Grammaphobia

I have committed myself to a claim and this is it:

NOTHING is worse for a Nazi Grammarian than having to read a text, post or email with insurmountable errors in grammar. Especially when I am receiving such communication from someone who claims to be an author. If this is the case, it is not cruel to find oneself not wanting to read their book or manuscript, as  many errors in grammar will be expected. Unless one is a professionally paid editor, there is no motivation to read the aforementioned “author’s” work.

But then, I realized that I too have grammatical errors, albeit slight, making me come to a epiphanic conclusion: there are levels of grammar stumbling, and the motive for one such as I to read the story, essay or whatever it may be, is the actual content. Content is gold. That being the case, some authors are readable with their grammar slights, while some authors are deplorable with grammar, syntax, spelling and clarity–it all depends upon the content.

For instance, I once read a novel by a person who  self-published it, and disseminated it to a large audience of members in my group, International Books Cafe, when it was a site on Ning. com.  The person asked me to review it, something I used to do on my site there. I read and was appalled at the many, many errors in that first chapter. What did I do? I kept reading. It turns out the content was so interesting, and while those errors glared at me and I was disturbed by the many of them, I was intrigued by the story. I kept reading to the end.

I’m sorry to say I could not review it, and did not. My eagle grammarian eye was engaged to my squawking tongue and I would have had to point out the many errors. Since she had already spent time, energy (and money) into having her novel published how could I devastate her. I said nothing, did nothing and went about my business. The one caveat for those of you who think content will be enough though: I never read another thing of that person’s, fearing I would find the same issue. Let us hope she was picked up by some savvy editor who had connections. That editor could doctor the work up, charge, then send it to friends who like stories that are well told. The author did have that going for.

Then, there are those others who are ridiculously TOO grammaphobic; like me.

I’ve been writing since I was ten years old. I saved most everything I wrote until I was about 20-25. At one fell swoop, I hated my work and after making a grand fire in the great room in my fireplace, I threw all my works in it and said good-bye to my hopes of becoming a writer. How despairing: songs, poetry, short stories, essays. Everything.

After my divorce, I slowly began again to accumulate my writings. I have saved everything, since, of this new batch. It’s been forty years now. But I still have a problem, much worse than the grammar issue.

I have submitted nothing to be published, because I am too self-conscious. I have changed my work compulsively, to correct sentences, change the syntax for better clarity. I have removed and installed punctuation where I believed it was incorrect, rechecked definitions and changed words that made me change the entire sentence for more clarity. I have rewrote so many stories or changed them into screenplays, or into songs from poetry. I have done so many changes, it is as if I burned all my work again, and started over, and over, and over again, anew.

I was planning to change all that this 2020, but then the PANDEMIC began and once again, something held me back. It was the fear that I might be hurrying my work to get out there, due to the urgency of survival or whatever may have been causing me to panic, not sure by now what it was.

Whatever it was, however, I began to edit my full manuscript I was to submit to publishers, and edited, re-edited, and edited it again–as my usual compulsion got the better of me. Nothing has changed. I thought it did, but it did not. I am still unpublished, and working on my works.

This morning, I remembered my birthday is coming up in September 1st. I will be a whopping 70 years of age. I cannot fool with this issue any longer, as you and I both know that once people start hitting this decade, many start falling off like flies.

Grammar is important, it is. Grammar is well to be adhered. But Content is gold, I must remind myself of that. I need to get back to the story, and not so much the mechanical carriage of the narrative.

 

I’m a Sap for Strugglers…

Yes. That’s right. I’m a Sap for strugglers. Maybe because I’m one. I feel like I’ve been struggling all my life. I’m sure many or most people feel that way too. Maybe that’s why people feel the need to come to others’ rescue. If they’ve never struggled they may not understand what others are going through. But if you are a “struggler” as I believe myself to be, you know what I mean. It hurts to watch others struggling because you can FEEL it–in your bones, in your chest; in your heart.

I can’t explain to you EVERY struggle I’ve been through but it started  when I was conscious enough to remember: I was two years old.

In September, (I’ve not admitted this to anyone because I don’t want to admit it to myself) I will be 70 years old; that is only three months away (September 1st). I have felt the increase in slowness, in aches and pains, and in the sense that I am no longer as essential to society as I once was. I am losing my beauty, my agility, my mental sharpness, and damnit my sense of motivation!!

