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OUP “Word of the Year”

Oxford University Press (OUP) has announced its ‘Oxford Word of the Year 2019’ and  ‘Climate Emergency.’ It was also no surprise to see the short list for the entire year was full of references to ‘Climate‘.

climate emergency

‘Climate Emergency’ saw an increase of 10,796% year on year increase in 2019. Others from the short list with high year on year increases include “Climate Action”  with 266%, “Climate Crisis” with 2,510% “Global Heating” with 18,358% “Eco-Anxiety” with 4,291% and “Ecocide” having an increase of 681%. There are other words too ‘Climate Denial’, ‘Eco-anxiety’, ‘Flight Shame’ and even ‘Extinction’.

2019 has seen a huge increase in awareness of climate change and the issues we, as the human race, and also wildlife are facing. As well as the most highly visible, older action groups such as GreenpeaceCeres and the WWF 2019 has seen the rise of the new kids on the block – Extinction Rebellion (Belated Happy 1st Birthday wishes), and activists such as @Greta Thunberg raising the awareness of the views of the youngest of the generations.

The Climate Emergency is swiftly moving at a pace where we will not, as a race, be able to reverse the damage which has been done in the decades preceding the current one. The next decade will see climate and ecological disruption at catastrophic levels and this will be as a result of ongoing Biodiversity Loss, Extreme Weather Events, Desertification, Crop Failure, Water Shortages, Rising Sea Levels and Wildfires.

These will in turn lead to disease, the displacement of millions of people, the increased risk of conflicts and wars and thus, have a major impact on the human rights of everyone affected by these negative events.

 

For a look at the full article on the Word of the Year and the shortlist check out the OUP website here.

For full up to date information on the Climate Emergency check out the Extinction Rebellion website here.

xtr

 

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I’ve Been Nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award

I arrived back to Nattinatters HQ today to find my blog has been nominated for the ‘Sunshine Blogger Award’ by a writer whose writing and blog I greatly admire. PeterWynMosey’s short stories and daily writing challenges set by other bloggers and writers are of a very high standard which makes me wonder why he follows me and has nominated me for the award as I feel I still have a long way to go before my writing reaches his standard. Thank you Peter for nominating me regardless 🙂

To accept the nomination I have to

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog 
  • List the rules and display an award logo on blog post.
  • Answer the 11 questions
  • Nominate 11 new blogs.
  • Ask nominees 11 new questions
  • List the rules and display an award logo on blog post.
  • Answer the 11 questions
  • Nominate 11 new blogs.
  • Ask nominees 11 new questions

 

sunshine-blogger-award

 

MY ANSWERS TO PETER’S QUESTIONS

What is your favourite song, and when did you first hear it?

I have 2 and I wrote a blog post about favourite songs/lyrics not too long ago. Here’s a link to that post.

If you became the leader of the country that you live, what would be the first thing that you would change? 

There’s so much going on with this country right now (the United Kingdom). I’ve lost all faith in the politicians who are supposed to be running this country and are making a total hash of it. I have a list as long as my arm of things I’d love to change so things work in a more organised way and in a way the country can afford, but for me right at this minute whilst it should be to get Brexit done I would rather go to sleep at night knowing there are no UK residents without food, clothing or a safe and warm home. ( I personally voted to remain in the EU as I have a strong sense of ‘one world, one family)’. Whilst some may consider this a naive attitude, it’s really the only way humans will continue to thrive on this Earth. There cannot be any self-centredness. We are a race which is consuming at an alarming rate which is just not sustainable.

There is an uneven distribution of wealth and resources. I agree that those who are millionaires, billionaires, etc., may have worked hard to achieve their status and position, however, when exactly will they spend their millions and billions? Whilst there are people in abject poverty, and I include the disabled, children and families in the UK within this, there should be a corporate consortium or community alliance (or both) which will replace school breakfast clubs, food banks and other charities currently helping homeless, hungry or deprived children and families, and the disabled who are unable to work, with adequate housing, clothing and foods so no one should have to go without their very basic needs catered for. This is the 21st Century not the Victorian era of Oliver Twist’s “Please Sir, I want some more?” No thank you UK, get it sorted.

What is one item of clothing that you own that you would not want to part with?

I have a women’s Grey, round neck Waistcoat which I bought hurriedly when I saw it in a sale at Dotty P’s (Dorothy Perkins) several years ago. There are so many pictures of me throughout the years wearing it and I have no plans to throw it away yet. The thing which is great about it is that even if I am wearing a t-shirt under it I still look smart, plus it means I can wear one of my many vintage or funky brooches – right now it has a very large hand-knitted poppy because here in the UK it is Armistice Day.

