…..'A sense of humour lends you poise, it gives you balance and it helps you to bend without breaking'…..

(HH Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda)

Menoflexion - exercising the grey matter

The squidgy thing inside my skull has its moments. Bright ones. Dull ones. All the shades of grey in between. Latterly, (read "past decade") it has been wrangling with the ravages of hormonal change which I have chosen to name 'menopolyxinaemia'. Not that the established medical terminology is lacking. However, some words just do not convey the true essence of what is going on.  Menopause is one word trying to cover an enormity of physical, mental and emotional change.  The range of effects of menopause amongst the female of the species is as many as there are individuals going through it. Biologically, the process and end result may be the same. Experiences are a whole 'nother torture.

For the YAMster, one thing that has always helped when trying to 'process', is the writing. Whether a diary, poems, short stories or just flow-of-consciousness yabbering.

As mentioned last Monday, writing has figured large throughout this life.  It is one thing which has been a constant - although it's nature, its 'texture', have altered as life filled in its colour. Like many things which are a 'hobby' though, it has often been pushed to the back corner and not, perhaps, given the chance it needs to flourish. Am working on changing that. Yes, there is the ministry of Vedanta which must be attended. Now, though, writing is a focus and thus it is becoming easier each day to make some time for the creative side to come out.

It was the basis of this blog. Hence all the 'meno' titles. It was decided to keep that formation as it is part of the character, but now that the 'major storm' is beginning to recede, as the hormones settle themselves down and one accepts crone-hood, things can be more creative, rather than reactive.

In searching around for writing forums and competitions for which submissions might be prepared it started to look a tad overwhelming.  A handful have been chosen and now it is time to get truly serious about producing more than daily posts.  It is work; unpaid, strange hours, requiring discipline. Last week, one of the commenters wondered how more than one blog could be managed on a daily basis... well, aside from the obvious of time allocation, here is the point - pretty much my entire day is spent in reading or writing in some form or other. The mornings are for devotions, personal study and preparation of posts for Aatmaavrajanam. Next I will post up on TAKE and this one. Reading all my pals' blogs gets fitted in around the other stuff...I generally take two shifts at the reading - after lunch and after tea... then sometimes before bed too, 'cos of the menosomnia...

Sometimes I have flurries of posting. Particularly the photo blog as that can be preposted as much as a month ahead (if I have the image stock). Occasionally I'll post a week ahead here.  All in all though, it is daily discipline. Broken up with bits of looking at the ships and cranking up the camera...or the crochet hook.

To finish, another set of 10 writers' tips were found, this time from Margaret Attwood.  They are rather looser and somewhat more entertaining than those of PD James...

    1. Take a pencil to write with on aeroplanes. Pens leak. But if the pencil breaks, you can’t sharpen it on the plane, because you can’t take knives with you. Therefore: take two pencils.
    2. If both pencils break, you can do a rough sharpening job with a nail file of the metal or glass type.
    3. Take something to write on. Paper is good. In a pinch, pieces of wood or your arm will do.
    4. If you’re using a computer, always safeguard new text with a ­memory stick.
    5. Do back exercises. Pain is distracting.
    6. Hold the reader’s attention. (This is likely to work better if you can hold your own.) But you don’t know who the reader is, so it’s like shooting fish with a slingshot in the dark. What ­fascinates A will bore the pants off B.
    7. You most likely need a thesaurus, a rudimentary grammar book, and a grip on reality. This latter means: there’s no free lunch. Writing is work. It’s also gambling. You don’t get a pension plan. Other people can help you a bit, but ­essentially you’re on your own. ­Nobody is making you do this: you chose it, so don’t whine.
    8. You can never read your own book with the innocent anticipation that comes with that first delicious page of a new book, because you wrote the thing. You’ve been backstage. You’ve seen how the rabbits were smuggled into the hat. Therefore ask a reading friend or two to look at it before you give it to anyone in the publishing business. This friend should not be someone with whom you have a ­romantic relationship, unless you want to break up.
    9. Don’t sit down in the middle of the woods. If you’re lost in the plot or blocked, retrace your steps to where you went wrong. Then take the other road. And/or change the person. Change the tense. Change the opening page.
    10. Prayer might work. Or reading ­something else. Or a constant visual­isation of the holy grail that is the finished, published version of your resplendent book.

Pee-ess.... exciting news... BOZO (that links to the post about my visit with Bozo and his peeps) is back from his hols and wagging his tail like crazy! Do pay him a visit...


  1. Once on a flight from Heathrow to Dallas, I was sat next to a lady who neither ate nor drank anything nor once shifted from her seat - she just frantically scribbled into a yellow lined note book for the entire ten hours. I can't recall if she used biro or pencil, but she was about the most disconcerting person I've ever sat beside on a plane…
    So glad the worst of the meno-storm seems to be abating.
    Cheers, Gail.
    PS No sign of snow yet in the Granite City.

  2. About number 8. We agree with that totally! Plus it is nearly impossible to EDIT your own writing since your brain knows what you INTENDED to have said.

  3. Yes, concerning #8, we know someone who self published a book and used a VERY good friend as an editor. That was a mistake. The relationship was not affected at all but the editing was bad, very bad. We tried to read the book after it was published but the editing and typos kept us from being able to continue it!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

  4. The squidgy thing in my skull has it's moments too AND I've not got that'menopolyxinaemia' to blame for the dull bits.


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