LRWG # 9

I’ve just finished reading the manual pages of lesson # 9 with Long Ridge. The amazing part was not the absence of external distractions, or anything negative. It felt like the cosmos had left me alone in this regard. Still, the amazing part was how my mind conjured an idea for a new story. With 70+ stories roaming through my grey matter I didn’t think there was room for another. LOL

Suffice to say, this plot bunny has been born. ( wink to WJ ). This 3,000 word story will be contemporary fiction rooted in nonfiction. While the characters aren’t real, the situation they face has been and will be real for many people, including myself.

I am going to focus on the subject of the stigma against community colleges. Despite the rising costs of tuition, books, and supplies- many people look down on those who choose to take this route. They seem to think that it’s beneath them. Sadly, in the end ( with today’s economy ) they end up with a sour disposition and massive debt in student loans. This is not so for people who choose to attend their local community colleges. More times than not, these schools are greater than 50% cheaper than the traditional 4 year ones.

Sure, there’s a level of prestige from attending certain traditional schools. But they also come with a hefty bill.

So, my goal with lesson 9 is to depict a character, just graduated from high school who’s coping with the issue. As I haven’t written the story yet, I don’t want to give away too much right now. It is a story in development after all. I will share all about it on other side of the lesson. My deadline is December 15th.

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What’s in a Name? Novel Titles

Today, I was inspired by an article that suggested using the incognito feature. So, I did and found 3 other writers producing works with the same title.

The Zodiac Chronicles.

Thankfully, it’s not the title that’s copyrighted, it’s the work within that is. And each one of us is writing something different. One is a story about vampires, another is about angels vs. demons. With the 3rd one, I don’t know what his book is about I just know that he had asked one of the others about theirs and that his book was titled The Zodiac Chronicles: Cancer.

Those who know my might be thinking “Oh no, she’s hitting the panic button.” This will show you how much I’ve changed. I’m not panicking or throwing any kind of drama-queen spat. Truthfully, I am curious about what others are doing under this title. This isn’t because of competition, it’s because I’m curious and interested in what they’ve come up with.

Okay, so what am I getting at with this? Is this proof of the ‘collective consciousness’? Is this proof that there are no more original ideas?

I don’t know but I have my suspicions on that collective consciousness thing. Seriously, what I do know is that there is a multitude of works out there published, produced, etc, that use the same titles. There have been a few times where someone has asked or commented about their concerns of someone ‘stealing’ their ideas, book titles, etc.

I know this feeling. I’ve lived under this threat for a decade or so. I guess what I’m getting at with my ramblings is that these things happen. We can choose to get upset, or name our works, or respond in some negative way.

The thing to remember is that – while people may remember the title, it’s what’s inside the covers that counts.

One prime example is the title Heartland. First there is the series / collection of novels by Lauren Brooke. This is the series that the show is based on- of the same name. if you visit IMDB.com and type in this title; you will get a list of the various shows- past, present, and future with this title.

So, I guess my point is this: if you’re concerned because someone else is using ‘your’ title- as they say in NY, ‘forgetaboutit’. It’s what you put between the covers that counts.

Philippians 2:3

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.

IMO

Whether you are a believer or not- there are passages in the Bible that just make sense. If you want to be a better human being, humility and common sense are keys.

Getting Out of Debt Project

How Much More To Go?

I was asked this question today in Sunday Morning Bible Study. I estimated about $ 5,000 not including the credit cards and student loans- aka the interest debts. The interest is the reason why I count them separately because it messes with my brain and I seldom get it right.

First a bit of a rant:

In thinking about my ‘get out of debt’ project- when I got home from church, I decided to check my excel files. While I’ve been working with The Money Makeover, I’ve not been following it 100%. Some debt collectors have just not been willing to work with me, however, most of them have. Of the ones who have opted to not cooperate, they’re akin to bullies.

Yes, I accumulated / caused the debt. Items had become debts because I did not have the means to pay for them in full- up front. A few dollars here and a few over there adds up. All I ask is that the collectors work with me on payments. As I mentioned, some of them will and some of them won’t. They want their money yesterday before everyone else- and to hell with my juggling my budget or getting to eat. They practice bullying tactics and as a result, I move them to the bottom of the list. Whereas, the more cooperative a collector is the more I’m willing to work with them- give them a higher priority.

I’ve been bullied for more years than I care to count and in more ways than I care to discuss AND I AM DONE! I will no longer be bullied, no matter who you think you are.

The people whom I owe money to will get it as I can give it without sacrificing my regular bills or my food.

With that out of the way- here’s my standing in a nutshell.

I started my ‘get out of debt’ project in 2007; when I decided I wanted to buy a home. Since then, God willing and by His grace, I’ve managed to pay off over $ 25,600 (not including interest debts). I have managed to pay over $ 2,000 each years, in some years (due to bullying tactics) I paid more. So far, this year, I have paid over $ 2,800 and there are still 2 months to go. There was some bullying but not as much as previous years.

As things stand right now, I have passed the half-way mark on the combined total of my debts. After December’s payments I estimate that I will have just under $ 5,000 remaining on my non-interest debts.

Of the interest debts, I’m counting the number of payments remaining.

The Visa will be paid off in 6 months
The MasterCard will be paid off in 11 months
And the rest of the cards will be paid in full – through Care One Credit in 27 months.

Then- the only interest debts I will have are my student loans.

This experience has taught me a valuable lesson which I pass along to you.
If you have an income of less than $ 20,000 a year and have student loans to pay- you have NO business having credit cards. Life will be a lot easier without them.