Wrapping up the week…

I thought I would do an overview of my first couple of weeks as a blogger.

One of my New Years resolutions was to attempt to write a daily blog…and I did not realise at that time just how hard it would be!  To commit to writing a daily blog demands a focus and determination and imagination that perhaps I just do not have.

Don’t get me wrong but I don’t think I did to bad, but did not manage to blog everyday and  it is one of my resolutions that I now formally amend to:  I will write a blog frequently!

Now in my blog on the 4th January I told you about our  lovely German Shepherd Mara, who had been very ill. After trying to force feed her, medicate her and mop up after her, I decided that what she deserved more than ever was a weekend where she was not forced to do anything, and during which we would shower her with as much love and affection as possible. This we did and to my amazement she actually ate food on the Friday and Saturday night. Our hopes were lifted momentarily but unfortunately on Sunday she deteriorated quickly and was euthanised on Monday evening. We were all heartbroken but knew it was for the best as she had been obviously suffering.

The subject of my My Get real peeps blog still divides the nation. Honestly, I do not have a problem with the Eastenders cot death storyline as I see it as just that. I know that some of my family and friends do have stronger issues with it and some perceive the problem being more to do with the subject matter than the actual portrayal of such. Others see the subject matter as a valid one that needs to be publicized but then have a problem with the way it was portrayed.  One thing I know for sure though is it is something that will trundle on and be discussed at work, in get togethers, on forums and in blogs…that is until the next big storyline comes along to upset a minority somewhere.

My next blog did something that I have never done before, and still feel a creeping anxiety for doing so… Chimera was a poem that I wrote a couple of years ago, but is the first time I have shared my poetry in such a public domain. Will I choose to share more…maybe!

Blogging does make you think about what you are writing and is not as easy as you might think it is. My blog about how Twitter  can hone your writing skills tried to demonstrate how wrtiting on such social networks can help you to attain better writing skills. One of my resolutions should have been “I will update my Twitter status at least daily”… it may have proved possibly a little more achievable!

The serious condition associated with anorexia and other eating disorders was one that I touched upon. I was truly horrified to discover the existence of pro-ana sites. Reading some of the posts written by pro-ana followers is disturbing to say the least but I am unsure as to what can be done if anything apart from ensuring that young people are educated about such disorders and are given positive body image reinforcement no matter what size or shape they may be.

Finally, A rose by any other name took a sneak look into the world of choosing baby names.

In a speech, Pope Benedict XVI urged parents to name their offspring in the Christian tradition, and bequeath “an unmistakable sign that the Holy Spirit will allow the person to blossom in the bosom of the Church”. In doing so, he has also  tapped into a growing public backlash against celebrities burdening their children with names such as Brooklyn, Peaches, Heavenly Hiraani and Princess Tiaamii. Parents must choose wisely and sensibly, as the resulting name can have far reaching and long lasting consequences for their child.

I finish this round up by offering 10 tips on this subject…

1. Whatever name you choose, it should have a positive connotation for you and its definition should be meaningful. A name is a strong first impression.

2. The first name’s rhythm should complement the last name. Remember to think about a middle name in the same way. Say the first, middle and last name several times to test the rhythm. Say the first name and last name together, too.

3. The initials should not spell anything undesirable. This goes for the two main initials, as well as all three initials. Winston Churchill (say no more!)

4. Check the pronunciation and spelling of the name. If you use an unusual pronunciation, your child will need to continually correct it. If the spelling is unusual, your child will have to correct that as well.

5. Be conscious of nicknames and variations. You may want to choose a name that can have nicknames and variations. This will enable the child to have more control of his/her name when older. The disadvantage is that childhood nicknames can linger on into adulthood and be embarrassing.

6. Think about what the name might be shortened to or what it might rhyme with.  A name that is easy to rhyme can make your child the target of playground jokes and ridicule. Bartholomew, for instance, one that the Pope may like. Very difficult to rhyme with anything but shorten it to Bart and … !

7. Practice the name and see how it sounds and feels. Try out the full name on family and friends. Check it out to make sure there is no history attached.

8.  The middle name provides an opportunity to use a family member’s name when it is not desirable as a first name but the same rules apply.

9. If you already have other children, think about all names as a collective.  Having a child called Thomas and then naming a second child Trixiebelle may be perceived as a bit odd.

10. Finally, don’t fall into the trap of calling your children little versions of yourself. Little David Jnr not only sounds very dated but also displays a complete lack of imagination.

Tweeting well and happy

If you haven’t joined the Twitter empire then you should. Why? Because not only will tweeting help you become a better writer so that your blogging is so much better but it will also make you and others happier…quite a claim!

1. Twitter limits your tendency to waffle
If you’ve ever used Twitter then you know that the key word is concise! You have to be concise, you have to know exactly what you want to say, and say it in as few words as possible. You have a maximum of 140 characters to spell out your key message. 140 characters – that’s it! If you are a keen blogger then you will know that 140 characters will not cover much and what’s more, all letters, numbers, symbols, punctuation and spaces all count as part of your character total. Writing short is hard…but is possible!

2. Twitter forces you to experiment with your vocabulary
Since you only have 140 characters to get your message across, you are forced to find new or alternative words to use. Words that are shorter, words that might be more descriptive, and words that get the job done in as few characters as possible.

3. Twitter forces you to improve your editing skills
Now as most of us will need to practice in order to be able to meet the 140 character limit it means that the writer will learn quick and effective ways of editing their work. Practice makes perfect and you will soon learn to tweet in a way that gets your point across in a way that inspires others to act on your tweet. You will reach the level where you will not have to ask for your posts to be ‘retweeted’, people just will!

4. Tweet your achievements however small
Tweeting about achievements and goals can help you feel good about yourself and help others by alerting them to your current situation and allowing then to support you through help or encouragement. Getting positive encouragement from your peers can be a great boost if you are trying to stick to new years resolutions or other goals that you might have set yourself. Your peers will feel good that they are able to give you this support and thus a circle of happiness. If like me you have managed a day without crisps or sweets then tweet it. Friends will then often tweet back with encouraging comments and even tips to help you with your challenge.

5. Twitter can make people happy
Use your tweets to share wisdom gained from your life’s experiences to benefit others. You might not know your audience personally but if you can reach others and help them to feel that they are not alone in whatever they may be experiencing. Not only might it help others but you will feel good knowing that there is someone out there is benefiting from something you’ve have experienced.

6. Tweet to share interests
Tweeting about current campaigns and interests that you might be involved in will help your peers have a greater understanding of the things that matter to you. Often other friends in your network may already share these interests but you may not know this. Once known, you both become happier as you have other common interests to discuss.

7. Tweeting just to relax
Tweeting when you’re stressed out and just in need of a rant is good as the character limit will not allow you to get into too much trouble. Remember though that tweets can be read by many and stay around for a long time so do think before you tweet.

I try to tweet daily, sometimes just once, often numerously. Using Twitter throughout my day helps me not only get my message across but also helps me keep up with what is going on in my world. Twitter needs little energy to be a great source of social networking. Unlike other social networking sites such as FB, I do not have to worry too much about the weird friend requests coming from strange men around the world who want to know if you have a web cam!