Yet, my spiritual passion for others–especially when they are struggling–has not minimized; I still feel for others, even though they really don’t care if it’s me, I still care about them and wish I could run out and help every soul out there.

Lately, I’ve been very proud of myself. I’ve been up early, walk my dogs quickly, make coffee, take my shower and make up my (not so lovely) face with “barn paint” as one famous teacher would say. Then, I get on the computer to find the homes my buyers want to see either virtually or in person with masks, gloves, and etc., get forms ready for COVID-19 documentation, call agents, drive to areas, fill out offers, do my diligent duty for clients, etc., I’ve been pretty damned disciplined of late. But I’m not putting down in words my heart like I used to. I claimed myself to be–after all–a Writer. Even if I’m a Realtor, I had so much to write about, so many stories to tell. But I’ve become a person who lives outside of my soul.

Writers are soul keepers; they tell in narrative form what others are incapable of saying or doing or feeling. They are not only wordsmiths, but they are soul searchers, soul repairers, and spiritual wings for many others. I was once relentless. Now I’m losing altitude and I may crash soon.

But I am moving outside of myself. Perhaps as we get older it’s difficult to keep up with the outside and the inside. Perhaps that is what the old Native story about the two wolves means. It isn’t always about good and evil; it can be also about passion and passivity. I want so much to talk to you in words, but I must keep moving… Now… Robert Frosts’ poem makes sense to me, more than ever before…

13 Ways to be Mentally Strong (with some planning)

While I have posted this a very long time ago, I think it bears repeating because whether or not we admit it, being forced to stay within four walls and being forced to not be able to visit physically with family or friends can take its toll upon our psyches, and we can get depressed. But we can remind ourselves as to why we cannot allow that to be true. So here is the famous 13 ways to NOT allow it. If any letters in RED, those are my additions, NOT published with this article by Ms. Morin.

13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do

Avoid the pitfalls that will hold you back from reaching your full potential

Published on January 12, 2015 by Amy Morin in

 What Mentally Strong People Don’t Do

            We often hear advice like, “Think positive, and good things will happen,” or “Try your hardest, and eventually things will work out.” While such words of wisdom certainly have merit, these well-meaning suggestions won’t help you reach your goals if you’re simultaneously engaging in unhealthy behavior. Recognizing and replacing the unhealthy thoughts, behaviors, and feelings that may be sabotaging your best efforts is the key to building mental strength.

            Try comparing mental strength to physical strength. While a bodybuilder maintains his physique with good habits, like going to the gym, it’s equally important for that bodybuilder to get rid of unhealthy habits, like eating junk food. An exercise regimen won’t be effective in building lean muscle unless unhealthy eating habits are also eliminated. 

it is imperative that you exchange the bad habits for the good, otherwise you will surely go back to the bad habits.

            Similarly, building mental muscle requires hard work, dedication and exercise. In addition to adopting healthy habits, avoiding detrimental habits—like negative thoughts, unproductive behavior, and self-destructive emotions—is also essential.

            Whether you’re working on becoming a more patient parent or you’re striving to become an elite athlete, (or you are stuck in the house with this Coronavirus edict) building mental strength will help you reach your goals. Learn to identify the common pitfalls that you’re prone to and practice exercises that will help you become your best self. 

Here are the 13 things mentally strong people don’t do:

  1. They Don’t: Waste Time Feeling Sorry for Themselves

Many of life’s problems and sorrows are inevitable, but feeling sorry for yourself is a choice. Whether you’re struggling to pay your bills or you’re dealing with unexplained health problems, indulging in self-pity won’t fix your problems. If you’re prone to feeling sorry for yourself when the going gets rough, train your brain to exchange self-pity for gratitude. Mentally strong people don’t waste their time and energy thinking about the problem, instead they focus on creating a solution.

I suggest whenever you begin looking at the negative, sit down and ADD TO your made list of things you are grateful for. 

  1. They Don’t: Give Away Their Power

It can be very tempting to blame other people for our problems and circumstances. Thinking things like, “My mother-in-law makes me feel bad about myself,” gives others power over us. Take back your power by accepting full responsibility for how you think, feel, and behave. Empowering yourself is an essential component to building mental strength and creating the kind of life you want to live.

This does not mean to break the law about staying in until we are told we are free to roam, but stop blaming the government, China, Trump, etc., and just take responsibility for your mental health AT HOME.

