Sunday, November 11, 2012

Remember Freedom?

Today is Veteran’s Day, the day when we remember those who serve to protect America’s freedom.  They sacrifice time, family, money, physical and emotional security, and their lives to protect our borders, our coasts, our interests abroad.   Our soldiers don’t fight for one particular race, religion, gender, or political party.  They fight for Americans.  They fight for all of us to be free.   
We talk of the bravery of soldiers as if they were different than us.  But what we have to remember is our soldiers are our neighbors, our friends, our sons and daughters.  Our husbands and wives.  They are American citizens just like us. 
We should honor them not by putting them on a pedestal, but by working alongside them, keeping America free on the home front, and thus giving them validation that their sacrifices are not in vain.
Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value.  From the American Crisis—Thomas Paine.
We need to stand up for everyone’s rights, not just the groups with power or the groups we like.  We can’t be afraid to be politically incorrect.  We need to speak with love, but still hold to truth.  We have to have the courage to stand by our convictions, but the grace to respect those against ours.   Our forefathers broke away from dependence.  Our soldiers have fought for it.  Let’s not become enslaved to tyranny again.

If you want to honor the Veterans don’t just tell them thank you. Cherish the freedoms they give us. 
Don’t buy into “I can’t,” or “nobody will help me.” Don’t whine about how life isn’t fair.  Do something to change your life.  You live in America.  Don’t let anyone tell you “You can’t do that.”  Don’t believe someone who says you shouldn’t.  That should spur you to want to prove them wrong.  It’s in our American Spirit.

And never believe it when someone tells you it’s free. 

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--  (from the Declaration of Independence.)
There’s no guarantee in the Constitution that we will be happy. But we should never give up the power to pursue success.  It’s the American Dream.  It’s why people break into our country, not break out.
Every day should be Veteran’s Day because every day we should hold sacred our rights as American citizens.  We should do everything we can to not lose them. 
The last line of the Declaration of Independence is this:  And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.  That’s how much our forefather’s believed in freedom.  That’s what our Veterans are willing to pledge.  That's what our leaders today need to pledge.
What am I willing to give for freedom?  What are you? 
links to documents:
Declaration of Independence
The American Crisis


Saturday, November 10, 2012

Writing Conference Lesson

 The best part of the Bayou Writer's Group conference?  Plenty of coffee. 
It was a great conference.  My brain is overflowing with inspiration and writing knowledge. 
So, what all did I learn?
  •  It's all personal--don't take it that way.
  •  Write what you know--unless you can research well.
  •  Ignore negative comments--but pay attention if you keep hearing the same thing over and over.
  •  Write everyday--or at least most days.   
  • Have a Network presence and socialize but stop talking and get to writing.
  • Throw out your rejections--save them all.    
  • Publishing Houses are evil--Self-Publish
  • Self-Publishing is evil--go Traditional
  • Fire your agent.
  • You need an agent.
  • You need a critique group.
  • Don't listen to others. 
It all sounds contradictory, unless you stop and think about it.  There's  a lot of information available:  books, magazines, Internet sites.  You can make yourself crazy listening to others since there really aren't any hard and fast rules.  Sure somethings might get you published easier, but does that make them better?  When I look at some of the things published these days I wonder. 
At the end of the day, you have to be happy with the stories you craft.    Nobody else can tell them since only you know them.  Your perceptions and experiences are unique, which means only you know what words need to be shared.
It all comes down to writing.  You can't be critiqued, submitted, published or rejected if you don't write. 
In ten years your failure won't be in seeing 100 rejection slips in your portfolio.  The failure will be in finding you haven't written anything at all. 
For more on the conference and the writer's group check out:
Writing in Wonderland
Bayou Writer's Group

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Society as a product of me....

Every society honors its live conformists and its dead troublemakers.   Mignon McLaughlin
I've been torn between writing and doing other stuff and well, do I want to write or wash clothes?  
Is that really a question? 
butterflies aren't the only ones who change.
I've been busy with work, writing classes, getting ready for our writing conference on Saturday, but I've missed blogging here. One reason why I haven't is I didn't want to risk offending anybody. 
(No, really, I worry about these things, wedding adventures and Magic Mike aside.) 
Over the past month, though, I've decided I can't worry about that.  Not that I think I can say whatever I want, but I live in America where-- for now--we have freedom of speech.  I know people don't agree with me on things, but recently I've been judged by the people who say I'm judgemental. 
Why do they get to judge me but I'm not entitled to my opinion?  It's the age old question, isn't it? 
Why do we have a double standard? 
Oh, I know they say they don't do it, but look around.  Who gets made fun of?  Who gets ridiculed? 
The ones who don't play by society's rules. These days, you need a scorecard to keep track if you're going to try to follow them! People are becoming those who'll fall for anything. 
Instead of trying to change and keep up with the whims of society, what if I were to commit to what I believe?  What if I not only did this, but was willing to stand up for it, being able to intelligently defend my position? 
 It's good to be open minded, but if I let myself be swayed by everything I hear I won't know who I am.  Society should be a product of me, not me a product of society. 

