Archive | October 2009

Can you Write Following a Plan?

From now on till the end of December I will carry on an experiment.

Since May 2009 I am a member at Squidoo. I’ve successfully graduated at RocketMoms (writing one lens a week for eight weeks). Instead of taking a break after that adventure I have thrown myself into the next one: I am going for Giant Squid.

What are Giant Squids? Giant Squids are people which have 50 lenses and more. So my aim are 50 Squidoo lenses at the end of the year. Just now I am at # 19. Well.

So I sat down yesterday, picked up my calendar and wrote down a lens-writing-plan. It is a rather strict one: two days for one lens in the week, and two lenses from Friday to Sunday.

Do I feel pressure? It’s funny or even strange, but I don’t. I look forward to each day on my calendar because I know I will write. I don’t mind the grey days and the early darkness of November and December – because I know I will write.

By the way: I just published a new lens about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. In case you want to throw a glance at it, here it is:

Do you write following a plan? What’s your opinion on that?

About me

screenshot squidoo lens

Screenshot of Squidoo Lens

I know I should rewrite my “About me” page. But I want to offer you something different if you are interested in knowing more about me: Some weeks ago I wrote a Squidoo lens about my top ten favorite activities, and I think that special lens will tell you a lot about me. Maybe the way I wrote it may be a bit strange to you – writing a squidoo lens is a bit like writing a magazine article (and provide the graphics and photos!).

It would be awfully kind of you if you came back from the lens again to this place here and tell me what you think about the lens!

Joyful Jubilant Learning celebrates its 3rd birthday

I must admit: When I visited Joyful Jubilant Learning for the first time, I had my difficulties with the name. Learning – yes. Joyful – yes. But jubilant? I associated “jubilant” with a choir singing Handel’s “Halleluja”, not with learning. “They are exaggerating a bit, those Americans” I thought (would you please forgive me, my U.S. friends?).

One year and some months later I have changed my mind. I had to meet some learning challenges during the last weeks. I had to do tasks at work which for quite a while a colleague of mine used to do: to produce animated banners with photoshop and imageready and to do some programming.

I am not the one who shouts “New things, here I come!” I like to do the things I am good in. I am afraid of new tasks. But, you know, there was no way of avoiding them. They had to be done. So I learned how to do them. I succeeded in doing them. And when the work was done, I permitted myself to let out a shout “Yea, I did it!” I was jubilant. It felt so good to have learned to do new things.

There are hundreds of articles which discuss the necessity of life long learning for all of us. They appeal to our logical reasoning. But life long learning has also to do with feeling – the feeling of joy and jubilance!

Leaves in All Colors

Here in Berlin October has been a rather dreary month up to now.  There has not been much of a “Golden October”. In the years before we had a symphony of red, yellow, green. This year September was just great – and then with the beginning of October weather changed to almost wintertime.

But there is flickr, flickr with its treasure of photos. I picked out this one because it reflects what I see in my mind when I think of October.

So everyone of you who is experiencing dreary weather with grey sky: have a look at this photo and dream yourself away!

leaves in autumn. Photo: Ctd 2005


Autumn in Berlin. Photo: Ulla Hennig

Autumn in Berlin. Photo: Ulla Hennig

“If winter is slumber and spring is birth, and summer is life, then autumn rounds out to be reflection. It’s a time of year when the leaves are down and the harvest is in and the perennials are gone. Mother Earth just closed up the drapes on another year and it’s time to reflect on what’s come before.”

Mitchell Burgess, Northern Exposure, Thanksgiving, 1992

Three blog posts which made me think

Do you know this? You are plodding through your feed reader. You click on a blog post and you scan it. Then, you read it again, each word, each sentence.

Today I want to introduce to some of those blog posts.

  1. What If? A Birthday Prose Poem. This prose poem is a gift for anyone who has relatives with dementia. It is also a gift for everyone who has friends with dementia, and it is even a gift for people who think about their own future.
  2. Life is poetry. Just one quote to make you curious:  “Are you an angry rant? A ballad? An epic poem?”
  3. Do you dare? Amypalko on her blog “Less Ordinary” has started a creativity circle and you are invited to join!

Enjoy the reading! And it would be marvelous if you could come back and comment on my selection…

Feed your Soul!

Just a red flower. Photo: Ulla Hennig

Just a red flower. Photo: Ulla Hennig

Bread feeds the body, indeed, but flowers feed also the soul.

~The Koran

This quotation caught my eye because

  • it shows how poetic the Koran can be. Often we associate the Koran with the oppression of women, with a medieval way of doing justice or with violence against the “Infidels”. “Flowers feed also the soul” – when I read that I see a green oasis in the desert, with flowers in all kinds of colors. Imagine the caravanes coming in from the desert, where there’s only one color- the color of the sand and the sun and the cloudless sky.
  • it points out that we have to nourish our souls, too. We have to do the things which keep our body alive, the necessary things. But while doing that we often forget to feed our souls–by doing such things like looking at flowers, listening to the beauty of music, talking to our loved ones.

How do you feed your soul?

Rocketmom Graduate

No photo today and no quotation this time–I hope you are not too disappointed.

But on Monday, October 12th I was informed that I belong to the number of RocketMoms who successfully finished session #3. I am a RocketMom graduate now.

It could be that some of you are now shrugging their shoulders or shaking their heads. What are RocketMoms and what does “graduation” mean?

RocketMoms are a special group of women who are either moms, aunts (that is what I am), grandmothers. They write Squidoo lenses, and they do it well.

I very well remember the middle of August when session #3 began. I knew that for 8 weeks I would be assigned to write one lens per week. I did not know whether I would be able to do that–with my day job and my three blogposts once a week. It would be quite a lot of writing, and, in addition to that, writing about things I never would have thought of writing about.

The weeks passed. One writing assignment included a product review. It had to be something international. Heureka–what about swiffer? They’ve got it in the UK, they’ve got in Germany and they’ve got in the USA. So I took out my camera, took out my swiffer duster, and produced some photos which could go with the lens. And I wrote the lens.

Writing those weekly lenses stretched my writing abilities. I had to go way out of my comfort zone, not only regarding the content of my writings but also the way of doing it, the planning. In the end it forced me to sit down “and just do it”.

And what’s coming now? I am going for Giant Squid now, which means nothing less than 50 lenses till the end of the year. For somebody of you, my dear readers, it might be NaNoWriMo, for me it is Giant Squid. It may well be that I won’t make it regarding the actual number of lenses. But independent from the number of lenses I will produce I will learn tremendously.

Art and Garden

Chinese garden in Berlin-Marzahn. Photo: Ulla Hennig

Chinese garden in Berlin-Marzahn. Photo: Ulla Hennig

“Nothing is more the child of art than a garden.”

Sir Walter Scott, (15 August 1771 – 21 September 1832), Scottish historical novelist

In my opinion, the Chinese Garden in Berlin-Marzahn is a perfect child of art. If we equate art with beauty–the Chinese Garden is art, because it is beautiful with its small teahouses and pavilions. The contrast between the green of grass and trees with the red of the buildings pleases the eye.

If we equate art with conscious creation–the Chinese Garden is art, because it is constructed from the beginning to the end: plants and rocks are carefully selected, the paths going through the Chinese garden are never straight.

Do you have such children of art where you live?

A Planet without Flowers?


Dahlias. Photo: Ulla Hennig

People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have
such things about us.

~Iris Murdoch, A Fairly Honourable Defeat

This is so true!