2

About my Twitter anniversary

I have been rather quiet on social media recently due to a week away from home. My Twitter anniversary came as something of a surprise, when it was flagged up to me – not least because I have now been tweeting, twittering or otherwise being a twit for five years. (Photo from Twitter)

Figure five decorated with coloured scrolls and paisley shapes on a pink background

My reasons for joining Twitter may be found in an earlier post.

Why have I continued with Twitter for 5 years? The short answer is that I enjoy Twitter. Although it is known as a place where feelings run high and people are nasty to each other, that has not been my experience.

I follow accounts for news, writers, books, countryside, photography, heritage, nature (especially wildflowers and birds), people I have met offline, church, music, A to Z bloggers, over 40s bloggers and a few random accounts of bloggers. I also ‘follow back’ people, who seem to have something in common with me. Twitter analytics tells me that most of my followers are interested in dogs.

From Twitter I learn lots of things. I do not watch television at home. However the information I find on Twitter for news and weather keeps me up-to-date. My knowledge of the names of wildflowers and some of their characteristics has been helped by #wildflowerhour.

While I was away recently I watched several quiz shows on my hostess’s television. I was amazed how many answers I could guess correctly. I haven’t learned from TV. Twitter and books are my teachers!

When people tweet about TV programmes, I am not particularly interested, but I do become aware of the programmes, which are being shown. At one time I’d have had this information from the Radio Times. Nowadays it is available online.

I keep away from political debate. If something seems to be happening locally, which might be newsworthy, I do not Tweet about the emergency vehicles I have seen. The emergency services need to be able to work without undue attention. Afterwards I might write about something, such as a recent fire. I sometimes retweet other people’s tweets. There has to be a balance about how much one retweets and original posts. Many of my posts alert my followers to blog posts – either mine or those on the More than Writers’ blog to which I am a contributor. I sometimes interact with others, but not many people reply to most of my tweets.

Since I joined, Twitter has changed from 140 to 280 characters. I could usually say what I wanted in the original number of characters. I have just about become used to the longer Tweets. I also find the Add a Tweet facility quite useful as one can produce a thread of tweets all at once. I have begun to add descriptions to my photos for those with impaired or limited vision. Tweetdeck is very useful for Twitter chats, such as #wildflowerhour.

As I have followed more people on Twitter the number of posts I have liked compared to the number of my tweets (including retweets) has increased.

I perhaps spend too much time scrolling through Twitter. However I do not watch TV, so I regard Twitter as my entertainment.

Advertisements
6

What I read in June 2018 (Part4) The Lost Words

Well, here is the promised post all about a single book!

When an article appeared about a new edition of a children’s dictionary having lost some words about nature to make room for new words about technology, most people were disappointed. One person, who acted on his disappointment, was Robert Macfarlane (mentioned on my blog here).

The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris has been more successful than anyone could have imagined. What has happened around it is now described as a movement. There have been crowd-funded appeals to place the book in every school in various counties around Britain. It has been used in homes for older people. Twitter is full of it. Jackie Morris has developed a new alphabet using otters in various positions to represent the letters. Her artwork has been auctioned to raise money for charities. The price of the book itself includes a donation to Action for Conservation. Another charity it is involved with is the John Muir Trust.

I received a copy of the book as a present, having seen it first at a writers’ conference.

It is a large format book. Each word has its own acrostic. The artwork is wonderful. There are hidden words and absent shapes.

It is a book, which works at many levels. It has inspired more pictures and writing, through its use in schools. There have been exhibitions in London and Edinburgh. It has also inspired a musical spin-off.

I learned that there are alternative spellings for a word, which I’d have spelled with four letters. With three it is a homonym of an animal. I began to write my own verse. Towards the end of June it had four lines. Four days later I added two more.

Lost Animal

In The Lost Words
I found a yak.
It made a racket
Looking for other herds.

Did you ever spy a yak
With a magpie on its back?

If you have read this far, I have an acrostic especially for you.

You
Are
Kind!

2

What I read in June 2018 (Part 2)

A publisher I follow on Twitter put out an appeal for people to buy books. I had a look through the catalogue and selected two books, which looked interesting. They were novels by women. They were light reading. I found them interesting, but wouldn’t be inclined to read any more by either author. This is a matter of personal taste. There was some very good writing, especially in the first book, A Place to Stop by Susan Wicks. I found the ending unsatisfactory. It was ambiguous (unless I failed to understand it). I like all the ends tied up neatly. (The books arrived with a hand-written note on a postcard, which was a lovely personal touch.)

The second book was He Wants by Alison Moore. The plot here was more structured than the other book. Lady Chatterley’s Lover (which I have not read) was referred to in the book, which includes similar subject matter. There was an episode, in which some people went to a Billy Graham crusade meeting. This seemed to be written from the point of view of an onlooker rather than a person, who was involved and committed. It didn’t appear to make any lasting difference to the characters in the story. This does not reflect the experiences of people I know. A bookshop proprietor I follow on Twitter had recommended the author.

The third book of this group is the only one I would recommend to other people. I found it in the library at Scargill House. I had seen the series recommended by a different publisher I follow on social media. It is a book for girls of secondary school age. Beech Bank Girls: Every girl has a story by Eleanor Watkins uses fiction to highlight many issues, which affect young people in the modern world. This book is well-written in a style accessible to the target readership. I managed to read it from cover to cover in the free time over the weekend. I have already recommended it as ideal for the only girl I know in the age group for which it was written. I reviewed another book by Eleanor Watkins here.

Beech Bank Girls

I can now say that there will be two more posts in this series, making four in total.