I revised my opinion of earlier! This was to save myself the agony of whether to part with beloved books or not. However, I don't like EVERY book in my possession...looking for a particular title today I opened a cupboard at the bottom of the bedroom bookcase (yes we have a bookcase in the bedroom!) and came upon a stack of books in there, which I haven't examined in years maybe.
Two chick-lit novels, one of which I threw in the recycling cos of a porny scene, the other going to Goodwill.
A Mary Higgins Clark mystery (I know who did it, don't I?)
A few how-to-make-money-from-writing books from the same period, now obsolete, as being before the Tech Age; in any case I kept my Day-Job and am now retired and receiving a pension. For 40 years I longed to write for a living because I didn't want to go out to work. Issue resolved.
A book I kept was: 'Organising for the Creative Person.' Published in 1993, a note tells me the date I read it - I was engaged (how did I find the time?). I remember those months as happy but frantic! Maybe I thought it would help me then!
I wonder if it's worth reading again.
Another book I kept was Molly Keane's novel 'Taking Chances' first published 1929. I read it before but all I remember of it is someone who doesn't like the Hunt and who ate an orange before going to bed, which is acidic.
Worth another read. As is the novel by Robindranath Tagore, 'The Home and the World'
When am I going to read these? They're now cluttering up my bookcase instead of being hidden away!
Am I not too attached to my books? Is there a spiritual issue here?
A TRIP TO IMPERIAL CHINA
I can't sleep these nights. I'm getting exercise, and fresh air, so what's stopping me?
It's a Drama I found on Amazon.com called 'Empresses of the Palace'.
It's very complelling and I'm hooked, it's very involved and has numerous characters and plots and subplots, plenty to keep wondering about. (but thankfully I have watched all 6 Episodes now).
This came out in China as 'the Legend of Zuan Huan' with a whopping 76 episodes! It was a huge success. The International version is only 6 episodes and subtitled. The latter are done very well, no grammatical errors or odd phrases.
It's about three girls who enter the palace of the Emperor in 1700's China as concubines. (This would be before the British discovered opium and tea and the riches to be plundered from the East). The story centers on Zuan Huan (everybody seems to change names several times, very confusing), an intelligent, discerning girl who wants the best for everybody but who finds she must protect herself from other concubines. There's a lot of jealousy, plotting, scheming. Even of her two friends, one deserts her. The Palace doctor is in love with Zuan Huan, as is the brother of the Emperor.
The score is beautiful, the costumes also. Headdresses very elaborate. And what is that long item like a cylinder they wear on their fingers?
Very involved and not easy to keep up with it. So that's my Head Clutter. That's why I couldn't sleep. Also probably staring at a screen isn't that good for your brain. I spent ages last night wondering who the mother of the Fourth Prince was - how could I have missed it? It turns out that the Fourth Prince was fathered by a lowly palace maid and I don't know if she's even in the Series.
I'm so glad Hollywood didn't get their hands on this. They would have ruined it. China closed the bedroom door (or curtain) and though horribly cruel punishments were decreed and alluded to - one never saw them. I really appreciated that. I'll never forget what HBO did to 'Rome' some years ago. It was a good historical drama ruined by nudity, vulgarity, graphic sex and violence, I gave up on it.
'Ruyi's Royal Love in the Palace' is a sequel - dare I?
Empresses in the Palace
Catholics understand that we have to go to Reconciliation every so often, cos those sins they pile up! We need the Grace that comes from confessing and being granted Absolution.
In recent years I've taken this Sacrament more seriously and put more thought into it beforehand. Because I have a little anxiety about becoming tongue-tied, or because my memory isn't as sharp as it was before, I began to write down my sins and faults and struggles on a piece of paper.
I didn't realise at first how good this is! It's very private of course, and I always destroy it afterwards. Now, here's the great bit!
Instead of tearing it up and throwing it away, I often hold it under running water. Then I see my sins dissolve - go - they aren't there anymore - they don't exist!
What began as a memory aid has turned into a powerful spiritual gesture, my sins washed away in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
I went to Confession today. It's good to get the soul cleared of all that accumulated clutter.
The image is from Healthycatholics.com which I came by today. if you're anxious about Reconciliation, it's a great read.
I hope it's not the sin of theft to 'take' the image, after I have been to Confession (!) but no, it's in a good cause and I'm not making money from it...
Where does all the paper come from?
All I know is, it piles up and up. Some years ago I persuaded my husband to buy a shredder, and he did - one supposed to be suitable for home use. I think I used it about twice. It's too slow! Heats up and then you have to stop and wait for it to cool. I understand many do this.
It's much easier to shred only that part of the document that refers to our personal information, and just toss the rest into the regular recycling.
What's the point of shredding an entire document when my identifying information is only on the first page, so much easier to tear it off, and tear or cut it into tiny pieces - quicker too.
It can be a boring job so I often listen to a documentary on YouTube or something.
I was the only car at the Recycling Center, it took all of 5 minutes to drop several bags in.
Only a con-artist should have several aliases. I find myself with Three Names on Amazon, which makes my Author Page unworkable.
Here's why - let me go back to 1956, when my legal name was entered into the birth register as Mary (a hangover from British Colonial days no doubt) and my parents decided I should be 'Máire' (Mara) the Gaeilge for Mary.
So - I move to the USA in 1995, and Mary is on all my personal papers.
