Keep Pushing Forward – Criticism is just part of a creative life…

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It takes a lot of guts to exhibit our art, expose our deepest fears and share a part of who we are with other people.

I had years of crippling self-doubt and often blind-panic hesitation with regards to publishing my first book and then publishing my personal thoughts on this blog.

But you know what I’ve found? Most people are kind and generous. The toxic-life-is-shit-and-we-hate-anything-remotely-different-committee, Mr/Mrs Judgmental, and the dreaded online trolls can and must be ignored.

What I’ve discovered on my personal journey into blogging and writing is this – You will never please everyone, no matter what you write about, someone will always, ALWAYS, try to find fault and try to make you look foolish, just so they can feel better about themselves.

Some people, sadly, can never cheer us on. They get a kick out of magnifying all your faults. It’s weird. How anyone can feel truly content inside making other people feel sad/upset/extremely pissed off?

Just remember, you’ll never be able to avoid people’s criticism. As the quote says, you’d have to hide under your bed – doing nothing, saying nothing, becoming nothing for your entire life. What a wasted life!

Instead, choose to be too busy creating an amazing and inspiring life to care.

Depression – The Beast Within

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Deep within the essence of my jaded body, in a dark place, a danger lurks.

A beast threatens to engulf me.

Stealing my mental health, robbing my hope, stripping me of reasoning.

Hidden from the world, in a murky corner of my mind, flawed thoughts flourish.

A rebellious fiend ravages at my precious core. She pilfers and poaches me, beating me weary.

The monster within simmers and seethes daily. The bubbles of angst threaten to swamp me.

Lonesome and lost, I pick up my weapon once more.

Let the fight commence. Once again.

I won’t let your darkness slaughter my light.

Somehow I must find the strength to combat your merciless pursuit of my spirit.

Scottish Independence – Let your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears…

If you are still undecided about Scotland becoming an independent country, you really need to watch this video.

Please, watch it.

Even if you live outside of the UK, it’s fascinating to discover the social changes going on in Scotland right now. People in Scotland are waking up to the reality that they have no voice, no impact, and very little powers to improve their life in Scotland. We’ve been lied to, manipulated and our natural resources have been making a select few people very rich, meanwhile many people in Scotland and the rest of the UK live in ridiculous poverty.

Whatever you do, research and study the subject of Scottish independence properly. Do not just watch the BBC news (they are pro-union bias) and forget about reading the newspapers for the truth. It has been proven time and time again that the mainstream media is corrupt and bias. They report what suits their own agenda. There is only one newspaper in the UK that actually reflects truth and a more balanced, less fear driven debate  – check out the Sunday Herald.

In this latest video, Tommy Sheridan speaks (or rants?) to Scottish people about why we need to grab this amazing, once in a lifetime opportunity. There are many, many more videos on You Tube. Please take the time to listen to the debates going on and make an informed choice.

If you wish to live in a democratic country with powers to make positive changes for the very people who actually live here, if you wish to have a voice, for your vote to actually count and to be represented, you have to vote yes this September. Or you can choose to be represented by right-wing neoliberalism politics. You can choose self-determination or you can continue to allow public school boys – the old boys club – to run your country forever more? Privileged leaders are not the answer to the economic inequality in modern day Britain, considering that these neoliberalists promote capitalism no matter what happens to the common man on the street.

 

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No thanks – I’d rather run my own country. I’ve seen enough of your management.

 

If it is a no majority, we will have been the only nation in history to be too scared to take independence. The ‘vote no’ fear campaign is about to go into over drive. Westminster are desperate to hang on to Scotland, they need our resources. The governments have had over 30 years to fairly distribute the wealth all over the UK. They haven’t, as ever, the rich have got richer – the poor have got poorer. The Scottish people have (hopefully) had enough of this deliberate mismanagement, the lies and the corruption.

If Scotland is really, ‘Better Together’ within the UK, please can you explain to us yes voters why so little has been done to improve the quality of life in Scotland? Why have so many towns all over Scotland been left to fester? Can you explain to us what is fair and rewarding about this union? Personally, this union is not working for the people of Scotland. It works for the bankers in London, but not for me or other normal Scottish people. How can we be ‘Better Together’ with Food Banks growing by the day?

 

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Let’s stop London pissing all our oil away and use the wealth to improve life for people.

 

You messed up Westminster, you got greedy, you sold all our assets, you didn’t even bother to set up an oil fund, and now you’re desperately trying to convince Scotland that you love us, but the reality is – you need us to help you pay back the massive debts. You can’t even be honest about that.

Sorry UK government, we’ve waited and waited like a helpless wife waiting on her drunken, spend-crazy husband returning from yet another night at the casino. Hoping things would improve and he’d notice the rot setting in, make changes and start to care. Sometimes we need to say, ‘enough! I’m tried of your lies, your promises, your deceit. It’s so over!’

You’ve told us for years that we are too small, too stupid, too wee. You’ve done everything to hurt our confidence and slow our progress.

Sure it’s a little bit scary, standing on our own feet, but you know what is even scarier – handing over our opportunities, our public services, our powers to a government in London, who quite frankly only think about Scottish people when they really have to. You use us for our natural resources and treat us with contempt. It’s not acceptable.

I’d rather be a bit scared but have the ability and self-determination to improve my life, rather than have restrictions on how I can move forward and make positive changes.

As Nelson Mandela said so beautifully,

hope not fear

 

Below sums up why we simply must vote yes, I found it being passed around on Facebook and couldn’t resist sharing. If anyone knows who wrote these words please do let me know so I can credit the person. Thank you.

 

HOW DARE YOU SCOTLAND!

How dare you want to be governed by the Party you voted for.

How dare you expect to use your own oil wealth to improve your own country.

How dare you complain about the doubling of number of Scottish people in poverty during the eighties.

How dare you complain about the policy of creating 8 out of 10 of all new jobs in the UK in London only.

How dare you complain about your graduates having to leave Scotland and their families behind just to find a decent job.

How dare you complain that 20% of your children live in poverty.

How dare you oppose Austerity measures which are projected to put 50,000 – 100,000 more children into poverty.

How dare you complain about having the lowest minimum wage in Europe.

How dare you complain about spending 27% of your income on childcare. Who cares if in Sweden they only spend 5%! And don’t you dare mention that they are a small northern European country of around 9 million people!

How dare you complain about having the least generous pensions in Europe. They’re only pensioners after all!

How dare you complain that in some parts of Glasgow some men don’t live as long as they do in Iraq or Afghanistan.

How dare you show a more progressive attitude to Immigrants when the rest of the UK is allowing UKIP to gain power.

How dare you complain that you only see £1.9 billion worth of defence spending in Scotland when you are charged £3.3 billion per year.

How dare you complain about our children polling as the least happy in the developed world.

How dare you complain about having to subsidise a high speed rail link in the South East at a cost of £4 billion pounds when this will do nothing for Scotland.

How dare you complain about Trident and its huge running costs. Why would you want to spend that money on your infrastructure for heaven’s sake!

How dare you complain about being the 3rd most unequal State in the developed world.

How dare you object to the brutal and barbaric foreign policy of the UK.

How dare you complain about a 400% rise in food-banks since the Coalition came to power.

How dare you ask for clarity and evidence when the NO campaign claim Scotland is better off as part of the UK.

YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO TELL EACH OTHER “WE COULDN’T DO IT!”

HOW DARE YOU REACH FOR THE STARS!

 

Next up – be sure to check out this book…click here to get your FREE copy. This book explains the reality of an independent Scotland and cuts through all the lies often told by the BBC news and newspapers. This book is a must-read before you vote.

