PENNIE QUINTON in The Saatchi Gallery Art & Music Magazine
Now that limousine has taken Gil Scott-Heron to heaven; and he will see to it that God, if there is one, has a lot of explaining to do. The revolution in heaven will not be televised, but poets undermine the power of empires and their words live on…
That’s right you crazy kids, from now on Thursday will be ‘Reblog Day’ on my site. I will choose posts from others that really grab me and repost them here.
There are so many great writers on WordPress that don’t even get a look in because they lack followers, or comments and so never may never make it to ‘Freshly Pressed’. So this is for everyone who deserves to get some recognition for their hard work.
If you would like me to repost your work, get in touch, firstname.lastname@example.org, follow me on Twitter @lostlifefound or just leave a comment here.
All the best,
I will admit that it was a scary time, not knowing when there would be work or whether I would be considered for work after being out of a very competitive market for a while. During that time, I looked at my situation as failure and often blamed myself even when it was clear that it was just the current climate.
Probably the hardest thing is not having the freedom to do the things I want as I used to. Just a few years ago, I lived life as I wanted and it suited me as I am very much a free spirit. I was once very happy with my life and never foresaw the quite drastic change of direction that it has taken. It is often hard to explain to friends when I can’t do the activities that I would normally have just jumped at doing without hesitation. I find it frustrating, and I know they must do too, but now I have to think carefully about everything I do and mostly turn invites down because every day I need to work out how I will pay my bills.
As well as job hunting I have tried to keep busy and fill my days with doing jobs around the house, and cheap (often free) activities. What this time out has taught me is a lot more about myself. I try to plan and set myself daily tasks, just as I would have done whilst I was working to keep myself busy and to stay positive. Even writing this blog was a task today
Here are 5 things you can do to keep yourself motivated
1. Try and get out of the house everyday
It is really important if you are not working to feel the sun on your skin or just to get some fresh air! It helps me to think clearly and just feel better in general.
Another thing I discovered this year is that I love walking. I walk approximately 30km per week now and I love it. I used to have to motivate myself to go to the gym or go for a run. Walking is a pleasure, and it has helped me shed 2 dress sizes since April. Whatever you like to do for exercise, make sure you keep it up. The endorphins will help keep you positive.
3. Stay Focused
Try and plan at least part of your day and then leave yourself time to do what you want. I find that once I start on the things I have planned, the day just disappears anyway! Even if I don’t feel like focusing on big things, I try to tackle little things just so I can feel as if I have achieved something.
4. Start a Group
If you know other people who are in the same situation as you, start a group. Helping each other to find work and give advice and support is invaluable and helps you understand that you are not alone.
If you think you have a skill or just some time that you could put to better use, get out there and volunteer. It could be with a local group or organisation or you can even be an online volunteer if you have the right skills. I have volunteered with UN Online Volunteers in the past and always found it a very rewarding experience.
- Volunteer When Job Hunting (turbotax.intuit.com)
- How to Volunteer for the Environment and Go Green Groups (brighthub.com)
- Online volunteers make an impact (cnn.com)
- Freelancing Tips: Will You Work for Free? (queercents.com)
- Volunteering benefits those with functional limitations (tricitypsychology.com)
Strangest thing happened this morning. I was actually looking for the correct pronunciation of a friends surname. I have known this person for nearly 3 years, so I guess it is a little late in the day to ask him how it should be pronounced!
I stumbled across this site called “Write or Die: Dr Wicked’s Writing Lab”. If you are a writer you have probably heard of it, I am not, and I know I hadn’t. It is great little tool that allows you set a time limit on yourself for writing. It penalises you for missing your goal.
I set myself a very easy goal of 1 hour to write 250 words, but because the screen flashes angrily at you if you pause whilst writing, you are forced to keep writing whatever comes to mind. So I kept writing, and this is what I managed to produce
I haven’t changed a thing. It is just as I wrote it on the site. It won’t win any great literary prizes and I won’t give up the day job, but it is *my* story and I think I could see people getting really hooked on this tool, especially if you are prone to writers block. Anyway, here is my very short story. There will be grammatical errors and spelling mistakes but that is the beauty of it. It is whatever comes to mind spilled out for the world to see:
Best Beloved Beau
The billowing wind in the trees overhead signalled that a storm was coming in. “We had better get inside” she pulled the blanket around her closely as she made a move to get out of the rocking chair.
“Why do ‘we’ need to go?” Beau looked up from his book, his forelock blowing across his face as he stared awaiting her answer. “We can’t stay here, we will get soaked”. The curtains twitched in the window across the street as Melinda made her way towards the front door. “I can’t stay out here and get wet even if you want to”. She looked frustrated as she fumbled under the blanket for the front door key in her jacket pocket.
“What are you waiting for?” Beau seemed slightly irritated. He couldn’t bear being told what to do by anyone, let alone his wife. “Do you want the neighbours to think we are crazy?”. Melinda looked over her shoulder as she pushed on the door with her arm. “They will already think we are crazy, trying to get into the house with the wrong key!” He said finally standing up and turning to face her. He had locked them out, but both were too aware of what the neighbours would think to go to them and ask to call a locksmith.
The sky was now darker, and the wind had picked up. Across the way, neighbours collected their cats and dogs and took them inside, shouting to children in the yards to stop their play. “I feel like a complete fool” Melinda said as she gave up trying to get the door open. “I can’t believe you won’t break the window to get us in”. As she moved to the side of the house, she knelt down and picked up a rock. “I guess I shall have to break it myself as you won’t be a gentleman and do it for me”.
The rock felt coarse and heavy in her hand. She ran her fingers over the surface and a strange almost unsettling thought entered her mind. For a moment, she imagined bringing that piece of rock down upon his head right there in the yard. She giggled at first, but then laughed almost hysterically as she imagined the shocked look that would fall across his wizened face. The look of terror as he would realise she meant to do this.
Without realising it, Melinda had already positioned herself behind him. The thunder rolled in across the sky, deep and booming as the rock was suddenly raised in her hand, the motion was swift and it was almost as if she had no control. Still he carried on reading, ignorant of the fate that was moments away.
The first blow had sent a shudder up her arms. There was a thud as rock connected with bone, blood and hair. He fell off the chair to the floor. He didn’t even have time to shout as she struck him again, and again, and again. Had her neighbours been watching they would have seen the frenzied look in her eyes as she held the bloodied rock with bits of grey matter across it’s surface and her fingers.
Another thought came to her as she stood over the body of her once beloved beau, a puddle spread out around his head like a bloody halo.
Where were the neighbours?
There wasn’t a sound, even the wind had slowed down to a slight breeze again as the storm had quickly passed overhead.
She let herself back into the house by breaking the glass. In the next few days, she had started to do some gardening. The front yard would be the envy of the neighbourhood once summer came. She would have people come over specifically to ask all about her blooms. Of course the fertiliser this year would be the very best, and at least her beloved beau wouldn’t have to worry about being stuck indoors ever again.
If you have ever used this tool, please let me know and send me links if you are brave enough as I would love to read what you were able to come up with.