Frivolous Fun Friday*: I was pondering on a topic to share with you today when I came across this: Dalai Lama Pizza Joke (did you not click to view?! I think you need to rewind and have a quick peek -its just over a minute and absolutely hilarious -I really feel for Karl Stefanovic (the TV presenter); it was a true comic moment which he dealt with professionalism and dignity(ish) -the Dalai Lama with his humble mannerism was just too kind and responded by saying “Theoretically possible” despite his innocence of not understanding the joke; a classic moment of humility and reverence); this light-hearted occasion made me think of moments where I have had been in an initially embarrassing situation then, when I look back in hindsight, those events become quite comical and amusing.
There have been a few moments -well plenty -if I were to be honest; my selective memory may serve me better here.
One of those ‘rare’ moments were when I worked in retail and was answering a phone enquiry; a customer wanted to speak to one of my colleagues about a delivery; so naturally asked for my colleagues name; in order to put her through.
“Sandra” (for anonymity purposes I have used a different name).
The store was loud “Kim?” I asked
“No, Sandra” she said.
The line crackled “Kim?” I asked still adamant I was speaking in English.
Whimsical Wednesday Writings: Another day another challenge -I know you all secretly missed the challenges; so I thought I’d combine a flash fiction challenge with the next installment of the storyline I planned for DiRosaYikici‘ Where There’s a Will There’s a Way. I only hope this meets the theme ‘Shadows’ -let me know what you think.
Here is the mentioned challenge: Last week Billie Jo set a new flash fiction challenge: Shadowy Sunday; the rules are as follows: The theme for the next two weeks is shadows. Your story can be up to 1000 words in any genre you wish. It must somehow contain the theme of shadows. Anyone is welcome to join in. Just post a link to your story in the comments section so we know where to go looking for it. The deadline is 19th June 2011; so if you want to participate then you still have time.
For the ever so inquisitive the word count is: 959, with the title it is: 966 -Enjoy!
(As always there is a pdf document at the bottom of the post for those who may find this a difficult read.)
I opened my eyes, it was pitch black, my eyes focused on the patterns forming above me; small dots started to spray in quick succession –like a kaleidoscope with less colour; I blinked my eyes; conscious I was still in bed –possibly still early morning; I could hear the sound of the odd cars driving past; I turned over and closed my eyes; I willed myself to sleep, it was still too early to get up; I should not have taken the medication; it seemed to have some adverse effect on my sleep patterns.
I need to sleep; why can’t I sleep! I wondered to myself; annoyed –I had the weirdest day, totally wore me out, I was shattered; I needed to sleep, I had to sleep!
The warm heat of the sun breathed on my skin as Rob gently massaged in the sunscreen on my back; I smiled, I knew where I was –our honeymoon, a secluded beach along the Mauritius coast. He was drawing something on my back –no, it felt like writing; he wanted me to guess what he was spelling out –this was our favourite game. I closed my eyes in concentration as he brushed my hair aside in order to make space for the writing.
“Ready?” he whispered into my ear.
“As always” I challenged.
My passion for baking began years ago, during secondary school, when I found out my aunt baked exceedingly good cakes (and not the Mr Kipling’s variety)! Fresh cream cake with fresh fruit –yes I know –yummmmm! However, I did not take this up fully until the last ten years of my life and I only stuck with my aunts trusted recipe. Example of one successful baking session can be seen as above:
It took me a good few tries to perfect this (there were times when I only used 15gr of flour as opposed to 150gr! I was young; I had written the ingredients incorrectly; I could not understand why the cake would rise beautifully in the oven then fall flat when it came out and on top of that, why it resembled a biscuit rather than a cake! I was not impressed –an understatement of my thoughts at the time); the end results finally paid off and it was a success with all my friends and family and was devoured instantly; see below after a party of five us had a cake feast!
It’s been over a week since my last post (week and a half to be exact!); I know -it was not intentional; I had planned various interesting topics to share with you however, my body decided it was not going to take part in any of it! Unfortunately a selection of migraines, flu-like symptoms and the suspected food poisoning episode evaded my life! I took a variety of herbal remedies, recommended bouts of rest, a food diet -all good for the flu and food poisoning but I had to succumb and take the dreaded painkillers I was hoping to avoid -my migraines would not go away any other way -I even woke up to that pain!!! I tell you it is not a good thing to go through.
