Category: Stuff for Sunday

Stuff for Sunday – the Cat Edition

Stuff for Sunday – the Cat Edition

You may have noticed that I’m fond of cats. There are a few things that give it away, like, oh, I don’t know – Layla having her own blog this week. And also maybe before. A couple of times. Plus there are my many, many short stories that involve cats. And then, if you’re on social media with me, you have to put up with an overabundance (if that’s possible) of cat photos.

Cats are cool. There’s no arguing with that. Or them, for that matter. Go on, try. I’ll wait.

And because cats are the masters at relaxed days, they seemed an obvious choice for a Sunday.


 

Why a Cat is a Writer’s Best Friend: Feegle Cat Chronicles

“Writers will always have cats because we keep your lap and your lap top warm.

We remind you that there are other living beings on this planet when you’re engrossed in your writing by expressing loudly our hunger or other demands.

We keep you company by being with you as you write without looking over your shoulder and criticising.

We will never judge your writing, mainly because we cannot speak. Not because we are kind.”

The lovely Lisa Sell is ably assisted by her own little furry muse, Feegle, who regularly takes over the blog to make sure things are running correctly. The pictures are pretty cute, too.

 

 

The Great Cat & the Origin of the Universe

“Before there were stars, the Great Cat spun through the cosmos with his bowl of tuna.**

At first the Great Cat was content because he was the First, the Most Important, and the Only. But then he realised his tuna had been sitting in his bowl for more than an hour and was no longer edible, and it didn’t move when he felt like playing.

So he created the earth and made mice to run across it and get eaten.

He created the oceans and made fish to swim through them and get eaten (but only when they came on land, because water is wet and yucky).

And at last he created the skies and made birds to fly through them and get eaten.

And then he slept because he was tired, even though he’d given himself a week to create his realm and it was only 10am on the first day.”

The hugely talented and hilarious A.S. Akkalon is also owned by a cat, as all writers tend to be. And there have been problems with a lion in her kitchen.

 

The Guardian – Top 10 Cats in Literature

“Which was when she explained a great truth to me – that once a literary woman associates her name with cats, no one will take her seriously again.

I have been haunted by that conversation ever since. In my heart, I know that she was right. But on the other hand, cats are such good material.

It seems obvious to me that cats are clever and totally lacking in altruism. This means you can believe almost anything of them.

The following are masterworks by people who were bravely prepared to take the risk of being associated with cats. Noticeably, though, nearly all of them are male, so perhaps the subeditor’s warning should still stand.”

Good thing I was never aiming for a literary career, then.

 

Moshow, The Cat Rapper.

 

 

He raps about cats, and adopting cats, and cat welfare, and cat ladies, and it’s completely hilarious. And if you disagree I don’t think we can be friends anymore. Also absolutely my favourite thing on Instagram!


And that, my friends, is that for this week. What fun things have you come across this weeks? They don’t have to be cat-related, but it helps…

 

Stuff for Sunday – Chemicals, Inspiration, & Flowers

Stuff for Sunday – Chemicals, Inspiration, & Flowers

Ah, Sunday. Time for this week’s collection of the weird and wonderful, where I share with you all the weird and wonderful things I’ve come across this week.

Well, maybe not all of them. This is a PG site, after all.

 

 

The Paris Review: What’s Inspiration, Anyway?

“You cannot write a poem until you hit upon its rhythm. That rhythm not only belongs to the subject matter, it belongs to your interior world, and the moment they hook up there’s a quantum leap of energy. Yow can ride on that rhythm, it will carry you somewhere strange. The next morning you look at the page and wonder how it all happened. You have to triumph over all your diurnal glibness and cheapness and defensiveness.”

The full article is paywalled, but there’s a lot that you can still read on the site free.

 

 

The Big Think: What All Those Chemicals On the Periodic Table Do

Never mind the fact that I won’t remember any of them five minutes later, it has cool pictures!

“Impress your friends and yourself by learning the applications of astatine (radioactive medicine), molybdenum (cutting tools like scissors), krypton (flashlights) and other elements.”

 

 

The Guardian: Quentin Blake on Illustrating New Roald Dahl Characters

“I was able to get really close to the Minpins themselves. Dahl mentions them having old-fashioned costumes, in brown and black, of two or three hundred years ago, and I suppose my Minpins are in a sort of confused 17th-century attire. They are also described as having eccentric headwear – another rewarding opportunity. And they are referred to as being present in thousands: that is easier for a writer than an illustrator. I hope I may be forgiven in the pictures for them being merely numerous.”

 

 

Flavorwire: Underwater Photos of Flowers Gone Wild

Not that sort of wild.

Although, they’re flowers. Being wild probably just involves them flinging pollen around with abandon.

 

 

 

What weird and wonderful things have you discovered this week?

 

Stuff for Sunday – Poetry, Stars, & Stress Relief

Stuff for Sunday – Poetry, Stars, & Stress Relief

Another Sunday, another collection of oddities for you. I have to admit that I love some of the amazing things that can be discovered when trawling through t’interwebs, and this week I’ve gone for a rather mis-matched assortment of wonderful oddities.

Read on!

 

Writing About Writing – 17 Rules

I’m not a fan of writing rules. I think they’re too often sold as some panacea, which, if we follow them to the letter, will render us all literary geniuses. Failure is certain if we don’t. I am, in fact, generally wary of writing advice, as you may remember. But these are rules I can get behind.

The rest of the site is also well worth a read – it’s well-written, entertaining, and full of useful info.

