You Gotta Believe

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It’s All On You

Whether writing, art, music–extending a word or a hand–the world can knock us for a loop when we venture to put ourselves out there in the jumble. Not that we won’t get the occasional coddle, petting, or sweet whispers, but not in a way we might deem as dependable. The wind changes, a door closes, sand shifts…and you’re left standing on your own, conflicted, confused, uncertain where you go from here.

Who’s In Your Corner

For me, all things begin and end with God. I firmly believe He gives us our gifts, securely plants them in our hearts, waters and fertilizes, fills our tank with mojo, and sets us off and running…

WOAH! Not So Fast

Did you forget something? I’m referring to that essential ingredient which makes your bread rise. The one you need to fold into the dough yourself. Without it you’re at severe risk of injury, failure, or all out doom. Which is to say, You Gotta Believe. In yourself. In what you’re doing, and why you’re doing it. It’s not a maybe, or a someday, or an eventually. It’s a now and forever after.

High, Low–Maybe Higher

–or lower than low, in the tar pits low. And if your faith isn’t firmly held and deeply planted, it is this weak point in the dam where  angst and despair can most effectively seep in to crumble your foundation.

Not To Be Confused With the Bright Candy Coating That Melts In Your Mouth

You may be so blessed as to have a loyal entourage of enthusiastic and energetic cheerleaders who never fail to vie for a seat at your pep rally; who support your dreams, struggles, and successes. They boost you over the speed bumps, applaud and cajole with true admiration and dedication. But even then, these champions of your endeavors can’t be tuned into your channel 24/7. They too have dreams to feed and nurture. Sometimes it’s only you. Sometimes it’s been only you all along. In either case, how you push forward, stay afloat, or reach out to lasso the moon, has everything to do with how deeply you believe in what it is you’re doing. Want to do. Will do.

There Will Be Days,

when your heart will swell to bursting as you come across something wildly shining and beautiful with your name on it:

“…one of the best novels I have ever had the pleasure to read…her writing style brings to mind such authors as Harper Lee and John Steinbeck…”

Then just as quickly shrivel into raisins on the vine as you stumble blind and stupefied over this:

“This is really awful. Stupid story, stupid people. Couldn’t care less about any of the characters. I’m sorry I spent any of my hard earned money on this horrible book.”

Ouch!

But Whether Good, Bad, Or Hideously Ugly,

your belief in yourself and what it is you’ve set out to do, MUST run deeper than any pile of poo dropped onto the surface of your gleaming hopes and expectations. Because although your confidence can certainly be ruffled, trounced, bitch slapped, and bloodied, it can’t be hijacked without your consent.

Some assaults prove more of a challenge than others. Sometimes we’ve been pummeled so violently we temporarily lose all reason and sanity lock and load baby, mentally smacking ourselves repeatedly for ever thinking we’d be allowed to join THE CLUB.

And while there are times when weeping and wallowing feel necessary for releasing the buildup of toxins caused by critical assaults, it must only be temporary. Long enough for a cleansing wallow, but brief enough to recall that the opinions of others cannot injure your truths or shake loose your passionate belief in the gifts you’ve been given. They belong to you as long as you care to feed and nurture them.

And really, truly, it is my hope and prayer for you that you do.

 

What ya thinking? How difficult is it for you to maintain your armor when the going gets tough? Have there been times when you’ve been tempted to surrender, only to find your faith renewed in the eleventh hour? The floor is yours!

 

 

 

 

FACEBOOK–OR NOT

FB-Author

…AND SO IS THE DILEMMA OF THE WORLD’S BIGGEST COCKTAIL PARTY

I’m not a Facebook hater. Far from it. When it comes to finding and re-connecting with the long lost and faraway, Facebook is aces. It’s a tidy place for announcing, inviting, celebrating. Hanging out. Catching up. Rekindling the fires. Wonderful, perfect, fabulous…but maybe not really.

NOT SO AMUSING FUNNY BUSINESS

Strange things are going on over there on Facebook. There are the posts that are seen by only a handful–sometimes less. The Friends I was so thrilled to find after too long absences and yawning distance, but are now all but permanently AWOL, their chatty updates and newsworthy tidbits never making it as far as my News Feed. Where have all those new-found and reclaimed friends gone to congregate without me?

