, online, and hold each other accountable in our Christian walks.

– Scored a HD in INN530 Online Information Services, courtesy of the truly wonderful @katiedatwork (still can’t believe that one. SOOOOOOOOOO majorly STOKED!!!!!!)

So… older? Yes. That bit’s inevitable. Wiser? I’m not so sure. I certainly hope so, though! And here ends the #blogjune challenge for another year. I wonder what will happen between this one and the 2013 version? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see!

Thanks for sharing this journey with me, dear readers. Your support is far more of an encouragement than you could ever know. You guys rock!!!

#blog5daysAustenese – Day Five

Having started with long posts, it would perhaps be correct of me to continue charmingly in the same vein. Inasmuch, however, that today being the 20th of January, and that same date being likewise the date on which my eldest celebrates the day of her birth, it would not be politic of me to spend my waking hours in the ofttimes difficult task of blogging in Austenese.

Suffice it to say, then, that this, my fifth and final #blog5daysAustenese post be a shorter one than its companions, and all that remains, therefore, is to praise the valiant efforts of my fellow Austenese writers.

Congratulations, my gentle friends! Your accomplishments are truly honourable! And thank you, truly, for sharing this remarkable journey with me. I greatly esteem you all.

#blog5daysAustenese – Day Four

Having a day with few commitments before me, my plan is to spend my hours writing. In the formation of sentences, the reworking of ideas, the addition of punctuation and the correcting of grammar.  Not only for the continuation in this #blog5daysAustenese journey, but also in the creation of articles for work, both mine and my clients’.

I have often pondered, in my leisure hours, upon the many and varied writing stiles. This challenge, for example, was conceived with the idea that I had recently been so immersed in reading Austen‘s novels that, when I wrote (sometimes even when I spoke!) I found it difficult to refrain from her stile. My preference was to use vocabulary which, although still understandable, required effort to comprehend, being no longer in regular usage. I also found it fairly easy – and interesting! – to write in a stile that, for the most part, made liberal use of overly long sentences comprising significant numbers of embedded clauses. Verb usage at the beginning of the sentences quickly became an idea that, although foreign at first, became more familiar in practice, as was wont to happen.

Perversely, the difficulties presented themselves when moving away from blogging in Austen’s stile, in occasions when a modern tone in my writing was required. I was surprised – nay, shocked! – to discover that it was here, wherein the true nature of the challenge made itself felt. The difficulties with which I struggled to write in a modern stile were a sight to behold. Indeed, I was both astonished and confounded to ascertain within myself a penchant for the writing of long sentences, and the use of vocabulary quite different to mine own.

Hence my decision to pen my blog early today. If I am to achieve, successfully, the tasks before me, which of necessity require a modern stile of writing, the difficulties in the adoption of same that I have noticed, will need to be taken into account. So here ends the fourth of five entries written in the stile of Austen, and I look forward to penning my fifth and last, tomorrow. Til then, dear readers!

Point to note – although I found it rather difficult to continually spell the word ‘style’ with an ‘i’ rather than a ‘y’, it is consistent with Austen’s spelling during this period. Sorry for any confusion this may have caused!

#blog5daysAustenese – Day Three

The dreaded parcel of educational books arrived yesterday morning, ending all my hopes for an uninterrupted day engaged in work. Time spent inspecting, naming, and covering was to be my unenviable and time-consuming morning duties. Little consolation lay in the fact that my book-covering efforts were being repeated the width and breadth of this great nation. Miss 6, the child for whom this book-covering process was centered around, was of some assistance when the decoration of same was called for, however her attention being ofttimes taken from her task by the variety of diverting activities of her younger siblings, her efforts proved to be rather a hindrance and an ineffectual aid.

Forced to remain indoors by the insistent rain, rather than take a turn about the garden, the children’s enthusiastic antics, when confined in the smallness of the house, were an added encumbrance. It is of no surprise, therefore, that my spirits were low and my thoughts were more maudlin than previously was my wont.

Indeed, my thoughts inevitably turned to the conundrum before me. The irony that lay in the circumstance being that, although I detest my annual chore that is the covering of my daughter’s school books, the chosen profession that I am currently studying for is that of Librarian. A profession, it can be reasonably assumed, owing to the large numbers of books a Librarian keeps custody over, which calls for the covering of a multitude of books, on a more regular basis than that of an annual chore.

Interesting, is it not? That one’s choice of profession often contains tasks for which we require payment, if we are to agree to endure said tasks with any degree of tolerance? It leads me to ponder what horrid tasks must my readers endure, and only because of the mostly-reasonable monetary compensation?

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Dear reader, if this is the first time you have visited, the above is the third post (of five) that attempts to recreate my day’s activities using the writing style of Jane Austen. There are currently four others also completing this challenge, and their efforts are published below:

@jobeaz, blogging at Macaronic

@Girlwithshoess, blogging at Justgirlwithshoes

@kalgrl, blogging at Feral Librarian Tales

@jzgarnett, blogging at Randomly Yours, Julia

 

#blog5daysAustenese – Day Two

Having the unusual distinction of three family birthdays fall within a seven-day, I have then leisure to consider the import of ‘countdowns’. Counting the days that must be lived, prior to a forthcoming event, can be abundantly effectual. Not only have they the ability to elevate eagerness and enthusiasm prior to the big occasion, they also provide innumerable opportunities for the teaching of mathematical concepts to young receptive minds.

Saturday last witnessed the birth-day celebrations of my husband. Entering his 40th year was marked with his favourite diversions; fishing, napping, and dining with close friends. The following day, our middle child, often referred to as ‘Miss 3’, became ‘Miss 4’ and spent the day smiling profusely and announcing her successful acquisition of another year. And finally, our “Miss 6” will become our “Miss 7” this forthcoming Friday. Each of these days has been studiously counted-down-to by infant fingers excitedly marking off the days in our family almanac.

