For today’s adventure, I got stuff done : not just any stuff, but the stuff I’d normally avoid like the plague!
Today I paid bills. Today I started work on my tax return (shocker, right?). Today I did some housework 🙂 .
My daily adventures seem to have conditioned action and momentum – and reduced resistance. I am so used to doing stuff on a daily basis, that ALL stuff – ANY stuff – gets done now. And I’m not resisting the stuff I usually don’t like doing. I’m just doing it.
Now, this is good. This is brilliant. This is going to take me places in 2015!
For my corporate work, and for some of my webinars, I have to create presentation slides. I normally use PowerPoint for this : it can often be time-consuming, and the results aren’t always that great!
Today I tried out a new on-line slide creation platform called Haiku Deck. The good news is that it’s free, fast and FUN. I managed to work out how to use the platform in minutes (it’s really intuitive) and created a very short presentation to show you the kind of thing you can create. You can check out my presentation here (it’s one of my haiku poems 🙂 ).
You can share your presentation via a private link (as I have today) ; you can share it on-line for the whole world to see; and you can download your presentation in both PDF and PowerPoint format. In the Powerpoint download, the Haiku Deck branding is less obtrusive than it is in some of the other formats.
So, today’s adventure was really worthwhile. I think it will save me a lot of time – and I think the slides are a little more captivating than the ones I’ve created in PowerPoint!
For today’s adventure, I took two versions of the Edinburgh handedness test. What’s interesting about this test, is that it does not seek to answer the question “Are you right or left-handed?” Rather, it seeks to answer the question “To what degree are you right or left-handed.”
The results from both tests show that I am a “mixed right-hander.” So, I have a preference for doing some things with my right hand, some with my left, and for some things I have no preference at all ~ but the lean is towards the right.
In the first version of the test , the scale ranged from -100 (completely left-handed, or complete left hand preference), to +100 (completely right-handed or right hand preference). For this test I scored a laterality index of 45 on the basic test and 43 on the augmented test, putting me in the middle decile. There was no interpretation key for this test, but the conclusion I drew was that I had a slightly expressed preference for the right hand, but had a fair degree of “mixed handedness” (I think that is the technical term!)
In the second version of the test , the scale ranged from +1 to -1, and I reported at +0.4 . This test does offer an interpretation of your results, and labelled my score as “mixed right-handedness.”
It is certainly true that I have a distinct preference for doing some things with my right hand and some with my left, I also know that there are some activities for which either hand is used without preference. I’m not exactly sure what conclusions I should draw from this test, or what my next line of enquiry should be. What I can say is this though : I’d never considered the degree of my handedness before taking these tests!
If you’re curious about your own degree of handedness, why not take the tests and let me know what you discover!
For today’s adventure, I tried my hand at postcard fiction : attempting to write a complete story that fits onto the back of a postcard. Sometimes short forms of fiction are also referred to as micro fiction or flash fiction. The rules for short forms of fiction vary, but I’m keeping it simple today and writing a short love story that fits onto a postcard-sized image 🙂 .
It’s a true story, and one of the characters is in the image on the postcard 🙂 .
For today’s adventure, I’ve entered my very first poetry competition!
I’ve selected 10 of my haiku for a haiku calendar competition. Entries are open to anyone , anywhere in the world, and a haiku will be selected for each calendar month.
Because my haiku adventure tracked the transition from Summer into Autumn, my entries are limited to the months of August, September and October.
This has been an exciting adventure – and an interesting one. I feel no sense of exposure or risk. I’m not worried about what the expert panel thinks of my haiku. Winning something isn’t even on my radar. Instead, I feel thrilled that an expert panel is actually going to read my collection of haiku! And, I feel a sense of connection to the haiku community too.
For today’s adventure, I try my hand at driving a Kawasaki 4010 mule. I keep to the traditional YouTube style for this kind of thing : a “walk ’round” to show off the key features of the vehicle, followed by an actual drive!
It was fun to see if I could pull off the walk ’round. It was even more fun driving it!
Today’s a busy day at work for me, but I still have had time to squeeze in a bit of adventuring! For my adventure today, I wondered if I might be able to work out how to create a video with a music trailer.
I created the music trailer image in Windows Movie Maker (I had to learn how to resize an image to make it a full-screen fit) and uploaded it to YouTube. Using YouTube’s video editor, I added music to the this video. I then recorded a second video and uploaded that to YouTube. Again, using the editing facility, I merged the 2 videos and held my breath to see whether the cross-fade function I’d selected for the image also worked with the sound files : turns out it does!
Whilst the result is a little rough and ready, I’m now looking forward to refining the technique 🙂
I’m sure you may have realised by now that I’m a bit of a haiku fan 🙂 . As part of the research for my book Seventeen Syllables ~ Cultivating Presence Through Poetry, I looked at the origins of the haiku form. What is now known as haiku was originally known as hokku, the first verse of a collaborative linked- verse poem called a renga.