 

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And lastly, a must-watch video for anyone still unsure about Scotland becoming independent…the common myths debunked…

 

 

*Ta daaaaa do enjoy! Wish us luck friends of the world. #voteyes

Author Interview – Ladies I Know Why Your Single

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The book cover

 

Please welcome to the blog, RoMay. I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know RoMay via my Google+ group Support-a-Writer, where he has offered lots of support, encouragement and genuine friendship to myself and other people who love to write. He’s a lovely bloke, be sure to connect with him. RoMay has recently released this book, the subject intrigued me and I wanted to know more…

 

1. This book is a completely different direction from your debut book, can you tell us what inspired you to write a book about romantic relationships and in particular what motivated you to write about the subject of women in relationships with men?

I agree. This book is certainly a lot different from my first. My first book was my autobiography and an opportunity for me to clear my mind of many experiences that I had accumulated over the years, while this book was also a chance to clear my mind, I hadn’t focused much on the intimate relationships that I’d encountered and the affects that they’d had on me. So in writing #LIKWYS, my intentions were to expose the lessons that I had learned in relationships that didn’t work, so that women would be sure not to make those same mistakes in their relationships now or in the future. Plus, it was a chance for me to tell my past relationships what went wrong with us.

2. If someone asked you to describe your book in one sentence how would you describe it?

#LIKWYS is the necessary guidance for anyone seeking to be in a healthy, headache-free relationship.

3. What are the key factors that some ladies do in relationships that drive men crazy – and not in a good way crazy?

I think that the number 1 thing that women do to drive men crazy is nag(ing). As men, we’re already expected to be the leaders and providers in the relationship, but not allowed to tell a woman that she’s wrong when she makes a mistake. At least, not without backlash. For a man to live in peace within his relationship, he must be as close to silent so that he doesn’t stir any waters, whether he’s right or wrong. The other option is for his lady to read #LIKWYS and do her best to follow those guidelines.

4. How are the ladies in your personal life receiving the book?

The women that I know love it. I think that most women, outside of those that I know, will be a bit reluctant to pick up #LIKWYS, because there’s always the idea that a book with such a title isn’t referring to them. I mean, who doesn’t want to believe that they’re perfect or the closest thing to it. Needless to say, even the best of us have picked up the Holy Bible at some point or another.

5. Can we call you RoMay the relationship guru now? I think we should.

You can do that, but understand that I’m still in training with relationships. I just found it necessary to share my perspective based on my experiences in the relationships that I’ve been in and saw throughout the years. I do, however, feel that the best teachers are those that have experienced what they are aiming to teach. So, with that said, guru I am. Ha ha.

6. You mention confidence as a key factor for women to keep their men interested. How can women increase their confidence and self-esteem? And why do some women lose their confidence in relationships?

Yes, I mentioned that confidence is the most important piece of the puzzle that makes a desirable woman. Actually, confidence happens to be the first topic that I tackle in #LIKWYS, because of its importance. I think that long before any woman can increase her confidence and self-esteem, she should learn to maintain the very confidence that allowed her to find herself involved with a man. As nurturing and submissive creatures, women engage in relationships with a natural acceptance of anything that might seem like love or a future with someone. That premature acceptance allows her to put her needs and desires on the back burner while actually convincing herself that the direction that she’s being steered in is actually what she always wanted for herself. This is where she misplaces her confidence in what she wants and needs as her self-esteem takes a back seat to her dismissed self worth. The key to maintaining that confidence and self worth is to express a bit of selfishness by not putting another ahead of yourself at all times. Much like on an aircraft, during an emergency: requirements say that you should put the oxygen mask on yourself before assisting others. Also, it should be noted that a good man that’s worth keeping in your life will want a woman that thinks about herself as much as she does him.

7. What is the most ridiculous expectation you have ever heard woman have in a relationship?

Let me see…I would have to say that the one thing that I’ve heard most men have issues with is being in a relationship with a woman that feels the need to do everything together as a couple. With that, I believe that everyone in any relationship should forever have an identification as an individual within the relationship, but also to do things that respectfully doesn’t require the other person to be involved. Some women will insist on their partners to accompany them shoe shopping or to the hair stylist when he’s obviously not comfortable trailing along. In my years of living, I have never witnessed a man that insisted on his wife or girlfriend wait for him in the barbershop, unless she happened to be paying for his haircut and shave, which is another issue altogether. There’s just things that men should do alone or in the company of other men to remain as such, just as women should do alone or with other women. Nevertheless, I feel that both parties in relationships need their time to themselves so that they could look forward to the moments together that ultimately should add up to a life as one.

8. I’d definitely agree that some women use sex as a weapon to control their relationships, blind men to their bad behavior and gain more power. Why do you think some women resort to this dirty tactic?

I think that women use whatever it’s that the man values most. Sex just happens to be the only thing that a man cannot recreate himself from a genuine standpoint. If a woman decides not to cook a meal for a man that’s grown used to it, he will simply learn to cook or order take-out. With sex, he might order “take-out” or pleasure himself, but nothing is like the one that he truly wants to be with, so he suffers. The sad part about this is that through that man’s suffering, he will never see that woman as a human being that’s imposing a suffering on herself as well.

9. Why do some women share so many personal things on social media about their relationships and their life in general?

Gossip is a natural instinct for women, I’ve learned. Those who don’t engage in gossip now have already learned how infectious it is to a relationship by means of past experience. On e upon a time, before social media, small groups of women physically met up and “discussed” things like kids, work, gardening, their husbands accomplishments, what they were cooking that night and whatever. Today, the ‘Evolution of Conversation’ finds women exchanging stories about everything other than those things. Women today, find more resolve in exploiting the faults of their partners and all their shared business in between on social networking; then act surprised and even angered when the public that they’ve deemed as “friends” judge them for it. Of course, I’ve written a chapter about that too.

10. Describe your ideal lady – what’s her character and how does she behave?

My ideal woman is much like my sister. She’s intelligent, confident, calm and less concerned about what her husband is doing as opposed to how she can be the best at who she is to the relationship. With a woman like that, any man in his right mind will do what’s right and necessary to keep her happy.

11. What do you think most men hope for in their romantic relationship?

There’s a song by a singer, Usher, where a rapper named Ludacris chimes in with the line, “…a lady in the streets, but a freak in the bed.” I believe that every man would love to have the best of both worlds, what’s needed along with what’s desired. That probably applies to both sexes for that matter. Needless to say, euphoria for a man is in having his partner be his fantasy.

12. If you picked just one factor from your book, what’s the single biggest turn off for men? What typically results in a man leaving a woman?

If I had to choose just one thing or chapter from #LIKWYS that would run a good guy away from a woman, that would have to be if she’s ‘Too Argumentative’. I’m sure that a lot of men could and probably do overlook most of the things in this book, but I’m certain that I speak for the majority of guys when I say that it is a complete turn off for a man when a woman disagrees with him all the time, just for the sake of it. A good man wants to believe that the woman by his side is his partner, not his enemy.

Watch the book trailer, discover the book and connect with RoMay:

Official BOOK TRAILER: http://youtu.be/esvpxB7NJ0E
Amazon book link: http://www.amazon.com/Ladies-Know-Why-Youre-Single/dp/0615957447
Facebook: www.Facebook.com/LadiesIKnowWhyYoureSingle
Google+: @LadiesIKnowWhyYoureSingle

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RoMay – this author speaks from his heart and loves to share his many life experiences.

