Sunday, November 30, 2008

Let's Welcome a New Blogger!

Let’s all welcome to the blogging world my dearest friend from India - Krishna.
He was reluctant at first to create a blog but I prodded him on. I assured him that we are a friendly lot here in the blogging world, and I was able to convince him.

Now he had created his blog: "KRISHNA'S MUSINGS" and had written his first post within 15 minutes. He had to hurry to a significant task. But he promises to attend to blogging eventually.
His first ever topic: "Terrorism in India and Abroad" is a good read (although written in a few minutes).

Why don't you pay him a visit and leave a comment. I am sure this would motivate him to write more of his great thoughts.

Let’s all support a new blogger and welcome him to our exciting world of blogging. Thanks.

Photo by vanessaeducation

Friday, November 28, 2008

To Write Or Not To Write?

I had decided not to post any paid post here, at gewgaw, but offers had come that are related to my topic here in this blog. Now I'm at a dilemma of whether to accept it or not. What made me reconsider was the fact that the topics were related to the theme of this blog.

I know I can just go ahead and do whatever I want and no one would give a hoot, but I just want to ask for some reactions from you guys.

Photo by aymlis

We are not talking about millions, I know, but this is good money. it could buy me a day's meal, lol...What with the economic crises and so on... lol.

What do you think friends? Can you give me some reactions? Thanks for any input you would be contributing.

Happy blogging!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

"Inspiration" - 8th Article for the Inspirational Book

By: Jim Murdoch

Inspiration. It's a word we're all familiar with. Of course there are many definitions of the word 'inspiration' so I'd better make clear which one I'm going to be talking about here and that is inspiration as encouragement, an uplifting experience as opposed to inspiration as some kind of muse.

Jim Murdoch
They're related, of course. If I read a good book then it somehow makes the thought of me writing one myself not such an impossible consideration. But then I'm a writer and I'm always scrounging around for ideas that I can develop into poems or stories or even books. I'm just listening to a string quartet by a composer called Adorno as I write this (and it is lovely stuff) but it doesn't really fill me with the overwhelming desire to sit down and try and compose a string quartet, and the same goes for any great painting or piece of sculpture. And yet they inspire me all the same, they lift my spirits. Or perhaps 'lift' is the wrong word. A film about the Holocaust is unlikely to lift my spirits but one can still be awakened by such things.
We go away and think about what we've seen. And we're affected by what we see. Perhaps 'touch' would be a better word.

And that was my first reaction to coming in contact with the Internet; I felt touched. But then I had come 'in contact' with something; the notion of taction contact is implicit in an expression like that. Let's clarify something though: my life had not been one devoid of human contact – I had hugged and been hugged – but this was different for me because all of a sudden I was able to get in touch with people who were like me and that was new.

Let me explain. I began writing in my early teens, as so many of us do, but it never petered away with me as it did with others. No, rather it became the focal point of my life around which everything else revolved. Trying to explain this to everyone around me, for they were all non-writers, was next to impossible and yet within a few days pottering around on the Internet, perhaps a week at the most, I had made contact with a number of other people out there who treated me as normal. Yes, it's perfectly acceptable to get out of bed to write things down. Of course, why did you think it wasn't? But it was more than that even: writing about things was not simply accepted, it was expected.

This was an incredibly uplifting thing for me and I don't think children nowadays who have grown up with the Internet will appreciate what life was like before when you were forced to interact solely within your peer group – the kids at school, the fellows at work or church – and this was your world. So you made do.

Relationships though are about give and take. Again, at the beginning I was really only interested in me: talk to me, read my stuff, tell me I'm great. And I got that – my ego was well and truly massaged. Ah, another taction metaphor! Yes, I'm never one to refuse a back rub and I could sure use a neck rub right now – is there a writer living I wonder who doesn't suffer from neck pain? – but, much as I like them, I'm sure even I could get sick of nothing but constant back rubs.

There's supposed to be more happiness in giving than in receiving. Perhaps there is, and I'd like to think I'm a generous person, but if I'm giving then someone needs to be receiving and if they're as natural a giver as I am, then I'm sure it must be hard for them to receive, but the fact remains that a giver needs a receiver and a receiver needs a giver – it's symbiosis.

And there is something lovely and symbiotic I've found about relationships on the Web. People are very willing to help virtual – and sometimes total – strangers, locate scraps of information or provide answers to their questions and often more. There was one I came across a couple of weeks ago. A woman's daughter was doing a school project in which she wanted to illustrate how global the World Wide Web truly is. She proposed to take a note of all the countries that visited her mother's blog. Simple enough. Word spread and people began contacting their friends in out-of-the-way places.

I don't know how many she ended up with but I was encouraged by the fact that complete strangers would do this for a little girl in America. And, yes, I was involved too. I wrote to a friend in Bosnia because I could see it wasn't on her list of countries that had responded and my friend was happy to help out and I myself added Scotland to the list.