AND THEN, THERE’S THE AUTHOR PAGE

Yes, THAT Author Page. The one that sits all hopeful and expectant…waiting…restlessly pacing…thumbs twiddling…

SO BEGS THE QUESTION

Just how valuable is maintaining real estate in a Facebook empire that is far more resembling of a ghost town? At what point to I concede that the ship has sailed, the sun set, the birds flown south? Is there actually a point in continuing to churn out brain-poop into the care and maintenance of an Author Page that’s looking more and more like Cricket Island.

YES, NO, MAYBE SO

In the midst of this several weeks long mental debate, lands this perfectly timed post from one of my favorite author bloggers–the wise, successful, and wildly amusing Catherine Ryan Howard–Catherine, Caffeinated--who has thankfully taken note of the same ugly little weeds I’ve noticed poking through the Facebook cracks. Unlike my own erratically zigzagging hypothesis, Catherine zeros in with factual stuff–real figures and conclusions (I suspect she’s that kid who was actually paying attention in class–she’s clever like that).  All of which has me thinking there’s something to my suspicions and not just pitiable fear of abandonment paranoia.

BUT, WAIT! THERE’S MORE

Huh, what? Facebook Fraud? No kidding? Without spoiling the plot, let me just say that not all LIKES have anything to do with LIKING, and there’s some shifty (not to be confused with shitty–though maybe) business going on behind the curtain.

What started out as an abundantly cool thing, our worldwide Facebook neighborhood is becoming a land of unleashed shenanigans, increasingly threatening to spoil the entire premise of hanging around the World Wide Water Cooler, chatting up our stuff and the stuff of others.

IS THIS REALLY GOODBYE?

I don’t know, but it sure feels like it for me. I worry that the two people who generally “see” my Author Page Facebook Posts will miss them terribly, but just as likely, the cricket noises over there are getting on their nerves anyway.

 

What ya thinking?  Have any thoughts to share about your own FB experience? Is the Facebook game worth playing? What’s your take on Author/Book pages? Are you hanging in there for the long haul–or packing up your posts and pics and heading elsewhere? The floor is yours!

 

***Yippee! Free stuff! Currently in progress [ending July 23rd 2014] , Goodreads Giveaway for 3 copies of Painted From Memories. Hope you stop over and enter–my fingers are crossed you’re a winner😀

 

 

 

IT’S MY PARTY!!!

Balloon manSISSSSSsssss, BOOM…blah?

It’s a bit of a pickle, this “MY BOOK HAS ARRIVED” business. No, I don’t mean the thrill of arrival, joyful elation, or the supreme sense of  ‘I love my pages till the end of time and beyond.’ That part is the real deal and most writers I know have a certain brand of super human diligence when it comes to carrying the torch solo across vats of bubbling lava if that’s what feels necessary to reach the reading masses. Hence SISSSSsssss BOOM over-the-moon euphoria.

Blah?

That’s when the generally mild-mannered, attempting to be courteous author, begins to worry that their potentially overzealous hoopla and carrying-on will eventually have the entire width and breadth of cyberspace drawing its collective shade, barring doors and windows against  the runabout court jester lunatic marauder chiming an endless chant of  MY BOOK, MY BOOK, YOUR KINGDOM FOR MY BOOK.

In The Beginning There Was A Page

Some writers can grow a book in weeks, months, a year or two, or if you’re me, years plus a bazillion. When it comes to writing, I’m the tortoise  not the hare. The jalopy not the roadster. In the time it takes my rough drafts to morph into a finished book, entire galaxies have vanished into black holes, nations crumbled,  certain snack cakes become extinct … It’s the sort of Rip Van Winkle effect that makes me especially prone to feelings of HAPPY, HAPPY, JOY JOY … THE HILLS ARE ALIVE … CLIMB EVERY MOUNTAIN … DOE RAE MEEEEEE, once the cover is on the book and all becomes right with the world.

