Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Finally Getting Around To Things!

Well Bloggie Friends, it is with big red face, I hang my head in shame. Many months ago I was given these beautiful awards.

Thank you Munir

 Munir of Focus bestowed Inkpots n' Qulls with the KREATIV Blog award on May 6. Yes you read right, MAY !!! But worse again Deirda of A Story Book World graciously gave me this Beautiful Mommy Writer award April 9. Yes it was this year….for all those guffawing in the background!!! Please visit Munir and Deirda. Please she begs Shamefacedly!!!!

Thank you Deirda
Are those of you who know me personally and those who have been following Inkpots n’ Quills for any length of time shaking heads and tisking at me?  You know I do eventually get around to things. Really I do, EVENTUALLY!

Take for instance the book reviews I promised to post on Amazon and Goodreads for Bloggie Pals, Talli RolandWatching Willow Watts” and Kathryn BrownDiscovery at Rosehill”. Yes, I finally sat my you know what down on the chair and threatened the little voice in my head not to open its mouth until the reviews were written. Little voice likes to tell me I am useless at writing reviews. It also tells me I am useless at critiquing. Little voice is a pain in the you know what. Anyway I got the reviews written and sighed a huge sigh of relief. Hopefully little voice is not right and my reviews don't embarrass Bloggie pals Talli and Kathryn or myself.  Fingers Crossed!

I was spurred on by Beth Groundwater's post, “Feeling Uncomfortable” on InkSpot. This post got me thinking. I do feel very uncomfortable writing reviews and critiquing. So I am delighted to say, last night I took one huge leap out of my comfort zone. Thank you Beth Groundwater for that kick in the you know what.

Now onto the  KREATIV Blogger award. The rules are to tell you five facts about myself, so here it goes,

1. Well you already know the first fact. Not very timely

2. I have a slight problem with perfection. It alludes me.

3. I am a hat and shoe person. Wardrobe is overflowing with hats and shoes. I definately need a bigger wardrobe!

4. I am also a major book person. Every room in my house has an overflowing bookcase or two and then of course there are the stacks of books beside my bed, under my bed and on the bedside table that will not fit into the bedroom bookcase!

5. When I am feeling sad or down Husband who hates bookstores asks if I would like to go to Borders for a few hours. I am bereft at the moment.....because our Borders is closing down.....

Well there you have. Now I am to pass this award onto five other KREATIV Bloggers.  Are you joking me? Really only five????

1. Theresa @ Substitute Teacher’s Saga
2. Len @ Conversations with Self
3. Catherine @ Dispatches from the Deise
5. Maire @ Maire Rue Writes


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Getting Back To It!

This morning I sat in front of a blank screen and wondered what to write. I have been doing this a lot lately. Seems my writing mojo has mojoed out!!! Well not totally. I am working on a story. Blank Screen Syndrome took hold when I attempted to write a love scene. My first! When I finished the scene, I was taken aback at how trite it sounded.

I decided there was nothing for it but to go to the book store and buy a few historical novels and read as objectively as possible with blue highlighter at the ready. The results, I now have books with blue streaks all over the place. I uncapped blue highlighter number two, last night. It just occurred to me as I rifled through the pages of said books, maybe I should have used different coloured highlighters for different reference topics. HeyHo! Not always so quick on the uptake.

There are a few things to get to today. First and foremost, I want to give Talli Roland a rip roaring “bualadh bos”! I had the privilege of reading the ARC of “Watching Willow Watts” Talli’s latest novel. It was a brilliant read. I loved, loved, loved Willow Watts! Keep an eye out for this one!

Next is the third Crusade led by Rachael Harrie is about to begin. I took part in last year’s Crusade and have signed up for this one too. It is a great opportunity to network with and meet new blogger/writers. Looking forward to see you on the Crusade!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Episode Three - The Final Chapter

Once settled in my new seat and kindle turned off….. You cannot read a kindle during take-off and landing, very frustrating. (note to self, bring something to read for take-off and landing in future!). The plane pulled away from the gate to join the queue for take-off.  Fifteen minutes later we were still sitting in the queue not having moved an inch. Pilot came on over the intercom, introduced himself and his cabin crew and informed us we would be off shortly.

Fifteen minutes later, now keep in mind Kindle is still off and I have read the flight magazine from cover to cover. The pilot made another announcement. Take-off was delayed due to a storm coming from the south directly in our flight path and we should be off within the next twenty minutes or so. Kindle was pulled out of seat pocket.

The intercom crackled. I was engrossed in my kindle reading and surprised how quickly the twenty minutes passed. In fact it hadn’t and the pilot sounded slightly frustrated. “I am sorry ladies and gentlemen, it looks like we will be here a bit longer, there is another storm heading into our flight path from the north.” The sound of shuffling in seats filled the air. I shrugged, gave my new aisle neighbour a small smile and silently thanked the Gods of all denominations for inspiring me to change seats with tall disgruntled woman’s husband and returned to my kindle.

Two hours later, the now familiar voice of the pilot filled the cabin. “I am afraid there is some bad news Ladies and Gentlemen. Take off has been delayed due to a tornado moving into our flight path. There is no need to panic, we are perfectly safe. Please remain seated with your seat belts on. “

Two minutes later the captain was gracing us with another update. “The tower has been evacuated due to a tornado. It will take at least half an hour for the tower crew to be up and running again once the all clear is given. Hopefully we will be underway before we hit the deadline for legal flying hours under the flight time limitation regulations. I will keep you posted on any further developments.”