  1. They Don’t: Shy Away From Change

Although we feel safest when we stay within our comfort zones, avoiding new challenges serves as the biggest obstacle to living a full and rich life. Learning to recognize when you avoid change because of the discomfort involved in doing something new could be the first step in a long journey toward improving your life. The more you practice tolerating the uncomfortable feelings associated with change—whether it involves taking on a new job or leaving an unhealthy relationship, or living under new circumstances about home life, work, food and  pandemics—the more confident you’ll become in your ability to create your future.

  1. They Don’t: Waste Energy on Things They Can’t Control

So often, we worry about all the wrong things. Rather than focus on preparing for the storm, we waste energy wishing the storm wouldn’t come. If we invested that same energy into the things we do have control over, we’d be much better prepared for whatever life throws our way. Pay attention to the times when you’re tempted to worry about something you can’t control—like the choices other people make or how your competitor behaves—and devote that energy into something more productive.

We are already in this Coronavirus pandemic; think of ways to minimize discomfort and plan for future ways to be more responsible for you and your family’s safety measures.

  1. They Don’t: Worry About Pleasing Others

A lot of people say, “I don’t care what other people think,” but often that’s a defense mechanism meant to shield them from the hurt and pain associated with rejection. People-pleasers come in all forms. Sometimes you can spot one a mile away and at other times, their fear of angering others is deeply rooted. Doing and saying things that may not be met with favor takes courage, but living a truly authentic life requires you to live according to your values, even when your choices aren’t popular.

Here is where you must assess your moral and ethical values. They may not be trendy or go along with the masses, but if they are wholesome and make you stand straight, keep them healthy.

 

  1. They Don’t: Fear Taking Calculated Risks

We make dozens—if not hundreds—of choices every day with very little consideration of the risks we’re taking. Whether we choose to wear a helmet on a bike ride, or we decide to take out a loan, we often base our choices on our emotions, not the true level of risk. Making decisions based on your level of fear isn’t an accurate way to calculate risk. Emotions are often irrational and unreliable. You don’t get to be extraordinary without taking risks, and learning how to accurately calculate risk will ensure you’re making the best choices.

I listened to Warren Buffet yesterday. They were old videos, but the point was well taken that everything he did in his life, he first took careful thought and planning. Sit down and write out (before you act) how the outcome will benefit, or not, and write out all the options and alternatives. THEN, make your move.

  1. They Don’t: Dwell on the Past

While reflecting on the past and learning from it is a helpful part of building mental strength, ruminating can be harmful. Making peace with the past so you can live for the present and plan for the future can be hard, especially if you’ve endured a lot of misfortune, but it’s a necessary step in becoming your best self.

This is my hardest bad habit. I’ve lost a lot in the past: people, pets, physical possessions; I have to forgive myself or them or just say good-bye for now, send a spiritual kiss and move on. You do, too.

  1. They Don’t: Make the Same Mistakes Over and Over

It’d be nice to learn enough from each mistake that we’d be guaranteed to never repeat that same mistake twice. But the reality is that we’re prone to repeat the same mistakes sometimes. Learning from your mistakes requires humility and a willingness to look for new strategies to become better. Mentally strong people don’t hide their mistakes or make excuses for them. Instead they turn their mistakes into opportunities for self-growth.

I’m guilty of this, too. I don’t get mad at myself though; I think about Moses and the children of Israel in the wilderness… they circled the same area many times over until they learned their lesson. Let’s learn our lesson and find new strategies to improve.

  1. They Don’t: Resent Other People’s Success

Watching a co-worker receive a promotion or hearing a friend talk about her achievements can stir up feelings of envy. But resenting other people’s success will only interfere with your ability to reach your goals. When you’re secure in your own definition of success, you’ll stop envying other people for obtaining their goals and you’ll be committed to reaching your dreams.

Amen!

  1. They Don’t: Give Up After Failure

It’s normal to feel embarrassed, discouraged, and downright defeated when your first attempts don’t work. From a young age, we’re often taught that failure is bad, but it’s nearly impossible to succeed if you never fail. Mentally strong people view failure as proof that they’re pushing themselves to the limits in their efforts to reach their full potential.

