Tuesday, March 22, 2016

2016 A-Z Blogging Challenge: Theme reveal.

"It must be a kind of madness, an insidious disease, a merciless affliction: lovesickness. With the power to distort and manipulate one'e emotions, to exaggerate, to fantasize, to blind one completely to reality, to render perspective inoperable. Lovesickness: the eternal bane of humanity."  excerpt from the prologue to Lovesick.

In support of my forthcoming novel, Lovesick, I'll be blogging on themes from it all the way through the month of April. Lovesick explores the destruction of a marriage from both the man's perspective and the woman's. Honest, hard hitting and disturbing, Lovesick speaks of matters to which everyone can relate; the pain of a broken heart, and the slow desperate crawl along the road to healing.

Topics to include betrayal, flirting and lustance (a new word). I hope you will join me on this twenty six post journey through the dark and light sides of love.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Accidental Queue Jumping

Good social skills are important. The understatement meter in my pocket just exploded, but seriously, good interpersonal communication skills are essentially the oil which lubricates relationships. 

When the giant standing next to me at the counter of the local takeaway place delivered his order over the top of mine and then said he was next, I realized two things immediately. One: the man had poor interpersonal skills and two; I had inadvertently jumped the queue. I apologized, and made a quip about how I had never seen a queue at this particular fast food venue. (In fact people normally stand parallel to the counter and take note of who was already there when they arrived.)

The man's response to my apology was delivered in a gruff and aggrieved tone. "Just don't jump the queue mate. I don't want to argue about it."

"I don't want to argue about it" is in the same category as statements beginning with "to tell the truth" and "I don't want to say I told you so...". Like the positive onset with an obvious inflection broadcasting a big "but' will follow.

Whether the big man with serious indignation at the take way joint was naturally rude and ungracious, or whether he had merely exhausted his reserves of bonhomie at the end of a bad day, I do not know. I've been unjustifiably short with people too on occasion, but I reckon a sincere apology ought to extinguish the flames of ire. Most people have varying degrees of serious drama and affliction in their lives. Why bother straining at gnats?

It's pretty easy to be nice, even to people who aren't nice to you. It is not difficult to back down and walk away. The offended behemoth and I left the car park of the take away shop at the same time: I was on foot and he was safe in his world on wheels. He might have looked at me, or he might have simply been checking for oncoming traffic, but in any case I threw him another smile. His stony face was the epitome of recalcitrance. As he drove away I wondered if he was a blogger like me.

Photo sources:

Saturday, March 12, 2016

A Master of Cans

There are certain skills you need in order to effectively execute the business of living. We learn these skills over time as we grow and are instructed, either directly or by example, first by our parents, then by teachers, and peers and later our colleagues. The potential skill set is enormous, but no one learns them all because there is no need.

However, there are certain essential universal skills which we require for routine living; using utensils to feed ourselves for example. In relation to these vital every day skills, I have a confession to make: for many years I have struggled with one particularly crucial one. I can do it, but not well and even after so much practice and concerted effort to improve, I have not, until recently been able to do it without making a mess.

My breakthrough came recently as I was sitting in my car, holding a can of Coke in my left hand. With the middle finger of my right hand poised for action, I took a breath and steadied myself. Never had I previously been able to pop the can open without ejecting some of its contents either on my person or a nearby hapless target. My hand shook a little as I sensed something momentous, and historic about to unfurl. Or perhaps another appalling and embarrassing failure.

I levered my finger under the ring pull and lifted it: simultaneously delighted by the cracking sound and the clean perforation of the can. No Coke escaped. The celebrations went on for several minutes as I toasted myself and reveled in the joyful satisfaction of mastering a new skill.

What new skill have you mastered recently?