Style is a beautiful thing …?

Day Seventeen: Your Personality on the Page

Today’s Prompt: We all have anxieties, worries, and fears. What are you scared of? Address one of your worst fears.

Today’s Twist: Write this post in a style distinct from your own.

Earlier in Writing 101, we talked about voice: that elusive element that sets you apart from every other writer out there.Style, however, is different. Your writing style might affect your voice, but ultimately style and voice aren’t the same thing.

While your voice is your own, and something that’s innately you, style is much broader. You might prefer long and complex sentences, or sentences with a lot of commas and layers building upon each other, or perhaps intentional run-ons and thoughts bleeding into the next and no pauses and lots of imagery and never-ending moments that run onto the next page.

Or, you might write short sentences. Fragments, even. Simple prose.

Think back to your assignment on sentence lengths. What kinds of sentences do you prefer, or find yourself writing naturally?


Frank Herbert wrote Dune. One of the training forms, for the Atreides family. Was learning to control fear. “Fear is the mind killer”.

When I first started to fly on commercial flights, forty years ago. I was not a happy camper. Not caring for the swaying and banking of the aircraft. The cabin staff would come around and I would take all the free booze offered. Brandy usually. Perhaps, the staff are trained to spot nervous passengers? For they would come by a second time and I would spend the rest of the flight time across the Atlantic in happy oblivion.

These days, while not exactly ecstatic. I can certainly handle the eight hours in the air, without booze. Sitting next to the window, or an aisle seat. It’s all the same. Coming in to Heathrow, after a five-year hiatus in 2005. We were in a holding pattern circling London. I was in a window seat. The plane banked and flew lower, opening up the panorama of London city. The building known as the gherkin, held my curiosity. For it is an unusual sight, as to the one now adjacent. “The can of ham”. Not built then.


Now that’s a iconoclastic image, for a nightmare of architecture?






It’s a fine line for modern architecture. One of  a balance for art and form, betwixt that of function.

If what we read and hear is true? Population reduction is being promoted. In both Governmental organizations and from the wealthy.

One wonders if these people are offering to be the first, to go?

Suppose population is reduced? Then why are buildings like that, necessary? The logical conclusion is that they are not expected to last as long as Chartres cathedral.




Built by Stonemasons in medieval times.

Whereas buildings like the “Gherkin” and “Can of Ham”. Are more disposable? Built by Freemasons, for a New World Order.



Writing 101- A room with a view …

Today’s Prompt: If you could zoom through space in the speed of light, what place would you go to right now?

The spaces we inhabit have an influence on our mood, our behavior, and even the way we move and interact with others. Enter a busy train station, and you immediately quicken your step. Step into a majestic cathedral, and you lower your voice and automatically look up. Return to your own room, and your body relaxes.

Today’s twist: organize your post around the description of a setting.

Giving your readers a clear sense of the space where your story unfolds will help them plunge deeper into your writing. Whether it’s a room, a house, a town, or something entirely different (a cave? a spaceship?), provide concrete details to set this place apart — and to create a more immersive reading experience.

It’s possible I’m wrong?

For Muslims it is considered offensive to sleep with the feet pointing to Mecca. … Hey I didn’t make the rules!

Where is God Not (retold by Nasruddin)

My beloveds, I travelled again to the village of my friend Tekka, after years away. He had become very devout in his ways, sometimes a little pompous, but still the kind soul I had loved for years.

I visited him, and we picked up our friendship as if we had never been apart.

“Nasruddin, you are a light to the eyes,” said Tekka, “Please stay with me. I insist.”

I accepted his kind invitation. He showed me my sleeping room, with a window to the east, and the bed made up. “I have arranged it so your head faces toward Mecca,” he said proudly. “You must always sleep with your head toward Mecca, out of respect for the Prophet, on whom be peace.”

My first night, I tossed and turned, and finally fell asleep. I am apparently an active sleeper, for when Tekka shook me awake the next morning, he was very agitated.

“Nasruddin, I am disappointed in you!” I looked at myself, and said, “I am often disappointed in myself, Tekka, what seems to be today’s problem?”

