Gambling on Ideas

lightbulb

keep on shining light!

A friend once remarked that she’s having trouble writing. Bogged for ideas? No, she said. Just the opposite. She has too many ideas she doesn’t know which one to write first. Well then, I said, why don’t you write each of the ideas down on a piece of paper, fold it, put it in a box then shake it, pull one paper out then write whatever is in that particular piece of paper. Aha! she said.

I don’t actually know whether she followed my advice, which is not mine sad to say, but is actually given to me by Michael, my high school teacher, when I was asking him for some teaching advice. I was asking about tips to enliven a class and this is one of a few that he suggested. (I wonder what he thinks, when the student he used to teach are now old enough to have students of her own) Then of course my writing class is pulled out before I can put it into practice but I have since adapted the idea box tip for other classes and it does liven up the classroom.

There’s nothing quite like playing god πŸ˜‰ when you got dozens of eyes looking at you knowing full well that their fate for that particular assignment rested on one of those tiny piece of paper in the box (or sometimes, a dry glass) that are currently being shuffled. Moments from now, your name/group/number is gonna be called and you are about to find if you’ve drawn winners or losers! Ah the shrieks and the groans that ensues. Haha! πŸ˜€

Of course, not a moment too soon the whining starts. Miiiisssss….. can I chaaaangeeee??? You know, I’m pretty sure that ‘miss’ is a one syllable word. Either the rule have changed or my kids became Southerners overnight. Oh and the answer is one giant NO.

I actually did make an idea box with my daughter. She needs to work on her penmanship and was rather bored with copying chunks of texts off her books. So why not kill two birds with one stone? Why not have her work on her handwriting and writing skills at the same time?

It’s rather fun, cutting up the paper, talking about possible topics then find just the perfect box to put it all in. It worked for, oh, probably a week? Last time I checked there are still a fair few folded papers in her box. Oh well. At least her handwriting is getting better.

Now I think I may do my own idea box so that I’ve no excuse when staring at a blank computer screen. How about you?

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Think this box is bog enough?

 

Visualising Word Relations

When I got a smart phone, one of the first apps I installed – after the all important games and chat programmes – is the dictionary app. Years of being an ESL student, I can’t shake the habit of having it close by. Even now I still have 4 dictionaries and 1 thesaurus on the shelve above my desk. So of course I just have to install it on my phone. It won’t be my phone otherwise πŸ˜‰

It’s very handy having a dictionary on your phone. Anytime I came across a new word I could just type it up and there you have it. Β I used to also install thesaurus, synonym game, etc but since my newest phone has less storage space than the old one I had to streamline and just have the one dictionary since it also has the synonym and antonym feature on it.

Now that I am venturing back towards blogging, I started looking words up on a new tab instead of on my phone and I noticed a new feature, particularly when looking up synonyms; word visualisation!

It started pretty normal, you type the word you’re looking, press enter and it’ll spew the answers. But, as a scroll down, it now gives a visual description how closely those other words are related to the one I’m looking at. Like this:

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This is so COOL!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s very geeky I know. but hey, I’m a student of words. I used to live and breathe words throughout my student years. I get excited to see these things πŸ˜€

Now, it is not the most fascinating thing you see? I wish they had this feature back then as it would definitely make these words easier to understand. But you know, you never stop learning even if you’re out of school and have been for a looong time like me. Better now than never eh?

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The Synonym dance notation

Changes and Challenges

Nothing jumps starts a new year like fresh new looks and challenges. After reading the handy-dandy report WordPress freely provided about our blogging year, it is sadly rather lacking. Apparently I only post 6. Yes, only 6 new stuff!!! What was I doing? On twitter mostly.

It is extremely easy to just flash off a sentence or two on twitter. So very easy. Although sometimes one found that one starts to write series of tweets since one’s thought on the matter is actually longer than a sentence (or two). And why am I insisting in writing in third person like this? Oh and I’ve been reading too. Crazy amount of time reading.

