Category Archives: Writing

Blogging from A to Z Challenge: 2018 Theme Reveal!

Welcome to the Great and Powerful Blogging from A to Z 2018 Theme Reveal!

For those of you who aren’t aware of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge, you can read more about it here:  http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/

I’ve been a participant in said challenge since 2014.  Every year I choose a theme, and every year I blog it on the fly.  Will this year be any different?  Probably not, but I can dream!

Before I reveal my 2017 theme, here are themes from challenges past:

  • 2014:  I blogged about our house, and the befores and afters of the renos we did and changes we made after buying it.
  • 2015: I blogged about interesting places in Victoria (all close to home).
  • 2016: I blogged about learning to use my DSLR
  • 2017: I blogged about my ‘hood in Welcome to James Bay!

And now, my Blogging from A to Z Challenge 2018 Theme!  Drum roll please…..

The A to Z of Wabi Sabi: an exploration of wabi-sabi photography (and accompanying commentary)

What is wabi sabi?  Well, in simple terms, it’s the Japanese art of imperfection.  Which is perfect for me!  You can read more about it at Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wabi-sabi) and about how it relates to photography at Discover Digital Photography (https://www.discoverdigitalphotography.com/2016/wabi-sabi-photography-the-art-of-the-imperfect/)

My friend Susan in Regina, during out photography adventure back last September, introduced me to the term wabi sabi upon realizing that I loved taking pictures of broken and worn-out things.  I’m looking forward to exploring more of this, under the three types mentioned in Discover Digital Photography: “photography of the overlooked beauty, photography of worn and weathered beauty, and adding imperfections to staged images to make them seem more real.”  And using the letters of the alphabet to choose my subjects.  Of course, I will be writing my own reflections on my photos, so I see this year’s challenge as a chance to practice both my photography and my writing.

I guess I better start planning!!

Sometimes Stellar Storyteller Six-Word Story Challenge

Here is another fun writing challenge I am going to try my hand out with as I begin to pull myself out of this rut, well more like a canyon, I have fallen into (and keep falling back into) over the past, well, long time.

The Sometimes Stellar Storyteller Six-Word Story Challenge is from Nicola Auckland, and you can read the rules at https://nicolaauckland.com/welcome-to-the-home-of-the-sometimes-stellar-storyteller/about-the-six-word-story-challenge

And this week’s challenge topic is Complicated (https://nicolaauckland.com/2018/02/17/sometimes-stellar-storyteller-six-word-story-challenge-90/)

And here is my first attempt at this complicated six-word story.

Unweaving alternative facts becomes daily life.

Just Jot it January: January 25

“Your prompt for January 25th, 2018, brought to you by my dear friend Dar, is “Prediction.” Use it any way you’d like in your post. And make sure you visit Dar at her blog, “Darswords” to read her post and say hi! Here’s her link: https://darsword.wordpress.com/(https://lindaghill.com/2018/01/25/jusjojan-daily-prompt-january-25th-2018/)  Except, of course, NOT one-liner Wednesday for me because these Jots are not only my 500-words a day challenge, but also part of my  Ultimate Blogging Challenge challenge (http://ultimateblogchallenge.com).

Prediction

Disclaimer.  This has been a rough day (much rougher for others than for me) and I am very angry right now because some things don’t need to be the way they are (in my world, and in the world out there).  So, this will be a more rambly, repetitive post than usual (yikes, you say).  I only hope my final prediction comes to pass.

Have you ever had one of those days when you just wanted to say “who could have seen that coming” ironically all day?  Or all week/month/year, for that matter.  And perhaps the people who should have been able to see that something was amiss, and that someone was suffering, would have noticed if they had ever actually been around to notice?  It’s bad enough in the world we live in today, when you saw the DT train wreck coming a mile away but were helplessly watching people who should have known better let it happen – you have no control over that if you’re an average joe (and not American…).  And, you know, it’s one of those train wrecks that keeps going on, and on, and on, with train car after train car piling onto each other endlessly, and even though someone could turn off the train and stop the continued wreckage, they don’t.  You know what I mean?

