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I’ve blogged already this year about Ark. I haven’t played it since that post, but Miss14 has – and is ecstatic that she’s now tamed a griffin (several hours worth of work) and it’s in her own game, not one on a multi-player server.

Because the first one she’d tamed (note: seven HOURS of not-completing-homework and not-helping-around-the-house) had been on a multi-player server – and it had been stolen while she slept. The thief flew him around, and killed him. Big drama. Sigh.

But she’s happy now. And she’s started making videos, and that makes her happy too.

And this makes me happy.

[Lucky she’s up-to-date with her homework and the housework isn’t too onerous, is all I can say!]

Have a ‘happy’ week yourself, dear Reader!

– KRidwyn

Moving right along…

So now the musical’s over, I’ve been head down and getting stuck into the work I’d been (of necessity, mind you!) neglecting. Housework, gardening – oh, and my students’ assignment drafts too, don’t forget! I’ve also had enough head-space to actually ponder the commencement of writing again, would you believe? And I also found 15 minutes in there somewhere, last week, to FlowState… although what came out was embarrassingly pitiful and barely worth keeping, but writing is writing and a skill practiced is a skill improving, I always say. (Well, okay. I made that saying up just now. But it sounds significantly better with the word ‘always’ in it, don’t you think?)

What’s FlowState? You ask. Well, it’s a horrific tool which forces you to write by threatening to remove all your words.

Originally, you could set the timer for 5 minutes, 15 minutes, or 30 minutes. I preferred that. But with an update a year or so ago, they removed that functionality, leaving users with only a 15 minute option.

And the idea behind it is that you WRITE for 15 minutes. No hesitating, just writing. Adding word after word to the screen. Or else!

If you hesitate for longer than 5 seconds (from memory; I *think* it’s five but I’m too scared to check it and see) the words fade on the screen and when they’re gone, they’re gone forever.

You’re forced, you see; to write, and write non-stop, until the timer finishes, and the work is saved.

And believe me, you do NOT want to stop at 14 minutes and 55 seconds! I did that before, and lost literally hundreds of words. Yes, I cried. And yes, I also stopped using the app, my own solitary protest, for several months. But returned though, because it’s perfect to get the writing mojo happening (rather than the thinking mojo!) and the threat of losing work is enough to keep the fingers tapping keys 🙂

Anyway, so that’s what I’ve been doing.

That, and dreaming about publishing. If only Book 7 of my Justine Browning series would write itself!

 

Have a great week, dear Reader 🙂

– KRidwyn

Why I love twitter

GenreCon finished yesterday. For those of you who aren’t Brisbane-based writers, GenreCon is *the* place to be if you’re a writer in South East Queensland. It’s a weekend choc-full of inspiration and lessons to learn; speakers and publishers, authors and agents and illustrators… I’m guessing.
I’ve never been. Sad; I know.

Unfortunately, the day job has always intervened; this year, again, no exception. I accept it; the fact that I am too busy in Term Four to attend doesn’t worry me much any more. Getting to GenreCon is about as likely as doing #NaNoWriMo… I won’t say ‘never’ but it’s pretty unlikely, truth be told.

So whenever I’ve seen news about GenreCon, I’ve skimmed over it. Then tragedy hit. A couple of random unrelated items I’d seen, clicked. One of my all-time fave authors tweeted about a newspaper headline I had just read. Then she posted a photo of her cuddling a koala.

What the? She’s here in Australia? Next thing I discover, she’s a keynote speaker at GenreCon. As in, the convention that is literally just down the road (okay, lots of kilometres, but it’s still the same road) from me – and I’m not there!!!

Sigh. Delilah S. Dawson is the reason I’m still writing.

She’s amazing.

I wish I could meet her; tell her in person how much of an effect one of her blogposts had on me.

Alas. Not to be. Not any time soon, anyway.

Which is exactly the reason why Twitter is my absolute favourite social network.

No, I couldn’t be at GenreCon in person. Yes, I missed out on an incredible opportunity… but that’s not to say I couldn’t attend; because I follow tweeps who were there.

And that’s almost the same kind of thing. I was able to follow what she said in her keynotes – because writers I follow tweeted about it.

 

 

 

 

And if that’s not a good enough reason to love twitter, I don’t know what is.

