Archive for the ‘History Archives’ Category

Go! Tip the driver while you travel?

Posted on September 30th, 2008 by Purple13

What a global lot we are at GO! Smell the flowers. Here in the UK a trivial thought for you to consider:

When was the last time you were on a coach or bus trip and you had a collection for the driver? Do you do that in your part of the world or is it just taxi fares?

This question was prompted having just taxied teenagers around in our Ford Galaxy 7 seater all week. Interested to know your thoughts, thanks!

A World Without Real Dialogue?

Posted on September 29th, 2008 by mike

There’s always a tension between art and commerce. And when the art comes packaged in alternative clothes the relationship can falter, miss its step and the two can move apart. In trying to recapture past winning formulas commerce can repackage old material and endlessly recycle it under different guises until the art becomes dull, boring, lifeless – and we end up, without fresh expression through art, living in a world without real dialogue to ourselves.

Let’s have a look at the implications for writers …

Do we really want to head towards a George Orwell 1984 with books being produced and written by machines? For that is our future. Unless. Unless we have indie type labels – new publishers who buck the trend, or main stream publishers who decide to use their dollars to finance new streams of work – much in the same way that George Clooney uses films like Ocean’s 11 to finance his more arty films.

So it is we find such associations of authors banding together under the name of The Offbeat Generation: A loose association of like-minded authors united in their hostilty to mainstream publishing that is driven by marketing departments. The term was coined by Andrew Gallix of the 3:AM Magazine in 2006 and now has authors like Tom McCarthy and Tony O’Neill associated with it.

Here’s Tony’s book:

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So let’s change the focus of discussion out there. We like asking questions. The key is in asking the right questions. At the moment we ask: Will printed books survive with technolgy taking the writing industry to e-book readers like the Kindle? Let’s ask instead if enough of our talented writers are finding a voice? We need marketing to get books into people’s hands and to make the industry profitable. But we also need fresh, inspiring, challenging work, we need a world with real dialogue.

Go! Feed a starving artist!

Posted on September 27th, 2008 by god

artist or rich?

Arvind here, getting back in the swing of things at Flowers.

A recurring topic I come across in my work is this theme of whether one can enjoy their true vocation and become rich at the same time.

For example, do artists always have to struggle or can they make it “big time”? Do they struggle because they are lazy and mediocre?

Looking at the wider picture, is it really possible for us to enjoy what we do and become wealthy through doing that?

With the current turmoil in the financial markets, should we all be revisiting how we gauge success and not just base it on our material things? What does success mean for you?

When you started out in your career or business, did YOU set out to enjoy what you do or did you want to make a lot of money? Or did you compromise your dreams along the way?

A lot of questions. Do share…

Another Free Flowers Contest … Talk Talk!

Posted on September 24th, 2008 by mike

Time for another free flowers competition, our 32nd! And time for some talking! First cue the prize:

$60 of flowers delivered anywhere in the world courtesy of our partners Flora 2000, the International delivery experts. Don’t you just love them.

I know, I know you want it. You must win! So this is what you do:

Talk Talk Comp:

Look at the picture below and come up with a short discussion they would have with each other if they were all stuck in the same room together. And we’re sure you know their smiles, but just in case: From top left clockwise we have Mrs Beckham, Mr Simpson, Dr House and Mr Burns.

You could always send flowers to someone right now, anywhere in the world . Simply click on the flowers banners and use promo code GSTF99 and you’ll be entitled to a bit of flower smelling discount! Contest ends on Tuesday 30th September Midnight Dubai time. Good luck flower smellers!

Did ye all remember to speak like a pirate me maties?

Posted on September 20th, 2008 by Purple13

Well shiver me timbers, if ain’t be a whole year since we last shared the grog.

Did you remember or should ye all be a’walking the plank? Aharrrr Jim lad!

I smell an Avatar, therefore, I am…

Posted on September 15th, 2008 by Jim

The world works in mysterious ways! Minutes after Deep posted about how you can add your own Avatar here at GSTF rather than be faceless we’ve just been featured in this collection of well known blogger avatars currently working its way through the blogosphere and about to take off on youtube.

This clip is courtesy of James and the team at polybore as they put life into our logos and faces. Over 3 minutes of blogger avatars with GSTF featured pretty much at the end, best till last? ;-)

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Good eh! So – take a few minutes to upload your Avatar here at GSTF as per the post below and you’ll be recognised here at the main blog and at forums.

You can use an image, a photo, cartoon, symbol or whatever you like and you can change them at a later date. Looking forward to seeing you soon and I ask you – what is behind your choice of avatar and why?

GO! Smell the faceless avatars..

Posted on September 15th, 2008 by Deep

Still wondering how to get rid of those faceless avatar boxes on the comments section?

Well, it’s pretty simple.. our current version of comments page is fetching avatars from the site Gravatar. All you need to do is, register there using your present email ID (the one which you use for posting the comments) and upload the avatar.

Within 15 – 25 minutes, your new avatar should be up on our site too. And this same avatar will be displayed on all the websites (mainly wordpress based blogs) using Gravtar.

So.. let’s kick those faceless avatars…

Go Smell The Hurricanes!

