Tuesday, 19 February 2019

28 Days ... and the 28 that got away ...


I’ve given up – twenty-eight x four or five months of being floored by this prompt … nothing came to mind … I was working a story – but lethargy struck … so nothing to say but a loss of lots of thoughts and no doubt numerous hours and days – but I won’t count …



So a poem I came across recently – which is so clever … that it would have got printed here at some stage …


An array of subjects printed on a mug from Blackwell’s – the academic bookshop, to be found in Oxford city centre and in other main cities around Britain …  so here goes …


Argue in Archaeology
Buzz in Biology
Chat over Coffee
Dream in Divinity
Explore Economics
Frolic in Forensics
Gambol in Geology
Hasten to Health
Investigate Iberia
Jog in Jurisprudence
Kip in Kinetics
Linger in Linguistics
Mountaineer in Mathematics
Navigate Neurology
Orbit in Ophthalmology
Ponder in Philosophy
Quest in Quandary
Rave in Revolutions
Shelter in Seismology
Tango in Technology
Uncover Universes
Veg out under Volcanoes
Walk on the Wild Side
Yodel in Yoga
Zip through Zoology …


Blackwell's in the Broad, Oxford


… whatever the subject they have it at Blackwells – but even the Knowledge Retailer was not able to help me with Twenty Eight Days – a subject that will forever haunt me!



Apologies to the organisers … this just did not gel … so that’s my hopeless entry per the subject … but fun entry per thought processes … I shall now no longer Harry Hapless Hilary!

An array of errors - c/o The Economist

Twenty-Eight Days of failure … pure failure – but who cares … not me – these things happen!!!

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

78 comments:

David Gascoigne said...

Bravo, Hillary. You have an attitude towards life that will get you through anything!

Anabel Marsh said...

Well, whatever you were meant to do, this was an excellent substitute. Clever Blackwell’s!

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

Trying to write something from someone else's prompt sounds a bit too much like school essays to me! So good for you for going off on a different tack - you're clearly no mug!

Debbie D. said...

I'd love to Investigate Iberia and Walk on the Wild Side! ☺ Enjoyable post, Hilary, regardless of subject matter. Yes, let's Chat over Coffee. (That's also a blogfest if I'm not mistaken.) Cheers!

Out on the prairie said...

I like the quick fix, fun to read. Just got a copy of Robert Service "Ballads of Cheechako" from amazon to try out. will show it off at my writers group tonight. A middle school teacher said she had used it and her boys were eager to read more.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM

In twenty-eight days
the prompt rattled and scared
escape well executed!

YAM xx
(who has been peculiarly overtaken by haiku!)

Chatty Crone said...

It is 28 days until St. Pat's day - lol - do you celebrate it there?

Patsy said...

It's funny how some themes or prompts can spark lots of ideas, but others which initially sound promising can leave us stumped.

Sue Bursztynski said...

Well, it is February, after all. Twenty eight days, right? 🙂

Rebecca M. Douglass said...

Sometimes a theme just doesn’t work. I had a little trouble with this one, but two days rained in at a back-country cabin gave me time to figure something out :D

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sometimes a story just doesn't come together.
Veg under a volcano - up until it erupts, of course!

Joanne said...

an epic fail (in your mind) still made me chuckle out loud. I do love that poem and shall copy it (flat out steal it) for inspiration. You are not hapless or hopeless - you are just being you - taking that wild path, veering off the charts. I say bravo!

Liz A. said...

That is a rather hard prompt, really.

Hels said...

Frolic in Forensics
Gambol in Geology

They are not verbs I use every day... but they set a great mood :)

Nick Wilford said...

I can struggle with prompts too. That's quite a lot to fit on a mug - and looks like it could be rich inspiration for this year's A-Z too!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ David - thank you gratefully .. I seem to muddle along and usually don't completely follow the rules - so am happy you can see it ...

@ Anabel - that's great ... I've no idea what I was meant to do ... the little grey cells left me grey! Clever Blackwells though ...

