Electronic Etiquette and Seasons.

Just as you know that there are only so many seasons in a year, there are also only so many summers in your lifetime. How many summers do you think you’ll get to enjoy in one lifetime? I’m fifty-six now, which means I’ve only seen fifty-six summers. Only thirty-six of those were as an adult. So, when you put that into context with your phone/text/email/internet life, what’s more important too you? Enjoying your summer? Or spending all of it on the phone?

The rules around etiquette are changing. As a society, we all need to be careful about what’s acceptable and what is not.

Back in the day before mobile phones, there was usually only one phone in the home. It was fixed to a wall or sat on top of a telephone table. The telephone table generally held the local phone book, yellow pages, notepad and pens and pencils. There were even instances of homes that didn’t have a phone at all. At one point, there were also no answering machines. So if someone rang, you were completely oblivious to the fact, until you met up with that person, or a letter arrived informing you.

Public phone booths dotted the landscape and were a common piece of hardware in every shopping centre. These were for making calls though, not accepting them.

There were no mobile phones, just as there were no text messages, emails or internet.

In those days, one would plan in advance where to meet up with friends or family prior to the day.

If you rang someone’s home, and they weren’t there, the phone would just ring out. You also didn’t know they had called, therefore you couldn’t call them back.

No one had a mental failure at the fact that you didn’t return their call. People today tend to forget this.

What our current society needs to understand is that just because you have a phone, you do not have to answer it. I know – shocking piece of information right there.

If the person ringing wants to chat – that’s nice, but what if you don’t want too? Likewise, if you call someone, and they don’t want to chat right there and then, respect their wish. Leave a message if you must, but unless someone is dying, or bleeding to death and they have to be involved, leave them the hell alone. You can tell them later, surely?

We need to remember, we are not slaves to our phones. We are also not slaves to the person that is calling.

If it’s important they will call you back, or even leave a message if you have that switched on. The caller also has a choice to send you a text message or an email these days if they so desire.

Which brings me to emails. Emails are just electronic mail. That’s all it is. If someone had written you a letter, then posted it, and it was then delivered to your postal address – how long would it be before you opened and read it. How long would it also take to reply – if replying was something that you felt you needed to do?

The point I’m trying to make here is the same point I’m trying to make with your phone calls.

Put your phone on silent more often. Don’t be available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. It’s not a requirement for life. With your head down, you’re missing out on so much around you. Choose your time wisely.

In an aside, I have a friend who, on her birthday just does not answer her phone. She takes a day off from everything and has what she calls, ‘me time’. She lives far away from her family and friends and we all know that she does this on her birthday. Yet we all still call her.

I’m aware of some people being a little shocked by this. “But it’s her birthday and I want to wish her well.”

Yeah? And? The salient point here, is you’re right – it is her birthday, and she has decided that for that one day of the year she’s going to do what she wants. It doesn’t mean that she loves anyone any less or any more.

Do I still ring her? Of course I do. I ring both her home phone and her mobile… just in case she wants to chat. Yet I’m completely okay with her not picking up. I respect that these are her wishes. I also know that she will see that she has a missed call on her phone, and know that I rang.

Choose your seasons and spend them well.

Advertisements

Writing – Day Six

Today isn’t a day that I get to write as a rule. Saturdays are sometimes chaotic, today a case in point.

Sprinting around the house this morning trying to pull some order out of the chaos, and then in the car and off to work. Throw in some cats prior to leaving and you can imagine the chaos in my home. Kitty litter cleaning, feeding, watering not to mention door person extraordinaire – open the door, close the door, rinse and repeat.

Today though, isn’t just any Saturday. We have an event called the Avon Descent. This is an annual weekend event that fills my little town to bursting, and today is that day. So you could say, that the chaos just continued when I left home.

The town is full of cars. There are people walking down the middle of the road wearing hi-vis gear directing traffic and letting people know where there is parking available, and where each of the different events that are on can be located.

For you see we like to do things big here in Toodyay. So we’re also hosting the International Food Festival at the same time.

Why not? I mean people out in the rain and wind like to eat too.

There are cars towing boats, and trucks topped with kayaks – or towing boat trailers and topped with kayak fittings as most of the boats and kayaks are on the Avon River dealing with a fast flowing white and brown water. I say brown, because I’m pretty sure that judging by the colour of the water this year, half the hills have washed into that water. It’s a muddy orange brown – damn, now I want a chocolate orange. *sigh*

I did manage to fill a lunch break in with Chris Fox’ latest YouTube release, How to Make Character Names That Don’t Suck*, which I found very enlightening. I’m always learning from him. I also decided to replay his video The Creative Gap* and I’m so glad that I did.