Posted on September 15th, 2008 by taylorblue

It seems like everyone is getting slammed by hurricanes these days. Is this a sign of Global Warming? I know I live in the Prairies where it is usually so dry and this summer we got so much rain!

Anyways, I was watching the footage of Hurricane Ike the other night as it was hitting Texas. And I said to my husband…”This isn’t so nice to the weather men. What happens if they get blown over?” And what happened? A weather man did….

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I used to live in Ontario when I was younger and we would get hit by the tail end of the hurricanes so I know what that looks like. I can only imagine what that would be like. I have been through a couple of tornadoes but never something this serious. (One of my favorite movies…Twister!!!)

Please share your caught in serious weather stories…

The flowers founders update….

Posted on September 14th, 2008 by Jim

Well flower folk as we prepare to GO! head long into a full blown community we’re pleased to post this founders update. Our aim is to make GSTF a vibrant online community with the core topics of health, travel, inspiration, food and books here at the main blog. Over at forums there’s a wide range of topics as more of a water-cooler feel develops there bit by bit.

During the next 4-6 weeks Deep and the gang will be implementing the new Buddypress software from WordPress, viral techniques, personal profiles (including your own Avatar pictures so we don’t all look the same here) as we prepare to launch the GSTF ezine & magazine in conjunction with Flora2000 and become a true online community.

Ensuring the content here at flowers remains interesting that can spark debate and help us learn from each other whilst attracting new readers are the 16 founders. All have something unique to offer and their % breakdown of content they’ll be posting at flowers is as follows:

  • Mike French (UK) – 60% Books, 20% Inspiration & 20% Fun
  • Aussie Cynic (Australia) – 40% fun, 30% travel, 15% health & 15% food
  • Mighty Morgan (U.S.A) – 50% Inspiration & 50% health
  • Taylor Blue ( Canada) – 40% Inspiration, 20% fun, 20% general, 10% food & 10% travel
  • Funkygirl (U.S.A) – An equal split of Health, Food & Books
  • Lib (U.K) – 30% travel, 30% fun, 20% books, 10% inspiration & 10% food
  • Gareth in Thailand (Thailand) – 50% Inspiration, 40% travel & 10% food
  • Blue Collar Goddess (U.S.A) – 50% Inspiration & 50% books
  • Purple13 (U.K) – 50% Inspiration, 20% food, 10% travel, 10% health & 10% books
  • SimpleZack (U.S.A) – 25% Inspiration, 20% health, 20% travel, 20% books & 15% food
  • Arvind (U.K) – 90% Inspiration & 10% a split of the rest
  • Anges Biz (Australia) – 50% Inspiration, 20% health, 10% food, 10% travel & 10% books
  • AngryfromEllesmerePort (Abu Dhabi) – 25% Fun, 20% Travel, 15% Health, 15% Inspiration, 15% food & 10% books
  • RYK (India) – 40% health, 40% food and 20% the rest.
  • Jim (Dubai) – An equal split of all topics.
  • Em (Dubai) – An equal split of all topics.
16 founders in total contributing to providing the unique content here at GO! Smell the flowers.
  • Founders leaving us
Dubai Guy, Bo and Empress Nightshade are leaving us as founders due to time constraints so we wish them all the very best – you’re always welcome to pop back to GSTF and post comments from time to time.
  • Two new founder badges!
Rather than posting as Jim & Em we’ve decided it’s time to have our own badges and roles to play here at GSTF.


In October we’ll be converting the our experience & our books pages here at the site to community based pages during the coming months so any suggestions of what you’d like to see are most welcomed.


To all our founders in believing in GO! Smell the flowers and how relationships have blossomed here as a result and to all of YOU! We’ve had deaths, marriages, heart ache, hints of babies on the way and everything in between posted here to date with plenty more to follow as we all dig deep and share insights about our lives as a group. This takes courage to do and is becoming the essence of GO! Smell the flowers.

It’s going to be quite a ride over the next 18-24 months and the plan is to publish a GSTF community book about how it all started, the ins and outs, ups and downs, memorable discussion threads and how we’ve formed as a team starting from nothing and developed a deeper bond – planned for release in 2010.

It looks like it’ll be quite a gathering when we invite all the founders and active comment givers to head over to Dubai (we’re working on free flights) in 2010 for a GSTF gathering – watch this space – it’s going to happen!

Comments welcomed from founders, readers and contributors alike on where we could take GO! Smell the flowers. Cheers.

Agents: Good or Bad?:

Posted on September 13th, 2008 by mike

Mike here,

Here’s a sneak peak at an interview I’m doing over at the View From Here with author Jon Haylett:

Did winning the Bridport prize help you in approaching agents and publishers and getting you out of their slush piles?

Stupidly, I thought that someone who could take on some 4,500 writers from all over the world, anonymously, for what is still one of the top international short story prizes – the prize in 2003 was £3,000 – and win, could write, and that, therefore, agents would show an interest.


I don’t think that being an agent these days has anything to do with nurturing talent. It’s a ruthless rat-race in search of the next Harry Potter.

So what do you think? Are literary agents a good thing or a bad thing in the book world?

Post comments @ coffee!


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