@ John - sometimes things come but I'm not good at dreaming up essays - I can happily write around subjects ... my mug is happy not to join other mugs!

@ Debbie - there are some excellent phrases in the poem aren't there ... and chatting over coffee sounds a good one ... I think you're right there is a blog fest of that ilk - not one I'm in ...

@ Steve - oh excellent to know that Robert Service's poems are being shown to newbies ... that's great to read - and shows the power of blogging. Looking forward to a report back on how his tales are taken. I expect they'll love this mug too?

@ Yam - I can't even do Haiku ... so brilliant to see this - thank you muchly ...

@ Sandie - yes the Irish in England and no doubt the English always celebrate St Patrick's Day ... he was British before he was captured by Irish pirates ...

@ Patsy - I simply could not get this one ... I'm not much good with the others - but absolutely nothing came and after struggling with something: I gave up and posted this ...

@ Sue - yes to make it even worse it happened in February ... just not for me!!

@ Rebecca - definitely not working here ... and I read yours - which was clever - the manipulative godmother setting you a goal for marriage - short goal time at that! Sounds like it was useful it rained!

@ Alex - this was hopeless ... better give up - while vegging under a volcano would be fine - til it erupted - quick death though from the pyroclastic flow ...

@ Joanne - not really ... but the subject has been bugging me for a while! So I was glad when someone showed me their mug and sent me a scan - which I copied out ... yes of course - it's great fun to read isn't it. I certainly take the wild path and it'd be good if I could get back down to being sensible!! sometimes!!

@ Liz - I had always thought it wasn't an easy one ... and still continue to do so ...

@ Hels - there are some great ideas here ... and yes they do set the mood and the scene ...

@ Nick - the type on the mug was quite small ... but at least legible! Prompts aren't easy ... but the words did fit onto the face of the mug. I was going to use for New Year when I've taken to doing A-Zs ... but this year will be more Canada ... I think!!

Thanks everyone - so pleased you enjoyed the poem ... though who could not - great words from Blackwell Bookshop ... phew - now I can relax ... cheers Hilary

Olga Godim said...

"Linger in Linguistics" is definitely the one for me. Great poem!

Gattina said...

That's a long time I haven't heard from you. You were in Canada that I have seen and now back to Eastbourne. Welcome home !

Friko said...

Failure, pure failure? You? What nonsense!
I am not sure that Blackwell’s will permit you to yodel, tango, mountaineer, jog or gambol in-between the aisles. You could always try it, of course.

Nilanjana Bose said...

That's pretty brilliant for a fail :) Thanks for the smiles, Hilary. Distinct possibilities for the A-Z too.

Lisa said...

Oh boy, I feel you! I didn't come up with anything either. Of course I'm almost done with a work in progress and didn't really need the distraction. I'm hoping to weigh in next time! Loved the poem!

Jacqui Murray said...

You may have missed '28 Days' but you're all set for #AtoZ. That could be perfect!

Jemi Fraser said...

Love it! :)
Prompts aren't easy - I've only tried this a few times and I need to wait (and sometimes WAIT) for the idea to come. Love the poem - let's linger in linguistics!!

Christine Rains said...

Prompts leave me stumped sometimes too. Love what you replaced it with! :) Hope you're having a lovely week.

Jo-Anne's Ramblings said...

Bloody awesome poem

N. R. Williams said...

Hi Hilary
Perhaps not original, but fun anyway and I for one love fun.
Nancy

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Hey! There's no failure involved. Some prompts simply don't stimulate the gray matter. I kinda had a half-baked idea, but didn't get excited enough about it to pursue it or sign up for the challenge. Maybe next time.

I like that poem. But no X? (It must've headed for the X-it...)

Cheers!

Arlee Bird said...

A to Z is in the air and on your blog.

Blackwell's sounds like a very cool place to visit. Sadly nothing near me like that.

