Thursday, November 27, 2014

Forecasting my Foggy Bloggy Future


Photo of fog taken by me

NaBloPoMo's writing prompt today is, "Where do you see your blog in one year? Five years?"

So that means I have to look into a foggy future to forecast my blogging fortune does it? ;)

Okay seriously though, I can only speculate what might occur as life just loves to throw curve balls at times! Did you notice life's circumstances are never linear? ;)

A few years ago, on April 25th 2011 to be exact, or at least when I wrote a brief post entitled, Blogging Switch, http://www.xpressyouressence.blogspot.ca/2011/04/blogging-switch.html, I was considering some changes to my blog.

I had considered changing my blog name from 'Xpress Your Essence' (as 'Express'... was taken) though I was fine with that. At the time, I was playing around with the terms 'express' or 'expression' or 'expressive' for two main reasons: I had graduated from an Expressive Arts Therapy program and love and appreciate the expressive arts, and self-expression is important to me. I think it is for everyone, though may be unbeknownst to various people.

Another possibility I was thinking about at the time was changing my blog site, i.e., from blogspot (now called 'blogger'?). Readers, please note that I would love your feedback on this, i.e., those of you who have transferred from blogspot to wordpress in particular, and if not, then those who use wordpress or another favourable blogging site. Please keep your comments succinct, perhaps in point form if need be.

Contemplating a different possibility would be a second blog; however, there are pros and cons to this (as with everything in life). ;) For example, one post could be targeted towards my vision (what I used to call 'dream') and anything related to that such as music and similar forms of expression. The other might be a mishmash of topics such as this blog has become.

I may consider a different path, though I enjoy blogging - I had at one point declared that I wanted to be a professional blogger, when I learned what it entailed, I had a slight change of heart. Read Me? Professional Blogger? And You? for details: http://www.xpressyouressence.blogspot.ca/2014/11/todays-post-is-nablopomo-prompt-with.html

However, for the reasons listed in Talented Thursday: Blogging AND...?!possibly, I write about my juggling acts, or rather responsibilities: http://www.xpressyouressence.blogspot.ca/2014/09/talented-thursday-blogging-and.html...that well, keep me busy and not necessarily able to post every day ad infinitum! ;)

However, I would love to enjoy the success that fellow blogger Roshan Radhakrishnan experienced. Did he blog daily? I would have to check! ;) However, he stuck at blogging for seven years before he published a few stories and that increased over time.

Godyears, the name of his blog features a post written a few days ago on Year 10 - Happiness is the Path: http://www.godyears.net/2014/11/year-10-happiness-is-path.html

I think he could teach me and others a few tricks or rather tips about blogging. Perhaps I can ask or interview him (if he will allow me the opportunity) so I can pick his brain if I am to keep at this.

On the other hand, I may end up writing a few books which will take time. One, I have already written - a young children's - and I am looking for either a hybrid publisher or to self-publish it. The others I have yet to write. See Books inside Me? at http://www.xpressyouressence.blogspot.ca/2014/11/books-inside-me.html.

These are some ideas that are floating around in my mind right now. Which actions I will pursue and take within one year and five years...well, time will tell. I'll let you know how things go as best I can or else, you will find out for yourself. ;)

However, I am open to ideas and suggestions. Feel free to let me know; however, again keep as succinct as possible. Those of you whom I know, feel free to FB me. Thanks kindly! ;)

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A New Angle on 'You' or is that 'Me?' ;)


Photo from clipart

Today's interesting and unusual writing prompt is as follows, "Take a post or scene you've written and find a new way in by rewriting with another angle."

Well that's quite a challenge when you - or in this case I - have written quite a number of posts already! Which one do you, or in this case I, choose?! (Should that be ?! or !?) ;)

Tribute ... to You!, a post written on November 9, 2012 - http://www.xpressyouressence.blogspot.ca/2012/11/tribute-to-you.html - featured an inspired poem that came as a result of a relationship I had with an ex-boyfriend. I thought he was the beginning of a change in the men I seemed to choose, i.e., be in relationship with.