The renga form has been around since the thirteenth century, and you can find out more about it here. In a nutshell, groups of poets works together to create a linked poem. The first stanza follows a 3-line 5-7-5 syllable format, just like the haiku. It also contains a kigo (season word) and a kireji (cutting word). The second stanza responds to the first stanza, but this time in a 2-line 7-7 syllable format. The renga then gets handed back to the first poet or handed on to the third who, again, works with what is offered in the second stanza but employs the structure of the first (7-5-7).
This sequence of 3-line and 2-line structures is then repeated until the poem is done!
I thought is would be fun to work with other poets to create a renga poem called “December” to capture the spirit of this month. As December will be the last month of my 365 Days Of Adventure project, it feels like collaborating with others might be a lovely way to end the year.
So, for today’s adventure, I’m launching The Big Renga Project and this is where you come in! I’m putting out a call for a crew of 23 poets to join me in creating a 25-verse renga. Whilst no previous poetry-writing experience is required to join the project, I’m looking for people who are
Up for learning about, and respecting, the renga form
Keen to collaborate and be part of a supportive, playful, creative community
Able to keep their commitments
Prepared to be responsive and present to the previous stanza
Respectful of the emergent spirit of the renga
Willing to record their stanza in video format (so I can create a film of the whole renga with all the poets involved)
The project will start on December the 1st and the final verse will be created on the 25th. I will create a private Facebook group to facilitate collaboration and information sharing. Each day during December, the poem will be updated so that people can see the renga grow.
If this sounds like this project could be for you, please drop me an email to email@example.com in the first instance. If you know of others who might enjoy being part of this collaborative venture, please feel free to share this information with them.
NOTE – it is not necessary for the poetry to be written in English. However, to support other poets, a translation into English will be required for a smooth stanza transition! For all non-English stanzas, subtitles will be required for the video 🙂 .
After the refreshing impact of my ginko walk yesterday, I’ve decided to take a short break from writing. It didn’t take me long to discover today’s adventure – it was actually waiting for me when I woke up!
When I checked my emails this morning, I could see a note from my from my friend, Caroline. The note contained one thing : a link to details about BBC Radio 4’s Listener Week . During Listener Week, there is an opportunity for listeners to share their own stories. I smiled when I read that 🙂 .
So for today’s adventure, I wrote an email to BBC Radio 4’s Womans Hour expressing an interest in sharing my 365 Days Of Adventure story. It felt really exciting to press the “Send” button. Although the automatic email reply that I received made it quite clear that the chances of my story getting shared may be minimal, the most important thing for me is that I sent the email to them in the first place. This is me getting on the pitch 🙂 . Who knows what might happen? ….
I know. I know. I know. What took me so long? Well, I have to admit that I’m pretty old-school when it comes to books : I love the smell of a real paper book, and I love the feel of turning the pages. I love opening and closing books : when they are opened, it feels like the contents come to life right in front of me ; when they are closed, it feels like I pressed the “pause” button and nothing can happen without me.
For me, a book is a living thing. When I read a book, I write over it. I talk to it. I listen to it. I have a relationship with it.
So, I never really got the appeal of Kindles – and I don’t own one. It turns out, however, that my laptop does have a Kindle app (I “tripped” over it a few months ago) but I never intended to use it. Until today!
Yesterday a book arrived in the post. It is brilliant. Totally brilliant. Unexpectedly brilliant. No-one recommended this book to me – it was another one of those stumbling things. I was looking for something to help me navigate the wilds of self-publishing, and I came across a book called The Easy Step-By-Step Guide For Self-Publishing Your Book In Print Using Create Space . When I dipped into the Create Space website to create an account, I made the terrible mistake of clicking on a few links. Those were deadly clicks leading me to all sorts of fora where people were getting het up about things I didn’t even know existed!
I have to admit that the whole process looked a little daunting, so I decided to reduce my fears by attempting to understand more about it. The book that arrived yesterday is spot on for what I need. It’s written in jargon-free language, the writer anticipates and answers questions ~ and he’s very reassuring. The book was so good that I decided to buy the Amazon Kindle Publishing Bookwritten by the same author, Jon Roetman.
And that’s where the Kindle adventure comes in : the book is only available in Kindle format. So, I did it! I bought a Kindle book 🙂 . It felt like magic when the book suddenly arrived on my laptop, but when I opened it I found it difficult to read. The words were where what I expected (and again, I’m super-pleased with my purchase) but my head doesn’t seem to like the format. I wonder if my brain will adapt to the Kindle format? (I’m definitely going to read it, so I’ll let you know how that plays out).
So, anyway – that’s me. I’m all set to complete my writing project. For the next week or so, I’m going to go to a writing retreat (in my own office 😛 ). I got so much out of my summer “Big Distraction Project“, that I’m taking a break from social media AND blogging in order to immerse myself in the author experience. I’ll still be recording daily video-blogs but I won’t post them until I come out of retreat. All the vlogs will be edited into one film and I’ll include that film in my next blog post which will be at the end of my retreat.