Blogging 101: Say Your Name

For no other reason than woman with a dinosaur head!

Today’s assignment: edit your title and tagline. Make your readers’ first impression a good one!
Via The Daily Post’s Blogging 101 program (15th September 2014)

I’ve decided not to do the assignment today because that’s just how I roll (not really).

I have good reason to excuse myself and it’s not just because I’m being pig headed. I genuinely love both my title and my tagline, and it took me a good while to arrive at them. I will, however, talk more about them and why I am sticking to my guns.

In yesterday’s Introduction, I explained why I chose the blog name I did and what it means to me.

My tagline is a little different, in that I just like it. I saw the term ‘force majeure’ in the Terms & Conditions of something and I liked it immediately, even though I didn’t know what it really meant. It was listed in a segment talking about ‘forces of nature’ and ‘acts of God’ so I knew it would be something big and it is!

Force majeure in the dictionary is defined like so:

Noun

  • Law
    Unforeseeable circumstances that prevent someone from fulfilling a contract
  • Irresistible compulsion or superior strength

Wikipedia goes into even more detail, if you like law and law talk.

Anyway, as soon as I had wrapped my tiny brain around what it meant, I decided it would work well on my blog. I mentioned it to my mum and she thought it was very humble of me (not). Of course it’s meant to be tongue in cheek. I don’t honestly consider myself a superior being or strength, but it’s kind of cute, right?

A few months ago though, I found out that good old Eddie Izzard (who grew up in my hometown) called his tour by the same name. I like to think he stole it from right under my nose since mine’s been in print since March, but the truth is, he was already on the road in 2013 and I’m just not that original.

Still, originality (or lack thereof) aside, I’m not changing it and I can’t imagine that I ever will. I have this thing where I can get very angsty if my blog doesn’t look exactly as I think it should.

I’m not driven by what other people say (although I love feedback), it’s just a very personal thing. I think I’m there are the moment, aesthetically speaking.

So there we are. I’m not changing for the foreseeable future and you can’t make me!

See you tomorrow for Day 3.

Blogging 101: Introduce Yourself

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Today’s assignment: write and publish a “who I am and why I’m here” post.
Via The Daily Post’s Blogging 101 program (14th September 2014)

It feels a little funny to be writing an introduction since this blog isn’t brand new and most of you know a little bit about me already. But I’ve signed up for this as a ‘creative fresh start’ so I’m game.

I’m Christa and I started A Voluptuous Mind because I wanted a place where I could showcase my writing without worrying about upsetting anybody. I’m not convinced I’m the best writer in the world but I do think I have potential and I wanted to be able to explore it without having to worry about who I’ve slagged off at work, or anywhere else for that matter (not that I do, you understand).

In fact, work had a lot to do with my new blog. I started a new job in February, as a Marketing Assistant for the company I had been with for over two years. Although it might not be where I am meant to be forever, I am proud that I started by answering complaint calls and then worked my way upwards (or sideways, depending on how you look at it).

My role has been interesting and again I am pleased that I have been able to wrap it around myself and mould it into something more fulfilling than it was originally intended to be. I think so anyway. Where I expected to be just an Admin Girl (nothing wrong with that, I love Admin), I’ve ended up putting myself forward as the department copy writer and being more involved in the production side of the business.

Sure I don’t have a proper title (yet) but I am getting the experience and that’s what I am focusing on now. So when it started to become clear that I would like to be doing something with my writing, professionally, I thought about having a clean blog that I could give to my bosses, or share publicly, without fear of what would come back to bite me on the arse.

(I allow myself to swear and say ‘arse’ as I feel it’s expressive and a valid form of language, I just try to keep it to a minimum so my mother doesn’t bollock me too much).

However, I feel I should say here that I’ve been doing quite a few writing exercises over the last month, which have brought out personal things I thought I had buried long ago. I’ve been honest to a fault about a lot of past experiences, which may render the plan to share this blog with my bosses a little ambitious. I’m not sure my manager wants to hear about the time I lost my virginity in Thornton Heath.

