THAT PHOTO. PRIVACY. CROSSING THE LINE IN BOSTON

Facebook logo Español: Logotipo de Facebook Fr...

Sharing the unthinkable – credit: Wikipedia)

Some things horrify me.

I believe in freedom and I certainly believe in the right to a free press. We Brits, have had some issues in this regard over recent years, with law suits on how far the Press is allowed to go. Scandals such as “phone tapping” only really became scandals once we discovered they weren’t just doing it to the rich and famous. It turns out they were hacking into the parents of boys who were dying for their country in Iraq or Afganistan.

There’s a photo that came from Facebook,  I’m not sure if it’s real or a fake, but it’s spread like wildfire. It is not a nice photo and every person that forwards it on in emails and in attachments to text messages or even social media should take a moment to think about what they are doing.

THINK ABOUT HOW YOU WOULD FEEL IF YOU WERE THE PERSON ON THE CHAIR?

Oh, did you forget about them? The human being at the center of the story whilst you all gloat and pass it around saying have you seen this?

In an open office of around twenty, there were two of us that said “NO.”

“No, I don’t want to see that damn picture. Why would I want to see that?”

“No, I don’t want to see a human being broken and bleeding”

“No, I don’t get a kick out of another’s misery”

I feel saddened that human curiosity on the macabre is enough for us to lose our compassion and our dignity. So that people huddle around a phone or a screen saying things like “Have you seen this, it’s gross”.

These people weren’t children, or teenagers. So, you can’t blame the complete lack of discretion on naiveté or inexperience.

As much as I believe in the right to Freedom, I also believe in the right to privacy. So if you see or get forwarded a copy of that photo, just delete it. There are things that should stay private and this photo crosses that line.

As for Boston, I wish everyone peace and my thoughts are with the families and friends of those that lost their lives.

Comments, as always welcome.

THE BLOG

1000 Pennies for Your Thoughts - NARA - 534149

1000 Pennies for Your Thoughts – NARA – 534149 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s just words on a page. A short online record of thoughts, dreams, feelings or your favorite cupcake recipe. Whether you’re a serious blogger or just a casual online scribbler, it’s an oasis of privacy in the most public of mediums.

To share or not to share is often your question. Is the time I got caught sleep-walking naked in New York okay to lay down on paper? Or is it something more serious? A stigma or a social issue that haunts you and you feel no-one will ever understand? Do you lay it bare or keep it in? So many questions each time your digits hit the “qwerty”.

Should you show yourself à la open or honest or should you be represented via an electronic icon or meme… Say a pink typewriter? Can you have a public blog and a private persona so that you’re not sacked when you slag off your colleagues when they get on your nerves?

Then there’s the validation, when it goes well. People have read me and even better they have something to say about it. Oh Goody! And when it doesn’t “why does nobody like me?” , “What did I do?”, “Where did you all GO!” and “Why aren’t you all sat by your laptops waiting for my ramblings?”.

Whether you’re a journaller, a shutter-bug, a frustrated writer waiting for their big book deal (HELLO, HELLO, HELLO), a sometime chef or an enthusiastic amateur. It’s all here for you. An oasis for those thoughts, pictures, recipes, poems and life. What’s more, we’ll all be here, reading, nodding, loving, hating, ignoring, following, liking and commenting.

Welcome to the BLOG. Come on in, the waters lovely.

205 – FOLLOW ME EVERYTHING IS ALRIGHT….

This is a "thought bubble". It is an...

This is a “thought bubble”. It is an illustration depicting thought. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I thought about doing a blog post last week about this and then seven people decided to ditch me, so it became redundant and then I picked up another seven followers yesterday. Which is I think a record for me in a single day…

I hit 205 Followers yesterday. I know how many followers it says in the sidebar but that includes my twitter and Facebook friends too. So it’s baloney. But, my official stats are 205 as of five minutes ago. For all I know another seven people will decide that this isn’t hitting the spot for them,  hightail it away in the next twenty-four hours and I’ll be back under the 200 mark.

