Month: March 2012

Using My Words

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I am a wordsmith. I like to write. I like a gathering of words. When you are putting words together; you can tell a story. You can evoke a feeling. You can relay an emotion. The reader becomes a part of the plan to excite the mind.

The day seemed far longer than her patience with men. Time had been a cruel friend often forcing her to believe in the impossible when she should have been courting a relational reality with the improbable.

Okay, I am having a pretty great start here. I want to read more and I am the one writing it, but I was playing with my words. I am convinced that the short story is going to make a comeback and people with Nooks & Kindles are going to enjoy the pleasure of reading something quickly.

Sweating bullets took on a new meaning as she searched for the perfect spot to wait, sulk, and mull trajectory angles all the while waiting to eventually take his life. As far as she was concerned, he had not put it to good use and therefore it became her responsibility to end his wastefulness. Say goodnight Dick.

I am enjoying using my words to express Lizzie’s feelings. She is mean, evil and full of anger. It is fun to use my words to create Lizzie’s world. If you are unfamiliar with Lizzie and why she is being hunted, read more about her in The Bounty. You will be able to follow the journey in The Bounty Hunter this summer.

Sometimes I Cry

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    There are some days when tired just does not express how worn you feel. There are days when my legs feel like lead and my mind can no longer process another entry. There are minutes in my day that I find myself watching the clock just waiting for the minute that I can be free. Then there are the days when you step into the shower, allowing the water to wash over you and then, you cry.

    The water, the tears, and the stresses of your life are rinsed away. There is something therapeutic about a good cry. University of South Florida psychologists Jonathan Rottenberg and Lauren M. Bylsma, along with their colleague Ad J.J.M. Vingerhoets of Tilburg University found that the benefits of crying depend entirely on the what, where and when of a particular crying episode. Let’s be realistic, if you just sit down and start bawling for no apparent reason, then there are some deeper issues.

    If you are crying over spilled milk, then go to the market and buy another gallon. If you are spending a Sunday afternoon with Lifetime, then you are due a good cry. Yet there are moments when you just feel full. There are moments when your cup runneth over and there is nothing left.

    I am there.

    I have little left.

    I am full.

    Sometimes I cry because I need it.

Get your cry on and  order your free box of Kleenex.

And you couldn’t keep that to yourself?

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I am often amazed that in our moments of fury, we open our mouths and allow words to flow out that should have stayed in our heads. I have seen it happen in the classroom, in the boardroom, and heard about verbal faux pas in the bedroom. How do we learn when to close our lips and speak with our eyes?

Last week, during demonstrative speeches, one of my students gave an excellent presentation on how to tie dye a shirt. One brilliant student in the back felt it was necessary to share her opinion once I mentioned I would be interested in trying out the method. She asked, out loud, if I would be applying the process to my sweater collection. Really? And you couldn’t have kept that you yourself?

Adding insult to injury, I have a student that is legally blind. Judging by the thickness of her spectacles, and the placement of the lens, legally, may just be a misnomer. I asked, “Do you still drive?” The student responded yes, and of course from the peanut gallery came the words, “Oh, hell naw!” Seriously, and you could not have kept that to yourself? I was proud of the other students for not laughing,

I was even proud of myself for waiting until after class to pull the student aside and speak with her about keeping something in her head.

Students you can overlook because they are of course, still in a learning slash training environment. In the workplace or in social settings, some verbal faux pas are not so easily dismissed. I experienced this yesterday. During a very prominent literary event in which I was a member of the planning committee, we took great effort in the placement of the authors. The authors in the entry way, the authors in the children’s section, the authors on the second floor were all placed by genres. One idiotic participant, who is friends with one of my fellow organizers, evidently felt as if she should have been given preference. Really? A young newcomer to her writer’s group, in which my fellow organizer was also a member, was given prime placement on the first floor as a new self-published author. He was placed next to a seasoned author with several published titles. This was a great opportunity for this young man and he maximized the moment.

Yes, I called her idiotic and here is why. Instead of her coming to me or one of the fellow organizers to express her concern or question her placement, yes, you guessed it, she opened her stupid mouth and allowed stupid words to roll out. She found a person that she felt she could express her concern, and she began her conversation by stating that, “Yeah, they placed all the black authors on the second floor and we ain’t getting no traffic!” She told this to the Big Boss. She told this to my fellow organizer’s boss. Did she know who she was talking to; I don’t think she really cared. I think she felt slighted and just chose to shoot off her stupid mouth. But she did not let it stop there, she started ranting and raving to other participants, creating an atmosphere of distrust. She created an atmosphere of disharmony. She created hostility.

Here’s the thing. Book festivals are designed for the author to meet, mingle and make new friends. Unless you are a New York Times best seller, in which you would be on press junkets, you are there to create a buzz about your book. If you are self-published, unless you have an excellent editor, your work is suspect anyway. Book sales that are made are really the luck of the draw.

Now, it is unlikely that she will be invited back next year simply because she could not speak with her eyes and keep her thoughts to herself. Adding insult to social injury, she shared her incorrect assessments with others, causing strife. Was it really that serious? Are you that angry that you could not have kept your feelings to yourself? In the end, you gained nothing but a reputation as a trouble maker.