I got an iPad mini last year. Then I started discovering the bookstore and that there are free, FREE ebooks abound!!! Of course most of these free books were part of trilogies or more. So before I realise it, I started reading, and reading, and reading, and I’ve surpassed the challenge I set for myself on Goodreads! I set out to read 40 books and I think I read closer to 60. Some books were rather crap so I don’t bother putting it on the list. But then I also realised I’ve been feeling somewhat restless…

I’ve read and now it is time to create something. Since I’m not very good at arts and crafts, I’ll resort to writing. I’m no Rowling, but I don’t think my writing is too bad. I can craft words or two and what better way to start than giving myself a challenge?

The challenge actually one of those Facebook tag thingy but instead of the usual list of 10 things I like about Cats or something, you’re challenge to create a small works of art for friends who replied and forward the challenge too. Initially I wasn’t going to do it but then my friend assured me that writing does constitute a work or art. So I plunge forward, says I’m in and copy the status. It looks like this :

I,Β Sita Sidharta, hereby promise to make a small work of art for the first ten people who comment on this post and say “YES, I want in”. A ‘like’ alone is not enough of a commitment, nor is a comment about thinking Pay It Forward is a great idea.

You must in turn post this as your status update and make something for the first ten who comment on your status.

* The rules are simple: it has to be your work, made by you, and the recipient must receive it before 2014 ends… *

(Thanks toΒ Sara A Chaudhary)

Seems simple but to write 10 things for people you know puts it to another level – at least to someone who only manage 6 posts last year πŸ˜‰ So far only 5 friends is up for the challenge. It’ll probably stay that way since by tomorrow that post will be a goner, replaced by steady stream of updates from others. That’s ok. That’s still 5 piece of writing to think about. I’m excited about it actually πŸ˜€

As for the change, I change my blog theme again. This time I went for something more streamlined, less clutter. Sadly my cats don’t make an appearance despite the blog being called ‘Metro Kitmom’. I guess I’ll just have to post photos about them then. ha!

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Yep, those are the Bebels; Bella, Joyyo, and Lila, respectively.

Oh and feel free to take up the challenge. There are still 5 spots left so do leave a comment here and copy paste it onto your blog. I’ll write something for you. It may be a prose, a poem, flash fiction… I don’t know yet but I can promise it will come from the heart.

Have a good and productive year!

Changing Looks, Changing Directions

For whatever reasons I’ve been disconnected from myself for the last few months. I didn’t feel like writing anything. My commitment to write once-a-week slipped and completely gone towards the end of last year. Everytime I sat down to write something my mind wanders off and cleaning the house seems much more fun that writing. Bad bad case of mental block. Not sure why I got unmotivated like that.

I didn’t cancel my blog subscription though and while I was cleaning my inbox I notice their ever-present new themes notice. Intrigued, I click on one of them. Of course when you’re looking through themes you can’t just look at one, you just have to click on several, sent it to new tabs and pretty soon my screen is full of preview tabs. I poke through each one. Ping! Why not just change the theme? I like how my blog looks, it took me ages to find one that suits but it just seems so last year. The person who created that was this bubbly cheerful gal and now I feel darker, I just don’t feel like her right now.

Once I finally choose a theme – took me a good few days to settle upon one – I though of heck why not revamp it altogether? Why not have my cats grace the blog? After all it is called Metro Kitmom, time to put the kitties on display methinks! This of course requires editing some pics as in their original state itΒ is way too big. So I look for a free, legal, photo editing software – I don’t need much, just resizing and cropping – and poke through my library of Bebel’s Family photos and hey, I actually have an edited photo of all three cats together! This would be great for the background tile! I also toyed with the idea of having a photo header, but if I already use the cats as background I think header would be a bit overkill. In the end I just resized the Bebel Family photo and use that as tile background. Voila!

The tone is somewhat darker now. But strangely, it fits. Let’s hope this burst of enthusiasm will carry me through πŸ˜‰

Bebel Bella

Kitmom, don't be lazy, go write about me!