Updates and blog sabbaticals


You know when you meet a friend after a very long time and you haven’t spoken to each other? And so many things have happened in that time- you probably got married and divorced, twice; wrote a book(ahem), gone through three different jobs etc, etc. So when said friend inevitably asks, “What have you been up to?” your facial expression resembles a deer in the headlights because you have no idea how or where to begin.

This is exactly how I feel right now, writing this blogpost. This blog has been gathering dust for almost a year and a half. It’s pathetic I know but it reflects how my life has been for the past year. One roller-coaster ride after another which includes in a nutshell: completion of my qualification, starting a new job, moving into a new place, lots of travelling(not the fun kind), a home invasion and the usual madness that comes with teaching in a semi-rural school with large classes.

I don’t even want to touch on my many WIP’s. I did do a little writing last year but not enough to absolve myself of shame. 2015 was a crazy year in my defence. It was like a bombardment of sorts and I am surprised I was still left standing at the end of it. The consolation (or should I say reward) was my much-deserved trip to Cape Town in December. Definitely the highlight of my year.

But I still want to apologise to my blogger friends for not keeping in touch and not reading your blogs. I missed you guys terribly. I miss the writing world terribly (I’m pretty sure the Devil has my soul in a box somewhere).

I do resolve to change things though. They might not be big changes but it’s better than nothing. If time allows it I will blog more. And of course write more.

In the meantime I’d like to know what everyone has been up to. What is going on with your WIP’s? Have you published anything? Any developments in the publishing (traditional or self-publishing) world I should know about? What books are you reading?

Let me know, I want to hear! Good riddance to 2015, welcome 2016!

NM 🙂 Continue reading

Updates and returning to the classroom


It’s been 6 months since I’ve blogged and it bears testimony to the year I’ve had so far. I’m now on a break for a few weeks so I’ve decided to poke my head back into the blogosphere and say helloooooo…

Education-100166800

 As some of you already know, I’m studyimg for my Teaching qualification this year and last month I started my practicals.  It’s been 13 years since I last set foot in a classroom and the feeling has been surreal. Schools have just closed for the mid-year holidays hence my break. I’m now given the chance to reflect on what I’ve seen so far and I can safely say, it is definitely one of the most challenging experiences of my life.

I’m still not sure at this stage if I’m cut out to be a teacher. The idealist in me is perhaps disillusioned (long story about traditional teaching vs OBE, I won’t get into it now) but I still got two more months of practicals to do. I haven’t started developing my own lesson plans or properly conducting lessons as yet so maybe I’m being premature in my judgment. Time, perhaps, will be the better judge.

Hopefully I’ll have some stories to tell when this year is over and maybe it will inspire some fiction as well 😀

I know I haven’t been keeping up-to-date with all of your blogs but I will try to catch up. In the meantime I hope you all are making progress on your WIP’s and reading some amazing books. I will try to squeeze in some blogposts in the next coming weeks if my brain can handle it. Until then, adios!

NM  🙂

Above image courtesy of ammer / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

All the blogposts I’ve known before


Just wondering if I’m the only blogger who has this problem.

Picture it: I’ll have this brilliant idea for a blogpost- usually it will come when I’m in bed ready to fall asleep. Inspiration will hit and in 15 minutes the whole post would have been written out… in my head. Then I fall asleep.
The next morning I will recall vaguely what I had been thinking the night before but since I’m a notoriously lazy person I’d be too indifferent to further recall the blogpost from my head and transfer it onto paper. And there goes another potential blog hit generator, lost forever in the recesses of my mind.

The sad fate of some posts... [Luigi Diamanti/Freedigitalphotos.net]

The sad fate of some posts… [Luigi Diamanti/Freedigitalphotos.net]

Sometimes blog post drafts ‘get lost’ or discarded for other reasons. Usually the post would have been written out (I like writing things out by hand before transcribing it onto Word processor) halfway but then life happens, I get distracted and I leave it aside waiting to finish it later. More often than not this does not happen; it never makes the finish line.

This happens for either of two reasons:

  • 1) the post itself might lose its relevancy due to the time lapse/procrastination on my part and I therefore lose my motivation to finish, so I just scrap it.
  • 2)And other times I realise that when I initially started writing the post, the idea for it was governed by my emotions not my head(this is mainly the case with rants). When I then look at the unfinished post later, I’m much calmer and I have a change of heart. Perhaps taking my anger out on that stupid writer/blogger/friend/tweeter on my blog is not such a good idea. So there’s another draft scrapped.
And you guys thought I made up shit on Twitter. See, I speak real-time truths.

And you guys thought I made up shit on Twitter. See, I speak real-time truths.

