Have’t done one of these in a while. This one is awesome
This is just a test post – feel free to ignore it
This is an opinion piece that, I believe, is a long time in coming. Written by James Davis Nicoll, he discusses the necessary evolution of science fiction based on science facts. He does a great job of explaining, why writers need to adjust their stories the more we learn about other planets. His focus was on the pulp stories of the early to mid 20th century and the writer’s depictions of the other planets in our system.
I skimmed over some of the comments, They seem to be close in line with what James states in his piece. It’s my opinion that writers working on science fiction have a much better chance of successful sales if they’re work is based in science fact.
I’m going to be 48 this year. Yikes! As I contemplate my life I wanted to share some things I’ve learned in my journey.\
We’re all familiar with the words ‘do unto others as you would have done unto you.’
Sage words, and yet so few people live by them.
Here’s what people have taught me:
When you see something at a friend’s home and you’d like it for yourself- just take it.
When someone asks for your help with something, like moving, tell them you’ll do it, for a price.
When someone hosts meal gatherings, and you know they’re on a tight budget- still show up, and when they ask for help in the cost- stop showing up.
When someone confides in you that someone is hurting them, tell them ‘it’s all in your head.
Make sure to tell your friends how you miss hanging out with them- especially the ones without cars, and you have one. Make this comment sweeter by telling them you’re some place just around the corner.
If you feel cheated out of your life dreams, do the best you can to sabotage someone from achieving theirs.
Put yourself first, no one is more important than you are- so go ahead and cut in front of that city bus because you come first.
Everyone is prejudice and racist. It doesn’t matter what the truth is, because it’s about the color of your skin.
Sometimes you have badger or berate someone to get them to see things ” the right way” meaning yours.
Don’t bother asking someone for their side, your perspective is good enough.
Opinions are more important than truth
I could go on but I think, that is, I hoe you get the gist of what I’m getting at. And people shake their heads wondering what is wrong with the world. People need to take a look around, and especially look at their own ways.
We say we want a better world but what are WE, individually, doing to make it so?
Examples from my own life:
The Maintenance man of my last apartment complex took of box of my DVDs. Sure, I can replace most of the movies unfortunately there were some I cannot. The point is, instead of going to a store and buying copies for himself- he decided take mine. The manager of the complex protected him.
I asked the folks at my church for help in moving my possessions into a storage unit. Two friends were able to help. Elizabeth Lee helped as she could. And then there’s Jana Erdmann. She wrangled up her sons and some of their friends. I was in absolute amazement at how she coordinated them. Elizabeth and I were concerned that there might not be enough room in the 5 by 10 unit. Jana and her team made it all fit with a little room to spare. No one asked for a dime. When I offered money, Jana said don’t worry about it.
What do these ladies do?
They are true friends, they know and understand the value of friendship. Outside of work, Elizabeth nurtures her family and friends. She is a daughter, and sister. She is patient, kind, understanding and when she doesn’t understand something, she questions.
Jana is a wife, a mother, a teacher, and a missionary. Even with her large family and home life plus church activities, some how she still finds the time to do missions. She teaches women, in less fortunate regions, how to use sewing machines so they can earn a living.
Now, who’s making the world a better place?
I am thankful to God for people like Liz and Jana. They are two women, strong in the Lord and yet so different from each other.
What society has shown me is very bleak and wrong in so many ways. What these ladies have shown me is that to be better, we must rise above what society peddles.
We need to start treating people the way we want to be treated.
If we want respect we need to be respectful. We need to show consideration, sympathy, empathy, and steer clear of manipulation, lies, and coercion. We also need to check our egos. While we may all be important, not one of us is more important than anyone else.
With this ‘me first’ attitude; realize that you do not have to be first in line. You will still get to where you’re going, even if you’re driving behind a city bus.
When it comes to opinions, we should look for the facts first. We shouldn’t make up our minds, form our opinion based on what one person says. Anyone who watches the TV show NCIS knows about Gibb’s Rules. One of them is about verifying.
Rule # 3 Don’t believe what you’re told. Double check
Colombo would say “just the facts ma’am’.
The lesson is short- we can make a better world by being better to each other.
