Uncategorized

Weather is Such an Interesting Thing!

Today, the 16th of April, we have had some very, very light rain, too light to even call drizzle. It’s heavy enough for Missy to not be terribly keen to go out in it, but nowhere near heavy enough to stop her going for a ‘comfort stop’ outside. It’s April, its Autumn, or Fall as they call it in some other countries. I was born in April, and my memory tells me it’s often rainy on and around my birthday. So this current weather is not surprising.

What is surprising though, was the temperature, 36.6 Celsius! This is most unusual for me, to have a birthday that hot. I’ve checked back with the weather bureau results, and last year (2017) the maximum temperature was 17.5 Celsius – and it rained a bit in Adelaide, and possibly in my part of the Adelaide Plains, about 60 km from the city of Adelaide.

The weather has been leaping around from Summer to Autumn, to Winter almost and a bit of back to Summer. I don’t know what Nature is up to with these surprises, but it’s interesting, when every day could be almost cardigan weather, and another day, almost head off the the beach weather! We had rain last weekend just gone, and next weekend it will be possibly a little bit of again, if it goes as forecast. So changeable!

Missy doesn’t really care about the weather, she spends most of her time inside, reclining, either on her sofa, missy slightly bemusedor in our son’s room, she has a crate set up there, where she used to sleep with her mother, while she was still alive. Now Missy just sleeps on her sofa at night, but I suspect when the cooler weather sets in closer to Winter, Missy might sleep in the crate, snuggled up with blankets.

At the moment I can see sunshine through both the window to the east and the one to the west. It’s afternoon, I’m feeling a little cool, but that’s probably just me, my husband doesn’t look cool at all, he looks comfortable, relaxing and watching the TV! Missy is in the room with us again, getting a pat from Graham, and now having a big stretch. I’m not sure what she wants to do next, but she’s gone back to Graham for another pat. The weather may be quite changeable, but you can guarantee Missy will always like to have a pat!

The geraniumsIMAG0284 (1) and other plants seem to be enjoying this mild and slightly rainy weather. I was outside earlier today, and was pleased to see some of the things planted a few months ago are starting to pick up, with new leaves coming.

I’m happy about this cooler weather, mostly for one particular reason – those horrid brown snakes don’t like cooler weather! If the weather is cool, I can be sure that Missy isn’t going to find a snake and try to kill it, and that makes me very, very happy. Missy is a Pharaoh Hound, a dog breed that loves to hunt! Unfortunately snakes are one of the things she likes to hunt, even though I’d much rather she left snakes alone, and hunted the mice in our house at the moment instead.

I think Missy thinks mouse hunting is beneath her dignity, although she will hunt grasshoppers on our back lawn, which, in my opinion, makes her look extremely silly! I’m not a dog though, and Missy is, so who knows … I might claim to have a dog who lives in my head (Buster the Dog), but obviously that isn’t true, it’s just a part of my imagine that has been useful to me for the creation of books …

I have three books that I wrote, based on Buster the Dog. I self published these books, with illustrations dog buddha front cover from a clever friend. I’ve been moderately successful with these books, if you call not losing money from it successful. I’ve made enough money from the small numbers printed to cover my costs, and a little bit more. Book sales make me happy, because I love it when people smile or even laugh when they read my words. It can warm me on the coolest of days!

So with my interest in weather watching, looking after Missy, and my writing, I’m living an enjoyable life, no matter what the weather is doing!

 