I have an on again, off again struggle with my writing. It’s not so much that I get that insidious thing called writers block. No, it’s my ability, or lack thereof in my writing. Let me put it to you thus; I look at authors like David & Leigh Eddings, or Mark Dawson, Chris Fox et cetera – and basically think, woe is me, all hope is lost, I will never get a reader, let alone a single review, why oh why am I bothering – then the wailing and back swatching ensues.

Okay, so that last bit was a tad exaggerated. You do get the picture though. I have little, or no belief in my own abilities, and because of this, I also believe that if I don’t believe in my own writing, then why would anyone else, therefore why should I waste my time and everyone else’s.

Let’s face it, there are sooo many books out there, and no chance of reading them all in one lifetime, so why am I bothering.

Then, like I said, I watched Mr Foxs’ The Creative Gap, and he mentioned in there something like..

“Stop worrying in the short-term on how good of a writer you are…Keep learning… The longer we do this, the better we will become… You will be better in a year, than you are now.”

It’s because of people like Chris Fox that I keep going. I keep learning. I keep writing. I keep adding too my current WIP and I don’t give up, no matter how tired I am at plugging away.

So today, I’d like to send out a huge THANK YOU to all fo you out there that keep people like myself from throwing in the towel. It’s because of you that writers like myself continue to carry on in between those uplifting Eureka moments that we have when we write.

*Check out Chris Fox YouTube channel

Writing Day Three

Well, if you read yesterdays blog, then you’ll be more than aware I was dealing with a migraine.

I was still dealing with it this morning. Until this year, I’ve never had migraines last for more than twenty-four hours. I’m wondering what fairy I inadvertently killed without knowing it. Having a migraine for longer than twenty-four hours is not a picnic that I’d give to my worst enemy.

So, much like yesterday, today will also not be a writing day. Which kills me. I had so many fab things I wanted to write yesterday until that headache hit the ‘beyond belief epic’ stratoshere.

I may go in and dabble, but that’s all it will be.

In an aside, I did dream that I was metaphysically trying to save two of Harry Potters friends who were unaware that they were about to be attacked by a zombie-witch (I know, right?), but I couldn’t remember the word for removing them to safety. The only one I could remember, was defenestrate, and I knew that wasn’t right. So I screamed out to Harry, and just kept screaming out his name. Who knows if he answered the call. Did I mention it was a weird dream?

Happy Birthday Girlfriend

Today is my bestie’s birthday. It’s a day that she really doesn’t like. Why? Because her phone rings off the hook and she cannot get anything done.

For most of us, when it’s our birthday, we get congratulatory wishes via parcel post, Facebook, Twitter and the odd card in the mail.  Then, there’s either a meal somewhere at a local restaurant, or a barbecue at home with friends and family.

Unfortunately for my friend, she moved away and lives in a small town in WhoopWhoop* hence the gazillion phone calls.

So I do the usual thing on her birthday. I call her home phone. That rings out. I call her cell. That too rings out. So I send a text.

That’s just sucky. I think I’ll hit Amazon a little later and see if there’s something on there that I can send her that will cheer her up. Sure, it won’t arrive today. But as friends we’re cool like that. It’s not about the gift. It’s about the message it conveys.

C888BB41-04B3-4C3E-88AF-450F8C19421E

*Not a real place. Australian slang for ‘the middle of nowhere’.

New beginnings

So, Husbutt, darling man that he is, has been keeping secrets.

Even more exciting, he's been keeping secrets from me!

I know right? I'm all freaked out because this is something he never does. Well, he never does successfully. Husbutt has the ability to give everything away with a word or a look. He's kind of transparent when it comes to secrets.

So, imagine my surprise when he hands me enough cash to buy, not only an iPad Pro, but an Apple Pencil and the keyboard to go with.

Shut. Up.

I wish he'd taken a photo of my face at the time. I can well imagine the look on my dial. You can be pretty certain it would have been a cross between disbelief and shock. Apart from the standard 'thank you hunny', and the proverbial 'the words thank you just don't seem to be sufficient at this time' – and I assure you, those were the words I said verbatim. Followed pretty closely by, 'I don't know how to process this, I really don't. I also don't seem to be able to find words. Where have all my words gone?" Which was a purely rhetorical question, as I'm fairly sure I didn't expect an answer. Most probably because any answer would have been to much information for my poor, by now, well fried brain to process.

Suffice to say, I'm sitting here in bed, after having played on the iPad solidly for the last 48 hours – yes, okay. There was some sleep in there somewhere, just don't ask how long for or when, as it is another question that will go wanting. Yet this is the first thing that I can type.

I've played.

I've scrutinised.

The App Store has been well and truly plundered.

Colouring is now my new thing.

I still have to login to my two fave games for some playtime.

Yet, I don't care about any of it so long as I can do more stuffing around on my iPad Pro.

