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Dealing With Rejection

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Deciding  to be a full time writer requires discipline, vision, and direction.  There are daily challenges to your craft and the daily checking of your cognitivedissonancebrainmailbox and inbox.  Focus becomes your enemy in the beginning because there are so many distractions.  The biggest distraction is rejection letters.

          It is difficult, no matter how mature or evolved you feel you are to deal with someone telling you, that YOU are not good enough.  Adding insult, to personal injury, it is being written, addressed, and sent to you, to say, you are not worthy.

          When attempting to process these letters of hate and disgruntlement, I am faced with a word that was posted on Facebook by a friend, she simply stated “cognitive dissonance.” For those of us, a tad bit out of school, this is imagesCAQ26ZX9just a fancy term for sour grapes.  If we go back to Aesop’s fables, the story of the Fox & the Grapes, is indicative of cognitive dissonance.  Since the Fox couldn’t reach the grapes he concluded they were sour and he did not need them anyway.

I am feeling some kind of way about these rejection letters. I don’t want to just say that maybe those publishers are not right for me, because in my heart, I know they are not.  I just submitted because I needed to submit.  In all honesty, the work was not ready and it should have never been sent to anyone.

I am not going to have sour grapes because I am going to take to time to make it right. My skin will become thicker, my vision will become clearer and I am going to stay off Facebutt and TwitBook.  I have installed HootSuite, and loaded all my pages into this app to reduce my distractions and move forward in my writing life. 

This is my year.

This my craft.

This is my vision….

Ooooh….Facebutt post…..

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Did you just unfriend me?

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Today I was just given a shock. I was checking my Facebook page and hubby made the comment that our son had something funny on his wall. I went to check and found that my own child had unfriended me! The nerve!

Here is the beauty of this; he is not able to see my post because he is not my friend. Therefore I can talk about him and he not know.

What does it really mean in Americanspeak when someone unfriends you on a social network? It means that you have been deemed unimportant in their daily lives. It means they do not care to know what you are doing on a daily basis and you are not privy to their information. In other words, you have been ruled as obsolete.

I know, it hurts. It hurts me too. I unfriended by brother-in-law and his insipid wife. I unfriended that guy from high school that I never really spoke to 30 years ago and I don’t really want to know about his daily life. I unfriended that drunk girl from college, who claimed she was allergic to alcohol, but found a way to guzzle it every weekend. I unfriended an Army buddy who found religion. She did not necessarily find God, because she is always judging how someone else is living their lives. I unfriended that former co-worker who I remembered tried to get me fired. Witch!

I blocked Mafia Wars, My Little Pony, I have a Butt Rash, Hearts, Rabbits and other irrelevant applications that drained my phone’s battery. I stopped following and unliking artist who made sucky movies. I stopped liking artist who sold out and added rap music to beautiful R & B ballads. I stopped responding to events that I would never, ever attend, by groups, I don’t want to be associated with anyway.

I took a cue from my son.

I started to update my pages as well and began to remove people that I really didn’t deal with on a regular basis.

I am okay with it.

I just hope some my acquaintances are as well, my sister in law, I don’t really care about.

Unfriending someone is not an insult. I see it as a separation of church and state. I don’t need to see everything that is going on in my son’s life and he does not need to see what I am posting. Not that either of us are saying anything offensive.

I am glad I have a chance to now ask him how was his day, versus sharing his life vicariously through his daily updates. I, now get to talk to him in person. Unfriending me, may just save our relationship.


But She is My Friend…………………….

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After the week I have had, I am thoroughly convinced that people are losing their minds! First I receive a text out of the blue from a friend who just has to see me, and invites me for drinks on Saturday night. Secondly, I receive an email from another friend who is itching to scrapbook but want to have lunch first and them get started about 3 pm after her hubby comes back to be able to sit with the dog. Last, but not least, I literally run into an old friend in Wal-Mart, who avoids me. Me? What did I do to you? She treated me as if she caught me sleeping with her husband.

Let me back up for a minute and start with friend one and the call out of nowhere. Initially, a month ago, she calls and tells me she is having a get together for the ladies at the church and she wants me to come over. She did not invite me as a guest, but as an extra pair of hands. I guess this was supposed to be our bonding time. She actually expected me to show up and work my butt off serving her guest. I refused.

Fast forward two months, her over complicated life is about to swallow her up and she knows the perfect friend to call. This of course would be me. How the bleep do you figure that I have nothing better to do with time other than make you feel better about yourself and your sorry life choices? She was buying lunch, I wanted hot wings, so I went. I made her feel better and she was proud to say she calls me friend.

