the wisdom of ee cummings

thought for the weekend – or really whenever you feel like thinking….

❤ Annie

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It’s okay if you cry

You’re feeling confused and maybe a little scared. Go ahead, cry. It’s okay. Life is overwhelming. There’s so much to do. You don’t know where to start. Even if you did know where to start, you’d second guess yourself anyway. You’d convince yourself that you were wrong and then you’d get confused all over again. So yeah, go ahead, cry. Let it out.

Everyone else is just so on top of it. They know where they’re going and why and how and they’re flying toward that goal like Icarus toward the sun. While inferior you sits on the sidelines and feels nothing but envy. That awful green stuff in your gut that makes you dizzy and nauseous. It’s not fair is it? Everybody else in the know but you’re in the dark. So really, it’s okay – cry. Cry great big buckets of giant tears. Fill the pool or the Jacuzzi with them. I understand. I really do. Let it out. Cry.

You failed. That hurts. A lot. You don’t know why you failed and that hurts more. A lot more. It’s not that you aren’t trying. You are. You’re trying so hard that your brain cells are blistered, your mind is bleeding, and your soul is circling the drain. Go ahead. Cry. It’s really okay.

Then tomorrow….

Start again.

The Grumble List

I don’t know about you but I have a few pet peeves. They’re really small unimportant things that I shouldn’t let bother me – but no matter what, this stuff sets my teeth on edge. Some are universal and some may just be me. But since I’m in the mood to grumble, here they are:

Men proclaiming to be feminists. Now, it’s not that I don’t appreciate the sentiment, I understand it’s an attempt at compassion or empathy. Still, sorry fellas, if you’re not a woman, you’re not a feminist. I mean, when was the last time you spent a job interview having some guy stare at your chest? Or called you honey or baby at work? Don’t even get me started on mechanics, auto salesman, salaries and everything else.

Auto dialers, auto responders, auto messages, auto tweets. There’s nothing quite as heartwarming as having somebody from a phone center auto dial you and not notice when you’ve answered the phone. Although sometimes the conversations you overhear while the jackhammer doesn’t know you’re listening can be great material for characters. Ditto on auto responders, messages, tweets – anything that just comes automatically and has little similarity to a human being.

Pets and children out of control. In a park or a Chuck E. Cheese you definitely expect kids to be running around like wild unrestrained creatures but not in a restaurant, or a grocery store. I understand that kids are hard to handle and parents are often overworked, stressed out and so forth. But when I see a kid climbing the grocery shelves while his mother is talking to her BFF on her cell phone I want to call Child Services. Same with dogs running loose. Sure, in the dog park, not a problem, in your yard, also not a problem. But when I’m walking my little mutt on a city street and an unknown Doberman bounds toward us without an apparent owner in sight, I’m not amused. Especially when the owner (who eventually appears) laughs and says he’s harmless.

Cashiers who hand you your change and receipt all in one stack, without counting it back to you. What are you supposed to do with a receipt, bills and change all dumped into your hand? You know the person behind you wants you to move so you can’t stand there and separate it, especially since his shopping cart is butting up against your butt. And I’m glad that the cashier has counted my change back to him/herself because if it’s good enough for him/her, heck it’s good enough for me.

People who expect you to be their audience. I know a few people who a seriously lacking in conversational skills. Their idea of a conversation is for you to stand there while they espouse their opinion on something, a topic you aren’t even interested in, and essentially tell them how brilliant they are. If you dare to interrupt them with an opinion of your own on the topic, you usually get a wagging finger and a blunt, “I’m not finished yet.” Sorry, I’ve got news for you buddy, I’m totally finished.

What about you? What sets your teeth on edge and drives you up the wall? Have you found a way to not let it bother you? How did you do it? Let me know in the comments.

Writer Chick

With your whole heart – Are you all in or all out?

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I’m one of those people who does things with their whole heart. I can’t be halfway. I’m either all in or all out. It’s just how I’m wired. Some see it as a character flaw because you know, I take things to heart. I take things personally. Because to me, it is personal. I mean anything that is part of my life is personal, isn’t it?