I'll repeat it here for your benefit. The original poem simply entitled "You" is as follows, though I’ve had several slightly different versions of the poem's ending:

You,
a perfect reflection of me
A reminder of my own glory
as I see [slight pause] your inner and outer beauty

You,
a mirror
of my thoughts
my feelings
my desires?

Oh, how I am in awe of you
and thus me as you

You,
who reflect that which is pure and deep
and light and love and happiness
within me

You,
whom I cherish with all my heart
my mind and spirit

Thank you,
thank you for being you
and all that which you are

God bless,
God bless you
and thus me
as our spirits intertwine*
and become one

WOW!
I am in love!
I am in love with life
with God
with you
and thus me

Again thank you,
thank you for being you
and all that which you are. ©

*intuitive movements with my hands here like a DNA/RNA spiral


So, on a slightly different angle, a different take or perspective, how about this:

Tribute ... to Me! Well, that sounds rather weird or the title would definitely need to be changed, to what I do not know, yet! ;)

Me,
a perfect reflection of you,
A reminder of your own glory
as you see [slight pause] my inner and outer beauty

Me,
a mirror
of your thoughts
your feelings
your desires?

Oh, how you are in awe of me
and thus you as me

Me,
who reflect that which is pure and deep
and light and love and happiness
within you

Me,
whom you cherish with all your heart
your mind and spirit

Thank me,
thank me for being me
and all that which I am

God bless,
God bless me
and thus you
as our spirits intertwine*
and become one

WOW!
You are in love!
You are in love with life
with God
with me
and thus you

Again thank me,
thank me for being me
and all that which I am. ©

*intuitive movements with my hands here like a DNA/RNA spiral


Ok, now be honest here, which version do you like better or better yet, which do you find most grabs your attention? Is more inspiring?

P.S. I ended up enjoying this post 'cause it gave me a brilliant idea if and when I publish this in future. And I need to remind myself to send it to a local singer so she can make it into a song! ;) <3

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

NaBloPoMo Social Media Challenge


Photo credit: Roberto Kaplan

I have a confession to make: I lost my mojo, my 'magic power' according to the world of google, my spark, my joie de vivre according to me.

With certain circumstances weighing me down, my heart feels heavy today, and my somewhat vague concept for today's writing prompt seems to be one that I would prefer to throw out the window. I feel completely incongruous to it at the moment, feeling extremely disheartened. This manifests as a lack of interest and motivation.

However, (since) I am determined to keep my NaBloPoMo commitment, i.e., blogging daily this month, AND considering the time and for the benefit of my readers and this blogging challenge, I will let you in on my original idea for today's theme. Consider though that this is a work in progress.

Today's themed post is a challenge for one's intellect or at least speaking for myself! I'm not exactly sure if my mind is quite ready for it given that I haven't given it much thought with my busy schedule of full-time work and blogging and reading and commenting, not to mention travelling and cooking and eating and the like in between, during, before, and after all that! ;) However, I will do my best - that's all I can do anyway, right? ;)

The question posed today is in the form of the following statement: "You are given unlimited funds and a fabulous team of programmers and told to create your own social networking platform. Tell us all about your ideal, fictional social media site."

Off the top of my head, what comes to me (not as an immediate reaction) is the following.... No, wait! BEFORE I share my idea, I NEED to share the definition of social media in the first place! After all, we may not all be on the same page about it, right? I want to ensure that I understand the question!

So this is what google has to say about it: so·cial me·di·a - if you sound this out phonetically the way it is written, you may sound like a robot! ;) - social media is a noun (with social medias being the plural: I don't agree with that! Shouldn't it be 'medium' as singular and 'media' as plural?)

Anyway, getting back to the definition, here is what google defines it as: websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking.