You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life. ~Winston Churchill(you can't go wrong with Churchill)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

It's Been A While

Wow, it's been a while since I've posted here.  It's  been a crazy few weeks--months?--at work.  When the weather changes we always are busier.  And, the school reports came out.  Time for parents to panic over grades. 
And I've created a website.  I know, I know.  If I can't manage to keep up with one site, how am I going to manage two?  Not sure, but here is the address:
So, anyone who wants to check it out can.
The plan is to keep Wordlenik for personal, fun things, like texting at a wedding, and Writer, N.P. for more professional things. What is it people say, having web presence?   Sounds like an illness Spiderman would have. 
We'll see how all this works....

Monday, August 13, 2012

Tag--You're It!

Somebody has to be It...

A few weeks ago a friend and I were talking about how hard it is to find the right person.  I was talking about the kind of guys I like and using famous men as examples.  She said "yeah, like we have a chance with them." 
That statement's been bugging me since she said it because my response was "why not?" 
I mean, seriously, why not?
Somebody has to do it. 
What do the women who date them have that I don't?  Only proximity.  Their advantage is they are in a place where they can get to know these guys. My chosen career path doesn't put me in the same circles.  But if it did I'd have the same chance as they do.  I'm certainly not saying I'm better than them or that I'd even really want to date one of them.   What's to say they're even good enough for me? 
What I am saying is we all have something important to offer.  We're all good enough. 
My friend was selling herself short.  It's a common thing we do and I'm not sure why.  Where's the rule book that tells who the privileged people are and who gets to date them? 
It's not just in relationships.  What about careers?  Why does one have more prestige than another? I can say from personal experience that, while I love to watch a goalie make an awesome save, right now the most important person to me is the guy who knows how to get my truck running again. 
What about appearances?  Who says super skinny is sexy? Who says paying three times as much for something that only covers a tenth of my body is even smart, let alone fashionable? 
Why is a person good enough to entrust with kids' educations but not good enough for  someone who won an Academy Award? 
Who makes these crazy rules? 
 I'm not terribly impressed with merely being famous.  It's not in what you do but how you do it.  Give me integrity, courage, and confidence any day. 
Don't settle for less than the best.  Don't let others try to impose rules that limit you.
Somebody has to write the next best seller.  Somebody has to make the next birdie. And somebody has to date those who do these things.
Why not me? Why not you? 

Tag.  You're it!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Dower Crawl Frog

Dower frog, crawl.  Crawl, dower frog.  Crawl, crawl, dower.  Dower. Crawl. Frog. 
(Cue to hysterical 2 year old laughing.)

no rain?  you can still use
the umbrella!
Of course it doesn't make sense.  It's just words strung together.  But to a two year old it was the funniest group of words she'd ever heard.  Who knows why?
As adults it's not so funny.  We say "oh, that's silly,"  and write it off as nonsense.   (the two year old would say we're being kind of silly.)

As writers we can't do that, especially in the first draft.   Oh, I know that we have to write believable things, but isn't that for the editing process?  We have to think like a child and suspend our need for order and sensibility.  Who cares about commas and complete sentences and whether or not the sky is really pink or frogs hop or crawl? The sky becomes blue all too soon in the critiquing process. 
Somewhere along the line someone shows stories how to mature.  The nonsense is edited out.  But here's the difference between the good writers and the other people:   they don't let status quo tell them what needs to go.  The story stays unique and full of imagination.  The writer is willing to take a risk and leave some of the child's imagination in. 
When we write we can't put the craft in a box. It has to change with the story. It has to stay fresh, seeing things the way a child does: for the first time, exciting, new.  At different times my creative process needs different things.  Sometimes a brain.  Sometimes an illustrator and a Tiki torch.  Sometimes a pen and paper outdoors and others a computer while watching horror movies or Suits. Sometimes it's neat and sometimes it scribbles all over the page.
Coffee is a staple in my creative process, as well as the ability to think like a child. Hopefully in the editing and critiquing process the story gets refined and matures into something enjoyable.  But, for just one draft, or maybe two, the story is anything it wants to be.

The creative process needs to be childlike in it's belief that anything is possible. Think of the stories that move you the most. Think of the weird ones. The sad ones. The happy ones. The ones that changed you or inspired you. They weren't always the grown up stories that got published. They once were baby stories that had crawling dower frogs and thought they were hilarious. They wanted to be a princess one day and a pirate the next. 
Crawl, Dower Frog!
I guess what I'm saying is, don't try to make your stories grow up to fast.  Let them experience life.  Let them have twenty characters and head hopping and believe they're perfect.  Let them learn from their incomplete sentences and see what a hangover from too many commas feels like. The editing process comes fast.  Let them enjoy being nonsense kids as long as they can. 
Our first drafts should be as messy and silly as a two year old.  Dower frogs should be crawling all over the place.

If we would let our mind think like a child but use our adult experience to guide it oh the things we could create! 