Sure I’ve tried to develop a thick skin and act like things don’t matter. It’s just a job or a crappy review, or some guy I didn’t want to date anyway – whatever it doesn’t matter. But doesn’t it? If it’s part of your life, it is personal. Doesn’t it have to be? I think so.

I once had a friend who told me she puts things in boxes. In her head. Must be a pretty organized head, right. You know? This argument goes in this box. This catastrophe goes in this box. My grocery list goes in another box. Wow, I sit back in wonder of people who can do this. I can’t.

But the truth is, I don’t want to live in a box. I want to live in the waves that threaten to drown me and tap dance in  thunder storms wearing my tin foil hat. Wail like a banshee when something hurts. Laugh like an idiot when something tickles me. I want all the colors in the crayon box. And I don’t want to color inside the lines either. Vivid, bright colors that make you shield your eyes. I want to talk loud when I’m excited, wear red lipstick just because, and paint my nails purple because it’s pretty. Eat the whole loaf of bread I just pulled out of the oven and slather it in butter.

Life is there to live, to experience, to try, to fail, to sometimes succeed. Maybe even to fly. So…with my whole heart I choose to aim for the skies. I’m all in.Always. Come what may.

What about you? Are you all in? All out? Do you feel with your whole heart? Do you hold back because you’re worried what people will think? Do you take one cookie when you want 10?

Speak with your whole heart (or whatever part you care to share) in the comments.

Writer Chick

Daylight savings, birthdays and starting over

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I’m cranky because of the whole spring forward thing which is ironic because it isn’t even officially spring yet, right? And I’ve always wondered how they can call it daylight savings since you have to cutting an hour of daylight from the morning and giving it to the evening, doesn’t in fact give us more daylight, and doesn’t seem to save much. watch

 

 

I have a birthday coming up and I used really look forward to birthdays – now not so much. Not because of the age issue because let’s face, you’re as old as you are and you aren’t going to change it, right. But mostly because my family and friends have over the years slipped into apathy about birthdays and holidays in general. In fact, my buddy Zelda actually chastises me for giving her birthday gifts. Wow. Really? Well it doesn’t matter because I’ll continue to give them to her anyway, and I can’t wait to see her reaction to the birthday card I found for her – guaranteed to shoot milk straight out of her nose. And to any birthday naysayers out there I say this. Birthdays are awesome. They are the day you get to show the people you love that they’re special – if only for the 15 minutes it takes for them to open the card, the gift and shove a cupcake in their mouth. And is it really so much trouble to take 15-20 minutes out of a day and show somebody you like that you like them? Anyway… balloon-boy

 

 

 

You know what it’s like when you bake a cake you’ve really been wanting to make? You know, you’ve got this awesome picture in your head of how it will look, how it will smell and the flavor that will explode in your mouth when you take the first bite. But then reality takes over and what you end up with is a lopsided, dry, badly decorated amorphous glob? Yeah. So starting over. lopsided cake

 

 

If this post doesn’t make sense then I say we blame on daylights savings, birthday haters, and lopsided cakes.

Tomorrow I may write something more cogent. Could happen.

Peace out

Writer Chick

That damn dress and other blog posts I loved this week

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Though there were lots of blog posts around the Internet this week, these are my faves. Lucky us we have the weekend to check them out. 😀

Of course life would not be complete if the Internet wasn’t exploding about something or other. But really is the dress white and gold? Black and blue? Let science explain. Here’s the science behind that goddamn dress

Fascinating that this social media venue seems to be leaving all others in the dust. 10 Amazing Facts About Pinterest Marketing That Will Surprise You

Who knew the word princess could cause such a shit-storm of controversy? The comments are very interesting and entertaining.  The Princess Author Syndrome

I found this whole concept fascinating and thought I might give it a try myself. I love the intimacy aspect too.  Reaching Readers: 7 Reasons You Need A Walking Podcast

For those of us looking for ways to stand out as authors, audio books are something to consider. Good nuts and bolts post on the how-to’s.  How to Produce Audiobooks with Amazon ACX

Which is the best venue for you? Read the post and you decide.  Amazon vs Apple

Have a great weekend.

WC

 

Nine things that will always be free

photo courtesy of morguefile.com
photo courtesy of morguefile.com

Lint. We don’t know where it comes from or how it seems to spontaneously appear out of thin air but no one has ever capitalized on this free resource (as far as we know) so grab all the free lint you can. Who knows maybe you’ll figure out a way to make sweaters and mittens from it.

