Conversations with Kev | On naming children

Conversations with Kev | On naming children

On one of our coffee breaks this weekend I was inspecting some wooden bits from Kev’s latest petrol-head project and wondered aloud about what type of wood it was.
“It’s probably Ash,” he told me.
Which got me thinking – I have always liked plant names for children. Tree names for boys and flower names for girls. The idea appeals to me. We don’t have children but for some reason one always speculates about these things. Perhaps it’s a leftover habit from childhood when one tried to picture what the future had in store.
“I would totally name my children after plants,” I informed him about a nanosecond after the thought finished crossing my mind.
He laughed at me and said, “I would call her Ethel. She won’t get laid with a name like that and we’ll have peaceful teenage years.”
I couldn’t stop laughing. Poor Ethel! There’s a reason we don’t have children. Can you imagine the child’s therapy bill?

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Musings on relationships

Musings on relationships

The thing about relationships is that they are tricksy. And I’m not talking just about the romantic kind (those are complicated enough) but about the relationships we have with coworkers and friends. My geeky friends will probably identify more with this, since as a group we battle to cultivate new relationships easily. If you are one of those lucky geeks that manage to be the life of the party, good on you. I am unfortunately not one of those social flutterbys that can easily forge new friendships and manage myself adroitly in every social situation.

When faced with a breakdown in a relationship I’m generally at a loss. How does one recover something that worked fine for all parties but for some reason or another fell apart? And this happens. We’ve all experienced a situation where a new person in the team manages to wreak havoc as far as they go, yet nobody recognises this until after the fact. Or a new manager is appointed and everybody resigns a month later.

However much I wish that I could sail past these obstacles my natural introverted reaction is to withdraw from the situation and brood. Now there’s a recipe for success. Not. Yet I don’t have the easy grace to smile and move on. How do people do that? Avoid the poisoned apples one is forced to deal with daily and carry on as if the bump in the road didn’t make the wheels come off?

If I ever find the answer I’ll be sure to post it everywhere. In the meantime I remain better at my relationships with my dogs than with people it seems. They don’t mind if I brood either.

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A small update

A small update

Keep Calm and Read OnThis is another semiannual post. It seems anything more than that and we get bad weather down here at the bottom end of Africa. Seeing as the weather is already bad (my ears are freezing!), I thought I may as well. As you can see, some small changes have been made to the blog, colours have  changed and things have been spruced up. Most importantly though, the little Zazzle shop has a whole new range of products. I’m not expecting you to rush out and buy them but would appreciate a visit to the shop to see what I’ve been up to. Go have a look here.

It’s very satisfying to bring a new design to life and even more so when you don’t have a brand manager saying “Move that a bit to the left”. I know all you designers out there can relate. The Keep Calm range was whipped out in a morning and had me almost as happy as Xmas and birthdays. What do you think of making your own version of popular memes?

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Finally writing that novel

Finally writing that novel

Now NovelSome of you may be aware that my blog writing activities have been curtailed by my novel writing activities. The two shouldn’t be mutually exclusive but since this is a first novel I’m trying to focus my attention on one thing at a time. I have always wanted to write a book. Getting started seemed to be the biggest problem in the process. Fortunately I have a friend who had a great idea to help wannabe writers like me get going. An inspirational PDF document from her is what moved me from thinking to doing. So, if writing a novel is on your Bucket List but you don’t know where to start you should go visit www.nownovel.com – a website by the team that got me going.

Now Novel is an online writing course created by brother-sister team Brendan and Bridget McNulty. Bridget is a published author (her first novel, Strange Nervous Laughter, was published in South Africa and the USA) and she shares all her tips, tricks and insider information during the Now Novel process.

It’s more than just an online course, it’s more of a guide to how to complete each step of writing the novel – from creating an idea to testing if that idea is really strong enough to support a whole book, coming up with plot and setting details, creating in-depth character studies and even being given a roadmap for what needs to happen when.

As well as the website there’s an inspiring blog filled with writing advice, a forum where you can discuss any writing frustrations with other aspiring authors and a Facebook page with pics and quotes that only book geeks will appreciate!

In short, it’s all the tools you need to finally write that novel… Except the words, that is.

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Soulless | Steampunk fun

Soulless | Steampunk fun

“Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations. First, she has no soul. Second, she’s a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette. ”

With a description like that things can only get better. This little book was one of the best finds I’ve had in a while. Ms Carriger writes a very tongue in cheek account about life as a spinster during the Victorian age.
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