Listen to the lyrics, or better yet, read the lyrics of Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror”
Even better- read the Bible. There are lessons in the Word about how to treat each other, how to behave. People say there’s no manual on life. There is. It’s called the Bible.
Even if you’re not a believer, the morals and lessons inside are invaluable.
Today I read a blog post by Kristi Holl, one of the writers I follow. She re-shared this post that she made from 6 years ago: When Your Writer’s Personality is Rejected
I was unable to post a comment so I opted to share my word in a blog post. Please read Kristi’s post to see what inspired my response.
Some of the signs of a writer’s personality
~ you’re sensitive to emotions, yours and others
~ you notice things that tend to gets passed others
~ solitude is your friend
~ you like to think and think deep
~ you tend to be introverted, the observer at parties, not center stage.
Thank you Kristi. I grew up feeling like everybody hated me. As a child, I wasn’t invited to many parties and was always the last one picked for a team. In my teens, I fell into a debilitating depression. Writing was my one solace. It’s what got me through the loss of my adopted Dad when I was 12.
I was thrilled when two of my teachers said I had talent and should focus on it. One suggested I consider becoming a writer. Unfortunately, it was the one thing my family did not want me doing. They were not supportive and sabotaged my efforts emotionally with negative comments. And yet, while they each had a love of reading, they had not read anything of mine. They didn’t even want me going to college. One relative actually said “You need to give up your dream and go to work for McDonald’s.”
I pulled away from them, drew more towards my writing. It’s what got me through the chaos. Believing that something was wrong with me, I leaned on my writing for the sake of my sanity. I had no idea that I was some kind of normal. I didn’t know that these traits of mine were geared towards a specific personality. Now I know thanks to you.
It’s a relief to know that there is nothing wrong with our personalities. As the phrasing goes, people are geared for different things. Some people are geared for center stage. Some are geared to write about those in center stage. It is such a wonder to see how many different personality sets there are. It would be a dull and boring world if we were all geared the same way.
I’m still looking for my writing companions. I’ve found many other writers. Some have stuck with me. Some are like fleeting moments. This can be a good thing by choosing the positives of the moment. Others though, treat writing as a competition. This is not a good thing when a writer is looking for connections, companions, community, and shared support.
I’ve griped about it already but now, I’ve had it. I’m disgusted. When I was in Iowa I did a search for rent in Florida. It was extensive, we’re talking weeks worth of searching. I was finding places renting one bedrooms for $ 400 to 450. Many of them allowed one, up to two cats. I felt hopeful that I could find a place. I even saw ads for one of my old, and favorite apartments renting for $300. If I had known that this was a lie, I would have stayed where I was. At least I knew the truth there.
After I moved down, I checked those places again. The apartments I was interested in. The prices had gone up in a matter of months. Those $ 400-450 units are now $ 500 to 600. That favorite apartment is now $ 800. And cats? It’s now ‘no pets allowed’.
I feel like I’ve been duped, lied to, deceived. There’s even one place that advertises $ 399 a month on the newspaper site. When I found the complex on apartments.com it was different. The rent listed was $ 550. I saw the reviews and most complained that it was $ 399 for the first 2 months then the landlord jacks the price to $ 550. RED FLAG!
I’ve looked at pictures to some of these places. We’re not talking about fancy, 5 star complexes with crystal clear, heated pools, in unit laundry / connections. We’re talking about base line apartment. Places that don’t even offer dishwashers or central heat and air. Places that are under 500 square feet.
To me, this is greed plain and simple. If these were hotels, we’re talking 2, maybe 3 stars worth. There is no reason why these little places should be renting for so high other than pure greed.
I’ve said it before. I am powerless, average Jane citizen. The ones who do have the power do nothing except let it happen. Most people just shrug or say ‘it is what it is.’ Meanwhile, the rent keeps going higher. People get priced out of a place to live because their income isn’t 3 times the rent.
Sure, there’s housing programs like Section 8. The problem is that these only work when they’re OPEN. From what I’ve been seeing, the sites for these programs are saying the lists are CLOSED.