Arlee Bird
Tossing It Out

L.G. Keltner said...

Sometimes inspiration simply does not happen when we most need it to. I completely understand that. I still think you managed to come up with something fun and interesting at the end of the day. Thank you for joining in!

Denise Covey said...

Hilary, you may have lacked in inspiration, but you still inspired us with your list. There are no 'failures' at WEP. We all do what we can do. I'm sorry you got yourself worked up about your perceived 'failure' but we are adamant that whatever you come up with for an entry is good, but it is also loyalty to WEP and the organizers that is valued as much as the entries.

As always, thanks for your loyalty and your gems of wisdom.

Denise

Sandra said...

I love the array of subjects.

Botanist said...

Sometimes the thoughts simply aren't there. But you came up with a wonderfully creative alternative anyway, and brought me back some happy memories of Blackwell's from when I was at Uni - a rather long time ago now :)

dolorah said...

Well, can't win them all I guess. I had the same epic fail with the Ribbons prompt. I almost did not post for this one either, but over the last couple days a thought intruded during my driving (the audio book I was listening to was booooring) and I was able to write and post it last night.

Here's a funny coincidence for you: I'm listening to A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES, and the main character spends a lot of time at Blackwells, which is not that far from Bodleian Library where a good portion of the novel is set. Have you been to the Bodleian? Seems as interesting a place to visit as Blackwells.

Oh, and of course I loved the list!

retirementreflections said...

Hi, Hilary - I am unfamiliar with the "28 Days Challenge". Judging by the poster you were successful. You wrote less than 1000 words...and you posted by February 20. I would also add points for ingenuity! :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Olga – there are some great ideas in the listings and poem aren’t there …

@ Gattina – yes I’m back in Eastbourne

@ Friko – no I know … I just jump a hoop or two, or go round if the height is too high or too difficult – always a way … failure is not allowed. I think probably the aisles in Blackwells are too narrow to do too much hop-skipping around – but I suspect I won’t try … all those books to put back!

@ Nila – thank goodness for the mug, scan and then re-type to put here … my A-Z will be Canada again (unless life gets away from me – which I hope it doesn’t)

@ Lisa – I’ve been mulling the prompt over since last year and nothing popped into my ambit … but I didn’t have a book in progress … just an empty brain! Good luck with finishing the WIP

@ Jacqui – it would be perfect … but I think Canada is going to feature again …

@ Jemi – thank you … good to see you here. No prompts aren’t easy are they … having said I’d join I feel I need to put something up – especially as I missed December’s – stories don’t come easily to me … I will linger with my own prompts …

@ Christine – oh good … my brain rattles around happily – but the mood has to strike at an idea – nothing here!

@ Jo-Anne – it’s fun isn’t it …

@ Nancy – certainly not original … but fun and I really had to use it …

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Susan – nothing tickling the grey matter for 28 days – so glad it succeeded without complying. The prompt seems to have stumped many. You’re right – I hadn’t realised there wasn’t an X … the Q got muddled up too – ah well … obviously my brain is off centre!

@ Lee – yea … I’m going back to Canada I think. Blackwells is a wonderful bookshop – I remember it from my time in Oxford – not at the university (sadly!) … and fortunately we still have a bookshop in town here …

@ LG – oh gosh … inspiration is so difficult sometimes when one is constrained with a prompt. Delighted you enjoyed the poem even if it didn’t comply – it seems to have entertained …

@ Denise – I wasn’t worked up – just frustrated that nothing came to mind – not unusual with the prompts … but it was zilch this time! As I’d missed December’s I didn’t want to cop out – but as everyone’s enjoyed the Blackwell mug … I’m happy!

Thanks for coming by and being supportive: sets the standard for many a thing in life … understanding …

@ Sandra – thanks … they’re fun aren’t they …

@ Ian – so glad you were able to remember your days at Blackwells when you were at University – it’s certainly an iconic academic bookshop in many towns – yes my Oxford (school and post school) days are long gone – though I enjoy going back …

@ Donna – lovely to see you … that ‘Ribbons’ prompt wasn’t easy either. I enjoyed your entry ‘Moon Sacrifice’ … a very different take … so glad the audio book was so booooring!