I am happy to let you know that today was the first day when I was able to function normally and write amongst other things! My writing suffered more because of the headaches than anything else -the pc’s screen was just too painful no matter how I tried to make it duller; this was why I have been elusive; it was not my intention to disappear without a word… Anyway, enough of all of that; let’s get back to what my plans are.
It’s not very often I read a book within two days -Water for Elephants is just one of those exceptions. Sara Gruen certainly has the gift of alluring and gripping story-telling -I thoroughly enjoyed this!
Some may argue that not all of the characters are well developed and are in fact bordering on being flat; they may also say the storyline and plots are not imaginative… In some (tiny) parts I agree however; there are elements that needs to be considered; the story is told in first person through Jacob’ POV -there is only so much Jacob can show through his eyes where it relates to other characters in the story, the characters he spends more time with will naturally be stronger opposed to the others -well that’s my opinion. When it comes to the plot; I have no qualms, most story plots are recycled anyway therefore, I would not criticize an excellent book just in order to find a niggly bit to complain about! The important thing to remember is that; whether the plot is re-used or not, it’s how the plot is told and applied to the mechanics of the novel. That, in essence is, the crucial point in my eyes.
What I truly love about this story is the way in which Gruen has written it. The construction of it is fantastic! All the parts work so well that you actually find yourself being swept into the craft of the storyteller. Jacob’s journey through his younger and older self is a pure delight; both dealt with a masterly pen and the humour apparent just makes it that much better. Gruen has certainly nailed all the right elements for this novel and her research seems impeccable in both the circus history as well as the environment and attitude that comes with old age (working with older people allows me to endorse this end no doubt). The continual plots, the developing characters, the historical events and the love story fluidly intertwines within the rich backdrop of the circus and gives a true sense of an era that hard times were prevalent -not to mention the wit and ingenious that is introduced with the older character of Jacob and his surroundings.
I do not want to give too much away; this is a must read; I definitely will be reading this again and again and again -I kid you not! I cannot praise it enough; it’s definitely in my top 10 reads of all time! If you have not read Water for Elephants –you must do so now; do not miss out on this delightful and gripping tale.
You may have noticed I have not added much artwork here on yikici or updated any (some) of the page information on the side-bar; there are good reasons why this is so -I promise they are not excuses -honestly I do! These ‘many’ reasons I will come back to -here or on another post -I haven’t yet decided, let’s see how I feel; before we do, the main reason I wanted to mention is: I have been toying with the idea of going self-hosting for some time now (yes exciting stuff!); in fact I have enlisted help from a good friend (AKA Ian) who is helping me to modify the current theme so it works better for me and hopefully for you. Some of the navigation/layout of this theme I find rather odd; as well as the small font size -all of which we are trying to address within reason; whilst pondering on these matters, I thought I’d throw this out to you and ask what improvements you think could be made -is there anything that causes you to desert the page because something is not quite right? I welcome all thoughts as I want to get this right.
NB: If you are finding this difficult to read please scroll down to the bottom of the post and read the pdf version of this post.
ONE STEP FOR MANKIND – A WHOLE UNIVERSE FOR yikici (AKA Oζ): As a mere distraction tool -before we venture into Self-Hosting, I wanted to grace you with a raw piece of photography by moi; I call it Stepping Stones -i.e. stepping into the unknown; that’s how I feel about blogging and self-hosting -as well as tweeting! I digress, back to the photograph; I usually (not always) prefer to work on raw photo’s using Photoshop before displaying it -this, I decided to leave as it is and showcase it here for you as a treat (it may be a long while before you see any other artwork/photography) so enjoy it while you can!
In this bit, I ideally would like to write about what I have found out in my endeavour to go self-hosting; though it seems I am at a loss for words (very unusual for me on most occasions -I guess it happens once in a while). So I have decided, I will let a plethora of thoughts try to explain what I have and am still finding out.
