When Does A Quest End?

September 25, 2016 at 8:15 am (Blogging) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )


When Does A Quest End?

When one has found the Holy Grail?

When one has slayed the dragon?

When one has rescued the princess?

When one has found the Unicorn?

When one has reached the goal?

I started this blog at the end of September 2008 with this thesis in mind:

Why? Why am I doing this? Why write a blog? Why delve into the essence of who I am? I’m intrigued by memoir and confession and living vicariously. My real life is quiet. My fantasy life is legion. My inner life, like everyone else’s, is gigantic.

My one goal when I started was to blog weekly. I’ve done that.

I’ve published 425 posts and I have 150 draft ideas sitting around waiting to be used. This will be post number 426. Its been eight years since my first post.

But most of this year’s posts have been photo challenges and small (somewhat) fun posts.


I think I may be done.

More often than not, I put off writing a blog post until the last moment.

I think I may be finishing this quest.

This may be my last blog post. It may not.

If I post again, my next post will probably be a Halloween post.

How do you know when your quest is ending?


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July 17, 2016 at 8:15 am (Blogging) (, , , , , , , )

Early Fall Frost

Photo Challenge: Details.

“Great Caesar, Wanda, eliminate. Eliminate detail and use the spaces produced to carry out design.”  — Wanda Gág, Growing Pains: Diaries And Drawings From The Years 1908-17 (1940)

“Details make perfection, and perfection is not a detail.”  ― Leonardo da Vinci

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A Year’s Worth

August 2, 2015 at 8:15 am (Blogging) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

I published my 365th post last week and just wrote an amazing blog post about blogging that I lost as I was trying to save it!!

I don’t think I can recreate it.

It’s been a hard year. The blogging has been okay but life has been annoying.

There have been lessons learned – like always copy your words before you hit save draft!

I’ve been blogging since September 22, 2008. My one goal when I started was to blog weekly. I’ve done that. This is the first time I’ve lost a completely written post. I am feeling frustrated. I am eating while writing. It calms me. Thankfully, I am eating watermelon which is healthy. (The cat thinks she wants to try some). Damn, it was a good post – the ones that get away always are.

What happens in a year?

This is what I write about. My life. My interests. I write memoir. I write using other people’s challenges and memes. I write about yearly occurrences – expect another International Pirate’s Day post in September.

I write for fun. I write for obligation – if only, obligation to my self. In the beginning, my posts were longer and more structured. Now I am more comfortable writing off-the-cuff (like now!).

I can write off a frustrating occurrence like losing a damn good post and keep on. This is good. Especially if it means I eat less junk food along the way.

I write to learn. After seven years, I’ve gotten better at photography, writing and thinking. What inspires me. Today, I inspire me. I lost. I went on. I recreated something. I didn’t give up. Yay me!

I write, therefore I am.

I write in spite of it all (the lost post WAS better).

Birthday Cake

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June 21, 2015 at 8:15 am (Blogging) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Weekly Photo Challenge


Not quite the full rainbow – I’m missing orange and indigo. I love indigo, to me it’s the colour of the light at dusk especially in the winter. Plus, if these chairs had been in my yard I would have put the white chair in the middle! I took this when I was walking home from work last year so it’s just some random yard in some random city. I’m not compulsive enough that I would rearrange chairs in a stranger’s yard.

Potato Head Box

And here, I am missing red and blue and indigo. I need to take more indigo pictures. I love that word – the sound of it, the shape of it, the spirit of it.




Dad 1956Happy Father’s Day


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Off-Season & Off-Center

June 14, 2015 at 8:15 am (Blogging) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )


Weekly Photo Challenge: Off-Season

Travel Theme: Off-Center

This photo was taken just after 11am as we entered the Alaskan ice fields, last year, on June 27, 2014.

The day felt like winter as we were served hot pea soup on the deck as we watched the glacier calf. I think the picture would have been more effective if it had also showed the glacier as it is hard to tell that it is ice floating in the water without it. However, I do like this picture with its cloudy blue sky and icy blue water framed by the mountains.

My sister spent most of the day outside watching the glacier. She got to see it calf. I did not. She said it made an amazing noise.

No regrets. That’s the motto I try to live by.



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The Music Box

February 8, 2015 at 8:15 am (Blogging) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

A music box is a Lady’s treasure chest.

A music box is a Lady’s lock-box.

(NOT that type of box. Get your mind out of the gutter).

It is something only she can open.

It is a place to keep treasures.

It is a place to keep secrets.

I had a pink music box when I was seven.

I was not yet a Lady.

