Questions to Ponder – Final

Questions…yada yada…all very profound and thoughtful…tum te tum…really figured out some meaningful things all about mememe….ta-de-da-de-ta…be great to hear your answers too…dooby-dooby-doo…

  1. If you knew that everyone you know was going to die tomorrow, who would you visit today?
  2. Would you be willing to reduce your life expectancy by 10 years to become extremely attractive or famous?
  3. What is the difference between being alive and truly living?
  4. When is it time to stop calculating risk and rewards, and just go ahead and do what you know is right?
  5. If we learn from our mistakes, why are we always so afraid to make a mistake?
  6. What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you?
  7. When was the last time you noticed the sound of your own breathing?
  8. What do you love?
  9. Have any of your recent actions openly expressed this love?
  10. In 5 years from now, will you remember what you did yesterday? What about the day before that? Or the day before that?

 

My Answers

  1. If you knew that everyone you know was going to die tomorrow, who would you visit today?

My best friend. Family.

  1. Would you be willing to reduce your life expectancy by 10 years to become extremely attractive or famous?

I don’t think I want to be attractive, I see why it’s a nice idea and it would lead to opportunities, but I’m quite fond of my nonsense old face, and people who know me know it. As for famous, it would be useful, I might be able to make changes in the world – but realistically, I’m no better at fixing the problems of the world than anyone else, yet nothing gets fixed. And being famous looks fucking terrifying, like being in a car that’s skidding out of control while thousands of people look in at your stricken face and take photos. If I could trade those ten years for excellent health, constant energy, endless inspiration and maybe some money, then yep.

  1. What is the difference between being alive and truly living?

No idea. ‘Truly living’ seems like one of those judgement phrases people come up with to put down others for living all wrong. Life is tough, a lot of it is dull and difficult. Most of us will never be heroes, kings, film stars or geniuses. However, our lives are still relevant; contain love, laughter, learning and delight. So however we choose to do it, we are truly living.

  1. When is it time to stop calculating risk and rewards, and just go ahead and do what you know is right?

As a spontaneous person who has in the past repeatedly leapt into situations without calculating anything, I’m always doing what I think is a good idea at the time and then regretting it afterwards. Therefore I’m in a good position to know: ON THE WHOLE, CALCULATING RISKS, REWARDS AND OUTCOMES IS QUITE A GOOD THING. I’m not saying it’s good to spend so long calculating that you never actually do anything, but a certain amount of planning and contemplation is ideal. It’s what I try to do now.

  1. If we learn from our mistakes, why are we always so afraid to make a mistake?

Making a mistake feels horrible. The most extreme mistakes I’ve made have led to the most brilliant outcomes, but I’ve had to wade through a lot of badness first, so much so I could never knowingly walk into those mistakes. The small mistakes often don’t lead to learning anyway. The number of times I’ve accidentally kicked my laptop across the floor, or forgotten to lock the car, or accidentally said something rude to my boss – every time I tell myself never again, but I still do it.

  1. What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you?

Be more antisocial. Wash my hair less.

  1. When was the last time you noticed the sound of your own breathing?

I meditate, so I do this quite often. It’s a good thing to do though.

  1. What do you love?

People (both specific people and people in general), food, sleep, walking, writing, drawing, imagination, plants, studying. Not in that order.

  1. Have any of your recent actions openly expressed this love?

Yup. Not saying I appreciate all those things everyday, but most days and most things.

  1. In 5 years from now, will you remember what you did yesterday? What about the day before that? Or the day before that?

