Liza Rose

Friday, 30 May 2014

Humpday Blues....and recovery

There is something about Wednesdays that means that whatever good intentions you had on Sunday night or Monday morning have evaporated by around midday on "hump day".

Is it that the work is wearing you down and your deadlines are looming, or is it the early mornings your child subjects you to when they climb into your bed and tickle your feet that accumulate into an early morning grogginess. Perhaps it is these things, or perhaps its psychosomatic. We need to blame something for the (probably normal in most cases) lack of progress and so... hump day.

Well, no more. This week, managing to push aside my normal distractions of procrastination and navel gazing, I managed not only to achieve my goal of (finally) getting a website up and running, but I also (finally) started my writing course. Now it is Friday and the sense of achievement is high, even if the feedback is lackluster or even non-existent. I am doing this because I want and need to write, and so I have achieved the goal I set myself.

Which brings me nicely to the course. I have started module 1 of the 14 (according to Groupon) or 12 (according to the course site itself) module course. As an introductory module it is interesting and beautifully presented.

My only criticism at this early stage is based around my own reasons for doing the course, rather than any other. The course material appears to be highly geared to those who might hope or expect to make a living from writing and cites J,K.Rowling as an example. Without going into the arguments for and against the writing of J.K.Rowling (I am a fan, but I know that there are those who are not), I think I can safely say that for every J.K.Rowling, there are many others who are published but not making a living at writing, and many more who are writing but unpublished. The range of subjects covered include self publishing, marketing, branding and selling of associated products (think Thomas the Tank Engine toys), and these are all good areas in which to have knowledge, especially if self publishing; however, I am concerned at this early stage that the course may give an overly optimistic slant. On the other hand, it may allow those who are worthy yet unpublished to get a foot in the door, so I will withhold judgement for now. After all, I hope to write and publish myself someday. Given that I have actually worked with published authors, and given that they are still working in non-writing field jobs, I'm not expecting it to be my main source of income for many years if at all!

I will leave you with a request to "Challenge Liza". I have, as I mentioned above, finally managed to get my website up and running:   or

I have set up a challenge - ideas can be submitted by anyone who cares to read my website. You can submit challenges, and once a week, I will pick one and rise to the challenge...

Rules -
1. Challenge request should be for a response of 100 words or less.
2. Most subjects are suitable, however, I will reserve the right to refuse unsuitable topics.
3. Comments on both the challenge and the response will be welcome but will be moderated!

UPDATED 1st June:
A weekly prize of a signed copy of my book to winners. Winners will be listed on the website until they have received their rain check prize!

Tuesday, 27 May 2014


  1. the action of delaying or postponing something

When starting an online self taught self motivated course, the first thing to do, is to remove the obstacles that prevent you from your path. If however, you have an innate fear or distrust of the new, then the biggest obstacle can be the one you put there yourself.

The art of procrastination has been written about many times, Mark Twain's “Never put off till tomorrow what may be done day after tomorrow just as well" is one of many versions of the old axiom, Never do today what you can put off until tomorrow. however, Thomas Moore was perhaps prescient in regards to modern psychology when he wrote “What is deferred is not avoided.” Since it seems that the fear of failure is quite often greater than the reality of failing, then psychologically speaking, you are not avoiding a failure, but merely deferring the attempt whereby you might fail.

Consider too Schrodinger's cat is neither dead nor alive until you look in the box. By failing to open the box, you are procrastinating.

However, if you look at it another way, Schrodinger's cat is also a paradox - the cat is neither dead nor alive. When we procrastinate we do not fail, but nor do we succeed, so procrastination equals paradox. The laws of paradox are such that unless we are at a quantum level, both solutions of the paradox cannot exist simultaneously. Therefore by procrastinating we are both avoiding failure, but also failing. When we realise this, we can move forward, putting the fear of failure behind us, since we have already failed by procrastinating, and we are still here to tell the tale.

And so... since I have set up my blog, paid my fees, set up my website (which still is not operating on full thrusters, and thus is relegated to my "followup later pile"), I will stop procrastinating and start my course.... tomorrow....

