Monthly Archives: June 2011

200: Namaskara for Rebels

A Weekly Series of Riffs in 200 Words

There are times when we allow others to get us down and, at such times, I try to remember the Sanskrit word Namaskara which roughly translates to ‘I salute the divine in you’ or  ‘I salute the inner beauty in you.’

                There are people who, despite outward appearances, seem to have little or no inner beauty and who cause the hackles to rise, notwithstanding our heroic efforts to think good thoughts about them.

Adolph and Rudolph (neither of them red-nosed reindeers) from http://www.ehistorybuff.com

                In such cases, it is wise to take a deep breath, plant one’s tongue firmly between one’s teeth and recite this tiny piece of irreverent humour from Italian philosopher and educator Piero Ferrucci:- 

                Independently of the fact that you irritate me, that I can’t stand your presence, that I feel uneasy when I am with you, that I disagree with you, that I find myself believing you are a hopeless slob, and so on and so forth, I salute the inner beauty in you – a beauty which I may have perceived at some time or, if I never perceived it, deliberately assume is there – mysterious, immemorial, unaffected by any games we may at this moment be playing, infinite.

 It is my mantra for the rest of 2011.  

Is that a finger?  Pic from http://www.flickr.com

The answer to Friday’s Fictionary Dictionary is…a wooden dwelling covered with earth, typical of the Navaho Indians

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It’s Fictionary Dictionary Friday

WHAT IS THE CORRECT MEANING OF…

Hogan

Have a guess and check in on Sunday for the answer

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200: The many-splendoured brain

A weekly series of riffs in 200 words

I am constantly amazed by the neurological and psychological nuances, disturbances and variations of that most complicated of organs…the Human Brain.
      A Synaesthete for example is someone whose senses mingle; one sense is stimulated by another.  It seems a  romantic notion that one might see music or taste colour but no doubt the ‘gift’ could easily lead to sensory overload. I wasn’t aware of synaesthesia when I wrote 8 States of Catastrophe,yet it would seem that the central character MV surely has a touch of it, and perhaps I do too.

From bioscifi.kenyon.edu. I can hear them. Can you?

      In researching my latest book, I stumbled upon something known as the Stendhal Syndrome, of which I think I might also suffer a mild form.  It is a psychosomatic illness that rears its head when an individual is exposed to art.  Now, I’ve never hallucinated when confronted by a grand piece of art, but I have experienced other symptoms such as dizziness and a rapid heartbeat.
      I haven’t been to France so I don’t know if I’m likely to contract Paris Syndrome but when I came across Pica disorder which is characterised by an appetite for non-nutritive substances, I thought it might be time to stop chewing my pencil.

The Answer to Friday’s Fictionary Dictionary…A Gandy Dancer is a railway track maintenance worker.

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It’s Fictionary Dictionary Friday

WHAT IS THE CORRECT MEANING OF…

Gandy Dancer
Have a guess and check in on Sunday for the answer


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200: Why?

A weekly series of riffs in 200 words

 ‘What’s the significance of 200 words?’ asks a fellow writer.
          The answer is ‘Succinctness Training’.  Perhaps it’s a hangover from journalism studies where many students are stumped by the finer nuances of a word count.

I never took journalism quite this far

Approximately.  At least.  Minimum.  No more than. 
          All good guidelines.  But when the brief stipulates a number, be it 200 or 300, it’s best to play safe and make it exact, especially in the pedantic world of journalism.

Now that's what I call a journalist...and wonderfully easy on the eye. http://www.negusmedia.com.au

I enjoy being creative and flighty with my writing so journalism and I were never a perfect fit.  In fact it was my mother who encouraged me to take journalism as my second major and I have never been more pleased by her foresight.
          Journalism taught me plenty about research and grammar.  It also taught me how to be succinct.
          To my consternation, whenever I set out to write a short story of approximately 1000 words, I invariably draft at 1300 and then bring it home by paring off those extraneous 300 words.
          So while it might seem silly to take time to cut three words, I like to think of it as practicing my craft.
          The last words I cut today were ‘simple’, ‘perfectly’ and ‘short’.

Answer to Friday’s Fictionary Dictionary… 
(a) Fascicule is one part of printed work that is published in instalments

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It’s Fictionary Dictionary Friday

WHAT IS THE CORRECT MEANING OF…

Fascicule

Check in on Sunday for the correct answer

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200: A big Fat Nothing

Because I double-dipped last week, there will be no 200 words of wisdom (or rubbish) this week.  I don’t like to set the bar too high. 

However, I can tell you that the answer to Friday’s Fictionary Dictionary is…drumroll…

(b) a Euphausiid is a small small shrimplike crustacean

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