I am sure that if there is one problem that the Internet has gone a long way towards eradicating then that is loneliness. I know that at any minute of the day or night I can log onto my computer and make contact with a live person. Okay, responses are sometimes delayed but responses do come. I even had a go at chat once but my fingers were not up to the challenge – they couldn't keep up with my thoughts and my thoughts refused to express themselves in words of one syllable – but it's an option for the dexterously nimble out there. And, yes, we sometimes rub each other up the wrong way – that happens in relationships, and, make no mistake, there is nothing virtual about some of the relationships I have developed online. (No, rubbing's not another taction metaphor – it's friction).

For me personally, the Internet has provided purpose. Having spent so many years in isolation as a writer I'd got used to my own company and there are times now I've even felt crowded in by all the people there are out there willing to get involved in…well, pretty involved conversations, I have to say. But being able to write and to have people read what I write and (so they tell me) look forward to reading what I write means that whatever I write will be read, guaranteed. And these readers respond, support, encourage and inspire me to do my best for them. Readers are no longer an abstract thing for me. They have names. I know where many of them live, what they do to earn a crust, bits and bobs about their family life. They're friends. Okay, most of them live hundreds if not thousands of miles away and I'll never get to take them for a coffee. A couple live just the other side of the Clyde and you never know.

Of course the Internet is not perfect but perfection is relative. A hammer is perfect for hammering in nails but you can also club someone to death with it. And so the Internet, a great idea for mass communication, has its dark side and you really don't need me to elaborate on that here. The point is, just because something can be misused doesn't mean it has to be. I have a hammer in my toolbox and I've never once considered beating someone's brains in with it. Okay, maybe the once. We talk about the Global Village – well, even local villages have their seamier sides. If your were to base your view of the English countryside simply on the novels of Agatha Christie then no one would want to live there.

If the Internet is anything, though, it is a magic jar. As for the jars in my house, you pretty much get out of them what you put in them. Not so the Internet. I produce a literary blog but I get to read blogs on a whole host of subjects: music, films, whatever. And as a research tool I cannot imagine having to go back to the old ways, the treks to the libraries with pockets full of change for the photocopier.

So, I hope I've inspired you. That was my intent. What you do with the inspiration is up to you. If you've had any doubts about getting involved in the Internet then put them aside. You'll be surprised how little you need to know to get started. I started off by typing 'poetry' into a search engine and I could fill a book telling you where that led.


Jim Murdoch of "The Truth About Lies" needs no elaborate introduction. He is a well-respected member of the writing community at Entrecard.

He is a poet by heart and a novelist by chance(I'm not sure of this though); but he sure writes novels that have uncommon interesting plots. Read what I wrote about his novel Living With the Truth.

Visit his blog to learn more about him.

Thanks Jim for participating in my first book venture. Kudos to you!

1st Photo by: Sarah Giesecke
2nd Photo by:
3rd Photo by: taggle burman

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Butterfly Award from Jean and the tag from HotMomma

The Butterfly Award
was given by Jean of Jean’s Musings; While the tag was passed on by Mathe of HotMomma.

These two beautiful ladies are excellent writers, that is why I am flattered by this award and this tag. Thanks.

The Butterfly Award rules are: (I copied this verbatim from Jean’s blog.)


“Pass the award on to seven blogs (I choose 18 blogs) of your choice.

Link back to the blogger who gave you the award/ awards.

Let the new winners know they have received an award by commenting on their blog.”


For the tag given by Mathe of HotMomma; it is about revealing some personal stuff, so that your readers will come to know you more. Well, what is there to know about me? I’m a transparent person…
Mathe and Maritz(the singer)

I have 9 blogs and I try my best to maintain them, in spite of a full time, demanding job. And well, when I say “demanding job”, it really is. Let me reveal 5 “personal” things about me that very few people know

1. I find writing/blogging my way of relaxation. When I write, it seems all my worries and problems disappear.

2. I consider this blog Gewgaw Writings as a “sacred” blog as even if my Google page rank is 3, I still do not want to “desecrate” it with paid posts. I’m writing in this blog because I want to express my thoughts, and not because I wanted to attract more advertisers. This is purely my writing blog. I hope I would be able to maintain this, as I intended to. Yes, I have a single adsense ad at the topmost portion and one at the side bar, but paid posts? (Well, I accepted 2 offers, but I enjoyed writing them that's why. Cheers!)

3. I do write paid posts for the other blogs, but I don’t blog to earn. I blog to be able to write. Earning is just the icing on the cake. It feels good to be paid for doing what you love to do - write.

4. I write too for, Associated Content, and These are all writing sites that pay per view of your article. I find writing for Helium more challenging as topics are provided and you got to compete with prolific and established writers. There is an on-going writing contest now at the site and the topics are very interesting. I hope you take part in this contest and win prizes too.

5. I love to sing. I could carry a tune, in fact, I sang on stage during a Christmas Party (Yikes!) and you could have seen their faces brighten up with … (?) I didn’t ask what their impression was, so I can’t write it down.

So there you are; I hope you learned something new about me. And Mathe, I was a good reader too while I was still in the elementary grades. I was then reading books which were meant for mature persons ...he he he.