For a backup coverage definition I sought out Wikipedia's opinion and this is what that site had to say, "Social media is the social interaction among people in which they create, share or exchange information, ideas, and pictures/videos in virtual communities and networks." And for those research buffs, there is a more expanded, i.e., continued definition at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_media.

In advance, what I would like to ask of you dear readers is to be gentle with me, keeping in mind that I am not technological savvy. I am learning as I am going and my limited technological tools, i.e., computer and cellphone, not to mention my limited knowledge of them, testify to that! ;)

Thus, I would appreciate if you file that in the back of your mind as you read the following, remembering that this is my initial reaction to the question.

How about something along the lines of a site (website) on which people could only write positive comments? Yes, you read that correctly! For instance, what a person thought about their day, the weather, their work, what they love/appreciate/admire about another whether a loved one - human or pet (they're family anyways) - or what good deed someone did for them.

IF there were to be likes on a page/site, it would be in the form of points, solely based on the accruation - that word was just invented by me - not in terms of number of admirers, but rather how many good deeds a person did with a maximum of one (1) point per day.

And perhaps once they reach a certain level of points, like say one for each day of the year, then they receive a reward of some sort: a small token of appreciation for their gestures...possibly to be determined by them and/or another.

Then, if the points increase to a maximum limit (of so many points undetermined at this time of writing), a person can choose where an allotted amount of money goes towards a charitable organization of their choice or perhaps they get to interact with an author, inspirational speaker, movie director, or artist - favourite? - online via Skype or other medium for a short period of time; they are busy people after all!

Thus, people get rewarded for kindness. And this is all created with a pseudonym or avatar identity - or is that only for bonus points? - so no one really knows who is who (except for the behind-the-scenes registration information). It makes giving and being of service more genuine.

After all, is there enough positivity in the world? It seems there is too much focus on negativity, including and especially sensationalism to the nth degree; see the fourth definition at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Nth_Degree.

Photo of billboard I took

Those were my thoughts on the question, however strange they may seem. Tell me how they sound to you: what do you think of my zany idea?

I won't be offended if you don't like it at all...I don't think! ;) After all, this 'game' would need to be expanded and thought out more at length in terms of its details.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Favourite Headline/Blog Post Title?


Words: elitetrack.com

Today's NaBloPoMo prompt is, "What's your favorite headline/blog post title you've ever written? What was the hardest post to title?"

My apologies but I cannot only name one. You see, I have many as I get titles a lot intuitively. I will categorize some of my favourites below.

My favourites include some of my first blog posts titles in particular:

Call to Action which initiated my blog: http://xpressyouressence.blogspot.ca/2010/07/call-to-action.html.

And A Matter of Degrees as I thought it a perfect title - judge for yourself here at http://xpressyouressence.blogspot.ca/2010/08/matter-of-degrees.html - though a possible twist on the words as it can have a different interpretation. I certainly don't mind that, as that can intrigue a potential reader's interest, I think! Or at least, I hope so! Doesn't it? ;)

Continuing on the theme of my love of playing with words, I came up with this title for one of my posts, Part 1: To Write or 'Write' ... Right?: 0http://xpressyouressence.blogspot.ca/2011/05/write-or-write-right.html/.

However, I loved this one even more: how about A Rat's Tale...as it was a play on the word 'tail.' ;) Though in retrospect, it could have easily been called "Rats' Tales" as my post shared not one, but two stories of rats! ;)

Mulling over Mulled Wine was another word play title I came up with: http://xpressyouressence.blogspot.ca/2013/01/mulling-over-mulled-wine.html.

A mix of two musicals and a play on words was this post title, Defying Gravity so No One can Steal Your Rock ‘N Roll! - http://xpressyouressence.blogspot.ca/2012/05/defying-gravity-so-no-one-can-steal.html.