I guess this is a: Your life is ending one minute at a time! Live everyday day as if it’s your last! Are you living enough right now? ARE you? type question, and I object to those. There are usually a few exciting things going on in my life (exciting to me, that is, pretty much nobody gets excited about the same things I do) but if life is constantly exciting, filled with new experiences all the time, one big hyperactive adventure, then the following things happen:

  • You get stressed and exhausted and it’s impossible to really reflect on anything, you’re too busy experiencing.
  • You need to keep upping the stakes, because your boredom threshhold shrinks.
  • You keep zipping about from one place to another, so it’s difficult to form lasting relationships and the ones you have are based in excitement which means they can end up being shallow.
  • You don’t get to properly focus on one thing. Studying, being successful in a career, raising a family, writing a book – any possible major achievement in life takes time, and involves many days of repetitious boredom. This isn’t negative.
  • Because you are constantly focusing on the next big event/exciting adventure, it means you don’t get to appreciate the good, small and meaningful things in your life. In fact it causes you to remove and dismiss them.
  • Life just isn’t like that, boredom is a part of life; telling people that boredom is bad doesn’t enable people to instantly live exciting lives, just to feel that their perfectly normal lives are inadequate – which is a fucking tragedy.

Now over to you, what do you all think?

 

 

Questions to Ponder Part 3

I’m still working through the answers to some questions I found on Imgur here. They are a mixture of thoughtful and daft. Wordwitch got in ahead of me with this one, so here are some of her answers, which are interesting and funny as always. Anyone who wants to join in with their own answers is very welcome, either in the comments, or on your own blog if you fancy (feel free to add a link in the comments).

The Questions

  1. At what time in your recent past have you felt most passionate and alive?
  1. If not now, then when? If you haven’t achieved it yet, what do you have to lose?
  1. Have you ever been with someone, said nothing, and walked away feeling like you just had the best conversation ever?
  1. Why do religions that support love cause so many wars?
  1. Is it possible to know, without a doubt, what is good and what is evil?
  1. If you just won a million dollars, would you quit your job?
  1. Would you rather have less work to do, or more work you actually enjoy doing?
  1. Do you feel like you’ve lived this day a hundred times before?
  1. When was the last time you marched into the dark with only the soft glow of an idea you strongly believed in?

My Answers

  1. At what time in your recent past have you felt most passionate and alive?

This morning I was researching for a new project I’m working on, I don’t know about ‘most passionate and alive’, but somewhat thrilled and giddy.

  1. If not now, then when?

What?

If you haven’t achieved it yet, what do you have to lose?

Eh? I guess this is a motivating call to ‘just do it!’ I think I’m too contrary for those to work on me. I can motivate myself fine, but someone shouting encouragement at me will only inspire me to procrastinate with some cake and TV.

  1. Have you ever been with someone, said nothing, and walked away feeling like you just had the best conversation ever?

Sure. Once while on acid with a friend is one time I especially remember. We sat watching cranes building stuff, side by side in silence. I had the most profound experience thinking about life and how busy we all are; I felt that I had connected with this friend on a truly deep level despite the lack of words, that we were attuned, and that he must also have had also had the same realisations about life that I had had. Turned out later that he’d had a horrendous trip and had been beset by demons and doubt.

  1. Why do religions that support love cause so many wars?

Because belief causes emotion and that can be used to obliterate reason, and some people exploit that to make themselves feel important. Emotions are amazing and make life worthwhile, but they are also extremely dangerous because they feel like absolute truth without needing any evidence at all.

  1. Is it possible to know, without a doubt, what is good and what is evil?

No not without deluding yourself. I think if you remove doubt, then you are more likely to commit evil. Only by questioning yourself can you keep in check. People without doubt are appealing, but dangerous.

  1. If you just won a million dollars, would you quit your job?

Yep. Although after sashaying around the world a few times, I’d probably go back to doing my job again – but fewer hours.

  1. Would you rather have less work to do, or more work you actually enjoy doing?

I do enjoy my job. I’ve almost always done jobs I like, I don’t know if it’s luck or just because I’m so awful at sticking with things I don’t enjoy. I’ve always chosen enjoying my job over earning good money; as a result I’ve always been broke, which has its own problems. I think there’s pressure in society to achieve both – money AND job satisfaction – as if both are possible for most people, but I doubt they are, which makes questions like this seem a bit unfair. However, I would like to work less, just so I have time to do other stuff, like writing.