I chose the name of my blog because I wanted something that was all ‘me’ but also vaguely intellectual (pseudo, one might argue). I think ‘voluptuous’ is a pretty accurate way to describe me.

I like the way the word is spelt, the way it looks and is balanced; and I love the fact that it hints at a broad and rich waste ground of ideas. Plus it was inspired by A Beautiful Mind which hopefully suggests that I am much more than I first appear to be, much like the protagonist in the film.

I write because I genuinely enjoy crafting words into something bold and beautiful (hopefully). I think about everything I write as much as possible, even my work emails are little works of art (as far as I’m concerned). I do judge people on their grammar (silently, nobody likes a smart arse) but I’m not perfect, especially when tired and tip tapping on an Android keyboard.

That’s me really. I love reading, films and painting my nails. I love my friends but am a hermit at heart. I’m married to the greatest man and I have a nine-year-old stepson. I definitely watch too much Netflix.

I love food and eating (hence ‘voluptuous’), am on the eternal search for the perfect handbag and I blog too much about old boyfriends, because they haven given me such great material.

Welcome to A Voluptuous Mind!

Blogging 101

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I’ve decided to register for the September Blogging 101 course via The Daily Post, which starts on Monday.

I’ve found a lot of worth in both the DP and Writing Exercises, so I think it might churn up some interesting stuff.

The goal is to have six or more (I’m hoping more) good posts and drafts by the end of the 30 day run  and maybe a few more followers and friends. I’ve never been that bothered about gaining millions of followers, I have to admit, but it is lovely to meet people who are like-minded and appreciate what I am trying to say. Which sometimes isn’t all that much!

I have made some friends for life through my blog (and former blogs), so I know it can be done.

Anyway, I am looking forward to the challenge and am really going to pull my finger out. I have a busy week next week, so I will have to be conscious about how I manage my time. If in doubt I’ll do some at work on my lunch break (and maybe when things are quiet – naughty!).

Watch this space.

Also, if anyone else wants to get involved, there’s still time to register (here). They’ll send you an email which outlines the course and what you can gain from it. I think you should do it and keep me company, just saying.

Good luck everybody else doing it. See you in the community!

Trust: The Serial Killer Edition

bitch,trust,movies,quote-8b63d5d5423eeabcafb93c23c934ba0e_hI’ve been watching a lot of Dexter this month (and last, there are like, 8 friggin’ seasons) and it’s churned up a lot of thoughts in my head. Not all of them plot or character related, either.

Relax, I’ll leave off the spoilers as much as possible. I’m just thinking about trust.

Isn’t it a risky thing, trusting somebody with your heart; even your life? Now hopefully, none of us live with a secret serial killer and will never have to deal with the fall out of discovering that someone you love has a very dark side, but on a base level trusting another human is such a massive risk; yet is such an important thing to have. It’s a wonder we do it at all.

But trust we must until trust is broken, or maybe it won’t be. That’s all we can do otherwise what’s the point? It’s all too easy not to and I get it, have always got it until I met someone who redefined the word for me. Old boyfriends have not been kind, however nice they have seemed, taking my notion of trust and breaking it to pieces like dry Weetabix.

Suspicious websites, over friendly text messages, upfront and unabashed cheating; nights spent waiting for them to roll home. And when they didn’t, those moments making that empty bed with a heart as chilly as the side that hadn’t been slept in.

I get trust issues, I get the need to prove your unease right no matter what. But I also get that in the end enough has to be enough or you will never grow and never be able to love fully. My thought for the day.

I’m not going to be all happy clappy about how I finally learnt to trust (it was a long distance affair so all the red flags should have been flapping), all I know is that the old adage love like you’ve never been hurt before actually has some merit. All trust is a risk, and to risk it all is to gain the most.

But back to Dexter. (Spoiler alert!) Along the way, bad but not really all that bad guy Dexter has been stabbing people up, occasionally befriending people who have come to know his quirks. He learns through a series of relationships to start trusting certain people with the truth of who he is. That’s another way to consider the concept of faith in others.