It’s not a mind-boggling number for most of you  – two hundred.. But for me it’s many, many more than I ever thought I’d get.  When I hit 100 I did a little dance and I’m just as thrilled now it’s the big 200, in fact I’m doing a samba now, which is making it hard to type.  I feel a little humbled by that number. We live in such an instant gratification world that to have connected and shared my thoughts with 200 people feels like a victory.

Yes , I know most of them probably followed me looking for a “Follow Back” and sometimes I do, after I’ve checked out their blog, read some of their posts and seen the heart of them beating. Sometimes, I don’t.

There’s some hardcore followers though, one’s who I still genuinely get thrilled about seeing their little faces or object or randomness in a square of happiness accompanying my posts as a like, then a heartfelt and genuinely thought-provoking comment on whatever I’ve chosen to ramble on about.

This all started as a blog about writing but that’s not how it is now, it’s my form of self-expression and it’s a bit random. Oh, I throw in the odd post about writing because it’s a big part of my life, but it’s not all “How to”.

So this post is my thanks to all those who clicked a follow and whether genuine or not, cheers for stopping by. I guess I’m not as alone as I thought.

There’s a  special mention though for the following (anyone not mentioned please don’t take offense, but I couldn’t stick 200 odd on here):-

http://charronschatter.com/

http://magoffleash.wordpress.com/

http://wideawakebutdreaming.wordpress.com/

http://thereclininggentleman.wordpress.com/

The above, you know who you are and you know what you did. THANK YOU.

Comments as always, welcome.

The GAP – Are you playing at this?

Mind The Gap!

Mind The Gap! (Photo credit: BuhSnarf)

It’s been a while… Sigh.

In fact it’s been about six months or is it more? I forget, even though this blog calls to me at the strangest moments to pick up my little netbook and jot a few thoughts down. I’d reached the saturation point I think, before.

Before, I decided that everyone has done it better and more succinctly elsewhere. Other writers with words more clever and funnier than mine. What do I have to offer except repackaged duller versions of other writers words.

And yet, it still calls to me. This little spot, my unadulterated stream of consciousness. I still think in the middle of the night of the small things I could say in my way. I’d hoped for further forward and feeling brighter and yet there it is in the stats, a big fat huge six month gap and I can’t take it back.

But pausing doesn’t have to mean failing and my words are here on the page.. I am going on. It’s just a little gap….

I hope you will welcome me back and now that I think about it – I never really left. I was just waiting for a space to slide myself into.

A gap.

Hello! I’ve missed you all so much.

10 THINGS MY MOTHER NEVER TOLD ME ABOUT MY THIRTIES

Twins

Twins (Photo credit: kevin dooley)

Now that I am edging towards the second half of my thirties, there are a few things that my mother definitely never covered in our mother daughter chats. Although I am not sure I would have believed her even if she’d told me…

  1. You will look in the mirror one day and not recognise yourself. This will happen overnight and you’re certain that you didn’t look like this yesterday.
  2. You don’t know what’s at number one and have never heard of half the songs in the download chart. Music also sounds louder at lower volumes even though you know you used to play songs at a level eight – the six is now quite loud enough thank you.
  3. You will get hangovers even if you used to come home in the early hours and arise fresh and rested after two hours sleep. You lost three days in recovery time the last time you got drunk.
  4. You will be able to keep more than one bottle of vino in the house without drinking it. In fact you have a rack that has wine in it!
  5. You will enjoy staying in more than dressing up.
  6. You are inexplicably attracted to the colour beige when clothes shopping and have a bit of a moment, consequently bursting into tears and needing a stiff drink to sort you out.
  7. You will walk into rooms and forget what you went in for. You will then stand for about ten minutes before checking the internet to see what the early signs of Alzheimer’s are.
  8. Hair starts to grow in unusual places even if you are a woman, it’s just that nobody talks about it.
  9. You will start to wear flat shoes even if previously you haven’t been seen in anything less than four inches. Ballet shoes become your new go-to.
  10. The garden starts to become interesting and you find yourself at the weekend going to the garden centre and spending an extraordinary amount of time looking at plants.

So what have you noticed that you think should be in the life manual?

Comments, as always, welcome.

