"Keep scribbling! Something will happen." Frank McCourt

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Sunday Reflection: Answering

It's nothing I'm proud of, but grumpy people are my specialty. In fact, during my time working at the school district, I often felt like the “grumpy parent” whisperer. It could be my round face or my baby blues, but I think it’s something else. I think it’s the way I (most of the time) speak to others.

“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1
This past year, I had to communicate with a parent of whom others had warned me of, saying this parent was always angry and cursed when agitated. So when someone said, good luck talking to  that parent, I listened. I’m no dummy.
“The tongue of the wise adorns knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly.” Proverbs 15:2
My life experience with people helped me go into the interaction knowing there might be conflict.  After I talked to he/she, I asked the colleague who called me to say the parent was in her office, “How’s he/she doing?”

She chuckled. “Good! Unusually nice and calm.”

“I had no problems when I spoke to him/her on the phone last evening," I said.
She asked me to join them in a conference on how to help the student. When I entered the office, the energy was indeed calm. The parent was also polite, compliant and peaceful. The visit was productive.
The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.” Proverbs 15: 4
I learned a long time ago that respect for another and a gentle tone in my voice, seeded with kind words goes a long way. It doesn't mean I have to be a pushover either. 
“The lips of the wise spread knowledge, but the hearts of fools are not upright.” Proverbs 15:7
I’m not calling myself wise, but this is how I choose to roll with people: respect, kind words and a gentle tone in my voice. It works. You too can be the grumpy person whisperer because there are plenty. 

 Read Proverbs 15 at Gateway.com

Monday, July 11, 2016

When Emojis run amuck.

What if, just what if, you clicked on the wrong emoji on FB and used it to comment? May I share with you a couple of awkward moments in the FB world? 

I’m positive I use emojis (and emoticons) way too much, so I may have gasped the other day when a FB friend posted a sad life situation and one of HER FB friends chose a laughing face emoticon/emoji along with words that seemed inappropriate.

The FB commenter said pretty quickly that the emoji and words belonged elsewhere, but didn’t remove it. I assumed this person didn’t know how-to remove it. Then the FB commenter posted a more fitting comment. 

I shook my head knowing this must have felt a bit awkward. 😧 I secretly, behind my computer screen, wondered how anyone could do that. 

You just never know. Right? 😃

Fast forward a week, please. I read a status from a colleague asking for prayers. She didn’t say why, just that she really needed prayers. There was also a post about one of our principals moving into her new position as an assistant superintendent. Because I had already face to face congratulated her, I used a happy happy face 😀 (only), in the comment section. 

I left FB and bake a birthday cake.  🎂

Hours later, I revisited FB and my colleague’s post pops up, where many people had agreed to pray. I’m a prayer warrior, ask me to pray, and I'll pray for you. It occurred to me that I had not joined the group in commenting that I would pray. 🙏

Then. I. saw. it. 

Sitting alone amongst the serious comments, "hope you're okay", "will pray" was my happy happy face that I thought I'd used on the other post. I still don’t know how that happened, but it did. Immediately, I removed the in your face happy and replaced it with praying or prayed.  No other explanation. 

Wow.   😁 😳 

And Happy Monday to you!!!

(See this article discussing the difference between emoticons and emojis here.

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

IWSG Wednesday!

It’s IWSG time, where writers across the world gather to share their writing experience or insecurities. (See below for info on the Insecure Writer's Support Group.) Here we go:

Mirror mirror on the wall who is the best writer of them all?

Of course I don’t think the answer is me, but it is the occasional positive comment that makes me ponder, wait, someone likes my word building? A person is reading me?

So the question of the day: What is the best thing someone has ever said about your writing? For someone who is not a popular, high selling writer or any selling for that matter, I have had a few instances of ego building comments from others about my writing. 

1. During one of my A-Z participations, two people compared my writing style to a couple of well-known short story writers. I must say that my head spun for days, causing me to crash into people and objects.

2. Another individual, regarding my posts, commented that sometimes my writing nearly caused her to snort coffee through her nose (humor wise). I love laughing so making others laugh is a bonus for me. This comment pleased me except for wasting good coffee, through the nose.

