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)