August 18, 2012 § 9 Comments
So, this Liebster thing: Aaargh!
I should have known from the beginning that no emotional good could come of it. I’m an anxious second-guesser at the best of times, I don’t need extra things to fret about.
In the post I wrote about my blog award ambivalence, I linked to the people I read and like and deserve some praise and attention. I didn’t have time to send all of those people a personal message to let them know at the time, though some of them happened to see the post and either declined or accepted as they saw fit.
I’ve been busy so it was only this afternoon that I sat down to write a short email to the other folks on the list and…
I hated it!
I’m the world’s worst networker and, today when I recognized a friend of the mister who I’ve only met a couple of times, I rushed on like I was late for something just to avoid the smalltalk I’m so horrible at.
I wish I wasn’t so uncomfortable and embarrassed about every little thing…. but these kind of things are just not me at all, and I feel like my first instincts were right. I know it’s meant to be harmless fun and I hate being such a curmudgeon but I just felt so uncomfortable ‘cold-calling’ a complete stranger asking them to take part in a thing where they then have to ‘cold-call’ another bunch of strangers. It wasn’t fun for me. It felt spammy and ick and, even though I was telling them it was because I like their writing, it felt false though the sentiment was sincere.
Anyway, I couldn’t bring myself to email the other people which makes me even more insane I know! If they see the link to their name and want to take part then, of course, that’s splendid. But I can’t face writing another “hey, I like you, and check out why on my blog” emails, even if it’s to say great things.
And I only have great things to say about those writers: I hope that people find their blogs through my links, but that should have been as far as I went with it. I did have some fun with it in fairness, I liked answering the questions and it brought back lots of funny, silly memories. I appreciate that Janet thought of me. But I kind of deep down knew that I would not like sending those emails, though perhaps folk would be happy to receive them….
I know that at least two bloggers were pleased that I thought of them and that makes me feel good…. or at least not-bad! So I look forward still to hearing from Diane Prokop and Trish at weebookblog. You’re better sports than I am ladies!
Anyway… Thus concludes my latest anxiety attack about the silliest of things. This particular post probably gives you more insight into the ‘wonder’ that is Deborah than the Eleven Things About Me piece.
Thanks for listening folks x
August 16, 2012 § 6 Comments
This post is a follow-up to my response to being chosen to take part in the Liebster Blog Award… thing.
I have asked some folks to do the thing I’m about to do.
Which is: Write 11 Things About Me; Respond to 11 Questions asked by the blogger who nominated me; and Pose 11 Questions of my own for the folks that I have chosen.
Sans further ado:
Eleven Things About Me:
- I’m really stuffed-up right now.
- My most often-asked question is: God? Sometimes loudly. God?! Sometimes softly? God? Sometimes in a sing-song voice like in hide-and-seek: Go-odddd?
- I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know.
- I can’t swim. I’m embarrassed by this.
- I can’t drive. In Ireland this seemed perfectly reasonable to other people and to me: a girl who grew up in a city and can’t afford a car anyway. In America, people look at you like you’re an alien or a moron.
- I am. I mean, I’m a legal alien.
- I walked a thousand miles through southern India, starting almost a year ago. I’ll always have that.
- I forget how to speak the Irish I used to speak poorly. It’s sad. I don’t know if I’ll do anything about it. I’d rather speak better Spanish, or Mandarin.
- Sometimes I don’t miss anything or anyone at all.
- I wish that I could sing. Or draw. Or just believe or not believe already, but pick one.
- I’m aware that I’m putting more than one thing in a sentence, making a mockery of the 11 things format. I’m sorry. Only eleven things is hard. Especially when it’s pieces of chocolate divided between two people. Even if you love them a lot.
Replies to Eleven Questions Posed to Me:
(By Janet at Popcorn Dinner. Hi!)
My favourite movie of all time is… I can’t do this… nobody can answer this question honestly and without serious internal wrangling. But everyone, everyone, everyone should watch ‘Mary and Max’, a clay-animated dark comedy about Australian 8 year-old Mary Dasiy Dinkle who one day decides to write a letter to a random stranger in New York City, asking him some questions she has about the life and world and everything. That random stranger is Max, a 44 year-old depressed, anxiety-ridden, overeater with Asperger Syndrome. It’s… Hmm. I don’t know how to finish that sentence. Watch the trailer and see!