If you relate trust to friendship, which is just as important as a relationship relationship, that’s scary too, right? I mean, I have an unhealthy addiction to Shaggy songs, it’s never easy to reveal that to a new person. How can you trust that your new friends, old friends, colleagues and the old lady you see every morning at the bus stop are going to continue to find you pleasant once you start letting your real self be known?

You just have to, or don’t, it’s really up to us all as individuals. Haters are always going to hate. Like Dita once said (apparently): “You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be someone who hates peaches.”

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It’s important to realise that if someone doesn’t like you, that’s up to them. If they cheat on you or think it’s acceptable to hurt you, essentially it is their problem. This is easier said than realised, easy to say with a click of the Ghetto fabulous finger but I chose to trust because that’s all I have.

Trust and be trusted, it works both ways.

What do you think? Can you and do you love without thinking about your past upsets or are you closely guarded? Is it all just a myth?

This post was brought to you by a sleep deprived brain, a sugar high and too many episodes of Dexter.

Hand-Me-Downs: The Red Shoes

My red shoes looked nothing like these!

My red shoes looked nothing like these!

Clothes and toys, recipes and jokes, advice and prejudice: we all have to handle all sorts of hand-me-downs every day. Tell us about some of the meaningful hand-me-downs in your life. Via The Daily Post (10th September 2014)

I coveted those red shoes for what felt like years. To my childish heart, it felt like forever but in reality it was probably just a few weeks. Those shoes, though, those pillar box red, stiletto heeled mules; they epitomised glamour, making me think of women. Of the woman I so desperately wanted to be.

I must have been about ten or eleven and I was already daydreaming about who I would become.

My aunt owned those shoes and I insisted, every time we went round, that I get to try them on. One day I will buy my shoes just like these, I would think to myself as I trotted around like the perfect cliché of a little girl, except less cute.

I was a tom boy (I think) with short hair back then (not my choice) and my aunt Sine was glamorous to me, with long hair and lashes. Looking back I never saw her wear these shoes herself, and she always seemed to be doing something practical, with two sons it was just the way it was. Still, that’s how I saw it; I wanted to walk in those shoes and be just like her.

I could draw you a picture of them right now if you asked me to, their shape and how they felt is still etched on my heart. They were The Future and when my aunt finally handed them over, I thought my tiny heart might burst with happiness.

I wore my shoes the incredible day they finally became mine and then, as quickly and as childishly as I had fallen for them, I put them away in favour of The Millenium Falcon. I still think of them to this day though and of what they represented to me.

Autumn Baby

I’m an Autumn baby, baby.tumblr_mu5l73pd3z1qzpegpo2_500

Born on the 25th November, technically I was born just after my favourite season, but I refuse to accept I am anything other than a child of Autumn, or The Fall as my Canadian buddies would say.

What’s to love about the season that follows directly after our (usually quite disappointing) Summer? Only everything!

Something within me starts to stir the moment that cool breeze starts to drift through my bedroom window. I keep it open so I can feel Autumn’s kiss on my skin, so I can embrace my cool pillow; and every dive below the covers feels like Heaven.

Summer is oppressive to me, clings to the flesh like something grubby and yes, it’s nice when people are smiley and half-dressed but it’s not for me, that heat, that humid prison. I like the rain and I like it when the temperature drops, before it gets too agonisingly cold and the gloves have to come out.

Autumn represents freedom to me, and takes me right back to my year alone in Vancouver; making new friends, carving pumpkins for the first time, being at one with myself. Although that year I had been wild throughout the Summer, Autumn was mine to actually work through my issues. Make do and mend.

I was lonely at times but it was a good kind of companionship; I fell in love with my own strengths, put my weaknesses to bed. I accepted that I would be the one to make my decisions now and I made good ones. I took risks, I trusted – and those decisions lead me here.

But Autumn is the whole package. Everything about it is magical; the change to the scenery, the low golden light and darker nights; it feels like home. It feels like my fresh start, my Spring.

This year I am looking forward to boots and scarves, early Pumpkin Spice lattes, cinnamon and blankets. I’m looking forward to the smell of the park as I walk around it, maybe even run. I’m looking forward to the crunch underneath my feet and to the gorgeous auburn leaves.

Hurry on up Autumn, I’m waiting for you.