But Wait! This Isn’t The End, It’s The Beginning

Release day. TODAY! This very instant. Crack of dawn until the pumpkin pulls up at the curb a second past midnight.And so starts my party. Where I fill the room with balloons, announce the grand arrival of my third novel, and pass around the entirely fat free virtual cake. And hopefully, just hopefully you won’t leave feeling as if you’ve been violently slammed by a freight train–but rather, the hapless victim of a hit and run driver that leaves you slightly dazed, a little foggy, yet mildly bruised wholly uninjured.

Just One Last Thing

On the chance you’re ever forced to pick it out of a lineup, this is my book:

PFM-FotoFlexer_Photo

And this is what it’s about:

She considers telling him the truth—that she isn’t the person he thinks she is—but in the end she doesn’t. To say something is to potentially say everything. And it is simply too late… The emotionally fractured casualty of a hideous childhood tragedy, Catherine has at last found her happy-ever-after in the person of Grayson Barnett, and it is the promise of a freshly polished future that compels her to bury the poisonous trail of her past beneath the purposeful lies and omissions she offers her new husband. But now, with the inherent shame of her traumatic history secreted away and losing hold, Cat finds herself increasingly troubled as Gray falls into an erratic pattern of late night wanderings through the house, painting the bare walls with extravagant murals. And only when the unthinkable happens—a devastating blow which leaves her broken and spiraling—and an unexpected arrival on her doorstep, bearing a cache of impossible revelations—is Cat forced to question whether the man she so desperately loves is in truth a stranger and their beautiful life a gross falsehood constructed upon a foundation of lies.

That’s it. I’m leaving now. *Walks away. Stops. Turns. Glances back.” You know, those dancing shoes sure look good on you. Hope you don’t go dashing off before taking a spin around my dance floor.  Shots are on the house😀

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Sitting pretty on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Painted-Memories-Barbara-Forte-Abate/dp/0692209344/ref=tmm_pap_title_0

 

Cleaning Up My Mess

Cleaning up my mess

Cleaning up my mess

NO PROBLEM, I GOT THIS
If I had a dollar for every time I rewrote or edited one of my novels before it went to press, I’d be sitting here like Scrooge McDuck counting my stacks of Gold Doubloons. I’m all about tidy perfectionism, particularly when it comes to stuff I put my name on. If three times is a charm, then three dozen assures spotless brilliance–right?

UM, WRONG
There’s a really good reason why even editors don’t edit their own work. Because when it comes to sentences we’ve raked over a bazillion times this side of Sunday, the brain has a quirky way of turning off the main switch when it comes to assessing the things it’s brought to life.

AVERTING A TRAGEDY
Although it’s been years now, I still recall certain early reviews heralding the release of my debut novel, The Secret of Lies–gorgeous and poetic–they arrived as if carried on the wings or angels. Golden morsels suddenly slamming to a jarring halt and leaning toward hostile when these same readers found themselves stumbling over typos and grammar homicide perpetrated by said author. Ouch. That stuff hurts, even more so since I myself was the boob providing the bullets for critics to load into their guns.

AND SO THE QUEST FOR THE HOLY GRAIL
Or, in writerly terms, the hunt for the editor you surely NEED to find because this essential pied piper of prettified prose isn’t you. Seriously. It isn’t.

EENY MEENY MINY MO
…is absolutely not the right way to go about finding the perfect word-mate to comb through your brilliant creation. Make no mistake, you’re not only making an investment in your career, you’re pursuing a relationship, in which case it seems something of a romantic approach is in order. Get out there and mingle. Saunter through cyberspace and stop in at a few online writer hangouts. Pull up a keyboard and join in the chit-chat. Note those voices which most resonate. Collect recommendations from starry-eyed writers madly in love with their editors. Make more notes–mentally or on paper–just make them.

ONE SIZE FITS ALL? NOT QUITE, CINDERELLA
If what you’re looking for is a set of eyes to align your p’s & q’s, and sort your “then and than’s,” your task might prove less complicated. But me, I’m a romantic with a hankering for truelove. In writer speak, it means pining for an editor with knowledge, chutzpah, confidence, wisdom, and of supreme importance–someone who connects with my scribbling. A courtship? Yep, pretty much.

SNAGGING A WORD SHARK
I now fast forward to introduce the winner of my own carefully versed Dating Game–tah dah *shoots confetti–reloads–double shot*–Karen Sanderson, The Word Shark.