My favourite city is: DublinPortlandBuenosAiresBarcelonaGalwayParisLuangPrabangNewYorkandCork.
(No spaces isn’t cheating!)
I was nine or ten years old when I realized there was no such thing as Santa Claus. And, yes, it mattered to me. Maybe I knew a while before that, but I had a little sister and I would have gone on believing as long as she did I think. My brother liked to taunt us, though. And one year, to prove that Santa wasn’t real, he took her into my parent’s bedroom and showed her our presents in the back of their wardrobe. I remember watching from the doorway, knowing something with no word for it was forever over.
If I won an Oscar it would be for… something ‘filmy’ I did I guess. I haven’t. I won’t.
If I could invite three famous people, living or dead to a dinner party, they would be: Amy Hempel, Sappho, Eve.
If I had ten minutes alone with my country’s political leader I would say “As a woman I have no country. As a woman my country is the world”. And watch him squirm and not get it, not get it at all.
The hottest (temperature-wise) I have ever been is. This is an ambiguous question. If by “I have ever been” you mean a fever, then I have no idea – the doctor took my temperature. If you mean “I have ever been in” then it’s the Northern Territory in Australia and a wicked 50C 122F.
This question reminds me of an embarrassing story, though: the clarification of ‘temperature-wise’. When I was learning Spanish in Argentina, I knew that the word for hot was caliente. I did not yet know that caliente is used specifically for food or objects. If you want to say you’re feeling warm, you should use the word calor, instead of “Estoy Caliente” as I was, trying to make conversation, on a bus full of horrified housewives and sweaty, grinning hombres: “Estoy Caliente” roughly translates as “I’m dead horny…” Language fail.
If I could have one superpower it would be to go back in time and prevent these embarrassing stories.
I have never had a surprise birthday party, nor do I wish to.
The first movie I ever saw in the theater was Disney’s ‘Snow White’.
My favourite thing to do on a rainy day is: read, write, make soup. Eat soup.
Eleven Questions from Me to Y’All (some inspired by Mary and Max, guess which ones):
- And your favourite word is?
- And your favourite sentence is?
- Do sheeps shrink in the rain?
- If a taxi goes backwards, does the driver owe you money?
August 16, 2012 § 14 Comments
When I was a girl, I was terrified of receiving a chain letter.
For two reasons:
One, I grew up sensitive, impressionable, gullible and anxious in quite a Christian home and it was all very frightening sometimes. If thunder was perceived to be the four vengeful horsemen of the apocalypse, then you can imagine what a chain letter was to me with their ominous superstitions and threats of bad luck. I didn’t ever want to get one and if I did I would rip that jiggery-pokery voodoo right up!
Secondly. Oh sad secondly, I didn’t have ten friends to pass a letter on to. There is nothing more frightening than hocus-pocus to a girl than the embarrassment of not having ten friends to forward a chain letter on to. I think.
In short, while I don’t believe in witchcraft (or, maybe even, God) anymore, I raise a skeptic’s eyebrow to anything that whiffs of a chain letter, including most mailing lists and anything at all spammy, bombardery or unsolicited.
I wasn’t quite sure what this is exactly but, on first appearances, it certainly seemed a bit spammy. And when I wandered over to Janet’s blog to check it out some more, my eyes immediately honed in on the Rules:
1. Each person must post eleven things about themselves
2. Answer the eleven questions the person giving the award has set for you
3. Create eleven questions for the people you will be giving the award to
4. Choose eleven people to award and send them a link to your post
5. Go to their page and tell them
6. No tag backs
I’m also not sure what a tag back is but more importantly, when was it raised from ten to eleven friends?! Not having ten friends to forward a chain-letter to was bad enough but eleven but but but…
Somebody you don’t know is sending you a message that… yeah, honestly, seems kinda spammy because the word Liebster is funny and it’s not a real award and you don’t get a trophy or anything… But when you break it down, someone you don’t know is saying “Hey you, yeah you, with your little blog of not-very-many followers – I read your stuff and I like what you’re doing. How about telling some folks you dig the same thing?”
That’s not scary. That’s not voodoo. That’s not unwelcome. That’s… nice.
Thank you Janet. I appreciate you including me in this.
Do I leave it at that or do I metaphorically rip the letter right up? To break the chain or to pass it on?
I shall not be swayed by superstition dammit! But I am a sucker for the sentiment behind this, and us godfearin folk tend to want to repay a kindness.