There’s nothing wrong with being a dreamer…and seeking self-determination

This song has inspired me this week. Perhaps it is the singers beautiful Scottish accent? Or, perhaps it is the hopeful, powerful lyrics? Please take the time to listen if you can and tell me what you think this band are singing about?

Twin Atlantic are a Glasgow band. Well worth a wee listen when you are doing the dishes…

Me? I think they are singing about the people of Scotland uniting and realizing self-determination is possible thanks to gaining independence from ruthless, self-serving, elite London based governments, but hey, that’s me!

I’m ever hopeful. I sincerely hope other parts of the UK follow suit and demand equality and fairness all over the British Isles. Scotland needs to be the first to jump ship. It’s scary, but it’s time.

N.B Struggling to think about anything else right now, my homelands entire future rests on this historical once-in-a-lifetime vote. Good luck everyone. People power.

Anyway, this song caught my attention, I hope you enjoy…

I know that the song below by The Proclaimers is about Scotland becoming independent. Gee, wonder how they will be voting? ;)

And one last song – bet you’ve heard of Lady Gaga, but what about Lady Alba? Got to hand it to the Scots – we’re pretty ummmm creative! In case there’s any confusion or you have a malfunctioning irony-radar: “Lady Alba” is voting No but I’ll be voting Yes!

What Drives You Crazy About Modern Life?

Modern life drives me bonkers! Watch Steve Martin lose the plot about the ridiculousness of his stressful situation. P.S If you have sensitive ears, he does swear (a lot) in this clip, skip the video…however, it’s truly comical…even the nicest guy can go loco. Sometimes, life can wear us out.

Our world has become identity fraud nuts. You are guilty until you can prove who you are. I long for the days when people knew each other and trusted people had nothing but good intentions. Sadly, those days are long over. Everybody and anybody is a terrorist, apparently.

Just the other day I was trying to obtain a new battery for my mobile phone. A pretty simple procedure one would think. Ah, but we live in the world post 9/11. Our world will forever remain uneasy.

The battery had swelled and as a result my mobile wouldn’t work. I’m not someone who loves my mobile, but I need it for emergencies and for the primary school to contact me. Otherwise, I’d happily chuck it into a kitchen drawer and ignore it.

Anyhoo, I am patiently trying to explain to someone over Skype that I can’t use my mobile due to this common battery design flaw and I am still paying for this said mobile. And, could they please be so kind to send me a new battery out.

Cue one hundred questions. ‘Do you have an account number?’ ‘Do you have a pin number?’ ‘What’s your date of birth?’ ‘You need to confirm your address’ and  ‘Can you pee into a plastic cup for us and send it to us asap, only then can we actually help you, maybe, if we feel like it….’ (OK, so the last one didn’t happen, but you get the point.)

I’m all for security. I abide by the rules. We have to protect people from the crooks. I understand the anxiety. There are ruthless and awful individuals walking around our shared planet.

It’s just, I’m wondering how did normal people, like you and I, you know the very people who pay their bills every month, become unknown criminals that must have their integrity questioned on almost a daily basis? What a sad, sad state of affairs.

But do you know what bugs me even more than over-zealous security questions?

Automated telephone services.

I think automated telephone services are quite possibly the worst invention ever. Not a high point for mankind. Hardly up there with designing the wheel or discovering fire. A voice takes you through about 2,453 options, you press the dial pad furiously. Eventually, if you get lucky, a human being will finally answer your call and then refer you to some other department, because you pressed the wrong numbers.

You should witness a Scottish person (me) trying to talk into a automated telephone service that asks you to say things. ‘I’m sorry but we have no idea what you are saying, you sound sub-human to us, please try again…’ It’s not pretty.

 

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Phone problem now fixed…sweet relief.

Here’s a outlandish idea, we call – a person picks up. Mind-blowing stuff!

How did life become so complicated? All these devices that are supposed to make life easier, actually they make life more complicated and stressful for the very people they are supposed to protect or help.

What drives you nuts about modern life? Go on, get it out. I’m listening! :)

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The truth hurts…ouch.

What is Love?

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Love hurts…sometimes

How do you cope when a person you love let’s you down yet again? How do you move on and forgive? Or maybe you shouldn’t, maybe you need to keep (power) walking and not look back?

This has happened to me, and I bet it has happened to you at some point too. Who hasn’t experienced bitter disappointment? Who hasn’t been hurt by a person they adore?

People mess up. People hurt each other. People do stupid, thoughtless, selfish things. Shit happens.

Buddha said to leave the expectations at home. He said don’t expect any thing from people. Let the expectations go.

Thanks Buddha, nice idea, but I do have expectations. I am a human being with needs, wants and desires. I need, want and expect the people who love me and the people I love to respect me, just as I respect them.

Which leads me to ask the question most of us will have asked, how do you know if a person truly loves you?

For me, personally, it comes down to respect. It’s a small word but it is powerful and revealing.

Do they care enough to patch things up again when they screw up, do they take responsibility for their own behaviour, and make positive changes? Or, do they ignore the emotional wounds, pasting over them? Or worse, do they try to *pin the blame on you – by manipulating you, telling you it’s all your own fault.

I think the mark of a decent person is someone who is able to put their hands up and say, ‘Yes, I messed up again. Yes, I hurt you. I’m sorry.’ 

I’ve had people try to pin the blame on me. People who have behaved recklessly and selfishly, often lack the ability to think with clarity don’t they?  ‘You made me behave this way. You had this coming to you!’

Sorry Dumbo, but no one makes you behave like a negligent, arrogant and brash bully. That’s all yours baby.

People will only change if they want to change. We cannot make a person love us, we cannot make a person respect us, and we cannot ever, ever change a person. They have to want to make the changes. Hey, no one is perfect, but some people need to make positive changes for their own sake, their loved one, and their children.

If we love the person, we can support them, but we can only do so much, or we will drown with them.

All we can do is hope the people we love, respects us enough to take our hand and stop their destruction before they destroy us.

If they can’t see how much you adore them, if they struggle with respecting your feelings time and time again, put on your trainers and walk.

What’s your personal experience of love? Have you had to forgive and move forward? How important is respect in a relationship? Please share your wisdom. Thank you!

Recommended Read – The Unthinkable by Amanda Ripley

If you write, you must read … and so, I’ve been making time to just sit down and read more often. Ahh reading, such a simple pleasure.

I had to share a recent book, The Unthinkable by Amanda Ripley. It caught my attention, which trust me is not always easy with three kids asking for yet another drink, but nonetheless this book demanded my attention.

Amanda book

 

The blurb:

Discover how human beings react to danger–and what makes the difference between life and death

Today, nine out of ten Americans live in places at significant risk of earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, terrorism, or other disasters. Tomorrow, some of us will have to make split-second choices to save ourselves and our families. How will we react? What will it feel like? Will we be heroes or victims?

In her quest to answer these questions, award-winning journalist Amanda Ripley traces human responses to some of recent history’s epic disasters, from the explosion of the Mont Blanc munitions ship in 1917–one of the biggest explosions before the invention of the atomic bomb–to the journeys of the 15,000 people who found their way out of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. To understand the science behind the stories, Ripley turns to leading brain scientists, trauma psychologists, and other disaster experts. She even has her own brain examined by military researchers and experiences, through realistic simulations, what it might be like to survive a plane crash into the ocean or to escape a raging fire.

Ripley comes back with precious wisdom about the surprising humanity of crowds, the elegance of the brain’s fear circuits, and the stunning inadequacy of many of our evolutionary responses. Most unexpectedly, she discovers the brain’s ability to do much, much better–with just a little help.