  1. Do you feel like you’ve lived this day a hundred times before?

No, generally, there is some repetition in my life, there needs to be a routine because constant change is also exhausting. However, there is usually something going on that suggests change is over the horizon, irons in the fire, seeds planted etc. I have a quiet fear of being stuck in a rut, so in the past when I found myself in one I flailed madly about until the rut was destroyed, usually along with all stability in my life. These days I try to shake things up by taking on a new creative endeavour or challenge, that seems a bit healthier.

  1. When was the last time you marched into the dark with only the soft glow of an idea you strongly believed in?

I do that all the time. It’s why I’m always bumping into things, stubbing my toe and then feeling beset with horror when I realise that the soft glow of my idea was actually the dim bulb of stupidity. It’s not something I’d give up  though, that rush of excitement when I think Yes! This is it! I know exactly what I have to do! It’s going to be amazing! is my favourite feeling in the world, even if it’s often wrong.

Now over to you… 🙂

Questions to Ponder part 3

So continuing the questions to get you thinking, as purloined from Imgur. Previous questions here and here. I wanted to be less cantankerous with these ones, but they are still a little patronising, and let’s face it I am cantankerous, so there’s only so much I can do to avoid that. I’d love to hear your answers also!

  1. Why are you, you?
  1. Have you been the kind of friend you want as a friend?
  1. Which is worse, when a good friend moves away, or losing touch with a good friend who lives right near you?
  1. What are you most grateful for?
  1. Would you rather lose all of your old memories, or never be able to make new ones?
  1. Is it possible to know the truth without challenging it first?
  1. Has your greatest fear ever come true?
  1. Do you remember that time 5 years ago when you were extremely upset
  1. Does it really matter now?
  1. What is your happiest childhood memory?
  1. What makes it so special?

 

  1. Why are you, you?

A mixture of chance, effort and fuck ups.

  1. Have you been the kind of friend you want as a friend?

I’ve done my best, although I’m often crap. I’m way better than I used to be, but then my friends are way better too. I could have done with some kind of rule book.

  1. Which is worse, when a good friend moves away, or losing touch with a good friend who lives right near you?

I guess the second because it implies a rejection rather than circumstances beyond the friend’s control.

  1. What are you most grateful for?

My best friend. The ideas that fire up my head. Regaining my life after brain injury.

  1. Would you rather lose all of your old memories, or never be able to make new ones?

Lose the old memories, it would be heart-breaking, but I could make a new life. If I lost the ability to make new memories, then I wouldn’t be able to function in my current life, only to live in the past.

  1. Is it possible to know the truth without challenging it first?

I think our brains are wired to make us believe that we are forming Truths based on careful observation, but actually what we do is assume. Knowing that, I try to over-ride it, but I frequently fail. So, I guess what I’m saying is – we tend to think the answer to the question is no, but without realising, we act as if the answer is yes.

  1. Has your greatest fear ever come true?

Yes. The brain injury and all the surrounding illness was a load of great fears bundled into one. Having my IQ halved and my ability to look after myself lost, seeing my life pass me by without being able to actually live it; I think these things were some of my greatest fears. Now that that is over, I still get a panic it will all happen again – a bad day of being too exhausted is frightening – but I’m also aware that I got through that, I was still living and doing what I could, so I try and focus on that optimism.

  1. Do you remember that time 5 years ago when you were extremely upset?

Yes, vaguely.

  1. Does it really matter now?

I appreciate there are things that I fret over that aren’t important and I should just ditch them, and that is important to remember. However, I don’t tend to get properly emotional unless something is really wrong, or my brain chemistry is out of wack, either way there isn’t much of an option.

  1. What is your happiest childhood memory?

Creating stories and magical lands with my friends.

  1. What makes it so special?

I got to create stories and magical lands with my friends.

