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!

abc-award_thumb

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 🙂

A Web-less life.


Due to my lack of urgency (and common sense of course) I did not renew my annual Internet subscription on time and due to other circumstances I was left web-less for nearly two weeks.

I survived, surprisingly, but being connected on my phone helped somewhat in this regard. Still it was debilitating, I won’t lie. Unable to read my emails, blog, read other blogs, do research, browse – it really made me wonder about the days before the existence of the Internet. Or most technology in fact.

A cellphone/mobile seems a mandatory accessory to have nowadays but I never had one in school (like most kids do now). We, back in the days, relied on landlines and payphones. We set specific times for our parents to pick us up at the cinema or friends’ house and stuck to those arrangements without hassle. There was no “I’ll call you when I’m done” sort of thing.
An avid young researcher I recall spending my afternoons in the library, lurking like a predatory beast amongst the archives and reference shelves for information on my assignments. Today, Cyberspace is home to Google, Wikipedia, JSTOR and other reference sites where a click of a button will give you all the info you need in the comfort of your own home.

It’s become easy. It’s become a normal part of life, so much so, we can’t do without it now. As a young girl I was considered cool (by some only! (coughs)) for having pen-pals ( I still have in my possession a box of old letters from former pen-friends). Now, it’s probably considered unusual if you DON’T have friends internationally whom you’ve never met.

Reminiscing can be fun, so how about you? Ever wonder about the days before the existence of Cyberspace or cellphones?(If you’re old enough to, that is 😉 )
And if you happen to be a young ‘un, can you imagine your life Internet and phone-free? Thoughts in general are always welcomed…

NM 🙂

The Lucky 7 Challenge


“I think it’s important to note our own situation at the time. You see, I was having a bit of trouble selling my goods. Apparently foreign merchants heard of the curse that inflicted our Island and had ceased their trading with us. Hence I did not have many customers as my shells were of no use to the locals.
Mother and I were surviving on very little at that point and it was obvious that while contemplating our situation in her “moment of idleness,” she entertained the thought of leaving.
We went to bed very late that night. We sat up discussing what to do but it almost seemed like our minds were made up.
It made me nervous to think that our future lay in the next few days of our planning.”

Okay that was embarrassing.

Lovely Louise over at My Other Book Is a Tolstoy was kind enough to tag me in the Lucky 7 Challenge:

The idea is to go to page 7 or 77 of your current work in progress, go down to the 7th line, then copy and paste approximately 7 lines in raw, unedited form. Tag some friends to join in the challenge!

Because my WIP is a collection of shorts and I am currently editing it, one story at a time, I decided to choose an extract from the very next story on my list that hasn’t gone through a serious modification process as yet.
That story is the Beast of Kipwe Island and guess what number it is on my little chart? Yep, you guessed it, its number 7!!! How’s that for freaky coincidence???
So the extract above is from page 7, lines 7 -14, in the raw and in the nude so to speak. I didn’t touch it even though I was tempted to… 🙂

I know I tagged a whole lot of you guys for 11 Questions last time so I won’t tag anyone today but if you want to have a go at this challenge and post an unedited extract of your WIP on your blog, you can use my name and do so! It would be fun to see what you guys are working on.

Once again thank you to Louise for thinking of me, and until next time, happy writing!

NM 🙂

I’ve been tagged…twice!


Last month Nelle tagged me in a fun game of ’11 Questions’, and last week I was tagged again by August.  Special thanks to you ladies for choosing me.

The rules of the game are thus:

  1. Post the rules.
  2. In the same post, answer the questions.
  3. Create eleven new questions to ask eleven new participants.
  4. Tag those people and share links to their blogs in your post.
  5. Let them know you’ve tagged them.

 So I’ll start with NELLE’s questions first, and my answers.

1) Do you consider yourself a feminist? Depends. If I’m speaking to a misogynist, then the feminist in me comes out.

2) What is the silliest thing you will admit to doing? Falling for a pyramid scheme years ago and wasting quite a bit of money on it.

3) Favourite pudding. (I assume ‘pudding’ means any dessert in general) Chocolate Truffle Pie.

4) Your foremost vice. Errr, red wine?

5) Fastest driving speed with you at the wheel. I hate driving but I do remember once doing 100km/h on a 60 road. Ha ha!!!

6) Do you play a musical instrument? If so, please identify the instrument. Use to play recorder and guitar in school. Not anymore.

7) Barefoot or shoes? Barefoot…but with socks!

8) Secular or theocratic government? Definitely secular.

9) Would you sail the world alone? Definitely not. I have no idea how to sail.

10) One food you refuse to ever eat. Trotters! And anything that appears on Fear Factor.

11) Soup or stew? Soup. But if dumplings are involved then it’s stew.

