Life

how to have adventures

I am an adamant supporter of the having of adventures. They are crucial to life. Cr-u-cial. Just because there is a dearth of dragons, quests, and hobbits doesn’t mean it’s impossible to go on one. Let me expound …

BE PROACTIVE SEIZE THE DAY. OR HOUR. OR MINUTE

Adventures don’t always hand themselves to you on a platter. You have to snatch at them as they whiz by, or spin them out of thin air. It’s all down to you. Do you have an afternoon free? Plan an outting. It doesn’t have to be expensive: buy some snacks, grab a book or a friend (with their permission. Of course) and go.

An hour? Go for a walk. Explore your neighbourhood. Travelling home from an appointment/work/saving the world from killer penguins? Choose a different way home. Branch out into a different genre of book. Go to the cinema and watch a film you wouldn’t normally watch.

BE READY TRY TO BE SLIGHTLY ORGANISED

I know – a little ironic, huh? Adventures are often spontaneous things … only. If you have an organised life, a marginally organised life, it means your brain is free from distractions. You don’t have to waste time cleaning/booking appointments/sending emails/folding laundry if you’re on top of things.

This might be just me, but I do better when my personal life is organised. My brain is like a terrible phone with limited data – I’ve got to keep some memory space free for important stuff. So uncluttering is a must.

Do I sometimes jam stuff out of sight? Shove it under the bed or in the wardrobe? Yes.

I am but human after all.

BE BRAVE ONE STEP AT A TIME

When I was teaching in Eastern Europe, day to day life didn’t always feel like the easiest thing. Go down to the shops? Where they don’t understand a word I say and I can’t understand anything they say either? I do words – I write them, I read them, and I taught about them. To not understand anything? That felt terrifying.

One memorable occasion, after a long day of teaching … I couldn’t quite face it. I had to do the shopping (you’ve got to eat) but I withdraw into myself, wrapping myself with a bit of numbness and a lot of ‘put your head down, don’t draw attention to yourself.’ That kind of sucked and I felt like I was a complete failure of an adventurer …

But here’s a secret: being brave doesn’t always mean doing big huge things. It can be little things too. No one but you knows just how much effort it takes to smile at that stranger, to step onto the bus, to attempt something in a different language.

Bravery – like adventures – comes in all shapes and sizes and every little bit should be celebrated. Being brave doesn’t mean you don’t feel afraid or a little bit cowardly – being brave means you do things in spite of those feelings.

Keep going.

You got this.

BE BRIGHT-EYED IT’S ALL IN THE MIND

Adventures come in many forms. Big. Small. Medium. Tiny. Ginormous. And it’s all down to your mindset. You could view doing the weekly shopping as a chore OR you could view it as an opportunity to slip a pun in when speaking to a cashier, decide who among your fellow shoppers is a secret agent or a shapeshifter or is secretly addicted to growing peppers, make multiple words out of advertising, or buy an item of food you’d never ordinarily touch.

Perspective – it’s powerful. Choose to see the bright side of things. Choose to find the extraordinary in the ordinary. Choose adventures – in whatever way they come.

Life itself is an adventure and it’s a big one.

Choose to see the beauty. Choose to see the fun. Choose, and find joy in it.

I think I just rambled, Life

things that didn’t happen on my adventure

I think I did something wrong on my last adventure. According to my extensive research, I should have, at the very least, stumbled across a puzzle which would have led to a treasure map which would, in turn, have led me to El Dorado. This … did not happen.

THERE WERE NO DEAD BODIES

I’m not really going to complain about this, though my readings in the world of Elizabeth Peters, Agatha Christie, and Dorothy L Sayers led me to conclude that it was an inevitable fact of life:

  • Gravity: what goes up must come down.
  • Life: you live, you find a dead body, you solve a murder mystery.

Nope. Didn’t happen.

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I saw a dead groundhog though. It was on a road. The poor thing was squished. The butler probably did it.

THERE WAS NO WHISKING OFF INTO ANOTHER DIMENSION

There was no Narnia hidden in a wardrobe. Or even a kitchen cupboard. To be honest, Canada had quite enough snow to make you think ‘oh my gosh someone kill the evil witch already IT’S SO COLD’ but alas, there were no furniture gateways into other worlds.

This would probably be a good thing. In stories, what you’re supposed to do sort of falls into your lap. In actual reality, you’d probably end up working as a maid in a tavern while the prince you were supposed to save was slain by the evil tyrant you were supposed to defeat.