  1. They Don’t: Fear Alone Time

In today’s fast paced world, obtaining a little quiet time often takes a concerted effort. Many people avoid silence and solitude because lack of activity feels uncomfortable. But time to yourself is an essential component to building mental strength. Mentally strong people create opportunities to be alone with [your] thoughts, reflect on [your] progress, and create goals for the future.

This Coronavirus pandemic should not be looked at as a curse, but turn it into a blessing. You have a lot of time to think over how you’ve lived physically and spiritually. It’s time to improve your existence. Don’t just survive but thrive, and I’m not talking about possessions here; I’m talking about your inner core, your spirit, your emotional and mental strength. Strengthen there and the rest will follow. This means get rid of negative habits and work on positive change.

  1. They Don’t: Feel the World Owes Them Anything

It’s easy to get caught up in feeling a sense of entitlement. But waiting for the world—or the people in it—to give you what you think you’re owed isn’t a helpful life strategy. If you’re busy trying to take what you think you deserve, you won’t have any time to focus on all that you have to give. And everyone has gifts that can be shared, regardless of whether they’ve gotten a “fair deal” in life.

I think of David Goggins here. Look him up.

  1. They Don’t: Expect Immediate Results

Wouldn’t it be nice if everything in life could happen at the touch of a button? We often grow so accustomed to our “no lines, no waiting” world, that our brains begin to believe that everything should happen instantaneously. But self-growth develops at more of a snail’s pace, rather than at lightning speed. Whether you’re trying to lose weight or develop a more gracious attitude, slow and steady wins the race and expecting immediate results will only lead to disappointment. Mentally strong people know that true change takes time and they’re willing to work hard to see results.

And right now, all we have is time.

The good news is, everyone has the ability to build mental strength. But to do so, you need to develop self-awareness about [your own] self-destructive thoughts, behaviors, and feelings that prevent you from reaching your full potential. Once you recognize areas that need work, committing to mental strength exercises will help you create healthier habits and build mental muscle.

I started by purchasing audiobooks about changing my ways, and then I listen to them while walking.

Morin, Amy. 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do. New York: NY

Work on these 13 areas now, while you have the time. Change your thinking and you’ll change your life. I heard on the news that there will be a shortage of meat. Maybe it’s time to become a vegetarian or cut back on meats, perhaps. Maybe you can learn how to cook without meat, there are plenty of recipes for wholesome vegetarian meals. Create your own recipe booklet. That’s better and a positive action, rather than hoarding, which is a negative reaction.

Lydia Nolan, Editor

“Damn the Torpedoes…”

“Damn the Torpedoes! Full Speed Ahead!” ~Admiral David Glasgow Farragut (Aug.5, 1864)

            Admiral Farragut was warned that there were dangerous waters he was entering. He was aware of the dangers but decided if he were to make a difference in the Union’s favor, he had to stave off the fear of death or wounding and courageously proceed “full speed ahead” to the destination in which he would be victorious. This speaks of our dilemma with this virus pandemic we are faced with at the present moment of our history.

            We have been listening to the panic of the media regarding this Coronavirus since the beginning of March, perhaps the end of February. News crept into our homes like a snake. Then when faced, it struck with a daunting blow, especially poisoning the masses with the frightening allusions of other viruses, comparing it to those such as the Spanish Flu, Eboli, and the Black Plague. We were under attack, and we were all going to go into a pandemic that began in China and killed thousands of people. It was heading our way and there was nothing we could do but brace for the inevitable disease and death rate. It followed that we would all have to be sequestered to our homes, isolated from each other, and left to stir like wild chickens in cages, waiting for doom to hit each and every one of us.

            Oddly, it came right after the liberals’ attempt (and defeat) of the impeachment of Donald Trump, and right before the re-election of President Trump, that which seemed to be sure—until this.

            I have read many interesting perspectives on war. There are plays in football emanating war movements and strategies. Politics in single corporate offices vaguely or explicitly reveal such plays of warfare as well. So how is it, that those political civil warriors in the senate and our government think that the people of this country are so stupid as to believe this just happened upon us coincidentally, so serendipitously that the media is disseminating for another recorded go-around, the fault once again on the man the liberals hate vehemently: Donald Trump.