Picture from google search

I also like my tribute post titles such as A Tribute to David: Connection with a Stranger, the first one on my blog, or Touched by a Stranger, an indirect 'tribute' post if you can call it that - I think I can! ;) - http://xpressyouressence.blogspot.ca/2011/08/touched-by-stranger.html.

My favourite tribute blog title though was, An Angel in Boots: Tribute to a Life-Saving Hero: http://xpressyouressence.blogspot.ca/2014/01/an-angel-in-boots-tribute-to-life.html.

One of my favourite post titles (and posts) - perhaps my favourite? - was an easy one to title, Beauty in the DTES: http://xpressyouressence.blogspot.ca/2011/01/beauty-in-dtes.html. It also happened to feature the first of many posts (when my camera was working) with my photos on it (which I prefer and preferred doing).

Picture from clipart

I'm not sure if it was my hardest post to title, but I certainly think it was at least one of them: my very first blog post title! The reason being that (1) I was just starting my blog and wanted to make a good, or rather as best an impression as I could, and felt the title was important to convey the theme of the post and possibly the blog (at that time) as well, and (2) I was just attempting to play with the word 'sole' or more likely 'soul' but I just couldn't quite come up with a captivating title. I'm sure there was at least one, though I couldn't rack up my brain enough to come up with something clever/witty/amusing. ;)

Another challenging post to name due to the sensitive nature of it was Aftermath of an Almost Glorious Victory about the post-hockey game in Vancouver, BC: http://xpressyouressence.blogspot.ca/2011/06/aftermath-of-almost-glorious-victory.html. There are a lot of die-hard hockey fans here in Canada, including Vancouver, BC!

Which of the above do you most favour? Naming more than one is okay. ;) I would love to hear and also the reason(s) for it! Thanks! :)

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Soulful Sunday: 3rd NaBloPoMo Favourite Blog Posts: Mine and Yours


Photo by Roberto Kaplan

Wow! There were A LOT of wonderful posts this past week; however, I think I may have read more than the usual number of posts - I think! - so quite a challenge to name only a few.

I will categorize them so you can pick and choose if you prefer; however, I will start with mine: My favoured post this past week was Books Inside Me? not surprisingly as those who responded are all writers! ;) http://xpressyouressence.blogspot.ca/2014/11/books-inside-me.html ... with From the Kindness of Strangers following second (http://xpressyouressence.blogspot.ca/2014/11/from-kindness-of-strangers.html).

On the topic of realism including posts for a good cause are the following (in date order from oldest to most recent chronologically):

I had read Vinodini Iyer's post first, A plateful of compassion to help feed starving children in India (http://vinodinii.blogspot.ca/2014/11/a-plateful-of-compassion.html?showComment=1416201120196#c7058932907373383942) before I read a few others on the same theme.

Adita Kaushiva's Food Over Education, or Both? #BlogToFeedAChild at
http://www.makeitbeayoutiful.blogspot.in/2014/11/food-over-education-or-both.html was also contributing to this noteworthy cause (as stated above).

Inderpreet Kaur Uppal's brilliant idea to feed children in India in #DonateYourParty & #BlogToFeedAChild can be applied anywhere else in the world, I think!: http://inderpreetkaur.blogspot.in/2014/11/donateyourparty-blogtofeedachild.html

Another important issue effecting many people in India is noted by Nabanita Dhar on her post from nothingness to I've Got Something Important to Say... (http://nabanita-blacknwhite.blogspot.in/2014/11/ive-got-something-important-to-say.html#.VGxAd2eVZac). And with the click of your computer mouse, you can make a big impact on the lives of others, similar to the two posts above.

