Daily Prompt – Reader’s Block

What’s the longest you’ve ever gone without reading a book (since learning how to read, of course)? Which book was it that helped break the dry spell?

Let’s just say that I’m still having my literary dry spell…
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Daily Prompt – Off The Shelf

Take a look at your bookcase. If you had enough free time, which book would be the first one you’d like to reread? Why?

My problem is not the books that I want to re-read, but moreso the books that I’d like to actually read for the first time!  Continue reading

Daily Prompt – A Bookish Choice

A literary-minded witch gives you a choice: with a flick of the wand, you can become either an obscure novelist whose work will be admired and studied by a select few for decades, or a popular paperback author whose books give pleasure to millions. Which do you choose?

They’re both appealing for different reasons, but either way, it provides some kind of notoriety, and at the end of the day, I’m still a published author. So fuck it, let’s go for a popular author. Millions of readers equals millions of dollars… right?

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1 Aug – Staying Organised

What tools do you use to keep organized so things on your to-do list don’t slip through the cracks?

 

There you go again, making assumptions that I’m using apps to stay organised… That would require actually being organised, and well, I’m so not. Continue reading

28 July – Life Enhancement

Tell us about 10 inventions or pieces of technology that enhance your life.

 

1. Internet banking

Not having to physically go into a bank to withdraw or money or go to the post office to pay bills has made such a massive difference – now there’s apps for mobile banking that allow me to pay bills, transfer money between accounts and even pay people via mobile, email or Facebook!

2. Smartphone

The Smartphone has completely revolutionised telecommunications. Everything changed with the introduction of SMS but now they’re more than just a phone, they have become a gaming device, a camera, they allow us to share information almost instantaneously through social media platforms, and allows us to video call people from all over the globe.

3. Tablets

The introduction of the ‘tablet’ has made a massive impact on the computer industry. No longer being confined to lugging around a laptop anymore, we’re able to use a tablet as a laptop with mobile versions of desktop apps allowing and enhancing productivity and creativity wherever we may be.

4. Bluetooth

The introduction of bluetooth to technological devices meant one thing – no more cables. I have multiple bluetooth devices from headphones, to keyboards / mice, to speakers. There’s something so satisfying about the simple removal of a cable – it just gives you that much more freedom to move devices around. Personally, one of my favourites is my bluetooth keyboard that I use with my iPad. It allows me to keep my blogging up to date when I’m in the city with a couple of hours to pass.

5. Wifi

As soon as the internet went wireless, the internet exploded. I remember a few years ago when I was living in a share house, and we just had a standard router, because a wifi one was far too expensive for a poor student, and my three housemates and I each had 10-20m ethernet cables from the router (in the lounge room) running to each of our bedrooms so we could all be on the internet. The hallway, unfortunately, ended up looking like a mess from all the cables. The day I bought a wireless router, was one of those days that changed my life.

6. Foam roller

Granted, not a technological device, but an invention that has enhanced my life. Working in the fitness industry, I continue to learn more about myofascia, and certain tendons and how they’re interconnected with various parts of the body, and in using the foam roller for myofascial release, it keeps muscles healthy, promoting fresh blood flow and reducing stiffness / soreness and muscle fatigue / DOMS.

7. Digital music / iPod

Remember the good old days of walking around with a Walkman or a Discman?? And then carrying a half-dozen cassettes or CD’s in your bag? I do. Then it was a Mini-Disc… and if you wanted to keep music on your computer, you had to ‘rip it’ so you could then play it all in WinAmp, whilst customising the ‘skin’ of the program. And then came the iPod. Overnight, I was able to suddenly carry my entire music library in my pocket, instead of taking multiple cd’s with me and constantly breaking covers and scratching discs.

8. The cloud

‘The Cloud’ has been one of those creations that has, again, revolutionised how we store / share data. For me, the cloud has allowed me to sync my web-based email and my calendar to my devices, so that I can remain up to date wherever I am, without the need to physically sit down in front of a computer. Since I started using Google Drive for my cloud computing, I’ve been able to centrally store all my important data, and again, be able to locate it from any of my devices wherever I may be. The other bonus to cloud computing is that because it’s not stored on my computer, I don’t run the risk of losing it all should I unfortunately have my computer suddenly die on me.

9. Web forms

Web forms are something that we’ve started using a lot more frequently at work – rather than having to deal with countless pages of individual registrations, and then manually entering all that data into a spreadsheet, a web form allows me to gather all the data centrally, and then download all that info in one spreadsheet, that will also allow me to do specific reporting and data sorting. It’s become a streamlined process that has saved me countless hours of mundane paper handling (not to mention, the amount of actual paper we’ve saved).

10. The Boss blender by Breville

I thought that I’d just throw this one in, because its something that I’ve recently purchased after seeing it at the Good Food and Wine Show. Coincidentally, we were actually in a position to have our blender replaced, but then we saw The Boss, and decided that we wanted to upgrade instead. And it’s been amazing. Even something as simple as making a green smoothie in the morning is now an enjoyable process, because it breaks down all the fibrous ‘greens’ into something smooth and drinkable. There’s no issues with pulp separation, or even the issue of greens not being broken down completely, and remaining somewhat ‘chunky’ – which just made the experience even more unpleasant.