Verdict: If you’re interested in human behaviour and interested how you can increase your chance of surviving a tragedy you’ll find this book insightful and fascinating. Who knows this book, might just save your life! It’s popular psychology with lots of personal stories from survivors of terrifying world events that have shaped our world.

This is not a war, this is genocide

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The shocking reality of our world today

If you are anything like me, you’ll be trying to figure out what on earth is going on right now between Israel and Gaza, between the Jews and the Arabs. One thing I have noted is this – we are witnessing barbaric ethnic cleansing disguised as ‘military defense’, with the backing of major western governments.

It’s not a war, it’s genocide.

And yet, the world leaders support Israel’s right to defend itself. Bullshit. America is still supplying Israel with more weapons. There’s plenty profit in killing people.

I am horrified by the cruelty and indifference of human beings.

I don’t care who is right and who is wrong, all I care about is this – babies are being blown apart.

If you care about people, please take the time to demand action. This slaughter has to stop. We need to be demanding tough sanctions on Israel to stop this genocide. Instead, our governments are supplying the weapons. Join the campaign today.

I look at those dead bodies of little toddlers, parents howling in despair. I look at my own toddler as he gleefully plays with his trains, thankfully unaware of the horrors happening to kids who share his birthday.

I don’t want to hear excuses for Israel’s mass killings. There is no excuse for this. I’m furious how the mainstream media is portraying this as a just war. How can the slaughter of children ever be necessary.

Stop the world, I want to jump off.

***

Boycott from Within has sent the following letter to the United Nations Office of the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide. We encourage others to do the same at http://www.un.org/en/preventgenocide/adviser/contactform.asp?address=1. You may use this letter.

Dear Madame/Sir,

We are citizens of Israel who oppose our government’s policies of colonialism, occupation and apartheid against the Palestinian people and its actions which may amount to genocide. We write to you following thirteen days of an ongoing massacre, which is being perpetrated by Israel in the besieged Gaza Strip. As the death toll is rising, it now stands at 400 casualties and 3100 injured. The UN has declared, via UNICEF, that over a third of the victims are children. As you well know, this massacre was preceded by a month of massive Israeli violence and political persecution in the occupied West Bank, including the arrest of hundreds of so-called “Hamas-affiliated” men and boys. Meanwhile, Israeli mobs run wild in the streets of our cities, shouting the chilling “Death to the Arabs” chants (as well as “Death to the Leftists”).

You cannot ignore the fact, especially during this UN-declared “year of solidarity with the Palestinian people”, that two similar massacres have already been perpetrated by Israel in the short span of six years; that Gaza suffocates under Israel’s hermetic siege; that Israel has been perpetrating an ongoing ethnic cleansing against the indigenous people of Palestine since 1948 and up to this day; and that Israel believes it may exterminate hundreds of Palestinians in Gaza every two years and do so with full impunity.

The UN states that “Where genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity do occur, the International Criminal Court, which is separate and independent from the UN, is empowered to investigate and prosecute those most responsible if a state is unwilling or unable to exercise jurisdiction over alleged perpetrators.” Israel is well beyond the point of prevention and we, its privileged citizens, are hereby charging it with genocide.

We demand that your office will do everything in its power to halt Israeli genocide as it is taking place. We demand that you take immediate action to prevent Israel’s genocide against the Palestinian people. We will be following your conduct on this matter.

Sincerely,
BOYCOTT! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from Within

Slut Shaming – Enough Already!

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It’s 2014 and women are still quick to throw around the word ‘slut’, ‘slag’,’whore’ at other females. Slut Shaming is alive and well.

Fact: It takes two to tango.

Or it takes 24 men with the horn and one lone, drunk woman.

Twitter was set a blaze just the other day. A drunk 18-year-old woman on holiday in Spain pleasured 24 young men in a bar. All men stood waiting for their turn, the girl received a free drink for her efforts.

Society was utterly disgusted with her. Sure, if she was my daughter – I wouldn’t be chuffed at all, I’d be having some talks with her, but where is the disgust for the young men queuing up to receive her services? What about the bar arranged the event and allowed this to go on? Sex games are encouraged and part of the bar culture in these Spanish resorts. What about the cheering, jeering crowd of young people egging her on and daring her to give it a go? How is it acceptable that peer pressure exists in this sexual context?

Female celebs and women the world over said she’d need to pray for forgiveness, that she was a disgusting human with no morals.

Okay. Thanks for your considered and insightful input ladies. Helpful.

I find it a little a bit unbalanced that celebrities who use their own sexuality to sell records are horrified by sexual behaviour. You know, the very celebs who are rolling about a beach, pretty much naked, pretending to have sexual intercourse with a gorgeous male model for their latest music video.

The response to this girls sexual behaviour was in a word – predictable.

Predictable – it was the girl who was ridiculed and picked to pieces on social media. Little or nothing was mentioned about the young men all standing waiting, holding onto their man hoods like pathetic wannabe porn stars. Not much was mentioned either about the night club management who arranged the competition. The people who ‘set up’ these events to bring in more punters.

Instead all disapproving eyes were glaring at the girl. The spotlight was firmly on her. Sure, her behaviour was shocking, but the entire sexual environment, the peer pressure, the scene, the people who promote/encourage these events, the culture is more worrying and a much bigger problem. It’s important to take a step back and not point the finger at one person. Branding a girl a ‘slut’ is not going to change anything.

Surely it’s more productive to glare the spotlight over our sexually charged society? Have we, the adults, helped to manifest these behaviours in our young people today? Who is actually responsible for the sexually hyped society we live in? When did it become fun for young people to behave like porn stars in a bar?

Guest Post: Understanding Death in order to live with it

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Recently, my mum was diagnosed with a terminal illness. Now, she is of a proud generation, and even though none of you know me (or her, for that matter), she would not appreciate me discussing the particulars of the situation. So I won’t. But suffice it to say, death has been on the mind of my family lately, and that has me thinking about societal views of death in general.

 

I think most of us can agree that death is not a pleasant thought. Even aging is often seen as a demise, rather than a privilege – we do everything we can to fight it. Anti-aging creams, surgical procedures, and other facets of the cosmetic industry rely solely on the human dread of growing old. And it can be argued that we dislike the idea of growing old because it brings the prospect of death ever-closer.

 

Your personal view on death may depend on your spiritual beliefs, but I find that even those who sincerely believe in an afterlife have problems accepting death. Why? Because it is unknown. I have no clue what will happen to me after I die. No one does. We have stories and folklore and other attempts at guessing, but there’s no way to know which are true, if any.

 

But I got to thinking, life isn’t all that full of certainty either. I could lose my job tomorrow, and then where would I be? I have been coming to terms with the fact my mum won’t always be around. Is death really scarier than that concept?

 

Yes. Because as far as we know, there might be NO familiarity whatsoever in the hereafter. Maybe there is no hereafter. Maybe we cease to exist. But we don’t know. At least, even if I were to lose everything I own, and be parted from everyone I knew, I would be familiar with an earthly environment. Even if I lost my memory, I would still probably know what a tree is, still know how to react to an ice cream cone being offered my way (pounce, obviously).

 

These are all just my initial ramblings to the idea of death and the fear of it. Because I honestly believe it’s silly to be afraid. After all, just because something is unknown doesn’t make it bad. But I also will still do everything I can to extend my life, because most of the time, life is pretty good. And even when it isn’t, it’s familiar.