HOW TO MAKE GOODREADS FRIENDS AND ALIENATE PEOPLE

I have in the space of one week been befriended by a “hot” author and rejected by another!

Author 1

The first Author who approached me unsolicited for my friendship is famous. I was so convinced that she was an imposter, I demanded proof that I wasn’t being conned by a thirteen year old teenage boy. When this was duly provided, it left me feeling simultaneously star-struck and guilty. I may have written an unkind comment about this person resembling a chirpy librarian in another post somewhere on this blog…
Having a famous GOODREAD friend can be hazardous to your blogging health. Especially as I commented angry (which they will never know or care about) in the feedback section of a very popular blog. I read an article that was swimming with jealousy, literary snobbery and hypocrisy.

The article itself was a great idea and could have been brilliant. The mistake (in my opinion) was commenting based on other people’s opinion of my new GOODREADS BFF work, and not sticking to the facts or even giving a “personal” assessment.

I think my argument went something like “if you haven’t read the books then don’t write about their validity, language or quality content”.  I think the phrase that made me angriest from the original article went as follows:-

“But I do hope you’ll join me, fellow self-publishers, in being glad that this isn’t one of ours.
“I rolled my eyes at myself?” Don’t our books get enough stick as it is?

I was shocked and surprised to receive a response that picked me up on the grammar of my feedback.  It went a bit downhill from there.  I have to admit in all honesty that I am ashamed of my original comment and angry when I replied to the Grammar rebuff.  I should have waited until I had calmed down after reading the article and then given constructive points and not ranting – It appears however, that I am a very flawed and deeply opinionated human being.

Author 2

The second Author sent me a personal note saying that she would actually rather not, when I sent out a GOODREADS request from the look for your friends app. At first I felt slightly miffed, in a  “Who does she think she is?” Kind of way – I then totally got it.  How would having another wannabe author as a mate, help her get her work out there to readers? Especially as GOODREADS restricts the number of friends you can have to a maximum of five thousand. I ended up feeling happy and supportive of the author, after all she took the time to write me a note and her reasoning was sound. Who knows maybe that will be me one day…

Unable to accept a friend request because there are four thousand and nine hundred and ninety-nine other readers I want to reach out too.

A girl can dream….

Comments, as always, welcome.

RULE OF LIFE – THE UNIVERSE WILL LAUGH AT YOUR PLAN!

English: Graphic depiction of number of posts ...

English: Graphic depiction of number of posts per year at the Best Page In the Universe (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I wrote last week that I was going to post a blog on Mon, Wed and Fri.  I failed miserably to live up to that statement. I managed the Monday and Wednesday and then posted a sneaky award post this morning (SAT). So why the abysmal lack of stamina in sticking to the self-imposed rules? After all in the last two months I’ve achieved at least three posts each week, even in a hectic schedule.

When it becomes forced, my drive to write and my authenticity goes off somewhere else. I arrive at completely blank and stay there. My mind is drier than a desert dwellers sandal. I could feel the pressure building as each blog date approached. I would get distracted at work as each evening fell. Oh, now I have to go home and blog! I had originally planned to have a couple of blog posts scheduled in advance, ergo, then I would have to just set the date for release. This would have avoided the stress of thinking, now I have to write something, anything, just to get the content out.

It wasn’t fun or enjoyable, it felt like work and not the good kind. I also felt guilty that I was breaking a promise I had made to post on certain days. I may not get a massive amount of likes on each post and the number of views are always a bit weird. I swear someone at WP HQ is just playing with me. I do get a lot of comments though and that’s where I get my kicks. Read anyone’s blog on any subject and then read the comments section. Often, it’s the best bit! That is where the action is, that’s where you get your engagement and interaction. I love you opinionated people, you rock.

I did a post recently, where two commentators had a debate in my comments section, with each other, I just watched (that sounds a bit creepy, sorry). I was so thrilled and kept checking to see who was going to say something next. It is part of what makes this exciting and enjoyable.

In closing, the universe (not for the first time) laughed at my plan, as did my creativity and authenticity. So posts will return to an as and when basis. I think we’ll both enjoy them more.

Comments as always welcome!