Tag Archives: katgotyourtongue

How Technology Can Block Our Creativity

How Technology Can Block Our Creativity.  I was coming out of my morning fog, drinking my coffee, and checking out my Email when I saw someone on LinkedIn, Dr. Louis Naude on the Council for Exceptional Children group site, had shared the article above about how so many of us are addicted to our smartphones.  Dr. Naude states, ” If we’re constantly bombarding our brains with input we do not leave much space for creativity.” This has been an idea I have been kicking around for awhile.

If you are walking around, like “the walking dead”, constantly checking your phone when do you have the time to think creatively or think in depth at all? So I was interested to see there is this project, mentioned in the article, at New Tech City called Bored and Brilliant.

In the first post of Bored and Brilliant it says that people who study these things have found that, yes, we do need idle, reflective time for our brains to be creative. Novel idea.

The Bored and Brilliant project has been started to help people get unhooked from their smartphones and start being brilliant. Sounds like a great idea to me.

Here’s a part of their first post:

“Here’s the issue: It goes back to when Apple introduced the first iPhone in 2007 — that’s less than a decade ago. Fifty-eight percent of American adults have a smartphone today. The average mobile consumer checks their device 150 times a day, and 67 percent of the time, that’s not because it rang or vibrated. Forty-four percent of Americans have slept with their phone next to their beds.”

So if you think you may be spending way too much time with your technology it would be worth it to check out this project.

This post is my contribution to Dandelion Fuzz’s weekly challenge. This weeks topic is Social Media.



We Need To Be Dreamers

We are the music-makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
And sitting by desolate streams.
World-losers and world-forsakers,
Upon whom the pale moon gleams;
Yet we are the movers and shakers,
Of the world forever, it seems.”

–Arthur O’Shaughnessy

We have to have dreams and believe in possibilities if there is ever to be human progress. It is so easy to get discouraged and bogged down with all the problems in the world. Thinking that things will never change or will always be bad.

There is always the possibility of new discoveries and that the world can improve.

“TO BE HOPEFUL in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness.
What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places—and there are so many—where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction.
And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.”

–Howard Zinn

I want to read over and over all the hopeful and encouraging words of all the dreamers and visionaries. It buoys me up and helps me to believe in life and the future of the world.

Let’s act in small positive ways and not give in to the darkness.

320px-Candle_Light by Dittymathew via wikipedia



Free Time

“I really think I write about everyday life. I don’t think I’m quite as odd as others say I am. Life is intrinsically, well, boring and dangerous at the same time. At any given moment the floor may open up. Of course, it almost never does; that’s what makes it so boring.”

–Edward Gorey

I really like Edward Gorey’s illustrations. I am most familiar with the ones he did for PBS Mystery. I want to read his books. Reading about him makes me smile. He used funny pen names that were a play on his name like Ogdred Weary and Dogear Wryde. If someone so wonderfully creative could say that he was bored sometimes I think I am in great company.

Theda-bara-cleopatra_detail  via wikepedia

It has been hard being semi-retired. But I realize, at the least in recent years when I worked full-time, I spent my life doing a lot of work that just kept me distracted and busy. It used up a good part of my life. Now that I have been rudely excluded from that work I am at a loss. With a bit too much free time. What to do with it. The problem is that my prior jobs and parenthood structured my existence for me and I now I have to structure my own.

People can say go get busy. Do volunteer work. Devote yourself to service. A lot of my life has been taken up taking care of other people already. I am doing some volunteer work and tutoring part-time but that is not enough. I think I must find work or an activity that is truly engaging for me not just busy making or a distraction.

“A lot of impulsive mistakes are made by people who simply aren’t willing to stay bored a little longer.”
Paul Aurandt

Not a good idea just to jump into the first thing that comes along.

I mentioned PBS Mystery. We do not have cable and I do not watch a lot of television. But I do enjoy PBS Mystery. I have written before that I have really enjoyed Endeavor and the Wallander series. Masterpiece is another PBS production I really like. I am still watching Downton Abbey although I think the earlier seasons were the best. I like Call the Midwife as well. It is great learning about Nurses in England who were midwives and made home visits.

I am glad that I do not have regular television service here because I can see how I might end up sitting in front of it watching a bunch of garbage to fill the time. So from what I have seen of Reality TV, I don’t think it is for me. Especially The Housewives of You Fill in the Blank.





Kat Got Your Tongue Challenge-Sleep

“Also, I could finally sleep. And this was the real gift, because when you cannot sleep, you cannot get yourself out of the ditch–there’s not a chance.”   –Elizabeth Gilbert

The Greek god of sleep is Hypnos. It was said that near his cave were poppies and other hypnotic plants. His mother was Nyx the goddess of the night. Do you remember in the Wizard of Oz when the wicked witch put Dorothy and her friends to sleep with a field of poppies? Opium is a narcotic made from the Opium poppy.