“You have slept with your feet toward Mecca! This is most disrespectful!”

“My apologies, Tekka, it was unintentional. I am a very active sleeper.”

Tekka was mollified, but insisted that the next night I must do better. I promised I would.

The next night resembled the first. I slept well, after some tossing and turning, but awoke to find my feet on my pillow and my head resting on the floor at the end of the sleeping mat. Just as I realized my predicament, Tekka stood in the door and clucked in concern.

“This will never do, Nasruddin. I am a good citizen and a good Muslim. You must sleep with your feet pointing the opposite way from Mecca, and your head pointing toward Mecca, out of respect for the Prophet and devotion to Allah.”

“What is your reason for insisting on this, my friend?” I asked.

“You must not point your feet toward God!” he said, and repeated it. “You must point your head toward God and your feet away from Him.”

I thought about this. We spent the day together, and that night Tekka was most emphatic. “Nasruddin,” he said, “If you cannot sleep with your head toward God, I regret to say I cannot have you in my house. It pains me to say this to an old friend, but my devotion is to Allah.”

The third night was much like the other two, except that this time I awoke with my nose pressed against the floor at the foot of the sleeping mat. It was pushed out of shape, and I was rubbing it when Tekka appeared. His face was clouded with anger and sadness.

“Before you speak, Tekka, answer me this,” I said, springing up. “Does Allah rule over everything, even the fate of men?”

“You know he does,” replied Tekka, puzzled.

“Is Allah there in every part of His creation?”

“Of course he is!”

I pointed out the window at the birds rising from the edge of the well. “Does he live in the birds of the air?”

“Yes,” said Tekka. “Why are you asking these questions?”

“Please have patience with an old friend,” I replied. “Is Allah everywhere, even across the desert and the mountains?”

“Allah is the creation. Allah is in the creation, and is the lord over the creation!” exclaimed Tekka.

“So, Tekka,” I said, holding out my feet. “Point my feet where God is not!”


Similarly :-

It is difficult for me to pick “One place”. “What place would I go to right now”?

For expediencies sake, I will choose a Trans Atlantic flight. From North America to London, England.

I have flown a few different routes. Spokane to Minneapolis/St.Paul then on to Gatwick or Heathrow. Spokane to Denver and on. Taken off from Seattle, Vancouver, or Calgary AB. All landing at those London Airports. One time we landed in Amsterdam. Where I waited for a connection to Heathrow.

Not once were we served Camembert.

One time flying out from St.Paul, I was bumped up to first class. Where the travel is world’s apart from economy. The first thing that happens when welcoming you aboard is escort you to your seat and then offer Champagne. Around comes a cheese board and I seem to remember Camembert was on offer, then? As part of a selection. I think I declined the cheese board? However they were magnificently presented. A special cheese knife to cut the desired cheese. This was before the twin towers fiasco. Things were different then.

Senator Ruth, it seems. Is totally out of touch with the world, of most people. Her notion of extra billing to expenses for another meal because the airlines, or class of travel she uses. Serves her “ice-cold camembert and broken crackers”.  Shows a disdain. It shows a disdain for us the rest of the population. Apart from Senators in the Canadian Senate. Few of us are able to bill for expenses. The sort of expenses that get reimbursed promptly. Few of us have the ability to book first class travel. Which means travel in style where the seats are like day-beds, with quiet service. The little complimentary sacks of soaps and hair care.

What does Nancy Ruth do? We are told by one unnamed Senator that we “Do not have the first clue about Parliamentary life and public life in general”?

Nancy Ruth

I wonder if Ms. Ruth has the same opinion?

This same source sniffed at the auditors looking into expense claims. Going on to say, “they are bean counters and they work in a very narrow environment”. Yes they do. Thankfully for the Canadian taxpayer. For they are not counting beans but dollars. Dollars that to Senators, are about as worthless as beans.

So, here’s to Ms Ruth. Anytime I fly to Europe again, I shall be thinking of her and her extra meals, paid courtesy of the Canadian Taxpayer. Looking at her; Canada’s first openly lesbian Senator.