The perfect example of (2) above happened just last week. I might as well tell you beforehand that the English Department at the University of South Africa (UNISA) has been giving me the shittiest time this year. Immediately after my exams a couple of weeks ago, I wrote an extremely, LOOOONG letter addressed to the Department expressing my dissatisfaction (I haven’t emailed it yet, I’m waiting for them to mark my exam paper first). The length of the letter(nearly 5 pages) is an indication of the number of separate incidents I had with them. Given that in all my years studying through UNISA I had never experienced anything like this, I felt compelled to lay a formal complaint.
To further express my ire, I thought I’d blog about it too. I started drafting out the post with much vehemence when suddenly I get the news that our beloved Madiba passed away. Thinking about him made me re-evaluate my feelings and check my temper. I put the post away and proceeded to write the forgiveness post. Just for the record, I will still be sending that email to the English Department (possibly leaving out some angry bits) because incompetence and injustice needs to be dealt with. But I’ve since eliminated the idea of ranting about it (this doesn’t count does it? Oops).

So here’s a special tribute to all my blogposts that have never seen the light of day. Really sorry you did not get to experience the fame, but hey, better luck next time!

So will someone please tell me that all this resonates with them so I don’t feel like the strange Muppet that I am?

NM 🙂

( Because I get such a kick out of irony I even considered not publishing this blogpost, HA! Twisted, I know. )

The ABC Award


This post is three months overdue so my sincere apologies to Beckster who tagged me for the ABC award in March. I’ve never been tagged for this one before and it seems quite exciting, so basically what I do is make an A – Z list of things that have to do with ME!

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I won’t be passing this on to anyone but I want to say thank you to Becky for thinking of me and for giving this site some much needed blog love. 😉

Aaaand here goes…

A is for Amethyst, my favourite gemstone.

B is for beaches and Ballito, Durban. Some of you already know that I’ve relocated and Ballito is my new home for now.

C is for Chocolate, cheese and cookies! The only 3 food groups that matter in my opinion. (What do you mean they’re not food groups? They’re so are, dude…)

D is for Dates. I might be an Archaeology major and History buff but I suck at remembering dates. It’s true. I’m surprised I don’t forget my own birthday.

E is for Edinburgh, Scotland. That’s where I lived for almost two years and I miss it. 😦

F is for fairies or faeries. They exist, you know 😉

G is for Gothic. Love anything gothic, whether it be art, books or architecture.
Jack-the-Ripper-Punch-London-Charivari-cartoon-poem-1888
H
is for horsies. I would really like to take up horse-riding sometime in the future, so if anyone wants to buy me a pony…

I is for Island. I will buy my own one day.

J is for Jack The Ripper. I consider myself a bit of a Ripperologist. Just don’t ask me the dates of the murders.

K is for Kale. Because we don’t get it here in SA(well, I haven’t seen it) and I have no idea what it tastes like.

L is for Libra. That’s my starsign.

M is for Mexican food. I make a mean Enchilada. Just saying…

N is for Nocturnal Baking. Peace, quiet, nobody bothers you. Awesome!

O is for OCDs. I have quite a few, enough to warrant a separate blog post, methinks. 😛

ID-10092877P is for pomegranate-scented products. For some reason most of the products I buy seem to be pomegranate-scented: my hand cream, my facemask and even my dish-washing liquid. LOL.

Q is for Quill. I use to own one. And an inkpot. It was fun writing with it although I must admit it’s not the most convenient of writing tools.

R is for Reality TV shows. I HATE them. Especially celebrity ones. I never watch them so don’t talk to me about them.

S is for seven. The number of kgs I’m trying and hoping to lose before summer comes.

T is for TEA! In a previous post I think I mentioned peppermint and Jasmine as my favourites. But I think I’ll add coconut and cinnamon to that list too.

U is for Underworld. Kate Beckinsale as Selena is my hero. 😀

V is for Vincent D’Onofrio. Because I really miss Robert Goren from Law and Order: Criminal Intent. 😦

W is for Weird. Taking stock of all the words that people have used to describe me over the course of my life, this one seems to be topping the list.

X is for X-men. Because how can you not love the X-men?

Y is for the Beatles’ classic Yesterday. Because I cannot get the scene of Mr. Bean going Suddenleee out of my head. 😀

Z is for Zulu (or isiZulu). In an attempt to kick my dreadful unilingualism to the kerb, I’m currently studying the most spoken language (in terms of number of people) in South Africa. Unlike my failed attempts at Spanish and French years ago, I hope to reach semi-fluent levels at least.

NM 🙂

Images

* Jack The Ripper courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
* Fruits courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Changes and makeovers


Don’t be alarmed. For some of you reading this from your emails or Reader, you’re probably wondering who the hell this person is and when did you start following them but like I said, don’t be alarmed, my blog was in serious need of a makeover, so here it is.

The timing is not accidental. Last month was my two year blog anniversary which WordPress was kind enough to inform me about. And also this, boys and girls, happens to be my 100th post! WooHoo!