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THERE WAS NO ROMANTIC SUB-PLOT

There was no pirate, lumberjack, detective, prince, villain-waiting-to-be-saved-by-the-love-of-a-good-woman, tormented artist, time traveler, or dinosaur trainer to sweep me off my feet.

I know.

Life is tough.

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I started to develop the sneaking suspicion that book heroes (*cough* clichés *cough*) don’t actually translate well to real life. For a bookworm, this is a hard – nay, DEVASTATING –  truth to face. This could mean that there are no Radcliff Emersons, Heyer leads, or Mr. Rochesters about.

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But … that’s okay. It’s all okay – I didn’t solve a murder mystery. I didn’t fall into another world. I didn’t get swept off my feet by a brooding hero.

Some adventures are full to the bursting with startling events, and quick things that trip over themselves in their haste to happen (if it doesn’t rain, it pours).

… but some adventures are quiet, where no big earth-shattering events occur, but where subtle little things steal in unannounced, one after the other, building up and up and up until you look back and think yes, what an adventure that was.

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I think I just rambled, Life

things that i will totally do in 2018

There’s nothing I love more than lists. Lists are amazing. I hardly ever complete them, (TRANSLATION: nope. I never complete them) but we have wistful relationship. Sort of like my relationship with my violin – full of longing and missing talent.

Last year, I didn’t complete a single resolution. Not. One. So I thought, hmm … let me learn from this. Let me try to set achievable things. Let me … WRITE THE LONGEST TO DO LIST YET!!

Ah, yes. I really learn from my mistakes.

*ah-hem*

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BOOKS I WANT TO READ

  • A Dickens (WHY DO I DO THIS TO MYSELF?!!!!)
  • The Candy Machine: How Cocaine Took Over The World by Tom Feiling
  • Two indie books
  • Mere Christianity by C.S Lewis
  • My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand
  • Nine Day Queen of England by Faith Cook
  • Pride and Prejudice (I’ve tried, but have yet to succeed)
  • Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World by Jack Weatherford
  • A book by P.G Wodehouse (this will be a GREAT hardship)
  • Two books by Georgette Heyer (SUCH HARDSHIP)

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BLOG THINGS TO BE DONE

  • Two posts a week (HAHAHAHA)
  • Two Heyer Recountings
  • A Dickens Recounting
  • Two Guest Interviews
  • A few ‘Terrible Movies I’ve Loved’ posts
  • Greater interaction on other blogs

WRITING THINGS I’D LIKE TO ACHIEVE

  • Finish The Elf Stew
  • Edit and republish Our Intrepid Heroine
  • Enter a short story competition
  • Submit an article/short story for publication in a magazine/e-zine (is that what they’re called nowadays?)blur-1869579_1920

OTHER LIFE THINGS

  • Skate the Rideau Canal
  • Arrive back in England in one piece with sanity intact (WHAT SANITY?!)
  • Maintain daily devotions throughout the year
  • Strive to be kinder

I think – in order to encourage myself – I will cross off this list as I go. So be sure to check back. It’s a riveting sport.

To be perfectly honest, I don’t really mind if one thing or everything or nothing gets crossed off my List To End All My Lists – what matters, I think, is put most succinctly in this verse from Micah 6 v 8:

He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

(Though, of course, if I don’t manage to read a Dickens, I shall be BITTERLY disappointed.)

I think I just rambled, Life

tales from a future icicle: boots, buses and THE PHANTOM!!!

Well, it’s been over a month now. I’m still here. I’m still alive.

WINTER PREPERATIONS

In my head I’ve been keeping a ‘clothesometer’; if it’s ten degrees outside, I wear this. If it’s zero degrees with a wind chill factor, I wear that. I think I’m going to write a book containing my Vast and Very Wise Knowledge.

So far I’ve acquired:

  • Winter boots – expensive but oh so comfy
  • One of those sleeveless jacket down things (I excel at technical terms. Clearly)
  • A hoodie
  • An under jacket thing.
  • Two winter coats

I bought some winter wear with me, so I think – with a few more additions – I just might survive. Ha. Probably.

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Future me. But without the beard.

BUSES

There is nothing quite like the feeling of watching your bus disappear into the distance. Or arriving at the bus stop to have someone tell you that your bus has been and come and gone.

I’ve run after buses, I’ve waited for buses, I’ve missed a bus because I was reading, looked up and ‘oh that’s my bus, whizzing past like a sprinting ostrich.’