Opinions. Like the saying goes……everybody has one. Often you don’t have to ask for an opinion because others will gladly tell you whether you like it or not. Warning: These free verbal projectiles are frequently composed of volatile and unstable materials, especially when uttered on social media channels.

Baby smiles and puppy dog wags. You do not have to have a baby or own a dog to get either. They are spontaneous gifts and you should savor each one.

Advice. Especially bad advice. Like opinions, is it offered without solicitation, covers a wide range of topics, and can be provocative. Caution: When accepting advice bear in mind that you get what you pay for.

Bad luck and trouble. This dynamic duo can appear without warning and is usually inexplicable. From nails in tires to cat fights in McDonalds you can get caught in the crossfire by simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Because of its indiscriminate nature do not dwell on it or it will grow –wondering why it happened to you will only encourage it to spend more time with you. Like dust and pollen, it is simply part of the flotsam and jetsam of the universe.

Germs. Like opinions and bad advice, germs abound. They are hard to see and live on every surface known to man. If you were to magnify these babies you’d run screaming in the other direction because they are the inspiration for horror story monsters and Halloween movies. They are sneaky and can get into your system at any time—hand sanitizer and soap are your friends.

Something on the Internet. No matter how things change or advance there will always be something ‘free’ on the Internet. Of course, often what is labeled as free on the Internet has been stolen or pirated from someone or somewhere else, so beware.

Sunlight and air. I’m not sure these two necessary for life items will always be free since the government loves to find ways to charge us for nature has given us. And you see the occasional article about some bozo claiming squatting rights on the sun – but until (or unless) a planet-wide biodome is put in place you can probably count on sucking up this stuff to your heart’s content.

Your own thoughts. Despite Internet data tracking and viruses – GPS, satellites, and spy agencies – so far, no one has managed to break into the human mind successfully (although many have tried). And based on current trends, soon, your mind may be the only private place left on the planet. So be kind to your mind, feed it daily with information, knowledge, art, experience and wisdom. Cram it full of things that expand its boundaries and enable it to travel to hitherto unknown regions. Protect it from strangers and never give anyone the password.

You’d think there’d be more than nine things that are really truly free. If I missed something be sure to point it out to me or add to the list.

Writer Chick
Copyright 2015

Ranting, Bashing and Speaking Before Thinking

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Let’s face it we all have bad days. Sometimes even bad weeks, months or years. It happens. Somebody says something or does something, or you make a terrible decision that comes back and knocks the heck out of you. If it’s traumatic, it’s hard to recover – no matter what you do.

And when we’re upset, sometimes our first inclination is to strike back. We’re not doormats after all, right? We shouldn’t take it lying down, right? All’s fair in love and war, right? Maybe not so much.

If someone wrongs you, has inflicted unwarranted pain on you, discouraged you, or flat out attacked you – then you have a right to counter-attack. Don’t you? Perhaps. Maybe if you could keep it strictly between you and the offender. But the problem is that in modern life, nothing is private. Even your disagreements with your spouse are likely to end up on Facebook or Twitter. So attacking your attacker with wild abandon may come back to bite you.

Don’t Click that Publish Button Yet

Too many people allow themselves to be swept away by their emotional response to a slight, insult, bad review, criticism, etc. Since everybody in the world has a blog, the first impulse is to write a scathing blog post about this terrible thing that has happened to you. But wait. Do you really want your mother to see that? How about a future prospect? Thousands of strangers? Your boss? Your clients, customers or readers? How will they respond? Chances are, not very well.

Sure, go ahead and write that post but don’t publish it. Let it sit there. Read it two weeks from now. Still want to publish it? If so, let it sit another two weeks, go back, and read it again. Chances are you’ll end up deleting it. And be glad you didn’t publish it. While striking back may make you feel better in the heat of the moment, there are a lot of reasons you should reconsider:

  • You could be wrong. Maybe you just misunderstood something and lept to conclusions
  • Others will be turned off and think you are petty
  • You may lose readers, customers, friends or other allies
  • You could be perceived as petty, angry and/or arrogant or even a bully
  • It could hurt others who don’t deserve it
  • It doesn’t change the situation and often makes it worse

The Best Revenge is Success

If you have any kind of online presence or your career puts you in the public eye, you’ll have detractors. It’s simply a fact of life. You can’t get away from it and if you try to attack it, things will only get worse because you chance starting a never-ending battle of being right. Think about it – do you really want to be engaged in the fight forever? So, what can you do?

