Eye witness accounts at the Dallas Galleria, the far, far, far north Texas “nation” casino, and restaurants & airports from California to the New York Island confirm there is no economic crisis. Parking was at a premium as crowds of shoppers, diners, and gamblers indulged from sea to polluted sea. Harvest time for the money lenders loomed on the horizon but it was business as usual as our brightest and best took a holiday from their senses. International media outlets report that personal responsibility is not a requirement for survival in the 21st century. Many are satisfied with a virtual existence in these early years of the new millennium. Eleven years have passed since the fuel hoarding and apocalyptic hysteria of Y2K. Protesters once again write the user’s guide for humanity as we approach 2012. What essential information can we expect to guide our actions in the year ahead? Bad credit? No credit? Don’t wait for someone to steal your identity, just put it on Craig’s List and see what you can get for it. The Mayan calendar cannot provide us with enough clues but maybe our hope lies in vampires to maintain civilization. AYKM??? (Practicing my Tweet Speak as a second language) Are we so diluted that we must resign ourselves to a future without genuine intellect? Ask not what your country can do for you but what….does anyone even know anymore? Baby Boomers, Gen Xer’s, Information Generation fear not. Resourceful people, all heart and muscle tempered with savage wit still exist to sustain life as we know it. Until those who never dodge a fight have fallen and can’t get up, there is hope for the promise of tomorrow. Happy New Year! It’s good to be blogging again.
One forum for authors using Amazon’s CreateSpace self-publishing service has provided a wealth of useful information during the launch sequence of Summoning The Strength. Members of CreateSpace share advice on how to overcome the challenges of self-publishing and best practices for marketing your work. Back in the olden days (actual timeline, a few weeks ago) I was reading some questions posted by other members and one in particular captured my attention. “Is profanity a deal breaker?” In that discussion people gave various examples of why the use of expletives is not only acceptable but also needed to add realism to a story and depth to its characters. I cannot disagree with that opinion, for I too have found that a properly placed expletive has the power to shock in speech and in writing.
I also think that gratuitous blah$%#%^ is both unnecessary to make a point and can be distracting from an otherwise interesting story. (Say for instance, Summoning The Strength, which is a great gift idea for the amazing women in your life!) Language should excite, provoke, inspire, and sustain us. We often take for granted our freedom of expression and in doing so weaken our ability to appropriately articulate a message. I will be the first to admit to not always realizing what is coming out of my mouth until it is passed my elbow but I often find that what I say should not so much be completely censored as it should be responsibly filtered because as I get older it becomes more important to me to be credible to anyone who might be listening to what I say.
READ THE BOOK READ THE BOOK READ THE BOOK
Upon further review of the discussion thread about profanity, I saw from the date of the original post that I came late to the party on this topic, but in reading some of the earlier comments I discovered a reference to a book I had recently seen on the shelf in my local B&N. It was obviously a parody of a popular children’s book. I did a double take when I saw the ridiculous use of symbols to represent the actual four letter deal breaker and was compelled to pick it up to see what could possibly be worth the precious shelf space in this mega bookstore. I am pleased to report that after seeing for myself what passes for acceptable best seller material, my book is going to soar right to the top of the NY Times best seller list, curses, swears, and all! Preliminary reports (most from readers who know me personally and some who actually love me) have been positive and encouraging. We shall see. (read the book, read the book, read the book)
I am unplugging for the holidays.
There may be a random post if there should happen to be a lull in the card playing, cookie baking, or movie watching with my family.
If you are a kind and decent human being who drives a big-ass SUV, then you should know there are a lot of drivers out there giving you a bad reputation. It is my duty to tell you oh dear, gentle one, there are big-ass SUV drivers everywhere who are impatient, inconsiderate, rude, arrogant, aggressive, and mean-spirited. This must no longer be overlooked in a civilized society where non-big-ass SUV drivers still exist. Now I am all for people having choices when it comes to their vehicles. After all, our vehicle makes a statement about who we are. For instance, I drive a Lincoln MKZ because it is stylish and comfortable. It is made by a fiscally responsible manufacturer that has not asked to be bailed out by tax payers. I can fit lots of gardening tools, plants, and supplies in the trunk and thanks to the exclusive SYNC technology powered by Microsoft I can keep both hands on the wheel so I can be ready to steer clear of drivers who are trying to qualify for NASCAR or non-drivers who are causing a traffic jam while they text their latest random thought.