Over to you folks…

Questions to Ponder part 2

Continuing posting up the questions I found on this Imgur post. Sometimes they have touch of smugness in the tone, but they are still good for self-reflection and taking stock. If you have any thoughts or answers of your own, then I’d love to hear about it.

11. You’re having lunch with three people you respect and admire. They all start criticizing a close friend of yours, not knowing she is your friend. The criticism is distasteful and unjustified. What do you do?

12. If you could offer a newborn child only one piece of advice, what would it be?

13. Would you break the law to save a loved one?

14. Have you ever seen insanity where you later saw creativity?

15. What’s something you know you do differently than most people?

16. How come the things that make you happy don’t make everyone happy?

17. What one thing have you not done that you really want to do? What’s holding you back?

18. Are you holding onto something you need to let go of?

19. If you had to move to a state or country besides the one you currently live in, where would you move and why?

20. Do you push the elevator button more than once? Do you really believe it makes the elevator faster?

My Answers

11. You’re having lunch with three people you respect and admire. They all start criticizing a close friend of yours, not knowing she is your friend. The criticism is distasteful and unjustified. What do you do?

Argue with them! I’m always happy to argue when I think people are being unfair. However, often I later realise they had a point and I feel stupid (although maybe not in the above case). I don’t know the real rights and wrongs of speaking up – there’s an arrogance in arguing, but if I think something is wrong then my mouth doesn’t ask my brain to intervene, it just carries on.

12. If you could offer a newborn child only one piece of advice, what would it be?

Assuming they could understand me, remember it and care about a stranger’s advice. Actually I’m not sure. People are so varied that fantastic advice for one person is terrible for another. I’d try: engage with the world; the more effort you make, the happier you will feel.

13. Would you break the law to save a loved one?

To be honest,  at times I’ve broken the law because I’m bored (I’m not talking big laws here). Without thinking I’d break the law to save any person.

14. Have you ever seen insanity where you later saw creativity?

The two seem fairly different to me, there are cross-overs, but I’m wary of insanity labelled as creativity, because that’s a dangerous romanticising of illness. It’s true insanity can give a different perspective on life, which helps with creativity; but insanity can also destroy time, energy, concentration and communication skills, so it often harms creative ability also.

15. What’s something you know you do differently than most people?

The general living my life thing, how I look, what matters to me, the job I do, how I behave, what I own. I’m not good at conforming – it’s not intentional, I’m just crap at it, so I’ve ended up with an odd life; I’m not an impressive renegade or anything, just odd. That can be scary sometimes (am I doing everything wrong?) and people often get angry about it; but my life suits me well, so I’ll stick to that wonky route.

16. How come the things that make you happy don’t make everyone happy?

Because people are varied, it helps makes the world a fascinating place.

17. What one thing have you not done that you really want to do? What’s holding you back?

Visit Madagascar/ Antarctica, have a road trip around the U.S. However, those need to wait, first I’ve got lots of other things that are more important (to me) to do.

18. Are you holding onto something you need to let go of?

I tend to obsess about the past, and it isn’t helpful at all. Unfortunately, when I’m feeling down the whiny thoughts circle my head, like an endless march of self-pity. So, yes, I am, but I am trying hard to stop that.

19. If you had to move to a state or country besides the one you currently live in, where would you move and why?

Just about anywhere would be exciting, although not helpful right now. Every culture has something I can learn, a new way of thinking, a new climate, new details to life. I get itchy feet, so I don’t keep the possibility too far from me, and sometime soonish, I hope to move away.

20. Do you push the elevator button more than once? Do you really believe it makes the elevator faster?

No, and no.

So, now over to you…

Questions to Ponder

I found these questions on Imgur and they set me thinking. Although it may become obvious that the questions annoyed me a bit, they are useful for taking stock, working out if I am living how I want to live. I thought I’d share in case you too find them useful to think about. If you like, add your own thoughts in the comments, or even write a blog and link, depending on how the inspiration takes you. There are fifty of these questions, so I’m going to break them up a bit and post ten at a time.

