Wild Game: Open Season on Opinions

Duck! Shoot that was close! There was a game I played when I was 19 as part of a TV/Film Acting group. We all wrote our strongest belief or opinion on a piece of paper. A line-up of chairs faced a single chair under the spotlight. I gave my piece of paper to the group and walked to the single chair not knowing what to expect. I felt like a sitting duck! My job was to shoot down my own strongest belief. The rest of the group argued loudly in support of my genuine belief! It was Open Season to shoot down my negative view.

Have a go by writing your strongest opinion into a comment. Then press the Reply button on your own comment, and argue the opposite!

Then go hunting for your fellow bloggers’ comments, click the Reply button on their original belief, and argue in support of it. Your reply will line up with the rest under the original comment.

Everyone can join this wild game – many different views can be fired off on this post.

For those who may not have commented before, this could be a perfect opportunity to have some fun standing your ground on an opinion, or playing devil’s advocate.

The belief on my piece of paper was, “I believe in God.”

Have you ever…

Have you ever been raped?
Have you ever seen murder?
Have you ever told?

Have you ever been hurt?
Have you ever been scared?
Have you ever cried?

Have you ever raped?
Have you ever killed?
Have you ever remained silent?

Have you ever kept a secret?
Have you ever told a lie?
Have you ever let the evil walk on by?

Have you ever been kissed?
Have you ever been loved?
Have you ever received a heartfelt hug?

Have you ever loved?
Have you ever cared?
Have you ever belonged?
And if so, where?

True blue

You were to me, a blaring horn
disguised as a baby pig
true blue

Your message connected, a closing fist
making contact with my brow
not high, not low

The world around cannot change you
true blue
The world around you cannot change

I hear you scream in rage
I hear your anguished pain
I hear and know your name
True Blue.


fifty carthorses, one broken mare
thirty indigo dresses, one midnight blue
twelve innocent smiles, one from you
alone, alone, alone

WordPress.com or WordPress.org? Or, is WordPress.com okay for big business blogs?

After becoming very concerned about the effect that clicking a Like or Follow button can have upon sensitive souls within the wonderful WordPress community, I stopped to think about whether this is the place to attempt to make a part-time or hopefully even full-time income, out of my art, writing, and blogging.

It wrenches my heart to learn that a person may feel like committing suicide over a Like, or Follow button being pressed on their blog, when they do not receive a comment, or if it is from the new Reader where blogposts can be read without entering the actual blog, then without even a view showing up to be counted!

If you notice a direct threat of suicide and you know the blogger, contact law enforcement straight away. There are steps to take outlined in this WordPress Support page Self Harm and Online Safety. Having lost a brother to suicide I take this sort of thing very seriously.

If you are currently in crisis, please contact Lifeline. The trained operators at Lifeline are available to talk or chat 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

Here is the contact information for Lifeline, the national suicide prevention hotline. Please do call  them.

Phone: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Website: www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org

Here is the list of International Suicide Hotlines.

My first thought was perhaps we should all stop clicking any Like or Follow buttons in case it has such a negative effect. Then this seemed silly, since all those who feel shy of making a comment would have no way of leaving something to show they care. There are a lot of silent readers out there, who are terribly shy of putting their words in print in a public place.

Should we take Like and Follow buttons off all blogs? That also did not make any sense.

Then I thought of About.me, and how people who view your page show up in the stats, so you can see exactly who viewed your page, and how people can send various types of compliments, which are standard, such as “I like your bio,” or “I like your page,” or “I’d like to meet for coffee,”  or “I have a business idea I think may interest you.” (Sorry these are off the top of my head and not the exact wording.) There are also standard replies that can be clicked on, such as “Thanks,” or a whole lot of other options.

I wonder if WordPress might consider putting some more buttons besides just the Like and Follow buttons? What do you think?

Then perhaps bloggers can choose which one to press, and also choose which ones to take notice of.

I considered throwing away my idea of starting a business on WordPress.com, and started to believe that actually perhaps it was not the place for a business at all. Then I read this support information from WordPress which says that YES, even big businesses are welcome to run their commercial blog on WordPress.com.

Here’s a little quote from within the support information  in the first link below, “You are welcome to sell your own work on WordPress.com and install a PayPal button…”

The $64,000 question: WordPress.com or WordPress.org? | The Daily Post

Some of the world’s biggest brands and industries rely on WordPress.com VIP.

Support > General >WordPress.com and WordPress.org

So I will soldier on and find a way to setup in business without being nuisance. As for the angry remarks that sometimes erupt between bloggers, hey take care people, how you treat others. There is a Support page also which covers defamation, which means saying things about people which puts them in a bad light for others. It is different if you quietly tell someone to their face, without anyone else to overhear it. When I last checked, defamation law applies even if what you say is true!


Blogging and stuff

Maybe I will not make money from blogging. Maybe I won’t make and sell colouring books. Maybe it is all too hard to try and build a family business, or set up in online publishing, or a gallery, or media such as online film/tv/radio/animation, or an indie record label. Maybe I could just get a little job proofreading stuff.

Perhaps all of this will turn out to be a little personal blog which had some big dreams, and found that it would take too much to accomplish them.

I’ve been through many different ways to set up shop, and the $54 in total I have made was mostly from selling downloadable colouring pictures directly from my own blog.

