Grateful

Thanks, readers, for all the birthday love yesterday! I might be sick and sore from coughing, and voiceless due to the pesky nodule on my vocal cords that’s decided to act up again at the moment, but I am incredibly grateful for friends online and IRL who have blessed me with their wishes and honoured me with their thoughts and prayers for my birthday. I even spent the good part of an hour with my older brother in New York, yesterday morning! He was talking, I was wheezing and coughing -but it was brilliant!

I also finished Stephen King’s On Writing last night, and now am more determined than ever to work at this craft of writing. It was inspirational stuff. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend you do. The clarity and conciseness with which he explains concepts and describes processes (and passages of prose, of course) is unparalleled, in my research on this topic to date. 

And now, today. I’m feeling better, my head is less fuzzy and I’ve done some much- needed housework. It’s Monday, but a public holiday. It’s sunny. And not particularly windy. So Hubby’s taken two of the three cherubs out fishing, meaning it’s quieter than normal at home – not that they’re noisy kids anyway, for which I’m very happy.

But the rest of today awaits. So I might just go embrace it with all the energy I can muster. 

Have a great one yourselves today, folks!

— KRidwyn

#Fridayfind for 24th April 2015

Do you believe that what a person reads, reflects who they are – or, maybe, who they want to be? I think that I kind of do. But I do definitely believe that what we have read, becomes a part of who we are. Shapes us, so to speak, just as experiences in real life – both in the physical and the online worlds – show our past; so the texts we read and the shows we watch and the music we listen to, shape our thoughts. And therefore, in a way, our futures. Wow – that got deeper than I had expected it to! Especially for the first paragraph!!!

So anyway, I was thinking yesterday that I want to share with… well, whoever’s out there… what books I love. What books I have read, that I have let shape me, my thoughts, my attitudes.

And it all starts with Magician, by Raymond E. Feist. That was the first novel that I remember absolutely falling in love with. I was in Year 9 or thereabouts, around 13 years old, and a good friend loaned me her copy. I remember being a little hesitant to read it, initially – being a Christian, the title concerned me, with its promise of spells, cauldrons, and all things magic. But my friend was also a Christian, and so I read the first page.

That was enough. I was hooked, and have been ever since. Writing, good writing, captivates and inspires. We rejoice and cry over characters triumphs and tragedies. From Pug and Tomas to Mara of the Acoma and Kevin the slave, from Squire James to “… you take all the fun out of life!” the Riftworld novels were exactly what I needed them to be, at the time that I needed them to be it. They have remained that way ever since.

A couple of months ago, I was fortunate enough to find Feist’s ‘new, revised edition’ of Magician in a second hand shop. Released in 1991, Feist wrote of this edition: “The book I would have written had I the skills I possess today”. The extra scenes added depth – as you would expect! – but also an insight into Feist’s thinking at the time. What *he* would have wanted included. What *he* believed important. You get more of a sense of the man behind the characters with this edition. The craftsmanship that went into the making of the novel. The sheer, incredible, talent. I love that.

It made me fall in love with the writing profession all over again. And be inspired. Watch out, world! πŸ™‚

Friday Review

Well, yeh, okay. It’s Saturday. Late. Just like this post.

Today, I want to tell you about one of my favourite emails.

You see, I don’t very often click ‘subscribe’ on websites. My email inboxes fill up too quickly to want to add yet more – dare I say?! ‘Junk’ – to them. But on the rare occasion, I do subscribe, just out of curiosity – and I must admit, with this one, I’m glad I have!

I aspire to a clutter-free home, a clutter-free life. And with regular emails from Unclutterer.com, I can read their blog posts – their whole blog posts, none of this ‘to read more click here’ linking – from the convenience of my inbox. And they’re good posts too. Funny as well, every Wednesday.

They’re not obtrusive. They’re not in-your-face. I can choose to delete them – but I rarely do, because they’re generally well-written and an enjoyable minute-long break from the onerous going-through-email task I was currently completing.

So that’s my review for the week. Unclutterer. Give it a whirl – and let me know what you think!

 

Friday review

Okay. A week has passed. Rather quickly too, I might add!

I thought I might review some stuff each week. Keep the whole ‘reflection’ thing happening. So this week, I’m looking at Trello.

So I’ve had a week to play with this, since discovering it last Saturday. I posted last weekend that I was impressed. Since then…

well, I think I’m in love. It’s understandable, really. I love to think of myself as organised – but in reality, I know that I’m not exactly where I want to be, and I know that things are ‘getting through the cracks’, as it were.

Trello can help to fix that.

It’s a way of organising yourself – but I have a feeling that it will really come into it’s own when used collaboratively. In study groups, in workplaces with teams, even in families. Anywhere where two or more people are working together on something, something that needs to ‘get done’. I’m planning on using it for Bloxham Marketing!

Generally speaking, when you’re working with someone else on something (let’s call it a project, even though it might just be ‘Mum’s 60th birthday’) then you’d delegate who does what, right? “You do invitations, and I’ll look after the hiring of the tables and chairs” kind of thing. And then you continually talk, to ensure that each person is on track. Which is good – and the sense of accomplishment you get as everyone moves together towards the common goal, is a great feeling. But the sigh you make, when things aren’t going to plan (someone’s not pulling their weight) or when there’s “yet another meeting about the same thing” when you’ve done your bit and you’re waiting for others, and it’s just going to be a big waste of your time – well, that’s a morale stealer if ever there was one.

And that’s where Trello comes in.

Think of that big ol’ whiteboard on which the delegated person writes up what to do, who’s responsible for each. Then maybe some of those things get highlighted, to indicate that they’re being worked on at the moment, and then finally they all (hopefully!) get crossed off over time, as they’ve been completed. And everyone has to keep a copy of that whiteboard in their head, because someone came along and wiped it off ready for the next meeting, and noone really knows who’s working on what at any particular point in time, and what’s been finished, until the next meeting where it gets pulled up again.

Trello provides you that whiteboard. Online. Forever. It’s private, to you or your team of people (let’s call them an ‘organization’, because they might be study partners or work colleagues or your family members) and because it’s online, it’s also up-to-date. And synced. And everyone can edit it, to show what they’re working on, what’s been finished, who’s responsible for the next step, and so on and so on.

Which gives you back that time you’re currently spending in meetings. That time that you spend on the phone, checking with people. And of course that time Aat your computer, reading emails and writing others.

I like that idea!

So – check it out for yourself; and I love to hear what you think of it!

Have a great day, dear readers πŸ™‚

 

CC Image courtesy yukop atΒ http://www.flickr.com/photos/22322135@N00/7919640078/in/photolist-d4Qe5A-cKt9oh-dtg9wG-cgpuob-dQwhsz/lightbox/?l=cc&q=trello