Feline Focus

Feline Focus
My latest puma, July 2016


Beloved companion to Sarah, Nov 2015

Window To The Soul

Window To The Soul
Watercolour Horse, June 2015

Sleeping Beauties

Sleeping Beauties
Watercolour Lionesses, Nov 2012


"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read."

"Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others."

Groucho Marx

Snow Stalker

Snow Stalker
Another snow leopard - my latest watercolour offering - July 2013

20 July 2016

Blog Boggled

My writing corner; and yes, I do use my paper dictionary et al.

I haven’t quite mastered this blogging thing, you know.  Scrap that: I’m really naff at it.  I’m very autistic and adhd-ish about it all - which for me basically means rigid and inconsistent.  This shouldn’t surprise me but, well, it does, ‘cos it’s not how I intended it to be.  Somehow I seem to think I can leave all that behind me when it comes to my writing, and art… and the internet, and life in general… 

I had great plans to post regularly, and multifariously: not only adding articles, but poetry, artwork, photos, and the like.  Similar to the kind of blogs I enjoy looking at (when I sneak on the internet looking for inspiration, but end up drowning in the endless sea of sites).

I think part of the problem is that my reasons for starting it were rather ambiguous.  It was vaguely meant to be a way to share about being a newly-diagnosed autistic.  It was also intended as a way for me to do some kind of Twelve Step work, sharing my experience, strength, and hope with alcoholics (mostly autistic ones, since that is my experience) as I am not able to do so in person - one on one, or in AA meetings - ’cos of my anxiety and difficulty with communicating verbally.  And then it was also meant as an outlet for me to write, because I wasn’t doing any. 

Perhaps I expected it to kind of evolve all by itself, as it likely would have done were I not autistic.  Instead of which, my style and approach have remained static - as I should have expected.  After all, I don’t deal well with change; and I certainly don’t do it spontaneously (do you think this means that I could never spontaneously combust either?).   

Now I come to evaluate it, of course it seems obvious that, having found a manner of writing which suits me (very formal; always with title; single topic; essay-style; as near to two A4 pages as possible; and grammatically correct and edited to within an inch of its life, as if it’s going to be critiqued and marked by someone other than me), I would end up rigidly adhering to that formula. 

So it seems that this is going to require some conscious effort and attempts to change, on my part.  I’m not quite certain how I’m going to do this, to be honest, other than that my default position - which is to try to copy the advice of other people (fellow bloggers, in this case) - has not, and never will, work.  Not only has it not worked, it has failed miserably, and left me feeling miserably inadequate in the process. 

And what, I hear you ask (or maybe not, since I could be writing this into a void), is this golden piece of advice, which seems to work for everybody else but not for me?  Planning.  Yep: my favourite.  Whenever the question of my inconsistency in writing and art comes up, I revert to thinking about THE THING THAT DOES NOT WORK FOR AN INCONSISTENT, PLAN-RESISTANT AUTISTIC WITH ADHD!  Why, oh why, I ask myself, can I not follow a simple bloody plan, for the love of God?

For a start, I’m really poor at making plans (something to do with the executive functioning area of my brain not being wired-up ‘correctly’).  I try to keep them simple, but they end up looking like Spaghetti Junction in written form.  So already I’m handicapped.  Even simple notes written to myself often look like mini-essays.

But this, unfortunately, is one of the main tools people suggest for basically dealing with everything in life, it seems.  And since it appears to be a universally-held truth that a plan is an essential for dealing with your life, then of course it must be right.  Right?  WRONG!!!

And then we come to actually following the bloody thing.  Never was there a woman so desperate to follow a plan (or a crowd of people, or a flock of sheep, or a load of lemmings off a cliff) than I.  

My writing desk - mainly decorative.  And there's some of my art, in situ.

My life has been littered with all the failed attempts to implement one variation or another of what has become like the holy bloody grail to me, from secondary school onwards (when one is introduced to the concept of homework, and the need for some sort of ability to be able to organise and motivate oneself in order to complete it.  You won’t be surprised to learn that I never could do it, and every piece of homework was left until the night before, or the morning of, the day it was expected to be handed in.  This is not helpful when you already suffer from an inordinate amount of stress and anxiety about going to school as it is). 