I’m going to answer and pose my questions in a follow-up post but, for now, I hereby hex… I mean ‘nominate’… the following talented, interesting, diverse and admirable bloggers that I’ve followed for long and not-so-long times
- Steven at Bitches Get Stitches.
- Dipika at Kismuth.
- Michelle at Vignetti.
- Marie at Presents of Mind.
- Amaya at Amaya Ellman.
- Diane at Diane Prokop: Books, Music and More.
- Ellison at The Book Bully.
- Ann Morgan at A Year of Reading the World.
- Claire at It’s Kind of a Long Story.
- Trish Saunders at Wee Book Blog.
Some of these folks are dear old friends; others I’ve had the pleasure of slowly getting to know through the book-blogging community; and others still will have no idea who I am as I appreciate them quietly from afar.
I’m especially wondering if I’ll hear from Marie at Presents of Mind. Her blog is so fascinating as she traverses and grapples with the paradox of being a person with Avoidance Personality Disorder who also aspires to be a published author. Her writing is wonderful and I’m both impressed and intrigued by her. I hope she succeeds in her journey.
Probably some of you will be skeptical like me and that’s okay. It’s not my intention to pressure you into doing anything you don’t want to, totally feel free to say thanks but no thanks, not for me (you will not die if you don’t do this… I think!). All I wanted was to say “Hey you, yeah you. I read you. I like what you have to say and I like you too. If I could give you a trophy and a cash-prize I would. But this is what I got.”
My praise and my thanks.
August 3, 2012 § 2 Comments
Not that Friday signifies what it used to.
In an episode of Downton Abbey, the Dowager Countess (played to haughty, privileged perfection by Maggie Smith) asks “What’s a weekend?” For a lady of leisure, every day’s the same.
When we were walking in India, the days melded and Mondays and Sundays lost all meaning: Hindu worshippers are not dogmatic with their days; we knew it was Friday if we happened to walk through a predominantly Muslim village and the mosque keened out the call to kneel and pray.
Since coming home, every day and evening has been weekend-like, with dinners and drinks and hikes and bikes. Slowly, though, we are returning to a rhythm and I am desperate for a day and week with structure and a predictable – but flexible! – pattern.
I think I work best, and more, with a routine.
In my old job in Ireland, I had a strange set-up where I worked sleepover shifts, one week on and one week off, in a house with adults with intellectual disabilities. In my ‘week on’ I worked a lot of hours, including a weekend where I started work at 5pm on a Friday and finished at 9am the next Monday.
I was also doing my Masters part-time during the day.
The crazy thing was, I achieved so much more in the weeks where I had college classes and working at night. I had to go to the library during my lunch-break because I had to catch the bus by 4pm to get to work by five. And I had to read those books and articles on the bus and any spare moment because I had to not sound like an idiot in class the next day or get into shit with my teachers.
On my week off – or should I say, my off week – I had so much time to read and study, to get on top of things or do extra. But, my name is Deborah Rose and I am a procrastinator. It has been four minutes since I last procrastinated.
This is me:
The thing is, life looks quite different now from Ireland two years ago. Transitioning to a life where I supposedly work for myself comes with many challenges, not least of which is how I manage my time. I don’t have an external motivator – like a boss who might sack me or a teacher who might fail me if I don’t show up or don’t get the work done. It’s all on me and I am my biggest obstacle!
And it’s not like I’m watching videos of baby hedgehogs* or something.
There’s this great piece in The New Yorker on What Was Revealed When the Lights Went Out in India. That’s important.
And this one that asks: What’s a Metaphor For? Which is something I need to know if I were ever to write one.
Or these words of wisdom and affirmation about How To Find Your Purpose And Do What You Love. How about that?!
Except I already have a hunch what my purpose is and I know what I love. It’s a case of getting the cuss on with it.
But not before I read Dani Shapiro’s much better piece on the subject: #amwriting. I should really download that Freedom software. Oh wait! I did! I should really use that Freedom software…
This blogpost is an example of procrastination I suppose… But it’s also placing words upon words in a way that I like, so I count it.
I know it’s cheating, really. (And I lied, I do watch baby hedgehog videos, and baby sloth bears too!) But it’s Friday and the sun is shining. I’m bunking off. I’m playing hooky.
See you bright and early on Monday! I’ll be good next week, I promise.