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THIS IS A PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT:

This blog is about my life here in Turkey. I write because I need to, it is how I relax, unwind and release and it’s what I love doing. My hobby if you like.  I have been writing for around thirty years now.  While friends were watching telly, I was the one with the pen in my hand.  Why? Because my head gets too full and if I didn’t let it spill over onto paper, I would combust.

These days, I am not a freelance writer but I am a published writer and have honed my writing skills over the years. My professional writing life is nothing to write home about: Two years as a columnist for a local paper, a year as a columnist for a Turkish newspaper, four months as a journalist and editor of a local paper, currently the editor of an online magazine www.ontheege.com (shameless plug), lots of web copy and for my sins, I write a Christmas panto script every year which is performed in aid of a local children’s charity.  None of this means that I’m a good writer, but I hope at least it makes me not bad.

I have no ulterior motive for writing this blog, it is merely just for me but you are more than welcome to read it, and I would be a liar if I said I didn’t care if nobody read it; I am a writer after all and all writers need readers don’t they.

Which leads me onto reading; for me, there is not much that can compare to an unread book. For as long as I can remember, books have been one of my most favourite things;  An un cracked spine, the smooth feel of the pages, sometimes soft, sometimes crisp and that smell; the new book smell especially but even just the book smell will do. Last but definitely not least, there is the story itself; a new world, a new adventure, a new life that I just can’t wait to dive into and experience.

During formative years at school, I; girly swot, prefect and headmistresses pet, would always finish my work before the rest of the class. My reward? I was allowed to leave the class and lose myself in the library. Please don’t imagine I was highbrow however as, as far as I remember, it was the likes of the Moomin world and Green Gables that I travelled to. 

And here we are so very many years later and most everything we would want to know can be found at the touch of a button.  Books can be read online and at each and every juncture there is an author and for every possible subject there is a ‘’Blogger’’

Gosh how popular has blogging become eh? It’s a bit like those pop star programmes.  Everyone thinks they can do it don’t they? Write I mean.  Blogs can be found on every subject imaginable and therefore, there is something for everyone. This of course can be a good thing, especially if you have a strange or unusual hobby…..goat whispering, cheese berating, gurning etc.. etc..

Of course, blogging is a great business tool and there are plenty of bloggers out there whose blog is purely for promotional purposes with a few personal sentences thrown in to convince the reader it really is a blog.  For others it’s a way of keeping friends and family informed of a new life far away. Some bloggers use it simply as a diary for their own enjoyment and others want to pave the way for newcomers on their chosen subject or in their chosen country.

Some people are natural born storytellers and their efforts leap off the page and dance around in our imagination, even if the spelling and grammar could do with a bit of tweaking.  Others have great writing skills and can turn the most mundane experience into a comical narrative that leaves us wanting more.  And then there is gold. These are the natural born storytellers with combined writing skills. These literal gods and goddesses really deserve to be in print.

Digging for gold is a laborious task, but oh so rewarding.  Every so often I find the time to have a little go at it and will trawl the net in the hope of finding those elusive golden nuggets.

While I enjoy the world wide web as much as the next person, I know for me it won’t ever replace an actual book.  I hope and pray we never see the day that Kindle and the like replace a rigid spine as if it does, a lot of the magic will be lost and future generations will never know that feeling of snuggling down in bed and losing oneself, in the touch and smell of a novel that can transport the reader to places as different from one person to the next.

In my search for interesting reading, I have come across some blogs that are absolute page turners and then, at the opposite end of the scale, some that are absolutely dire.  I also find it interesting to note the increase of the term ‘freelance writer’ on some blogger profiles. Eh? It seems all you need to do is to start a blog, and then you can give yourself a new skill and a snazzy new title to match.  Hmmmmm whatever happened to education, training and work experience in said skill? Writing is after all a craft. Well that’s Irrelevant it seems as I found out when I came across one of these sites where anyone can join and then pitch (I use the term loosely) for work.  Did you know you can earn something like 5 cents a page………..Really? I’d rather collect empty beer bottles and take them back to the off licence!

But that’s the problem with anything that becomes popular isn’t it. Talentless wannabes are made into pop stars, their Micky Mouse voices completely changed in the studio.  Attention seeking layabouts get their five minutes of fame by pulling down their drawers in the Big Brother House and ordinary folk who are not careful with birth control get free appliances and become household names.  That is the world we live in.  Still, at least with bloggers, we can sift the wheat from the chaff and make our own choices about whom and what we read.

I guess, If I had a question, it would be this: In a world where the youth of today are lead to believe that they can be anything they aspire to, even if they don’t have the talent for it, what will become of the future? What will happen when all of our potential plumbers and electricians don’t take up the apprenticeships but stand in line for hours at an audition? I’m sure you get my drift.

There used to be a natural order about the world and people had a sense of place.  People with talent found their place on stage or screen, people with lots of brains made us a better world through science and medicine, men that were good with their hands built us furniture and housing and ships to travel on.  Others found their calling in the armed services, behind desks, or with scissors.  And some transported a reader to magical places with only their words to guide them.

What is the point to all this you may well ask.

Well, I logged onto my own blog yesterday morning and found a very nice message from the lovely lady that writes ‘The Adventures of Cilgin Kiz’. In it she says she is giving me a Liebster award.  I was, of course delighted but also intrigued as I had no idea what that was. 

On searching the internet (where absolutely everything can be found!), I came across the explanation:  Liebster is a German word meaning ‘Friend’ or ‘Love’.

The point of the award is to recognize blogs with less than 200 followers.  The rules are:

1)      Say thank you to the blogger who gave you the award by linking to them

2)      Pick your own top 5 and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog

3)      Post the award on your blog

4)      Bask in the love from the most supportive people on the internet (other writers)

5)      Have fun and spread the karma

The reason I picked the 5 below is because I have enjoyed reading them, I like the way they are put together and they are current (so many good blogs seem to have last posts dated in 2009 or 2010 and nothing since. Shame)

So, here we go; drumroll please………………………..

http://carpetblog.typepad.com/carpetblogger/istanbul/

A no holds barred blog about living in Istanbul and other travels

http://ifthebagfits.com/

Travel enthusiasts Lorena & Johnny have a nice way with tale telling and photography

http://neverenoughjoy.wordpress.com/

From Darla – A fictional blog that makes me laugh

http://theyearzero.wordpress.com

He’s interesting and I love the scrapbook

http://theaccidentallondoner.blogspot.com/

For when I’m feeling homesick

Now, for anyone else that’s still reading, there are other blogs I follow regularly and if you are at all interested, you can find them, bottom left.

Thanks again to Cilgin Kiz and bfn xx

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