Vidya Sury's witty titled post, Do you #giveashit @worldtoiletday #ToiletForBabli @DomexIndia @UN_Water was an eye-opener for me as I wasn't aware of this. It makes perfect sense though and I hope her blogging will contribute to spreading awareness, hope, and money and the means to build toilets for those in need, especially women, children and the like: http://vidyasury.com/2014/11/world-toilet-day-2014.html

Contrast Nabanita and Vidya's posts above to Francene Stanley's theme. France wrote a very important, must-read post, How clean are you really? http://511580395457358476.weebly.com/blog/how-clean-are-you-really. If you wish to keep healthy, this is one way to do it! ;)

On a much lighter note and with a great sense of fun and joy, I particularly enjoyed the second video in Shilpa Garg's post to make a case on Staying Healthy Can Be Fun, http://shilpaagarg.com/2014/11/staying-healthy-can-fun.html Do watch: it's a riot!

Carol Graham's post, 6 Ways to Turn a Blogger Off is a practical post with important tips essential as a must-read for all current or potential bloggers: http://batteredhope.blogspot.ca/2014/11/6-ways-to-turn-this-blogger-off.html.
(I know I used to be guilty of two or three of these blogging 'sins' as I was still learning...wished I had known way back then, right at the beginning!)

Usha Menon penned a lovely poem on the way of being a parent, i.e., mother in My Home, http://eccentricgrandmum.blogspot.in/2014/11/my-home.html.

Never say never at http://www.livingmyimperfectlife.com/never-say-never/#comment-110247 was SanchLivingLife's post on the amusing power of this word. Like Sanch, I too came to learn the true meaning of saying "never!" That is I should say "never" IF I want something to come true! ;)

Now, onto some fiction (though some could be non-fiction...sometimes I can't tell!) - and rather short posts:

Kathy Combs, Destiny within the Jaws of Death, a powerful read (which I don't want to give away): http://gigglingtruckerswife.blogspot.ca/2014/11/destiny-within-jaws-of-death.html

Cold Haiku was another powerful post by Kathy, this one of lost love, http://gigglingtruckerswife.blogspot.ca/2014/11/cold-haiku.html

And yet another by Kathy Combs, The Money Pit - realistic and what a predicament: http://gigglingtruckerswife.blogspot.ca/2014/11/the-money-pit.html

Cat Graham's post, Ten things you would tell your 16 year old self if you could was 'motherly advice,' ahem 'wisdom' to a growing teen - yourself - at that age: http://cattitudeandgratitude.blogspot.ca/2013/01/ten-things-you-would-tell-your-16-year.html Who could resist that!?

And Cat's unusual take on a prompt, Dinner Invitation: http://cattitudeandgratitude.blogspot.ca/2014/11/dinner-invitation.html?showComment=1416532434745#c1894527543306388884

Usha Menon's delightful and amusing post of photos, smile a while of sleeping animals and babies at http://eccentricgrandmum.blogspot.in/2012/12/smile-while.html

A longer, though extremely amusing, even hilarious and witty post, this one by Nabanita Dhar on When Writers chat on WeChat brought a huge upward curve to my lips: http://nabanita-blacknwhite.blogspot.in/2013/05/when-writers-chat-on-wechat.html#.VG1CScno430. A brilliant post! Don't you think she's a writer? I keep telling her, "Nabanita, you ARE a writer!" :)

Nabanita Dhar's more serious and true-to-life version of A Missed Touch http://nabanita-blacknwhite.blogspot.in/2014/11/a-missed-touch.html#.VG6Tz8no430 was extremely sweet and tender. I was definitely moved! (Even though it featured an appropriate commercial, I wish that video was in English or had English subtitles!)

A category on its own is a hand-drawn picture entitled Wanderlust - Zentangle from Rajlakshmi at http://destinychildosheen.blogspot.ca/2014/11/wanderlust-zentangle.html?showComment=1416621827406#c1606822430409268189.

I'm stopping there, only Monday to Friday as there are a ton of favourable blog posts. Except for the first few posts, most are quick or relatively quick reads.

I sure do hope you get a moment to enjoy these posts! Or rather, did you get a chance to read any of these them? ;) And did you find them as enjoyable as I did?

