Colophon

Colophon: 1) An inscription formerly placed at the end of a book showing the title, printer’s name, date, etc. 2) An emblematic device adopted by a publisher, usually printed on the title page of his books.

Says my Funk and Wagnalls: Canadian College Dictionary.

I’ve been bumping into this word a few times lately. So I looked it up for an official definition. People seem to be using it as a fancy word for their blog profile. I would like it if the word was more old fashioned sounding in some way. Maybe one of those rustic compound words sledgehammer. (First one that came to mind).

I guess it’s trendy. But, not a descriptive looking word. I don’t think it will really catch on except among those who want to sound ever so very literary.

Das Grrl Has Updated

Work Backwards

As if writing itself wasn’t easy enough, there is all that pressure to gain fame and fortune. No problem, right? Not quite. We give ourselves high expectations and almost set ourselves up for disappointment. Instead, work backwards. Look at where you want to be, how high you want to climb. See yourself there, the writer you have become after so much hard work, brilliant thinking and skill with words, there you are!

Where exactly are you? What are you writing? What have you written? Which goals have you accomplished? What people helped you along the way? What resources were used to get to the top of the slushpile? What steps did you take along the way? What changes did you make in your life and your thinking?

Write all those down, every detail about the journey. Backtrack, make sure you haven’t missed any steps. Now, which of those things could you be doing? Do you already know some of the people you need to know? How many of those resources are in your grasp and which do you need to find? Where are your road blocks?

Work backwards from where you want to be to where you are now. See the steps in reverse and then begin taking them. Start the journey, don’t put it off while looking at the big picture in the distance. You still have to get there. Start today by looking backwards rather than forwards. There is so much less pressure in looking back than looking ahead and seeing how far you still need to go.

I really like finding new ways to look at things. Twisting things to find fresh angles. What problem are you facing that you could try putting a different spin on?

ThatGrrl.ca Freshly Updated

Robots Don’t Make Good Writers

Writing has rules, we know about grammar, spelling and punctuation. There are also genres of writing and each has it’s own rules of style, theme and plot. Romance is always about a relationship, the words in between make up the story but the genre insists on a successful relationship between two people. Mysteries, have their rules about dastardly deeds and criminals caught in the end. Horror has bad creatures/ people who end up being slain by the hero. You get the idea.

If you write in one genre for awhile you can line up the basic plots alphabetically and just fill in the individual details like names and dates. It can become routine and you begin to wonder if a million monkeys typing at millions of computer keyboards could not, after all, come up with a best selling novel.

So, to get out of feeling like your own cliche, read other genres. Read fiction and non-fiction. Read news stories. Read recipes! Go to the library and pick a book at random. Read things that have nothing to do with your usual writing, other than the use of words and language. In reading other genres you can find ways to break out of your own cliched plot. Small things, as the basic elements are ingrained and expected. Still, if you can get around feeling like a robot writer, that’s a good thing.

Lame Pity Party, BYO… Something

It’s a nice day and people should be outside doing nice things. I’m here, sort of hiding and procrastinating, as per usual.

You can’t go back again and yet you can’t really get that far either. I’m living with my Mother. It’s not something I feel radiantly happy and proud about. It comes with a massive stigma to do with being a failure, not cutting it, etc. I’ll spare myself a few.

It really began for practical reasons. I had come back from the divorce, no job, no vehicle, all the money spent on moving. Of course, no kids and almost no debt helped too. (I’ve since become the sole support of an ancient relic with four wheels and a vast sucking thing also known as a department store credit card). At the time I was just glad to be on the north side of the border again. I found a car (the first was a grey and red, 93 Ford Tempo which did not leak gas, just ask the guy who sold it to me) then a job at Zellers in Aurora. I liked the job, it was simple and yet not boring. Minimal homework required, when I left for the day I was done for the day. Uniform was ok, no need for excessive clothes shopping and I could wear comfortable shoes, as long as they were black. I spent my working day walking around chatting up customers, walking miles down all the aisles. Not a problem, beat that as an exercise at work routine. No expensive gym membership required. The first day I was so dead tired I couldn’t stay awake long enough to finish a coffee at home. By the second week I was into it, I didn’t even have sore feet, much.