THE INGREDIENTS REQUIRED ARE AS THUS:
- Deciding on a name for your blog (that is if you decide not to choose your own name -or for those who are unfortunate enough that their name has already been taken; what a nuisance!); sounds simple in theory but if the lovely .com has been taken all of a sudden you are filled with choices .co .co.uk .org .info etc, etc, etc… Choice is good -I agree; but really?!!!
- Designing a webpage or modifying the theme you have chosen if it does not quite meet your particular requirements (that’ll be me then!). For this, you will need a web designer/someone who is adept in CSS codes -unless you actually possess those skills; to me, all of this is a foreign language, so I cried for help -yep literally -in a true ‘damsel in distress’ moment kind of way and my saviour (Ian) appeared in a cloud of smoke -ooops! Were we not just telling swashbuckling stories? *blushes* Now where was I? Oh yes, so if you do not possess the relevant CSS skills then you must enlist someone who does.
- This is where things get tricky (my current predicament); if you have an artistic temperament (like moi) then you are likely to suffer with the following:
As I mentioned yesterday, this is the challenge I have been working on; struggling would be the best word to describe it! I have been trying to combine two challenges together and alongside this, my subconscious and conscious mind has also been battling it out; how this story should pan out and how it will turn out to be. Eventually we agreed to disagree and opted for an amicable compromise. What I envisioned and what it became is so far apart I am unsure how this actually fits Bille Jo’ Spacey Sunday -Flash Fiction Challenge in addition to that, the word count has far exceeded Haley Whitehall’ May Flash Fiction Challenge; so I am truly disheartened with my attempts this time round. Maybe I am being tough on myself -post food poisoning… What are your thoughts did I achieve the two challenges or did I fall short?
Spacey Sunday: Write a flash fiction piece of 1000 words or less in any genre you want (a space theme not in the sci-fi genre could be a real challenge). You must use the spacey theme.
Friendly Note: I used the following definition as a guide for Spacey:
|Part of Speech:||adjective|
|Synonyms:||beat*, bizarre, crazy, dizzy, erratic, far out, flaky, flighty, freakish, kooky, nutty, odd, oddball, off the wall, off-center, offbeat, out in left field, out to lunch, peculiar, quirky, spaced out, strange, way out, weird|
* = informal/non-formal usage
(Taken from Thesaurus.com)
May Flash Fiction: You must start your story with the sentence: ”He should have never been there in the first place.” The story must be 500 words or less. Your story needs to have a clear beginning, middle and end.
What a tough challenge; ladies you certainly made me work hard on this one; I only hope it’s an enjoyable read even if I have failed both challenges on this occasion.
He was not meant to be there in the first place; the alarm sounded, drilling into his bones. Alex yanked Simone’s sleeve with urgency.
“What are you doing?!!”
“One second, I’m nearly done.”
“Simone! They’ll come, let’s go!”
“Not without my keepsake.”
“I told you not to come! Now be quiet –I need to concentrate.”
Equipped with special coated elbow-length gloves she reached into the fish tank brimming with electric eels. Alex gasped; Simone held her breath. The eels wrapped around Simone’s slender wrist -their touch should have electrocuted her.
“James worked wonders with these gloves.” She enthused.
“That’s just splendid!” Alex said in contempt.
Simone shot him a depreciative glance.
Muffled voices came from behind the study’s door.
“Simone!” Alex’ voice; exasperated.
“Got it!” she grinned holding a small clam in her palm.
The door creaked open. They ducked under the mahogany desk holding their breaths; the patio door, from where they entered, was slightly ajar; if they made a run for it they could be seen. They stayed crouched, cramped; hearts racing.
Footsteps shuffled towards the desk; stopped then went towards the patio doors.
“They must have left by now” the voice deep; the click of a pistol eased.
Alex shot a pleading look at Simone. She glared back
“No!” she hissed.
They did not hear the steps. A metal barrel pointed at them; nudging them to stand up.
Simone flicked Alex with annoyance as she rose begrudgingly.
Alex did not budge; his stance unresponsive; his eyes glazed. Suddenly he twitched –his body jutted to and fro as his head hit the desk repeatedly.