Added Note:  Two people I would love to watch in their creative process are Neil Gaimen and Dave McKean. What must those conversations sound like? What do their stories and artwork look like in it's infancy? All we're shown is the grown up product. Maybe this is a good thing but wouldn't it be interesting to find out?

Friday, July 27, 2012

Random Journaling

Wow, has it really been since the 12th that I posted here?  Life happens and time seems like it's moving faster than normal. 
So, I'm supposed to be getting ready for vacation and I'm distracted by what I'm bringing.  I know I want a journal, but what do I bring?  My small one?  The one that's almost filled?  My Netbook? 

Then I started thinking about how and what I journal.  What goes in them? 
I looked on the Internet and there are as many journals as there are interests.  Personal journals.  Poetry journals.  Gardening journals.  Zombie journals.  Knitting journals.  Pirate Journals.  And a lot of other kinds. 
I looked around my Creative Room and there are many many journals and notebooks.  Each started as one type and then ended as another. 

I put different things in my journal.  In one I have a leaf from Valley Forge.  In another I have a napkin from the donut shop in the airport at Sao Paulo, Brazil. Along with the leaf I have a penant from the Toronto Blue Jays game.   I have poems, notes, stories, ideas for stories, frustrations, sadness, excitements.  Some people separate different journals: one for creative writing, one for poetry, etc.  Not me.  As I said, I start with good intentions, but they get all jumbled up. 

I like seeing what others have written in their journals as well.  That's why one of my favorite books is the Journals fo Sylvia Plath.  She was an amazing writer, but also creative in documenting her thoughts.  Even though she committed suicide, it's a fascinating read.  The only real sadness in it is that the story doesn't feel like it finished. 

So, why do we keep journals?
I'm sure there's as many answer's to that question as there is journals. I know I like mine because I can't help but write. My journaling is pen and paper and tangible objects, but often they get translated into things like blog posts.
How about you?  What's your journaling style?   
I was going to write about types of journals and all that, but I found two sites that have a better discussion than mine regarding it:
**Writing Forward--Melissa Donovan:

Thursday, July 12, 2012

My Magic Mike Experience

Matt Bomer White Collar
photo from
A few of my girlfriends and I went to see Magic Mike. Of course they were all oooh, Matthew McConaughey  or Channing Tatum.  Yeah, whatever.  Matt Bomer's who I wanted to see. 
We're going to the cashier to get our tickets, still debating on the whole going to see strippers dilemma.  On the one hand, it's strippers. On the other, it's the prospect of Matt Bomer in a G-string.
Seeing the little old ladies with their walkers going in makes me waiver a bit, though. 
I'm the first in line and I ask "are we going to do this?"
The answer is "you decide and we'll see what you see."
Thanks.  Put it all on me.  Then I get blamed for their guilt at paying ten bucks for strippers.  
Did I mention piercing blue eyes, perfectly smooth skin, silky raven tresses...?
So, I'm opening my mouth to say "Yes, I want to be the bad girl.  I want to yell and scream 'Take it all off, Mattie!"
What comes out is "One for Spiderman, please."
That got a big laugh and I'm still being mocked a week later.  I'm a prude, a good girl, chicken--all sorts of names.  And I don't mind. 
You see, the choice is still mine.  I can always go see it.  Or I could continue to let the Holy Spirit guide me. I mean, do they really think it was me that chose a man in tights over Matt Bomer in much less? 
Once you do something, you can't take it back.  I can't take back that I chose Superhero over Stripper.  The question is, Do I want to?
Two of the girls went and saw Magic Mike later and reported back that we didn't miss anything.  It was all porn, no plot.  It takes a lot of faith to trust they're right. 
Because, did I mention Matt Bomer?

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Living the Dream

I've been busy these past few weeks living the American Dream: home repair and improvement.  I mowed my grass on July 4th.  I look at it now and it already needs mowing again.  (audible sigh)  I needed to clean the drain in my bathroom and when I went to unscrew the joint the pipe broke.  It had rusted out.  My house was built in the 1950's and I think that's the last time anybody did something with the pipes.  And, if you've read any of my previous posts, you'll also know that I've had to build a new storage shed and patio area.  It finally is almost finished.  Home ownership is a responsibility.  I certainly could complain, but I'm not. 
This week we celebrated America's 236th birthday.  Now, 236 is young for a country.  We're older than our friends to the north, but across the Pond they have a few years on us. 
I'm actually sitting on the swing right now
typing and watching the sunset.   
236 years is plenty of time for thousands to have died so I could get in my truck, run to the hardware store for parts and gas station for fuel, fix my pipe and mow my grass and then take a nap in my hammock.  And I don't have to worry about the authority coming onto my property and arresting me or taking things without either my permission or a good reason written in a warrant. 
I'm grateful for those who fought to give me these freedoms. 
Doesn't leave much room for complaining. 
And yet people do. 
That's another good thing about America.  We have the freedom to complain. 
I have to say I'm happy with my little piece of America. 
I will leave here with my homework poem for Tuesday night.  This week has made me patriotic.