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philosophy

Philosophical Meanderings of My Mind

This post Christmas/New Year season has become a sit around and do not much time. Today is Sunday, and I’m usually in Gawler in the late morning on Sundays, doing a poetry workshop with another person, or other people, but that isn’t happening today, so the first session for 2018 is more likely to happen next Sunday instead. I hadn’t planned that, but in not planning it, I was probably subconsciously planning it not to happen. I don’t/can’t know for sure, and it doesn’t matter, really, I don’t think.  I’ve had some outside time, and am now inside again, at home, and happy with that, even though it’s just a small thingmissy slightly bemused.
Staying home today, the only poetry written, if any, will be done here, with the cricket on TV and radio as the background for the day … And trips outside of course, as requested by Missy. Missy is currently lying on her sofa, looking extremely comfortable, eyes closed, ears erect, but not active … I just slapped the sofa next to me, and her eyes opened, eats turned to me, then away, and she rolled over and now has her back to me and my silliness. She’s not huffy at me, just not that interested in what I’m doing. That’s fine, we have our own lives, to some extent, the humans and the dog, and we’re enjoying our lives, together or separate.
Out of the window on my left I can see clouds, grass, plants and birds, all doing their own natural thing, obeying the rules of Nature, which make more sense to me than some of the rules of the cricket … With Nature, there is no appeal to a higher authority, because if Nature says it is so, then it is. If something other that humans were expecting, it means Nature wasn’t using the rule we thought was being used. Science may find the answer, people may think they have the answer. Much may be written, thought on, argued over, but Nature will just continue on, and we must manage as best we can, with whatever Nature and mankind do next …
There were sparrows outside, on the front lawn, about ten minutes ago, when I started writing this post. I can’t see any now, but I’m sure there are certainly lots of sparrows out there, back yard, front yard, in the trees and bushes and just everywhere. Sparrows are very successful occupants of our world. They have their needs, and seem to be able to fulful those needs well. The sparrows I saw earlier seemed to be adolescents, not quite up to adult size, and I’ve been noticing such not quite adult sparrows, and thinking about what they get up to, boy and girl sparrows, getting on with their lives, boy groups, girl groups, boys sparrows seemingly crashing into the girls groups, while girl sparrows flitter away, only to be followed and annoyed by the boy sparrow.
I’m quite likely putting my own interpretation on these actions of the sparrows, and could well be getting it entirely wrong. I’ve written a haiku about these matters previously, and it’s in my poetry collection “Tense and Still”, where I wrote about various creatures I see in my life, whether our dogs, cats I’ve seen, known, imagined, or those wild creatures I come across in my life or my travels or in my imaginings.
Thinking about these things whether I uncover the truth or not, helps me to gather ideas, things to think about can lead to things to write about, and writing about things is the thing I do. I am a writer, a poet, a blogger. Words are my tools, and I love to use these tools in the many different ways possible to use them. Poetry is my favourite method, certainly preferred over writing a novel, because of course a poem can be thought on, written, edited and published very quickly. A novel takes so much longer to complete. I have one of those ‘in progress’ at the moment, but I have a strong suspicion this novel will make only very slow progress, because I’m allowing myself to do many things other than the writing of this novel …
above the fish pond
I know being a novelist isn’t really a title I feel fits with me, the way being a poet does. The longer form of literature feels too unwieldy perhaps for me to handle. I know how to put together and publish a poetry collection, and how to market it. A small book of poetry can be printed in small numbers, and sold in small numbers, and small numbers of people get a little book of my poems to read and think about. It will never make me rich or particularly famous, but that’s fine. Money and fame are not what I write for, I write for my own amusement, and the small amounts of money/fame I gain while nice to have, will never be the major thing.
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birds in garden, d, Uncategorized

Winter Feels Like Spring

Outside the plants are growing green and flowers in a variety of colours are brightening our times outside. We still have strawberries popping up in hanging baskets on our back veranda, and life is certainly sweet! Nights and early mornings are cold though, and our air conditioner on ‘heat’ is most welcome to take the edge off the cold inside.

My poetry output is coming along, with another few poems written in the past week, and one of those poems in particular seems worth sharing further, somewhere, sometime. I’m not good at this ‘getting my work out there’ stage of the poetry writing thing. But for my next collection, perhaps, next year? Who knows …

Will the real Spring nudge me into action on that front? I can but hope. As I said, I’m not good at this. I have some poems that would be suitable for children, and I know an excellent publisher for such works, but I’ve still done nothing about getting those poems to that publisher. If my head wasn’t firmly attached to me body, would it say on?

Ah, self-recrimination, how could I live without you? I’d live quite well actually, I suspect. But there’s always the next thing, the new, thing, the best thing, and so old tried and tested things are ignored, opportunities missed. But as I sometimes write on my Facebook page, Life is Good. The birds outside my back door are still flying around, hunting and eating bugs and so interesting and entertaining me.

And this lovely weather we’re having! If this is Winter, then I’m enjoying Winter very much, except for the chilly times in the evening and the morning … But I look at our indoor/outdoor temperature gauge, and it is now warmer inside than it is outside (in the shade). And the sun is shining, so I don’t have to feel as guilty about using the power for the heating (air conditioner). Our solar panels are doing their job, and even if we’re not making all of the power we’re using, at least we’re making some of it.

Thinking about the seasons, and the plants leads me to the novel I’ve been playing with. I get excited and write a bit, then something else needs to be done and this work in progress stops progressing. Again. I’m much more excited about the idea of being a novelist than I am about actually writing a novel, that’s the problem. I play with little bits of writing, and the longer novel form seems like too much of an ongoing thing.

Will Spring really help me get something happening here, with this novel? Maybe yes, maybe no. But at least other bits of writing happen. I have a book that will almost certainly be ready to launch at the end of July, at the Adelaide Plains Festival of Words 2017. The text (my part of it) is almost all written and in a document, and the other bits are on their way, and there’s still more than a full month before I need to have it. Something to be proud of for sure.