I don’t want to talk about my day too much.  Suffice it to say that someone was suffering, and people who should have noticed and helped didn’t, and it feels crappy being one of those who might have been able to help in some way but didn’t feel like they were in a position to but should have anyway.  No, like the random universe of DT, you can’t always predict how things are going to turn out (I mean, who could have predicted a year of endless bizarroland), but if you see something coming and you are in a position of support or authority, it’s your job to be present, and to try and make things better.

As I disclaimed earlier, I realize I am angrily rambling today.  If you are suffering and need help, it would be nice if someone who is supposed to be looking out for you would notice and try to make sure you have the support you need.  I mean, I guess you can’t predict everything, but if you are present, and you are paying attention, you are in a better position to guess where things might be heading.

In some ways, I am done with predictions, and more about trying to effect change myself in whatever ways I can.  Even working within systems that seem clunky and set up to be as challenging as possible for some people to navigate.  It’s time for some change, and change for the better.  So while I can’t, and won’t try to, predict where things may end up, things will be better…eventually.  Of that, strangely enough given my propensity towards cynicism, I have no doubt.

Cheers.

Just Jot it January: January 24

“Jut Jot it January AND One-Liner Wednesday!” (https://lindaghill.com/2018/01/24/one-liner-wednesday-jusjojan-daily-prompt-january-24-2018/)  Except, of course, NOT one-liner Wednesday for me because these Jots are not only my 500-words a day challenge, but also part of my  Ultimate Blogging Challenge challenge (http://ultimateblogchallenge.com).

Nope.  Not up to it today.  Not for 500 words, anyway.  No reason.  I think like most things, while consistency and practice improves skill and performance, everyone needs a day off – a break, if you will, to relax tired muscles.   So, I will be back tomorrow with 500 words.

I don’t have a one-liner for you, but I do have a kitten!

Just Jot it January: January 23

“Your prompt for January 23rd, 2018, brought to you by the kind, considerate, and eloquently snarky Supernatural Snark, is “Colour.” Use it any way you’d like in your post. And make sure you visit Super at her blog, “Supernatural Snark” to read her post and say hi! Here’s her link:  https://supernaturalsnark.wordpress.com/(https://lindaghill.com/2018/01/21/jusjojan-daily-prompt-january-21st-2018/)  These Jots are not only my 500-words a day challenge, but also part of my  Ultimate Blogging Challenge challenge (http://ultimateblogchallenge.com).

Colour

I’m not sure I am up for writing 500 words today.  If I were to describe myself as a colour today, it would be gray (feeling quite tired), or perhaps a pukey green (feeling kind of pukey) or perhaps a mind numbing red (bright lights are hurting my eyes and head).  Let’s see if I can do this, ‘cause I just don’t want to miss a day for this 31 day challenge.  Colour me stubborn!

The colour of the day was gray as well.  Cloudy, rainy, windy, and on top of all that, there was a tsunami warning on our island from a big earthquake that happened offshore this morning.  Nothing came of it, but it was kind of exciting for a little while.  The colour out there right now is pitch black.  Of course, it is after 6:00 now, but it’s been pitch black for a while now.  And it will still be pitch black when I get up tomorrow morning.  But, the days are getting longer and this pitch black will last shorter.

I am looking at my document (I compose my longer posts in WORD and then copy them to WordPress…just in case…) and I notice that the word “colour” keeps getting underlined in the colour red.  This is WORD telling me that this word is not spelled correctly.  Well, WORD, guess what?  It is!  You are stuck on American English spellcheck, apparently.  The word is colour, not color, at least in my English!  Maybe I should try to change that spellcheck sometime.  Someday.