The questions for today:

  1. How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?
  2. Which is worse, failing or never trying?
  3. If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don’t like and like so many things we don’t do?
  4. When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done?
  5. What is the one thing you’d most like to change about the world?
  6. If happiness was the national currency, what kind of work would make you rich?
  7. Are you doing what you believe in, or are you settling for what you are doing?
  8. If the average human life span was 40 years, how would you live your life differently?
  9. To what degree have you actually controlled the course your life has taken?
  10. Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things?

 

  1. How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?

I don’t entirely understand this, because I wouldn’t still be the age I am? If the question means How old do you feel? Then somewhere between nineteen and a thousand, I can feel like both. In most ways I’m less jaded than I was as a child, but I also feel ancient, haunted, inept and childish. The older I get, the more I don’t care about the number I am, but how well I can physically and mentally deal with situations.

  1. Which is worse, failing or never trying?

Failing is a short term horror, but something you have to go through to get to longer term wonder. Never trying is a short term comfort, but a lifetime of emptiness. I tend to go for trying and failing, because the emptiness has always scared me. However, I’ve known people for whom trying is permanently uncomfortable, they are happy in their lack of effort. I guess we each have to find what works best for us.

  1. If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don’t like and like so many things we don’t do?

Survival for the first one. Time for the second one.

  1. When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done?

I’ll have done plenty of both. I have a rule: I only talk about something when I definitely intend to do it, and I only abandon this plan when a better plan comes along. Not saying I always follow this rule, there are plenty of good ideas I’ve abandoned due to laziness or fear, but laziness and fear have their uses also.

  1. What is the one thing you’d most like to change about the world?

I would like to shift emotion and reason so that they are in better proportion – individuals sometimes ruled by emotion to the point that they do terrible things, but most systems (ie government, corporate business, healthcare) seem to be so without empathy that they treat individuals terribly. So just a more evenly spread balance of the two.

  1. If happiness was the national currency, what kind of work would make you rich?

This is a complicated question. I believe that my job (gardener) keeps me sane, physically healthy and calm. The things that make me happy are writing, laughing with friends and eating, but if I did these things for eight hours a day, I wouldn’t be sane, physically healthy or calm. And probably not happy either. I also fear that if doing those things was a duty, I’d soon stop enjoying them. It’s probably an old-fashioned view, but I think we need difficulty, responsibility and boredom in our lives, if we got to do things we enjoyed all the time, it wouldn’t make us happy at all; we wouldn’t feel fulfilled because we wouldn’t be able to appreciate the good things we had.

  1. Are you doing what you believe in, or are you settling for what you are doing?

I think my job matters, but it has many flaws that annoy me – so in some ways I settle, while also doing what I believe in. Writing is the same, I love it (‘believe in it’ is an ambiguous phrase) but it is flawed. Life always has a few compromises.

  1. If the average human life span was 40 years, how would you live your life differently?

I would already be dead.

  1. To what degree have you actually controlled the course your life has taken?

Illness, injury, and disaster aside, I’ve made most of my choices. Often badly. I’ve never been good at doing what I’m supposed to be doing (and I’ve tried, I promise) so I’ve had to figure out my own way of doing things.

  1. Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things?

I believe that both matter. My tendency is to focus on doing the ‘right thing’ while not paying attention to the details, and as a result I often fuck it all up and have to start over again, doing it properly. I know other people who get very bogged down in carrying out a task to perfection, while other tasks get neglected completely. I think this is one of those situations where you need a balance of the two ways of thinking.

My Responses to My Own Questions

There were some excellent answers to these questions in the comments and on various blogs, so thank you to everyone who took part (and to anyone who still wants to, please do!) These are my own answers…

If you are a blogger, how would you describe what you write about? Are there specific themes you stick to or a style you use? (feel free to add a link)

I write a hodge podge of daft stories and pictures, with occasional posts on things I’ve learned about mental illness and brain injury. I don’t really intend a style, but I think my stories tend towards the odd and my health stuff is very focused on sharing solutions.

