Archive for the 'Just a Thought' Category

Just a thought – about the words we use

I was watching television a few days ago when something the news reader said made me stop and think. Dangerous action I know – but someone’s gotta do it.

It was a short break in the programme where they give a news update – just the headlines. It’s a teaser, designed to make you keep watching until the full news broadcast commences. The news reader said something like: “See you at six.”

No you won’t.

My television set is reasonably good, but nowhere is there a camera embedded enabling the news reader to actually “see” me. At least, I hope there isn’t one (not that I ever sit in front of the television in an undressed state, mind you). I will be seeing the news readers but they will not be seeing me. So why do they say it?? It does not make sense.

How are you?

I’m not sure what the habit is in other countries, but here in Australia in the last decade, the common phrase most people use when the see you is, “How are you?” For most people this is their opening gambit – a bit like their brain is saying, “Ooops, here is a person I really should take time to talk to, but I don’t know what to say.” It’s almost like their brain has gone into meltdown mode. It annoys the heck out of me.

About a decade ago the editor of our church newsletter wrote these incredible words: “”How are you” is a greeting, not an inquiry about your state of health.” What a silly thing to say. How can it possibly be a greeting? Beats the heck out of me, yet so many people do it.

What is wrong with saying “Good to see you”? And what about “Isn’t it a lovely/lousy/ horrible/spectacular day”? You could always start by saying, “It’s been so long since we’ve spoken.” Or if that is not the case you could always smirk and say, “We must stop meeting like this. People will begin to talk about us.”

This particular greeting has reached almost epidemic proportions on talk-back radio here in Australia. I’d say that at least 90% of callers start off by saying to the host, “How are you?” If they had been listening to the host they would most likely have heard the answer at least a hundred times already. Aaaaah!

See ya later

Just to show that I am not immune to this verbal diarrhoea, last week I caught myself using another meaningless phrase. I must admit I use it far too often. I was on my courier rounds (as a relief driver) and I caught myself saying as I left each business – not once, but many times – “See ya later.”

No I won’t. Chances are I’ll never see some of those people ever again. So why do I say it?

Beats the heck out of me.

Talk to you soon.

In the meantime – good writing – and watch what you say (and write).

Further reading

Just a thought – about talent and writers

“The most exciting place to discover talent – is in yourself.” Ashleigh Brilliant

Truly great writers have a gift.

Gifted writers are a rare breed. Each generation sees only a handful of really gifted writers emerge.

What about the rest of us who call ourselves “writers”? What about those of us who must write, no matter what? What about those of us who are addicted to this writing life, where no day is really satisfying unless some writing has occurred?

Many writers have what I would call a talent for writing. That, they can string words together in an interesting and entertaining way. Many are able to make us laugh, or cry, or enrage us with their words. Others can stir us to action or inspire us to change our ways. All of these writers have talent, an ability to get the words down in a coherent way. They have learned how to communicate with their readers.

Effective communication through writing can be taught. It can be developed through effective teaching and hard work on the part of the writer. Plenty of guidance and practice can sharpen the talent even further.

Good writing.

Just a thought – about dreams

There is only one sure method of turning dreams into reality; it’s by a process called “waking up.” Ashleigh Brilliant.

Do you have a dream about your writing?

That’s good. Dreams are good. Translating those dreams into concrete goals is even better. Achieving those goals is the best. Turning those dreams into reality is exciting and very rewarding. To do that, however, we need to “wake up” and get on with the task.

Dedicate your waking hours to achieving your writing dreams and turning them into reality. Otherwise, your writing dreams remain just that – dreams.

Dream deeply then wake up – and good writing.

Just a thought – about cups and words

“We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.”

~ Ray Bradbury

I’ve never thought of myself as a cup.

Until now.

Life is constantly filling us with experiences, images, ideas, thoughts, emotions and a constant barrage of words, spoken and written. From that amazing hotchpotch stew can come “the beautiful stuff” that can inspire, amuse, instruct, entertain and even bring tears to the eyes of the reader.

What a wonderful privilege to be a writer.

And what an awesome challenge for the writer serious about the craft.

Good writing.


Just a thought – about this amazing world

“How can any wise, intelligent person not be amazed by the world?” Ashleigh Brilliant.

I agree with Ashleigh.

Despite all that is wrong and terrible and distasteful and even evil about the people in the world, the planet itself is truly wonderful, amazing, brilliant, astounding, beautiful…. I think you get the picture.

Ama Dablam, Nepal

Ama Dablam, Nepal

The beauty that surrounds us on a daily basis should make us stop and let it catch our breath. I have the delight to be living in an area where we have an abundance of birds that are resident in our garden. You can read more about them on Trevor’s Birding.

I also love taking photos of them. You can see more of my photos on my photo gallery here.

Red Capped Robin

Red Capped Robin

In recent times I have discovered an interest in growing orchids. Over the last three weeks one of my orchids has been flowering, so I’ve had the container gracing my office. It is so delicate and beautiful it often distracted me from my writing.

Orchid flowers

Orchid flowers

These are just a few of the ways I appreciate this beautiful world in which we live.

What in the world amazes you?