I’ve seen a few places that advertise low income housing. The problems here are that they don’t answer their phones and they don’t return calls.
What else I know for certain is that I can’t stay where I’m at. There’s no access to public transit. I can’t afford to go back to Iowa. The money isn’t there. So, I’m stuck in a place I can’t stay. I am out of ideas. So, I am asking for help.
Please do not suggest that I give up my cat. I’ve had her for over 10 years. In 2017, I lost two cats one month apart. Then, I had to give up the 3rd one. Athena helped me through these losses. The thought of losing her makes me ill. I can’t lose her too.
Today I am 10 days away from the next chapter or book of my life. As I write this I think about several things; asking myself important questions about this current chapter or book of the last 19 years. Things like: Is everything done? What’s left to do? Have I missed anything?
Change isn’t easy but it is inevitable. I believe that if you’re feeling stuck or trapped in your situation, when an opportunity comes up for change we need to pounce like playful kittens. This has finally happened for me and I’m pouncing.
I left Tampa Florida in June of 2001. I suppose that it’s fitting that my return to Florida is also in June. It’s almost hard to believe that it’s been 19 years. I don’t feel it. I don’t look 47. To be honest, I don’t feel like I’ve aged, physically. Mentally is another story.
In reflecting on this time, I had some growth both spiritually and academically. I’m not where I’d like to be with either one but I am better than I was when I left home. With my writing, I have more projects than before. Sadly only the academic papers and one non-RPG story are finished.
For a time it seemed like I was making progress, that my life was finally moving forward then in 2005 my life came to a halt. I decided to take time off college to pay off some debts. This took longer than I anticipated and since this, I’ve felt like my life has stalled.
Yes, I got a lot of debt paid off but, honestly, its debt I wouldn’t have had had I been smarter with my finances and not smoked. It’s mind-blowing when you quit – you realize just how much of your money goes towards that habit. It’s a lesson learned. There are many reasons why I’m glad I gave up this habit.
When I look back on the time since there’s been little to no progress. At least not by society’s standards. To make a list of what I have accomplished, it’s not as long as I had hoped or wanted.
My Top 5 Major Accomplishments:
- Earned 21 transferable college credits.
- Paid off roughly $ 20,000 in debts.
- Quit smoking
- Eliminated the clones / copies of files among my writings.
- Made my first A in a math class that I can remember ever making.
When I look at my writing. I know 2 things for certain: 1, I should have finished with the IFW course over 15 years ago. 2. I should have finished a number of projects long ago. Publication is a separate issue. Sadly, I don’t. What I do have or rather did accomplish was the elimination of the clones, multitude of copies of my manuscripts.
With this, I think about the people who told me things like “don’t do it.”, “Scrap them and start fresh.” Etc… So many said so many things that told me to simply give up on my manuscripts. I was determined though. A friend and I spoke about something completely unrelated. She told me about her problems with duplicate files and how they were a pain. I mentioned that I had the same problem with my novels. She told me about duplicate file finder programs. Problem solved. These programs knocked out the clones within months. They saved me uncountable years worth of aggravation from manual comparison.
I have tried to get back to writing; it hasn’t been easy. There’s problems around me that are beyond my control. I’m not physically comfortable- I need a new office chair but can’t afford one. To some, this sounds like an excuse. Others, however, understand the importance of being comfortable when writing. The right chair, the right sounds, the right environment are all important aspects to have before writing.
While my apartment has been good for a lot of things, writing has not been one of them. Anyone how has or does live in an apartment complex, especially an old one, knows what I mean. The walls may nor be thin but the loud and hard noises get through. Music is the worst, arguments come second. If someone lives above you- there’s every footfall, every item dropped. If there’s a dog or a baby, forget peace and quiet.
With this new chapter / book I’m hopefully. I’ll be living with my Mom and Step-Dad. They have a home on roughly 3 acres in country like area. My hope is that this will mean quieter days. Yes, they have a number of animals: cats, chickens, and dogs. What they don’t have is neighbors upstairs, on the other side of the wall, or children playing in the stairwell outside the front door. Not to mention screaming children outside the window. So, I am hopeful.
Here’s to the next chapter… the next book, on my life.