Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A Petty Annoyance

I love my diesel sedan, and next time, I just might pull the beard out of someone who hurts it and then denies it. LOL

  I am known for being even tempered. Most of my friends and people who do business with me in one way or another usually think I am pretty reasonable.  This is fortunate because one of the ways teens and young adults feel comfortable telling you just about anything, is if you accept most everything you are told and speak reasonably about it with them.
                 Today, one of my adult sons and I made a trip in the car to our nearest small city, which is a couple of hours away.  I ran a quick errand, and my son wanted to make a quick trip to one of the large hardware franchises on the suburban outskirts of the city.   We were lucky.  It wasn't too crowded and I parked fairly close to the building.  My son ran in to buy a couple of things, and I decided to stay in the car rather than wander around the large store and perhaps buy some things on sale that I probably did not urgently need.  I sat there looking through the mail when I noticed an older gentleman, a store employee, rolling a flatbed cart out to a customers car with a big box which said "Horno de Miccroonda" on it.  I knew from my last purchase of one, that this was a microwave oven.   The man rolled the cart over to the car next to me where the owner of the minivan opened her sliding side door.  At that point, the man lifted the microwave to place it into the woman's van, and hit my car with it.   I immediately popped out of the car to check out the damage.  I love this car. It's a diesel sedan and I take very good care of it.  I asked the gentleman,  "Sir, where did you hit the car with the box ?" as I looked for damage.   I think if he had apologized and exclaimed that it was heavy and he tapped the car accidentally, I would have been alright, but he didn't.  He lied.   "I didn't hit the car" he said as if butter wouldn't melt in his mouth.   That made me angry.  "Sir, I was actually in the car, and the knock was hard enough to knock the mail out of my hand" I said.    The purchaser, knew this man, and she said,  "He didn't hit the car", in a smiling manner as if a young  child telling a lie".    "Madam," I said.  "I was not speaking with you.  I am speaking to the gentleman who hit my car with your microwave".   I looked carefully at the finish, and luckily I could not see damage.
             I was still incensed, not because it had happened.  People make mistakes. and I do also, but I own mine.  When I make an error, I apologize and I do what is necessary to set it right.  This man lied to me.
With that I went inside.   I told customer service what had happened.  They were very apologetic, and thanked me for coming in.  I told them that what I really wanted was a reminder to people who help load merchandise to watch out for the cars parked in the lot, or to ask people to drive up to be loaded. They knocked 10% off our purchase when my son arrived.
              I could not see damage to the car in the blustery rain and overcast day.  I hope when it clears up, that I don't find any. I remember having a minor accident years ago with a new car, where wood flew off a truck hitting my new car.  I did not find the damage until several days later.
             I don't mind mistakes, but like most people, I don't like liars.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Waiting for Your Blog to Ignite

Eventually, like a fireplace, your blog will ignite.
   People embark on creating a blog for many reasons.  For some, it's the documentation of a personal journey, and for a time they don't expose it to being read by others, let alone strangers.  They quietly document their moments, and occasionally their pictures, in a manner so as to more clearly recall this part of their lives in the future.  Some, even have it made into a blog book, sometimes for themselves, or sometimes shared with family.  Others create a blog to hone writing talent, or perhaps to discipline themselves to write a little bit daily. With practice, this does become easier.   Others blog to impart knowledge to others, and a blog can do this well. A lifetime spent cooking, gardening, raising children or animals brought insights, and we are here in part, to share these insights while we are on Earth.
              I have three blogs.  One was borne of my need to journal about the unexpected loss of my youngest son when he was twelve and a half, which occurred during the early Christmas season four years ago.  There was much to say, and still often is. Although the blog eventually became the preface to a book on the subject which is available worldwide, the blog sat almost unread by anyone else but me for a long time. This is fine.  There are many reasons to blog.    The second blog I did grew out of a radio program I did briefly in which I spoke about family disaster preparedness.  I provided so much information during the program that listeners wanted a place on the internet they could go for web addresses, pictures of products and items I had discussed, and as a synopsis of each show.   What started as a notice board quickly grew to information with pictures, and an editorial board for me on occasion.  With a radio program and podcast fueling it, it caught on fairly quickly.  My last blog is this one.  It has existed for weeks, and has yet to ignite and then to catch fire.  I don't worry too much about subscribers.  A lot of people bookmark blogs and visit them regularly, but decline to join      a.) because they don't wish to be contacted as being a regular reader, and     b.) because if they wish to unsubscribe later, that this can prove difficult.  I have subscribed myself to blogs in the past and then wanted to leave and been stuck there.
              Most people start writing a blog and expect it to ignite and have a following immediately, while most do not.  It is perfectly okay to be writing a blog for a period of time, in relative privacy, before strangers discover it. Don't be afraid to write in silence, collect your thoughts, and desensitize yourself, in a sense to the process of rapid thought, and then relatively rapid writing in response.  Blog writing is a skill, a lot like article writing, letter writing, and even a bit like outlining while writing a book. Allow yourself to make executive decisions about your blog in those early weeks.  Decide what your scope will be. Decide how much about your family and friends you will share.  Realize that more people will ultimately read what you think are private thoughts than you wanted.  The important thing is to get started.  This blog has yet to ignite, but it will. It will eventually be discovered, and then people will return every one to three days to see what I am thinking, or what has happened, or even engage in some shadenfreude.   Schadenfreude for those of you not familiar is the very human, but not so nice tendency of human beings to derive pleasure from hearing about the woes or temporary misfortunes of others.  Most of us have someone in media who is having hard luck or difficulties at the moment, and we read, not only for the information, but because it tells us that even the wealthy or the famous have difficulties in this life, and it helps to make our own lot in life seem more manageable. People like to see that even for those for which things appear to be going well, have challenges in life, and make mistakes.  Of course, this started as a German word, but has become incorporated into the English language now.  Certainly, this is why some people log on to follow the lives of Lindsay Lohan, or Kim Kardashian. It probably also motivates at least some royal watchers. It is probably the only real explanation for the foray into reality television !