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All in all, buses and I have a complex and codependent relationship. On my part. They don’t care whether I come or go. It’s a harsh and cruel, cold (heh) truth.

THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA

Dun. Dun dun dun dun dunnnnnnnn … I can cross ‘Watching the Phantom of The Opera’ off my to-do list. I SAW IT FOLKS!! I saw it. That moment when the music thunders and the lights flash and the chandelier bursts into life? Shivers. Genuine shivers.

I grew slightly irritated with the younglings who were chatter-whispering behind me for did they not know how important and incredible this show was!!

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Like, for real. I’m glad you are here and seeing this wondrous thing but honestly. Shush.

My tears wanted to roll at the Phantom’s last sung words; all that longing, and all that heartache. Even though I was seated in the second from last seats (32Z, instead of 32ZZ. There’s a difference) it was wondrous.

They did some sound wizardry at one point AND THE PHANTOM’S VOICE CAME FROM BEHIND MY HEAD. (Please add squealing and a multitude of exclamation marks after that.)

I could probably ramble on and on about my theories regarding Erik and how he was never taught regular human behaviours and how Christine isn’t right for him (well, as she is in the book and play) and how he needs some real help and professional therapy etc etc etc. But that’s for another time and another day.

phantom cry

For years, I have been a Phan. (Aw gee, that sounds cheesy. But I stand by it. So. Pfft.) And now I’ve revisited the story, the movie, the music, the play, and the phanfiction (seriously! there is some great phanfiction out there.). The only things lacking are:

  • a reread of Gaston Leroux’s book
  • watching some of the older movies

And now I’ve seen the play. Live. As in right there. In front of me. 

… and now I need to go back and watch it again. But a) the play has left Montreal and b) I have a budget to stick to (HAHAHA. I mean. Yes. Yes, I do) and so I will make do with a movie.

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Preferably the anniversary edition

Books, I think I just rambled, Life

being whelmed and getting hitched

reading

I’ve been reading, quite extensively at times. Old favourites, new ones. Gorging on a new-found author. (Erm, not literally.)

Person Sitting While Open the Book

It seems that the closer I come to The Adventure, the more I try to avoid thinking about it. It’s subconscious, I don’t think ‘come now, Ness, let us avoid reality.’ But, it happens. I’m excited about The Adventure, terribly so. Nervous, anxious, itching to get on with it. But staying whelmed by reading.

(That’s the opposite of overwhelmed. I’m giving it a new definition.)

… or I’m reading so much because I am a dedicated bookworm at heart. It could just be that too.

i’m getting hitched

I didn’t know it until last night, but I am well on my way to matrimonial bliss. An Englishman, Irishman, and Scotsman (doesn’t that sound like the setup for a joke?) walked into my place of work.

(Well, I know that one was Irish, one was Scottish, and the other was either English or Irish or Scottish. I’m not sure; the ear I should have for accents is profoundly deaf.)

The probable Englishman (‘my name’s such and such, but you can call me ‘fiance”) admitted that he didn’t have enough cash for a quick elopement to Las Vegas, so the Scotsman gamely stepped up and offered (‘I do‘ he said, clearly foreshadowing our vows).

Woman Wearing Pink and White Low Top Shoes Dancing Beside Man

We’re getting married in Las Vegas on the 12th of September (he was too busy on the 10th) and are going to have matching tattoos, and flame-haired children.

So that’s that sorted, then.

writing

This is a bit embarrassing. I’ve been suffering a mighty writer’s block brought about by three things:

  • Tiredness, due to work
  • A Wish To Read Instead, due to my bookworm nature
  • Lack Of Will Power, I’ve got the word document open often enough – but rarely do I actually, oh, I don’t know, add actual words.

BUT I HAVE HAD A BREAKTHROUGH. (And this is the embarrassing bit.)

I’ve changed the font.

Boom.

I was writing until half one last night/early this morning. AND ALL I DID WAS CHANGE THE FONT.

I just … nope. Why? Why does my brain act this way? Why?! Why couldn’t it have been ‘you must bathe in the milk of a unicorn at dawn when the crow calls twice with lisp and once with a hiccup’ or something like that. But noooo, it turns out that I’m a simple woman with simple ways to get over things: have writer’s block? Change the font. Boom. Done.

I think I’d make a terrible arty book heroine; I’ve no complicated connection to my artistic soul. Fonts. That’s the key. I’m not bitter about it, or anything …

happy reading/writing!