3. Another reader said she enjoyed reading my posts (another A-Z year) before heading to work and hoped that I would post before she had to leave.

These comments are wedged in my heart, sparking me onward as needed. 

But what matters most to me is the support of my fellow blog writers and the blog readers who continually show up here, and at the Ruralhood, to encourage me just when I need it. For this I say thank you!

The IWSG was created by Alex Cavanaugh and assisted by awesome helpers. The Insecure Writer's Support Group website supports writers with writers and helpful information. Check out the sign up list here.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Millie and Dr. Phil

Now that I’m officially on summer break, I’m hoping to get back to posting regularly once again. I've been super busy. 

I just finished a home project that I did not do myself. However, it was stressful and exhausting, and that was just Millie’s take on the matter. For once she wasn't exaggerating. 

First, I had to find “The Man”, agree to pay him a bunch of money, choose tiles, order them, move furniture and dishes out of the kitchen/dining room and remove stuff from three bathrooms. My kiddos helped, when I let them. 

Millie didn't offered to help, not even once.

I worked the first three days “The Man” was doing the job. The other three? I shopped one day, hung out in my bedroom an entire day and the other I spent in a spare bedroom. 

Poor little Millie was shuffled around, too. She didn’t appreciate any of it, not the noise or the limitations I put on her. 

She was a bit sad and angry at me, sassing with her doggy talk and applying other bad behaviors. I just sighed and said, "It's not forever." Apparently, she decided to take matters into her own hands. 

This appeared on FB about Millie: 

Millie didn’t like the six days of intrusion when her human mommy invited a stranger into HER home to redo HER floors with tile. Millie fought back by throwing fits in the middle of said floors, body slamming her mommy on a regular basis, participating in a hunger strike, barking her deep big dog bark at the man who only wanted to be friends and chewing on her mom’s hands. When all else failed and her feelings appeared not to be considered, she watched Dr. Phil for therapy ideas on how to change her mommy.”  

We have our home back. 

And Millie can once again lay around uninterrupted. It's important to her, sleeping 20 out of 24 hours. 

I've missed you all so much!!! What's been your summer fun or aggravation? 

Monday, June 06, 2016

I forgot IWSG Wednesday.

I forgot about posting last Wednesday, so my post is late.  I have my reasons like reclaiming my property back from springtime nature (I’m not winning), finishing up the school year to be on vacation and buying tile and getting a tile man here to do the job. All are stressful and exhausting. 

My Insecure Writer’s Support Group post is about being lousy at the business/marketing part of writing. In all things lucrative, you must put out effort towards the business part of it. 

I don’t have a problem with finding time to write or doing it. I write nearly every day, but where I get in trouble is that I don’t give myself deadlines or goals. I was looking for a way to make myself more accountable. Then in I saw something that author Hope Clark’s does. She calls it KEEP 13 IN PLAY. Hope keeps 13 things that she has written going out somewhere, at all times. When one comes back she pushes it out to a different market or when it's sold puts another writing out there. Any number can be used. My number will be low at first. No high expectations for this girl.

My spreadsheets will look something like this. I will chart:
  • Sheet 1: Each story, a deadline to complete drafts, get readers for them and when I want it finished. 
  • Sheet 2:  What and when I send those stories to copy editors.
  • Sheet 3: Markets and contests that I can send, too and due dates.
  • Sheet 4:  Actual dates when I send out each story or inquiry and when they come back (rejection). Okay, okay I’ll put a column in for sold. This process will certainly help me be more productive. 
I will check this document every Sunday evening to keep myself on track. 

I need to figure out what’s best for me and get it started. Goals/deadlines are something I need because…

I’m really bad at business things. I would rather write and chase butterflies when they show up to distract me.  

And speaking of distractions. Millie distracts me. 

“Do you want to play with Baby?” she woofed. “Wanna play? Huh? Huh? Huh? Play?” 

Not too long after this photo was taken, Millie ripped Baby’s gut open and ate on ¼ of her stuffing. 

Oh, Millie!

Helpful articles: Here’s a great article by Hope Clark at The Write Life, Make a Living as a Writer: A Simple Strategy That Works. Read at Write Naked how hope works on Keep 13 in Play