How many countries have you ever visited?

I think seven. I went to France, Belgium and Holland on a school trip, Spain (Balearic Islands) in my very early twenties, the U.S.A (Philadelphia and New York; Upstate and NY,NY), Canada (Niagara Falls is best seen from the Canadian side), then Spain (Mallorca twice), Spain (Tenerife) and this Summer Spain, Italy and France as we did a cruise around the Mediterranean.

Books or e-readers?

Both. There is nothing which could replace the smell of new ink on new paper. Walking in to a book store instantly relaxes me as I feel at home, however I do love my Kindle. I have so many classics on there as well as contemporary and literary fiction and if I am going on a long journey I will take it with me as it’s not as thick or heavy as 2 thick paperbacks in the suitcase or hand luggage.

What is your favourite movie? Why?

I’m struggling to come up with just one favourite movie. If I had to strictly pick one it’d be Forrest Gump. It’s a clever premise, a man with lower than average intelligence who re-tells his life experiences during some of the most important events in the late twentieth century history of the United States of America. I find the story moving and funny but also feel it shows the best side of human nature. The clever editing-in of Forrest into these events is amusing too. Tom Hanks is my favourite actor so that’s a huge bonus for me too as I’ll watch pretty much anything with him in.

When and where do you do most of your writing?

I used to sit in the living room, either on the sofa with my laptop, in front of the telly, or at the dinner table, but hubby built me a writing and sewing studio so I’m over there most of the time now.

What has been a job that you have had that you have liked the least?

I worked in administration for a Government department. My original line manager was a bully, plus I found the work very boring and repetitive; it was like a conveyor belt; one finished, on to the next one, same processes, done, onto the next one…yawn. I just couldn’t handle it so I took a career break and finally (at 34) had the opportunity to go to University to study English Language (Linguistics). In order to start the degree I had to resign my position. It was such a hard decision (not!)

What does your morning ritual look like?

I wake up, hubby does coffee and breakfast for the cat then for both of us; I have a glass of almond milk and a small pot of nuts; with the change in the weather I think I’m going to start having the milk warmed. I then shower, dress, and depending on if I have any appointments will either do my hair or not or put on make-up or not; usually when I’m in my studio all day writing I don’t bother with either; my hair goes back in a band so it’s out of my face and I stick my glasses on.

Do you often remember your dreams when you wake up?

Yes, quite often as most of them are on the weird side.

What would be one piece of advice you would give to someone starting a blog?

Try to read every day and write every day. I’ve not been doing this too long and it’s so easy for life to get in the way. Read other blogs, like, comment and network to build your following as well as other bloggers as they’ll be grateful for every single one.

MY NOMINATIONS

blankpagesofmine

Roxi St Clair

Refresh Her

All Things Tudor

Wandering Ambivert

To Write Or Not To Write and What To Write

You Are Enough

A Real Lady Drinks Whiskey

The Alchemist’s Studio

Fictive Dream

Soul Writing Project

MY 11 QUESTIONS TO MY NOMINEES

  1. If you could close your eyes, wish to be anywhere, and when you opened your eyes, be there, where would that place be? Why?
  2. Thoughts on the plastics polluting our oceans and ideas for resolution?
  3. Who was your favourite teacher in secondary school (UK) high school (U.S) and why?
  4. How would you politely end a conversation with a person who won’t stop talking?
  5. Have you ever eaten food past it’s ‘Sell By’ or ‘Use By’ date?
  6. What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done?
  7. If you could ask your pet 3 questions what would you ask them? If you don’t have a pet, ask a farm or a wild animal instead.
  8. It’s the start of a Zombie Apocalypse. You can only take the first 5 things you touch with any part of your body. What will they be?
  9. What is your favourite book? Why?
  10. You’re told you are going to cook for 4 celebrities. What will you cook and for who?
  11. Charles Dickens or Charlotte Bronte?

Well, that’s my nomination accepted, thanks again Peter 🙂

sunshine-blogger high quality

 

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Back with a…little bang…?

Hey! I went again didn’t I? I had a slight blip and fell in to a little bit of a dark hole. I then realised my plans to be fully prepped for the start of Nanowrimo 2019 on 1st November were slipping but I managed to semi sort my head out and wrote well at the start, however my son and his girlfriend came to visit for a few days and all research and writing went out of the window. As we’d not seen them for 8-9 months I wanted to be fully present.

