The Little Book of Spoogy Poetry (by )

The Little Book of Spoogy Poetry

I've been quiet sick this week again - as in I've had several days where I couldn't function at all - today I'm a bit better though still having dizzy spells and being very very tired but I decided to create for Jean The Little Book of Spoogy Poetry.

Spoogy is the word she tends to say instead of spooky and she really likes Halloreen stuff and kept asking for stories and rhymes - so this morning I wrote the first half of a story I hope to have finished for Saturday for her it's called Hetty Peglar's Tump after a local earthworks.

Anyway I realised I wasn't going to get a chance to illistrate the story for her before then and I really wanted to do some halloween drawings for her so I thought I'd do a poetry book instead.

No I wrote all the poems today and I junked about 1 and half times what I've put in and they are well... mostly rhyming and Jean specific so I ain't going to win no great prizes with them but Jean seems to like them.

I'll be putting the poems on Turquoise Monster and how I made the book on Salaric Carft. But until then here are a few of the pages with the pictures pre-binding.

Mummy eating cherry pie Pumpkins and bats

Motivation (by )

When I started working, long ago in 1998 at Internet Vision, motivation wasn't a problem: work was something I did to cheer myself up. This held when I moved over to Frontwire; but when the company abandoned its offices, sacked all of my department apart from me, and I had to work from home back in 2002 or 2003 or so (IIRC), I started to find it hard to get up and start working in the mornings; I realised that working on problems with other people was more of a motivation for me than the fear of being reprimanded for not getting enough work done!

Well, I left that company before long, and freelanced for a while, then got together with some others and formed a company, GenieDB. I can now combine the best of both worlds; I can work from home, in my own environment, while being in contact with my colleagues in our company IRC channel, and working together on problems. I find it hardest when we're all working on unrelated projects, so there's little daily sharing of issues and triumphs, but the level of de-motivation I feel then is small fry compared to how it was when I worked alone!

Nonetheless, since my Frontwire days, various other stresses have appeared in my life, so my base level of motivation is nowhere near what it once was. Carefully managing my morale in order to keep my head above water is an important concern.

Luckily, I made a breakthrough some months ago; for some reason or other I had to be up much earlier than usual, so was up at 8am one day. When I had dealt with the business that required the early morning, it was about 9am, and I didn't need to start work until 10am - so I used the extra hour to go and tinker with stuff in my workshop. It was good. Having had an early morning I was tired that night and fell asleep easily, and having had an hour of "me time", I didn't have my usual restless urge to go and do something fun rather than going to bed.

And I forgot to turn the alarm clock back to its usual time. So the next morning I awoke again at 8am. Except this time, having been to sleep earlier, I wasn't dog tired. So I got up and enjoyed two hours of me-time before starting work.

I was hooked.

Previously, I would wake up knowing I had to get out of bed, get Jean ready for preschool, deliver her there, then start working, spend my lunch break mowing the lawn or other domestic tasks, eat at my desk, work until it was time to go and collect Jean, bring her back, cook dinner, take Jean to bed, then try and catch up on domestic matters (while tired) before going to bed and having trouble sleeping. This not being a particularly delightful prospect, I would often lie in bed far too long, cherishing the ability to just lie there and think, knowing that getting up meant stepping onto a virtual treadmill.

But now I was waking up at eight in the morning, and positively leaping out of bed at the thought of going and doing something fun. I made a rule that, from 8am to 10am, I'd do whatever I wanted; I wouldn't accept requests. I'd get to my desk at 10am, lively and happy. I'd be more tired in the evenings (that extra two hours didn't come out of nowhere), but much less depressed, so I'd get the domestic stuff done sooner and end up spending more time with Sarah once Jean was in bed, then be off to bed in good time as I was getting tired.

My two hours in the morning even gave me time to do things like having showers, which I had previously had to try and fit elsewhere in the day, often ending up going several days overdue!

Even when I'm in London, I woke up at 8am and spent two hours pottering about on my laptop, or going for a walk.