Did I mention that it's nearly thirteen inches? Yep. I'm one happy camper. Mwah ahaha ha. Oh, and by the way, the colouring thingy? I never said I was good at it, just that it's my new thang! LOL.

Journey

The eucalyptus make such a susurration of sound, as of thousands of tiny dry tongues, all rasping against each other. The trees bend back and forth, swaying to the too-ing and fro-ing of the wind in the way of trees everywhere. Some act in harmony with the blow, bending more readily than others. A cracking sound accompanied by a drawn out screeching erupts, as wood rends against wood. A large branch, long dead but a moment ago still lofty in its position in the forest, finally plummets to its forever resting place with a crashing that temporarily stuns the forest creatures into silence; as if acknowledging the death. Ironically, the only three that disregard this final act, beings the trees themselves, their leaves and the wind.
The crickets all clicking their sonorous song roar back into life, although none appear to be in synchronisation at all.
Another rustling sound comes from the leaves at the feet of the giant gums. A monitor lizard scurries through, pauses then beats a hasty retreat. You’d think he’d forgotten to turn the iron off or something the way he whipped around and took off back the way he’d come. Something must have caught his eye back up the trail, for he was definitely going back to investigate.
Whip, whip; a bird chirrups, whilst another trills his song loud and long for all the world to hear, the sound pealing joyously back and forth up the sides of the valley. The sound so majestic it’s heart rending in its solitary beauty.
As if in response, loud laughter begins to peal around the valley. At first it comes from one throat, then two and finally three. Kookaburras’ all of them sounding like they’re having a great time of it. Their laughter almost drowning out every other sound in the valley.
Oblivious to anyone, be they listening or not, a flock of galahs go back to acting the fool; the colours of the pink and greys are so pretty. Calling out to one another as they flap about from branch to branch, some hanging upside down as they screech from time to time; all as if to say ‘look at me, look at me now!’ They’ve found a clearing by the creek; each of them using it as if it were an amphitheater, and them with a show to produce. Each try’s to outdo the other with their antics. One or two hoping around in the grassy clearing, looking for something to eat, but jumping around ludicrously – heads hopping and bopping, some in sync with their jumping, others not so much. One galah swoops low across their heads, screeching out to all as he flys so close to them, before coming to a screaming halt. Ludicrously he then plops down, rolling over onto his back, all the while making a tremendous racket.
A couple of magpies are also trolling through the grass in the little clearing. Busily looking for bugs and beetles and trying their best not to be drawn in by the tomfoolery of the galahs. It’s too much for one youngster, who hops over for a closer look. Immediately, he’s scolded by his parents. Even out of reach, the galahs also try to run him off. Usually it’s the magpies telling the galahs off, so it’s amusing to see.
The water puddles and gurgles along its bed, adding a softer tone to the cacophony. Bees, as if bumbling along to find out what all the gurgling is about, decide to pause awhile; coping a squat at waters edge and taking a sip in the cool shade.
A flash of green can be seen darting through the trees. There, and there, there it is again. Almost jewel-like, her colours flash as a Rosella flys back to the nest to feed her young. A second later the young ones are calling out for their feed, eager, knowing it’s imminent but impatient nonetheless.
It’s early morning here, and the world is just awakening. It’ll be a busy day as usual, the wildlife industrious in its daily habits, know enough to pause and enjoy the freshness of the morning.
A kangaroo hops and thumps its way through the clearing to the other side. He is massive. Another roo, much daintier than the first, although she’s fully grown, comes to a stop in the middle. Galahs flee to the tops of the trees, screeching and making much of the interruption, whereas the magpies continue their foraging. Everyone knows there’s no danger here, it’s just the galahs being…well, galahs.
The big roo stops at clearings edge under the trees and after standing on the tips of his toes and tail, sniffs the air and has a good look around. Deciding that this is a nice shady spot, he lays down. The female is still in the middle of the clearing, but where there had been one roo in the clearing a moment ago, now there’s two; for the dainty female has insisted on her joey leaving the pouch to join her in the sunshine. He does, and amusingly gambles about, as only a joey with little to no coordination can.
A crow calls out its maudlin caw, and another further down the valley responds. Their mournful calls continue for awhile, but slowly drop into the background.
I wish I could share the glory of this morning with you. For you too could hear the joy from their throats for yourself, see the beauty with your own eyes. But you’re obviously too busy, roaring down the road, passing us by, completely oblivious to all around you.
Oh, look there! It’s a gecko, banded red and pink, clinging to the side of the tree. It stepped out from between the bark and is licking its lips. I wonder if it’s in anticipation of the next meal, or if it just finished? I think I’ll watch, and find out for myself.
Enjoy your journey! I know I will enjoy mine.