Too Stupid for WordPress

I thought I was doing okay. With the help of friends like Hugh over at Hugh’s Views and News who has been kind enough to answer my tweets for help, I’ve muddled my way into a half-way decent blog. Or so I thought.

I was riding on a cloud of Me So Smart, until boom — the sky darkened and lightning knocked me on my ass.

Or, in words less theatric, I opened my blog from my phone and found that pictures were missing from some of my posts. I had no clue why. I had previewed the posts in question and the pictures were there. Now…gone! Urrgh! How had I screwed up?

You know this little screen, right?

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The WordPress media screen. It holds all the images you’ve added to your posts.

Sure, I know the screen, you know the screen, we all know the freaking screen. But …

Did you know that deleting pictures from this media screen also deletes them from your posts?

Of course you did — I didn’t.

Too stupid for WordPress 🙂

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Rock Church

Believer or not, and I’m not, it’s impossible to see Europe without seeing churches. From St. Paul’s Cathedral in London to St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow, these buildings are architectural wonders that have witnessed history as it unfolded around them.

I’ve often thought as I’ve followed my tour guide through these churches that while they may have been built to praise the universal creator they are more of a monument to man and his artistic talent. Of course, that’s just my own personal take on it. As an atheist, I don’t exactly have the right mind set for this kind of thing.

But … if any building could make me spiritual, it would be the Rock Church in Helsinki. Excavated and built out of solid rock and yet, impossibly, bathed in sunlight. It’s a mystery to me, but somehow you sit inside this rock and feel as serene as if you were sitting on a beach. You look out through the skylight and believe for a moment that the universe is unfolding as it should.

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Athletic Couture

Is it just me or is there a certain irony in the fact that while the stores are overflowing with yoga wear, workout gear, and running shoes made for every conceivable exercise and sport, North America is fatter than ever?

People who never enter a gym walk around in sweat pants and track shoes.

And Fitbits, please. Counting the steps to your couch is not exercise.

I have an on-again, off-again relationship with exercise. As we speak, my treadmill is gathering dust, but even I know that fit and fashion — not the same thing.

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Attention Deficit

I am in awe of writers who can churn out a thousand words a day. Writers who set a goal and consistently reach it, day after day after …

I’m not one of those writers.

I’m the kind of writer who says, Starting tomorrow, every day, 9 AM at my laptop.” Invariably, however, what I say I’m going to do and what I actually do are vastly different animals.

9 AM finds me drinking coffee and playing games on my phone, 10 AM and I’m going through emails and reading blog posts, 11 AM and I’m finishing the book I started reading the day before and or catching just one more episode of some Netflix series.

Even on the days I actually get to my laptop, I can’t seem to stay there. I’m popping up to load or unload the dishwasher, washing machine, drier. Any or all of which, of course, I could do after I write.

I’m thinking there is a form of ADD that only affects writers — and I’m freaking affected. Because somehow when my laptop screen should look like this:

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It looks like this:

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Writer’s ADD, a perfectly sound medical explanation of why my current book is still a WIP … and not progressing all that quickly 🙂

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All for One, and One for All

Sitting here in Canada, bombarded daily with news from our neighbours to the south, it’s easy to forget that there is a world outside of Trump’s tweets. But on the other side of the globe, our Commonwealth cousins in Australia are dealing with their own ranting and raving politicians.

The issue is same-sex marriage, and apparently, it’s such a sticky wicket the Australian parliament decided to hand it over to the people, asking for a vote on the issue. All well and good, right? Democracy at it’s best — not so fast.

The plebiscite will be non-binding, meaning parliament doesn’t have to abide by the results of the vote. A lot of Australians, both within and without the LGBT community see this non-binding vote as a waste of time and money.

After a whole ten minutes of research, (three articles on Google and one YouTube video), I don’t have the answer for the intricacies of Australian politics and the best way to get to a YES vote, but … I do have a question.

Why is this still such a big f**king deal? It’s 2017 people, not 1817.

Is it so hard to wrap our minds around concepts like equality and fair play?

Perhaps we, each one of us, should make the Three Musketeers’ motto our own:

All for One, and One for All

equality

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Brain Dead

I’m not good with games. As a kid, I could handle the tough stuff like Go Fish and Crazy Eights. Eventually, I graduated to Checkers and Monopoly.  In University, my brother tried to teach me Chess, please — way too many rules. Trivial Pursuit? If you need a Cole Porter lyric, I’m your man. Poker? I can’t bluff and I can’t be bothered to worry about who’s holding what. Apparently, I lack the killer instinct.

And then, there’s the whole world of computer and phone games. Remember Farmville? I was hooked there for a while, till I ran out of friends. I quit Candy Crush around level 79. I got a little cocky with Jewel Quest and thought I could handle a hidden object game called, Dying For Daylight. I was wrong. Poor Dahlia the Vampire, she’s still looking for that potion on an old laptop that’s been banished to the spare room.

These days I play it safe with Solitaire and Cut the Buttons. Last week, I was forced to acknowledge my abysmal game playing skills …

While trying to entertain a four year old, I installed Astraware’s Alien Pop!
The blurb read: The aliens are coming! Tap to pop them. Designed to develop manual dexterity in young children. Lots of sound and visual effects, no win or lose. Enough variety to keep little ones interested and entertained.

Perfect, right?

The four year old played the game for maybe five minutes and then decided he’d prefer to watch Rescue Bots — but the game was sitting on my screen and I spent a whole dollar and a half on it.

Yep, you got it. I’m now playing a game for the preschool group. I can’t tell you how proud I am 🙂

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Don’t Worry, Be Happy.

Back in the day, Bobby McFerrin sang, Don’t Worry, Be Happy.  

These days, pop-culture spouts the phrase, Be Present.

More than two thousand years ago, the Chinese philosopher, Lao Tzu expressed much the same idea in these words:  “If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.”

Similar philosophies, but notice the tone. The first one is all sunshine and beach days, the second seems a tad dictatorial to me, and the third is a helping hand offered over a cup of tea.

It’s a beautiful day today and I’m on vacation so I’ve got to go with McFerrin on this one 🙂

 

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A Love/Hate Thing

I hate writing, I love having written.” – Dorothy Parker 

I came across the above quote in a post by Whitney Carter and thought, Yes. Exactly!

Writing is torture. It’s staring at a blank screen and a keyboard full of letters until your brain melts and you head into the kitchen for sugar and caffeine. It’s squeezing those little grey cells until a word pops out … and then another and another. It’s checking your word count and wanting to cry.  It’s masochistic.

That’s writing, the process is excruciating, but … the product?

Yes, it can be total crap, but it’s your total crap. You did this. You wrestled the words into a thought. You agonized over character, plot, voice, point of view, and freaking punctuation.  You hit Google so many times your mouse needs a new battery, but you did it. You’re DiCaprio on the Titanic, arms spread shouting, “I Am The King of The World.”

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Writers are schizophrenic. It’s a love/hate thing 🙂

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Attitude

I’m not a fan of inspirational quotes. Way too rah, rah, cheerleader for me.

Truth be told, I find most of these tiny slices of wisdom annoying.

I read quotes like the ones below and think:

success2“So … this is my fault?”

 

success1 (2)    “Right, like it’s that easy.”

 

success3 (2)“You’ve heard of depression, right?”

I’m skeptical as to whether these facile bromides help anyone, but the Can Do This attitude they tout … to borrow from Martha Stewart, “It’s a good thing.”

As a writer, before you ever open a Word document some part of you has to believe I can do this. In my case, it was more like a maybe I can do this … baby steps 🙂

If  you tell yourself you can’t, you won’t.

Attitude is everything.

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