Sunshine questions for everybody!

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A wise man can learn more from a foolish question, than a fool can learn from a wise answer.

Bruce Lee

Land Manatee nominated me for a Sunshine Blogger Award and it’s always nice to have a bit of sunshine, so thank you Land Manatee! He writes highly entertaining blogs, so worth having a look if you fancy something to read.

I like the chance to answer and ask questions –  to an almost pathological degree – but I’m a bit wary of putting pressure on others, so I won’t nominate anyone else, I’ll just link to a few blogs I think are great. I’ll add some questions too, and anyone who feels like it can answer them.

That means YOU!

if you want…

My questions for you

  1. What recurring dream do you have? Do you know why?
  2. If you could choose any name for yourself, what would you choose?
  3. What’s the weirdest fact you know?
  4. What’s a secret about you that no one would ever guess?
  5. Do you prefer to stride or amble? Why?
  6. Name a small thing that made you smile today?
  7. What made you want to write or keep a blog?
  8. What was your best decision ever?
  9. What could have gone wrong today, but didn’t? It can be as serious or ridiculous as you want.
  10. For a week you can have any job you want and be good and successful at it, what do you choose?
  11. What’s the most inexplicable thing that’s ever happened to you?

Some of my favourite bloggers (although, certainly not all)

Darnell Cureton Fictionista – he’s always writing great stories and playing with ideas. His latest, about a psychic crime fighting squad, is great.

Boo Surviving this thing called life – a bitter sweet blog about losing the one you love and keeping hope

Colin McQueen Getting on – always funny, a master of the metaphor

Questions Land Manatee asked me to answer

What would your dream job be and why?

In the world of my head, my dream job would be something adventurous and dramatic, like plant hunting in the jungle or an investigative reporter uncovering corporate wrongdoing. In reality, I know I’d find those jobs stressful and exhausting and they’d give me no time to write or be with friends, so I’d end up hating them. Probably the best job for me is the one I do – gardening – it’s hard work, but rarely stressful (where I am now, anyway), gets me outside and the people are ace. It lets me spend hours daydreaming too, which is essential or I go strange.

How would you describe your perfect day?

In the jungle, photographing colourful birds, plants and insects.

What inspires or influences you as a writer or blogger?

Blogging – life. It’s filled with bizarre little details, funny people and odd mysteries.

Writing – the same as above, but with the chance to let my imagination do ridiculous things too.

If you decided to move to a new country or city, where would you want to live and why?

Iceland, maybe. I’m curious about the politics and people and I think the environment would be drastically different to what I’m used to, and I love that.

What famous person or celebrity at any point in history would you like to meet and what would you want to talk about or ask that person?

Someone who’s done something huge and terrible, Hitler, Pinochet or Pol Pot. I’d want to understand why they did what they did, if there is a specific course of events that shapes someone like that, and if there is any way to divert that course

In what fundamental way have you changed over the years?

I had a real life-changing event about fourteen years ago when I got brain damage and PTSD, and that changed everything in many ways. These days I’m a lot calmer, less confident, less manic, more aware of others than I was before the accident. I get on a lot better with people, but I worry a lot more if I don’t.

What do you like about your writing and what frustrates you?

When writing books, I like that my writing tends to be imaginative and unusual. However, my last book ended up kind of intense, and I really didn’t want that.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to start a blog or be a writer?

To start a blog – make sure you’re writing something that you’ll enjoy writing, so it isn’t a chore

Writing – get the ideas out, splurge; then be your own harsh editor. Create with abandon, select with care.

What is a pet peeve of yours?

In writing it’s stereotypes, when the writer hasn’t really thought about anyone beyond their own peers/gender/race and so bases all characters outside of that on characters they’ve read before.

What’s your favorite book, movie or TV show and why? (answer any of them you feel like)

Books – Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, because it’s joyous, funny and ridiculous, but still has some profound ideas to it.

TV – Community, because it’s joyous, funny and ridiculous, but still has some profound ideas to it. And it also has a diverse cast that avoids insulting stereotypes.

If you were to be sent back in time — at least more than 75 years ago — when and where would you want to be sent to and why? Would you be an observer or a participant?

I’d go a few billion years, I want to see early life. The first forests, the bizarre sea creatures, to discover the climate. I definitely shouldn’t be a participant, I’ve seen that Simpson’s episode.

 

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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 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…