BEWARE OF CHEAP IMITATIONS
Seriously, that’s it. Beware of cheap imitations.

ENTER THE WORD SHARK
Certainly there are oodles of noodles and mighty word slayers, so how to choose wisely, Indiana Jones? For me it was a definite series of clicks heard round the world–or at least loud and clear within the vicinity of my head.

Sample edit: concise, professional–CLICK. Initial and subsequent correspondence: honest, wise, generous, prompt, and oftentimes hilarious (bonus points considering my general buffoon tendencies)–CLICK.  Timely edit-in-progress updates to soothe my anxious soul–CLICK. Essential nit-picky comments leading me to prune and  fine-tune the clumsy, clanky, scratchy bits from my pile of pages–CLICK. Suggestions, immediate reactions and impressions of plot twists and character motivation, aka exposing junk masquerading as literature–double CLICK. And the grand finale, an editorial letter wrapping it all together–strengthens, weakness, applause–multiple CLICKS.

SIGNED, SEALED, DELIVERED
Finished. My mess is now tidy and polished, and Painted From Memories is mere days away from release. The construction dust has settled and yet still here, lending support, cheerleading,  blowing-up balloons, ready to uncork the champagne, is my wildly cool new editor and aforementioned Word Shark. A gifted word whisperer who continues to step above and beyond–and then–beyond beyond.  Long term keeper–CLICK.

 

And you, what cha thinking? Have you found your dream editor? On the hunt for the perfect fit? Still wondering if you really even need one?

 

 

Why Such Meanies?

mean dog

Growl, Snarl, Snap!

We like to pretend it’s not a big deal. That we’re prepared to roll with the punches. We have a good idea what to expect and we’re up to the task. We’re not overly concerned about gremlins coming along to feed on our pages, sample our cupcakes, attend our art show, or choke on our words. We know they’re out there and we’re ready.

We get it.

From the  moment we reach the summit and stake our flag, we know to dig-in and brace ourselves, holding steady as our private little worlds go public.

Plenty to Say And Places to Say it–But Why So @#$%! Mean?

And yet far too often of late I find myself tripping over a mean-spirited review or comment that instantly causes my insides to crumble and my brain to clench, even when said assault isn’t directed my way. I can’t help but feel the angst breed from words that go beyond opinion and directly into assault mode. Words our mothers forbid us to use under threat of house arrest. Because they’re mean, just plain  mean.

Review or Faceless Assailant?

We’re entitled to our opinions. Thoughts composed from our reactions and convictions count. We’re experienced something and we’re entitled to talk about it, damn it! Yak yakking loud and long, even after the lights go out and everyone’s gone home

And yet, at what point does opinion take on the ambiance of something else? Something decidedly mean-spirited–one syllable removed from outright cruelty. Does the reasoning behind this hyper-meanie-mode have anything to do with how easy it’s become to launch a hit-and-run from behind the security of a faceless gravitar spinning through cyberspace?

Reviewing 101

Well, yeah, I hear you. Opinions aren’t always a kind or pretty thing, particularly when we’re aiming for unbiased honesty, thus uber sensitive types might need to toughen-up or avoid reading reviews altogether. But when we’re talking reviews–good, bad, or outright heinous–there is something to be said about common courtesy and fair play.

For instance, these three sentences constitute an opinion and not a review:

“I hated everything about this book. I hated the story. I hated the characters.”

When posted on a public forum it’s a meanie flyby assault dropped with intent to harm. Taking a few moments to detail the Hate within the Hatred is the required component necessary to quality this as a legit and purposeful review.

This statement is Absolutely, Positively not a review:

“I couldn’t get past the first two pages.”

And so begs the question of what has actually been reviewed? Five hundred words of a 80,000 word novel?

Call me crazy, but if I start reading something–whether slender volume, cinder-block sized tome, or article in People magazine–and it doesn’t click the preferred receptors in my reading brain, I close the cover and select something else from my teetering pile. Common sense and old-fashioned courtesy assuring I have nothing legit to offer by way of opinion because I haven’t read it!

It Seems Both Simple and Humane

Regardless of whether another person’t work evokes hatred or love within our internal opinion box, there’s something to be said for respecting the fruit of another’s labors.