Jean and Mathe, you’re doing well at Helium with rating and ranking stars. Congratulations, keep writing.

Thanks for including me in your list.

I passed on both (the award and the tag), to the following blogs that I admire. Each of these blogs has a unique genre all its own. Visit them and see for yourself. You won't regret it!

1. The Spitting Vessel
2. Ken Armstrong Writing Stuff
3. The Big Picture
4. Ruminations of a Small Town Mountain Boy
5. Caught in the Stream
6. The Esoterical Journey
7. Jean’s Musings
8. The Struggling Blogger
9. The Truth About Lies
11. Father Blogger Dot Com
12. Slightly Drunk
13. Baa Baa Blogging
14. Diary of a Start Up Mom
15. HotMomma
16. Seeking Things Above
17. Purpled Sky
18. Pinay Mommy Online

It is with honor that I give you this award and this tag. Happy blogging!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008



Friday, November 7, 2008

Living with the Truth: A Book by Jim Murdoch - A Reader's Perspective

I have been a constant reader of Jim Murdoch’s posts in his blog "The Truth About Lies", and I marvel at his expertise in poetry and writing.
Jim Murdoch

I had that rare opportunity of reading one of his books entitled: “Living With the Truth”, and I have to say that it was a unique read for me.

I want to express my thoughts as a reader. I will not critic the book as I am not an expert book critic; but I am a voracious reader though, so I can say that in this area, I could dare to comment.

This is an informal write up of how I perceive his book: “Living with the Truth.”

The book cover

I like simple things at times, so when I saw the plain and simple cover, I became more curious of what the content would be.

I know that, “Thou shall not judge a book by its cover,” but I do that often when buying books. I read the title, and look at the cover and decide whether to buy it or not. I don’t read the summaries at the back cover because I don’t want to know beforehand how the story would evolve.

The content

When I read the first sentence: “Had it been Death that had called that day everything would have been right, ” it gripped my attention immediately.

What I perceive in the first pages of the flash back on Jonathan Payne’s life is that he was a man with natural urges and needs, and the author expressed this vividly. I laughed when I read this sentence: “She dozed off while he was doing it –but he did it anyway.” (referring to Jonathan’s ex-lover).

There were several such sentences in the book that left me chuckling or smiling and it created a lively approach to an otherwise serious and boring presentation. Think about talking about life, truth, faith and love, without the ice breakers!

I’d like to believe that the “serious looking” Jim has indeed a sense of humor and this has come out naturally in the course of his writing.

I; however, faltered after I reached page 7. After a few days, I went on to read up to page 13. This is the page when Mr. Truth intruded into Jonathan’s otherwise humdrum existence. This was the “read until dawn” page for me. I had to know what happened next …and then next…and then next.

I tried imagining Mr. Truth actually appearing at my doorstep and I, asking him all the vital questions that had bugged my mind for years. “Is there really a God?” “Is there life after death? “ Who goes to heaven?” “When will I die? (But I will have to ask this last, lol) “Are there other creatures in the solar system?” Some of these questions had been asked by Jonathan himself.

The author was able to convey credibility to his story by gradually revealing and weaving the small plots into the thought processes of Jonathan; his unbelief and denial at first, and then his final acceptance of the reality of Truth.

I have read countless books and this is the first time I have encountered Truth assuming the nature of a man. It is a totally innovative plot presented in a believable manner. How to effectively allow Truth to assume a human form and yet be the Truth that “it” really is. Jim was able to maintain this balancing act; not too phony as to lose the interest of readers : “He was actually fairly handsome, as best Jonathan could recognize looks in men…” but mysterious at the same time as to portray what “it” really is – an existing collection of verified facts : “ Most gods pretty much tend to look for exclusive devotion…” Truth said, when asked about God.

I enjoyed the conversations that Jonathan had with Mr. Truth and the eventual realization of Jonathan of the truth about himself.

The conclusion

The end of the story has left me in deep thought for several days. I even read it twice to see if I understood it correctly…lol…

I have searched for the mot juste for Jim’s story in the person of Jonathan Payne, but up to this moment , I found none that could accurately do so. The book may have a simple plot. Mr. Truth comes into Jonathan Payne’s life and with the help of Mr. Truth, he discovered inevitably the truth about himself.

It is not as simple as it seems however, because the story deals with the intricate webs of the human mind. It delved deep into Jonathan Payne’s aspirations, fears, regrets about past events, his doubts and intriguing questions about faith and the uncertain future.

It was an adventure in itself for Jonathan as it was for me. This reason is more than enough for me to recommend this book.

The conclusion was “sweet” but unexpectedly - shall I say – unjustified?

I want to expound more but you have to find out for yourself. The book has inspired several questions that I hope I could eventually seek the answers to, in my own personal way.

Each of us has his own individual journey to self discovery, just like Jonathan Payne; hopefully, just like him, we will arrive to the answers to our questions.

All in all, it was a wonderful, totally unique read.
Thanks Jim Murdoch for sharing this book with us.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

FREE PICTURES - Petri Dishes