I got double-tagged at the weekend by Cat Wentworth at Designers Who Blog, inspiring my post for Monday while I wait for my brain to kick into gear and resume the exploration of writing and inspiration.
The first part was nomination as one of her ten (ish) excellent reads, for which I’m very grateful. I’m going to duck playing this bit though because I find it so hard to select and highlight particular blogs when there are so many I read for different reasons: to engage as part of a community, to keep up with what’s going on in the blogging world, to read other great writing blogs, to enjoy what you’re writing….
If you’re looking for some new blogs to read please do have a browse through the list of blogs I follow at Bloglines, with those where I spent the most time (chatting, conversing, connecting) listed at the top.
The second part was 8 random things, a meme I have played before though that time I limited it to books and reading. This time round I’ll try to be a little more random, while sharing some stuff about me that might be of interest. As you’ll see I made some into 8s (because I like numbered lists) but it was getting too hard to come up with 8 * 8…
8 Random Things About Me
# 1 I tried to think of 8 languages I could speak. I have passable French, Spanish acquired from 3 months in Mexico, German I studied at university and have hardly spoken since, Italian I pick up every few years to get ready for a holiday there (so I’m back with it in anticipation of the writing holiday in Sardinia in October) only one word of Hungarian despite the fact my brother and nephew live there, an on-off relationship with Gaelic (it’s so hard to learn, but when I focus on it I make good progress), and would have said I struggle with Scots… until people started quizzing me on Scots words I use here that have crept into my vocabulary
# 2 I am a cat person, through and through.
# 3 I love visiting the islands off the west coast of Scotland. 8 islands I’ve been to so far include Arran, Islay, Mull, Skye, Raasay, Lewis & Harris, Canna, Rum. 8 that are on the top of the list to visit (there are many more!) are Barra, Coll, Eigg, Colonsay, Gigha, Jura, Tiree and St Kilda.
# 4 My mind goes a blank when people ask me what my favourite film is, or even what film I’ve seen recently. I try and memorise two or three to roll out on these occasions, but often revert to Star Wars as a safe bet (and it is quite possibly my all time favourite film)
# 5 I find questions of national identity difficult to answer too – too complex to boil down to one word. The birth places of my 8 great-grandparents reflect my own mixed sense of place the best: 2 born in Devon (one with Cornish parents, the other Irish) 2 from Fife, 2 from Lewis, 2 from Skye
# 6 I don’t watch much TV any more (too busy blogging) but when I do, ER is my favourite US TV programme…
# 7 My favourite foods are savoury snacks: hot croissants, bagels, brown toast and butter, white toast and Marmite, oatcakes, crumpets, potato scones, Scotch pancakes with butter and jam – okay, the last one’s not quite savoury, but you can get away with eating it for breakfast so I’m counting it.
# 8… and Coronation Street is my favourite UK TV programme (and favourite thing on TV)
I’m tagging the 8 top commenters in February to play along:
(The number of comments is growing so fast here I’m not sure I can manage any more to list everyone who’s commented in a round up post – but please know that each and every comment is appreciated, and is a large part of what inspires me to write. Highlighting the top 8 seemed a small way to say thanks.)
I know you might have played this tag before – but it’s random, so maybe you’ll be able to think of a way to play again. In any event I’d like to pass it on with these non-rules that I learned from Jeanne Dininni:
1. Give yourself permission not to complete it if you lack the interest, inclination or inspiration to do so (that way you’ll only write it if you do)
2. Allow yourself to ignore the hurry element
We need to give ourselves the freedom to take as long as we need to discover whether there is in fact any spark of inspiration buried within us that would allow us to approach the meme with enthusiasm, curiosity, and enjoyment–rather than forcing ourselves into the drudgery of a dreaded task.
3. Focus on the meme and shape it the way you want, make it your own
These thoughts have definitely helped me re-think the way I look at memes – shifting them back to something that’s fun and playful rather than a burden someone’s passed on to me. That’s my intention in passing it on anyway – along with a thanks