             I will keep posting here, and eventually the blog will ignite.  I may have regular subscribers and I may not, but I encourage you, to write your own also.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Providing Privacy in My Books for Family

The trick is to write a compelling and true book without offending your children with either the fact or your own perspective about them.
   The first book I wrote was actually turned in to the publisher in advance of the second. The second was sent to them just shortly after because I had been working on both projects simaltaneously.  The first one took the lion's share of time in editing, and formatting, and therefore actually came to market about thirty days after the second one.   The first book, "What I Learned from Daniel" is a deeply personal account of my take on our youngest son Daniel, his passing, and our family's survival afterward.  It is difficult writing a true story in which so much of your life, your thinking and your family are shared with the world.  I shared what I believed I was comfortable sharing. I believe Daniel would have been comfortable with the level of sharing I did in the book.  I spoke of my husband and his grief, very carefully, though accurately.  However, sharing our story in a manner which pleases our other children, and the son we adopted afterward is a different matter.
         There is an ad on television where a sixty plus year old physician boosts his testosterone using a particular supplement he is advertising, and then he says something which translates to, "I am more virile than my sons who are in their twenties !"  I always have to wonder whether his sons are speaking to him, as attacking their manhood doesn't seem like an action which inspires recommendations for "Father of the Year".  I didn't want to do that type of thing in my book.  I wanted to tell the story, but not leave my kids feeling as if they were standing naked in my book.  I did this by asking each of them what they were comfortable with my doing.  One of them placed no restrictions on me, because she felt that this was a tribute to Daniel.  Two asked for their names to be changed slightly in the text of the book, so that the story could be true, but that their "frenemies" might not read it all quite so easily.  Yes, frenemy was a new word for me also, although we all have them. I call them distant acquaintances.  The largest challenge was how to manage information on the son we adopted a year after Daniel's passing.  We kept it honest, and with his identifying information limited.
        This is actually a really important task in writing about family. We are painting a portrait of them which could exist in the world for an extended period.  Depending upon how successful a piece is, in the long term, things remembered about them could well be things mentioned in a book written by me.Ir might be alright to share my darkest moments, but it's important to be sensitive in sharing theirs.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Working Toward Being a Best Selling Author

This device, a nebulizer, has been a new friend. It aerosolizes medication which gets into my lungs and helps me leave the wheezing and the asthma behind.
  Thus far in 2013, I haven't made any particular inroads to being a best selling author.  I am aware that both books are available worldwide, and that the traffic on the two blogs which relate directly to each of the books, is up.  I am aware that in some places the books are selling modestly. I am also aware that I need to do some active promotion of each of them, and that publisher and publicist or not, some of the effort in this regard, needs to come from the author herself.
        I have been working on this, but have had a lot of asthma after Christmas and at New Years.  This has not only taken up some of my time for book promotion, but also for things like taking the Christmas tree down, cleaning up at home, and readying for a new year.  Asthma certainly saps energy as well.
        I need to start planning and researching the next project soon.  I think just now, I would rather rest !

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A Tentative 2013

I'm going to "buy in" to the idea that the new year could be a good one.

 Many years ago, when our young family moved to the country, there was an educated but very elderly man who lived on one of the older farms here.  In one of our conversations, he told me that he knew my future and could tell me what it was.  I asked him what it was, and he told me that in my life, I would experience good things, and bad things.  He has long since moved to a town, but I here he is still doing well and in his late nineties.   I often think of what he said, and I am afraid he is correct.  I have been very blessed to you have had some good luck and some good experiences in life, and I have also experienced some sad and very unlucky experiences.  Apparently, this is part of life and of our time on Earth.
     So, I remind you, as we embark on a new year, 2013, that it may be filled with some bad things. Much  higher taxes, greater controls of the citizenry, restrictions of our rights, increased food and milk prices may all be in the offing.  However, a new year means that good things can happen also.  There will be new opportunities, new challenges, and chances to discover new gifts, and maybe even new places. Rather than being negative, let's try to see the newborn year as an opportunity.  Happy New Year to you all.