To quote Vito Corleone:

“Revenge is a dish best served cold.”

Depending on the type of attack, there are plenty of strategies you can use:

  • Ignore it
  • Hire a reputation management company
  • File a lawsuit
  • Provide documentation that demonstrates that accusation is false

In most cases, you don’t have to go as far as the above suggestions; generally, you can just go about your business, stay focused and succeed. People who try to engage you in firefights and online spats aren’t succeeding, which is why they feel the need to attack you. In you, they see a threat. It may only be real in their minds but that is likely what is motivating them. There’s no need for you to play the game. You should feel sorry for them and then move on. If you do, eventually they’ll get bored and move on too.

If you really want to get their goat – prosper and flourish. Succeed. Do you own thing. That’s what counts, right? Your own goals and what you’re trying to achieve? Not some petty words or acts committed by someone you barely know. Believe in yourself and carry on. Believe me, there’s nothing that drives naysayers crazier than that.

If you have to rant – do so in front of your dog or another non-English speaking creatures that don’t have access to a computer. You’ll feel better and nobody will be any the wiser.

What do you think about ranting and bashing on the Internet? Do you do it? Do you like it? Hate it? How do you handle such situations?

Writer Chick
Copyright 2015

The Mystery of the flat tire in Sizzler’s parking lot

mystery of the flat tire

Haven’t talked to my BFF,  Zelda, for a few weeks. We’re both cray-cray because we’re trying to get stuff done. Me the book series, she her information product package.

Anyway, she was hungry, I was hungry – it seemed a trip to Sizzler was in order. The big draw being the all you can eat salad bar. Because, you know…All. You. Can. Eat. Big appeal to those of us on a budget, right?

I told her about my project. She told me about her project. We ate. Then we ate some more. And just for good measure, we ate some more.

Sizzler apparently closes at nine o’clock now. I guess people don’t get hungry after nine in our town. The server was nice. Eyes averted he asked us if we wanted more plate (for the all you can eat salad bar) but his voice said please don’t ask for more plates because my feet hurt and I want to go home and soak them. Also, behind him, other workers were breaking down the salad bar, turning off lights and whipping out industrial sized mops. Hint-hint.

On the way out I blamed Zelda for letting me eat too much. She told me to shut up.

So out we walk to the mostly empty parking lot. It was a gloriously cool evening and after the weeks of ball-breaking heat we’d been experiencing, I was feeling uber happy. At last, Fall had arrived.

“Oh my God,” Zelda said.

My head jerked left and right. “What?”

“I don’t f’ing believe it.”

Head bobbing up and down. “What? What? What?

Zelda bent over the left front fender. “The tire is flat.”

“Damn.” Still, I had to grin because whenever Zelda and I get together, it’s always something. We just have that kind of karma.

But not to worry, Zelda had a mini compressor in her trunk (Zelda has many magical things in her trunk – more about that later). Yes, they make those. Who knew? It’s cool, you hook it up to the car battery, it blows air in your tire and you’re off to the races.

Except, not so much. The compressor didn’t work. Zelda frowned. “Hmmmmm, it worked last month.”

Okay, Plan A definitely not working.

I called my room-mate. Voice mail. Hmmmmmm.

We flipped the switch on and off, played with the electrical lead. Begged. Pleaded. That compressor could not be sweet-talked.

Zelda decided to call Triple A. Okay Plan B. Auto Club. Sounds good.

She also had to use the rest room in the grocery store a few steps away.

Time passed.

I tried my room-mate again.

More time passed.

The homeless folks wielding shopping carts rattled by. And a guy in a weird truck drove circles in the lot.

More time passed.

I called my room-mate.

Apparently I was alone on the planet.

Then Zelda emerged from the grocery carrying buckets (don’t ask) – the phone stuck to her ear and rolling her eyes.