Now, let’s talk about favourite colours (both of these words have now been underlined in red).  What’s your favourite colour?  Mine is purple.  But it wasn’t always purple.  It used to be green.  Not the kind of pukey green I was talking about before though. More of a bright foresty kind of green.  But now it’s purple.  I don’t know why.  I think it was because our last house had a purple door.  Now I wear a lot of purple, and often have purple hair.  Maybe someday my favourite colour will change again.  That’s ok.  There are a lot of good colours out there.

One thing that has always puzzled me about colours is how some people know so many of them.  Some people say women know more colour words, and can identify more colours, than men.  I am not one of those women.  I never know what magenta is, or chartreuse.  I mean, what are those colours?  And what’s the difference between ebony and black and onyx? Aren’t they all black?  Those of you who read my Colour Your World posts know that after a few weeks of the Crayola colour themes I can’t tell the difference between different similar colours anymore.  At a certain point, all the 25 different Crayola greens look the same to me.  But, it’s still fun trying to find pictures of things that match the colours on the palettes.  And you know me – I love a good blogging challenge, especially when it involves photographs!

And now, here is a picture of some colourful food.

Just Jot it January: January 22

“Your prompt for January 22nd, 2018, brought to you by the friendly and nautically inclined Capt Jill, is “Liberty.” Use it any way you’d like in your post. And make sure you visit Jill at her blog, “Capt Jills Journeys” to read her post and say hi! Here’s her link:  https://captjillsjourneys.wordpress.com/(https://lindaghill.com/2018/01/21/jusjojan-daily-prompt-january-21st-2018/)  These Jots are not only my 500-words a day challenge, but also part of my  Ultimate Blogging Challenge challenge (http://ultimateblogchallenge.com).

Liberty

Liberty, eh?  I don’t think I want to write about this today.  It’s a touchy subject for a lot of people, and I am not feeling at liberty to post on how I feel about liberty today, especially as it relates to work.  Sorry, Captain Jill.  I just don’t have it in me today to talk about liberty.  Except, to say that I feel amazingly fortunate to live in Canada these days.

Yeah.  So, this is also one of those days when I do not feel like writing, but I guess that’s when you need to do it.  I should also mention that I don’t feel like exercising today either, and it works the same for exercise – you should definitely do it when you don’t feel like it.  However, today I will skip the exercise and do the writing.  Just so I do something!

What am I going to write about?  Have you had days where you felt like for every step you moved forward, you were forced 2 steps back?  That was today.  I was in a crappy mood when I went to work this morning, and although I got a lot done and felt less grumpy when I went home than when I arrived, I felt completely frustrated and at a loss as to how to even react to some of the stuff that happened.  On the bright side, I have a workout scheduled for tomorrow morning, so that should help my mood at work.  Oh, it won’t make work itself better, but at least I will feel like I’ve accomplished something before even getting to work.  And on the other bright side, I am making chili for supper.  The ultimate comfort food for me.  I am SO looking forward to filling my plate!!

How many words it this now?  Only 300?  Man!  How am I ever going to get to 500 today?  Let’s see.  What else happened today.  Might as well make this a journal entry and then you all get a glimpse into my day.  It was raining this morning, but then cleared up for most of the day, with a reasonable temperature.  Have I said how much I love living in a place (in Canada) where January is spring?  Constantly amazing and happy-making seeing plants blossom at this time of year, and no snow anywhere to be seen (there is snow elsewhere on the island, but not here)!  If I had the liberty to choose where I lived, it would be here – Victoria and Canada!  Luckily we did have the liberty to choose our city about 11 years ago when Kevin became an optometrist for his second career.  Canada wasn’t a choice for me, but I wouldn’t live anywhere else right now.

I should also mention how lucky I am to have the work colleagues I do.  Salt of the earth, and amazingly supportive.  Plus, Bob always lets me know what wines I should be buying, which is what he did today (a Slovenian Sauvignon Blanc) which I picked up on my way home from work, and am enjoying right now.  Doesn’t get better than that!  Thanks Bob.

