Taking a Break


Permission-to-Take-a-Break

Yes, I have come to the stage where I’ve had enough of WordPress yet again (no surprise there I knew it was coming). When that feeling has changed, if it changes this time, I will surely return like a lamb to the slaughter and begin blogging once again.

I have sadly come to realise that there is less and less interesting content or choice of genuine blogs to follow and interact with on WordPress. I am sick to my stomach of reading Positive Thinking posts from bloggers who merely want to generate ‘likes’. I wonder where all the real content has gone to – as everything seems fake and just made for popularity. In my opinion WordPress has degenerated into Facebook, which is sad.

I do wish to give massive thanks to my genuine followers and readers, and they will know who they are. Thank you for being supportive of my work for these many years. Writers like you are the reason I first begun blogging on WordPress in the first place.

If anyone has any ideas of any other blogging sites that haven’t already been tainted with the poisonous, sickly sweet and ‘I love myself’ Positive Thinking Religious Order, please let me know. I am however starting to doubt there are any left untouched by this writing decline!

Thanks and happy thoughts (only joking),

Bex; as always the Savvy Senorita  ; )

Opinions, we all have them…..


I forgot about this post, but thanks to robertmgoldstein.com reminding me of my words, I decided I’d re-publish………..

I speak, you speak, they speak, we all speak; but do we even care what is being said?

Opinions; seem to be integrated into us, derived from who we are and what we know. Yet, they are subject to change. Opinions differ from person to person, context, situation and time. They can be fleeting or concrete. Yet what influences them to change? Is it because we are malleable and easily swayed when we come under pressure from others?

Do we willingly abandon our opinions when challenged? Should we?

As bloggers we all have plenty to say. I know I can’t get enough of opinions; mine and other peoples! I thoroughly enjoy writing opinions and reading them; new ideas, experiences and knowledge hold a wealth of inspiration for me. I actively seek out new blogs just to read what has been posted; I think I am addicted to the written word! I know I WOULDN’T want anyone to tame their opinion or tailor their words to please me. Yet, some people might not feel the same. Some people might only appreciate opinions that concur with their own.

So, what do we look for or find in other peoples words to make us think; ‘Hey I like what that person has to say’?

I know when I see something that strikes a chord within me; it makes me want to respond or react. It could be anything at anytime. Yet, is there a specific element that qualifies one opinion to hold more credence or appeal than another? Is there an essential mix that creates a good opinion? Can we ever all fully agree on one thing?

Is a good opinion one that matches with our own personal belief systems and affiliations? What encourages us to agree with another person; is it something we do because we feel in awe of that person? Perhaps, we want to reciprocate something they have done for us, so we agree with them? Or do we want to pay homage merely to feather our own nests?

Are some opinions more important to us than others?

Opinions are part of our ‘mundane’ every life. I mean, everyone has an opinion on something; what they prefer for breakfast and why, what country they like to visit for holidays and why, what political party they choose to follow and why. Yet, opinions are powerful if directed correctly; they change the way we perceive things and the world around us. Isn’t it therefore a privilege to be able to know what other people think or believe, even if we don’t concur?

Or, maybe every topic of conversation has already been covered so thoroughly, that now we are just reinventing the wheel by discussing the same things? Are opinions boring? I don’t think they are, but then that is my opinion!

It is highly therapeutic for me to share my words, and other peoples! Discussing and debating is part and parcel to my life, without these things it would be a dull existence. I urge people to speak their minds, and I listen carefully to what is being said even if I don’t agree. Likewise, I read carefully what is written.

Do we all truly hear the words being spoken or read the words written? Or do we switch off if the message conflicts with what we want to see and hear? Do we see and hear merely what we want to? Do we then misconstrue the message? Do we ever listen to others opinions and words; or are we all just waiting for our turn to speak?

Putting it simply; do we really care what others have to say or write?

I KNOW I CARE!! I hope I am not alone?!

Maybe you might think there are too many opinions, so many that they get lost in the background? Or is there not enough? What is missing in the grand world of opinions that needs to be said?

Any ideas to share???

Blog Tour


Blog Tour:

A writing friend, Paula Read AKA Champagnewhiskey, tagged me in a blog tour. Paula is a writer and environmentalist, cloud gazer who is located somewhere in France. Her blog is diverse and interesting, of course it is also a great read! Just like Paula, I don’t usually comment on my writing via my blog, although I obviously do write, but lately it hasn’t been as often as is usually normal for me! Anyway, I will endeavour to write about my writing, so thanks for tagging me Paula!