 

So, in order to put some direction to my ramblings, I’ve been doing some reading about our perception of death. As one who writes, my first place to look was poetry. The Australian Poetry Library has a whole category of “death poems”. I clicked on some randomly, and found a wide selection. Most of them though, had a peaceful attitude of acceptance, or a “might as well die,” perspective, like in “My coffin is a deckchair”. Perhaps this is because the end of life is often full of suffering, and you can only take so much before you want whatever is next, even if it’s horrible – even if it’s nothing.

 

I realized as I read poems about other people dying that the narrator was often sad, but happy for the end of persons pain. So I think a lot of the sadness we associate with death is actually on the living end. After all, we have to go on without someone who has been a part of our lives. People get sad when friends move to far away places, so it only makes sense to be sadder when the move is permanent and inaccessible.

 

That got me thinking. I believe I am more fearful of my mum’s death than I am my own. This makes some obvious sense because hers is on my mind; it is likely closer, and therefore more immediately relevant. But it’s also because I know that I’ll be living in a different world, a world without her, and I’m a bit afraid of that.

 

In general, it also makes sense to be more afraid of the afterlife for others. Because we want what is best for those we love. If I were to have to deal with suffering in the afterlife, I would probably hate it, but I’d do my best to get through (if there was somewhere to get through to..). But I don’t want to think about my mum having to traverse the worlds laid out in literature by Dante or Milton. She doesn’t deserve that. Most of my fear of my own death comes from worrying about those I’ll be leaving behind. And there’s a whole industry dedicated to sating those fears, with life and funeral insurance like this.

 

But then I realized that looking at death from a poetic or artistic point of view is just looking at what other people have thought, felt, and written. I decided I’d better look at science. Of course, science can’t tell us anything about what happens to our personality, essence, soul, (whatever you’d like to call it) after death, but it can put the physical portion into perspective.

 

The Australian Museum has a whole department related to the study of death, and a lot of resources on their website. They emphasize death as a process, not an event, which is the most scientifically true statement I’ve come across. It may seem morbid to see life as a process leading up to death, but in a lot of ways, death is an undeniable part of life. I think that trying to ignore that leads to unnecessary stress and worry. Yes we will die. Yes it will cause our loved ones sadness. No we don’t know what will happen after. But as J.M Barrie said through Peter Pan, “To die would be an awfully great adventure.” Who’s to say he’s wrong?

 

Chris Jensen is a freelance writer who works with GIO.com.au, which provides life insurance products for families.

 

*Thank you Chris for your heart-felt contribution. Much love to you and your family.

Guest Post: 7 Reasons to Wake Up Early Especially During Mondays

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I’m not much of a morning person, how about you? Maybe my guest poster can convince us!

7 Reasons to Wake Up Early Especially During Mondays
 
 
Everything has a reason.
 
 
Every single day, we have our own reasons to wake up. But often, those reasons are just not sufficient to get us out of bed early enough especially during Lazy Sundays. What we don’t realize is that there are actually a lot of reasons to wake up early every single day and most importantly during Mondays.
 
 
We all know that it’s really hard to do this especially if it’s a Monday and you still have a hangover from the weekend parties or still clinging onto your couch with your movies or video games. That’s basically understandable. However, life must go on. Anticipating and basically reminding yourself always that Monday is right after Sunday may help as well. Here’s some reasons to wake up early:
 
 
The Splendid Sunrise
 
A sunrise is one of the world’s most beautiful wonders. You don’t need to go too far or out of the city just to take a look at it even in your daily routine. You just need to wake up early. Nothing is more wonderful than starting your day beating the sun to wake up and then marveling at its “out of this world” splendor. I guess you will never get tired of watching its beauty every single waking day.
 
 
Your Morning Jog
 
Aside from marveling and reflecting the beauty of sunrise, you can also start your jogging routine early in the morning. Fight off your sleepy head and completely wake yourself up with a morning walk and run. Besides the fact that it will energize you throughout the day, it is also a way to keep you healthy and strong. This is indeed the best way to beat your Monday blues.
 
 
More Time to Prepare Means More Time for Yourself
 
One of the perks of getting up early during weekdays is having the time to pamper yourself every day. Being able to do your morning routines and have some more extra time for other house chores or homework would definitely make your day better. Write your tasks for the morning before you go to sleep and make those your motivations to wake up with your early alarm the next day.
 
 
Skipping the Cram Part
 
More time to prepare means skipping the cramming part of the day. It’s usually during mornings that people, whether you are a student, a mom, or a professional, cram a lot. For you to avoid that part of your daily life, wake up early and find that time to accomplish all your preparations without racing with time. It is always better and lighter if you don’t cram your way out of the door, with some wet hair and an unprepared spirit.
 
 
Accomplishing More Tasks
 
Isn’t is great to feel like you have accomplished tons of activities while the day is still young? More so if you could make it a daily habit and motivation. Especially during Monday mornings, it is always good to start your day with a list of accomplished goals already. Aside from the fact that it feels really rewarding, you can also do other tasks after completing work or school related stuff. You can even rest earlier than usual.
 
 
Avoiding the Rush Hour
 
Traffic jams are everywhere during rush hours. But you can avoid and beat them both if you would simply get up early, prepare early, and leave earlier than anyone else would. The thought of driving freely without much traffic stops and pressures is one of the best motivations you could ever get to wake up early, especially during Mondays. Even better, you can make it a daily habit.
 
 
Starting the Day and (Especially) the Week Right
 
By simply waking up early, most importantly during Mondays, you are starting your day and your week right. So if you want your day and even your whole week to flow as smoothly as possible, wake up and get up early.
 
 
Now that you have some reasons to get up early, make sure that you go to bed early as well. These reasons are just some of the most common ones. If you can figure out your own reasons for getting up and prepping up early in the morning, don’t hesitate to comment below and share them with others as well.
 
 
 
About the author:
Kimberly Walker is a writer and a fresh contributor in the blogging realm. Trying to make a name in this industry through edugeeksclub.com, she pushes her way to becoming a well-known, credible and responsible blogger someday.
*Thanks Kimberly for your contribution. Happy Monday everyone!
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War, war and more bloody wars … When will the killing end?

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Image: stopwar.org.uk

David Cameron tut tut’s at Russia, and yet he supports this latest wave of ethnic cleansing, genocide, apartheid, murders…call it what you like, it is happening right now in Gaza. The crooks (sorry, I meant to say politicians didn’t I?) and ‘biased government controlled’ western media are forever ready to wage another war. I read a quote yesterday it said, ‘War will never end as there is too much profit in war.’

Painful truth.

What does this mean for the future of our global community? More and more wars as we scramble over fewer resources? More wars when we seek to wipe out an entire population of people when their ideologies don’t match ours? Are you like me, do you struggle to find the truth behind the political propaganda sprayed at us daily? I know I do, I make a concentrated effort to cut through the crap and find the truth. I believe we owe it to the people caught up in the horrors of war. I’d love to know your thoughts.

*I’ll hand you over to Stop the War,

AS THE Palestinian death toll in Gaza passed 600, the UN children’s agency Unicef reported that a third of them were children.

Not included in that figure were the numerous unborn children that Israel has killed in the last three weeks.

Three pregnant mothers were among the 25 members of the Abu Jamaa family who were killed on 20 July, when Israeli forces struck a house near Khan Younis, without warning. The dead included 18 children and five women. The family was eating iftar, the meal that breaks the Ramadan fast.

Just as this family was being slaughtered, by an indisputable Israeli war crime, the US secretary of state John Kerry gave an interview in which he said, Israel’s attack on Gaza was an “appropriate and legitimate effort” to defend itself.

A little earlier in the day, Kerry’s boss, President Obama, repeated his “strong support for Israel’s right to defend itself”.