I’d organised a surprise bonfire and sparklers for the 6th and cooked baked tatties, bangers and beans. On 7th we went to a photography studio for a 1 hour session of a mix of casual and smart shots. As we’d had no portrait sittings since late Summer 2005 it was great to know we’d have a new collection. The reason behind my wish for new pictures is because since my older sister had a major stroke a week before her 50th birthday this May, and with my 50th next Summer, I’ve become more aware of my own mortality and I’d want there to be recent pictures of us all together. I lost my Dad in 2005 and the only picture I could find of him with me was on my wedding day 12 1/2 years earlier. I’d asked for shots of Hubby and I, Hubby and I with our son, both individually and with both of us, and then some shots with his girlfriend included. They then had a few of them on their own. I am so excited and cannot wait to see the results when the photographer sends me a sneak preview and then posts me the disc with the rest on. Janine was fantastic with all of us. We were all feeling more than a bit awkward but she’s very bright and cheerful and got us all laughing and we all really enjoyed ourselves. Here’s a link to her Fleet Photographics Facebook Page. While we were back in Cambridgeshire we visited an old friend (she’s not old, I’ve just known her since she was 4!). We didn’t get back to Norfolk until late.

Nat and Gary

On Friday we all had a chilled day. I spent the time reading the pile of research books I have to help my Nano project along; I’m striving for authenticity and I’m hoping having researched my subject that it’ll show.

On Saturday it was hubby’s birthday and we celebrated with a trip to the cinema to see ‘Joker’ and then went to an American-style diner ‘Fatso’s’. I wasn’t sure about ‘Joker’. I’ve never seen ‘The Dark Knight’ where Heath Ledger portrays, what so many people insist is the best Joker characterisation ever and wondered if I should wait until after watching The Dark Knight before seeing ‘Joker’. As hubby wanted to see it while it was still in the cinemas we all went to see that. I have to say Joaquin Phoenix’ is fantastic as Joker and blew me away! If he doesn’t get at least an Oscar nomination there is something very wrong with those nominating.

So my sunshine left Norfolk 5 hours ago and after a grocery shop I’m here to let you all know I am HERE! I am BACK and I’m going to be hitting Nano full throttle. As I set myself the challenge of writing 60K words in place of the usual 50K (yes I am as mad as that seems) my daily word count should be around 2,300 – 3,000 words per day…Until next time! NN 🙂

 

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Daily Writing Meme

I found this and it’s hugely inspirational, especially as tomorrow is the beginning of #NaNoWriMo. For us fiction writers, I’d guess the majority know that #NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month, but I discovered the other day there are a few people who do not know. The briefest explanation is it is a commitment/challenge for writers to complete a 50,000 word novel draft. There are non-fiction writers who do use the site now to give them a target to work towards.

The hardest thing when I write is to go without editing as I go. It’s something I’ve always done – which is why I’ve probably never had a book published as it’s just never good enough and I think if left alone I’d continue editing until I edit the story out of the story!

Anyway, for all you writers out there; Pantsers,Planners or Plantsers, who are committing to the 30 days of writing Good Luck! See you on the other side! Until next time! NN 🙂

 

Write

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Word of the Day #27

Today’s Word is ‘Irrational’ and today’s dictionary is Lexico.com

irrational

ADJECTIVE

Not logical or reasonable.

‘irrational feelings of hostility’
1.Not endowed with the power of reason.
‘Whenever you encounter a system that seems so irrational, you should ponder what’s going on beneath the surface.’
‘Man is an irrational being, morals are irrational, and have no metaphysical foundation which make them “real” or worth paying any attention to.’

 

2.Mathematics
(of a number, quantity, or expression) not expressible as a ratio of two integers, and having an infinite and non-recurring expansion when expressed as a decimal. Examples of irrational numbers are the number π and the square root of 2.

NOUN

Mathematics

  • An irrational number or quantity; a surd.

Origin

Late Middle English from Latin irrationalis, from in- ‘not’ + rationalis (see rational).

Pronunciation

irrational

/ɪˈraʃ(ə)n(ə)l/

SYNONYMS
unreasonable, illogical, groundless, baseless, unfounded, unjustifiable, unsound
absurd, ridiculous, ludicrous, silly, foolish, senseless, nonsensical, laughable, idiotic, stupid, wild
untenable, implausible, unscientific, arbitrary
informal crazy, mad
British informal barmy, daft
North American informal backasswards
ANTONYMS

rational, logical

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Word of the Day #26

Today’s word is ‘Kalopsia’ and today’s dictionary is Your Dictionary

kalopsia

kalopsia

Noun(uncountable)

The delusion of things being more beautiful than they are.