We all have opinions and they count for something. And when it comes to honest gut reaction, truth is not an option, even when it’s painful. But there’s a flip-side in the game of playing fair.  Don’t just tell us that In Your Opinion something is wonderful or dreadful, tell us why. If you won’t recommend the eclairs from Lula’s Sweet Shop, tell us it’s because the filling tastes like chalk or the pastry is soggy, because “They’re crap,” doesn’t cut it.

If the book was unreadable because the typos set your eyeballs to near-combustion, the story was predictable, or the ending falls flat, that’s the thing we appreciate knowing, but “I hated the protagonists name,” not so much.

Keep In Mind

There’s a beating heart behind every creation.

YES, please do share your thoughts and tell it like it is. But give us some concrete reasons for why you liked or disliked the object in question. Stand by your comments and opinions, but, come on, kids, lets try and remember to play nice. Drive-by shooting are the actions of criminals and thugs. You’re so much better [and kinder] than that.

 

Care to pull up a keyboard and share your thoughts?

What’da’ya think? Is being honest the same thing as being mean? Have you been guilty of, or affected by. a dump-and-run?

Brain Scribbles

I’ve Been Thinking…

Yes indeed, I have. And so have you. The brain is a magnificent machine, isn’t it? Always at work, never taking a break (and THANK GOD for that!) even when we lower the volume and usher in the Sandman for sleep, the gears continue to squeak and grind.

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Just What Are You Thinking

Whether you add a Question or Exclamation to the end of that sentence doesn’t matter as much as the fact that you are–thinking, that is. Despite Urban Myth or nasty accusation, there’s no one out there with an empty head. And it’s more than a little curious to consider the bizarrely disjointed, oftentimes pointless thoughts jockeying for attention at any given moment. (For Pete’s sakes–a little quiet in there please! Some of us are trying to sleep!)

It’s A Fair Amount of Nonsence Not All Rocket Science

In fact, no Rocket Science whatsoever has been used in the creation of this blog post.

Thoughts of My Own Scribbling Brain–(Subject to Change at a Moments Notice):

*Sometimes it feels good to be a little sad. Maybe it’s nature’s way of assuring love and beauty are more recognizable when they come.

*Choosing the words to make perfect sentences shouldn’t be so hard.

*Saying the right thing at the right time shouldn’t be so hard.

*Doing things the right way without leaving behind a pile of smoking debris shouldn’t be so hard.

*Ha ha! I actually live next-door to a GENUINE Rocket Scientist.

*How is a survey accurate when no one asked MY opinion or even the opinions of anyone I know? Where do these average people come from?

*Oh crap, do these Pajamas really make my butt look THAT big?

*Reaches For Mute Button*

Ah hem, so, peeling back your own scalp and bone and having a look inside your chrome dome, what’r’ya thinking? Right now, at this very moment, without over-thinking what your thinking–one, two, three–fire away! Share your thoughts please. We’re all ears [connected to heads with brains.]😀

So, As I Was Saying…

  …Okay, So…To Continue

as i was saying

Alright, alright, fine. Yeah okay, so I’m bluffing. As if you could be so easily tricked. But I just thought maybe if I tip-toed in here quietly, brushed of the dust and slid up to my keyboard, no one would be the wiser. But that’s one of the things I love and  most missed about you–your Solomon-like wisdom–and the no-way, fat-chance, of you being so easily fooled by a long-time absent buffoon.

Lost In Translation, Wandering the Sahara, Trapped in a Cave

You can bet any of those overwrought  glitches strike me as a whole lot easier to surmount than attempts to pick-up the threads of my misplaced blogging mojo. Make no mistake, I’ve been writing some truly genius and unforgettable posts in my head (where all things scream of perfection until they come out and land on paper or blank screen) but, yeah, that doesn’t count for much unless you happen to be the Long Island Medium and you’re sitting next to me on the couch.

Channeling Stella…

and wondering just how she got her groove back.

But, But, But

We live in a world of excuses. Everyone has them, some legit, many most just a pile of baloney. For this reason I’ll spare you mine. They’re not all that intriguing or unusual after all. Just my own stuff. (Cuing Hubby’s voice and one of his favorite hugely annoying when repeated one time to many quotes, “We don’t want excuses, we want results.” Yeah, that.

