|my desktop with aDeskbar on the right|
|my desktop with aDeskbar on the right|
There is no reason not to use Mxit.
But Mxit works on a laptop or desktop too-- at least it does using Linux and Pidgin. I use Pidgin (for Mxit) on Mint, Peppermint, Jolicloud, and even TinyCoreLinux, and it works seamlessly and without ever crashing.
As you sow, so shall you weep... or explode with joy. It all depends on what you sow. But if you don't sow, you can't grow... and so... your life will remain fallow, shallow with unexplored, undeveloped, unknown and unclaimed possibilities. The real way to live is to look for adventure by exploring into uncharted lands and waters, always expecting the wonder and fulfillment that is your human birthright. Life is not meant to be so-so but sow-sow that you shall reap and be blessed, by becoming a blessing to yourself an' all. Explode with joy, boy! Explode with joy, girl! Let your life unfurl and allow the wind of the spirit to fill your sails. Sail on, boys and gals, sail on!
Because I've been reading Matheson's 1954 novel I am Legend, I've also been rewatching the films made from it; as usual, the more times you watch, the more details you notice that you didn't notice before. My most recent rerun of the 2007 I am Legend (with Will Smith) film found me picking up more detail about Bob Marley and his immortal music.
My first thought was an obvious one--that the Marley 'Best Of' compilation that Neville claims is "the best album ever made" is, of course, Legend. [This compilation has been superseded since the film was made, but it's still an outstanding compilation.] Then there is Neville's fascinating statement that he, as a virologist, associates with Marley because Marley believed reggae is a music and culture that can spread goodness, peace and righteous health through the world like a positive virus.
This thinking got me listening to Marley again, and also to my favourite reggae artist, Cocoa Tea. I love Tea's vocals. Anyway, on Tea's One Up album (1993) he actually has a song called Virus which includes the lines: 'Reggae is like a virus/ some say it's outrageous/ it's definitely contagious/ it's spreading all over the world'. Apparently, what it's spreading is understanding and harmony.
I'm about half-way through Matheson's 1954 pulp, I am Legend and must say it's very readable racy stuff. It's also rather different than the two film versions I've seen (Omega Man and I am Legend).
Two things are immediately noticeable regarding the plot and the way it's organised: in the novel the character spends a lot of time researching garlic, crosses, etc--the usual vampire props. That might have been interesting in the 1950s but isn't these days: the bio/virus/lab parts of the recent (2007) film are a positive and much more convincing improvement; on the other hand, the protagonist, Robert Neville, is much more of a man in the novel. His wife and daughter are dead, and the creatures who see him as their prey regularly try to tempt him sexually, knowing that he's vulnerable in this regard. In fact, the novel has an eroticism that shimmers below its surface and accounts for much of the characters' tensions. In both films this element is played down almost to the point of extinguishing it altogether. OK, so both Charlton Heston and Will Smith notice shop mannequins but not much is made of it. In the novel, Neville is aching for female company. This human element, this identification with the main character, is one of the reasons why this particular novel has survived. The story is also well-paced and structured, so that reading becomes compulsive-- another plus.
"If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place."
- Eric Schmidt, Google CEO
Google has "an awful lot of data. They record everything. They have your IP address, your search requests, the contents of every e-mail you’ve ever sent or received. They know the news you read, the places you go. They’re even collecting real-time GPS location and DNS look-ups. They know who your friends are, where you live, where you work, where you are spending your free time. They know about your health, your love life, your political leanings. They even know what you are thinking about."
At the Salon
I think the Serpent was a hairdresser
at the Eden Tree Salon
where Eve went one time
to get some styling done.
Whilst he was rewiring her roots
he gossipped about the fruits
hanging juicy and ripe
outside on the tree.
Moreover the day was probably hot
and Eve forgot
to pack a lunch-box that morning.
Sitting on a stone chair
(this was before she wore clothes, you see)
the day wore on
and Eve was yawning
by the time he'd finished her hair.
The fruit was hanging there,
the temptation was great,
so she altered her fate:
instead of singing Hosanna
she chose the banana.
(You didn't really think it was an apple,
From there all Heaven broke loose;
our modern world began:
clothes, work and babies' nappies—
and following women around
shopping malls too.
I think it's a shame
that Eve gets all the blame:
yes, the memory lingers
and men keep pointing fingers
but maybe it was just a really bad hair day.
When I sit down to write a story, play, or novel, I begin with CHARACTERS. I put my CHARACTER(S) in a setting and watch what happens. For example, I notice that both Keith and Robert met and became friends at school and are now businessmen but no longer friends. This is because Robert's business is successful but Keith's isn't. Keith is resentful and jealous of Robert's success. There are three possible THEMES here: friendship, business success, and jealousy.