Have a great week, dear Reader!

-KRidwyn

‘What path are you on right now?’

That’s the text on my phone’s Lock Screen. (I said I’d write about this, a couple of weeks ago…)

It’s probably weird, I know.

But I leave that saying there as a reminder to me of the path I choose to walk, every minute of my life. The decisions I choose to make, which in return make me into the person I am choosing to be.

I feel as though I’m not explaining myself too well. Sorry. I’ll start again.

Hi. My name’s Ceridwyn, and I’m an addict.

Wha? Huh? What kind of a blog *is* this??!

Okay, so the word ‘addict’ has some pretty negative connotations, I know. I’m not addicted to drugs, if that’s what you were thinking.

But I have struggled with addictions in the past. Gambling was my worst, but as the years pass, the pull to play BlackJack diminishes. It probably helps that I don’t live anywhere near a casino, and that I’m just so gosh-darn-busy 99% of the time 🙂

But having that kind of addictive personality has meant that I’m aware of addictions when they pop up. Recently I noticed my over-partiality to playing the 2048 app on my phone; I was playing it to the detriment of doing other things; things I *should* have been doing. Solution: delete the app. Now it’s only on my iPad, which I use less regularly. Addiction circumvented. The path I realised I was heading down, was one I didn’t want to be on. So I changed my path, and was happier for being able to exercise some self-control.

The way I see things, there’s always a couple of paths before me, and my choice to take one or the other of these paths, will eventuate in either a ‘better’ version of me, the person I’d like to become, or a ‘worse’ version of me – one I’d prefer not to be.

So when I pick up my phone, I ask myself, ‘what’s the reason?’ “What path am I on right now? Am I about to go and do something needed on this phone, or am I really just bored and wanting to distract myself with Facebook or twitter? Is there a better choice I could be making – to go and play with my kids, do some of that housework I hate doing, or that job I’ve been putting off for simply ages?”

The ‘paths’ image also makes me think of the pathways in my brain. Dendrites firing, making pathways stronger. The more I’m on Facebook instead of drafting my latest manuscript, the stronger the ‘Facebook’ pathway and the weaker the ‘writing’ pathway becomes.

Am I stronger than that? Am I the master of my habits, or are my habits the master of me?

Just a few thoughts to leave you with today…

I hope it’s a fantastic one for you!

— 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

 

Attempt: a daily blogging challenge!

I mentioned a few weeks back that I missed blogging with my online friends during #blog12daysxmas because I’d lost access to my blog.

Well, I’m still feeling a lack of blogging mojo, so I’ve decided to join in a daily blogging challenge. It’s one that’s been running for quite a few years now, with hundreds of participants worldwide: the April A to Z challenge.

The blogging happens each day of April except Sundays, and on each letter of the alphabet, starting at A and finishing on Z.

People write on whatever topic they like: some of the categories of blogs include animals; culinary; craft; gaming; memoir; photography; politics; science; and sports, to name but a few.

There’s also a theme, to be released by the organisers in the near future. I’m not sure what I’ll be writing on yet.

Whatever I end up with, I’m thinking it’ll be thematic. They’ll also be shortish posts, I’m thinking around the 150 word mark each. (edit post publishing: this post you’re reading is 140 words).

So that’s *my* April blogging sorted.

What do you think? If you’re a blogger, want to join me?

— KRidwyn

Idiocy sometimes helps

I learn Krav Maga. It’s a form of Martial Arts practiced by the Israeli Defense Forces. Hubby and I take classes every Saturday morning, and I love it. Not only for the fitness (because I *definitely* need that aspect of it!) but also for the self-confidence I now have that, should something happen, I can deal with the situation.

Unfortunately, the ol’ brain wasn’t working too well when confronted with a mother-gifted pot-bound plant the other weekend. It was stuck. As in, imagine a plant the size of a large Rottweiler, in a pot that would comfortably fit a Chihuahua. (Not that I’m advocating squashing animals into pots, here!) It was a problem. I needed to force that plant out – so (it being Saturday afternoon) I did what I’d been practicing and unthinkingly hammer-punched the edge of the pot base, trying to dislodge it.

