More about me my novel-in-progress Random thoughts Scribblings

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

#AtoZchallenge Blogging challenges Random thoughts

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

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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


#AtoZchallenge Blogging challenges Christianity Life Random thoughts

S is for ‘scamper’

I love this word. I smile every time I see it. In my mind’s eye, I picture a child of 5 or 6, enthusiasm exuding from every pore, beaming widely as they run about exploring, delighting in their discoveries and keen to squeeze as much as possible into every single moment.

I remember that age… I think. I remember the excitement, the feeling of life extending forever, the knowledge of my own invincibility, convinced I could go anywhere, be anyone, do anything.

Where did that feeling go?

And why?

I’m reminded of that verse in the gospels, where Jesus said, “Unless you become like a little child, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven.”

Honestly, I can’t actually remember the last time *I* felt that excited. That eager to squeeze the joy out of every single moment.

I should probably try that again…

Here’s to a ‘scamper’-ing day today! And have a ‘scamper’-ing one for yourself too, dear reader!

— KRidwyn

[PS That Bible verse was Matthew 18:3, by the way…]

#AtoZchallenge Blogging challenges family anecdotes

D is for ‘determination’

When I was a teenager, my mother regularly talked about ‘Grit and Determination’. They could get a person anywhere, she said. Perhaps her constant reminders were indicative of my ‘lazy, good-for-nothing’ character at the time, but be that as it may, they certainly made a lasting impression on me.

And my mother would know. Born somewhere in the latter half of nine siblings, she was the only child to win a scholarship at her village’s Primary School, allowing her to attend the English speaking secondary school in her country’s capital. That’s where she started to learn English. And she learned it well enough, studied hard enough, that by her matriculation, she was the only student in her country to win a scholarship to attend University – in New Zealand!

I’m glad she went. That’s where she met my Dad – and the rest, as they say, is history…

albeit, interesting history. After having three children, Mum raised us then went back to full-time work, as a teacher, while we were in primary school. After a few years, she decided to study Japanese, and became a LOTE teacher. At one of her schools, she had a overwhelming number of visually impaired students: so my Mum decided to learn braille. And yes, not just English braille. Japanese braille, to teach to Australian students.

Fast forward another twenty-something years. She’s retired, however her determination to not be confined by past achievements still defines her. Not only has she mastered Japanese, Chinese and Hindi, she’s well on her way to mastering Latin – and receiving an iPad for Christmas last year has inspired her yet further, with the language apps she now has easy access to.

‘Grit and determination’ can get a person anywhere. She’s living proof.

Me? I find her an inspiration. Now that I’ve given up trying to keep up. My determination tends to be time specific. As in, it’s 7.20pm and I’ve been up since just before 4am, but only now am I finding the time to sit in front of my computer and write this blogpost. I *had* hoped to have these ‘A to Z challenge’ posts published at 9am each day. Obviously that didn’t happen today – but in spite of yawning profusely for the past hour and a half, I was *determined* to not let my head hit the pillow before I wrote this post. I know, I know. Piddling, in comparison to my Mum. But that’s my story on determination today. What’s yours?

And have a great day, dear reader!


Life More about me

It’s a special week, this week…

screen-shot-2016-10-16-at-5-19-49-pmDid you know it’s Dyslexia Empowerment Week?

Both my husband and Miss11, our eldest, are dyslexic. So I feel strongly about this one.

Check out their website for information and ideas about how to what you can do to support people like Hubby and Miss11. Even just spread awareness of the week, or (as they suggest): “Rethink Dyslexic Myths” – help debunk the many myths surrounding dyslexia, such as:
1. There is no one in our school (or workplace) with dyslexia
2. Only boys have dyslexia
3. Smart people can’t have dyslexia
4. People with dyslexia read backwards, or swapping b’s and d’s, that’s all
5. People with dyslexia will never improve so there is nothing my school can do to help.

Some famous dyslexics:

Sir Winston Churchill, Leonardo da Vinci, Albert Einstein, Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, John F. Kennedy, Richard Branson, Billy Connolly, Whoopi Goldberg, Steven Spielberg, Hans Christian Anderson, F.Scott Fitzgerald – and Catherine Deveny, from whose book USE YOUR WORDS: A MYTH-BUSTING, NO-FEAR APPROACH TO WRITING, I’ve copied this list.

So this week, I’ll be spreading awareness of what dyslexics can achieve, and trying to empower those dyslexics who feel helpless in our schooling system. Will you join me?

Thanks! And have a great week!