Poppy Field of poppies by Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii 1912 via wikipedia

I am a “light” sleeper and I am easily disturbed by my husband if he has a restless night or is stressed over something and not sleeping well. When my children were little I slept with my senses on alert to any disturbance coming from their rooms. I wake up if there is an earthquake. My husband, once he was asleep, could sleep through the kids crying and earthquakes.

Menopause made me more sensitive to stress and insomnia. For many years I think I had a sleep disorder and seldom got a good night’s sleep.  There were periods where I would go through cycles of insomnia with a few nights of normal in between.

Thankfully, I have been improving in this area lately. I attribute it to the fact that my hormones are stable and I am no longer under a lot of stress with my work or life. My children are grown and out of the house. I am sleeping better.

I have not gotten to the stage of taking my improved sleeping pattern for granted. I can still feel gratitude for sleeping well.

It can be a vicious cycle if I have poor quality sleep. It leads to decreased ability to cope with stress. Then the increase stress leads to another night of poor sleep. I have read that not getting adequate sleep can cause us to have trouble maintaining a healthy weight. It can lead to obesity. I have had trouble with losing weight as well.

So I will have to see if this theory holds true. If I continue to sleep well and lose weight that would be great.

Now when I occasionally have difficulty staying asleep I do not fight it but get up or turn on a light and read for a while. Eventually I become drowsy again and can get back to sleep.

Do you have a remedy for insomnia? What do you do if you have trouble sleeping?




My Writing Space

Guilty Pleasure

My Writing Space

At present I do not have a separate room where I do my writing. I sit at our kitchen table and write on my laptop. I do have a couple of open rooms in the house that I could convert to a physical space for myself to write. These were my kids bedrooms. One still contains some of my daughters furniture and other belongings.  At some point in the near future I envision setting up one of these bedrooms for myself.

For so many years when my kids were growing up I did not have a space for myself in the house. I often thought how nice it would be to have a room to use as an office or just for my own space. Maybe it is because I have gotten so used to not having a room of my own that I haven’t set one of our bedrooms up for myself yet.

The environment can be less than ideal in a shared space like the kitchen. My husband often works at home. He can be going in and out of the room and talking to me. There have been many times when I get pretty irritable about being interrupted when I am on my blog. Especially when I am writing and organizing my thoughts. If the radio is on with music or news this can be another irritation. On my own I work in the quiet.

Space for writing is not just physical. It is psychological as well. It is taking the time out of the day to sit down, ponder and allow the creative process to begin. I need to carve out the time every day for myself to be creative in this way. To make a writing space in my day and in my life.

katgotyourtongueThis post is for the writing event on Kat’s blog Dandelion Fuzz. The event is open to all interested bloggers. Click on the link for more info.

Some Rambling Thoughts about Focus

250px-Boreas by John William Waterhouse 1903 via wikipedia

“One way to boost our will power and focus is to manage our distractions instead of letting them manage us.” –Daniel Goleman


I get frustrated trying to take a photo because it is hard for me to be sure the image is in focus. I wear glasses for reading now and it seems that this does not help when I am trying to focus a camera or my phone to take pictures.

I have trouble staying focused in other ways at times. I can get distracted by interesting things on the internet and spend way too much time browsing. I am not a regimented person. Left to my own devices I enjoy following my own schedule. Which can mean no schedule. I can meander through the hours.

I do like having choices of what to do with my time.  If I have an appointment or need to do some work at a certain time I am good with that. But otherwise I really like to call my own shots.

It is easier to focus on things we enjoy doing.  Like reading an article that catches my eye, watching a favorite film or reading a favorite author.

Social media like blogging can be very alluring and distracting.  I am drawn into perusing the “likes” on my posts and comments.  I enjoy the back and forth chats I get into sometimes in the comment sections. But then it is harder to focus and organize my thoughts about what I may want to write. There is a need for a schedule or regular routine to better order my day when I have this time I do have. To structure it for myself. To bring things into focus.








Cat Got Your Tongue or Tails of an Introvert

I am participating in Kat’s weekly challenge Kat Got Your Tongue.


Some may find it hard to believe that I could be an Introvert since I do have a tendency to express myself passionately at times or get a bit carried away. Well, I think my strong feelings help me to express myself. And it is easier for introverts to express themselves in writing. Almost too easy. Anyway I do fit into the description of Introvert because I do get drained by too much stimulation from being in large groups or socializing a lot or going to a big party. I need time to recharge my batteries. Down time.

Not only do I need down time to recharge, I relish it. I love being by myself reflecting on something, enjoying nature or reading. Maybe this is why I like cats. I think cats are mostly introverts.

Here is a poem by T S Eliot “The Naming of Cats” via calicocentric:


|Nano Poblano|  Meow! Yawn! Don’t bother me.

images  Black Cat