Obama gave this latest green light to Israel, “after speaking with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu earlier in the day”. Predictably, Netanyahu was soon all over the media crowing about US support for Israel’s indiscriminate bombardment of the most densely populated place on Earth, and announcing that Israel planned to intensify the carnage in Gaza over the coming days.

Britain’s prime minister David Cameron also spoke to Netanyahu a day earlier, to whom he repeated “our recognition of Israel’s right to take proportionate action to defend itself”, as he reported to Parliament on 21 July.

Cameron didn’t say whether it was ‘proportionate’ to kill 200 children, or four boys playing football on a beach, or 25 family members as they sat down for a meal. Was it ‘proportionate to litter the streets of the Shujai’iya dictrict in Gaza City with dozens of bodies of mainly women and children, after it had been effectively carpet-bombed? Was it ‘proportionate’ to bomb hospitals and a home for the disabled?

Cameron said he had asked Netanyahu “to do everything to avoid civilian casualties, to exercise restraint”.

This clearly did not include restraining from sending the world’s fourth most powerful military force to invade a tiny area, just 25 miles long and just a few miles wide, into which are crammed 1.8 million people, who have been held captive in a brutal siege for seven years, that has deprived the inhabitants of food, power, access to clean water, a functioning sewage system, medical supplies and other essential resources.

Israel’s justification for killing so many civilians is the claim that Hamas is using civilians as human shields for its rockets and fighters. These same accusations, were made in 2008 and 2009 during Israel’s Operation Cast Lead bombing of Gaza and were found to be without evidence by Amnesty International.

In fact, the human shields’ argument is a complete myth, which is why Israel has produced virtually no evidence to support it. It is the reason Israel gave for the missile attack on a home for the disabled in Beit Lahiya, killing two disabled residents and injuring four others. Jamilla Alaiwa, a 59 year old social worker who founded the home, said,. “If the Israelis have proof of this let them make it public. There was no one from Islamic Jihad or Hamas living there. We are not involved in politics.”

No Palestinian civilian has been found to corroborate Israel’s claim they are being forced by Hamas to become unwilling human shields. Why then, says Israel, do people stay in their homes when we drop leaflets telling them to evacuate because we are about to bomb? Abdullah al-Daweish, a relative of the family of five killed in Khan Younis, explains:

“Where do we go to? Some people moved from the outer edge of Khan Younis to Khan Younis centre after Israelis told them to, then the centre got bombed. People have moved from this area to Gaza City, and Gaza City has been bombed. It’s not Hamas who is ordering us in this, it’s the Israelis.”

The United Nations said on 22 July that 43% of the Gaza population had been affected by evacuation or no-go area warnings from Israel.

119,000 have fled to centres set up by the United Nations, but even here they were not always safe, with the UN relief agency reporting that one of its schools where 300 were sheltering was hit by Israeli shells on 22 July.

With the borders of Gaza sealed by the Israeli and Egyptian siege, no wonder the desperate response from its people — as Israel bombards the whole area by land, sea and air — is, where else is there for us to go?

Nowhere, is the reply for the two families — eleven people — killed overnight on 23 July. A distraught man told the BBC how his dead relatives there had been relocated twice, first from Beit Hanoun and then from Shujai’iya, areas that received Israeli evacuation orders.

Netanyahu says another reason for so many civilians being killed by Israel, is because Hamas wants to “pile up as many civilian dead as they can to make Israel look bad. They use telegenically dead Palestinians for their cause. They want the more dead, the better.”

Netanyahu was allowed to make this despicable accusation without challenge on the mainstream media news broadcasts. But “the more dead the better” is certainly the view of not a few Israelis, including the member of the Israeli parliament, Ayelet Shaked, who said recently,

“Behind every terrorist stand dozens of men and women, without whom he could not engage in terrorism. They are all enemy combatants, and their blood shall be on all their heads. Now this also includes the mothers of the martyrs, who send them to hell with flowers and kisses. They should follow their sons, nothing would be more just. They should go, as should the physical homes in which they raised the snakes. Otherwise, more little snakes will be raised there.”

Put a little less graphically, Israeli army major general Oren Shachor, explained: “If we kill their families, that will frighten them.”

So, is the reason pregnant women are being killed in Gaza because Israel believes they are acting as human shields for unborn ‘terrorists’?

Yet another died in an Israeli air strike in the early hours of 23 July. Gaza health officials told the BBC how they tried to rescue the baby from the dead mother, only for the child to die. No doubt two deaths welcomed by Ayelet Shaked and major general Shachor.

Article fromhttp://stopwar.org.uk/news

Are you ready to take action and make a difference? http://www.amnesty.org.uk/issues/Israel-and-Palestine

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The world in which we live?

Appreciating the present moment despite the craziness of daily life…

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I’m that person always seeking solace and inner peace. Yeah, good luck to me hey? I have three kids!

But I still long for it and look for it. I’m trying to not turn on the telly, the radio, the lap top. I don’t have a smart phone anymore – so that’s one less distraction. I’m trying to appreciate the silence. I want to appreciate the solitude.

Truth is – eating chicken noddle soup on my own, staring into space, with no radio chattering to me is a wee bit strange.

Reality check – It’s not easy! Life is buzz buzz buzz these days. It’s hard to actually enjoy the silence even if we know it’s probably good for our frazzled brains to just listen to the birds outside.

Appreciating the silence is hard enough, what about appreciating the present and truly living in the moment?

Ha!

I’m really trying.

My eldest son is soon to be 11. If that doesn’t slap me across the cheek nothing will. Time sure does fly by. Children have let me see, painfully, clearly, just how fast life passes on by.

One minute you’re trying to get them to eat some hideous mashed up food, worried they will definitely choke on the next mouthful…the next second they are mini-adults with many opinions about to jump head first into puberty. My boy is now sleeping until 11am most days now (it’s the school holidays), the hormones are ready for lift off. Brace!

Excuse me, I need some wine.

Time waits for no one, not for us or for our babies. We simply must try to breathe in the fresh air more, appreciate what is going well and remember how fast time ticks on.

What about you – do you try to appreciate this precious life, how do you switch off from all the noise and regroup…share your thoughts. Thank you! Enjoy your day beautiful people.

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The Rich get Richer, the Poor get Poorer – Inequality within the UK

Scotland sits on top of vast reserves of oil and gas. I’m sure you knew that right? In the last 30 years Scotland has produced more oil than Dubai and Abu Dhabi together. Most of the black gold is up north, offshore from Aberdeen. Contrary to the fear campaign, we still have a lot more oil to reach and the technology for obtaining the oil is advancing every year. There’s little doubt many people of Aberdeen have benefited. *Still, you’d be amazed how much poverty exist even within Aberdeen – the oil capital of Europe!

Here’s the thing. The wealth has not been spread around. Sure some people in Aberdeen have become very wealthy thanks to the oil, but most of the oil money has ended up in London. The oil wealth has not been spread around the UK fairly.

There’s a very good reason why Westminster in London doesn’t want to let Scotland become an independent country just yet…but that’s another blog post!

Apparently even more oil reserves have yet to be utilized offshore from Glasgow, the poorest city in the UK, and the UK government is aware. If only Scotland had the freedom to tap into its own resources.

Dig a little and you’ll discover that Westminster prevents oil exploration in this area due to the presence of expensive nuclear submarines. Nothing is concrete here, but potentially there could be more oil to the west of Scotland.