Self-Portrait of an American Woman
My hair is red, my skin is white, my eyes are blue.
My appearance is Irish, my name French
My people came from both those places and many more
 They came by ship, they came by wagon
They came voluntarily and by force.
They fought to form a country
where people could be free.

By birthright I am an American.

My parents were born in Texas.
Their parents were born in Texas, Louisiana, and Illinois.
I was born in Texas, as were my brothers.
I went to grade school in Texas,
 graduated from high school in Louisiana.
I went to McNeese State University
and the University of Texas.

I was made in America.

I went to college compliments of the state of Louisiana
 and repaid her by caring for her children.
I own my home, mow my grass, pay my bills.
I complain about how much a single person is taxed
and pay it gladly for the right to complain.
I protest tyranny, injustice, and the lunacy of the government,
then exercise my right to vote against it.

I earn my right to be an American.

I don’t know the depth of sacrifice
American soldiers pay daily for me to live free,
but I do everything I can to live worthy of it.
I will forever proudly say
I am not Irish-American, nor French-American,
nor African-American nor Japanese-American,
nor any other nationality that exists.

I am simply American.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Mussels and Microfiction

Recently I've began two writing classes: one on poetry and one on flash fiction. As such, my blogging hasn't been the most prolific.  So, today's post will be a draft of a flash exercise written last night after I came home from going out with a friend.  She'd been on a date that ended early. It wasn't particularly bad, she said, it just wasn't. 
But, the waiter at Olive Garden was pretty cute.
Oh yeah, it's a he said/she said exercise...

photo from
He said can I pour you more Chardonnay?
She said that would be lovely.
He said top you off?
She said sure, I'm not driving anywhere tonight.
He said did you enjoy your meal?
She said it was a little dry.
He said I'm sorry to hear that.
She said it happens sometimes, not your fault.
He said maybe I could get you something else.
She said what would you suggest?
He said the mussels are quite succulent and pair well with a Chardonnay.
She said are they spicy?
He said very spicy.  As spicy as you'd like, Ma'am.
She said ma'am? Nobody calls me ma'am unless I have...
He said oh, look, your date's coming back.
She said I guess we'll just need the check then.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

"I'd Be Broke"

I was at work yesterday having a frustrating day.  In our kitchen we have a TV.  Somebody had it on ESPN.  And there was Graeme McDowell listed in with the top scores of U.S. Open Golf.  Hadn't seen that in a while.
But why get excited?  I mean, let's face it, the boy hasn't been on his A game.  When was his last major championship win?  Protestant and Catholic.  That's got to do something to a person. And, well, he's cute, but he isn't the best looking guy in the game. The beer can be explained by his ancestry I suppose. Then there's the fact that he attended university in Alabama, but at least he didn't roll with the Tide.  
(Should I write for the official G-Mac fan club or what?)
I'm not a avid fan of golf, but I am a fan of Graeme McDowell because what he does have is class and a passion for golf, even when she's a fickle mistress. It's easy to have followers when you're on top.  It's when you're down that you find out your real fans. 
But, that's also when the fans find out if you're worthy to be followed.
Graeme has shown he's truly a gentleman to be watched.  He's funny, personable, courteous. He has tact and grace even when asked the difficult questions.  He's gracious to fans and fellow players.  He's charming in interviews. He has integrity at a time when critics say things like "one hit wonder." Rarely do we see him any other way.   
I watched an interview in which one of the questions was "what would you be if you didn't play golf?"  Graeme's answer was "I'd be broke"
I so get that.  Right now my work is particularly draining. I don't like it, but it's the best career in the world. When I think of what else I'd do, nothing comes to mind.  I've said I'd do my job for a box of donuts and a pot of coffee. I can imagine Graeme would say he'd do it for a pint of Guinness.  Whether it's golf or pediatric medicine, or whatever, the paycheck is awesome, but that's not why you do it. You do it because you love it and you can't imagine being unfaithful to it.

Right, a large pepperoni. 
What? You don't have Guinness?!?
Graeme may not be a consistent golf player, but he's a consistently good person.  He's the kind of guy I'd invite over for a beer and shoot some pool--and I don't even drink beer. I'd buy a pool table if he'd come over, though.  At least, he seems like it from comments and interviews.  Those kind of people encourage and inspire me.

So, what's the point of all this?  Be passionate about what you do and stay true even when it's not going perfect.  Don't look at who's popular.  Look for character, integrity, and an optimistic attitude. Even better, be one of those people. 

As I'm posting this Graeme is tied for the #1 spot in the Open. I'm cautiously excited about Sunday's round.  This is G-Mac after all.  We know he'd never blow a number one spot. 
No matter what happens tomorrow, I'm still a fan.  Golf isn't the only reason to like Graeme McDowell.  Fer sure.
 (Ok, I admit.  I was the one at work who had the Open on.  I needed some encouragement--or at least to see a certain cute Irish boy.)
  See more of him at his website or watch him on You Tube. 

Friday, June 15, 2012

High School Weight? Seriously?