            Do not misquote my intention here. I don’t mean to say there is no virus at all.  What I do mean to say is that it seems uncanny in a strategic kind of mode, to have been spread upon the masses with impunity and without regard to human lives, this virus we blame upon another country—whose spill of it may be true and without defense—but, which smacks of timing planned, and all for an agenda that seems to me to be rather evil and macabre. I am wondering how to deal with the idea that there are those who have such little regard for human life that they would pour upon us such damnation just to take one man out that stands in the way of their agenda.

            I am saying that it is amazing how the entire country is obedient, as the repeat of Nazi Germany history, to fall in line with such instructions of isolation and punishment if found disregarding these boundaries, that was fused into the masses by media, which is owned by those very liberals of whom I am speaking.

            Why am I even bringing this to the forefront. I am not only concerned about this very moment in history, but I am concerned about the general climate. I am concerned about the media and its position in line with those who would be bold enough to administer landmines per se, onto the ignorant public; the public, as we know ourselves to be, is innocent as frogs in the boiling water. We don’t recognize our impending doom because it came ever so slowly, and is being raised very slowly; not just for this particular pandemic, but for future control of all the peoples in our country, and in the world.

            I am not only concerned but disturbed greatly that we have such heinous warfare upon innocent people, but then, wasn’t it always that way? Did we do anything about the children being blown up with their parents whenever there were wars being fought between and among nations? As long as it was not near us we did indeed bury our heads in the sand. If anything positive comes out of all of this it would be in hopes of our realizing how much more we need to value human life, and steer away from wars, but that does not mean we should play games with lives in that there are still those evil political players that will wreak havoc inside their own states just to propose power where they will. We must figure out a way to instill goodness and love, not war. Yes, I sound cliché, but I don’t care. I have always been a conscientious observer, and I have always hated war for the ugliness it brings about upon the innocent.

            At this time I believe, however, that it is a moment in history that those who have the ability to do so, must stand and do more than obey. We are losing our economy over fear and dread. Deaths are being reported as only this pandemic is to blame. In reality, there have been deaths of the elderly rising anyway, and that happen every single day and will progress every single day, since the Baby Boom generation has more elderly than others, and is coming of age to pass on from our lives. It has been reported that nearly any and all deaths are being reported by the media as Covin-19, when in reality they do not even know this for sure, due to the mandates given to doctors and health workers to report Covid-19 even before tests are returned. Yes, I must admit I have heard another media outlet than the one which is largely owned as I have earlier informed. Still, we are in the dark as to whom we should believe—meantime, we are all stymied and hiding ourselves from keeping our economy working. America is on its last breath if we continue this route.

            Write to our congressmen, senators, president even. Let them know we are not as ignorant as they believe and we want a better plan as to how to return to work and life as we knew it, but with better precautions. Think of all the contradictions that is spread upon us: we are not to breath outside without a mask, and keep our distance from anyone because the virus is airborne, yet we should get fresh air. We are not to go out to restaurants, stores, entertainment venues, but we are still allowed to walk our dogs (for now) and children may play outside. There are more, but those are the most pressing in my mind.

            I tell you, there is something going on greater than we can see. And won’t you notice all the warmongers in our society that jump to the wagon of blame onto President Trump. All they know is to find BLAME, blame, blame somewhere other than themselves.

            Yet, we cannot in ourselves put our finger on who we should be addressing. Much like the online menaces that propound upon anyone who tries to bring hope, they are quick to find some kind of blame and hatred upon anyone, so that they can stay in their miserable mood of despair. One thing we can do: “damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead.” Like Admiral Farragut, let’s move toward victory. Let’s go back to work, even if we have to wear masks and gloves, and continue life as we knew it, only with better calculations of our waste. Let’s learn to be more frugal and independent on our resources—as a country and as individuals. That is how we win this war. We need society and interaction, and we need to be among others without suspicious fears of them.

            I remind you, I have a right to an opinion as well and this entire blog is my own opinion. Be respectful if you post your own. Resources are mined from many places, to gain an opinion upon. They can be obtained by anyone’s efforts to research various newscasts, public and private.

Good Morning By Faith!

Well, this is a “writing site,” and I had originally planned to give “writing lessons,” after all I am a teacher, and I have the education of a Master’s degree after my Bachelor’s degree of English and Education.