Now that Jean's started school, it's not quite so good - I have to be up at 7:30am to start helping Sarah to get her up, and fed, and dressed, and leave the house at 8:15am to get Jean to the school for 8:45am, but then I'm back home at 9am for an hour of my own before starting work at 10am; I still find it hard to get out of bed knowing I have to do the school run before I can do fun things, and I don't fancy getting out of bed at 6:30am for an hour to myself before doing that 🙂 When Sarah's healthier she might be able to cope with the school run on her own, though, so it might improve yet; she doesn't seem to benefit from starting the day with her own time as much as I do, so that might be a fair trade.

We'll see!

The Way I Concentrate (by )

I have worked out that part of the problem with house work, bills, contracts etc... is the way I concentrate - I focus and focus deep generally on one project and even when I'm not actively doing that project I am still mentally chugging away at it.

This means that I don't always notice 'interuptions' and end up with like a pile of post and dirty dishes - this is one of the reasons I like people visiting as means I'll notice the dishes!

Now with Jean at school I've been trying a varient on my pacing methods for the pain - the 10 mins just was not working becuase I just get into something and have to change - so I experiemented to see if I could get my tolerance level up to 20 mins - most of the time this works well - though afternoons are a complete write-off with this system.

It seems to be working though - I am starting to get on top of the house work and am writing and drawing alot - being more productive than I have been for most of this year!

Basically I get Jean off to school and then pace - 20 sitting reading, writing, drawing and 20 minutes doing household or gardening stuff - I have even managed to tackle a hedgerow harvest in this way this year!

The plus side is that the house work is not mounting up and 20 mins stints at it isn't leaving me flaked in the way trying to do a solid hour of it was and because it is manual work my brain is free to mull over the next thing I'm going to write - and I have found I due generally only want to work on one project a day - maybe even for several days in a row!

This is actually a revolution for me 🙂

Of course when Jean's about pacing goes out the window but thats fine too 🙂

The Maiden’s Dream (by )

I have put my poem The Maiden's Dream up on Turquoise Monster it is a rhyming one that is supposed to portray a sense of fairy tale magic.

Again Feedback would be appreciated 🙂

Desolate was the Playground (by )

I awoke and me and dad got Jean ready for school - there were books to find and lunches to make and teeth to brushed and Jean's to be shouted at when they flop and make dressing them hard and so on and so forth.

It was dark when I got up and I thought - hmmm bout time those clocks change.

And we struggled our way to school.

And it was deserted the playground desolate and forlorn - empty of childs hurtling around it was a grey expanse of tarmac with a dreary fence. Where was everyone?

No cars in the staff parking - no lights in the windows - cold and empty - I look at Dad 'When do the clocks change?'

'Not yet'

'Surelly its soon?'

'Your mother didn't say anything about it and I would have expected a sign in the playground'

'Hmm well they must have changed - there's no one here'

So we come home again and I look up daylight saving and find out the clocks change this weekend - so then I'm panicking - have I missed some school trip? Were they all supposed to be at some train station somewhere or something?

No - its half term - yesturday was the last day - Mew 🙁

So then Dad's annoyed cos he could have still been sleeping and Jean's annoyed becuase she doesn't want a holiday - she wants to go to school and play with her friends!

And I ment to talk to some of the mothers about the half baked plans for them to visit during half term :/

Sigh - I just can't manage with the amount of stuff I have to remember for school - and yet I know that other people manage this stuff perfectly well :/

Fortunatly I had got in lots of craft stuff and that to do with Jean and Co during half term anyway- she is currently happily colouring a dinosaur sticker and colouring book and has a spooky ghost one waiting for her attention 🙂

I also have wooden skulls for decorating - and skull bags to sew and ghosts to glitter! I love pound shops and the like 🙂 (Plus I cut alot of the stuff out myself from my craft paper collection!)

I've got cooking activities and everything lined up for Jean but am sad to be two days shorter on sorting house out time 🙁

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