Yes Blackwell’s is in the Broad and the Bodleian is about two minutes away, while the Weston Library (the new part of the Bodleian) is on Broad Street up the road … I’ve been to a couple of exhibitions there … and do go back to Oxford occasionally. I’d like to go more often – but it’s some distance from here …

Glad you enjoyed the list!

@ Arleen – it’s write a story based on the prompt – this one just eluded me … but I got there – in fact the word count I’ll exceed in my posts at times, but don’t worry the rest – I’m not good at complying with the detail unless I absolutely have to!! Delighted you enjoyed the entry – I’d give the ingenuity to Blackwells … but I’m very grateful I came across it …

Thanks so much everyone – even though I fell out of the box regarding the prompt I seem to have engaged you … and it’s great the poem is here for us all to refer to … have good weeks and I’ll see you for the #WAWTB post shortly … cheers Hilary

Kalpanaa M said...

Hahahaha - I gave up too. Love the subjects and their adjectives. Pure entertainment.

bazza said...

Hi Hilary. I have to confess that I have absolutely no idea what this post is about. I'm thoroughly confused... but it's good fun!
CLICK HERE for Bazza’s boastfully bellicose Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

Michael Di Gesu said...

Geez Hilary... Don't be SO HARD on yourself. Your entry was fun! The thought process was perfect. You couldn't solve it as a writer, but you came up with a different and amusing alternative... You always PLEASE your readers with fun facts.

Elsie Amata said...

Well dang. Blogger ate my comment. Let me try again.

I enjoyed what you shared because I can see the fun you had with words. I love wordplay too. Great job on using your creative juices!

Elsie

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Oh, I wish I had a Blackwell's in my small city! :-) It is the effort you made that is important. Your mind sharpened and grew just by stretching it. Often it is the journey that is important not the destination.

Tyrean Martinson said...

But you didn't quit! That's the most important thing. You found something to post and you worked through it.
Loved those book titles, too.

Christopher Scott said...

A clever but simple idea that created a surprising entry for this theme. Well done Hilary.

Andrea Ostapovitch said...

I've never been brave enough to take on a prompt challenge. Not even privately. I'm certain I would quickly fall behind and quit. So goos on you for taking on these things!
Andrea

D.G. Hudson said...

This was a tough one, and I started and discarded several ideas too. But a whimsical idea is what I finally settled on. I like that list of titles, it's perfect for a wordsmith. But there will be many other prompts this year, and that fertile imagination of yours will be active then.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Kalpanaa - I really struggled with ... and was just glad the mug with its poem came to light.

@ Bazza - just happy it's fun ... and as you rightly said - it's a post = that is the main thing!

@ Michael - I'm not sure what I would have posted had this not appeared into the airwaves of my brain ... but it obviously amuses us all ... thank you!

@ Elsie - I battle with your SquareSpace - no idea why. So apologies for Blogger eating up your comment. Well my creative juices were well supplied by Blackwell's mug and apparently enjoyed by others ...

@ Roland - I don't have a Blackwell's here, but we do at least have a bookshop. Well I tried a couple of things ... but those paths went off into the quagmire of nothingness! Thanks for the take on my attempt ...

@ Tyrean - well I didn't post last month as I was moving back ... so I had to put something up. Just glad the mug with its verse came to the fore - yes the wordings are special aren't they ...

@ Christopher - thanks ... it surprised me and I'm delighted everyone seems to be enjoying it ...

@ Andrea - I just thought once a quarter I could manage (that was the timing: now it's every other month) ... so I give it a go - but I'm not into writing stories, something has to click along the way - usually I manage something relevant - this wasn't ... but it's amused I'm glad to say ...

