A Landing Word Blight

I have been struggling to keep motivated with my Landing Book Shelves project lately, as you might have noticed. There has been a distinct lack of words appearing in the blog stream over the last couple of months. The reading part of the Landing Challenge has been making some progress but then the writing aspect has been falling by the wayside. Whether this has been to do with the so-called winter blues (I know it is supposed to be spring now but you cannot tell for the wind and rain), trying to tackle another project or life generally getting in the way, I am not sure. The sum total is a sad lack of posts written up for the Landing blog. I am not doing much better with the Landing’s sister blog Curiously, Creatively either. I am clearly being neither curious nor creative and that will have to change ere long.

Maybe I should have added that (in all honesty) a tendency to become sucked into reading the daily news on various online newspapers is also responsible for my poor output. The only thing that stops the rot is that the Irish Times limits the amount of free articles that one can access in a week. Once I reach my weekly quota then I have had it, no more news. While I appreciate that the company’s primary motive is pecuniary, I am grateful that the Irish Times cares so much about its readers wasting their time online that it blocks their viewing  after ten articles. Without that consideration, I would be wasting even more time than I do already. Sadly, the Guardian and the Telegraph are not so public-spirited and I could lose myself in news and comment threads for hours.

Having said all of that, I should point out in my own defence that I have entered a couple of writing competitions this year. Therefore, all is not yet lost as I inch my way through 2015.

Nevertheless, as we move into spring, I intend to ‘up’ my blogging game somewhat, so watch this space….




Getting Carried Away with Christmas Cards

Bells CardChristmas does seem to have passed The Landing by this year, but as we are still within the Twelve days of Christmas I am going to try to squeeze in a couple of seasonal related posts. I have been busy over Christmas and if you want to check out Curiously, Creatively you can see what The Bookworm and I have been doing in the way of seasonal activities.

Earlier this month I was musing a little on the writing of Christmas cards. We made our own this year for a change using some of the sketches that I drew for the Advent blog posts in 2012. Christmas card writing is either a chore or a pleasure depending on your point of view (and on how many or how few you need to send). I enjoy writing cards, though ideally I do like to set a comfortable scene before I set to inscribing my Christmas missives. Suitable music is required as well as a little something to keep up my strength. I would settle for tea and mince pies, but probably wine and chocolate would be my ideal stamina enforcers. Then it’s down to the writing…once I have decided which pen I want to use (not that I’m obsessive about pens you understand).

The tricky part about writing Christmas cards is overcoming my temptation to squeeze a whole year’s worth (or six months at a pinch) of updates onto one side of the card. I usually only intend to jot down a couple of quick pieces of news, but the pen in my hand seems to develop a mind of its own. Before I know it, I have reached the bottom edge of one side of the card and I am trying to finish a sentence by sneaking over the bottom edge of the opposite page. Words snake around the available blank space in smaller and smaller letters. I have the same problem with post cards. Either the cards are too small or I try to write too much, I’m not sure which. Moreover, before anyone mentions the dreaded phrase ‘Round Robin’, I will just say that I can’t bring myself to do one. In some respects, I can see the sense in it if you are playing catch-up with many correspondents, but it seems so regimented an approach to take that it’s not for me.Merry Christmas Card

But if there is not to be a photocopied rundown of the year’s family events (neatly folded and inserted) then how shall I tackle each card? Perhaps I should work out a series of bullet points detailing the year’s events before I start so that I can condense all of the salient facts into bite-sized pieces (carefully adapted for each recipient so that I don’t slip into an RR mode). Then I am sure that I could manage to stick to one side of the Christmas card (well, depending upon the size of the card I suppose). I could ruthlessly edit the number of bullet points to encompass only the highlights of the past twelve months. Simple really, an ideal plan. No improvising, no postscripts, no addendums (and certainly no asides or parentheses), just clean, simple bullet points neatly written.

I must just remember to finish with a ‘Merry Christmas’ though….