Daily Prompt – Writing Space

Where do you produce your best writing — at your desk, on your phone, at a noisy café? Tell us how the environment affects your creativity.

Well, the bulk of my writing is all done on my phone. On the bus, waiting for a train… It’s always with me and although it’s frustrating because my thumbs constantly hit the wrong keys, it allows me to smash out some posts whilst in transit to and from work which is great – especially when I have soooo many catch up posts to write.
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Daily Prompt: Wasted Days and Wasted Nights

Tell us your tried and true techniques for focusing when that deadline looms and you need to get work done. In other words, how do you avoid wasted days and wasted nights?

Well, in a work environment, I find that I thrive a) when the pressure is on – I find that I really get into a specific head-space and just get. shit. done.; and b) when I’m in the office out of hours.

Being in the office at 7am or after 5pm can be when I am literally the most productive. There’s no phones to answer, there’s no banal conversations to be had, there’s no distractions from anybody, I can just do my work completely hassle free. I must say, that’s one of the best ways in which I operate.

Just recently I was in the office at 5:15am. On a friday. And the only reason was because I had a stack of work to get through – work that needed to be finished by certain times, and reports that were required the day prior. Granted I didn’t manage to do those reports because I had to sit down and write them from scratch which was quite time consuming… hence why being in the office so early. Even then, I spent almost three hours configuring a few different reports, and managing the data within the reports to give to one of the bosses.

The other reason I was in so early was to ensure that all my work was up to date as I was going to be on leave the following week and wanted to make sure that I had nothing outstanding for when I returned… (Ironically, I have a tendency to also leave those kind of tasks until literally the last minute. The last work day for the year is when I’ll find myself tidying my desk and doing six-months worth of filing, sorting out papers, recycling all my excess scrap paper… you know, the tasks that I should have at least been doing the week prior!!)

One of the tasks that I really loathe with my role is collating giant training folders. It’s a massive task to undertake. It’s a lot of printing of papers, and collating those papers into sections, then putting multiple sections into folders with numerous divider tabs etc. It’s time consuming and incredibly fiddly. So, I always try to make sure that I use that time as effectively as possible. Whilst a big print job is on, I’ll sit down and stick on divider labels. When I’m out the back on my own collating the papers into the folders, I take my iPad, and I’ll watch several episodes of a TV show to help pass the time.

When I’m stuck at my desk, I put on some music to make the situation just slightly more bearable, and that helps pass the time as well.

…and sometimes if I’m alone in the office, a little dancing doesn’t hurt either 😉

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Feb 21: Writing Space

Show Me Fridays: upload an image to your blog (with or without words) of where you like to write.

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I usually find myself here, at the kitchen table on my MacBook Pro. The only problem is that the keyboard space is a bit too large, and if I’m here for a prolonged period of time, the edges begin to dig into my forearms / wrist, and it gets a bit painful.

The other setup I’m fond of is using my iPad and wireless Logitech keyboard. It’s heaven! And I usually do that during the week when I’m out and about and find myself with an hour or so to kill… but recently I’ve discovered a vast number of issues with working that way due to errors with WordPress and Safari / Chrome on my iPad (and I’m not particularly fond of the app), so my solution is to just write all my text in Pages whilst I’m out, and then when I get home, I can just copy it across to my draft, and then edit and fix up the text before publishing it.

Daily Prompt: Five Items

A classic question, revisited: what are the five items you must have on a deserted island?

Well, let me just go ahead and make the assumption that this deserted island is basically, an isolated paradise, where I don’t have to deal with people, it’s always warm and sunny, and there’s nothing deadly in the water, oh, and I can still get a 4G signal, then SIGN ME UP!!

1. an iDevice with all my music on it. Probably my iPad Air.

Given that I’m not entirely that fond of people, because I’m so jaded, and I’m jaded because so many people around me are pretty bloody hopeless at life and common sense, I’d gladly spend my time isolated on an island. At least this way I can continue to blog about my time on the island and still have some kind of communication with the rest of the world.

2. A solar charger – to power my iDevice.

Until they make devices that with batteries that don’t lose power, or include solar chargers in them, it’s the only way I’ll keep my devices powered.

3. A water filtration system that would turn sea water into drinking water.

‘Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink’. How perfect would it be to have a bottle that doesn’t require replacing cartridges or filters, it just worked. Being surrounded by all that sea water, but not actually having any water to drink is just cruel.

4. A knife.

<<Internet @ Work won’t allow me to view any pages with knives on them>>

Well, a knife would be one of the most necessary items to have with you. How else are you going to cut open coconuts and gut the fish that you catch? Oh, and defend yourself from all the crabs and turtles that are going to come and try and eat your toes when you fall asleep. They’re watching you. They’re always watching. Waiting.

5.Something to create fire.

Every island needs fire. To keep warm, and to cook food. Although I’m not sure how a diet of seafood and tropical fruit will suit me, but at least I’ll actually have food, so I can’t complain. Well, I’m at least being optimistic, and assuming that the oceans surrounding my deserted island will be teeming with fresh fish, prawns and scallops. And when I’m not cooking, fire will help to host my own Island Fire Parties, blasting the music from my iPad.

 

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