Upon What Are You Working?

I have a habit of skipping from one project to the next. My writing habits match my reading habits actually. Generally I have to be in the mood for whatever it is I read, therefore I often have five or six books I switch between, so to it is the same for my writing!

I have been writing a ‘trilogy’ novel since I was 24, which could be categorised as horroresque, I suppose. I also write short stories, which again have the hint of horror about them, and of course the political press releases and columns I write currently for my work.

How does your work differ from others in the genre?

Well, that I can’t answer! Every writer likes to think they are unique, yet, in reality we are all influenced by what we read and enjoy. I’m not so bold as to claim I’m new and fresh and funky! I haven’t reinvented the wheel here! In my case I know I have a good stock cupboard in my mind, whereby the words and styles of other authors linger as reference points. Authors such as Stephen King, Clive Barker, Ramsey Campbell, M R James, Robert Bloch, James Herbert, Shirley Jackson and so on and so forth, have been part and parcel of my reading and imagination process since I was tiny! I wrote because of these authors, which might seem sacrilegious to you folk out there, but horror was my first love. Horror made me enjoy reading, and writing, well before Charles Dickens or Emily Bronte ever did. Therefore, these horror authors laid the foundations of my writing style.

If I say one thing about my work or style though, I do like to think that I don’t write artificially, I.E, it’s not just regurgitation of other classic horror tales, regardless of the influence they have had upon me! I also like to remember that horror can be horror in any context, it doesn’t have to be some surreal and fantastical plot or circumstance to unnerve. My style/genre is true to me and what I know and feel; it is always my story, told my way.

Why do you write what you write?

Well, either I write short stories or have to live with a running commentary going on in my mind! I write because I hear, visualise and feel my characters. I can be out walking, and will pass someone or someplace, see something, and without warning I’m inspired and a story begins weaving its way into my mind. From this point I think about the characters and I flesh out the plot. In doing this the characters world becomes stuck in my world, so, I have to write it down or face hearing voices! Does that make me crazy?! Probably, but it works to inspire me, and it always makes the story/plot/character more real to me. If I can’t hear my characters speak to me, then I can’t write the story.

How does your writing process work?

Sometimes I finish a writing project straight through to the end, depends on the length of the story really. In the case of my trilogy novel, it has been some years of editing and rewriting, but amazingly, after what could be a year break from writing it, I can pick up the plot and carry on! As I have said, my characters talk to me! They are ghosts intruding in my reality, and they never shut up!

Usually I do a rough draft of a story on my laptop first, which I then edit until I am finally happy with it. I sometimes write in notebooks too. I love the written word, pen to paper, so often I will scribble an idea or even edit something whilst I am taking a flight somewhere (I’m never without one of my precious notebooks and favourite writing pens)!

I write anytime and anyplace, literally. I have woken up at 3 a.m and been struck by an idea, merely from looking out of the window at a car passing by! If an idea buzzes around inside my head, well, I have to write it down regardless of the unGodly hour or how inconvenient it might be. I must confess, I even used to write my stories whilst at work! No one ever knew, and it was a great way to escape the dull working day!

Who am I tagging?

Well, I’m tagging all of you out there. If you feel so inclined to participate in this Blog Tour Q&A’s then just do it! Please let me know though, as I would love to read what you answer! This might be the lazy option, but cut me some slack as I am writing this on my iPad, and you know I think it isn’t the best tech for long winded writing malarkey!

 

Quick Stop


This is going to be a quick post, as I’m using my iPad, and it tends to get a little crazy whenever I need to make edits!

I just wanted to stop by my blog, catch up and let everyone know I’m still here, well, not in Madrid, but in the UK.

Yes, I have returned to the UK so I can  do some volunteer work with a political party!!

This isn’t my first stint with a political party. Many moons ago I did something similar, and being given another opportunity to get involved with this type of work once again has made me happy!

If you didn’t know…………….I LOVE politics.

So, if I am a little quiet and don’t get to peruse WordPress as much I would usually, you’ll understand why.

I hope you lot out there are well and being as productive as always?!

Hasta luego and muchos besos!

 

Not My Cup Of Tea


It was a friend of a friends Birthday, and I got invited out for afternoon tea, odd you might think, afternoon tea in Madrid, it’s hardly a place renowned for such little quirks, and you’d be right.

Besides the slim slices of cake and tea offered in a mug, with not even a little teapot to keep it company, it wasn’t exactly The Savoy! Yet, it was a nice change, meeting people over tea and cake rather than beer and tapas.