Have a great blogging and/or reading week!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Smorgasbord Saturday: 3rd Week of NaBloPoMo


Photo by Roberto Kaplan

Below is a review of my posts this past week which were a potpourri of topics - from controversial kindness from strangers to being (naturally) funny - not! - to helping feed a child in India for one year and writing a book to favourite appliacnes.

Posts of the Controversial Kind! posted on Monday, November 17 answered the prompt question: "What is the most controversial thing you've ever written on your blog? What compelled you to write it?" - http://www.xpressyouressence.blogspot.ca/2014/11/posts-of-controversial-kind.html. Self-explanatory!

From the Kindness of Strangers on Tuesday, November 18th was a blog that began from, "Tell us about one time that you benefitted from the kindness of strangers." I loved this theme as I had three stories to share, though two were of me being a recipient of kindness. Can you get what the other one was? ;)

Wednesday, November 19th’s post was my idea of merging two blog prompts into one: I barely mentioned one only to go into another, thus the title: NaBloPoMo Prompt to Feed a Child: Universal Children's Day ;) - http://www.xpressyouressence.blogspot.ca/2014/11/nablopomo-prompt-to-feed-child.html

The original prompt was actually as follows: "Are you the funny one in most groups? What kinds of things do you find funniest?" In one line: No, I tend to be serious, quiet, and contemplative generally; however, I do love to tease and have fun (though I have to feel comfortable/safe in order to do that). ;)

Books inside Me? on Thursday, November 20th was in answer to, "Do you have a book in you? Fact or fiction? Related to your blog or totally different?" (http://www.xpressyouressence.blogspot.ca/2014/11/books-inside-me.html)

Appliances: My Favourite?! http://www.xpressyouressence.blogspot.ca/2014/11/appliance-my-favourite.html was written from this prompt, "What is the one appliance you can't live without?" Otherwise, if I wasn’t so lazy/tired that day, I might have blogged about something else! ;)

What post would you most favour of mine this past week, and why?

Thank you again to all of you who read my posts and especially those who commented on my posts this past week.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Appliances: My Favourite?!


My blender

The writing prompt for NaBloPoMo seems rather silly to me, "What is the one appliance you can't live without?" I mean it doesn't seem an important question, at least to me; however, I will answer, in a bit. ;)

I thought I'd look up the word appliance to get some ideas as not one particular one popped into my mind. On google, appliance means, "a device or piece of equipment designed to perform a specific task, typically a domestic one."

I pondered the various appliances I have starting with the small ones:

1. a hairblower that I rarely use? No more curling iron! I prefer au naturel.
2. a blender to make smoothie drinks?
3. a chopping blender to chop spinach or grind almonds for my Mom's European cookies that i bake at Christmas time?
4. a toaster which I don't use often anymore as I don't eat bread as much as I used to?
5. my mini-rice cooker?
6. my mini-crock pot (slow cooker) that I love to make organic stew or mulled apple cider for example, ready for me within a few hours?

The large(r) appliances include:

1. the portable fan in my bathroom to diffuse steam and smells? ;)
2. my vacuum which is way too heavy and cumbersome, sometimes seems way too big, especially for my small place?

3. gas fireplace - is that an appliance? - to keep me warm at times when I require it?
4. the washer and dryer that I use from my landlord which I am grateful for, though I love to dry out my clothes outside during the summer and early-to-mid-autumn depending on the temperatures outside?

Are there any others I have forgotten? I don't think so!

It's a TIE! I think between my rice cooker and my crock pot. The rice cooker so I no longer overcook (boil over or burn) my rice, and my crock pot so I can make organic stew for example, ready for me at the end of the day (within a few hours or longer if I prefer), or mulled apple cider (to keep warm and smell up my place fondly).

Though I have to admit, I sure do love my gas fireplace too! Does that count as an appliance though? ;)

What is (or are) your favourite appliance(s) and why?