Together, the CHARACTERS and THEMES give me a list of EVENTS: for example,
1. Keith spreads rumours that Robert uses underhand business methods
2. Robert hears what Keith is doing and refuses to speak to him, ending their friendship
3. Keith and Robert both played in their high school football team
4. At school Keith was keen on Wendy Pirbright but she dated Robert instead
5. When Keith's business is on the point of being declared bankrupt Robert offers to help Keith out
6. At Robert's wedding to Wendy, Keith meets Wendy's attractive younger sister
and so on. These are EVENTS, and therefore a writing plan, but they aren't yet a story because they have to be shaped--put into a sequence; this is what we call PLOT. For instance, you might decide that the story should begin with Keith and Robert still friends at high school, or you might decide to begin with Keith losing Wendy to Robert or with Keith spreading rumours or... Whatever you choose, it means ordering the EVENTS. The order is the PLOT and when the EVENTS have been written in their desired order you have a story.
How to write a novel
I'm currently working on my 14th book, and I'm regularly asked for advice and help on how to write so I thought I'd set this down. This is what works for me, how I do it:
1. Write the OUTLINE of your story--a summary that includes at least one problem/conflict to be solved/resolved and at least one theme.
2. Detail your SETTING--this is the where and when your story happens.
3. Detail your CHARACTER(S)--this is who drives the story; you should also decide who is telling the story: is it the main character, another character or someone outside the story?
4. List your EVENTS--these are the moments of the story, e.g., Robert hits Keith, Thuli gossips about Futhi etc.
5. Plot your EVENTS--that is, decide in which order you will show the events to your readers; this is the shape of the story.
6. Decide on your main THEME(S)--this will determine the slant/bias/perspective you use in your revealing of the events.
7. Begin WRITING.
8. Keep WRITING--set a manageable target for yourself: 3 pages, one page, one paragraph to be written every day until the story is finished.
9. EDIT/REWRITE until you're happy with what you've got.
10. CIRCULATE copies of your story to a few readers and ask them to give you feedback.
11. Write the OUTLINE of a new story.
I grew up on the songs of the Eagles; they were the band that got me through college and still brighten my days. I actually met them once, when they were in London recording 'Desperado', their second album. This was around the time they played a gig in London's Royal Festival Hall, a small venue.
I love the harmonies and the guitars but what made the Eagles big were of course the songs--and they're not typical love songs; they're mostly songs about love that has been lost and women that can burn you even as they make your life meaningful. The women are there right from the first Eagles song any of us ever heard: Take It Easy.
I teach a lesson on the lyrics to two of these dangerous women songs: One Of These Nights and Hotel California: 'the full moon is calling/ the fever is high/ the wicked wind whispers and moans... dreams/ screams...been searching for the daughter of the Devil himself/ I've been searching for an Angel in white/ I've been waiting for a woman who's a little of both/ and I can feel her but she's nowhere in sight'. Wow! Always wow! The alliteration, imagery, symbolism and the always human pull of the dark side. This was the band's most creative period and the time of their international breakthrough to stadium superstardom. Well-crafted songs: lasting works of art; stories of dangerous women.
It might have been a Wednesday
There was a loose button on your blouse and you, bra-less, beneath it. You didn't know, but that loose button unbuttoned my soul, led me through the Valley of the Shadow of Death and brought me, cup overflowing, into the Red House of Everlasting Life. Yes, I know it sounds dramatic; but sometimes it's the little things that make your day.
"You're dangerously pretty," I said. "Dangerous to all, even yourself. But especially to me." That she was pretty was easy to see but the danger that lurked behind her eyes was dimmed, even in sunlight. It isn't right, I thought, that beauty should present such a risk.
"But you're here," she said. "You needn't have stayed."
"You wanted me to," I replied. It was true; it was in her eyes.
We left the bar; went to the car. Then I drove a way, but not too far.
"I hear you're famous," she said. "You're dangerous too. And you like pretty women."
"What man doesn't?" I said. "It's the way we're made."
The shadows were crawling across the park. They were mostly long and thin, like stretched fingers without knuckles and without nails. Already they had reached the perimeter wall and the more-than-two-years-old graffiti that was scrawled there, acclaim for a once-popular political leader who was now discredited. 'Viva X!' it proclaimed. That was all.
In the car, we sat side-by-side, silently, almost as if we were afraid to breathe. Perhaps we were. We were both waiting for something to happen, waiting for life to intervene.
"Touch me and I'll scream," she said. "Don't touch me and I'll die."
What else could I do? I took a deep breath. And. Touched. Her.
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