I must admit, I love alcohol and food. Its practically in my blood; my family are thorough bred foodies and of course I have a strong Irish connection to boot (bad combination)! The only problem is both of these fine things, food and alcohol, don’t necessarily like me very much.

A few years ago I decided to scrap my old ways, in short, junk food was banned and so to was the vodka (et al). This, actually helped me. Physically, mentally and emotionally I felt relieved, it was like a breath of fresh air! I hadn’t realised how good it could be to be free of the shackles of, for want of a better expression, bad living.

Now, I’m no paragon of virtue, I still like to eat burgers and love a good cake and still enjoy a tipple, but since moving to Madrid I’ve noticed how easy it has been for me to slip back into my bad habits. Temptation is everywhere.

In the UK, I would choose not to go to bars, clubs and restaurants. I would meet friends in my home or theirs, we’d go walking, meet for coffee, go to the movies, shop, visit the beach, museums, National Trust properties and so on and so on. I seemed to have the opportunity to do more than merely meet people and friends in bars and restaurants to then eat and drink.

I had friends who were my party pals, they only wanted to get drunk and eat too much junk, consequently we soon parted ways as I didn’t want that lifestyle any more. I’d lived that lifestyle for too long, and frankly I was bored of wasting my money and time on a useless pursuit of what always was unhappiness the day after (hangover, arguments, tired, sick and so on).

Now, you may think, what a boring mare – no, actually I’m not. I enjoy diversity, I enjoy not having to do what other people expect I should do, because they are happy doing it. Yet, here in Madrid, everyone meets for beers and tapas, even a day of pottery making ends up in one of thousands of different bars open until the small hours.

WHY???!!!!!!

I am once again being forced to apply the breaks on this ‘lets have a drink and lets eat all the fat infused food we can find’ ethos, and I’m discovering just how difficult it is to keep up with friends.

Not all of my friends, as some of them get where I’m coming from, but there are those who don’t.

I have friends who just because they are happy to while away their weekends over bottles of booze and then the bathroom sink, they think I should want this too. If I don’t, then the invites to do things just suddenly don’t arrive any more. 

They think, I’m sure, that I’m miserable or purposefully avoiding their company. Well, I’m not, I just can’t physically or mentally do this drinking fest every weekend or weekday. 

If I accepted every offer to go out during the week:

A) I’d be flat broke

B) I’d have an inflated liver the size to envy any poor force fed goose

C) I’d be thoroughly miserable

D) I’d be the size of the Titanic before it sunk.        

What is it about these points that people find so hard to grasp and take seriously?!

Also, my life here isn’t necessarily like their lives.

I don’t work full time, I have a boyfriend I enjoy spending time with (which usually consists of mainly weekends as he works so much), and I also have a life which still exists in the UK too. In fact, I have one foot here in Madrid and one in the UK.  I suppose, in a way, I have more responsibilities than they do too.

No, I’m not taking about kids, but about bills, mortgages, a career I’m once again trying to revive, I’m learning Spanish (still) and they’re fluent already, plus I didn’t move to Madrid to extend my student years (as some of my friends seem to have done).

I suppose I’ve lost the thread here, or the initial thread in any case. I begun with afternoon tea. Well, the people I had afternoon tea with are these friends I’m taking about, and they are somewhat one dimensional in their offer of friendship.

The reason is I’m the outsider. They are 3 friends who know each other through teaching together, and I came to know them through one of the Madrid meet-ups.

Don’t get me wrong, they are lovely in many ways; they are very complimentary, kind and I have fun with them, but, I notice too that they only talk and don’t really listen. I don’t like that, it really is a sign that people aren’t really friends. I don’t enjoy being ignored, or cut short or spoken over as though I’m not important, and they were doing that quite a bit. Of course, they also were eager to depart as they had a drinking fest planned – which of course, I hadn’t been told about or invited to. So, I know, well now know, from our last meeting, that I am an outsider to them. I don’t fit into their type of friendship. I can dip in and out of it, but because I’m not a party animal, I’m not really their cup of tea (well, we all like coffee from time to time don’t we).

So, have I told them any of this – no, I didn’t see the point in really going over the ground with them. I know I can’t sacrifice my lifestyle choices to meet their own, and I know they wouldn’t stop going out or drinking the volume of beer that they do for me. So, it is what it is.