Do you write driven by inspiration or do you struggle to find things to say?

I try to write three posts a week, and sometimes that involves more thoughts than I have, so I try to keep a backlog of ideas.

Which kinds of posts do you most like writing? Do other people like reading them?

The stories. I like to play with ideas. I think people tend to like them. Although often I write something I love, but nobody else really notices; or I post a story that I think is so-so, but readers love it. I am not good at predicting opinions.

What wouldn’t you ever write about? Why?

I don’t want to slag anyone off (although sometimes the temptation is there). I do write about real situations in stories, but I make sure I play with the characters enough to remove them from reality. I try to avoid complaining posts; although they can be interesting to read, they make me feel miserable when I write them.

What’s your favourite post that you’ve written? (again, add a link if you like) What did you like about it? Did other people ‘get’ it?

Lost Islands of Xogulano these are very much niche fiction and I know they leave most people cold, but they’re probably the thing I’m proudest of. I just love mixing science and imagination, but finding ways of doing so that aren’t typical sci fi. Some of the BI posts are also very important to me, like Overcoming Panic and Phobias, because they were hard won lessons. I suspect much of the stuff I learned recovering from a brain injury is alien to people – close friends didn’t understand what i was talking about most of the time – but I like to know they’re available to anyone who might relate to them and find them useful.

What’s your favourite post that someone else has written? What about it caught your attention?

There’s  there’s this short fiction by wordwitch. I like it because she mixes poetic images with pure oddness; making a funny and beautiful story, with complex ideas contained in a tiny space. And Booky Glover wrote this poem, Booky’s poems always have melancholy elegance and for that reason they stand out.

Do you keep a blog because you want it to lead somewhere? Or do you just like writing?

I do like writing, I feel lost when I don’t write. However, I also have a bit of an end game – I’ve written two books now, one published, one not yet, and I hope by blogging I can find people who like how I write, in the hope they might also like my books.

What sort of blogs do you most like to read? Personal? Stories? Factual? Pictures?

All of those. I think I like a variety. I love reading a good story, but then I get curious about the people who wrote them and I want to find out more.

What kind of posts put you off reading?

Bitchy, bitter ones. Bigoted, hateful ones. Fortunately there don’t seem to be many of either on WordPress (although I might just be missing them).

Is there anything else about a blog that puts you off (eg fonts, popups)?

Anything that makes the writing difficult to see – hefty side bars, odd fonts. And I hate popups, I think they’re rude. On my blog, I want an email sign up button linked to my Mailchimp account, and trying to achieve that without using popups has been seriously complicated.

When do you write and read blogs? From work? On the toilet? Inside a volcano?

At home, in the one chair that doesn’t wreck my back.

How do you find other blogs to read (or do you not)?

I follow many, I go looking under tags to find more. One of the best things about WordPress is how many brilliant blogs are on here.

Tell Me All About You…

 

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Hello fellow Blogsters,

Over the past year, I’ve rattled on quite enough about me, now I want to know about you. Sometimes blogging can feel like I’m throwing posts out to the world, with no real clue what I’m doing. It makes me wonder how other people go about blogging and what it means to them. It doesn’t matter if you are a regular reader or are just in the mood to chat, I want to know about YOU. Please answer in the comments below, or if you feel particularly inspired, you can write on your own blog and put a link in the comments.

Questions, questions, questions…

If you are a blogger, how would you describe what you write about? Are there specific themes you stick to or a style you use? (feel free to add a link)

Do you write driven by inspiration or do you struggle to find things to say?

Which kinds of posts do you most like writing? Do other people like reading them?

What wouldn’t you ever write about? Why?

What’s your favourite post that you’ve written? (again, add a link if you like) What did you like about it? Did other people ‘get’ it?

What’s your favourite post that someone else has written? What about it caught your attention?

Do you keep a blog because you want it to lead somewhere? Or do you just like writing?

