Tuesday, March 31, 2015

I'm Just Sayin' . . .

So, it was my turn to blog yesterday, but I’ve been fighting off yet another nasty bug that has been going around. Good times/NOT!!! Today is a bit better, so I decided to take laptop in hand and make an attempt at writing a post. We’ll see how it goes; if it doesn’t make sense—we’ll blame it on the cold medicine. ;) 

It’s interesting, the thoughts that come to mind when you have time to sit back and ponder life. The first day felt rather muddled with feelings of, “Am I going to survive this one,” plaguing as a nasty cold wreaked havoc. Yesterday was more like, “Well, I’m still here, but I can’t breathe and my cough rather resembles animal life I’ve observed along the California/Oregon coast.” In between all of that, I found myself thinking about the past, the current time, and the future. Little things like that. At one point I remember analyzing the changes my grandparents observed during their respective lifetimes. In their youth, horse and buggy was the acceptable means of transportation. That morphed into trains, automobiles, airplanes, and launching men to the moon. Visiting friends, neighbors, and family members changed from talking over the fence, to using a contraption called a telephone, complete with cord and a person called an operator. There were party lines, private lines, and telephone lines that connected them with loved ones near and far.

They still wrote letters—one of my grandmothers in particular was very good at keeping in touch via the written word. This, I believe, has become a dying art. These days we send text messages and call it good. Or we instant message someone if it’s really important. We chat live via various programs online. 

I remember years ago when my father excitedly brought home a new-fangled gadget that allowed us to play a game on our television set called “PONG.” We were amazed at the stunning graphics. ;) Okay, they weren’t stunning, but it seemed really cool. Compare that game with what is now considered cool among video gamers, and it’s not so impressive.

When VCR’s emerged, we thought life couldn’t get any better. We could personally pick out whatever movie we wanted to watch, instead of relying on television stations to do it for us. DVD’s and Blue-Ray devices have pretty much taken over, or “streaming” via impressive bandwidth. I’m sure there’s something new on the horizon that will make all of that seem like pioneer days.

Our phones are now computerized, and some resemble tablets, since they’re growing in size yet again.
Ye olde TV sets are currently replaced with the flat-screened versions.

Planes, trains, and automobiles still exist, but each year sleeker models are revealed. I’m still waiting for those featured on “The Jetsons,” . . . you know, the family cars that fly around the atmosphere instead of enduring snarled traffic jams . . . oh, wait . . . they had traffic jams as well. Sigh . . .

If you’re wondering if all of this has a common link . . . it does. Ponder all of the technological wonders that have emerged during the past decades and consider this: THERE IS STILL NO CURE FOR THE COMMON COLD!!! I’m just sayin’ . . . we can send people into space, but we can’t come up with a way to stifle a malady that has been plaguing us for eons. To me, this is a very sad state of affairs!!!

I know . . . there are items out there that can help, but when one is lying on the couch, trying not to die, the last thing you want to do is drive to town to find something that can alleviate horrific symptoms, like coughing up one’s lungs, or not being able to breathe. I’ve been getting by with cold medicine I already had on hand, but it still doesn’t take away feeling like the last chapter.

So . . . all of you techie-types that are wailing because there’s nothing new to invent, have I got a suggestion for you!!! CURE THE COMMON COLD!!! Come up with a way to erase this vindictive bug from society on a permanent basis. You will be considered among the greatest scientists/inventers of all time.
And now, I’m climbing carefully down off my soapbox (since I’m still a bit dizzy) to lie down before I hurt myself. Au Revoir.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Stress Release

Once again I am sitting down to the computer, contemplating the blank screen. Yes . . . it's my turn to compose yet another blog post. ;) Usually the ideas just pop inside my empty head and I do my best to translate them into written word. Today I'm staring at a blank screen waiting for inspiration to strike.

That's the way it seems to be for most writers. Some days it seems like you can't type fast enough to keep up with the silent muse that eggs us on. Other days you sit staring at the blank screen and scratch your head. Or read through what you've already written and cut it to shreds, certain it is the worst thing that anyone has ever written. ;)

For me, writing has always been a release . . . a way to work through things that are bothering me. It's how I started, actually. After my father's death, on the nights I couldn't sleep, I wrote out everything I was feeling. Then I shredded every page. I didn't know it, but this was a healthy way to work through a very traumatic loss. Not long after that experience, I began writing a story about a young woman who was trying to come to terms with her father's death. I changed a lot of the details, but it was still my story. When it was finished, I remember feeling tremendous peace inside, and a sense of accomplishment. Then my husband read through it and he challenged me to send it off to a publishing company.

That proved to be a scary time. I'll never forget how I felt after I left my "baby" (the manuscript) at the post office. I wanted to dive back into the mail bin to retrieve it and take it home where it could be safe. Instead, I nervously waited 6 months for my first rejection letter. But by then, I had already started the second manuscript, and after pouting for a week or two, I continued to finish my second tome. I shelved the first one, certain there was something terribly wrong with it, since it had received a rejection letter. It would take me a while to learn that getting published is often a combination of meeting up with the right publishing company with the right idea, at the right time. No big deal. ;D

It would take me 8 years to get my first book published. I have an entire scrapbook filled with rejection letters. I titled it: "Opinions of Silly People." ;) Actually, they were my incentive to work on improving my writing skills.

For me, writing is still something I do from time to time (when I can find the time) and I'm currently working on a new manuscript that is pretty fun to write. We'll see what happens. For now, it's a great way to escape from the daily worries and responsibilities that fall to me. I have discovered that I feel better on the days that I write, so I've learned that this is one of my ways to release stress. That fact, alone, makes writing worthwhile.

I have several stress releases: photography, playing guitar, working in my gardens, going for a walk with a good friend, reading a good book . . . so on and so forth. I think these items are important to do on a regular basis. They help me stay balanced, and improve my mood if I'm having a less than stellar day.

So on those days when you're feeling bogged down, cling to the comfort of a good stress release. Since we're all unique, different things will appeal. For some it will be crafts, dancing, art . . . etc. and so forth. Find what makes you happy, and spend some time as often as you can, doing those things. I can promise that it will not only make you feel better about life, but it will also prove to be very enjoyable.