And isn’t that something we all need in our lives? Something to be proud of ourselves for. If you’ve done things in your life you’re proud of, feel free to tell us about it – leave a comment here!

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Uncategorized

What do Dogs know about Blogging?

Well obviously dogs don’t know terribly much at all about blogging. Sometimes I wonder how much I actually know about blogging … I’ve probably broken most of the rules in blogging, and that quite likely is why I don’t get hundreds of hits on my blogs.

My first problem with blogging started when I got really really excited about all of the wonderful things blogging could do to help me in my writing career. Or the scribbling and (self)publishing that I call a writing career. A career is where you make all of your money, isn’t it? If so, I’m in trouble!

The government is looking after me though, and so is my darling husband, so I’m getting along well enough. I’m enjoying my life too, and inspiring other people too, apparently, and that’s a good thing, surely? Yes, of course it is. Now thinking about my blogging, and it’s lack of real success, I could look at in a different way, and it doesn’t look like such a failure.

This is a better way to look at it. I have many (too many) blogs, I got excited and went overboard. If I added up all of the words and all of the comments together, wow, that adds up to, well not impressive amounts, but better amounts of action. When, or if, I finally get my act together, get off these free blogs, and actually have one blog which I pay proper attention to, wow, that will be great, won’t it? Or maybe not. That ‘maybe not’ is probably the reason why I haven’t actually done it yet.

Anyway, I’m going to go to a workshop in July, which I’m hoping will assist me in getting a more cohesive approach to this online and blogging thing. Writers write, and blogs are made up of words. Well, actually the best ones have words and images too, don’t they. Sometimes, in fact far too often, I neglect to put images in my blogs.

cute puppy pic

cute pic Pharaoh pup and Pumba!

I remembered this time, there’s an image!

What I’m actually going to do in the meantime is to post this to as many of my blogs as I can find, and then see what happens. It’s an experiment, and I’d love to get some feedback from other people. So, if you can offer me anything about this, please do so, I’d love to hear from you!

And here’s a picture of the things my husband and I picked from our garden today, because gardens and dogs and blogs and writing, along with pictures of some things, well, they’re things that help to keep me amused!

garden produce

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book launch, dogs, Uncategorized

Next Book in Series Almost Ready!

I have almost finished the book three in the Buster the Dog series, that began years ago with “Dig It! Gardening Tips for Dogs” and continued a few years ago with “Doggone It – Mindfulness from a Dogs Point of View”. The main text of book three – “Dog Buddha’s Thoughts” is more or less finished, the Foreword is being worked on, and tomorrow I am meeting with the illustrator, Allyson Hean to give her draft copy of the text …

I’m getting excited, that’s for sure. This book has many more words than the earlier too, and it is a much more serious book, with fewer illustrations to reinforce the serious nature of it! Haha, it’s written by the dog that I say lives inside my head, how serious can such a book actually be?!!! Buster the Dog and I have had a wonderful time, playing with this book, coming up with thoughts and extrapolating on the implications of such thoughts.

I spoke with the illustrator this morning, to organise a meeting, and it looks she is now thinking on the matter of what the Dog Buddha actually looks like. He won’t look like Buster the Dog, he will be a wise looking entity though. Ally mentioned a Newfoundland, which I feel would certainly be a suitable dog breed to consider.

These issues are so much more fun than the more serious issue of how I am going to actually pay for and then market this book. That’s one of the reasons I’m posting this on this blogsite – If you’d like to have a copy of the book when it comes out, why not let me know, by leaving me a comment here?

I’ve loved writing this book, and I’m going to love talking about this book too. If you’d like to know more about this project, feel free to ask me questions! As a bit of a teaser, here are a couple of the Dog Buddha’s thoughts, and Buster the Dog’s ideas about them:

“The unkempt lawn gives the best back rubs …”

‘There’s nothing better on a sunny day than to be outside on the lawn, rolling and rolling on the grass. And the best kind of lawn, the lawn that feels the best on your back, is not a perfect just-mown lawn, oh no. As the Dog Buddha says, the best lawn is the unkempt lawn, the lawn with lumps and bumps that knead your back like the best massage ever!’

“The sofa isn’t there for a reason. The sofa simply is …”

‘A dog, a sofa … there isn’t really much more to say, is there? Humans say they love their dogs, they have these big soft beds they call ‘sofas’ and then they tell us we aren’t allowed to actually get on them! Really? Surely, if you truly do love your dog, like you say you do, human, of course the sofa is there for us to jump up on!’

