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December 2010
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February 2011

January mingling

Passing this on from Barry - this month's Mingleworks. These are fun.


Just a quick reminder to come on out on Wednesday between 5PM and 9PMish for some great "mingling" and social networking with friends and maybe new friends to be, music, price deals on cocktails, wine, beer and appetizers, complimentary chips and salsa, invites to other things and never a cover charge!
Why not invite along a friend or two.  If you have not been before, the address is The MVP Lounge on Bank at Clemow in the Glebe.  Lots of free area parking.
Hope to see you there.

Some books

Part of my New Year's readjustment on priorities is more reading, not just more writing. As Stephen King says:

If you don't have the time to read, you don't have the time or tools to write.

I think it's a quote from his book, On Writing. He makes a good point, you need to read a lot to know what good writing looks like. Focus on your genre by all means, to see what works for others, but spread your scope too. And read critically, as you learn what should be in a good book, if the one you've just started doesn't grab you, analyze why. Then move on - time is too short for mediocre books. So, I'll jot down in here some notes on books I've just read, am reading, or will read. Or have written.

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January cold, warm lips

Funny how we get spoiled by a few above normal days, then when the temperature becomes "seasonal" we sit and glare at the weather forecaster. And he/she is often apologetic about the coming bad weather - reinforcing the myth that it's all their fault. In Ottawa, cold weather means good conditions on the Rideau Canal Skateway, allegedly the world's longest. And apparently it's also one of the world's smoothest, now that the maintenance company has built a wide Zamboni-like machine to flood the ice every night. Now that my January cough has cleared up, I might actually get out and skate a few times. I had a cold that seemed to just hang in there for weeks, trying to decide where it wanted to settle. Runny nose, then stuffy nose, then dry cough, then congested cough - rinse and repeat - it wandered from place to place and then finally left. As with all colds, you're never sure if the cure was the unique set of remedies you chose, or if it was just a matter of time. In addition to the regular plenty of fluids and rest, I trioed throwing Vitamin C and Cold-FX at it. The literature seems to indicate that those have both made a difference in clinical trials. For some patients. So maybe they helped me, maybe they didn't, and any rate it's nice to be relatively healthy again and go for a walk without hacking and sniffing through crowds like a Typhoid Mary. Good to get out and about but also is enjoyable to see the snow from my apartment window, especially when someone else clears it all away from the driveway. There are some quirks living in an apartment, but there are also some real benefits. Especially when it's in such a great area.

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Resolutions or a bucket list?

So, here it is mid-January, and I'm wondering how many of you have already broken some New Year's resolutions.

New Year's is traditionally the time for us to grab a metaphorical broom and clean house, out with the old and in with the new. We enthusiastically resolve, with eyes bright and drink in hand, that we will accomplish many new things during the coming year - or perhaps to stop doing some things. We'll lose weight, quit smoking, fall in love, tidy the basement, get a new job - whatever. And not necessarily in that order. The common element is that we tend to set these very general goals, some whimsical but many very unrealistic. We usually aim too high with this list, all the further to fall when we fail - and we will. In fact failure has become so much a part of the tradition that it's easy to shrug it off with friends, as it seems we all share that shortcoming. So there we are, with Christmas letdown, a New Years hangover, and the depression of long dark days and SAD - and we decide to beat ourselves up by focusing on the past year's failings  and set unrealistic goals for the coming year. Goals that we know deep down inside we'll fail at.

Why do we fail? Maybe it's the timing, or maybe these are the same goals we set every year, and then ignore once the hangover wears off and the post Christmas bills arrive? Maybe we'd be better off to resolve to not make any resolutions that day, and also lower our expectations. Look at the year, do a lesson's learned, first look at what went well - and send that out in a Christmas letter to friends. Better than just a card and reinforces those things to you. Then look at what could be improved, and decide what you want to change. Then set yourself some smaller and reasonable goals and work on some attainable objectives for the next few weeks and months.

Continue reading "Resolutions or a bucket list?" »