The second friend, which, we haven’t know each other that long, we really aren’t that close, and really haven’t had a chance to truly bond. Our first night out with her and her hubby, they brought the 10 year old. Understandaly, you didn’t have a sitter. Second time we met, she left the windows down on the car and I thought, well maybe she doesn’t like air conditioning. There was a dog in the back seat. I was informed that the dog had some issues and did not like to be left home alone.

Two weeks later, we are planning to get together to scrapbook. She said she has to bring her dog.

I. Don’t. Have. A . Dog.

She said he would be fine if I had shade in my back yard. What makes you think I want dog crap in my yard? I can see making a concession for your 10 year old, even considering I don’t have one, but for your dog? You have lost your damn mind!

Last but not least, to my former friend in the store, I am sorry if I have done something to offend you. I am even sorrier if you have done something to offend me that I have yet to learn. I am sorry that we have come to this point in our relationship. Which leads me to this thought, why do I call these people friend?

I am starting a running list of my new dirty words and friend comes in at number two. I am uncertain if we have entered such and electronic world where knowing the intimacies of your life via your Tweets and Facebook posts, makes us close. It does not. It makes you a person who is losing touch with reality. Where were you in your book of “Hello, God, it’s me Magaret…” that no one answered you back?

If your friends do not have small children, then it is not okay to bring your child to dinner. If your friend does not have a dog, then why would you want to bring yours to my house? If I don’t call you to vent and unload my problems, then why do you think it is okay to do this to me? Why, because you call me friend? Out of curiosity, what do you think I call you?

If you are avoiding me in the store, then the problem lies within you. I have not wronged you and you will not afford me the opportunity to make it right. Dictionary.com defines friend as “a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard.” If you hold these people you call friend in high regard, then treat them as such and not as a person who owes you something, your personal counselor, or someone you need to hate in order to feel alive.

On the other shoe, if she gets drunk every time you go out, and you have to be their babysitter, you can also scratch them off your list as a friend. If you constantly have to bail them out, literally and figuratively, then maybe you should not call them friend. Today I am making a list, and noting the qualities I like in those who support me and I them and why I choose to call them my friend. I am glad you are on my list.

Coupon Crazy!

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I am addicted. I am not shame and I will shout from the rafters that I am hooked. I watched an episode of Extreme Couponing and once I saw how much money they were saving, I said, “I can do that!” I started clipping and I also started saving money. I am far from extreme, but I am, unequivocally a coupon clipper.

Ironically, I can remember a time when whipping out a coupon was considered low class and made the bearer appear to be a cheapskate. People who clipped coupons were rumored to live in a house full of cats, made quilts and homemade jams. In essence, they were regarded as a step above being a hippie. Not anymore, welcome to the new breed of savvy shoppers and coupon clippers. Let me help you get started. It is easier than you think.

First we must determine what kind of shopper you are. If you are not organized enough to have to deal with a little purse of coupons, or have hours to spend price comparing in the grocery store, then we can start here. The easiest way to save is with your frequent shopper cards and make them work for you versus just having them dangling on your key chain. Kroger and Bi-Lo offers you Fuel Perks. The money you spend in the store earns you a few cents off your gas purchase at each visit. You can also download coupons to your rewards card and when you check out, they automatically take the savings off your final purchase! BiLo even offers you double coupons so you can save twice the money. I know right! No clipping, no coupons and you don’t have to seem like a crazy cat lady who makes quilts and jam.

Saving at the grocery store isn’t your only option. Crafters have long been saving at Michael’s, Joann’s and Hobby Lobby. The great thing about craft stores, if you have a coupon from another store, they will honor the discount. We can take it one further. If you are a teacher, you can also get teacher discounts at Joann’s and save an addition 15%. These programs are also available at Staples and Office Max. No matter what you are into, if you look, there is a coupon, a Groupon, and Living Social break. If you have a smart phone, you can download coupon apps and have discounts and bargains at your fingertips.

Now, I can understand if all of this couponing is far too much of a commitment, then here is the perfect solution, just price compare. Use that smartphone to help you make some smart decisions. There are several bar code scanners that will scan the price, and give you the best deals in a 50 mile radius, including online.

There are all types of coupons to help you save money when you want to dine in or dine out. Find out if your favorite location has a frequent shopper program or a loyalty program. I am one who believes in getting my money’s worth and each day I am out looking for ways to save money, cut lost and reduce my back end, literally and figuratively. You can find the savings approach that works best for you or you can search on Twitter and search under coupons. You can get real time updates on savings.