— KRidwyn

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When your kid is smarter than you

4066496185_9624123677_mSo it’s happened. My Miss11 beats me in chess. Regularly. So much so, that she doesn’t ask me for games anymore. Miss8 and Mr7 still do, but Miss11? Not so much.

I asked her if it was because I was too easy to beat. She hesitated before answering with, “Umm… noo….” – you know, the long drawn out variety of no which means ‘yes, but I don’t want to hurt your feelings.’

It’s sad, but I guess ’twas inevitable. You see, when it comes to chess, I have developed this theory: an older brain is less flexible, and therefore a younger brain will beat an older brain in chess any day of the week.

That’s my excuse, and I’m sticking to it.

Plus, it makes sense, I think. Why else is it easier for young children to pick up languages etc? Because their brain is still maturing, working out which neurons should fire together, and all that jazz. But oldies like me, our brain paths are set in their ways. They like centre openings. They like castling around the middle of the game. They like set patterns of checkmates to follow. And when an opponent comes along who runs things differently, who shakes things up, it’s really rather frustrating.

So that’s my gripe for this week. She’s now better at me in something. And she’s knows she is, AND she knows I know.

Really, I’m okay with that.

It was bound to happen sometime. *sigh*

I just hoped it would have been much, much later!

Have a fantastic week, dear reader!

— KRidwyn

CC image courtesy John Morgan on Flickr

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When stuff goes pear-shaped

I remember one of my godfathers once asked me to choose a present for myself. I was about 8, and we were in the local newsagent.

I looked for a long time, finally bringing him the thickest compendium of Garfield comics I could find, which he bought without hesitation. Afterward, he questioned my choice. “I was only able to choose one gift,” I explained, “so I wanted to make sure that the gift I chose would last me a long time.”

That’s me. I’m a thinker; a planner. I’m the person who always has to know what is going to happen, WAY ahead of schedule, so I can plan for it. That photo next to ‘control freak’ in the dictionary? That’s me.

Well, it used to be, anyway. I’m learning to relax a lot more. God working in me and all that, maybe?

Case in point: this blog.

Last week. No blog post.

Whoops! Monday morning came; Monday morning went; all 24 hours worth of Monday disappeared… and no new words appeared here.

And it was completely human error. Mine.

Thees last couple of weeks have been busy ones, you know? As in, three-cherubs-underfoot-EVERY-SINGLE-DAY-and-no-time-to-stop-and-think-and-realise-exactly-what-day-it-is-today kind of busy.

Hence Tuesday evening, when I went to watch the Monday TV show I’d taped the night before, I realised that I’d been a day behind. No TV show taped. And also, no blog post published. It wasn’t even written! It hadn’t even been thought about!!!

Cue panicked screaming, running around the house, arms flailing, et cetera – for a whole 20 seconds.

And then I thought, ‘You know what? These things happen. It’ll be okay.’

Decibel levels reduced to within nationally appropriate safety standards, my arms stopped flailing, my heartbeat slowed again, my mind ceased racing, and the cherubs whose presence had caused the upset to routine in the first place, chalked the episode up to yet-another-example-of-Mummy-being-crazy, sighed, and returned to watching old episodes of Pokemon I’d recorded for them. (Yes. Record their programs, not mine. Go figure.)

Stuff had gone pear-shaped, and little ol’ control-freak me was going to… be okay with that.

I’d realised that no amount of panicked screaming and arm-flailing was going to change the situation. “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change” seems appropriate to quote here, but actually, it was a tweet that same day that hit the nail on the head for me, instead.

Screen Shot 2016-08-14 at 4.06.24 PM

So often I allow stuff over which I have no control, to trip me up. Do you do the same? But although the idea of ‘stumbling over something that lies behind us’, is ludicrous… how often do we do it?

If we can’t change the past, then let it lie. Don’t dwell on it; forget about it inasmuch as it is able to be forgotten (obviously, consequences will out and all that).

But, in the grand scheme of things, I don’t want to be the person on her deathbed at the end of her life, saying ‘I regret spending all that time worrying’. Especially when it’s worry over things I can’t do anything at all about.

[Aside: It may be trite, but I believe that worry is simply an unsaid prayer.]

So my advice, when stuff goes pear-shaped? Do something about it, if you can. And if not, then don’t sweat it. In the long run, it’ll probably be small stuff anyway.

Well, that’s my take on it. Your thoughts?

And have a great week, dear reader!



Temperature and mood

I’m a fan of summer. Give me a blazing hot sun over chilly wind fingers that find the smallest gaps in your clothes; long lazy days at the beach over grey days where you never feel warm, no matter how many the layers; blue skies and sunshine over drizzle and rain and dreariness that makes the greyness felt eternal.