The UK owes the rest of the world almost 1.5 trillion pounds. Meanwhile, many of our fellow-citizens rely on charitable handouts to feed themselves. Did you know 13 million people live below the poverty line in the UK? It defies belief. With the vast resources, yet so much debt and poverty.

This is deliberate misgovernment by Westminster. The poor are kept down, with their spirits and confidence broken. If people are too busy surviving, they don’t have the time or luxury to consider and question the system that binds them to poverty.

People struggle by due to the Tory government’s tougher stance on people receiving benefits. Of course, there are people who abuse the system, but there are many more people who rely on the support just to eat.

Within the UK, we have an explosion of food banks, needed not just by those on benefits, but also on low wages. A new word has entered the lexicon of the welfare state – “sanctioned”. Be late for an appointment at the Jobcentre, and you will get no money.

Hey peasant, enjoy a weekend or longer of no food in your tummy! Enjoy your kids crying and begging for something to eat.

*Little known fact – many of the people needing food at food banks are actually the working poor.

The Tory government is hell bent on austerity measures to pay back the UK’s debt. Don’t think a Labour government or the Lib Dems will save people either – the governments of Westminster point the finger of blame at the poor.

Look at the disgusting poor who take and don’t pay their way, don’t worry about the privileged elites playing with your hard earned tax money…you can trust us! Och and don’t worry about us selling all your vital community services…meh, move along now, we know best.

Guess who is paying for their greed and spending spree? The poor and normal people like you and I. We are an easy target. It’s the every day people with little political weight who lose their vital community services and support. Tax the poor and make the rich even richer. Meanwhile, the MP’s give themselves a salary increase of 11 per cent.

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Why are our fellow citizens starving and relying on food banks? Perhaps it is because our government is wasting our money. Furthermore, if the government actually shared the wealth around more fairly and gave more back to the communities we wouldn’t have so many food banks around the UK.

Instead we have greedy bankers, self-serving politicians, bonuses for the rich, investment in nuclear missiles, illegal wars, and regular jaunts around the world interfering in other countries affairs, not to mention the ridiculous cost of running both Westminster and the House of Lords. Just last month, the government treated the House of Lords to a painting that cost $300,000. Then they plead poverty to the people of the UK.

The governments ideology is completely at odds, their agenda doesn’t typically seek to improve the quality of life of the very people they are supposed to serve – you and me. Their words and promises reveal how ludicrously out of touch they are.

The UK, if the wealth had been managed properly could have been wonderful, but instead normal every day people are held back and made to pay to fund the ruling elites lavish life style, who claim to ‘manage’ our money.

Westminster just isn’t working. It’s old fashioned and relies heavily on taking the money from the everyday people.

We can do so much better. Perhaps we need Robin Hood to save us? Or perhaps we need to wake up and realise that these governments only serve themselves, if you’re lucky they will throw the common man or woman a moldy crumb, but only after they have sorted out their own desires and lined their own pockets.

I foresee a revolution in the future. More and more people are waking up to the reality. The every-day people deserve a government that actually wants to make the country a better place. But instead, they care more about their bonuses and shares, and how they can squeeze more out of you and me.

Note: I’m voting yes for an Independent Scotland this September. I want my country to have more equality and a country that actually looks after its people. I’m tired of seeing people in my country struggling by whilst men in suits down in London get richer. I also hope Scotland can lead the way. I hope other countries can be inspired and see there is another way to ‘run’ a country. We can demand better. We are not helpless. We have a voice and we can say enough is enough. We just have to brave and take control of our own destiny. So come on people, let’s do this. Let’s be the generation that say yes to equality, fairness and justice for every man, woman and child. Let’s stop sitting on our bums and expecting a government to solve our problems. We have to shape our own destiny.

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Sums up what happens…not good enough!

 

Guest Post: Wattpad – Social Media For Writing

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Today my guest writer, Eliza Sullin shares a website recommendation. Eliza has found Wattpad to be a stimulating opportunity for people who love to read and write.

 

Discover a world of unlimited stories on Wattpad

 

The blurb that greets users on the front page of wattpad.com assures that there is a story for everyone. From suspense thrillers to young adult romances to vampire love stories, you’re sure to find a story on Wattpad that you might end up liking. Wattpad provides a rich user-friendly interaction between readers and writers. One can sign up, which gives you the opportunity to write and publish your own stories online. You get feedback through reader comments and votes, and that’s pretty encouraging for a person who loves to write stories, be it fan fiction or an original work.

The best part is, it’s all for free. Did the writing bug bite and tempt you to write your own story online?

Whether you’re a young and seasoned Internet writer or just a beginner dreaming of posting your stories online and getting some nods, here’s what you need to know about maximizing your Wattpad experience, in both terms of writing and social media. Here are some friendly tips and reminders in helping you navigate, write, and succeed in the crazy and beautiful world of Wattpad:

1. For starters, you have the shots as to what kind of stories you like reading and writing about. Wattpad offers all genres ranging from romance, chick lit, fan fiction, and even real-life anecdotes. There are also communities for every genre and you’re free to join them as you wish. Connecting with like-minded authors and readers is highly encouraged. Read the stories you like, vote on them, and leave constructive reviews.

 

2. Don’t expect that you will get instantly famous. There are some exceptions to that rule, of course, like those who wrote a story on the first try and got loads of page views and votes, but it doesn’t happen for others. Maybe it’s just a stroke of beginner’s luck, or the story happened to hit it off with the readers in the first month of publication.

Anyway, achieving “star status” in Wattpad won’t happen without hard work and turning in a high-quality piece every time you publish a chapter to your story. Don’t feel bad if your work doesn’t get much page views. Take time to really fix your writing, make your story appealing and interesting, and along with good grammar and a nice plot, you just might rein in the readers who will become your fans.

 

3. If you’re into a certain genre, it helps to follow the authors whose stories you like. They might end up liking and reviewing your story in return. Another thing, don’t get stuck in just one genre. Try to explore other genres of stories, because you’re sure to find something you might like, even if at first, you didn’t like stories from that particular genre. That’s also a secretly good way to get other readers to read and like your story.

 

4. Don’t try so hard for other people to like your story, like you keep on writing on author profiles to “Please read my story!”. Some authors do get irritated with it and that can make you feel bad if they reply rudely to you or ignore you completely. Let your work speak for itself. If it’s really good, people will be reading it and waiting for more.

 

5. Be open-minded to constructive criticism. Don’t retaliate angrily if one person doesn’t like your story. Read between the lines if ever you’ve got a negative review, and thank that person politely for actually taking time to read your work. Then, move on and continue writing.

Sometimes, you might also feel the need to leave a constructive criticism type of review. Choose your words wisely and be honest without sugar-coating your thoughts. The goal here is to help each other improve their writing and the last thing you want is a flame-fight with another author or reader.

 

6. Don’t worry so much whether your story is appealing, interesting, or boring. Taste in stories is subjective, and if you’ve got someone who stopped reading your story or didn’t liked it, pretty sure, someone else will come across it and like it a lot.

Just keep on writing, improving yourself, and enjoying the whole online writing experience.

The beauty of Wattpad is that it encourages everyone to write and read other writers’ story. Making the most out of this online experience can bring you joy while enhancing your writing and story telling skills.

Now, are you ready to become a Wattpad writer?

 

About the author: Eliza Sullin is a college student and likes to write stories during her free time. She is also a part-time freelance writer for a group of essay writers in australia. Meanwhile, she wants to start writing her own stories, and is now thinking of plots for it.

Eliza

Eliza

*Thanks Eliza, sounds like an interesting website! 