But now this: the Corona-virus…

I wish that were only a beer, but now we must contend with a possible catastrophic event. At least, currently, it is a pandemic, and I am in California, and all I hear is: “we haven’t touched the peak yet. Maybe a month or so more…” Nothing is clear, and there are so many “announcers” coming from every which way…

Needless to say, it is a difficult task to keep one’s mind on their skills, their talents, or their leisure, since most people are fighting for the shortest line at the grocer’s or walking circumspect, trying hard to keep from others in stores (a distance of six feet), and crossing streets just to walk their dogs. It’s a nightmare to some extent, but who best to keep it under control but each person.

This is the last time I’m talking about this. Before it came about I was so grateful each morning when I awoke. I have fibromyalgia and I noticed it’s getting a bit worse. But when this horror began it got a LOT worse, which tells me it has a lot to do with stress. The Ibuprophen I used to take only sparingly I now have to take just a little more.

My husband is still working, so every time he gets home we look at each other from afar and say, “hi.”

But it isn’t all that bad I assure you. Life was never meant to be forever on earth. I happen to believe in a “forever” outside of earth when I die, but on earth is not an eternal place.

Everyone knows we all have to die sometime. No one ever knows when. There could be an accident, various maladies, heart attack and so on. Whether one is young or old, car accidents happen, people I know, or someone else knows, have gotten killed crossing the street, or falling off a second apartment complex patio for adjusting their bird feeder, or slipping onto their patio pool and striking their head on the pavement…fatally…

We all have to get a hold of ourselves, relax folks, we can do nothing about this pandemic of Coronavirus but take precautions: wear a mask when you go into crowds, and gloves whenever you are touching everything outside of your safe space before you get home. Wash your hands often. Keep yourself clean and your home as clean as you can, and then, relax.

If your’re still working God bless you! If not, turn off the bill collector’s calls and breathe. Apply for unemployment if you must, then sit back and just wait.

Read those books you’ve been wanting to read for a long time. Watch your favorite shows and those shows that teach you how to sew or do some research online about travel spots for “someday.” Learn a new language, there are apps for that; there are apps for EVERYTHING now. Figure out how to clean those danged blinds you’ve been meaning to for a long time. Be creative and draw again, or edit or write, or do some crafts with  your kids, and even color (I love to color. I don’t have kids but I still have coloring books and crayons)

Try new recipes, learn the intricacies of Dictionary research (there ARE intricacies in research I promise you.) Write letters just for fun to people you love. Practice Script writing, practice webpage developing, do SOMETHING other than stressing about our situation and worrying over addictive habits like “gotta get out, gotta go to that concert, club, membership; gotta go shopping for clothes,” etc., and so forth.

If life becomes over, it’s over, let it be. If it gets better, it gets better, let it be. Just have faith it’s a GOOD MORNING, put on your faith and smile. It’s up to YOU to believe it IS a good morning, and adjust your attitude to be creative in your own space inside until this danged thing blows over.

As I said on the last post, I will be returning to regular programming (facebook). Don’t forget to check out the other programming ( ibcafe.net ), which is my “review webpage,”  and on that website please feel free to post reviews of your own. If you have any trouble posting please let me know so I can take care of it.

And remember, post your comments here as well, I’d like to hear from you folks. Thanks for stopping by.

Ostrich, Take your head out of the Sand!

We are slammed with a new virus called “Coronavirus.” We in free America are quarantined, just like all the other countries in the world; it is affecting all of us in the world equally, well, considering stats of course.

Nonetheless, this is what it looks like to have your fredoms taken away; now we know what other people feel like in other countries.

This is free America; the home of the free because of the brave.

At least that is what it used to be. Everyone was free to act,, to talk, to blaspheme, to rancor, to whine and also to worship, to delegate, to administer, to assemble… what a country. I love America, still do in spite of the humans that will eventually try and shut it down.

My point: there was an old metaphor we here in America used to use for those who try and ignore whenever there was a change that was not welcomed. It was said to those who tried to ignore it: “like an ostrich you puts its head in the sand.” 

The phrase speaks to cowardice:  (https://www.mcgill.ca/oss/article/did-you-know/ostriches-do-not-really-stick-their-heads-sand).  Or rather, those who do not deal with an issue, a problem, a challenge; rather, they ignore, distract themselves from, dismiss, discharge and simply not confront the issue of the thing that is causing the cowardice, the fear, the way in which humans do whenever they are free for a long time, then become harnessed. Think of the Jews in Nazi Germany. It started with “the ostrich who put its head in the sand.”