The beach in winter? Not my favourite place. If I could, I’d stay in bed until the sun’s heat strengthened again and the days were long enough to enjoy it.

[I find it amusing that George R. R. Martin seems to have capitalised on the whole seasons concept, and no-one can remark on the passing of autumn without recalling the Stark motto. As a former marketer, that is just GENIUS!]

Today is May 23rd. Just a few more days until Winter is official. It seems a long stretch until the middle of Spring, when I know from experience that I’ll be able to chart my happiness levels with each incremental increase on a thermometer.

At least there’s #blogJune to look forward to. And the eventual availability of GOT Season 6 DVD here in Australia too, I guess.

How about you? Does the change in season affect your mood as well?

Keep warm, everyone!

#AtoZchallenge Blogging challenges Christianity Writing

26 lessons from God’s metaphors: #25

Welcome to the second last post of this series on God’s metaphors. Twenty-six different names God uses to describe Himself- all in one handy A to Z cross-stitch that my Mum made for me a few years back. Each letter has a name and a Bible verse… all except this one, Y.

Y is for Yahweh. In Hebrew, YHVH.

The name of God.

The first time this name is used is the book of Exodus, verses 14 and 15. The version of the Bible verse in the quote below, uses Hebraic language, rather than the Anglicised words. [In the overwhelming majority of English Bibles, the different names of God are translated as the word ‘LORD’ – the capital letters indicated that it is one of God’s names.]

Y“And Elohim said to Moses, I AM THAT I AM; and He said, you shall say this to the sons of Israel, I AM has sent me to you. And Elohim said to Moses again, You shall say this to the sons of Israel, Yahweh the Elohim of your fathers, the Elohim of Abraham, the Elohim of Isaac, and the Elohim of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is My name forever , and this is My memorial from generation to generation.”

I mentioned just above the Bible verse that God has different names. This can be a little confusing for us Westerners, in modern times, to understand!

But basically, the different names for God refer to different aspects of his character. Thus “Elohim” emphasises His might, His creative power, and His attributes of justice and rulership – whereas in our English Bibles it’s translated to the word “God”. Likewise, the Hebrew scrolls have names such as “El Shaddai” (LORD God Almighty) and “El Elyon” (The Most High God) and “Adonai” (Lord, or Master). Names can also be lengthened, so “YHVH Tzva’ot” means ‘Lord of Hosts’, where ‘hosts’ refers to military groupings.

But this post is about “Yahweh”. And this is the name that God gives of Himself.

In this passage above, we see Moses speaking to God, who has appeared to him in a burning bush, and has told him to go back to Egypt and tell Pharoah to let the Hebrew slaves go. Moses, understandably sceptical, and probably not wanting to go and be laughed at by people when he tells them that he saw a bush on fire that didn’t burn up, and heard the voice of God coming from the bush, he decides to ask God directly, “Who should I say sent me?”

And God replies, “Tell them that  I AM sent you.”

This is the name that He gives himself. Yahweh. In Hebrew, YHVH. They know it as the Tetragrammaton. And for any readers who are also writers, you may be interested to know that this name is *indeed* related to the verb ‘to be’ (to exist). Cool, hey! This name was incorrectly translated into English as ‘Jehovah’, by a German scribe back in the sixteenth century, and the name has since found common usage. Personally, I prefer the original.

And did you know that observant Jews consider this name to be SO holy, that they don’t even write it out in full? This is why, rather than writing ‘God’, they write ‘G-d’. Some believe that this is to lessen the risk of ‘taking God’s name in vain’ (one of the ten commandments) however it could also be because Judaism prohibits erasing or defacing a name of God. So if the name of God is written out in full, then at some point in the future, this writing could become erased or defaced. And to prevent this situation occurring, they avoid writing it.

So. Quite a bit more information in this post than in the usual, but then again, it *is* Day 25. And it’s such an interesting topic, in my opinion!

So what, then, is the take-away lesson for today? For me, it’s to reflect on the name/s of God, especially the One Name that He gives of Himself. YHVH. “I am”. It reminds me a little of what I was thinking when I wrote about ‘the Alpha and the Omega’.

Writing this post, and thinking on the different names of God, also had me singing the Amy Grant song ‘El Shaddai’, so here it is for your enjoyment too 🙂

So. That’s it for today – and almost for the entire month too! Tune in tomorrow for the final post: “Z is for King of Zion.”

See you then, and have a lovely day, dear reader!

— KRidwyn