 Go visit Nelle at http://nellewrites.net/

August’s questions

1. What did you eat for breakfast? Eggs on an English muffin with strawberry tea.

2. If you could re-live any day of your life, as often as you’d like, which would you choose? Oh dear, I can’t really think of one specific day. I’d like to think the best days of my life are yet to come.  😉

3. Of the books you’ve read recently, which is your favorite? Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

4. You have front row seats and back stage passes for any concert. Who’s on stage? Noel Gallagher, Jax Panik, Nicki Minaj, Goo Goo Dolls or Example. You choose…;)

5. Who’s the last person you hugged? My cat Deucalion.

6. What’s your favorite smell? Kentucky Fried Chicken! Or any food cooked with loads of oregano. LOVE OREGANO!

7. What’s your best bargain-hunting or money-saving tip? I believe this is a God-given talent. The ability to bargain-shop cannot be taught, sorry! Ha ha! Although if you want to spend less, create a shopping list of what you need and calculate what they will all cost. Then just take enough money for those items. That way you won’t buy unnecessary things. 🙂

8. What’s your funniest or strangest high school memory? I hated high school, so can’t really think of anything funny.

9. How do you feel about your birthday? Grrrrr…..that’s all I have to say!

10. What do you not miss about being younger? School lessons and horrible teachers!

11. What about you tends to surprise others? That I hold a Bachelors’ Degree in Archaeology and Classical Culture. Oh and that I’m currently writing a book!

Check out August’s blog: http://augustmclaughlin.wordpress.com/

*************************************************************

Okay, now it’s your turn! My questions are ready and I nominate the following people (who are not obligated in any way) to answer them:

Becky Day                       http://beckysblogs.wordpress.com/

Barb Froman                 http://barbfroman.wordpress.com/

Ricky-Lee Cranko        http://littlemisswednesday.wordpress.com/

Michelle Barber            http://loonyliterature.com/

Sharon Hughes             http://figmentsandimagination.wordpress.com/

Jennifer Neri                 http://jenniferneri.wordpress.com/

MJ Monaghan               http://mjmonaghan.wordpress.com/

Kelly Thompson           http://thompsonkelly.wordpress.com/

Katy Hulme                   http://storytellingnomad.wordpress.com/

Martin Shone               http://throughthemagicdoor.wordpress.com/

Widdershins                 http://widdershinsfirst.com/

These are my 11 Questions:

1.       If you attended Hogwarts, which house would you belong to, Hufflepuff, Gryffindor, Ravenclaw or Slytherin?

2.       I prefer Twitter to Facebook. Agree or Disagree?

3.        Romantic dinner at a fancy restaurant or staying in with pizza and a movie?

4.       If you were forced to marry ONE of the following men, who would you choose and why:

Ebenezer Scrooge, Severus Snape or Heathcliff?

And for the men, who would you marry:

Dolores UmbridgeMadame Bovary or Lindsay Lohan?

5.       Chocolate: white, milk or dark?

6.       Favourite Horror movie?

7.       If your personality were a colour, what colour would it be?

8.       What famous mystery would you most like to know the answer to? (Eg. The identity of Jack The Ripper or whether OJ was guilty.)

9.       If you were about to be executed(God forbid!) what would you choose as your last meal?

10.   Favourite CSI show: Las Vegas Original, New York or Miami?

11.   There are too many reality shows on TV. Agree or disagree?

So my tagged ones, hope you like my questions. The rest of you guys are free to answer any one of them if you wish because as always, I love to hear from you!

NM 🙂

Ps. the link feature on my dashboard is giving me problems, so I was forced to put up the entire URL’s for all the blogs. Sorry about that!

Kreative HUGs and Sunshine


Last month I was graciously spoilt by a few bloggers when I received 4 awards all in one week! I won’t be passing these on to anybody but I do want to thank the bloggers for their generosity.

First and foremost, to two beautiful bards: Poetic Journey and Sharon Hughes who both awarded me a HUG. If you love poetry, or even if you don’t, their blogs are inspiring to say the least, so do go and pay them a visit. I absolutely loved the message behind the HUG-Hope Unites Globally:

The HUG Award© is for people with an expectant desire for the world, for which they: Hope for Love; Hope for Freedom; Hope for Peace; Hope for Equality; Hope for Unity; Hope for Joy and Happiness; Hope for Compassion and Mercy; Hope for Faith; Hope for Wholeness and Wellness; Hope for Prosperity; Hope for Ecological Preservation; Hope for Oneness.
“People do not have to give up or compromise their own religious, spiritual, or political beliefs to qualify for the Hope Unites Globally HUG Award©. They qualify for the HUG Award© when, without bias or prejudice, they use their resources and gifts to make the world a better place for everyone.”

This is something I truly believe we should all strive for. A great message, so thank you ladies for thinking of me!

Also, a special thank you to Chris Stocking from Write to Perfect who awarded me the Kreativ Blogger Award. With already two novels published, he’s a name to watch out for guys, so go check him out!

And last but definitely not least, a very big thank you to Becky for the Sunshine Award. Why the Great Beckster chooses to waste a perfectly good award on an undeserving cretin such as myself, I will never know, but it’s testament to her wonderful and generous spirit. And this is the part where I tell you to go and check out her blog, but truth betold , you should be following her by now anyway, and if not, then shame on you! Make up for it by paying her a visit today…

Now apparently with the Sunshine and Kreative Awards, I’m supposed to dispense some information about myself. I decided to combine the requirements of both awards and :
Relay 7 things about myself BUT by using the questions posed for the Sunshine Award. So here goes…

Favourite animal: Cheetah cubs

Favourite colour: Violet and Fuschia

Favourite number: 5

Favourite flower: Pink roses, Arum lily and the African Violet (sorry it’s difficult to choose one)

Your passion: Oh dear. Okay let me try: books, writing and of course the 2 H’s: history and horror!

Favourite drink: Oh dear. Hot chocolate? But I also love my herbal/flavoured teas, peppermint and berry being my favourites.

Another fun fact: I’m terribly indecisive. (Like you couldn’t figure that one out already!)

NM 🙂