In the past few weeks life happened and I’ve found myself many reasons not to blog. Work, play, work…you know the excuses.  But, that’s all they are, excuses.
These weeks I've had patients who have been more emotionally draining and supposed friends who have been difficult.  Maybe it’s just a rough spot in life but emotionally and spiritually I’ve been exhausted.  I know we’re supposed to put others ahead of us, but it’s difficult to help when you’re empty.
Okay, so, total change in thought here: one thing that kept me away from writing was exercise.  Going to a gym.  Finding time to work out. I mean, everyone is getting back to their high school weight.  It sounds good, right? 
I’ve realized two things: 
  • I’m not fond of gyms.
  • What are these people thinking?  Go back to high school? 
          I have to admit, though, going to the gym did take me back to high school:  Dressing out Feeling inadequate in your gym clothes. Having other people stare and compare you to them. The only difference is that as adults we’ve at least developed enough tact to keep our comments to ourselves.
         The thing is, I’m not sixteen anymore.  Thank goodness for that.  I’m an older, wiser, more confident 41 years old. My blood pressure is phenomenal, my cholesterol and heart disease risk, enviable.  My hair, fabulous.  My skin, not to young, not too old.
        But I could stand to be healthier.  I could adopt a lifestyle that habitually makes better choices.  I know it's not going to happen quickly.  I'm not going to find it going to the gym and killing myself everyday.  Some may like that.  I say more power to you.
        Crash diets. Medication. Weight loss pills and diet bars. Quick fixes. They only put a Band-Aid on things.  Ideal weight and what foods are healthy are subject to change with whatever fad or scientific discovery is in vogue. These don’t change anything.
        Health is a journey, not a destination.  We don’t reach being healthy at 40 or 50 and then coast from there. It starts when we’re born and doesn’t end until we die.  We have ups and downs.  It involves more than just the physical, but also the emotional and spiritual aspects. 
       There are things we can’t change.  But there are things we can control. Ideal weight changes with age.  I’m not sixteen.  I won’t attain a 16 year old’s body.  But I can be the best 41 I can. 


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

First, I'd like to thank...
I'm quite excited and feel like I'm a slacker by only just now acknowledging this award.  Many thanks to Carrie at The Slow Dripped Life for the honor.  I'll be really Kreative if I can get a link back to her site in here.   The Slow-Dripped Life.  I think I did it right.  We shall see. 
I think the most difficult part of all this is answering questions about myself.  Usually I'm the one doing the interviewing. 


1. Thank and link back to the awarding blog.
2. Answer the seven questions
3. Provide ten random factoids about yourself.
4. Last but not at all least, hand this on to seven deserving others.
Seven Questions (that only scratch the surface)
1.  What is my favorite song?
      How does one capture the wind?  It's as impossible as saying my favorite song.  Depending on my mood or what I need, I go with everything from Mozart to George Strait, Michael W. Smith to Van Halen.  I can say when I have a migraine Pink Floyd is better than drugs. 

2.  What is my favorite dessert? 
         Graeme McDowell and a can of whip cream--wait, it said dessert, not fantasy dessert, didn't it?  I'll have to go with  homemade chocolate chip cookies just out of the oven with a cold glass of milk.  Or coffee.  Everything's good with coffee. 

3.  What do I do when I'm upset? 
        I'm not much of a crier, but more of a plotter.  I write and kill people in my stories.  It's less obvious and more legal than real life.  Maybe I don't kill them but make bad things happen.  But this is if I'm upset with people.  Otherwise I just journal about things.  Then, when things are better I either store them for later reading or burn it as a symbol of a new start. 
       Mostly I just harm people in stories though.

4.   What is my favorite pet? 
      It wouldn't be fair to pick one.  I mean, you don't tell people who you're favorite child is--you have one, but you don't say it.  A mangy hyena might be kind of fun and different....

5.  Which do I prefer: white or wheat?
      I go with white/wheat bread--I want it all!

6.  What is my biggest fear?
      That I'll meet the boogey man and he won't be as scary as people said.  I'll have wasted all that time being afraid of him when I could've been doing something else. 

7.  What is my attitude mostly
      Have confidence in myself and care about others.  
Ten Random Things about me.....
  • I was going to be a cardiovascular surgeon. Then I did a pedi rotation.  Darn kids ruined it for me. 
  • Possum and nutria aren't so good, but alligator and rabbit are pretty tasty. 
  • I love Ireland and will visit there before I die.
  • I love my red curls and freckles. 
  • My forearm is longer than my foot.
  • I've started an intraosseous IV on a baby--that's an IV in a bone instead of a vein. 
  • I love ice hockey--need more of it in Louisiana
  • I can curl my tongue down and up.
  • I've never had stitches or a cast--so far. 
  • I love to travel where you get to meet people, not just see things. 
And now the most important part:  Seven people who deserve this more than me:
Blabbin Granny--
Journaling Woman--
Writing in Wonderland--
Wagging Tales--
Texas Playwright Chick--
Sherry Perkins--
Gonna Eat Worms--