But I’m nothing if not persistent, and a slow learner.  Hence thirty years later, after leaving school, and I’m still trying to do something it has been proven that I cannot do.  Sheesh.  Enough already!

So I’m not going to make yet another attempt at planning how often I’m going to write, and post, ‘cos I did that and here we are - I’ve barely posted anything this year.  It’s like the minute I set a goal I do the opposite.  And it’s not intentional.  Not at all.  

Which is why I don’t like the term “oppositional defiance” (which is likely what it would be considered to be, especially given my history whereby I can never seem to do what I’m told, whether it’s me or someone else doing the telling): the word ‘defiance’ always sounds like the consciously wilful action of someone who just wants their own way, and thinks they know best.  And it’s not.  

I hate getting into trouble, and do you know how much trouble I get into when I behave like this?  And how much of an impediment it is to me being able to achieve and succeed at things I really want?  Just take a look at how long I’ve been keeping a blog, and how sporadic my work has been, and how frustrated this makes me.  

And how logical is it to suggest that I’m trying to get my own way when I can’t even follow my own instructions, which are about trying to attain what I want?  Of course, it is possible that I have misunderstood what people mean by the term ‘oppositional defiance’ (it has been known to happen… often), but there you go.  Words matter to me.  

As does “a well-placed comma” (which can change the whole meaning of a sentence - as can a badly-placed one: which can be especially important to an autistic already struggling under the weight of literality, and trying to figure out what people mean by what they say.  Having to grapple with incorrect grammar on top of that grates on my already tautly strung nerves).  It appears that not only am I acutely sensitive to things like noise, smell, and other peoples’ emotional energies, but I’m also grammatically sensitive too.  Yay me!  “A well-placed comma…” has now become my catchphrase.

So, a new adventure awaits me.  I blame my friend.  It was she who mentioned (again) the other day the infrequency of my writing, and what it was that she’d expected me to do with my blog when I started it (something about it being a catalogue of my journey through my life with autistm, adhd, and the 12 Steps, etc.  Sounded vaguely familiar…)  She also mentioned having expected me to play with what is the most informal platform for writing, with no rules, and room to experiment.  I was kind of surprised.  Does she not know who I am?  Me?  Experiment?!  PLAY?!!  Pfft!!!!

She also mentioned just now that anyone reading my blog has no sense of continuity, or of who I am, or what’s happening in my life because every post is not only inconsistently posted, but has no link to the last; that what’s important is not the style of the writing (which is what I get hung up on), but the content and flow, if I want to connect and allow other people to feel a connection to me.  Which I do, but which I’m appalling at, both in writing and my life.

So I shall be attempting to do some of what she suggested, along with some of the ideas that I had.  These include writing a post once a week, even if it’s just to say that I have nothing to write about.  Wish me luck, and see you then. 

A closer view of Rabbit keeping an eye on things.

Snow Leopard

Snow Leopard
An experiment in watercolour and gouache

Quotes Quota

"Do you believe in Magic?" asked Colin.

"That I do, lad," she answered. "I never knowed it by that name, but what does th' name matter? I warrant they call it a different name i' France an' a different one i' Germany. Th' same thing as set th' seeds swellin' an' th' sun shinin' made thee well lad an' it's th' Good Thing. It isn't like us poor fools as think it matters if us is called out of our names. Th' Big Good Thing doesn't stop to worrit, bless thee. It goes on makin' worlds by th' million - worlds like us. Never thee stop believin' in th' Big Good Thing an' knowin' th' world's full of it - an call it what tha' likes. Eh! lad, lad - what's names to th' Joy Maker."

From 'The Secret Garden', by Frances Hodgson Burnett


Copied from photograph of the same name by Roberto Dutesco

Quotes Quota

"There is no way to happiness - happiness is the way."
The Dalai Lama

"If you don't stand for something you will fall for anything."

Malcolm X

On The Prowl

On The Prowl
Watercolour tiger

Quotes Quota

"What saves a man is to take a step. Then another step."

"There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind."

C S Lewis