Some people drive pickup trucks to haul their gear/families/pets and that is fine. Pickup trucks are tough and give drivers good visibility. Plus dogs look really cool with their heads hanging out the window taking in the scenery. Bikers are the icon of freedom. Helmets, no helmets, leathers, no leathers, chick hanging onto a sissy bar wearing a skull cap and halter top or no top, turn signal or no turn signal. (Signals are available on all types of vehicles for use when turning and BEFORE CHANGING LANES.) I have a friend who drives a Toyota Prius. It hauls most anything she needs and saves her lots of money on fuel. I think that is GREAT!
Of course there are well-known stereotypes about the various complexes that plague people who drive sports cars but I say we let them have their harmless fantasies; it’s the big-ass SUV drivers with whom we must contend that set me ablaze with fuel-injected expletives. (Oh yes, I know them all. I learned them in the military.) Some drivers are more inconsiderate than others. That is to be expected no matter the vehicle. I suspect the driver for whom this post is intended will take this heartfelt message as the friendly gesture it is meant to be. If not, I will be watching for their own favorite gesture next time I drive to the grocery store.
This is what happened to my son’s Honda Civic while it was PARKED at school. Another student couldn’t back their dad’s big-ass SUV out of the parking space without taking off the whole front bumper. There was no damage to the other car and the driver was going to leave the scene but couldn’t get the cars unhooked. So the person had to go into the school and report it so they could leave for lunch. Yep, their dad’s insurance company just dealt with it. $$$ Lesson learned? Who knows? I doubt it.
Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant, the University of Alabama coaching legend, said it best when he said, “I’m just a plow hand from Arkansas, but I have learned how to hold a team together; how to lift some men up, how to calm down others, until finally they’ve got one heartbeat together, a team. There’s just three things I’d ever say: If anything goes bad, I did it. If anything goes semi-good, then we did it. If anything goes real good, then you did it. That’s all it takes to get people to win football games for you.”
I have lived by those words whenever I’ve had the privilege to hold a leadership position. I believe in giving credit where credit is due. My husband owns almost every book ever written about leadership and the best ones I have read say that good leaders know how to surround themselves with people who are smarter than they are. It is my opinion that a collaborative leadership style shows you have the courage to follow people smarter than you and the strength to hold yourself accountable for mistakes. Exceptional leaders earn the support of followers, even the ones who sometimes disagree with them, because they know how to listen and appropriately respond to what they hear.The ability to lead comes from making contact with people and doing it often not from sitting around pontificating on how to be a leader. Thomas Paine wrote the Common Sense and Crisis Papers. His opinion was lead, follow, or get out of the way. We have all known people in positions of leadership who needed to get their egos out of the way. The saying “too many chiefs” comes to mind. We have all known people who will blindly follow shiny non-sense all the way over a cliff. Okay back to me…..
I’ve had dead-end jobs.
I’ve had good jobs that I failed to appreciate just how good I had it.
I have worked for the hopeless, the helpless, the users, and the losers. I have also worked for the good-hearted, the gracious, the grateful, and the generous.
For the moment, I am working for readers. Every day I am hoping, waiting, and so very much wanting them to recognize that I will follow their lead and write what they need to give them a laugh or a reason to open their minds.
WordPress is one of several partners that have teamed up to give me the tools to make the most of this exciting opportunity. WordPress developers have created this terrific platform and I am humbled by the skill, knowledge, and talent I have come across since beginning this blog. I like the hosting features. I like the geniuses who make it all work and that they call themselves automatticians. I like discovering information posted by other bloggers, some of whom not only post excellent content but also honor me by following mine. I must also give credit to my mega partner Amazon.com for offering an outstanding self-publishing service through CreateSpace and the best distribution channels for my book. This creative and sometimes exhausting journey isn’t easy for me, but if anything goes awry, it is because of my own impatience, inexperience, and yes, my half analog half digital brain. Thomas Paine also said, “What we obtain too cheap we esteem to lightly.” For my investment, I have to say, I hold this labor of love in high regard.
If you are interested, check out the new Follow The Leaders on my sidebar for some links I think are worth following. You might just find exactly what you’ve been looking for.