Just Jot it January: January 21

“Your prompt for January 21st, 2018, brought to you by the wonderful and talented Willow, is “Silence.” Use it any way you’d like in your post. And make sure you visit Willow at her blog, “Willowdot21” to read her post and say hi! Here’s her link:  https://willowdot21.wordpress.com/(https://lindaghill.com/2018/01/21/jusjojan-daily-prompt-january-21st-2018/)  These Jots are not only my 500-words a day challenge, but also part of my  Ultimate Blogging Challenge challenge (http://ultimateblogchallenge.com).

Silence

Sound of Silence.  Silence of the Lambs.  Silent Running.  Silent Night.  Run Silent Run Deep.  Vow of Silence. All Quiet on the Western Front (ok, I cheated there…)

I was trying to think about what I wanted to say about silence today, thinking that it was ironic I was going to “talk” about silence, although I am not saying this out loud.  However, I am not saying it in silence as I hear the tappity tappity of the keyboard as I type merrily along with three fingers (and my thumb for the space bar).  Maybe a bit of random stream of consciousness would be ok here.  So, here goes.

I went to the symphony today with mom.  Now, just so you know, while I do like going to the concerts, having been an orchestral musician for many years. Sometimes I feel a bit jaded when trying to enjoy the concerts.  When I don’t enjoy the music, I keep silent as other around me are usually enjoying it.  I get frustrated with people when they don’t keep silent while I (and others) are trying to listen to the music.  I don’t understand why people think it’s ok to talk during a concert, or during a movie.  Please, be silent.  I know there is music playing, but people want to listen to it.  So, yes, I realize that a symphony concert is not itself, silent.  But people have to learn to be silent so everyone in the audience can hear and enjoy the music.

I like silence at home.  In the morning when I get up, I sit in silence with my coffee and my bagel as I read blogs and do some writing.  Sometimes when I come home from work, I do the same, minus the bagel.  Other times I don’t like silence.  Like when I run or exercise.  I need music as it keeps me motivated, and also keeps my mind off the fact that I am running or exercising.  And then there is, of course, when I meditate.  I usually meditate with a guided meditation, but I like the silences built into the meditation.  Of course, my mind likes to fill the silence with its own thoughts, but that’s another issue.

I don’t like silence when I am eating either.  Although, there is nothing more annoying than really loud music in a restaurant (well, there are a lot of annoying things out there, but this is one of things I get really annoyed with that relates to this topic of silence).  I mean, I want to talk to whomever I am with, not have to yell.  So, a little background music is good, yes.  I don’t need to listen to the sound of me chewing.  But let’s be reasonable about it!

I think it is interesting, though, that there is very seldom real silence around me.  In fact, if there is, it can feel quite uncomfortable.  I prefer a little something that I can just block out.  What would you call that?  Pseudo-Silence?  😊

Just Jot it January: January 20

“Your prompt for #JusJoJan and Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “oc.” Find a word that starts with “oc” and use it in your post. Bonus points if you start and end with your post with an “oc” word. Have fun!” (https://lindaghill.com/2018/01/19/jusjojan-daily-prompt-january-19th-2018/)  These Jots are not only my 500-words a day challenge, but also part of my  Ultimate Blogging Challenge challenge (http://ultimateblogchallenge.com).

So, today, being Stream of Consciousness Saturday, I’m supposed to write a post using a word that starts with “oc”, and use it in my post.  But, of course, since I am still working through the 500 words a day challenge, I will need to somehow make this post 500 words.

The first challenge is to pick a word that begins with “oc”.  I think I have a lot of choices.  Some of the ones I’ve seen today are occasion, ocelot, and, what else?  I’ve forgotten.  But there are lots of words.  Bigly words.  Some of the best words, you might say.

How about occupy?  I think that’s a good one for some of the stuff going on today.  How some people choose to occupy their time given government shutdowns and how certain presidents occupy their time blaming everyone by themselves, even though they were quite clear a few years back that shutdowns are the president’s fault.  Maybe occupy isn’t the best choice today.