‘China can bring on serious bouts of kalopsia in otherwise intelligent observers’ – The Times, April 24 2006
[kal-op–see–uh]

-noun. a condition, state or delusion in which things appear more beautiful than they really are. As a combination of the Greek roots kallos, meaning beauty, and opsis, meaning sight (or opos, meaning eyes), in English kalopsia can also mean beautiful sight or with beautiful eyes

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Word of the Day #25

Today’s word of the day is ‘Extirpate’ and today’s dictionary is the Oxford Concise English Dictionary. For the full definitions from the OED please see below. The alternative words we would use in modern society for extirpate are obliterate, annihilate and expunge.

extirpate 1

extirpatev.

Frequency (in current use):  
Etymology: < Latin ex(s)tirpāt- participial stem of ex(s)tirpāre , < ex- (see ex- prefix1) + stirps stem or stock of a tree. Compare extirp v.(Show Less)
1. transitive. To clear of stumps. In quot. 1548 figurativeObsolete.
1548   Hall’s Vnion: Henry VII f. iiii   He might wede, extirpate, and purdge the myndes of men.

(Hide quotations)

 2.

 a. To pull or pluck up by the roots; to root up, destroy, or remove root and branch (a tree, plant).

b. transferred.
c1666   in Murray Lincolnshire (1890) 24   The old Church..having been ‘extirpated by a hurricane’ in 1666.

3.

 a. To root out, exterminate, or totally destroy (a class, sect, or nation); to kill off, and render extinct (a species of animals or plants). Const. out offrom.

 b. In weaker sense: To do away with, render extinct as such (a specified class of persons); to root out utterly, break up (a gang of thieves). Formerly also, †to drive out, clear away (persons) from a locality, etc.

 extirpateadj.

Etymology: < Latin ex(s)tirpātus, past participle of ex(s)tirpāre : used as past participle of extirpate v.)

Obsolete.

As past participle: rooted out, destroyed utterly, rendered extinct.

extirpate 2

 

 

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Word of the Day #24

Today’s word is ‘Gossamer’ and today’s dictionary is Dictionary.com

noun

adjective

Also gos·sa·mer·y  [gosuh-muh-ree] gos·sa·mered. of or like gossamer; thin and light.
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Creative Writing Challenge – Begin with “I thought I saw…”

I thought I saw Elvis Presley in the reading corner of my local library this morning. Of course it wasn’t ‘The King’ as he died in 1977. I was only a kid and I cried – Mum said that I was a fan even as a baby.

Why would Elvis even be in the local library? We’re thousands of miles away from the U.S here, and Memphis, or Graceland. He was wearing Black drainpipe trousers and an open-necked shirt; looking like he did in his heyday, so either he followed a fantastic diet and had a whole range of plastic surgery done or he’s dead as no one should look that great at 84. Although, it is great what surgeons can do these days.

The thing is I also saw Prince. He was wearing a beautiful shiny Purple jacket with a very high collar. I was surprised by how short he was. I mean I knew he was short as heard it on the telly but when I saw him he was even shorter than I’d imagined. I’m sure he was wearing boots with platform heels too – at least 4- or 5- inch heels. The boots were Purple too. He definitely has, or had a Purple fetish – a bit like me with turquoise. I’ll search anywhere for a gorgeous turquoise dress. Anyway, I digress. Prince was entering the library as I left. I wondered what the **** was going on. I wonder whether he was going to meet Elvis for a chinwag or just for some peace and quiet. Maybe he was returning books, although he didn’t have a bag with him. I didn’t spot any book-shaped bulges anywhere either.

I think I must be hallucinating, or maybe I have a brain tumour pressing on my neocortex or thalamus (the parts of my brain which work the imagination). Maybe a little bubble of a tumour took root somewhere and grew and grew until it made me see dead legends. I’m not sure I’ll mind that.

Oh, and I nearly forgot. David Bowie was in the local Co-op. I tried to have a nose at what he had his in basket but he turned away before I could see. Thankfully he wasn’t looking ill anymore, or that old really. I loved him in all his guises but thought he was really hot in the 1980s when he released Blue Jean, China Girl, Let’s Dance, etc I’d have loved to have been able to stand in front of him long enough to see his different coloured eyes. I wonder if the kids he went to school at took the p*** out of him for that. I have dark brown eyes which have been described as pools of melted chocolate. I guess the only way to have taken the p out of them would have been for them to be called piles of dog sh*t instead. I’ll have to ask Emma next time I see her. She was my friend all the way through school and I know she’d tell me if I ask.

