Valentine’s Twittermantic with Hallmark

Hallmark Romantic Verse Competition Returns for Valentine's 2011

LONDON, England, January 19, 2011

 – UK Wide Search for the Best Twittermantic

– Winner Receives a Luxury Romantic Break Away

After the huge success of last year's Twittermantic competition, which saw more than 600 entries, author and poet Christine Miller, Founder of ReSource, a global intelligence provider in the business and personal development field,  has again agreed to act as a judge.  Hallmark Cards is again giving the UK's wannabe Shakespeares the chance to show off their poetic side in a national creative writing contest, launching today. But in the true spirit of a modern day Romeo or Juliet – the romantic verse must be composed in just 140 characters on the popular social network site, Twitter!

The competition, back by popular demand, is being launched by Hallmark's online personalised card service, Hallmark.co.uk (http://www.hallmark.co.uk/), as part of its build up to Valentine's Day, with a luxury weekend break away on offer for the winning Twittermantic!

The best entries collected before Valentine's (February 14th) will be judged by an online public vote and by a panel of experts, including poet and published author, Christine Miller. (https://www.christinemiller.co)

Christine said: “Many writers – poets, journalists, bloggers et al, have said that Twitter, far from restricting their expressiveness, has helped them hone their skills and improve their writing. This is because they don’t have the luxury of length, so have to drill down and identify the key points and condense their ideas. It has provided a paradoxical opportunity to get more creative and meaningful by saying less – a pared down scenario with greater freedom, where new types of expression like text speak are not only allowed but positively encouraged.  So be playful and have fun.

‘Have great fun, Let your senses soar, send us your love poems, ♥♥♥♥. We want to see lots more!’”

free-guide-to-twitter-poemsChristine is offering a FREE guide to writing poems over Twitter, normally valued at £7.99, to all entrants of the Hallmark competition, and will be offering tips on the Hallmark blog during the competition.

[Read more…]

How to have better relationships with your teenagers

 

Resourceful Little Treasures

© Christine Miller

In recent years there has been an upsurge of interest and concern in relation to children’s emotional and mental health. Media stories about bullying in schools, excluded children, disaffected youths creating mayhem in their communities, concerns about child pornography and the safety of the internet – all have been presented in the nation’s living rooms, and whether we judge the publicity good or bad, it is now important to recognise that the well being of our children is of widespread interest and concern. Some years ago, a government report, “Promoting Children’s Mental Health within Early Years and School Settings” (DfES[i]: 2001) stated that “the mental health of children is everyone’s business”, and that adult society as a whole needed to recognise the importance of children’s mental health and emotional literacy.

Self-esteem

Sense of identity

Strong family relationships

Good communications with teachers and peer groups

The above are widely acknowledged as key elements in children who are resilient, and the risk factors for mental ill-health increase with every element missing from the list of desirable conditions.

[Read more…]

More to think about…

…following on from yesterday’s post ‘Something to Think About’, which led to a comment from a Jackie Evancho fanpage – Wow! this girl is an amazing talent – and such a beautiful surprise – as she says elsewhere, great things come in small packages. Her passion for singing radiates, and her obvious delight in performing and having the oppportunity to enjoy what she loves really shines through.

It may be old hat for some people, but it’s the first time I have encountered her, and I just love what I see and hear, and the feeling she inspires.

How many would notice her, and stop in the Metro station to listen to her, I wonder? (Her actual performance starts at around 2.0)

Something To Think About . .

A colleague sent me this today, which made me think about what we miss by rushing through life without pausing, noticing and appreciating things that in other circumstances and environments we would love and value.

THE SITUATION

In Washington , DC , at a Metro Station, on a cold January morning in 2007, this man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, approximately 2,000 people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. After about 3 minutes, a middle-aged man noticed that there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds, and then he hurried on to meet his schedule.


About 4 minutes later:


The violinist received his first dollar. A woman threw money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk.


At 6 minutes:


A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.


At 10 minutes:

A 3-year old boy stopped, but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head the whole time. This action was repeated by several other children, but every parent – without exception – forced their children to move on quickly.


At 45 minutes:


The musician played continuously. Only 6 people stopped and listened for a short while. About 20 gave money but continued to walk at their normal pace. The man collected a total of $32.

After 1 hour:

He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed and no one applauded. There was no recognition at all.

No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars.
Two days before, Joshua Bell sold-out a theatre in Boston where the seats averaged $100 each to sit and listen to him play the same music.

Joshua Bell

Joshua Bell


This is a true story. Joshua Bell, playing incognito in the D.C. Metro Station, was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people’s priorities.


This experiment raised several questions:

*In a common-place environment, at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty?

*If so, do we stop to appreciate it?

*Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?


One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be this:

If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ever made . . .How many other things are we missing as we rush through life?

Brought me back to thinking about something I wrote last year – see here: Do You Value What’s Right Under Your Nose?

Magical effects of sunlight

In my garden the other evening we noticed and loved this amazing effect so, inspired, I captured the scene;  it was a beautiful dry evening, no rain or moisture on the tree, purely the effects of the sunset rays transforming the tree so it looks as if it is full of golden lights against the evening sky – the ultimate natural resource.

Magical, entrancing,  couldn’t stop gazing at its splendour of light.

magical light at sunset

magical light at sunset

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