Monthly Archives: April 2013

My Way

I have to find my own way. I really do.

I had a job interview today and it made me realize that I know what I really like to do. I like dealing with information. I like sharing content, mine and that of others. I like using the word “content,” even though it’s probably one of those overused buzzwords. I like writing blog posts. I like creating videos, and taking photos, and making visual art. I like being immersed in all of the neat stuff the world has to offer. When I say world, I mean the real world as well as the digital one.

I must find my own way, and I must do it now! How am I going to do it? I think I have a plan.
I’m gonna make a list of the things I want to write about in each of my blogs. I’ll attach a schedule to that list. Then, I will get to work.

Time is running out!

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Fear and mediocrity

I have less than an hour of quiet time, writing time. In less than an hour the tv goes back on and the talking starts, and I won’t be free to write. So here it goes.

What if…

Are there an infinite number of different realities just as real as the one we know? I have to assume that what I think of as real is real. It’s all I know isn’t it? Or is it? When I dream, am I not in a reality? How could it not be real? I can see and hear it.

What if I could live life fearlessly? Fear keeps us out of danger, but it keeps us from living fully doesn’t it? Where would I be today if I had decided to overcome my fears? I think I would be fulfilled. I think I would be wildly successful. My existence now could be called mediocre. Life is okay, sometimes it’s good, but it could be more. I turn 42 this month, and it feels like I’m running out of time.

I have love, health, shelter, and food. I’m one of the lucky ones on this planet. What more could I want? Maybe the answer is to be satisfied with what I’ve got.   Maybe that’s a cop out.

It is so very quiet in my living room now.  The view from the atrium doors is serene in it’s ordinariness. I see budding trees, sprouting dandelions, green grass, and a blue sky. Sunlight bounces off the front of the shed. That’s my very own backyard. The first yard I’ve ever owned.

My less than an hour is about up. Time to turn on the noise.

Backyard

Reading is good for me

I came across this article, The Most Enjoyable Way to Improve Your Writing Skills, today via LinkedIn. The article, written by a communications professor, is about how reading helps make you a better writer.

It’s no secret that good writers love to read, and they read a lot. This professor gives her students an assignment in which they’re asked to name their favorite writers. She says that some of the students think the assignment is a waste of time. Some even brag about the fact that they don’t read a lot. That’s no surprise. You don’t really have to read much to get along in this world. You can get your information from tv, scan the bold text on web pages, and hang around with people who do read, and latch on to their ideas and opinions.

I don’t read enough, but I can tell you why I think I should read more.

1) Reading will help me with grammar.

I did okay in English in high school, and I passed the AP test, so I didn’t have any English requirements in college, although I did take a technical writing class. I think I was the only non-engineer in the class. I remember writing instructions on how to clean a house for one of our assignments.

I am not confident when it comes to the rules of grammar. I’m especially frightened of commas and semicolons. When I read, I pay attention to the grammar. Of course, you don’t necessarily know if what you’re reading is written in accordance with the grammar rules, but you assume that since it’s published, it must be okay.

2) Reading gives me information.

I’ve listened to a lot of audiobooks. Although listening to a book doesn’t help build my grammar skills, it does count as reading. I like detective stories, and I’ve listened to quite a few of Patricia Cornwell’s Kay Scarpetta mysteries. Now I know a thing or two about solving crimes committed by serial killers. I also know a little about Botswana and Edinburgh, Scotland thanks to Alexander McCall Smith. So when I read, I learn stuff. That’s good.

3) Reading allows me to walk in other people’s shoes.

I would love to be British, but I’m not. When I read Bridget Jones’s Diary, I’m Bridget Jones, and I’m British. When I read Alistair MacLean’s Circus, I’m a tightrope walking spy. You get the idea. Reading allows me to experience worlds that I will never encounter in real life. My mind expands and I have more room to write. I’d like to think that thing about having room to write is true, but I really don’t know. I’m not actually sure what I mean by that. It sounded good.

I’m sure I could go on and on about why reading is a good thing, but if you’re reading this, I’m preaching to the choir. The bottom line is this: I need to read more.

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Can’t Complain

What about today?

It was a Wednesday–it still is. I got myself out of bed and started the day in the usual way.

A co-worker asked how my job search was going, and I said it wasn’t really going at all. But I told him that things would happen for me when they are supposed to happen. I told him that everything is all right. Everything is, in fact, all right.

I orchestrate my own destiny. I’m not always aware of how I’m doing it, but I’m making it happen. I have a job doing a thing that I enjoy, and that I’m good at. How can I complain?

I’ve always wanted to be a writer, and now I’m writing fairly regularly. I’m figuring out what kind of writing I like to do. I’m finding a place for myself in a world where I always suspected I might not really belong. Some people read my blogs and that gives me incentive to keep writing. I don’t dare complain.

I have more chances to dance now. I have a reason to practice belly dance drills because I’m in a troupe and, I need to be good. I can use my Rachel Brice dvds with a purpose now.
There’s no complaining for me.

I can make art because I enjoy making art. It doesn’t have to be good. It just has to keep me whole.

Nothing is wrong. Everything is as it should be. If you catch me complaining, please tell me to go back and read this post.

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We’ll call this a journal entry

I see a lot of posts on the Internet about how everybody needs to use storytelling to sell their products, or make their elearning projects more effective. This sounds to me like yet another one of those trendy ideas that everyone is supposed to latch onto and talk about. So I’ve decided to investigate this storytelling idea and write about it in my ‘A Learing Experience’ blog. I’ve started by collecting some resources on storytelling in a Pearltree called the ‘The Idea of Storytelling’ (on Pearltrees.com). I’ve got an idea! I’ve got something to work on! Now I gotta do the work. I’ll let you know when the post is up.

In other news, I applied for a job for which I’m pretty sure I don’t meet the experience requirements. The application probably won’t make it past the HR screeners, but hey, I tried. I had considered writing a somewhat flippant cover letter, but in the end I simply stated a few of my good points and left it up to the job gods. In retrospect, I’m guessing flippancy is not a good strategy for job seekers.

IU signed a new contract with lynda.com for use of their new lyndaCampus service. I made a video to promote it. Take a look if you’re interested.

So I’m watching the news about the Boston Marathon bombing and wondering what horrible thing is going to happen next. Can we ever feel safe?

On a much brighter note, I’m in a belly dance troupe! I was invited to join Bloomington’s tribal fusion dance troupe Different Drummer Belly Dancers. Margaret Lion, the troupe founder, wanted to do belly dance to modern music, so she started a troupe. We’ll be giving roving performances at Gen Con in Indianapolis in August. We’ll also perform an extended set at Gen Con’s popular costume contest. So I might see you there!

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Revisions, a Confession, and Naked Trees

1) Last week I had several moments in which I felt that I could write something beautiful.

2) I felt like a writer last week.

3) There were moments last week when I thought I had something to write about.

4) Poetry churned in my soul last week.

I did’t write anything last week, and now I can’t seem to get that feeling again.

As I drove down Bell Ave. yesterday, I looked at the trees that line the street. They are still bare. If they have buds, the buds are too small to see. There is something about the skeletal, spiky branches that appeal to me. You see a tree’s pure form when it has no leaves. You can see what a tree really means.

I want to draw trees, and try to do them justice.

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