Twelve months ago, this blog witnessed my scribblings on this topic although it does not appear to me as though a year has passed. Reflecting on this perception, I see that it is entirely possible that the exercise of ‘counting down’ may be its intimate connection. By continuously focusing on future events, enjoying the moment may be superceded by the prospect of future happiness, thus rendering the present of lesser importance, possibly to such a degree that fewer memories are retained, thus rendering the passage of time to feel faster than in actuality.

My summation is that, should we seek to be wise, we should treat in an even-handed manner the conflicting desires of valuing and cherishing the moment and viewing the future with an excess of sensibility. Would you agree, gentle readers?

CC Image courtesy 4rank at http://www.flickr.com/photos/fcharlton/1799065990/lightbox/

#blog5daysAustenese – Day One

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that an educated person with a love of reading, an interest in the pursuit of learning, and a possession of both time and opportunity in the form of a blog, must be in want of a writing challenge. The exploration of their writing prowess then finds its culmination in the subsequent compositions, and the responses of readers by the means of comments below the blogs.

Inasmuch as today, being the 16th day in January, marks the commencement of such a challenge, it behooves me to welcome my friends into this five-day season of Austenese blogwriting. I warmly congratulate you on your courage, your bravery in the face of probable ridicule, and your willingness to see a challenge through to the end. Of your determination to attempt the composition of sentences, the structure of which is markedly different to our own, I heartily applaud.

Lovers of Jane Austen everywhere, I raise before you these participants, and commend their efforts to you. Your comments, as a consequence of reading, appreciating, and approving of their work, will inspire them to even greater achievements in this challenge, and therefore are greatly desired by all involved. As each participant will be composing their thoughts on their individual blogs, these links, should you click them, will lead you to the correct destinations:

@jobeaz, blogging at Macaronic

@Girlwithshoess, blogging at Justgirlwithshoes

@kalgrl, blogging at Feral Librarian Tales

@jzgarnett, blogging at Randomly Yours, Julia

And finally, a word to our detractors. Each name you see before you is not, as may be reasonably supposed, a lover of Austen’s writing. Indeed, at least one finds the work of Jane Austen to be so far from pleasant as to call it horrid. It can be assumed, therefore, that in this #blog5daysAusten challenge, you the readers have greatly the advantage of us in this respect, that you are able to comment profusely, whereas we the writers have only our works to recommend us. I would entreat you, therefore, to be gentle in your criticism, or rather, join us in the task ahead and proudly hold your own head high in the challenge. More participants are readily welcomed. Simply comment below your intention to join, with a link to your blog, and compose five posts in the style of Jane Austen. Having tweeted your publication of each post using the hashtag #blog5daysAusten, and following other participants writings, there is nothing left to do but to enjoy the journey!

Bad to the bone…

Of all Jane Austen’s novels, Lady Susan is the one I like the most. Her main character, the recently widowed Lady Susan, is far more Thackery’s Becky Sharp than Pride and Prejudice’s Jane Bennett, and she comes far closer to succeeding in her conquest of a man ‘determined to not like her’ than Henry Crawford did with Fanny Price in Mansfield Park, when the situations were reversed. It is also completely different in style, being almost completely written through letters.

This is the only Austen novel I have not seen a film version of. Which is fine, as I think a screen adaptation would ruin it.

And that wraps up my week of Austen summaries. Tomorrow marks the beginning of #blog5daysAusten. Should be rather interesting!

See you tomorrow, dear readers!

 

Persuasion

I think it’s important to be a person of conviction. To know what you want, to know who you are, and to hold on to that. “This above all, to thine own self be true” etc etc etc.

That being said, I also think that to be unbending is a fault. To not take into account the whole concept of truth being relational- to not respect someone who is trying to sway you from your opinion by “speak[ing] the truth with gentleness” (to quote God rather than Shakespeare, as it were); to not be persuaded by a close friend when they are tactfully disagreeing with you – is also a sign of foolishness rather than wisdom.

Anne Elliott allowed herself to be persuaded from a strongly held opinion, in Austen’s “Persuasion“, and it formed the premise for the novel. Rather than marrying Frederick Wentworth, the man of her choice, she allowed herself to be convinced that she should reject his offer, and then spent the subsequent years in regret and anxiety, until, (as all good love stories do,) they were reunited and lived ‘happily ever after’. “Persuasion” is, in a way, the detailed story of Emma‘s Harriet Smith and Robert Martin.

Conviction. A good thing – but if we all had it, there would be fewer novels written, I suspect!

On long and winding sentences…

Today’s Friday. The fifth day of this retrospection through Austen’s Completed Novels. Today it’s the turn of Northanger Abbey.

The families at the forefront of this work are the Tilneys, the Thorpes, and the Morlands. Well drawn, yet predictable, characters make this novel similar in nature to Emma, in my opinion – deep enough to be satisfying. On the other hand, it’s superficial enough that it doesn’t take up too much energy, mental, emotional, etc. Well, once you get into the ‘long and winding sentences’, that is.

Example: her last sentence in this novel. I love it!

“To begin perfect happiness at the respective ages of twenty-six and eighteen, is to do pretty well; and professing myself moreover convinced, that the General’s unjust interference, so far from being injurious to their felicity, was perhaps rather conducive to it, by improving their knowledge of eachother, and adding strength to their attachment, I leave it to be settled by whomsoever it may concern, whether the tendency of this work be altogether to recommend parental tyranny, or reward filial disobedience.”

Phew! How cool is THAT!