What sort of blogs do you most like to read? Personal? Stories? Factual? Pictures?

What kind of posts put you off reading? Is there anything else about a blog that puts you off (eg fonts, popups)?

When do you write and read blogs? From work? On the toilet? Inside a volcano?

If you  want to add any questions, that would also be great. 🙂

I’ll post with my answers on Friday…

 

Mystery Blogger Award!

My Monday Good Thing is a self indulgent one today, I’ve been nominated for an award and so I get to talk all about ME.

I was nominated by At Milliways with a pen (I’m guessing that’s a Douglas Adams reference which is always great), so thank you.

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The Mystery Blogger Award…

  • is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there and they deserve every recognition they get.
  • is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging and they do it with so much love and passion.
  • was created by Okoto Enigma.

List of instructions for nominees:

Note: it seems a bit cheeky to be making demands on people I don’t really know, so just do what you feel like doing

Guidelines:

  • Display the award logo on your blog.
  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Mention the creator of the award and provide a link.
  • Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.
  • Answer 5 questions from the nominee.
  • Nominate 10 – 20 bloggers.
  • Notify your nominees by leaving a comment on their blog.
  • Ask your nominees 5 questions of your choice, including 1 weird or funny question.
  • Share the link to your best post.

My Answers

Three things about me (I’m terrible at these kinds of questions, so I’ve just picked three random things I could think of):

  1. I once got dragged down the street by bus. It was one where you jump in through the open door at the back. I jumped, grabbing onto the pole; I missed my footing but held on and got dragged along the road to the next set of lights. I may have been quite stoned at the time.
  2. I’ve lived in about 30 different places; including a derelict building, a squat and a house I helped build that had no walls.
  3. If I had the money, I’d do degrees in marine biology and electrical engineering.

Milleyway’s questions:

What’s the book you always wanted to read (or should have read) when you were younger but couldn’t because you never found it/it didn’t exist? Like, what would you have felt truly represented you?

I don’t know if this makes me sound like an arrogant arse or not, but I don’t think I’ve ever found a book that represented me. One reason I started writing when I was a kid was that all female characters I encountered were weak and whiny and I wanted big dramatic characters who did stuff. (I could identify with big dramatic male characters who did stuff, but it wasn’t quite the same). Now, female characters are more dramatic, but I haven’t read any that I feel are like me. That doesn’t stop me enjoying reading about them though.

Are you good with directions? (I’m not.)

I think my brain is missing an essential part that enables me to know where I am. I’m mostly in a haze of unawareness. I’m fine with that because I like to wander.

Starbucks, yes or no? Explain why.

Rarely, because I’m super careful with money and Starbucks is expensive.

What are you the most hopeful about for 2017?

I’ve decided this is the year I get over my problems with anxiety and I think I have a workable plan to do this. My job is going well (I actually seem to know what I’m doing) and I kind of look forward to going in. I’m working on a new writing project that I’m excited about. I think I’m getting a novel published.

Weird question: Do you have a favorite airport? (Mine’s SeaTac.)

I quite like being at airports, I think it’s the lack of anything to do. I spent a pleasant few hours at Quito airport in Ecuador some years ago, just walking round listening to music, thinking and eating a burger. Then I spent the next twenty four hours in Hell as I got food poisoning on the plane, followed by getting stuck in a freezing Houston airport because the planes were snowed in. I’m more wary in airports now.

My favourite post of mine is one of the Islands of Xogulano posts: Lichen Fish

My nominees, all of whom have great blogs you should check out:

  1. Bookyglover – thoughts and poetry
  2. The Shameful Narcissist – mostly book and game reviews
  3. Among Other Things, J – thoughts and poetry
  4. Sidra Owens Welcome to the Wicked Orchard – thoughts and stories
  5. WAGblog: Dum Spiro Spero – art and thoughts
  6. Perfect Man Designs – comic art about life
  7. Word Shamble -stories
  8. Calmgrove – literary musings
  9. Flash 365 – flash fiction
  10. Living in God’s Pocket with ABI – thoughts and poetry about life with a brain injury

My questions for you ten:

  1. Where did the idea for your blog title come from? What does it mean?
  2. What are your plans/ambitions for 2017?
  3. If you could download any file of knowledge to your brain (Matrix-style ‘I know kung fu!’) what would you choose?
  4. What do you find difficult that other people find easy?
  5. What modern saying or common language error gets your hackles up?