(Am I a Lady now?)

It had a pink ballerina in a tiny, pink tutu made of tulle.

She twirled round and round not quite dancing.

I would have preferred a musical carousal with tiny, perfect horses.

Or unicorns.

I did not want a practical music box that was also a jewelry box.

I had no jewels.

The poor own nothing of value.

Seven years later, I coveted the Imperial Easter Eggs of Russia.

This was my ballerina phase.

This was my Anastasia phase.

I read and read and read.

Books about the Russian ballet.

Books about the last Imperial family of Russia.

I coveted riches.

I would settle for any jewel-encrusted token made by Faberge.

Perhaps a tiny tortoise or a regal elephant to grace my window-sill.

I had no need of a jewelry box.

I had no need of a music box.

I had no need of  music.

I had secrets within me.

I had a ticket not unlike Willy Wonka’s. It would lead me through the maze, down a winding path and home again.

I had a handful of river and ocean stones to guide the way. Forward or backwards it didn’t matter. I took a stone from every body of water that I came upon. I kept them in my pocket.

I had a mysterious envelope full of fortunes collected throughout my life. There were no repeats. All of them were right. All of them were wrong. All of them were mine.

I had a winding key. I still have not discovered what it winds up (or down, as the case may be). I have no time-piece to try it on. I have too much time. I have not enough time.

I have no need of a music box.

I have no need of a treasure chest.

All I need I can carry in my heart, in my mind and in my imagination.

I have no need.


February’s posts will be inspired by the Ray Bradbury Noun List.

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Following the Stats

January 12, 2014 at 8:15 am (Blogging) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

The new year has started and I am overly consumed by statistics. Work is ruled by stats as we look at how we performed over the last year and here, at my blog, WordPress has sent out their annual stats report.

I am conflicted about how useful stats are. In university one of the most interesting books I read was a slim tome called How to Lie with Statistics. It was first published in 1954! I’ve looked at the value of statistical reporting differently ever since I read this book. Still, this is the world I live in – a world that wants me to track everything statistically. I most prove my worth with numbers!

In 2013 my blog was viewed about 11,000 times compared to 2012’s 24,000 views. But then in 2013 WordPress changed how they collected this data. They now look at views vs visitors where they use to just count each view. It’s hard to think about 11,000 individuals reading my words over the year. Did they enjoy the words? Did they understand what I am trying to say and to do? Do they like my words? Do they like me? Do I blog to be liked? Should I blog to be liked?

My most popular post is Polytechnique (the movie) for both years. I suspect that this is because of the heart graphic that illustrates the post. The heart graphic is a very popular image search result in Google. My best ever day was June 25, 2012 with 817 views. Most visitors who find me via searching come mostly for the heart border and lily or tiger lily pictures which are common images/pictures that I use on my blog. I love taking pictures of lilies.

In 2012, I had visitors from 145 different countries which dropped to 138 countries in 2013. Which countries stopped reading me I wonder? How many countries are there in the world? Google says around 196 – could I get a reader from every country? Does anyone? Yes, I could get more visitors by publicizing my post, following others or interacting via comments more but is this what I want.


The question becomes “Why do I Blog?”

When I started my goal was to write a blog post a week and I’ve mostly done that. Occasionally, the post is a short “no post this week” and 2013 had a lot more photo meme posts than any of the other years. 2013 was a bad year – I dealt with a lot of major & minor issues this year but I still wanted to be committed to writing a weekly blog post. Photo memes, like this and this, helped me do that. Plus, I found a lot of interesting blogs to read by seeing who else was participating in these memes.

When I started blogging I used more words and less pictures. Now, I use less words and more pictures. I’m proud that in just over 5 years, I’ve written 283 posts and have 137 drafts (mostly just short point form ideas) to draw from.

My goal is not to blog for the stats. My goal is to write a blog post per week as long as the muse entices me too.

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January 5, 2014 at 1:11 pm (Blogging) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

To begin.

The possibilities are endless.

To play. To have fun. To enjoy. To play.

Circular definitions.

When did I last laugh?

To begin anew.

To begin.

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Surprise: Fences, Walls and Shadows

January 27, 2013 at 10:13 am (Blogging, Meme) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

I go out for my morning walk without my camera because I just plan to walk; it’s too cold to fiddle with a camera and really, how much has the landscape changed anyway!

However, Friday’s photo memes are peculating in my head.

Walls and shadows. Shadows and walls.

Angel Shadow

Shadows are easy. It’s an early morning walk; the sun is just coming up and it’s at my back. I just have to remember not to get my shadow in the picture.