I have looked into Coupon Suzy and a few other sites, but those are more regional. The economy isn’t going to turn around on its own and in the meantime and in between time, I am working on some Christmas quilts for my great nieces and some jam from some pears my friend send over from her tree. Happy savings!

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are you managing your brand?

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                I read a lot of Blogs.  I read a lot of books.  I read a lot.

I am subscribed to several RSS Feeds that keep me up to date and in the know.  In turn, I relay this information on to those who are following, subscribing or listening to me. The other day, I ran across an update from some group that offers to help you obtain 100,000 followers on Twitter. I signed up back in February of 2011 and for some reason, when the email update came in, I read it.  I was shocked.  There was information in there which was really relevant to what I wanted to know. There was information in this article that told me things that I needed to do.  There was information in this update that reminded me that I am a brand. There was information in this article that told me ways to better manage my brand. Then it donned on me, that I was in fact a brand and I had not been doing a very good job of managing my product.

My product is words. I am a Wordsmith. I am the local Word brand manager of where to go, what to do, and what is hot. If you are having a local event and you want people to come, I am usually invited. Why? Not because I am Über cool, but because if it is something interesting and new, I am usually there sharing my Words with others and why they should be there too. If it is run of the mill and I can see it any day or any time, more than likely, I am not going and will not share any Words about this event. If I am going you will know because I will check it at the location and send out words about cost, the happenings and if you may be interested in coming out as well. I usually check in on my favorite app called Foursquare. I have over 1,295 physical check ins from Anchorage, Alaska to San Juan, Puerto Rico. I hold 21 Mayorships and have 64 badges. I often leave tips and clues on businesses in Augusta that can earn you points and locations about town to unlock badges. Look for my words at your next check in.

I have a blog full of words that tell you all of the out-of-the-way places in Augusta that many people forget are there. These little places are “Off the Beaten Path”, and offer unique gift ideas, great bargains and meals that you can afford. I even use my words feature local artists and events worth coming out to support. I am not featuring these areas for any reason other than, hey, look what I found and to let others know that are many things to do and enjoy in our city.  Along with my Examiner.com blog, I also have a personal Blog where I just get words off my chest or rather out of my head and onto a piece of paper. I called these words, “I was Just Thinking.”  Am I going to save the world, why hell no, but hey, I was just thinking about a few words I wanted to share them and guess what, other people want to know my words too because I have subscribers. And I thank you for reading my words.

I also have Twitter followers who follow me @assistingu where I provide up to date words in the form of information from quotes to tips to keep you from overspending while you shop.

 

“Avoid overspending by eating sunflower or pumpkin seeds while you shop. Release of tryptophan calms you down.#assistingu

 

I found, in reading other words from this article, that I was following words from people who were not following my words. You can find those unfriendly Wordmongers who you follow but who don’t follow you by using http://friendorfollow.com. I also found that I could really go viral and tap into the viral nature by encouraging retweets of my words. This can again be a condition of entry to a giveaway; or you can invite people to ‘pay with a tweet’ to download a chapter, e-book or other resource. Do this using www.paywithatweet.com. I also found that you also gain a higher position in the Twitter directories such as http://www.wefollow.com . I then began using more words in sentence from about how to and began to finds ways that my words could actually assist you.

 

I have a local word building group at Augusta Writers where 1,253 people enjoy tips and tools that keep them inspired be word craftsmen.  Since I am an avid reader, moving quickly toward voracious, I began to throw around my adjectives and encourage others to download free eBooks to encourage other wordsmiths. I do so in hoping that their words can also encourage you to use your own words. If not, there are weekly word combination challenges, updates on word building conferences, word smithing workshops, hard bound word festivals and more. The challenges are fun and can be deceptively difficult and sometimes can require the use of an adverb.

Your three words for Tuesday, August 9th are: Cinnamon toast, toilet bowl, and red handled scissors.  You many begin.

Wordsmithing can be the start of a journey. And speaking of journey’s, I collected some words that formed the syllables of  travel club which is a group of friends and associates who are over 40 and like to go places but often find it can be expensive to vacation they way that you really want. We put our words together. We found that if you do it as a group, you can save money by leveraging your words with dollar signs. In 2012, our words are cruising to Belize.  In 2013 our words are heading to the Montreal Jazz Festival. I like the sounds jazz notes make and so do my friends.

This is who I am.

I am a word wrangler. I subscribe to learn a new word a day.

I collect words and put them together.  I am paid by you sharing my word collections.

