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Monday, January 13, 2020 7 comments

Hiatus

Hey,

It's a new dawn, a new day, still a new decade even and I need to reorganize my head and my way of thinking.

On Saturday, I had a nice relaxing day off and promised myself I would write, like I said I would on New Year's Day, and every day after that, but instead of doing something I love, I spent 2 hours ironing, and of course, when that excuse was done, it was "too late" to write.

Like many people, my demons take me off course and push to do just about anything but the one thing that I love to do, which is find the zone and sit there typing until my arse goes numb.

So, to the several non-family members that read this blog on a regular basis, I apologize for shuttering my blog and all social media for the time being. The cause is, however, just and I need to do whatever I can to fight for my writes.

(2 hours of ironing, for God's sake... Why is it so damn hard for me to give in and allow myself to be happy?)

That's the answer I hope to find out, and when I do, I'll be back -- and the blog will be, too.

In the meantime, I look forward to popping over to Elephant's Child and Words for Wednesday for the rest of January, and again in March to read where my prompts take people.


Best wishes, and see you on the other side of Write Mountain.


Mark
Thursday, January 9, 2020 7 comments

Words For Wednesday -- on a Thursday (It's me, people...)

Hola,

Seriously... What's in a word?

An old question to be sure and the answer, I think, depends on the reader and how they're feeling at any given time.

I mean, one woman's Zinfandel can be another man's Chardonnay; and are either of them wrong?(Especially when both are quaffable on a lazy summer afternoon...)

Many moons ago, I fell in literary lust with a blogger friend called Elephant's Child who continues to be a stalwart supporter of an idea floating around that then thereabouts blogosphere.

Quoting from EC's page, she says this ongoing (and brilliant) meme was, "Started by Delores a long time ago. Words for Wednesday is now provided by a number of people and has become a movable feast.

"Essentially, the aim is to encourage us [writers] to write. Each week, we are given a choice of prompts, which can be words, phrases, music or an image. What we do with those prompts is us to us. A short story; prose; a song; a poem or treating them with disdain. We can use some or all of the prompts.

"Some of us put our creation in comments on the [originating] post, and others post on their own blog. I would really like it if as many people as possible joined this fun meme, which includes cheering on the other participants.

"If you're posting on your own blog - let me know so that I, and other participants, can come along and applaud."

A few months ago, EC asked for volunteers to come up with the prompts for this upcoming year, and having enjoyed and looked forward to participating on so many occasions, it was my turn to step up and offer the words for the five weeks in January.

I was going to post this post last week, but I'm tres glad I waited for the second Wednesday, as it's so much fun reading so many people go so many (even dark!!) ways -- with the same damn words :)

When people go down the words path, the principle of the meme is simplicity itself: Take the offered 6 words (or if you're a glutton for punishment) 12 words and just run with some or all of them.

Like many writers, I struggle with those stupid, frustrating major doubts (can I, or can't I? And if I can, why don't I? -- and why don't I have the balls to find out?) Therefore, I personally adore that some of my best on-the-fly writing in the last two years was born from the often weird and wonderful prompts on Words for Wednesday.

I'm now a season-ticket-holder-for-life-fan, so when EC asked for volunteers to supply new prompts for the new year. I saw 2020 and offered to help come up with the words.

However, as I'm slightly evil, I also wanted to push the boat out a bit further and had a ton of fun coming up with my 5 sets of 2 x 6 words. And, what an absolute blast it's been so far.

(Here's what you've been missing so far. Got some prose in you this week? I dare you. Leave it below in the comments and make sure to share it with EC, but knowing her, she'll read it first anyway!! :)



PS. What's in a word? Seriously.

Whatever you want it to be, and I for one am relearning a passion for prose again, especially as I read how one person's soft Koozie (to keep their beverage cool) is another's birth name... and how annihilating a Zinfandel can be so much fun.





Monday, January 6, 2020 10 comments

Dublin Today & my own Rare Oul' Times

Hola,

Had the chance to recently walk around Dublin for a day, and what a great city it really is -- especially around Christmastime.