I rather like the word occult.  Since I was born on Hallowe’en, there has always been a bit of occultishness in my life.  Black kitties, Friday the 13th, witches, vampires – I love them all!  And nothing like a good ghost story to go to bed with…

Ocean.  Now there is an interesting one.  Occupy and occult sound like ok at the beginning, but ocean sounds like osh.  But I do love the ocean.  It’s one of the things I love about living here, and one of the things I need in a house here.  I mean, if we are going to live here, we should live near the ocean, and by that I mean within walking distance…reasonable walking distance.  I mean, everything here is “near” the ocean, but right now, we are 3 blocks from it, and that works for me!

Oh, oh, oh… Octopus!  I love this word.  Why?  Well, not because I like the creature (I don’t dislike it, but I wouldn’t want one for a pet), and not because I like eating it (although I do, but only when it’s been cooked right – our favourite restaurant, Olo, does a great octopus appetizer!).  So, why do I like this word?  It’s because of the plural.  Some people would say the plural of octopus is octopuses.  And then some know-it-all would say no, it’s octopi.  But all those people are what I like to call wrong.  Believe it or not (and I don’t really care if you don’t, ‘cause I’m right), the plural of octopus is octopodes.  Why?  Because it’s a Greek word, NOT a Latin word.  You were fooled by the “us” at the end, which usually has the plural “i”, you know, as in cactus – cacti, and fungus – fungi, and nucleus – nuclei.  But NOT octopus.

So, now you can amaze all your family and friends by telling them what the real plural of octopus is.

Disclaimer:  If you do a search for octopodes online, you will find conflicting reports of its accuracy as the plural of octopus. Those people are all crazy, and probably say octopi.

Just Jot it January: January 19

“Your prompt for January 19th, 2018, brought to you by my dear friend and fellow Canadian, Kerry, is “Darkness.” Use it any way you’d like in your post. And make sure you visit Kerry at her blog, “Her Headache,” to read her post and say hi! Here’s her link:  https://kkherheadache.wordpress.com/(https://lindaghill.com/2018/01/19/jusjojan-daily-prompt-january-19th-2018/)  These Jots are not only my 500-words a day challenge, but also part of my  Ultimate Blogging Challenge challenge (http://ultimateblogchallenge.com).

Darkness

Darkness.  Darkness was what it was this morning when I left the house to walk down to the Harbour Air terminal in the Inner Harbour to catch my plane to Vancouver.

Darkness was what the city was still enveloped in when I reached the terminal.  Daylight Savings time, you know.  Well, not so much Daylight Savings time as Winter.  I mean, even if we didn’t change time, 7:00 am would still be dark at this time of year.  It’s the end of the day being dark I object to.  Dark when you go to work, dark when you go home from work.  I can hardly wait for March!

Darkness is a state in which float planes do not fly.

Thus, the first plane out of the city at this time of year is at 8:00am, and the last plane coming back from Vancouver is 4:00pm.  Makes for a tight day.  But a much better (and cheaper) way to get from Victoria to Vancouver when you are having meetings, etc. downtown.  Other ways to get to Vancouver include driving all the way to the big airport and taking a jet to Richmond and finding a way (cab? Bus?) to downtown Vancouver (and then back again). Or driving to the ferry terminal, waiting in a ferry line, taking a ferry for an hour and a half to Tsawwassen and the finding your way to Vancouver (driving your car, taking a bus…) probably during rush hour, since you are going into Vancouver for a meeting.  Oh, and the first ferry leaves at 7:00 am, which mean you need to get to the terminal one-half hour before it leaves (pay extra for a reservation if you’re worried you will not get on if it’s too busy).  All that as opposed to me getting up and walking for 20 minutes from our house to the Harbour Air terminal, checking in 25 minutes in advance, then a 35-minute flight downtown Victoria to downtown Vancouver, then a quick walk to the meeting.  No driving, no parking.