It's so hard to pick just seven as there are so many incredible places out in cyberspace. 
Thank you again, Carrie, for the award and all who read this. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

I was going to post this in two parts--but didn't

Part One
I've been wondering why do people still get married?  I searched the Internet and found all kinds of answers:  Children, financial or emotional security, love. Every reason given I can get outside of marriage except one--- “You’re supposed to.  Everyone does it.”   To which I have four words: lemmings to the sea.
In all that I read I had to wonder if marriage is more of an antiquated sentimentality than a useful social institution.  In history marriages were arranged by someone besides the groom or bride and didn’t involve emotions. Love was discouraged and reserved for affairs and friendships.  Marriage was for power plays, politics, and procreation.  Love really didn’t enter into it until the Renaissance when stories and art blossomed.  In the 21st century we have raised it to a whole new level.  Fairy tale weddings may have started with the Brothers Grimm but are perpetuated by American capitalism.  The wedding is as much about the wedding planner as the bride.  The groom is just an afterthought.
Many of the taboos surrounding relationships no longer exist: sex outside of marriage, child out of wedlock. Affairs are expected. Marriage isn’t a deterrent for such behaviors.  Financially, emotionally,  and socially both sexes can survive without a spouse. 
Knowing this,  I have to ask:  why do it?  And not only once, but why twice, three times, and even four?   I know we don’t want to be alone, but why not just live together?  It’s what people do anyway to make sure they can get along.  I’ve heard the argument that the marriage bond makes people more committed.  I’m not sure I believe that when almost half of marriages in America end in divorce.  
I was also searching why people get divorced.  There were many reasons why, but one stuck out.  Because we can.  When we get bored, angry, find another to love, it’s easy to say I’m leaving.   If we aren’t being fulfilled then it’s okay to seek something else. The marriage relationship is focused on the needs of the individual rather than a commitment between two people that considers all sides.
From what I’ve read and heard marriage as a social institution seems obsolete.  We don't have to use it for financial security.  We don't need more kids in the world.  It's not such a strong political leverage anymore.  People can give me all sorts of arguments, but I’m happy being single.   I can’t think of why I’d want to rock the boat on that.  I love all sorts of men.  Why should I choose just one and according to modern society I shouldn’t let a little thing like he’s married to someone else get in the way. Who cares about her and the kids as long as I get what I want?  Who cares that he’ll probably cheat on me, too?  I’ll just go on to someone else. To put it crudely, why should I pay for milk I can get free?
It isn't the 40 year old virgin we should be making fun of.  It's the crazy chick whose dad spends more on her wedding dress than he did her first car that needs to be ridiculed. 
(Collective gasp from all the soccer moms and religious folks. Don’t worry.  I’m still on the side of the angels.)
Part Two
     I believe in marriage, but not as a social institution. Society takes God out of the marriage relationship, but in its truest, purest form, you can’t because marriage is a gift from God. It’s one man and one woman, together forever.      
     I’ve struggled with this because I know people who are on their second marriages or have married people with children and exs, many of them Christians.  They seem like good people.  The older I get the fewer fish in the pond so I wonder if I should compromise in some point.  But it’s clear what God’s viewpoint is, no matter how much we try to rationalize it.  (Genesis 2: 20-25; Matthew 5:31-32; Mark 10: 1-12)  People may change, but God doesn't. 
     When I was younger I met a guy who I thought was the man for me.  We understood each other and complimented each other.   The problem?  He was married.  We didn’t pursue the relationship.  In later years he called because he and his wife divorced.  Here was my chance at my soul mate.  What stopped me?  The minute he married her he became her husband.  She was the mother of his children.  He chose her.  I would always be the other woman.   I don’t want to be his second chance to get it right. What if he thinks he messed up again? 
Yes it’s true:   I’m a hopeless romantic. I want to be the one he waited for.   I believe in fairy tale endings and Prince Charming.  I know I can have my happy ending.   
Oh, I'm not so pie-in-the-sky  to think it will be all hearts and flowers.  What we obtain too cheap we esteem too lightly. It is dearness only that gives everything its value.   Thomas Paine said that of freedom.  I think it's true of our marriage commitment. It's not about me and what I get, but about us and what we can do for each other.  The hard times make us grow and the willingness to forgive strengthens our belief in the relationship. 
And it's not just our actions in the marriage but also what we do before that shows how seriously we take it.   Am I living a life now that shows I believe in marriage?  Or am I getting my free stuff thinking I'll change once I find "the one"?
I’ve been told I’m too idealistic.  Too picky.  Too prudish.  I’m told I’m unrealistic in my expectations.  I don’t believe that. Too many people buy into that lie and lower their expectations.   They end up in bad relationships because they think bowing to peer pressure is better than being true to themselves. 
Because I believe in God, I believe all the things He said are possible.  I'm holding out for the one who's holding out for me.  I've come too far to give up now.  I’d like to be married, but I don’t need to be. If I can’t have marriage God’s way, then I'll pass on it.
Some people won't agree.  Me?   I’m good with it. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Wedding Video and a Question of Etiquette