Questions for all of you…

Sometimes writing a blog can feel like throwing tales out into the void. I’m lucky in that people do comment on my blogs, but that just gives me a tantalizing glimpse into your minds. So this is to expand on that. I welcome anyone to answer, whether you’ve ever read my blog before or not.

Tell me about you…

  • What are the 3 best things that happened to you this week?
  • What are the 3 worst things to happen to you this week?
  • What secret skills do you have?
  • What would your superpower be?
  • What would you like to change about yourself?
  • What would you like to change about your life?
  • You have a time machine, you can use it three times, when would you go?
  • What subject do you wish you knew more about?
  • What do you think of as your job? Do you like your job?
  • What is in your pockets?
  • What is your favourite TV program/ magazine/ book?

My answers

What are the 3 best things that happened to you this week?

In no particular order

  •  I finished rewriting my book, which is why I have time to cogitate on blogs like these.
  • My boss liked how I pruned a fig tree, said it was perfect.
  • A good friend of mine is getting married! She’s dreading it!

What are the 3 worst things to happen to you this week?

  • Had an argument with a colleague, I think because he didn’t like how I pruned my fig tree and so he picked a fight over something else.
  • I had one of those uneasy dreams, where people close to me are acting weird as if they’ve been taken over by aliens. Spent the day feeling nervous.
  • I’ve got this new niggling pain in my back, I think I may have started sitting wonky.

What secret (useless) skills do you have?

I can write backwards, upside-down and then backwards and upside down at the same time.

What would your superpower be?

The ability to show people how others see them. I have a suspicion that nastiness is often a result of people not realising they are being nasty; that anxiety comes from believing other people actually notice and care about what you do when they don’t; and people I love don’t seem to have a clue about how much everyone else respects them. So I’d want to solve all these problems with my truth lasers.

Either that or really springy feet that I could use to leap my way around buildings and up trees.

What would you like to change about yourself?

It’s a dull answer, but I’d just like to get rid of anxiety and stress-based exhaustion. They taint friendships, adventures, hobbies, work. They improve nothing.

What would you like to change about your life?

To have some success with writing. To own a cat. Or a dog.

You have a time machine, you can use it three times, when would you go?

  • Assuming my time machine has a few attachments that allow me to survive in inhospitable landscapes and translate speech into something I understand. A few hundred million years into the past to see all the bizarre ocean animals, the first plants and fungi to evolve.
  • Ancient Greece, the time of Aristotle. It seems such a sophisticated time, but with many curious twists to their politics and morals.
  • The future – I’d probably regret it, but the curiosity would be too much. Are we heading for the destruction of the human race? Will the changes to our environment lead to an evolutionary burst of new animals?

What subject do you wish you knew more about?

History. I have only fragments and no way of holding it together, because my knowledge is so patchy.

What do you think of as your job? Do you like doing it?

I added the first question for people who do a job that means nothing to them, but do something else that’s very important. Or people not currently employed, who of course still have passions and labour that occupy their time.

For me, I think of work as the thing I get paid for. I’m a gardener, I love it, but the place I work is unusually complicated and competitive for gardening and I find that stressful sometimes.

What is your favourite TV program/ magazine/ book?

Currently Community (although in the past it was 4400 and Red Dwarf)

New Scientist

I’m not a great reader these days, back when I was smarter it was Swing Hammer Swing! by Jeff Torrington and The War of Don Emmanuel’s Nether Parts by Louis de Berniere.