That was the second call to the auto club and apparently the driver was coming in 20 minutes, which technically is what they told her 20 minutes before.

We decided to get the spare out of the trunk, so the Triple A guy could change the tire faster. Not sure there was real logic there as much as it gave us something to do.

Now to get to the tire we needed to move some stuff. A lot of stuff. Water bottles, microwave mac’n cheese, ski poles, duffel bags, a tarp – like I said, Zelda has many magical things in her trunk. We emptied the contents into the backseat, which made her Lexus look more like Jed Clampett’s ride than an awesome luxury vehicle.

Just when all hope seemed lost, the drive rolled up. My pulse quickened, my eyes gleamed – I might get home by ten o’clock and catch a rerun on TV.

Driver was a nice guy – shaved head, I imagined with a wife and five kids. He looked that tired. He whips out his fancy jack, wheels it over, puts it in the right spot of the car and pumps. All good.

He fights a bit with the lug nuts but he wasn’t about to lose that battle and the lug nuts finally relented. Okay, we’re moving into the final leg of the journey.

He wiggles the wheel to get it loose. And then the car rolls back because he didn’t chock the back wheel.

Steam coming out of Zelda’s ear. Me grasping her arm so she won’t slug him.

Sigh.

The bad tire did manage to absorb some of the fall and the driver’s fancy jack helped some too. Except that now the jack was smooshed up. Need a new jack.

Driver shuffles to his truck to call the dispatcher.

Zelda mutters and takes pictures of her wheel base for proving damage. I smell a nasty letter in somebody’s future.

More time passes. Is it even still Friday?

Another driver shows up. He’s young, friendly, lots of energy. This could be better. Time is spent deliberating how to get the car up without bending the frame or something like that. Talk, huddling, mutters.

Somehow they (after they’d chocked the back tire) manage to raise up the car and get the spare tire on. Lugs nuts on.

Okay pulse quickening once again. Just a few more minutes and we’re on our way. Oh-oh, the spare is flat too.

The happy driver has an air compressor on board. Yay.

Tire inflates. Phew!

We wave, blow kisses, thank the drivers profusely. Just get me the hell home, I think.

The happy driver makes a sad face. “Wow,” he says, “good thing we got the air in that tire, my compressor just broke.”

I looked at Zelda, “Drive, damn it, just drive. Before something else happens.”

So I got home just before eleven. Zelda didn’t call so I assume she got home too.

Weird thing was, we couldn’t see any damage to the original tire. Just flat as a pancake. No obvious or apparent damage. Oh well, that’s a mystery for another day. True story.

So, how was your Friday night?

Writer Chick
Copyright 2014

10 Things That Will Never Go Out of Style

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A smile. Whether you’ve got perfect white teeth or a mouthful of metal, when you smile at someone they will smile back. And you’ve given them just a little something they didn’t have before.

A helping hand. Helping someone just because they need it and there is nothing in it for you

Blue jeans. No explanation needed

Good manners. We were all taught to say please and thank you as kids and just because you’re an adult doesn’t mean you’ve outgrown the lesson. Good manners are the lubricant of a civilized society.

Kindness. It doesn’t hurt, costs nothing and can make a difference to the person who receives it.

Stories. As long as humans roam the Earth there will always be stories to tell and tell again. It’s the way we share history, beliefs, traditions and our feelings.

Love. There is not a creature on Earth that doesn’t respond to love and acceptance.

America. No matter how many groups, people or politicians criticize this country – we are still unique and value personal liberties and freedom more than any other nation on Earth. And really if all the naysaying were true – would millions of people risk life and limb just to try to get here?

Beauty. Not just physical human beauty. The perfect the sunset, a painting that inspires emotion, a perfectly executed dance, a meal cooked to perfection, babies laughing, flowers sprouting in the snow. We are surrounded by beauty – we only have to open our eyes.

Grace. Webster’s defines grace as: disposition to or an act or instance of kindness, courtesy, or clemency. Although there are other definitions it is this kind of grace that I reference. To be kind, to show courtesy and understanding when you don’t have to. To forgive when others have wronged you. To carry on despite impossible circumstances. That is the kind of grace I hope to embody someday.

What are your top ten things that will never go out of style?

Writer Chick