Guest Post: How to use Meditation to Improve Your Creative Writing

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I’m someone who has always been quite interested in meditation, it sounds like a lovely idea. To be able to focus my mind. To be able to enjoy and treasure the present moment. I have however, never found the time to practice the skill. I’ll need to make the time! Apparently, if you can find the time to breathe, write, wash, pee, pick your nose – you name it – you should in theory have time to meditate. If you’re keen to give it a go, check out Psychology Today for some tips. I’ll hand you over to my guest writer today…

***

How to use Meditation to Improve Your Creative Writing

Creative writing is not without its mental roadblocks. When creative efforts are stifled, many people grow desperate for a solution that can break them out of their funk and restore both focus and inspiration. If you’re facing such a crisis, there are remedies that have been proven effective. Meditation may have originated as a spiritual practice in the Far East, but it’s become a very tangible solution to a wide range of mental challenges in today’s society. In a world that is constantly busy and attention grabbing, meditation can help individuals re-train their minds to perform with better focus and productivity than ever before.

If you’re in need of such help to address your creative writing woes, meditation might be the answer — and it’s easy to get started. Here’s a quick rundown of meditation’s benefits to writers, as well as tips on seeking out proper education and guidance.

Meditate Now, Focus Better Later

One of the biggest misconceptions among the general public is that meditation and relaxation must go hand-in-hand. While this may be the goal of some who practice, it’s not the final word on the benefits of this ancient art. According to research conducted at the University of Washington, meditation among professionals for an eight-week period resulted in better concentration at work, improved memories, stabilized energy levels and fewer experiences with negative moods.

This meditation group was compared alongside a group of professionals going through relaxation techniques for an eight-week period. It found that the meditation group outperformed the relaxation group across the board — including in relaxation itself. Creative writers and other creative types can employ this simple meditation approach to become more focused and efficient when doing their work.

Encouraging Your Creative Side

While some creative types might look at meditation’s positive effects and assume that this practice serves to “unlock” the mind, this isn’t necessarily true. Meditation boutique Headspace notes that while western psychologists (and society at large) divide the mind into the conscious and subconscious, the practice of meditation doesn’t make such distinctions. Rather, the concepts behind meditation view subconscious and conscious thoughts as all deriving from the same place. Simply put, since our brain cannot focus on all of our thoughts at once, there are inevitably some that move to the forefront while others drift into the background.

Meditation, then, is a means of changing how the mind focuses on thoughts, and of diverting attention away from the negative and unnecessary thoughts that rise to the surface. In this way, individuals can enjoy greater exposure to a wider range of thoughts that are occurring in their mind at any one time. This encourages more creative ways of thinking, which can in turn inspire your writing.

Learning the Art of Meditation

The biggest challenge of meditation is not the practice itself, but learning how to engage in it correctly. Newcomers to meditation will always be better served if they are guided through instruction by experts in the practice, thus allowing them to practice the discipline correctly.

To accomplish this, you have several options available to you. One is to find a local Buddhist temple or other organization that offers classes on mindfulness and meditation. If you don’t want the practice to be attached to spirituality, you can also seek out a psychologist who has been trained in these practices — they can offer basic guidance and refer you to experts if you become a fan of meditation.

For full immersion into the practice, you might even consider a meditation retreat either to a meditation getaway. In India, where meditation has been practiced for thousands of years, you can engage experts that have had the teachings of the practice passed down from them from generation to generation. A trip to India or a similar destination also offers the chance to engage with another culture and see the world from a different perspective. There are hundreds of spiritual attractions you can visit that are extremely rewarding and play a large role in your mastery of meditation.

Becoming an expert practitioner of meditation will take some time, but the improvements in mental functioning should start to appear quickly. Within a short period of time, you might find meditation to become an indispensable component of your daily creative writing routine.

Author Bio:

Sandra Mills is a freelance health, career, and travel writer. She has recently started experimenting with eastern forms of traditional healing to help her live a healthier life.

https://twitter.com/SandraMills63

It’s time to get fit, but can I have some wine after?

I am now the owner of these bad boys…

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I’ve looked at them curiously for a few days now. Today, I finally put them on and…

Wait for it.

…went for a jog.

It wasn’t pretty!

I had to remember to breathe. I am not an exerciser. I’m not one of those motivated people who jump out of their warm bed at 5am to pound the pavements. I’d choose sleep every single time.

I sincerely wish I could catch the exercise bug. But instead, I remain pretty much addicted to robust red wine, chocolate and french cheese. I should have been french.

If you are someone who enjoys breaking into a sweat, can you let me know how this happened? What works for you? Please do share your tips! And, what types of exercise do you dislike? ImageImage: acertaincinema.com

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Why I’ll be voting Yes for Scottish Independence…

Meet Jim Sillars: former Labour MP and Deputy Leader of the SNP. Author of ‘In Place of Fear II’…

If you watch just ONE video to try and understand why Scotland should actually bother to tick the ‘yes’ box in September – this is the one to watch!

*I laughed when Jim says, ‘I came out of retirement for this campaign!’ Go Jim! I love, love, love your passion.

Guest Post: 5 Tips for Overcoming Writer’s Block

writers block

Zero inspiration? It happens to us all!

Writer’s block is an affliction that has affected just about everyone who has ever picked up a keyboard (or pen and paper!)

It’s inevitable, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be a learning opportunity used to improve the quality of your writing. If you want to move through the challenging times quickly and enhance your writing fluency, here are 5 tips that can help you overcome writer’s block.

 

  1. Write On A Deadline

Deadlines have a certain productive quality about them that inspires the mind and eliminate opportunities for writer’s block to develop. One well-established Sacramento SEO firm recommends that you assign every project a clear, realistic deadline, so you don’t have time to dawdle around. For shorter timeframes,  set up a timer next to your writing station and do your best to finish within a desired time limit.

 

  1. Take A Break

Take a break every once and while and give your brain the opportunity to rest. You might just be putting more pressure and expectations on yourself that your body can handle that has resulted in the buildup of stress.  By giving your mind the opportunity to cool down and take a break, you’ll be able to return to your project with a collection of new ideas that can help you to overcome your block.

 

  1. Overcome Your OCD

Take your hand away from the backspace button and, whatever you do, don’t stop to erase. Free-writing helps get words on paper without over thinking, so don’t even go back to fix spelling mistakes until you have completely finished a page or section.

 

Surprisingly, one of the biggest causes of writer’s block is frequent editing. There’s a reason that all publishing companies, newspapers, and journals have a writing staff and an editing staff. They are two distinct jobs that deserve their own piece of your time. Once you have finished writing, then go back through the work that you produced and edit what works and what doesn’t. You’ll not only write much faster, but you’ll end up with higher quality work as you are looking at the quality of your work as a big picture instead of performing line by line edits.

 

  1. Jump Around Between Projects

Writer’s block can sometimes be a result of boredom, and often shows up when you are tired of working on a repetitive task. Remember, your brain needs some variety. Start working on one project and as soon as you start to run out of ideas and develop writer’s block, save your work and go to a second project. This will require you to come up with an entirely new set of ideas, you won’t be wasting time staring at the screen, and your writing will be much more fluent.

 

  1. Stay Focused

Lastly, do what you can to stay focused on your project and not to get distracted. Close all other programs on your computer or put away any distracting items in arms reach. That means the cell phone, instant messengers, and your favorite distractions that live on your desk. Stay focused and force yourself to remain dedicated to the project at hand until its completion!

 

Marissa Li is a Copywriter for Wheel Media, a small business marketing company with offices in Charlotte, Sacramento, and across the USA. She loves words, helping others, and her terrier Tin Tin!