 

 

100,000 Stars

An interactive map of our stellar neighbourhood, although it does warn that accuracy isn’t guaranteed, and we shouldn’t use it for interstellar navigation.

It is, however, beautiful, and you can either hit play to be taken on a guided tour, or explore on your lonesome. Completely hypnotic, but be warned you may want to turn your speakers off if you’re going exploring among the stars at work.

 

 

The Poetry Foundation

I’ve read very little poetry since school, but last year I signed up for the daily poem from the Poetry Foundation. There’s something quite wonderful about a little packet of beautiful words turning up in your inbox every day, and there’s plenty to explore on the site.

 

 

 

 

Pixel Thought

I stumbled onto this from another site entirely, and at first thought it was just quite a silly thing. But I tried it (I was probably meant to be doing something else), and it’s a quite lovely little meditation and stress reliever. Just type what’s bothering you into the bubble, and let it go into the stars, following the prompts to breathe deeply as you do. It won’t solve anything, but when you think you might be about to throw your yoghurt at Gerry from accounts, it could be quite handy.

 

 

What interesting things have you come across this week, lovely people?

 

 

Stuff for Sunday – Weather, Kittens, & Winning Instagram

Stuff for Sunday – Weather, Kittens, & Winning Instagram

It seems we found our level last week, as Cake Wrecks was the one link everyone was talking about. I should have guessed, really – badly-made baked goods are rather more fun than philosophical musings. And therefore I shall deliver more oddities and less serious stuff. After all, there’s more than enough serious stuff in the world, so why shouldn’t we have more kittens and cake wrecks?

So let’s jump right in…

 

 

Attack of the Cute

This is an adorable website. It’s nothing but photos, gifs and videos of ridiculously cute animals. And they all look like furry little models, because all the photos are exceptionally good – if not professional, then not far off that level.

I tried to limit myself to just looking at the home page. (I also have to keep an eye out for the little furry muse. I mean, if she came along and found me looking at photos of other cats…).

 

 

Village Name Generator

I’m pretty sure that there’s no way a name as good as Upton Snodsbury or Barton in the Beans could ever be invented, and whenever I try to come up with good village names they always sound very obviously fake to me. And then I discovered this.

I’ve linked to the blog post, but if you scroll down you’ll discover the link to the English Village Name Generator, which gave me Toot Hansell and Little Weirding. It makes me terribly happy.

 

 

Celeste Barber

If you haven’t discovered the wonderful Celeste Barber, you must do so immediately. She writes a very funny blog here (although it hasn’t been updated for almost a year, boo), and her instagram is fantastic. All those times you’ve thought that a celebrity’s in a ridiculous pose, or wearing something entirely bizarre? Well.

 

 

 

Windy.ty

This is probably only interesting if you’re a weather geek or like prettily coloured maps, but I love it. You can click anywhere and choose to see wind, cloud cover, temperature etc at any location, all in rather pleasing graphics.

Want to know if it’s snowing in Iceland? Done.

Want to know how strong the wind is in the Southern Ocean? No problems.

Want to know how hot it is in the Gobi Desert? Click and go.

I can waste so much time on this.

 

How about you? Any fun links you’d like to share this week?

 

 

Stuff for Sunday – Planets, Kids’ Mags, & Bad Cakes

Stuff for Sunday – Planets, Kids’ Mags, & Bad Cakes

Somewhat like Friday’s new Frivolities post, I make no promises about how long I’ll keep this up, but I fancied sharing a few things I’ve been reading this week. Some I may have already mentioned on Facebook or Twitter, others I may have forgotten to for one reason or the other. But if you’re looking for a bit of Sunday evening reading, you could do worse than these.

Or you could read some of my short stories over on Wattpad, of course. But if you’ve already exhausted that, here are a few things that caught my eye this week – some silly, some less so.

 

Scoop:

“Scoop is a monthly printed magazine for 8+. Designed to inspire and nurture a love of reading and stories. Every month we bring together a host of incredible writers and illustrators who create original fiction and non fiction, we promise never to talk down to our readers.”

And I really want to subscribe, judging from the list of contributing authors. Research, right?

 

 

 

 

Brain Pickings: Leonard Bernstein on Cynicism, Instant Gratification, and Why Paying Attention Is a Countercultural Act of Courage and Rebellion

“As we grow up and learn to be cynical, Bernstein argues, we gradually stifle this inherent love of learning, turn off our curiosity, and become calcified. Out of that cynicism springs the impulse for instant gratification — the very opposite of the pleasurably protracted challenge of learning.”

Beautifully encouraging.

 

 

 

Nasa: Cassini, the Grand Finale

Because, wow.

 

 

Cake Wrecks:

And now to lower the tone a little.

“A Cake Wreck is any cake that is unintentionally sad, silly, creepy, inappropriate – you name it. A Wreck is not necessarily a poorly-made cake; it’s simply one I find funny, for any of a number of reasons. Anyone who has ever smeared frosting on a baked good has made a Wreck at one time or another, so I’m not here to vilify decorators: Cake Wrecks is just about finding the funny in unexpected, sugar-filled places.”

Follow them is you don’t already. Sugary hilarity will ensue. (And yes – that is Batman fighting a Great White with a lightsabre.)

 

 

Buzzfeed: Deep Animal Thoughts

Because how could this not be adorable? Click on the smiling critter and get a deep thought.

“If you get a chance to be weird, take it.”

Win.

 

This is how I spend my Sunday, apparently. What odd or interesting articles have you run across this week?

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