I suppose I feel a bit peeved. I mean I have lost one friend over this already. I couldn’t afford to do what she wanted to do every other weekend. Yet again though, our ideals of friendship clashed. She was looking for more friendship than I could give. I couldn’t be there for her and her alone – I have a life when I don’t see her and I have to maintain that! So, I don’t see her any more and that actually upsets me.         

I think too, I have sacrificed what I really wanted – not having to get drunk and eat junk and be out till the small hours, just to gain friends. How pathetic is that?! I’m too old for that crap! Either people like me for me, or they don’t. If they like the fact I can drink them under the table and stay up all night dancing, then what type of friendship is that? Hardly a firm foundation for me to rely upon.

For me, friends are people you can share everything with. I don’t want a one sided party fest, I’m not 20 any more, I want something connected, deeper and diverse. I won’t settle for superficial.

In saying all this on Saturday I return to the UK again, and this time it will be for two months (a very long time for me). I will then see which friends are left standing when I’m not in the picture for this length of time, and which forget I even existed.

I think the way I have been feeling of late the change of scene will do me well, as I am getting a little narky here (I think this post reflects that well enough), I seem to get ‘itchy feet’ after a few months in one place! God knows how I’ll cope when I don’t have another country to escape to, and am stuck in one on a permanent basis! I always thought I had some gypsy blood in me somewhere!

 

Anyway thanks for reading my rant!! I appreciate it as always.

Hasta luego!!!

Happy Saint David’s Day


To my fellow Welsh people out there, and surely there has to be a few of you lurking about WordPress;

Happy Saint David’s Day!!!!

Hapus Dydd Dewi Sant!!!!

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The Bored Blogger


I have been absent from WordPress for a little while, and for good reasons, may I add.

I am thoroughly bored!!!!!!!

Blogging has begun to feel as though it serves as no use or ornament in my life; in short, it serves NO purpose for me any more.

I guess I am frustrated. I’m not sure whether my frustrations lie with the confines of WordPress or the fact I have little enthusiasm for the topics being written about. Who can tell!

 

I think I have realised that the more followers I have, the less connected I feel. I assumed followers/following would guarantee interaction, because there would be more people to ‘converse’ with, but I fear I have been wrong in that assumption.

The amount of times I have left comments on blogs, and so on and so forth, and received nothing in return is disheartening. Realising that the comments I take time to contribute mean so little to the person who is blogging just like I am, is harsh! I mean really, why blog if you don’t wish to even acknowledge your readers!

 

It seems everyone is so wrapped up with self promotion, selling something, writing, gaining followers and following blogs (they never visit). Hardly anyone seems to make the effort to really connect, to engage, to really enjoy what is being written any more. This for me is truly sad.

I know there are bloggers out there who do engage, respond and connect – I am lucky that those of you who DO read The Savvy Senorita are such bloggers, and have given my writing great support (which I thank you all for)! I hope that I have done the same for you all too (or maybe you think not)?

Anyway, its just that when I first begun blogging at WordPress, I felt there was more of a sense of real community. I spoke to fellow bloggers regularly, we interacted via trading thought provoking comments and there were so many different topics out there to debate. Now it seems to me that these ‘old school’ bloggers have become out-numbered by more disinterested and aloof types. Consequently, I feel the words have run dry.

 

I can’t help but wonder, why in the Hell do I blog???!!! AND no, I’m not expecting anyone to run the defence of my writing skills, or wise crack over my lack of skills, I am just asking; what is the point in blogging to an absent audience?????

I know I’m not the only blogger feeling disillusioned, deflated, disheartened and fed-up. Other bloggers have confessed to me that they are having similar feelings regarding their own blogs and efforts. Maybe these people choose not to make their feelings public, because they are afraid to broach this subject as they wish to avoid remonstrations, well, I’m not one for holding my tongue!

I know I want to see more of the bloggers who want to write and read and comment and respond and engage. All of that interaction IS blogging; sitting on the side-lines playing a ‘how many likes can I get in an hour’ while ignoring my readers ISN’T blogging!

It makes me question; has blogging become nothing more than a popularity contest gone wrong?????????????

 

Anyway, regardless of the fact I feel most of this blogging malarkey has become pretty vacuous and glib (sorry, but it is how I feel), I do really want to hold out a hope that WordPress will change. I hope it will revert to how I felt it was when I first begun this pointless blog of mine – interesting and connected; a place where bloggers want to be involved with other peoples writing and their readership.

So, if you too are feeling the frustrations let me know!!

If you don’t understand where in the Hell I’m coming from, well, lucky you!

If you think I’m being a malicious mare, just double check the meaning before you make any accusations!!