@ DG - it was tough so I wandered off the title: still it seems to have passed muster for those who've read. It is perfect for anyone who enjoys words isn't it - love the phrases. As you well know my mind wanders around and something will pop up ... good to see you.

Thanks to you all - I'll be round to see all the entries ... so glad I'm not the only one who struggled with this! Cheers and enjoy your weekends - I'm sitting in damp fog here, relatively warm wintry fog and I am indoors! Hilary

Mark Koopmans said...

I think that post was a wonderful way to celebrate (or berate!) the 28 Days:)

And, that poem was fun, you could definitely tell the auuthor had a laugh creating that silliness!

Deborah Weber said...

I'm pretty sure that wasn't 28 days of failure Hilary, but rather 28 days of finding other things more heart-happying. And that's a full-on win in my book. Love the A-to-Z magic as well.

Inger said...

You certainly entertained me with 28 days of fun and dreams of Oxford. No failure you.

A Cuban In London said...

That was clever. :-)

Greetings from London.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Mark - yea .. the prompt was troubling! But the poem out of Blackwells is great isn't it ... I suspect it'd have been a co-operative of wordsmiths ...

@ Deborah - well I struggled behind the scenes for something worthwhile to draft up - still this 'mug' seems to have done the trick ...

@ Inger - great to see you ... and to know you have remembered your Oxford days and times in bucolic England ...

@ ACIL - thank you ... you'd enjoy the ideas ...

Cheers to you all - thankfully the thick fog we had for most of yesterday has now gone and we have a misty sunny morning - bliss! Have good weekends - Hilary

cleemckenzie said...

I wouldn't say you failed; I say you put a unique spin on the theme, and I got such a kick out of the courses, especially Linger in Linguistics! Why not? Bravo, Hilary.

Toi Thomas said...

Sorry, the prompt didn't work for you, but what you posted is still nice.

Lynda R Young said...

As long as you had fun!

Marja said...

Good one and yes prompts are hard but as long as you had fun and if not yes move on Never failure You learn from everything you do I believe

Anstice Brown said...

Thanks for sharing this cool poem! The 28 days prompt was really hard, I thought. It's funny how some work out and some don't.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Lee - it didn't exactly relate to the prompt ... but the ideas expressed on the mug are great fun to read. So thanks!

@ Toi - these things happen ... but glad you enjoyed the post ...

@ Lynda - yup - the poem made it easy = and I knew everyone would enjoy it ...

@ Marja - I guess I do learn ... but some prompts are nigh impossible for me -eg this one! But you're right ... we do learn ...

@ Tizzy - thanks for coming over - you had a great take for your entry - and yes some prompts will just come ... others we struggle over

Cheers to you all - thanks for your visits ... have good weeks - it is glorious here - more like May than February - how long it'll last I'm not sure! Bye for now - Hilary

Jean Davis said...

These things do indeed happen. I was supposed to be doing a writing challenge this month as well, but I'm woefully behind due to illness. Your solution was entertaining. :)

Juliet Batten said...

Well, sometimes things click and sometimes not, and you came up with something anyway. Good for you. If it's not fun it's not worth doing.

J Lenni Dorner said...

Nice work with creating a post.
I scraped a few I started and then opted to focus elsewhere this time around.
Hey look, an A to Z!
You could use those as titles in April. ;)

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

The poem is an excellent substitute! And made me smile this morning. :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Jean - I just simply couldn't hack it ... I gather you're still suffering - take care and good luck ... and thanks - it entertained me!

@ Juliet - definitely no click here! But what came around seems to have worked ...

@ JL - thank you ... it's the way it is. Yes an A-Z if I want to use it ...

@ Elizabeth - that's great ... it's a good way to start the week off ... a gentle smile ...

Cheers to you four - thanks for coming by - I'd better get off and see the other entries - as I'm way behind - Hilary

Bernadette Braganza said...

And that's what we call thinking out of the mug!

Jemima Pett said...

