I do like Fandango’s Who Won the Week post, and like to join in with some quirky stories from my own newsfeeds. The idea is that we pick a “thing” (person, organisation, anything) who “won” the week. I often post with a heavy dose of tongue-in-cheek, but not today. This was genuinely a good idea.

Actually, I’m a bit late to this prompt this week, but I’m afraid I didn’t feel like writing much yesterday.

I read some posts, though, and one such post was by Farida Hakim. She has had the brilliant idea of posting weekly on the theme of “women who made it, or are making it, through adversity”.

What a good idea for a post, so I think that idea won the week this week.

Last week, Farida posted about a woman whose partner left her and their three young children, and how she has made a life for herself.

This week, she posted about the woman whose partner left them, when they found out she was pregnant.

You know, these stories are not about some superstar, telling us about all their adversities they overcame on their way to the top, but everyday stories of everyday people. Things which, sadly, happen all around us. These people are so “real”, they have blogs of their own, which Farida presumably follows.

I’m guessing that future posts will be along the same lines.

Farida is an Italian blogger but writes many of her posts (including these) in impeccable English. Links to her posts above.


for Fandango’s One Word Challenge (FOWC), rain.

Here’s a strange one. I was Googling around a few ideas for today’s prompt, and came across this. Did you know there is actually somebody called “Rain”?

Not Outinda Rain, or anything, just “Rain”. So I just had to find out about this guy.

As you might imagine, he is difficult to find, because all search engines keep telling me about this wet stuff(!), but I did track him down to be a South Korean musician and actor. It did make me wonder why somebody would choose a name for themselves which is so difficult to find in search engines, but I suppose it helps when you have a different alphabet… In Korean, he is 정지훈, which Google Translate tells me means Jeong Ji-hoon.

When I type “Jeong Ji-hoon” into YouTube, I do at least get some hits. It looks like this guy is primarily an actor now, but he started off as a musician. One of the top hits has him acting in a Korean show which translates as “What Kind of Nightmare is this?”

You might be left wondering the same after you have listened to one of his songs! (Actually, it is not bad, for modern music. I’ve got to get me some of those boots!)


When Paul’s son, Jake, first met Anna, his first thought was “wow”. This gorgeous woman, whom he would have more expected to see on a billboard, had some pizzazz. What on earth was she doing with his dad?

As most boys (men!) tend to be, Jake was tongue-tied in front of a pretty girl, so it was left to Anna to break the ice. “Have you seen this buffet, Jake? Looks like there’s some yummy food over there. Want to come check it out with me?”

Anna and Jake stepped over to the buffet, where she found some vegetable samosas. A couple would not hurt, she reasoned. As Anna and Jake put food onto their plates, Paul had followed them over. Anna left the buffet, just as Paul arrived at the buffet. She turned to return to her seat, bumping straight into Paul – and her samosas went flying onto the floor.

The ice was thawing!

for Fandango’s One Word Challenge (FOWC), pizzazz.

I’ve written a background to these characters, in the posts below.


This post is specifically based on a conversation I was having with Linda Kemp, but if you’re interested, this info is good for anybody. But straight away, this is pretty niche stuff, so when you feel your eyes glazing over…

As some of you will have seen, I have been writing some creative writing over the last few weeks.

Forget the writing itself. But I was thinking, I would like something to analyse what I’ve written, to tell me about word frequency – how often I used the word “idiot”, or whatever. Just in case I find that I have sub-consciously written the word on every other line.

Some words will anyway be more prevalent than others, like the word “the”, but I wanted specifically to check that no words/phrases had crept into the document by mistake. One of the ones I notice about me is the phrase “of course”. You might have noticed this if you read my posts, although I do try to edit most of them out.

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In the end, I found http://gregmaxey.com/word_tip_pages/word_usage_and_frequency_report.html. Seemed to be just what I was looking for. But this add-on looked like it had been written for an old version of Microsoft Word. This looked like in was Word 2010, whereas I just buy an annual subscription from Microsoft, so have the latest software.

Anyway, Step 1 was to visit the site and download this add-on. (The first time I visited this site, I did, of course (see? I told you!), read the blurb.)

This downloaded a compressed (.ZIP) file into my Downloads folder.

Step 2, I decompressed that file. I won’t show that but I can tell you how if you want. It contains two files, which I just extracted into a folder under my Downloads.

Step 3 (I’m showing this) I opened Microsoft Word. I loaded one of my story documents. Then, I installed the Word Count add-in.

As you can see, this add-in counts up the words in your original document, then creates a fresh document, creating a table with items ordered by frequency.

In my example (only a 1-pager) the most common word was “the”, closely followed by “was” and “a”, so I suppose I can’t complain – those words are pretty inevitable. But hopefully this will allow me to spot where I have over-used certain words. I don’t know how far down this list I’ll need to look.

I only just found this add-in, I haven’t looked at any of the options yet. I believe it can detect phrases, too. I believe you can exclude certain words from the analysis. The other thing, I don’t know if this will load every time I open the document, start Word, and so on. So there is still some figuring out to happen.

It’s certainly something I’ll be looking at and trying to use. If it is any good, I’ll be sending this guy a bit of money – after all, this is the kind of thing I have been doing these last few years. If this is something you find useful, please consider the same.


My favorite things in life don’t cost any money. It’s really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time.

Steve Jobs

for Fandango’s One Word Challenge (FOWC), precious.