“We don’t want no funny business, just get out.” The voice barked.
The banging continued.
He kicked Alex “Move!”
Simone jerked forward towards the man with the pistol “Hey! Stop that!”
The second man pushed Simone against the fish tank, water gushed to the ground “I’d behave if I were you –you aren’t doing yourself any favours.”
I couldn’t resist… I think I’m becoming addicted to these Flash Fiction Challenges! You will have to grin and endure what I unleash in these short pieces of writings. Though, having said that, I do have a confession to make, the piece below is actually an amended section from an improvisational WIP I’m working on with a friend and the full story is on our joint blog DiRosaYikici.
Back to the task at hand… Billie Jo Woods has issued a Secret Sunday Flash Fiction Challenge: Write a flash fiction piece having no more than 500 words. You can write in any genre you want but the story must include a secret of some sort. Deadline May 7th 2011 -I realise I still have 2 days to accomplish this -I panicked so I cheated! Should a new story idea come about after I have posted this I would gladly share it with you. I hope this is still an enjoyable read.
For the inquisitive minded the word count is 493 which includes the title.
Where There’s a Will There’s a Way
I slumped down onto the floor and allowed the fear, panic, shock and relief to overtake me in an instance; I could not believe what I had just done –breaking and entering was not high on my to do list being the law-abiding citizen I was -and here I was waiting for the adrenaline to subside and the disapproval to sink in; it didn’t come. My mind was too occupied with the note I saw –I surely did not imagine that –the same note in Rob’s diary… What was going on?! Was Rob trying to tell me something? This was becoming too weird, too much of a coincidence… And why my neighbour downstairs! What has he got to do with anything?! -More importantly why me?!!! As I pondered and tried to make sense of what had just taken place I heard his sweet voice speaking to me again.
“Stay focused my love, this will all make sense soon –you just need to trust your instincts and me, I will not let you down. See I haven’t left you, I am still here with you as always.”
I shook my head; I must be going delusional –hearing Rob’s voice seemed hardly normal –it seemed more likely to be a schizophrenic tendency than anything else –but the note … the diary –they were –no they are real! That I was sure of…
I have moments of clarity; then it seems to fall into a cloud of smoke -usually to my annoyance; as my head tends to be spinning with ideas and I seem to have -on occasion; some difficulty -well, I struggle with getting them to have some coherency -so I battle it out in my head; tossing ideas in one direction then the other; then I come back to my original thought; which then delves into an odd mindset; it evolves; it gets cut; it gets tortured; then revived and finally it takes form in the shape of some mishap ramblings or artistic prose; at times it has its own unique voice and it makes sense; which brings me back to this piece and I sincerely hope, that to some extent this will find its’ way into the land of understanding…
I know, I know; fast thoughts sometimes take too much concentration to understand and digest; the point I really wanted to say was, amidst all these chaotic thought processes I am currently having; I seem to veer towards two main outlets; my novel and my blog. -Though I am writing this piece on my blog right now; my actual priority these past few days has actually been my novel (I am nearing the 10,000 words mark -woo hoo! To think I only started a month ago; I’m quietly pleased with my achievement.). Bearing that in mind I thought I’d update you to where I have gone with my novel and what progress it has taken.
Two Steps Forwards One Step Back and an Unwanted Prologue which forced an Appearance!
Seems to be the direction I am taking; what do I mean? Well, let me clarify the experience I have had so far with my dabblings’ in novel-writing… I started off with two dreams; those two dreams evolved into a plausible idea; I thought through how it would work, did some research (yes I know, sometimes research can drag!); then I began to write and came up with an approx. 3000 word outline for the base of the novel -yes that is exactly what I said: Wow!!! All excited; I started my first chapter (I was told it is very strong. A vote of confidence pulsed through my veins; I was thinking ‘yay! I am on the right track!’
Being my very first book review I thought I’d honour it by reviewing a novel which I happened to stumble across through Twitter* (another first for me; so I thought I’d combine the two first experiences here and share it with you). The book in question is The Trust; a pleasant surprise and the author is Sean Keefer; a rather friendly, engaging author-type-lawyer person.