Ouch! Instant pain brought me to my senses again. Note to self: a large, black, circular plastic pot does not feel the same, when hit, as a large, black, circular punching pad. Idiot. But it did provide me with resolution number one: don’t do that again!

So I ate left-handed for a couple of days.

I was also doing quite a lot of typing around that time, and noticed that I was straining my right hand further, due to the sheer number of times I was pressing ‘backspace’ at the top right of my keyboard. You see, I don’t type ‘properly’; I never have. My right hand is faster, so it kinda covers all the letters from r (top row) and f (middle) and v (bottom row) and my left just sits and presses a key every once in a while. So this brought about resolution number two: learn to type properly.

Thanks to the 100 free lessons provided by TypingClub, I now can. And I’m happy with that. That my stupidity could provide the impetus to do something that I’d been putting off for simply ages.

Thank God for lessons learned, hey? Even if they’re painful ones…

Have a great week, dear reader!

— KRidwyn

The importance of access

Dear readers,

My long-suffering blog subscribers will have been surprised I’m sure, to have received an email informing them I’d written a new post here on Hmmm… That’s because the last email notification was seven months – count them! SEVEN!!! – ago.

Yes, some of that was because I was just too busy with offline interruptions to write. But not so, the past few months. No, indeed. The problem was far worse. I’m reminded of the line by that incredibly annoying character Richard Thornburg, on the plane in Die Hard 2: “the truth, ladies and gentlemen, is far more terrifying…”

13334048894_001d3e53d1_mI lost access.

It’s a long and convoluted story involving countless emails, more-than-countless phone calls, hours spent checking the availability to re-purchase domain names, meetings with several IT guys in all shapes and sizes, and many more white hairs choosing to appear on my head – which, of course, I’ve decided to resolutely ignore. I shan’t bore you with any more details.

Suffice it to say… I’m back!!! And praise God! I missed blogging more than I realised that I would. I especially missed it during the Christmas / New Year season, as it was my blogging anniversary (blogiversary?!) and the first time since I started Hmmm… that I missed blogging with @FiFYI in the #blog12daysxmas challenge.

Mea culpa. I’ll know next time.

It’s only when something is broken that we realise how much we’ve taken it for granted. Sad, but true. So my plan is to learn from this experience. ‘Regular maintenance of the things I’d rather not bother with’ is my new policy. And I’ve even future-scheduled this ‘maintenance’ time and set appropriate reminders on my phone, so if I get busy with offline distractions, or if I forget or get lazy, then it’ll remind me. And I can’t get angry with my beautiful phone that Hubby gave me for Christmas, which still feels so new, can I? No 🙂 So yes, back ups are always a help, aren’t they!

Make sure, dear readers, that you maintain access to your stuff. Keep usernames and passwords and back up copies. Let loved ones know your secret stash spot for said usernames and passwords. And do it now.

So anyway, that’s my story. And I must admit, I’m pretty proud of myself that I’ll – hopefully – learn from the experience.

What about you? Have you ever lost access to something – that you only discovered was important once it was broken?

CC image courtesy Yuri Samoilov on Flickr

Just one day left…

So today is the last day of May. Which means that #blogJune starts tomorrow! Hooray!

I love challenges. I get all determined and use my serious face a lot. Maybe I’m competitive by nature or something? I’m not really sure. 

But challenging myself? That’s something I seriously love doing. (Actually, maybe it’s not so much ‘competitive’ but ‘gets bored easily’. Yeh, that sounds more like me.)

Anyway, #blogJune starts tomorrow. That’s where me and heaps of other people will be blogging every day and tweeting our posts with the hashtag #blogJune. Anyone can join in, so this is an invitation to anyone who stumbles across this blogpost, to join us. You just need a blog. And a Twitter account. And the determination to press ‘publish’ on a blogpost every single day. So join us!

Me? I’m excited today because not only is my blog working again after significant time spent updating it, but for some happy reason, the WordPress iPhone app also seems to be able to link to it… meaning that, right at this very moment in time, in lying on my bed and writing this post on my phone. Yippee! Not sure how the linking or image functions will work yet, but I’m liking this so far!!!

Anyway, we are at 18 hours and counting, people. It’s almost #blogJune time. Will you be joining us? Are you in?

See you tomorrow, dear reader!