It’s going to be a great day. The promise of the sunny day almost hides behind the clouds above, and the hovering, disappearing ground mist below. However, I don’t stay to enjoy the restricted view.
In my personal blog I recently posted a writing prompt:
You are having a dinner party for writers and you can invite five writers-
living or dead. Who do you invite and why?
Then I posted my first round of picks.
It will probably surprise no one that I can imagine a second dinner party that would be just as interesting (to me, at least):
I spend the better part of most days reading and writing. In recreational reading alone, I average about 150 hours per month. (How do I know? My e-reader software actually tracks my reading hours.) When the time I spend reading things like paper books, the Interweebs, and work documents is factored in, I think the grand total would be closer to 275, or maybe even 300 hours a month.
Recently I performed a thought experiment on myself: if I had a whole day during which I had lost the ability to read and write, how would I spend it? What would I do all day?
The door is a weathered dark oak, with a worn cardboard open sign, dangling in the glass. My right hand grasps the well worn brass doorknob, I turn it slightly to the right and the door swings gently inward with the light tinkling of a bell. As I walk though the entrance, I am greeted with the pungent aroma of fir, the pitches long since dried. The planks of the floor of the entrance way are hollowed out from the years of foot traffic. Stepping further into the building, the floorboards yield a wonderful creak with every step that I take.
December 10, 2011
I remember one Christmas. I received a gift, a book. As soon as I saw the cover, my eyes became filled with tears, and they began to run down my cheeks. There was something familiar about the author and its context. I didn’t know who he was but the image on the cover and the title made an extreme impact on me and I hadn’t even opened the book yet. I could feel warmth from the words reaching out beyond the cover. I felt strange inside, uneasiness was stirring. It was as if I had known him for many years and that we had shared a life together at one time. The sorrow that I felt was that of loss. I continued to weep.
I cannot recount the number of times I have been asked where I am from. Usually, I am asked this question by a person who looks different, who can be described as ‘white’ in contrast to the people who are black or brown, or the ‘people of colour’. I do not like these terms, as they don’t say anything at all about a person, nothing about their language, culture, beliefs or anything that makes them who they are. Anyway, that is how the world categorizes people; and we the people, are stuck in these categories.
When I undertook the role of Jokemaster at a recent Toastmasters’ meeting I hadn’t realized it was going to be such a difficult job. Especially when the theme is Jargon – I thought I might be downsized by the chair, let go, uninstalled, derecruited, and invited to seek other opportunities outside my role. I realized I had to think big and outside the box. I had to push the envelope, raise the bar, take things to the next level, and indulge in some blue sky thinking. Telling a joke is a two-way street and I had to do it without going postal. It was tempting to pick the low hanging fruit which may or may not be cherries. I needed a gilt-edged, copper-bottomed, member-facing joke that I could run up the flagpole and everyone would salute it. I’d really want 360-degree feedback too. Anyway, I should park my thinking offline. This is a finely balanced situation, weighted heavily towards the members. So, I should touch base with you and keep you in the loop because we need to be on the same page and singing from the same hymn sheet – it’s important there are no disconnects so that we are sending and receiving mixed messages.
Here are some new words for your vocabulary:
A famous idiom in the English language is that mighty oaks from little acorns grow. Each of you may think to yourself at some point – can I make a difference to the world, how can one person make a difference?
If you ever doubt that this can happen then let me yell you about Bruce Crowther.