So, why worry - you did something unique. And like many, I enjoyed it. Sorry it's taken me so long to get here :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Bernadette - great thought ... thinking out of the mug - love it!

@ Jemima - it only came to me last week ... I'd been fretting in the background ... thinking can I do this ... anyway the mug reared its beautiful head and hey presto I put a post up ... good to see you, whenever you can get here ...

Cheers to you both - Hilary

Sally said...

I like these plays on words, nice and uplifting.

Susan B said...

Lovely Hilary!. I prefer the most : Dream in Divinity; Frolic in Forensics;; Mountaineer in Mathematics (so adéquate); Veg under a Volcano; Zip in Zoology. I love the oxymoron feel about them.
I would not Linger in Linguistics, argh ! The enemy of creativity. Gambol in Geology: I can see myself clambering over rocks, and rocks, and rocks. It made me think of the Arches National Park in Moab, UTAH. My favourite walk there is to the Delicate Arch. There’s a photo on my post IWSG Drawing and Writing from beginning of February.
Well done. It’s OK to find ideas from other sources, we can’t always be inspired by a prompt ! The essential thing is to get those creative juices flowing !
Have a lovely evening.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Sally ... it was such a fun rhyme to find on the mug - just had to post it ...

@ Susan - delighted you enjoyed the phrasing ... I must credit Blackwells. It's one of those fun poems that I'll always remember (now!) ... and such fun.

Linger in Linguistics sadly is not me, either. Geology I love ... gambolling over rocks not so much. I've seen photos of the Arches National Park ... but have never been - I'll try and get over to see your post ...

The prompt floored me completely ... still I see I've amused everyone ... and got others' creative juices going ... thanks for coming by ...

Good to see you both - great entries this month - cheers Hilary

Roland Clarke said...

That mug from Blackwells more than counts, I'm sure scientifically speaking.

Cara H said...

I like the book stack. It's very clever and colorful.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Roland - the mug from Blackwells has definitely served its purpose - and I don't even own it! Love the phrasing they've put up ... food for thought too ... glad it tickled your thoughts ...

@ Cara - I hadn't thought of the 'book stack' - but you're right it does ... and I can be good at colouring, when the machine does it for me!

Cheers to you both - I need the colours today ... our weather has changed to be more February like! Wet, coolish and gloomy! All the best - Hilary

Lynda Dietz said...

I wouldn't call it a failure at all! I was completely entertained by this post, Hilary. Write on!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Lynda - not exactly a failure I agree ... but zero link to 28 days ... even the lines didn't match up - but success from everyone's comments - thank you! Cheers Hilary

Pat Garcia said...

hi Hilary,
I love your listing, especially jog in jurisprudence, dream in divinity and chat over coffee. When I go to a bookshop those are the first sections I browse in.

Shalom aleichem,
Pat G

Michelle Wallace said...

I’m still doing the WEP rounds. Better late than never, right?

I love that list!
My favourite one? Tango in Technology ( I love dancing and this sounds interesting)
Perfect entry, Hilary! It suits you. Very clever.
Hope you're well.

(Sorry I've been MIA. I'm back to full-time work and the days are SO looooooong)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Pat ... it was fun to write up and also to use as a post ... interesting addition about going to those sections in a bookstore ... 'd go to history, cookery, gardening ... hadn't thought about that aspect though ...

@ Michelle - well done on getting round to all the WEP entries ... thanks for the support and recognising that the entry is 'of my sort' ...

All well here ... but good luck to you with the new job - I can bet they've become sooooooo loooooong ... just enjoy though ...

Cheers to you both and thanks for your visits - Hilary

DMS said...

Sometimes we go our own way and do our own thing and if it makes us happy- yay. :) Glad you did what you wanted. Prompts can be hard. :)
~Jess

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Jess - many thanks ... this particularly prompt completely flummoxed me ... but the thoughts by Blackwell's seem to have resonated with us all ... cheers and thanks for coming by - Hilary