I’m not trying to scare anyone. All I’m doing right now, is to tell everyone to keep abreast of this Coronavirus thing in the media and in any other way in which you might have access. Distringuish between rules of conduct for the virus and how it is or is not logical or reasonable. Don’t be crazy, I see a lot of that right now too. But be vigilant, circumspect; civil, questioning, researching and discovering every aspect of the conventional rules being set down–without acting like the fool hyena that dramatizes and harangues at every little move every person makes. That is all I am saying. And now, back to our regular programming…

On to the Writing business…

Let’s Be Clear…

Let’s Be Clear

Copywrite: March 12, 2020

by Lydia Nolan

Clarity is a technique that qualifies a writer’s talent. Clarity reveals a meticulously calculative mind; a mind of careful focus & organization. 

For a writer who wishes to be good at conveying a message this technique must be practiced and perfected. It is a technique that should be found in both fiction and non-fiction, and being able to perfect clarity is a better experience for the reader. After all, is it not what a writer desires to accomplish, that the reader craves more from the writer’s work? Of course it is.

Let’s talk about Words:

In many cases, excessive words may cloud the clarity of a writer’s message, especially if the message is important for the reader to understand. In simpler terms, when a writer wishes to relay an important message less words should be used. The deeper and more complicated the message, the more clear and succinct the writer’s narrative must be. Let’s put this claim to the test.

  1. ”Don’t bother trying to be better than your predecessors or contemporaries. Try to be better than yourself.”
 
  1. “I don’t need to compete against others. I am my own competition.”

What is the message? Which is more succinct and clear?

The first sentence is from the writer, William Faulkner. This is a sentence for those who enjoy leisure when reading, and simplicity of message is not necessarily what they are looking to find in their activity. Also, the 18c. writers used much more words when writing because writing as literary art was applauded for its narrative embellishments. Plain shorthand was left to the boring practical black and white writers, like bankers, accountants and clerks. 

This is not so in the 21st century due to limited time.Therefore, if I want to get the same point across in a hurry, the second message has no frills and is easily understood. Further, your audience has a lot to do with how you deliver your message and the level of comprehension. Your wording and sentence length is therefore a significant consideration and could be enhanced or detracted from according to the plot and character movements within the narrative, intermittently.

I try always to consider what it is that makes for good writing. As I read various authors I may find simplicity and complexity in the same book, but in the right timing and for different reasons. This is an important concept to understand.

Here is an example. If I am writing a book about quantum mechanics a section on a formulaic concept which is complicated and meant only for scientists do not need simplicity. However, if I am writing a fictional narrative or creative non-fiction about quantum mechanics and my audience is a general one, I don’t necessarily need to pose the exact formula, but instead I want to reflect its purpose or what it does and the actual formula may be embedded into the consequences of what it can do, not the formula itself.

As for me, I write literary fiction. I mean for my readers to enjoy a great deal and be entertained by my work. But I also want them to understand any special code or meaning I deliver, and to be emotionally impacted by what I have shared with them. I want them to walk away remembering my work or story, or whatever it is I wrote, and then I want readers to look forward to reading more of my works. I want them to be changed by it, and better for it.

My aim is to impact this generation and those beyond this one. When I die I hope I continue through my writings and be of help, giving hope and love to every generation afterwards. My legacy will be the thoughts I leave behind in my writing.

It is not hard for anyone to understand then, that I see writing as a sacred act. In my case, I aspire to do the best possible work I can accomplish before I leave this planet. If you are a writer I hope you feel that way, too.

Complain, complain, complain…

You should know about complaining. Since our site is called “The Plot Thickens,” it is URGENT that you know about complaints. Or, is it?

Okay, this was a test. If I was complaining I would have continued about everyone who complains and what it gets them. Now, THIS is a complain: I haven’t the foggiest notion about why WordPress began. I’m sure it was trying to make a lot of money and now it is, and now I resent it because they began “free” and now they are trying to force their payments on me!

Okay, that was a complaint. Now here is a factual claim without complaint. I venture to say that after WordPress began free and now charges for extra helps that used to be free, they are quite astute as to the modern day marketing tactics of businesses.

Now. WHO CARES? Among those who care are disgruntled employees, monetarily strapped persons, relatives or friends of the makers of the subject, or inquisitive busy bodies, or people who are bored.