Of course, this doesn’t work so well if you DO have to drive somewhere else in Vancouver.  So then, the ferry is a better bet.  But anything I can do to avoid driving in Vancouver (especially in the rain, or in the Darkness) I will do!  Even flying.  On a small plane.  That is very bouncy when it’s rainy and windy (as it was today for part of the flight).

Anyway, we made it back uneventfully, and without anyone losing their lunch (as far as I could tell), gliding into our Inner Harbour, and parking smoothly at the dock.  I disembarked, once again without dropping my bags (or myself) into the water (those stairs are NARROW!!).  And, thus ended my adventure, in the Darkness once more. An adventure of flying on a float plane for the first time, from downtown Victoria to downtown Vancouver for a 6-hour meeting.  Commuting by plane, like some commute by car or by bus or by rail.

Just Jot it January: January 18

“Your prompt for January 18th, 2018, brought to you by the lovely Sandra, is “Revolt.” Use it any way you’d like in your post. And make sure you visit Sandra at her blog, “What Sandra Thinks” to read her post and say hi! Here’s her link:  https://whatsandrathinks.com/(https://lindaghill.com/2018/01/18/jusjojan-daily-prompt-january-18th-2018/)  These Jots are not only my 500-words a day challenge, but also part of my  Ultimate Blogging Challenge challenge (http://ultimateblogchallenge.com).

Revolt

Revolt is an interesting word to choose as a theme for Just Jotting in January.  I’m not really sure how I feel about this word, revolt, but let’s take a closer look at it.

If I think about it for a minute, I would say you can revolt against something, like a rebellion, or a strike are kinds of revolts.  Or something can be revolting, like slimy things, or raisins.  Yeah, I don’t think of many things as revolting (well, there are some politicians out there right now I would call revolting), but raisins?  They are just wrong.

Anyway, the word “revolt” has the connotation of not liking something so much that you have to rebel against it, even if rebelling just means your stomach loses its contents.  Or maybe you just don’t agree with something to the point where you have to try to stop it.

Well, now what do I need to say?  I don’t know that I have ever actually led a revolt against anything.  Well, maybe kind of, but I don’t think it’s a good idea to talk about that here.  After all, the Internet has ears.  So to speak.  I mean, not literal ears.  Unless you count Siri.  That chick is spooky.  Anyway, leading a revolt sounds like a lot of work.  Especially when you consider that revolts don’t always work.  I mean, even if you “win”, how likely is it that things will just eventually go back to the way they were?  People have revolted against the wealthy before, but look at how things are today.  Are we waiting for the next revolt?  Some people seem to think so.  And revolts are typically violent.  It’s kind of part of the definition of the word, as in “to try to remove the government of your country using force”.

I sometimes think I should raise a revolt against those people who put raisins in their muffins.  Yes, I’m back to raisins.  Mainly because I am having a hard time today with this prompt.  But there is nothing more revolting (see what I did there?) than taking a bite of a muffin, expecting no raisins (or expecting something different altogether) and getting a mouthful of raisins.  Or cinnamon buns.  Those are the worst.  Why would anyone ruin a perfectly delectable cinnamon bun with raisins?  Back in the days when I could eat glutinous food, I would have a cinnamon bun at work.  This was back in the days I worked with friend Susan.  She would remember well me piling up raisins on a plate on the days the buns had those revolting raisins in them.  I could do nothing else.  Eating them…well, just no.

Kevin once bought a loaf of bread he thought was olive loaf.  Turned out to be raisins. Nasty surprise for him, but he should have worn his glasses to the grocery store!  He knows better now.  Raisins are sneaky and pernicious.  Yes, pernicious.  Now THAT would be a good Just Jot prompt word!  Beware of those pernicious raisins!

And now, enjoy a picture of a gang of peacocks, just hanging out waiting to cause trouble (or perhaps to revolt!)

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