If April was the Alphabet, May seems to be Marriage.  I guess since I've been getting some invitations, weddings have been on my mind, especially how to get out of going.  One thing that helps is when people get married at the same time.  You can't be in two places at once. 
The problem with so many weddings is you have to buy so many presents at one time, along with all the graduation gifts.  And I would like a summer vacation. 
If I get married I'm going to pick an obscure wedding month...except not January.  January is when people get their bills from Christmas.  Maybe October or November 1.  It's far enough from everything expensive so I'll probably get better gifts.  I know I spend more on people with fall weddings since I don't have so many other things to do. And, Halloween is just over so I can save on wedding decorations.
This is my etiquette question: if you've been invited to a second wedding---as those who read my last post knows I have---do you have to buy a present if you bought the person a present for their first wedding?  I'm not trying to sound cheap here but I go back to the previous statement that everybody wants to get married at the same time.   Weddings, graduations, a few babies thrown in:  stop the insanity!
Second weddings bring all sorts of new complications:  first for  bride, second for groom.  Third for  bride, first for groom.  These things happen, especially the older I get. 
Then there's the question of should you even go, let alone buy a gift,  if you liked the first spouse better and you think your friend has lost their mind getting married again. 
I'm sure some bridal magazine has a book about this and will be willing to sell it, but I can't afford it because I have to buy all these wedding gifts that I may or may not be obligated to. 
This is yet another reason to get married once and stay married.  It's so much easier on all the people you invite to the ceremony.   
So you may be asking if I got a gift for the last wedding?  Yeah, some towels they had on their registry. I mean, everybody needs towels, even if the wedding doesn't last...again.
The more pertinent question people have been asking, though, is what video were we watching? 
Weird Al's Like a Surgeon, of course.  

Where else can you can learn about medicine, lawsuits,  and dancing before they say "I do"? 

So, what about you?  What kind of issues have you faced as a wedding guest? 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Second Weddings..and thirds..and fourths...and....i-phones

File:Queen Victoria Albert 1854.JPG
I recently went to a wedding more out of curiosity than anything.  (I had received an invitation so I was good.)  It was his second wedding.  I'm not sure about her.  I only know her by reputation. 
So, I'm sitting there thinking "wow, look at all the money they spent.  This is more than his first marriage.  They could feed Bangladesh for a month."  I'm thinking of poor starving children and didn't realize we were standing for the bride until the lady on my right nudged me and glared.  Apparently sitting for the bride is one of those Cardinal Sins.
Now, remember, I know this girl by reputation.  Seriously, white?  I quickly pull out my phone and commit another wedding transgression:  I look up the rules for wearing a white wedding dress.  In this tradition I'm going to have to cut her some slack.  White dresses aren't necessarily for purity.  It was a tradition made popular by Queen Victoria and signified wealth since only rich folks could afford to wear a dress that you'd only wear once and was easy to get dirty.  It took American capitalism to make white wedding dresses into a billion dollar industry..much like Halloween. 
Now I could buy that.  I mean, she must be marrying a rich guy.  He can afford her and an ex-wife.  At least she didn't wear a veil.  That would be a greater wedding faux-pas than watching Weird Al videos while they're lighting the Unity candle.
I know the wedding police to my right was not amused, but I made the guy on my left laugh.  When the groom said "Love, honor, cherish as long as we both shall live"  I had to whisper  "Yeah, like I haven't heard that before."  His wife wasn't amused either.
The day wasn't a total loss.  They actually had white wedding cake:  the real reason why people come to weddings.  And there were corn dogs on the buffet.   I learned not to look up things or text while being a part of the wedding video.

Cardinal Sin
I have another friend who is planning her second wedding.  My advice to her?  Don't waste your time on a wedding.  Save you money and in ten years have a "we actually made it this long" party.  I'd come to that. That way if you divorce again you won't be out a bunch of money and you didn't make your good friends wear ugly bridesmaid dresses. 
My other advice on weddings.  Bring your iPhone. You know you're going to want to look up something.  You could always say you're taking pictures. 

And, just so you know, there was a Cardinal named Sin.  How great is that?  His first name was Jaime.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Word Verification and Links