Anyway, I don’t know what would have happened if life had gone on in that steady direction. But, life is known for changes. My parents decided to move. Mom and I were looking at small, affordable (no mortgage) houses. Dad wanted something showy with the idea of having his home office there (he was a consulting engineer – Quoin Group). Since I was living pay cheque to pay cheque, keeping my Tempo road worthy and not much else, I moved with them.

We moved at the coldest time of the year, January. I got frost bite on two of my fingers where they touched the key as I started the car. (The car was having a rebellious stage then and only starting if the key was turned a certain way). Frost bite is not fun but I’m sure mine was mild on a scale of not bad to truly hideous.

After moving, I found the Zellers here was not really in need of an employee transferred from another store, but they were willing to stick me in. Only cashier was available, not my nice walking and talking job. At this point my parents were down south for the Winter and the Tempo decided it really had enough of this whole driving thing. I was house bound for a week while I tried to get the Tempo to reconsider it’s position about the driving issue. Even explaining that for a car that age the only option was work or death, didn’t help. Anyway, things resolved themselves more or less. I started working as a cashier. Canadian Tire fixed the Tempo but a day later when it was leaking coal-like fluid they politely suggested I retire the car. They gave me back $60 and change of the $300 and change repair bill I had just paid. I borrowed cars to get to work. I managed.

Then Dad died, at the end of May. I broke up with the boyfriend from BC. One of those things where the guy stops talking to you in hopes you will forget he exists if he is quiet enough. Why are they such weenies? If they just said it was over for whatever reasons that would be so much better. Why play hide and seek?

Anyway, when Dad died we had a memorial service, collected some money for planting red maple trees and used that to pay for some of his burial. Dad was self employed but seldom paid. He left the world and didn’t especially care about the mess behind him. His last words were, “Don’t bother.” Very, very, very, luckily my brother and sister had finally managed to get his taxes done before he died, just a few months before. They were so far behind it would be speaking ill of the dead to go into detail. Of course his estate consisted of credit card bills and a ton of papers, binders and a couple of drawing tables. Not much of use. My Mom gladly threw it all away, happy to finally get rid of all his pack rat collection. I’m not sure how much of that mountain of paper and binders and file folders and envelopes he ever used but it filled a shed at the back of the house here. I suppose we could have just burned the shed down with all that inside it, never thought of that at the time. It took days and days to get all of it gone. Too much paper to burn it all on the garden plot with the compost and such. We were lucky that the credit card companies ended up writing his account off. Mom had nothing extra to pay his debts with.

So, here we are, in the present. I’m still living with my Mother. The only difference is that we are both single now. Her a widow, me a divorced woman. We’re working together to keep things paid and she’s not so alone. Neither of us are clinging vines but it is nice to have someone around, sometimes. So, that’s why I live with my Mother. Sucky but true.

We are planning another move, to a smaller house without a mortgage this time. Just what we had wanted the last time before Dad decided he needed a showy place. I am not looking forward to another move. I feel like a vagabond, never really living anywhere. I have moved four times since the year 2000. Two of them included immigration to another country, just the US, but still, it did involve a lot of extremely aggravating paperwork.

Anyway, that’s about it. I live with my Mommy. She only drives me crazy when she reorganizes things for me. It’s not polite to tell your Mother to ‘back off’ though. I do miss having my own place. But, she goes down to Florida for the Winter, that’s my time to pretend I’m not a 40 year old adult living with her Mommy.

Blog Commenting

For several months I have blissfully left this blog without commenting available. I did this cause I got tired of filtering out spam and then I had someone posting nonsense and another one who was posting just to prove he/ she knew more curse words than anyone else did. I was not impressed and I really did not want to waste my time teaching better manners to the masses.

Today, I turned comments back on. In a small space of time I’ve had three comments. One per entry. Each has been spam. The comments are barely the tiniest bit relevant if you stretch your mind and try to find some relevance. People, I don’t need this. I don’t care what you’re spamming, I don’t want to waste time filtering out the hideous mess.

So, as requested, I will leave comments as an option. But, I will make it a requirement that you are registered with Blogger. That should get rid of some of you. I don’t even mean that in a nice way. If you post garbage to someone’s blog you are a jerk, plain and simple. It is using people. Using the work, time and creativity which I put into this web-ness. I find that obnoxious behaviour. So, to be blunt, piss off.

Note: Self promotion is not the same as spamming. If you make a relevant post or a friendly hello and want to add a link back to your own blog or site that is fine. But don’t expect me to leave posts that are purely meant as spam here.