So, it is a double milestone but the need for change also got me thinking about the choices that we make. And I’m not talking about big, life-changing decisions here. I’m talking about the little things, things that might seem insignificant in the grand scheme of things but actually reveal a lot about who we are, our tastes and attitudes and how we present ourselves in cyberspace. Our Facebook pictures, the wallpaper on our Twitter profiles, even the passwords we create and of course, the themes we choose for our blogs. 😉

blog screenshot (2)

Now I’m not the type that settles for the first thing that I see. I love to customize and change things to suit me so it’s strange that everything (apart from the green background which I chose later on) was exactly what was ‘given’ to me when I first joined WordPress. It was the default theme and default head picture. I guess it was expected of me to change it but I didn’t. I kept it as is. But I did have a reason.

When I first saw the picture, a certain book sprang to mind and I saw it as a sign.

My aim in starting this blog was to journal my thoughts on my writing, my short stories, to monitor my progress and to learn from others. I thought it fitting therefore that the figure of the lone man walking down the country path surrounded by trees looked a lot like the cover of M.R James’ Collected Ghost Stories, one of my favourite books ever. I don’t think I talk about Montague Rhodes James too often but I consider him one of my favourite authors on the strength of this book alone. Obviously the book cover is not as warm and pastoral as my former blog theme picture but the similarities were still there. Hence the reason for keeping it.

M.R James

That was two years ago and this is now. Change is good and I thought the name should go as well. In Verbum Scriptum means the ‘the written word’. There’s power in the written word, whether it be fiction or non-fiction, and there can only be progress once you write things down.

It was also strange that I chose green before, as it’s not one of my favourite colours. Perhaps it went with the picture. Purples and blues are my favourite colours however, so there you have it.
Hope you like it. I’m still experiencing some teething problems with this new theme so I will still be making some changes like a new picture header and so forth, but tell me what you think in the mean time…

So tell me, bloggers, what was the motivation for the blog theme you currently have? Is it as sentimental as mine was?

NM :)

Updates and Apologies


So a few people have been wondering what has happened to me due to my lack of presence in the blogosphere recently.
It’s been almost four months since I last blogged (what? 4? Time certainly waits for nobody!) and a lot has been happening since then.

Some of you already know this but I have begun postgraduate studies this year(well, it officially begins next year but I have to do a few pre-requisite elective courses now because I didn’t fulfil all the requirements for the postgrad degree), so I’ve been quite busy of late. Plus sorting out some personal issues, I’ve had no time for my writing, let alone blogging. Yes, my novel-in-progress has taken a backseat although I still have daydreams about my main character and what she could be doing right now if I were putting pen to paper (is this normal? I’m not sure).

I must apologise profusely to all my favourite bloggers whose blogs I’ve been neglecting, I will make it up to you, promise.

And also an apology to those who look forward to my HML posts. Those have been postponed as well (although I might slip one in, in the coming months, if I have free time).

My contribution on the Artipeeps(Classic Friday) blog will continue as usual though and special thanks to all those that read those posts and leave comments. You know who you are 🙂

So that is my long overdue post and my life in a nutshell. The drought spell has been broken. LOL.

NM 🙂

PS. Oh, in case you were wondering, I am studying for an Education degree, so I will be teaching soon (can you imagine, me, an English/History/Psychology teacher?! Good heavens…).

A mini-rant and some quotes


I feel I need to apologise about my lack of presence on the blogosphere recently. I have been somewhat neglectful of all your posts and tardy with my comments, let alone updating my own.

Without meaning to sound like I’m making excuses, I am blaming it once again on my Internet connection. Yes my Cyberspace woes continue. For weeks I’ve been struggling with a slow connection and webpages taking forever to load. Many a times I’ve felt the urge to hurl my laptop out the window due to my impatience. Of course, I would never do that to Dellboy. (That’s what I named him. Guess what make he is? 🙂 )

I am aware that quite a few people have been experiencing problems recently, not just me. But it’s still frustrating nevertheless. But I will try to catch up on all your blogposts pretty soon. Promise!

In the meantime, I found a few writing quotes for you guys, some funny, some inspirational. Hope you enjoy them!

“One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.” – Jack Kerouac, American novelist and poet.

“Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.” – Stephen King

“There is no money in poetry. But then there’s no poetry in money either.” – Robert Graves, Irish poet

“There’s no such thing as writers’ block. That was invented by people in California who couldn’t write.” – Terry Pratchett (Major LOL! Ha ha – NM)

“It took me 15 years to discover I had no talent for writing. But I couldn’t give it up because by that time I was too famous.” Robert Benchley, American writer and actor.

“I write what amuses me. It’s totally for myself. I never in my wildest dreams expected this popularity. There’s no formula.” – JK Rowling

“A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.”
― Thomas Mann, German writer and Nobel Prize Laureate.

“There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately no-one knows what they are.” – W.Somerset Maugham, English playwright and novelist.

“So what? All writers are lunatics!” – Cornelia Funke, German fiction writer.

NM 🙂