These are just snippets, the book goes into far more detail than this for each of the thoughts. I did a bit of a count, and it appears there are over 35 thoughts, all deep and meaningful, haha! I’m hoping for big things from this book! I plan to launch “Dog Buddha’s Thoughts” at the Adelaide Plains Festival of Words (Freedom) 2017 on July 29 at the P/A Hotel in Gawler, South Australia.

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Uncategorized, workshop facilitator

Another Job Title

me making point at book launchI am a writer and a poet, yes, but I have another job title that I’m working on making it another good one to use. I have been toying with this one for a while but it’s taken me until this year, really, to feel I can act actually claim the title …

The job title is Creative Writing/Poetry Workshop Facilitator. A good title, and one I am proud to have. I suspect gaining this job title is the main reason I did my TAFE training, giving me ideas, confidence and knowledge so I wouldn’t look like a fool doing what I wanted to do.

Being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) part way through my course was a bit of a challenge, but I made it through, and got the certificate, Cert IV in Community Service Work. I’m not able to take on working full time, or even a steady part time job, because of the MS. If it was going well, I may be fine, but it it was too tiring or stressful, or too hot or requiring too much standing up, I couldn’t keep it up.

No, the way I’m doing my work is on my own terms, at a venue I am completely at home in, and with a easy to deal with number of people. I can handle the small numbers I have been getting, and feel confident I could deal with more, up to ten people, perhaps. I am excited about possibly getting a few more people later on this month (I hope), and look forward to sharing my ideas with other people who also have MS.

The workshop I do is on almost every Sunday, at the Poetic Justice Cafe Gallery in Gawler, at 11.15. The name of the Workshop is “Write Yourself Well” and my clientele are those people who have had challenges in their lives, but are still working to have or keep hold on a better life for themselves.

I am gradually feeling more and more that I know how to do this Workshop Facilitation stuff, and I’m loving the words the attendees are writing, and me too. My poem written today was one that’s been wanting to be written for many, many years, and I am proud of it for sure!

Being in the thick of the creative process is a beautiful space to be in! If you have any thoughts on this, please leave a message!

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dogs, Life Roles, Uncategorized

My Life Roles

I am many things, the name of this blog certainly indicates what some of my life roles may entail. I have four dogs, so letting in, putting out feeding and cleaning up after dogs are included. I also do lighter aspects of the required gardening needed at our place, watering, and some small pruning of our smaller plants, at times.

But I have life away from home, and do other things. I’m a blogger (obviously), a poet and a writer. I am currently in the middle of writing my next book, well I would be, if I hadn’t stopped to write this blog post. Although by saying I’m ‘in the middle of’ writing the book will be true as long as I go back to the writing of said book, after finishing off this blog post …

Does it matter whether or not I actually go back to the writing of that book? Hmm, yes it does, for various reasons. This as yet unfinished book is scheduled to be launched at an event that is taking place at the end of July. It’s currently at the end of March. As I mentioned I’m a writer and poet, not a mathematician, but I can work out that means I have four months to get the book done and printed. That sounds possible, depending on how many more words there are to be written …

This book is not going to be just words written by me though. The book will have some illustrations to go with it, and it will have some words written by someone else as well … I can’t get the illustrations done until I send the text to the illustrator, and to the person writing the other words. And I can’t do that until I have more words written, to give those other people a better idea about what they need to respond to, for playing their part in the process. Such are the things one takes on, when one takes on the role of Self-Publisher, as I have to produce these books.

You may be curious about this book, of which I speak … Well, the book is titled ‘Dog Buddha’s Thoughts’ and it is written by not only me and another person, but also by a dog. ‘A dog? you may well ask, ‘how can a dog write a book?’

Well the dog isn’t one of the four dogs that live here with us, or lives somewhere else with other people, sort of … The dog lives in some spot at the back of my head perhaps, or in my imagination, wherever that actually is. Has anyone clever worked out where the imagination actually is yet, I wonder? But I digress…

The dog is Buster the Dog, a perhaps mythical dog, and we have already written two books together. Those books are “Dig It! Gardening Tips for Dogs” and “Doggone It – Mindfulness from a Dog’s Point of View”. They were also self-published and illustrated by the same person who will illustrate this partly-written book, once she has the words to work with. This new book will have more words but fewer illustrations than the first two books, I think. I hope. Or would more illustrations be a better way to go? No, that’s just me trying to get out of doing more work, when in fact I can feel Buster the Dog straining at the leash, wanting to get back into the writing!

So I’d better close off here, I think, get some lunch and then get back into this book. I have another blog that talks about those earlier books, and have links to that blog scattered around this particular blog post. I’m slowly getting the hang of this promotional stuff, and hope to learn more about it at that Festival of Words I mentioned … There will be a workshop revealing all I need to know about Social Media!

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