The most interesting things about the picture I don’t even notice until I get home  and start manipulating the image. My focus as I shoot is on the smiley face. I don’t notice the angel shadow to the left and is that Santa’s sleigh still stuck on the roof?

Shadowed House
My Shadow
By Robert Louis Stevenson

I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,
And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.
He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;
And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed.
The funniest thing about him is the way he likes to grow—
Not at all like proper children, which is always very slow;
For he sometimes shoots up taller like an india-rubber ball,
And he sometimes gets so little that there’s none of him at all.
He hasn’t got a notion of how children ought to play,
And can only make a fool of me in every sort of way.
He stays so close beside me, he’s a coward you can see;
I’d think shame to stick to nursie as that shadow sticks to me!
One morning, very early, before the sun was up,
I rose and found the shining dew on every buttercup;
But my lazy little shadow, like an arrant sleepy-head,
Had stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed.
Wall or Fence
Walls are trickier. If you go to Ailsa’s post you see that one of her pictures, which she names a stone wall, I would call a stone fence.
Was the Berlin Wall a wall or a fence? What’s the difference?
A wall is, according to the dictionary, any of various permanent upright constructions having a length much greater than the thickness and presenting a continuous surface except where pierced by doors, windows, etc. A wall is used for shelter, protection, or privacy,  to fence in an area, etc. A wall encloses, shuts off, divides, protects, borders, etc., example: to wall the yard.
While, a fence is a barrier enclosing or bordering a field, yard, etc., usually made of posts and wire or wood, used to prevent entrance, to confine, or to mark a boundary.
I guess it’s just a matter of idioms (see definition number 2 here). What I call a fence, you may call a wall. What you call a wall, I may call a fence.
Enjoy these shadows and walls from my wintery, always unexpected, morning walk. Remember, surprises are everywhere.

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This Is How I Blog

November 25, 2012 at 8:15 am (Blogging) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

I am a meticulous person. I like my life and everything in it ordered and precise. So when I started blogging I developed a  tendency to plan out all my posts well ahead of their post dates. I still like to do this.

Below is a link to my blog plan for part of this year (Jan – Aug):

Blog Plan 2012

I blog (mostly) a post every Sunday. I always blog about Halloween, Remembrance Day and Dec 6th as close to the day as possible. I sometimes post about National Talk Like A Pirate Day (Sept 19th). I sometimes do book reviews. I sometimes, when my other plans are thwarted, do a photo meme or two.

However, I am happiest when I can follow the plan!

A neat corner of my neat desk at my last job…

This week I couldn’t follow the plan.

I planned to do part three of Places I’ve Lived, a once yearly series I’m doing on a semi-regular basis. But! the post would need too much prep – I’d have to do the floor plans and scan them; I’d have to find a picture. And my scanner/printer is not hooked up to my new computer yet! Even though I’ve had the new computer for over a month!

I had in my head, all week, the thought that my next blog post was planned out and suddenly realized last night that it was not.

So, what to do? What would this post be about?

I couldn’t do a photo meme. I had just done a photo meme last week.

I could peruse my too long list of saved drafts. They’re not full drafts. They are idea drafts: lists, questions, memories, quotes, poems and various other sundry ideas that are percolating in my brain on any given day.

Don’t you just wish, some days, that you could switch off your brain? I do.

Out of my 116 drafts, nothing really jumped up at me. None of them waved their arms around going, “me, me, me – write about me!”

My magnets precisely organized on my fridge (and never used)…

Then, out of the blue, Serendipity struck (seized, smote, smited) me.

I read. I read too much (over 200 books so far this year plus ebooks plus magazines plus newspapers plus).

I’m 69 pages into an amazing celebrity dual memoir.

Are you intrigued?

It’s a father/son book. It’s a book written by a father and a son from a contemporary Hollywood dynasty.

I don’t read many memoirs written by men (and even less written by fathers).

Fathers; now that’s a complicated topic!

A meticulous pile of quality chocolate (nom, nom, nom)…

So, here’s my post about blogging and an intriguing book (that would make a good present for a father or a son but not my father – like I said, “it’s complicated”).

I plan to finish the book tonight (Saturday) and this blog post will go live tomorrow (Sunday).

If you ask me in the comments if the book stayed as good as those first 69 pages I’ll answer.

This is how I blog – meticulously, and occasionally, off the cuff.

How do you blog?





. Along The Way: The Journey of a Father and Son

. by Martin Sheen & Emilio Estevez

. with Hope Edelman

. Toronto, Ont: Free Press, 2012

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