Monday, 26 May 2014

This webpage is, alas, not available :(

So today, I was hoping to launch my new webpage


But as you will see, this is not (yet) a hyperlink. Alas, it seems that while I have free and clear license to call the webpage my own, the great cloud in the void appears to have misinterpreted my 10 digit telephone number as something less than 8 digits, with the result that my application is 'delayed' until they have resolved the issue. Clearly there were 10 digits in the number, so I think the bot must be seeing double or something. All being well, this issue will be resolved by tomorrow and I can have the grand unveiling...

Last night I cleared the decks so that I can start my online writing course. I am unsure how successful this course will be, since I purchased it on Groupon! My belief with such things is you get out of them what you put in, so if I endeavor to work hard, then it will have some kind of effect. Should the effect be an adverse one, then perhaps those out there who are more aware and educated in such matters would be so good as to shout "No! You are misinformed" every few posts!

Of course I would have started the course tonight, but it was much more fun to go swimming with my two year old who is of the firm opinion that floats should sink and that they are in fact supercharged jack-in-the boxes. I hope that I can siphon a little of his imagination off in my next childrens piece!

Sunday, 25 May 2014

How to organise a blog?

Following the high of yesterdays creative moment, I find I am in a quandary already. Should I continue to focus on a key subject or should I let my creativity flow and post random snippets of brain fluff. The authorities on blogging appear to agree. Jane Friedmans Blogging 101 suggests there is much advantage to having a single topic blog - better organisation, more focus, greater depth, a chance at viral growth. The public will want your brain fluff about as much as they want your pocket fluff!

On the other hand, when the main purpose of blogging is to improve your writing skills then diversity of styles and topics may be more favorable. Until the skills are honed and the subject is refined, then the general wisdom is write about "what you know"; However, what if "what you know" is a little bit about a lot of things, but not a lot about a specific thing? I have always held that I am a specialist in generalism which is an advantage in my particular line of work, but not of particular use when attempting to write a detailed novel! 

That said, some degree of organisation is required. I have followed blogs where the limits of cyber-space restrict the organic growth of a generalised structure (yes it does have some limits if you prefer them, rather than free fall into the unknown chasm that can be the world wide web). One lady had problems when her blogging limits forced her to split the blog into two - a French language version and an English language version. Another limit of cyber-space is translation - there are just some things that dont translate well! 

So decision made.
Option 1: Specialist
Option 2: Generalist
I have never been one to conform and so I went with Option 3 - I will start off as a generalist and morph either by design or by accident into a specialist as and when the time is "write"!

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Alley Oop!

This is not a post about Basketball before anyone asks. It was only recently that I realised the term "Alley Oop" was in fact anything to do with that graceful and fast paced sport. Alley Oop was the expression my father used to get himself going in the morning, it was the term my grandfather used to get my grandmother moving, and its the name of a group that a friend of mine started to get us "going". In the first two cases, it was literally to get moving physically, but in the latter case it was to inspire us to do something useful with our lives.

It is fashionable now to own a bucket list, things you want to do before a certain milestone in life, whether its pre-pregnancy, pre-retirement, post-retirement or just "sometime". The only problem is, when you are starting out on a new path, it can sometimes be a little daunting. How do you take the first step towards achieving your life goals? Perhaps you want to go bungee jumping - that might be fairly straight forward, (unless you are afraid of heights!) you pay up, you go. What if you want to learn a new language - what language, what course, self learning, online learning, Rosetta Stone or classroom based? What if you want to write a book?

So you find yourself stalled, incomplete life goals teasing you when you go on facebook and see your old school mates have posted about their trip to Latvia, or see an ex-colleague has just presented a paper at a conference, or you meet your ex-boyfriend on the street and not only is his new girlfriend beautiful, but they just got back from Tanzania, and you never did arrange that trip to Kenya that you argued about and broke up over...

The Alley Oop group was formed in an effort to move us from lethargic wishful thinkers to active participants in our own lives. It worked. This blog is one of my goals... and here I am - online presence established. Shiny and new.... now what to do with the blog design... hmmm.... and what shall I post about next....