And there's still some old parts off the beaten touristy tracks that bring some some wonderful, personal memories.

Don't know why my eye was caught with the square inscription, but it was... Why is it so high up there, I wondered?

Like something out of War of the Worlds, the new Children's Hospital is under construction













The other special relationship remains strong!


The General Post Office on O'Connell Street.



The Mansion House

Christchurch Cathedral

The Coombe Hospital where I was born, (ah, God love 'im)

Used to buy and get me bikes repaired here 








The back of my old school, which is still open, apparently more so on this day!

Ah yes, the square quote... now I have to find out where it comes from!!
Wednesday, January 1, 2020 11 comments

The 80's turned 40 yesterday

Hola,

Before I get going, if you love, love, LOVE word games, please visit one of my dear blogger buddies, Elephant's Child as she hosts a weekly Wednesday for Words event that is so much fun!!

I'm helping out with the choice of words for the next few weeks and the game is ON!

Now, I would have so posted this yesterday, but many of us who were teens in the 80's were probably having a nap.

Depeche Mode - and I still Just Can't Get Enough - 40 years on!!

The 80's (apostrophe, or not, be damned) were so awesome. God, I loved growing up with the 10 lads that I've known - and still know - since I was five years old. We hit the 80's running and the single, GREATEST thing about the decade that started 40 years ago today is that ALLLLLLL the idiotic adventures we did together remains in the murky past, and are only ever mentioned as beer-spitting-out-of-mouth laughter-memories when we meet up for our annual night out :)


The Breakfast Club... was there ever a greater meeting of minds :)

Thank you, whomever you are, for not widely rolling out the Internet until the 90's came along and we didn't care by then because we were, for the most part, trying out grownup stuff like marriage and mortgages. 
When tracksuits were essential clothing choices...

I can't imagine what the teens of today will write about in 40 years as they look back on the Roaring 20's 2.0, and I may not even be around, so who cares, but I can guarantee that they won't have the simple, honest fun as we Children of the Eighties had.



We were a Hot Mess, and we loved it! The only likes I needed (or wanted) were from the lads standing shoulder-to-shoulder next to me... or sitting around a table/floor/abandoned house/underground water pipes under construction/asbestos-filled roof of an old factory 30-40 feet high.


Christmas music will never be the same...

One day on that roof, as we invincibles kicked our feet back and forth on the edge, we watched a fella on a red Honda 50 drive up and down the canal road, just up and down, for about 10 minutes. He stopped in front of us, about 50 yards away and seemed to have trouble with his belt. When he finally sped off, we went over and stood in a quiet circle, wondering what the white stuff on the ground was!


A fiver went a long, long way back in the 80's

I went and left school during this decade; gathered up the secret, delivery lane behind the smelly pub and read the articles inside a well dog-eared edition of Playboy; got hired and fired and fell in love with Samantha Fox and Kathy Lloyd as they graced Page 3; kissed a girl (but didn't make her cry) for the first time after waiting 3 hours for her under Dublin's famous Cleary's Clock; saw friends get married - and harried; went on holiday to places not called "Holland" or "Wexford;" survived camping weekends with a future-convicted pedophile; drank my first 2-gallon flagon of cider (it wouldn't be the last!); started the decade skating around the roller rinks of Crumlin and happily finished the 80's skating around the red light district of Amsterdam - and can honestly say I looked, but never partook. 


Nancy and Mr. T share a moment!!!

And with much of "our" music still going strong -- special thanks to Depeche Mode for making it this far -- I think we grownups who are in, or heading toward, our sixth decade (how did we get so old, so quickly??) can look back with Axel-Rose tinted glasses and say that while it wasn't perfect (what is?) we were, as the Pet Shop Boys best put it, certainly never Being Boring.



Big screen TV's where we watched...

...An old Dr. Who turn into Wurzel Gummidge...

When traffic on the 405 actully moved!!



How we used to get info from the Telly :)



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