The setting of the story takes place in Charleston, South Carolina; over the pond in the USA. Our protagonist/hero is Noah Parks; a small town lawyer, who finds himself mysteriously caught up in an Estate Probate (legal terms usually go beyond my remit and occasionally over my head however; the storytelling is so light and compelling you actually find that you have absorbed all the information without any struggle). Noah also finds out that he is in the Will of the man of the Estate (Cross) whom he did not know -that is until Thomason introduces himself and Cross to Noah and with that comes a trail of intrigue, suspense, mysterious deaths, a love triangle-of-sorts and unsolved clues. Add to that a lawyer who has a soft spot for finding out the truth despite the implications; but is he disillusioned? Will Noah be able to solve the mystery of the safety deposit box he has been appointed to via Cross’ Will, before it slips through his fingers as the events tangle and weave themselves in a rate which make you wonder ‘what is happening’?!
Why is it when you plan something it always goes terribly wrong? I mean take yesterday for instance, I was planning to get into work early so I can check out the sales so I can bag some bargains –but did I manage? Heck no! The bus I had decided to travel with got stuck in traffic for a good 60 minutes or so which didn’t help especially when this allowed me just enough time to get into work on time(ish). I wanted to scream “It’s not fair!” and if I had no shame I would have, but the thought of unexpected bystanders looking a tad concerned and worried prevented such a scene. Instead I cursed silently to myself and my invisible companions; you know the ones that tend to whisper to you when you do something out of the norm – you know your guilty conscience! They tend to make you feel a bit of an idiot when you pull silly faces when you cannot find the words to express your thoughts. Just like a minute ago!! See what I mean? It’s all unfair. Wouldn’t you agree? But that’s how it goes; you know sods law and all that. Think about it, whilst I am talking about invisible people dad’s on holiday! Aaargh!!!! By god do I need a holiday!!!
Copyright © Ozlem Yikici 2011 & Copyright © doodllz™ 2011. All Rights Reserved. Any unauthorised copying of literary and artistic works will constitute an infringement of copyright. Ozlem Yikici & doodllz™ have the right to be identified as the author & artist; please seek permission in all instances. Should you use any of the works please ensure you provide a link referring it back to the original source.
This is a new one to me… Blogging -I mean this is my first official bit of writing as a blog -as opposed to poems, snippets etc… So you will need to bear with me as I collect my thoughts and try to write something that is a worthwhile read -I do hope you will help me out on this road of discovery to the delightful and mysterious blogging world!
So how am I finding this experience so far? It is definitely interesting; continuing to write my novel (2000 words achieved today -yay! Need a few more words to complete the 2nd Chapter and then I will call it a night); updating the blog (still deciding if the format and the contents has the right balance -watch this space for any changes); keeping the tweeting going and updates on facebook (this is mind-boggling stuff -so much to consider and time just seems to fly by so quickly); and then keeping on top of all the tips shared by authors and bloggers alike -I feel overwhelmed with all this knowledge and at times wonder do you too?!
If so, then you might want to shout along with me I’m new at this -I’m getting my bearings! Now do you feel any better? I didn’t think so; neither did I -but it was fun! On a serious note, I want to say that I have found the following (yep tried and tested; been there, done that, brought the t-shirt methods) do work as it has done for the millions before us and will no doubt do so for the millions that will follow…
Here’s my 5 tips to help you on your way to writing effectively:
Fate is a bizarre notion –in the respect that –no matter what you do –you will end up with what is your fate –even if you change your path a million times you will always end up where you are fated to be… hmmm well in that sense you have no choice and the choice that you do have in actual fact is not a choice but an optional option that have been given to you for the sake of it.
Click on the ‘read more‘ button to comment.
Welcome to my page!
This is my very first bit of writing on here, so please bear with me whilst I get my footing and add more content to these pages as the days pass by. I will do my best to work on here solidly as well as working alongside my current writing project, I am in the midst of writing a novel (currently working on the second chapter), so when there is something substantial to tell I will let you know. All you need to know right now is that it is a story written in a contemporary style with elements of horror, fantasy and a bit of romance thrown in for good measure.