She has had over ten years, of the pork barrel. In that time what has she actually achieved? Not very much it seems?

The only thing I could see was; “in 2010, Nancy Ruth took credit for the Throne Speech‘s including a proposal to study changing the line of “O Canada” from “all thy sons command” to “thou dost in us command”, the original wording. Intense publicbacklash caused the Prime Minister’s Office to announce the issue had been dropped from consideration6] “.

Maybe this failure, caused her to take it out on the taxpayer? Determined to seek revenge for this slight, she is extra billing and double dipping, in some sort of fury at being rejected? Who knows? Maybe it’s none of that? Perhaps, it is just plain piggy, Like the rest of the piggies, that run government.

She has all the trappings of the well-heeled. The designer jacket and jet earrings. The progressive bifocals, a touch of lipstick underneath a grizzled countenance.

For none of us would begrudge her a decent meal, as she flies around the country putting wrongs to rights. Another meal, on top of what the taxpayer is already going to pay for. When she travels first or business class. For she is right. “Ice-cold Camembert and broken crackers”, is positively insulting, toward such an august member of the Canadian establishment?

Maybe she might have just asked a flight attendant to run that Camembert under the microwave for a few seconds? Or for some crackers that were not broken? But like a dummy she kept quiet. Then upon descending, went and scarfed down another meal, before leaving the terminal?How did it actually go Ms Ruth? Enlighten us poor sinners.

Austerity is for others, not for Canadian Senators.

We hear the angel’s trumpet, as Ms Ruth travels the highways and byways. Seeking out some other anthem injustice. It is rarefied air up there in the high-flying ethers, for sure.

Writing 101- Unlocking the mind …

You write because you have an idea in your mind that feels so genuine, so important, so true. And yet, by the time this idea passes through the different filters of your mind, and into your hand, and onto the page or computer screen — it becomes distorted, and it’s been diminished. The writing you end up with is an approximation, if you’re lucky, of whatever it was you really wanted to say.

– Author Khaled Hosseini, “How to Write,” the Atlantic

The first assignment asks the participant to just write for twenty minutes. A seemingly simple task?

Living in western Canada. For the last day or so, I’ve been somewhat perturbed or pre-occupied by something that appeared in our national press on Saturday. A quote from one Canadian Senator, concerning airline food. Her opinion was that airline food was “bad”. Which justified her billing the Canadian public for the expense of another meal. Ostensibly, to replace the aforesaid airline food.

Senator Ruth, actually said that being served “Ice-cold Camembert and broken crackers”. Was unacceptable to her, thus the replacement meal at taxpayers expense.

Why has this struck a chord with myself and others across the country?

Well, there are a few levels to consider.Firstly, I do not consider myself a world traveller. Yet since the 1960’s I have taken enough trans-continental flights to have some experience of airline food. These flights have always been taken in economy class. A couple of times because of being a solo passenger, it resulted in being bumped up to another class. Just once or twice.

In economy class, the food was never wonderful. Yet it was adequate. Actually, I learned long ago that when booking a ticket to order a special dietary meal. Usually I ask for a vegetarian one. But there is a list to choose from. One may be Halal, Vegan or Sikh among others like Nut-free.

That is my first tip to travelling. I always confirm this at the desk, when booking in. It means among other things that you are usually served first before the general cabin population. Years ago, being a vegetarian meant sumptuous repast. It was as if the airline was afraid that the lack of animal protein, meant the passenger was about to keel over and expire? So, they always did it right. These days of cutbacks to passenger comfort. means less leg room and food or beverage service. Means that the meals have become smaller and less diverse. A vegetarian meal has started to become predictable. Like all the other meals they are served on plastic plates. No more china and silverware for you chappies in economy. After all, there is always the possibility, you will attempt to hi-jack, or whatever?


There my time is up … and I have yet to get to the crux of my gripe. Maybe there will be an opportunity to expound in the next segment?

Just remember – “Ice cold Camembert and broken crackers”, is the current theme.