Thoughts of what will I do if the flight is cancelled, swirled. I looked all around me, this flight was filled to capacity, or at least it looked that way from my vantage point. There was only one flight to Dublin each day. I chided myself to stop worrying about that, and think what will this involve….collecting my bag, organizing a hotel, getting to the hotel, getting back to the airport from said as yet unidentified hotel.

Then the plane started to sway. It swayed left and then right and back again. There were inward gasps all around me. It seemed the plane was doing a little dance, back and forth. Yes, I was sitting on an airplane in the middle of a runway that was being tossed to and fro by a tornado!

“I am afraid this crew is running out of time Ladies and Gentlemen. If we are not off the ground within the next thirty minutes, we are out of legal flying time.”

The flight attendants started handing out meal trays. They were one row away from me….I was starving. It was now close to 10PM and I hadn’t eaten since I left Minneapolis. There was a scuttle of movement. Flight attendants were darting up the aisles and down the aisles. Trays were clanging as they were being whipped back onto the carts. My stomach was flapping at my ribs with the hunger and now even the prospect of food was to be cruelly denied me.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, the tower is manned, and our crew has voted to continue with the flight, even though we are just minutes away from our legal flying hour limit. Please fasten your seat belts. Cabin Crew prepare for take-off.”

There was a resounding round of applause. Everyone was glad to be finally moving. We were in the air within minutes. Over three hours later than our scheduled time, but a relief washed over me. I was not going to have to contend with sorting out accommodation in Chicago. All I had to contend with now, was how was I going to get from Dublin to Waterford. The bus I was supposed to be taking would be well gone by the time I landed in Dublin.

The pilot made another announcement once we were at cruising altitude thanking and congratulating the crew for their professionalism, and again everyone gave a warm and very appreciative applause. Once the meal was served, the pilot made the same announcement; I only half-heartily clapped at congratulatory speech number three. On landing in Dublin, pilot reiterated his praise for the wonderful selfless crew and how very grateful we the passengers should all be. This fourth self-congratulatory speech annoyed me and so I did not clap. It was just one too many “How great are we” speeches for me to stomach.

And so ends the saga of my journey. But hey there is always the return trip!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Episode Two!

This summer has not gone according to plan. The first indication of plans going awry was the the Hair Barrett incident. Ahhh I hear you say….worse can happen, get over it. I agree but as I indicated in Episode One, there is more, much more.

I sat at the gate waiting to board the flight to Chicago O’Hare where my transatlantic flight was departing at 18:45. On arrival at the Domestic Terminal in O’Hare all I had to do was make my way to the International Terminal by monorail. I had allowed myself plenty of time, three and a half hours to be exact.

According to my boarding pass, boarding for the Chicago flight was to begin at 14:45. I looked up from my kindle and checked the time. It was 14:50 and no sign of the plane at the gate. A muffled, barely understandable announcement came over the intercom informing all, the flight was delayed due to bad weather out of Chicago.

An hour later the flight finally arrived and all passengers were assured the turn around would be done as quickly as possible. By the time the flight took off I was down to one and three quarter hours lag time between flights. I didn’t panic though! No I didn’t….I ordered a glass of wine inhaled it to ease my rising panic and then proceeded to gulp it!!!!

Of course on arrival, my flight docked into the furthest gate out in Terminal One. Thankfully my bag had been checked through. I grabbed my carry on and sprinted towards the monorail.

On reaching the International Terminal the queue deemed perusing the Duty Free out of the question. I removed my hair barrette and joined the queue. I sailed through security this time….things were looking up!

I checked the monitor for my gate and to my dismay discovered it was at the furthest end of the International Terminal. Oh well, at least I was getting plenty of exercise. According to my calculations, I had walked at least five miles so far.

I groaned inwardly when I rounded the corner and caught my first glimpse of the gate area. It was packed. Not a seat to be had. Oh well, I told myself, there was only twenty minutes to boarding.

Did you think I was going to tell you boarding was delayed? Well it wasn’t! Boarding began right on the button. I got to my seat, put my bag in the overhead and settled in. I always book a left side aisle seat as close to an exit as possible.

A sudden uncomfortable crowded feeling came over me. I looked up from my kindle to discover a very tall woman hovering over me, glaring. “You are in my husband’s seat,” she said. “No,” I replied, "This is my seat." Between the jigs and the reels, I asked to see her husband’s ticket. His seat was one row behind in the centre. I got up from my seat to allow very tall disgruntled muttering woman into her window seat. I realized as the disgruntled muttering continued this was going to be a very uncomfortable seven hours!

I looked behind me and saw very tall disgruntled woman’s husband sitting in the centre aisle seat. I reached back and tapped him, “Would you like to switch seats once the head count is done?” He nodded in reply. I got the impression from his half hearted nod, he would have preferred to stay in his assigned seat. I on the other hand decided better him beside very tall disgruntled woman, than me!

There is a third episode to this saga. If my broadband stays with me long enough, I hope to get it posted by the end of the week.  Fingers Crossed!!!!