The day is not complete unless I learn at least one new thing.  Today I learned a lot, but three very important things:
  1. You have to turn off word verification.  On Blogger the default setting is word verification on.  Who knew?  Apparently not me. If you want to turn this off you go to your dashboard.  Click on posts and comments.  It gives you the option of "show word verification?"  you can use the drop down box and click no. At least I hope that's it.  If someone tries to comment and it does something different, I would appreciate the heads up.  It never did it when I commented so I wasn't aware it was on.
  2. You have to add a link when you follow someone so they can link to you. This is not a part of the default setting.   I was not aware of this and do apologize to anyone who couldn't find me. I love to check out the people who follow me and wished for a link on their photo. 
  3. How to add a link, you ask?  It's so easy...once you know how to do it.  I tried to find instructions but didn't know what key words to type in the help search. So, help wasn't helpful.   I ended up just pushing buttons.  After inadvertently becoming a member of Hair Club for Men and securing myself a spot on the space shuttle I finally clicked the right tabs.  This is the secret handshake to get into the club:  when you click on "join this site"  at a blog, click more options when the pop up comes.  Then go to add a link and type your site or name.  Then click add.  Then click follow.   You only have to do this once.  It's that simple.  So simple, I managed to get two links to my site added.  Don't be an overachieving goober like me.  If it happens, click remove links then choose the link you want to remove.  If google isn't involved I don't know how you do it.
Thanks to Tamara at Get Your Giggle On for the information in her reflections post.  That's where I learned about Blogger's default settings.  The whole A to Z Challenge I didn't realize I was doing the two things that annoy me most in blogging. 
Maybe others already knew this, but just in case someone is out there wishing they had the same information, I'm posting it here.
I'm enjoying the reflections posts as much as the challenge itself.  Everybody took away something a little different but all who finished seem to agree it was truly a Challenge.

Sunday, May 13, 2012


Wow, two posts in one day.  I'm a maniac.  This one should've been posted last week, but it's been crazy at work, so I haven't really had time to reflect on the A to Z Challenge.  Now it's too late to link at the challenge site, but I'm going to post this anyway. 
I started the challenge because my friend Sylvia over at Writing in Wonderland suggested it and I thought, hey, fun.  Why not do it? 
Who thought it would make me crazy? 
This was my first year  so I was concerned I wouldn't do it right.  I wasn't sure what a blog hop was at first.  It sounded like a dance more than a computer thing.
I would stay up late the night before, trying to get the post just right, worrying over each word so that I wouldn't say the wrong thing.  I'd be exhausted at work and still fretting over the posts.   I'd scramble trying to visit sites.  I was making myself insane trying to get to all 1700+ sites.  Then came the challenge to get over 100 followers.  I tried to figure out how to get more people to my site.  My mind was filled with all sorts of crazy notions.
Then it hit me:  I can't possibly do all this.  So, I took a different approach. I went for quality over quantity.  I didn't try to collect followers, but found sites I was interested in. I wrote my posts, kept up with the sites I could, and added a few more as time permitted. 
It started being what it was supposed to be: fun.  I posted each letter on the right day. I visited other sites.  I finished with my sanity intact. I'm still checking out other sites on the list and keeping up with those I linked to. I didn't get 100 followers, but I have more than when I started.  I have new friends to check out and I learned about all sorts of things from law, to Scandinavian culture, to writing techniques and murders. I went all over the US and the world.  It was a wild, fun ride.
Did I have some favorite places?  Sure, but to point out a few would be unfair to the others I don't have space to write about. 
This is the most important lesson I learned:  I write because I'm a writer.  I write what I'm passionate about.  If people buy it, fine, but whether or not they do, I'm still going to write.
Will I do it again?  I'm already thinking of how I can do next year different, so I guess that means I will. 

The Highest Calling

I’m always torn on Mother’s Day as to whether or not I want to go to church.  Do I want to go hear how even though I’ve chosen to follow Christ I’m still missing the mark because I don’t have children? The message is:  I haven’t embraced the highest calling so I'm not doing something right. I'm not "complete"
Correct me if I’m wrong but didn’t Jesus say the greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind?  And the second is love your neighbor as yourself.   Jesus goes on to say if you love your mother, father, sons, daughters more than Me you aren’t worthy of following me. (Mark 12:28-31; Matthew 10:37; Luke 14:26)  
Our highest calling is to glorify God.  We do this through choosing to obey and let Him lead us.  For some that’s missionary.  For some that’s healer.  For some that’s wife, husband, mother, father. There are thousands of ways God uses us.  All roles are equal.  It’s society that assigns value and elevates one over the other.  The lie is that life is meaningless without kids. I’m not buying it. God says there’s no greater road than the one that leads to Heaven. I’m not trading my eternal treasures in Heaven for temporary ones here.
I love my mother.I appreciate all she sacrificed for us. This Mother’s Day I’m going to thank her for loving me and being there for me. I’m going to thank my parents for giving me the confidence to live a life worthy of Christ.   I’m not going let others make me think I’m wrong for the road I've chosen.   I know motherhood is an important role, but that doesn’t make what I do any less.  I’m not in a holding pattern waiting for life to begin after motherhood.   
I’m going to say thank you to those who cover for me when I have to take off for the same gyn, dentist, eye appointments they do. I’m going to sympathize because I hate dishes and laundry too—yes, single people with no children get dishes and clothes dirty. I’m going to be jealous because I had to take my own garbage can out in the rain instead of having a kid to do it. 
I’m going to say you're welcome for covering for those moms who take off for field trips and soccer games. I’m going to be forgiving when a friend breaks plans for a sick child. I’m going to do my work cheerfully even if I don't get a thank you. 
  If God has in your life to be a mother, great.  Embrace that with all you have.  But, if that's not where He's leading you, don't force it.  Life's hard enough living it where you should be.  Don't add the wrong direction to the mix.