These collected words are resold to subscribers that assist you in going about your day.

These words can tell you places to eat.

My words can tell you how to win prizes.

My words suggest books to read.

My collection of words can save you money.

My words can help you feel better.

I manage my words very carefully.

I am Assistingu and this is my brand.

What is it exactly that you do and how are you managing your brand?

Surviving My Addiction….to Facebook.

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I was reluctant to admit that I had a problem. Like most addicts it did not become real until I looked in the mirror and found myself with a love jones to get to it, to feel it in my fingers, to connect with my new-found poison and drink it in. My family and friends all knew but none wanted to confront me, but I had to confront myself with a an intervention. I can now say it with pride as I start my recovery, Hi, I am Cheryl and I am a Facebook addict.

It started so innocently. I was speaking to an old college beau and he mentioned that “You should be on Facebook.” I was familiar with the social application, but at the time, you had to have an .edu address to be a part of the network for college students only. Evidently I was misinformed, Facebook had grown up. I had a few extra minutes and I logged on. Please understand, I already had a MySpace account and had gathered some famous movie star and recording friends. I felt like I was moving and shaking, but then I tried Facebook.

It was like manna in my hands and felt as if I had found something that understood me, where I wanted to be and things I needed to say. The world was at my fingertips and all I had to do was push the little button that say “connect”. Yet, as innocently as it started I began to notice changes in my behavior. I had to upgrade my phone to a Palm OS with a Facebook interface so that I could stay connected anywhere and at anytime.

I started slow with just one or two friends and a couple of game applications, hereinafter referred as apps. I connected with my son and a few of his pals that were all at my house, no harm in “friending” them. Then I began to connect with my old high school pals and a few from college. My Army buddies began to sign on and suddenly, people I had not heard from in years were a mouse click away. I had to learn the hard way though, I was in a Mafia, working on a farm in Farmville and was hanging out in Yoville. That turned out to be a waste of time because now I had clients that I had put on Facebook. I went from one account to six in a matter of months, and it was becoming difficult to keep up, so I discovered Tweetdeck.

I did not think it could get worse, but it did. I turned into a Facebook snob. I began to “remove” those friends I thought were undesirable. Friends, who had nothing worthwhile to post but negative updates with comments about other people, were removed. I even went as far to call a few friends and suggest they make their daily post quotes about life until they were able to clean out their list of friends. I even had the audacity to suggest “cooling it” with so many personal pictures and if they really had that many “haters”, why would you tell them where you are going to be every moment of the day? I know….. right?

My addiction is not common place, my addiction is nasty. It is all-consuming. I have addicted others, I have set a standard. I have people who follow my drivel. Why? Because I am addictive. LMBO, yeap, it’s true. Each month I go as far as having a common theme, where my posts are aimed at helping you live a better life. Fancy tidbits of information for websites you did not even know existed for free stuff you didn’t even know you could get. I even set it to music, why, because I am a form of a music and movie savant. I have a photographic memory and love music. I start the day with a praise song and end the day with a pensive piece. Some days, I share my love of music with others and post items on their wall with love notes of “Just because it’s Tuesday”, which has caught on. During Oscar week I posted famous clips from past Oscar winners like On the Waterfront and All About Eve and even included Sydney Poitier’s 1969 acceptance speech.

My favorite fix, I must admit is to post a movie line and see how many people know what it is, while others chime in with other famous lines from the same movie. The high is amazing. It is like being the popular kid in cyberspace. I have to check it at least five or six times a day to see who responded to my post, and to see if the invites that I had received were for events that I actually wanted to go to with people who online, were cool, but did I want to hang out with in real life. I purged my friends list again. If I didn’t want to hang out with you “for real” I didn’t want you in my Facebook sandbox.

        My family wants to stage an intervention, but I don’t think it is THAT bad. I do however, know I need to cutback. And I will, once I make my music selection for the night, so that I can sign out. I am thinking “Why” by Annie Lennox. I know why…and so do you.

Good night my Friends. Ms. Lennox, you have the con……

I may be mad
I may be blind
I may be viciously unkind
But I can still read what you’re thinking

Is your smartphone making you an idiot?

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     You are riding down the highway and your cell phone starts to vibrate, you know it is a text message, however, you are going about 45 miles an hour in rush hour traffic.  What do you?  Do you reach down and grab the phone to see who is texting you or do you ignore it until you get to a stop sign?  95% of people will pick up the phone and “see who this is?” and risk every life on the road including their own, for what, a quick message of “Where u @?”