Thankfully, I made it home without seeing any other dead legends. As I unlocked the front door and went through it I called out a ‘Hi’ to my hubby.

‘You’ll never guess who I saw in the library!’

Walking along the hallway I could hear him talking to someone and oddly he’d ignored my call. I walked in to the lounge and there he was sat having a cuppa and biscuits with Pete Burns. I’m off to book a brain scan.

Creative Writing Featured Image via BBC.co.uk
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A Snippet 2

Today’s snippet is a piece I worked on so long ago. It was before my Dad died back in 2005. I’d sat with him and talked at length about what he remembered from his time in Germany during the war. He was a very young child, but remembered using his Aunt and Uncle’s cellar when the bombers came and also playing with other children in the ruins of Berlin. I wanted to write his life story but it just never happened, despite my attempts since his death to write a fictional piece based on his life. This is the beginning of what was going to be the story.

chandler-cruttenden-c55NHPguULU-unsplash
Image by Chandler Cruttenden via unsplash.com

Horst heard and felt the impact of the bombs as they hit their targets.  He looked at his beloved Letta and wondered how much longer they could continue to live this way; never sure if the cold, dank cellar which served as their bunker would be the last thing they would see, smell and know.  Letta smiled nervously at him as the ground around them shuddered as if with mutual fear, then a brief respite where everything seemed to sigh before the onslaught began again and once more they were resigned to the unknown.

There was a distressed gasp from the pile that up to now had been a sleeping youth.  As he woke Kurt felt not just terror but sickness for this ongoing, repetitive confinement. The weight of  their subdued atmosphere pressed in then draped, like an invisible curtain, over their lives day after day as they again heard overhead the bombers arrive with their relentless, punishing consignment to be dropped before disappearing into the darkness. He felt sure they must have families; daughters and sons, brothers and sisters, mothers, fathers, lovers waiting for them to return and he wanted to run up the stairs, out onto the street and scream at the bombers to return home to their families.

Anna was desperate for the war to end.  She hated to see the uncertainty etched onto the faces of her sister and brother in law as they tried to cling on to their morale for her and her sons Kurt and Gerhard.  She was the youngest of seven and Letta was the eldest.  Fourteen years separated their births and sometimes Letta was more like a mother than a sister.  Her Horst was a proud man but desperation was slowly seeping into them all; the change gradual and unremarkable but still managing to penetrate the resolve of the strongest men, women or children among them. Horst’s resolve was no different; unhappy at not being able to provide a certain and safe future for his immediate or extended family. Anna had noticed the changes recently; his shoulders drooping where once they’d seemed wide enough to comfort everyone, especially the grieving.

Whispered rumours of the allied progress seemed to ride on the backs of the virulent swarms of flies emulating the incoming squadrons with their vigour and readiness to destroy the remains of what was left.  The gradual destruction and decay of their beautiful Berlin over the previous five years progressively increasing their feelings of uncertainty. This was despite the Führer’s declaration at the start of that year that the sorrow and hardships were worth it. The Führer’s plans to decimate all cities across the continent had not yet come to fruition and the people of his adopted country knew that the war was nearly over.  They knew he did not have the power to win against the force being directed at him.  They knew if they could hold on long enough they may be free; able to see another day, and that their time of living under this heavy oppression would be relieved, despite their fears and doubts for what the future held.

I’d love to hear what you think to this piece and the history surrounding it. Until next time! NN 🙂

 

 

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A Snippet

I have so many folders on my PC, full of short pieces of writing I’ve done as and when inspiration has struck. I guess it’s my new version of a writer’s notebook – although I have a pile of those – hubby usually steers me away from the stationary aisles in every shop I go in so I don’t buy anymore!

                                                               This piece I’m sharing was on a day where I was having a Fibromyalgia flare up. The pain is indescribable. This short (very short) piece was me striving to get something down so that others may be able to understand what I go through on those days – and it is days, not just an hour, or two, or three but days. Usually it’s between 3 and 5 days before it settles again and it’s so exhausting I can’t do anything other than dose-up on strong painkillers and loosely exist until it’s over.

Pain
Image by Aarón Blanco Tejedor via unsplash.com

Nerves

The sharp pain was travelling like a bullet train, spreading the agony as if a ripple of nuclear energy or water ripples across a once warm lake and agonising icy shards attacking every nerve.

There was nothing peaceful, enjoyable about the fizzing, the burning of PAIN.

Where was the joy of the gentle touch, the goosebumps as the skin shivered in response to feather-light caresses, nerves tingling in joy? Gone.