Perhaps the blog needs to be separated from the business side of life. I am looking into a separate website for commercial use. I feel a bit sad about it, since I know I have a certain amount of hours in the day, and pouring time and effort into a separate commercial blog, may take away much of my time here on these personal blogs.

There is a certain ‘safety’ in the impersonal nature of professional communications. I feel like it would be a step away from learning how to talk about personal things which are of deep concern. It is still difficult to talk about things related to trauma in person, face-to-face, although I notice that I am able to divert or postpone a conversation, rather than lose track of my surroundings and sort of disappear into the trauma-related conversation. It is still upsetting to have it brought up unexpectedly in conversation.

I have about one and a half months before it will be brought up in conversation, with the possibility of losing our home as a possible result of that conversation. I may have to move back to where the trauma happened. Who knows, perhaps this may be the best thing, anyway.

Two options, one to carry on, and push through with everything I have got. The other to give up, or put things on the back burner. I don’t think it is as simple as this. There is so much I have learned from blogging, and from meeting so many different bloggers, with so many different experiences, and ways of running their blogs.

My little foray into advertising has given me an idea of what is required to set up for selling. Thing is, would take all my time doing the selling side of things, and would I have time left to make things? So I wonder, do I make things, and find someone else to sell them? Or sell things, and find other people to make them?

Or I could just get a little proofreading job somehow, somewhere, and forget about everything else. Maybe start writing creatively and reading fiction, which is something which stopped due to trauma, decades ago. It is good to be reading fiction again. Difficult, but not too difficult. Certainly not freaking me out. 🙂

With the thought of this being a personal blog, I can think of disconnecting other things like LinkedIn, and stop any form of advertising on my blog. Perhaps it could work. My kids have learned a huge amount about setting up in self-employment and online marketing through this whole process and that will give them a good start.

This may be a response to certain stressors over the last week. I watched a video this morning which showed the elation of starting towards a goal, and the elation of accomplishing it at the end, and this big part in the middle which is just plain hard, and feels like a good time to give up.

Just to let you know, I feel like giving up sometimes. There is a big part of me that always says, wait until tomorrow. I may feel much better in the morning. Usually this is true, and if not, I wait until the next morning, and the next, until things inevitably change.

I also pray a lot.

Perhaps I would have more time, if I simply took a proofreading job… It is something I have never really considered doing before as I thought it would drive me nutty checking every single word. Strangely, now that I have tried it, it really is quite enjoyable. I feel useful, it is reasonably easy work for me, it can be done online, from home, and involves no heavy lifting!

Perhaps there are lots of authors who are writing as a hobby, with a substantial income from elsewhere, who would be quite happy to hire a proofreader for their novel, or short stories, or children’s books, or memoirs.

I will have to give it some thought overnight. The colouring book may have reached its pinnacle. Book number two is almost ready. It takes a day to draw up a new “Circle” for the series, in between other tasks. Takes a bit out of me, due to it being hands-on art. Lots of housework and garden work this week or so, it is wearing me out a little.

Since I was about seven years old, I had the thought of publishing other people’s work. People who were good at telling stories. I wanted to make the stories into a treasured book.

I have had other passing fancies, such as becoming a famous artist, or a movie star. They weren’t the same sort of feeling as my desire to create something which made a treasure out of what other people had created. That dream involved a lot more love. It was like the other people didn’t know what a treasure they were. What a treasure their words were. What treasures they created. And I wanted them to know. I wanted everyone to know.

Those other people, were my family.

Seven posts for HarsH ReaLiTy

**Ooh I have an idea! Have a go at creating a piece of writing from one of the phrases below! Send us a link in the comments.**

Halfway through writing my guest posts for HarsH ReaLiTy. I reckon if I can get all fourteen written before the end of December then it’s all on. I might just keep up the writing habit. I am enjoying it so far, and have surprised myself with some of the pieces.

Here’s a sneak preview, three phrases randomly picked from some of those seven posts:

Life is birthed, shrivels, greys, passes away, replaced by the next card in the pack. Flipflipflipflip!

Free gifts are the best gifts of all.

“Don’t stare at me,” he whispered vehemently, hissing under his breath, like a disturbed snake.

Keep an eye out from 3-17 January at aopinionatedman.com.

Early night

The door swings shut
moving in time
the rhythm knocks me off my feet
i am flying
a bird in the night sky
feeling desire
caught in a thermal
on wings
made of crystalline fancy
You walk in
after the fact
on the walls
of your imagination
as you laugh and pick me up
while the distant dove coos
an evening song

Surprisingly Effective?

How very interesting. Colouring as a form of art therapy, or any form of creative expression as a form of therapy can be such a help. I wonder where the data for this chart came from…

Leeanna Mantica: Creating Empathy

Surprisingly Effective?

Art Therapy: Surprisingly Effective
If you’re surprised by the effectiveness of art therapy in treating depression, think again. A new study shows that art therapy is more effective than other, more popular, treatment methods.

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Progress, maybe.

Striding neck deep in Accounting software, advertising campaign calculations, stuffed giant courgettes, a crying cat, record label negotiations, electronic goods dissection and simple coloring picture production. I stop and feel the strong pull of the tide. It’s going out.

Writing a poem, a story, a game. Sharing a thought, sharing my shame. Cosmic existentialism carving time out of a cold stone statue. I turn against the tide and wade thickly toward the sparkling sand, where beauty awaits, shells in hand. Forest shades me from noon-day sun, as I laugh and dry off. It’s time for some fun.