Now. WHO DOES NOT CARE? Among those who are disinterested are seriously working people, actively athletic people who spend most days outdoors, persons of specific study or research for particular content no including complaining, or people who are searching for a particular genre like Science Fiction or Religious or Romantic stories.

Now. What was the purpose of this post? To illustrate the meaning of “writing to your particular audience.”

I could have titled this post to reflect this exercise, but I would have ONLY gotten a writers’ audience. I wanted a GENERAL audience.  You’re welcome.

End of Days In Writer’s Language

I swear it, these days remain transparent of the untruth of the matter of positivity and hope in society. I just want to stop trying to get anything accomplished and give up the hope in ever making it as a writer or a realtor, or a housewife or a pet owner or anything that has an -er as a suffix.. with the exception if housewife. But I really don’t want that one….

I don’t know if anyone else is tired of it, but I for one am sick to death of all the “helpers” that are claiming to help a person become… yes, become–never mind what you are becoming, they are there, waiting to help you get to a destination that appears to move forward just steps before you can ever reach the boundary of its inception.

They are those who want to help you “make it” in the profession of writing. But listen: is it not in any direction one tarries to meet? Correct. It is not only in writing. It is in everything else as well. One may wonder how it is I am so expert in the matter. I have been for the last thirty years and some, working at my [in-full-sometimes, in-part-others] “day job” for lack of a better name. Or, rather, it is for a tendency toward shame.

Yes, real estate is a profession since one must gain knowledge by completing  coursework before one may schedule to take an examination, and then one must pay exorbitant fees to actually acquire the license you have won by examination, and then to participate in the “profession” of real estate sales there are much more fees and dues, and what not.

Yes, that’s it: I am a real estate broker–not a mere sales agent, although working for another broker, whatever one may wish to call it, one is at once a sales agent but in service to another broker who has the same qualifications as I do, only has much more money to expand upon an office with all the norms of doing business. It is then their prerogative to hire those who seek desperately to make a sale in order to be paid a commission under the problematic term in this business of an independent contractor, yet must for all intents and purposes be employed by the man with the money in the business. So one is employed–but not employed–for the definition to be applied for tax purposes. Either way, the “agent” is the pawn, not the king or queen.

This is the honest truth, it is dependant upon a sale from the sales agent that one gains a wage, and only this in a percentage of a commission if one qualifies for a buyer or seller in buying or selling a real estate property.  A portion goes to the larger broker who has furnished the illusion for the community of the one’s independence, under his or her business domain. Besides this, one must pay added dues up front, dues to the association that certifies the broker–any broker, or sales agent–that they are a bonafide and well-put-together–ethical participant. In those accoutrements there are a thousand courses one might take–not necessarily needs, but if one wishes to compete with the monied professionals, one must append all the titles, initials and proof of certifications behind one’s name, then you understand why it is necessary; the community at large is just as pretentious, hiring only those who have a host of these appendages behind their names because it gives the community the allusion that they know more than the broker or salesperson that has only a name without all the appendages.

 

The Closer I get, the further away I go…

I found out today that my friend had a double stroke; that is, a stroke on both sides of her brain. This completely incapacitates her and I do not know if she will come out of it, I pray she does, but only God knows for sure.

Last year, before Christmas I lost another dear friend to Cancer. She was also a beautiful soul. And then the day after Christmas I lost my big sister. Before all these deaths happened I should have known, for a terrible omen was given me. My sweet baby Chihuahua was killed right before my eyes right after Thanksgiving. I was a bout to walk her, and how she loved walks. I dropped her leash, which scared her, and she fell into the street underneath a small truck passing.

I have not recovered from all these events, and then two weeks ago my brother told me he had Cancer and is on Chemo already.

And now this; my friend of over 40 years has had a double stroke.

I remember when I was a young girl, my mother having to go to many funerals or hearing about many friends she knew who were passing or had passed away. I remember how sad she was. I completely understand her feelings now.

So I wrote a poem this afternoon. It just poured out of me from a brokenheartedness that began with my little Chihuahua, Frieda. Please go to my “Romance Poet” page and read my poem, and let me know if you are going through similar circumstances or if you have gone through such circumstances. Or, if you have not had circumstances similarly, just wanting to empathize. I will appreciate any love and support I can get. I am praying for my friend to live. It will most likely be a long haul to wellness, but I am willing to go through it with her, just to have her here a little longer…