I published my first book in the 2012, under the name 'Máire Flannery' because I identify as Máire, to use a modern phrase.
But Máire causes all kinds of problems in the English-speaking world outside of Ireland. It becomes Marie. Or - people understandably pronounce it 'Mare'. Which I do not like. I don't identify as a Mare! People also pronouce it Maury, like the TV personality Maury Povich. Not to keen on that either. Also it's a bother to enter the accent every time I write it, like now.
Back to Mary I went.
My next book was under Mary T Flannery.
My next, evidently forgetting the above, was Mary Flannery.
So when setting up my Author Page on Amazon, I enter the name Mary Flannery, only ONE book shows up.
So I have to decide on one version of my name and stick with that!
I used to dream of a Pen Name but that's too troublesome when filling out Tax Forms etc. Not that my income from writing brings me in anything...it's a hobby.
There is another writer named Mary Flannery, and then there's Mary Flannery O'Connor, the famous Southern writer, who I should admire (everybody tells me) but her stories only depress me.
I thought fleetingly of changing my name by deed poll to Mary Mara Flannery. It has a nice ring to it, and nobody can mispronounce it! It's not worth the trouble. And putting that on book covers would take up too much space, believe me, this is relevant.
I have to go back and alter my author name on the cover of 'Melody in Tea'. A good thing I'm handy with Photoshop. Then there's the bother of uploading all the new versions, getting them approved and going live.
This self-publishing process is very involved, but it's very stimulating!
Is there any way, when you are working with multiple Graphics, to cut down on outdated Photoshop and PDF files?
I have a habit of doing 'Save As' for many changes I make, with the current date in the name, so I know which one I'm working on. This is handy because I may not return to this file for months, so I just pick out the latest one from a list.
Should I not delete all of the other, outdated ones? It would make my life simpler...in th example, I had to update Author Name. This is because of - I hate to admit it - Name Clutter! How many names, versions of names can you have?
I don't know how I wandered into my Junk Mail folders in 4 email accounts. All I know is that going in there felt like I was confronted by a screaming mob.
Why do I get emails from SilverSingles? SeniorSingles? AIG, Fidelity and other Insurance Companies? Walk-inBathtubs? Someone wants me to go back to work as a Lyft driver. I thought I blocked the pompous clump of words called 'the Irish Times'. 'The Guardian', too, to whom I once donated 5 pounds and instantly regretted it.
Thousands of them, like stinging bees.
It took me an hour to block them all.
I remember why I opened up the folders, to look for something from BooksGoSocial about Kindlepreneur. I get so many emails from the former I marked them as Junk, as most of them are ones I'm disinterested in. But occasionaly, there's a Gem. However, I didn't find what I was looking for.
It's my birthday, having a glass of wine now...here's to writing!
I'm pleased to report that on three or four consecutive days, everything I looked for has been in the expected place. A paper-cutter, rarely used, sat meekly in the craft box in the cupboard. An Irish grammar book - the corner of the guest room, in a stack of similiar Irish-themed books. All bathroom items very easy to locate in their drawers and cupboards.
The two mail-ready letters I am missing turned up at the bottom of my handbag. I found them at Mass when I was looking for the collection envelope. However, I'm indulgent with myself about these - I was jetlagged when I put them there. Less forgivable however, is that I didn't look for them properly in my bag. They had sunk to the bottom. I often think the interior of my handbag has a force of gravity greater than found anywhere outside.
This was my most successful decluttering project yet. Basically, I pared my Savings Account down to the bare minimum, and it was so easy, just a signature in the Bank. Of great help is the Revenue Collector General's willingness to relieve me of nearly all of it. Indeed, he demanded it! I cleaned it out well and it's gone for good, into some black hole in the Irish Government, and some Government Minister will probably wine and dine a EU VIP on the strength of it. My Tax Money!
Seriously, as long as they do not use it for nefarious purposes, one of which they are now engaged in. 'Onward!' as the Minister for Health said today, like a General at the Head of an Army, swinging his sword as he advances. Who is the Army about to cut down?
It doesn't bear thinking about. Happily, the army is deserting. One doctor after another, one hospital after another, are saying they don't and won't do abortions.
Have several small balls of wool (now they call it yarn) some of which, the green and mustard, and a full skein of gray, evidently traveled in my Trousseau 23 years ago. The reason for this is - I was working on a long jumper (sweater) it's very pretty and my own design of a cottage, gray wall, yellow thatch, green hill yonder. Unfortunately when it came to the sleeves, something went terribly wrong. I forget what, but now it's a sleeveless jumper never finished. Sometimes I wear it around the house. But I digress.
I used up bits and pieces over the years. Now the proper thing to do with an assortment of balls of wool is to bundle them all up together and donate to a thrift shop. But I thought I'd use them. I began a Tea-Cosy with the mustard. I soon realised that the yarn isn't chunky enough to keep our Royal Doulton china teapot warm and moreover, there isn't enough of it.
Three trips to Joanne's later, this Tea Cosy has become a rather expensive and involved affair, but I can't give up now. The leftovers have been discarded in favour of chunky new black and red yarn. It was necessary to buy a book on how to crochet nice edgings and flowers. I have long since abandoned the left-over balls of yarn. Off to the thrift shop with them, unless I can somehow embroider the sleeveless jumper...