And as much as I love technology, I love living even more!  It is not just a text messaging that has gotten out of control, but our inability to disengage from our cell phones that are turning normal everyday people into ignorant, raging morons.  Don’t be offended, for if you are not the offender in this instance you have been at least once in the near past.  Here are some prime examples of idiot phone offenses that are lowering our intelligence quotients and our ability to be kind to one another.

App Addlepate: Yes, this is person who has an app to perform every function they can possibly think of but fails to train them how to be a better person.  Better people take a moment to appreciate the live person in front of you versus the virtual connection reaching out to you. Is there an APP to teach you life skills?

Bluetooth Blockhead: Yeah for you, you have a bluetooth, but honestly, do you have to walk up behind me, conversing with your imaginary friend with your outside voice? Having a bluetooth is great for hands free calling if you are on a long road trip, but really, your GPS comes bluetooth enabled, so once outside of the car, take the stupid thing off.  You don’t look important, you look like someone who spends too much time on the phone and your extra money is being used to pay for unneeded cell services.

Conversation Cretin:  I am trying to have a face to face, one on one conversation with you, please pay attention, I don’t need to have a conversation with the top of your head while you respond to frequent buzzing that appears to have your remotely programmed like Pavlov’s dog.

Dining Dimwit: I have a girlfriend that I refuse to go out to eat with and lately, I just hate to spend time with her.  Why?  Her phone never stops going off!  Her husband, her kids, her father, all seem to have an incessant need to connect with her the minute she leaves their line of sight.  One, it is rude and tells the person with whom you are with, that they are not important and unworthy of your time.  Two, your family and kids have no respect for your time, and last but not least, it is just plain rude.

Dialing Dunderhead: How many times do you need to apologize for your butt, your purse, your dog or the 3-year-old speed calling on your phone because you refuse to lock the screen.

Facebook Fanatic: Yes I love my friends and enjoy their post, but no I am not going to respond to every posting on my wall, every request to add more fish on Farmville, join your Mafia, or accept your hearts of blessings.  Do it at home on your own time.

Fast Food Fool:  At the counter at the sandwich shop, on the phone, trying to place an order, talking to the young lady behind the counter, while yelling at your spouse, child or in law on the phone.  Why not just finish the call, place your order, pay for the order, pick up the order and call the person on the phone as you head back outside.

Instant Message Imbecile: Yes, I know you need an answer soon, but does it have to be right now?  You are reducing my productivity by forcing me to stop and answer you.  If I did not answer your last 5 instant messages, maybe I am busy.  Maybe I fell down the well and Lassie went to get Timmy, and maybe I just don’t want to answer you.

Loud Lamebrain:   I know you are upset, I know they don’t understand, but really, neither do I.  I don’t understand why everyone in the room, the hall, the bathroom, the restaurant and any other public place has to be tortured with your conversation and lack of mastery of your emotions? Tone it down and shut it up!

Meeting Moron: You are in a meeting, why is your phone on unless the conference call is coming in on your line and everyone in the room should be privy to the conversation.  If not, please turn off your phone, my time is valuable too, don’t waste it by sending messages to your friends.

Picture Pinhead:  You do realize that even if you don’t open it, you will still be charged for receiving the picture of the dancing penis that was not funny when you were 12 and is not funny now. If you are in an accident and I am your insurance agent, send me a picture mail.  If not, send it via email that does not cost me anything, and 9 times out of 10, I don’t really want to see it.

Sync Simpleton:  How many times of day do you need to sync it to your lap top? You don’t need to beam me your V-card, I have your business card and a card scanner, I have your info. I know how to reach you, besides your text messages has ALL of your contact info, just like your email.

Tunes Twit:.  I have one friend that I like to call every day just to see which song will be playing today. How many ringtones do you really need, and why do I have to listen to “Single Ladies”, or “Blessed” or any other subjugation of your musical choices simply because I need to call you?  You are an adult, your phone should ring, if you are available answer it, if not let it go to voice mail.

Twitter Twerp:  Really, do we need a play by-play of your day? Enough said.

Voicemail Victim: I don’t really want to leave a message, but if I do, will you please take the time to listen to what I have to say, before you call me back to say “I saw you called.”  Yes, I called.  I left you a message telling you what I wanted, listen to it and call me back with an answer.

I know technology is a wonderful thing, but please, stop allowing your smart phone to make you an idiot.  Remember the simple manners your mother taught you and put those into play. Now if you will excuse me, I need to send out some hearts, blessings, rob a pimp and steal a car as I build my mafia connection, and build my new life in YoVille.
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