Damn the Torpedoes, Full Speed Ahead

So minus the excuses and getting straight to the results; the treatment went very well (not mine), the operation was a success and the recovery fairly smooth (again, not mine), college selection nearly confirmed (child #4), grand opening scheduled for March (child #2), the diagnosis allows for a certain amount of confident optimism (you know who you are), and book number is heading into the home stretch (mine) (Spit-shine and polish coming up, thank you and amen for an awesomely answered prayer that goes by the name of, Word Shark, Karen Sanderson!)

Full Plate, Yes–Multi-Tasking Skills, Nada

I know who you are, I see you juggling a half-dozen dramas with one hand, arm tied behind your back, neck in a brace, and one leg in quicksand. I aspire to be you, but when it comes to emotional, personal, real life stuff, I’m still a klutz with the baton. I need seven hands to juggle two pins, and even then there’s a good chance something’s getting dropped.

And All This Time You Were Thinking I Just Ran Out of Stuff To Say

How amusing that you’d ever assume such a thing (or maybe just hoping), but no, my blog motor, though idling for a while, is still running. One of my New Year resolutions was to sweep the cobwebs from my blog and get back on track. January 1– February 19. Not too bad. Considering.

Meanwhile On Your Side of the Fence

So that’s me, but what, pray tell, have you been up to? Would love you to share your milestones, achievements, aspirations, and tidbits. Come on then, toot your horn, we’re all listening.man with balloons

50 Shades of Green

 

envy4

 

It seems unlikely that anyone–especially anyone who’s ever undertaken the head-scrambling angst of setting pen to paper with the intent of composing brillaint, unforgettable prose–could fail to notice  obsess over the boggle-the-mind, runaway-success stories that bolster certain books to the lofty heights of Mega Bestsellerdom .

Far from what would ordinarily be considered masterful or especially remarkable, they are oftentimes books more likely to furrow foreheads, clench lips, and inspire interior chants to boom–Why? How can this be? Where have all the grammar school English teachers gone?–if only in an effort to drown out the not so pretty sour grape spills of Not Fair! WTH Because, seriously, How is it even possible that such crappy, hackneyed, over-under written book sell beyond the bounds of a bazillion gigaton?

Deny it if you must.  Insist that you yourself harbor no writerly dreams or aspirations that such a phenomena would sweep in to propel the spine printed with your name.  (And as you continue with your vehement protests, how about we pause here a moment to step in and check your pulse. You know, just to be sure your heart is still beating.)

JUST THE FACTS MA’AM

Reasonable, impossible, or mind-boggling as it may be, the fact remains that someone out there is buying, reading, and talking-up those mega selling books. Many many someones.  Enough someones to dropkick records and propel certain books to the top of the lifetime achievement bazillionare club.

It’s enough to make a green-eyed monster swell to the proportions of Everest.

Envy1

 

 

 

 

AND THE WINNER IS…

It’s essential to keep in mind that, unlike contestants in the Miss Universe contest,  books are NOT in competition with each other.  Should “50 Shades of Anything” suddenly go spiraling off into oblivion never to be seen in print again, its disappearance would have no impact whatsoever on that truly awesome and magnificent book your book waiting behind curtain number two.  Because, once again, repeat after me: Books Are Not In Competition With Each Other.

ROCKETING BOOKS UP THE CHARTS AND INTO THE STRATOSPHERE

The numbers are about readers. The gazillion, bazillion readers who open their wallets, click the buy-it-now button, pluck down their Visa cards, and spread the word.  They hold the keys to the book lovers kingdom. Simple as that.

If there’s a formula for hitting the sweet spot, I don’t know it. As a writer, I simply aspire to find the words that feel closest to my truth.

Okay, I can hear you thinking… So, what’s up? It’s nice to share😀

Three Thoughts for Thursday

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Although my head is full to bursting with a myriad of wildly important  glorified baloney observations I am anxious to share, life here in my little corner of the world continues to run away at breakneck speed.  I fully intend to replant my flag and reclaim my groove, even if it means slaying a dragon–or two.  But in the meanwhile I give you my Three thoughts for Thursday, for no reason other than that 3 is my favorite number.

 

1.) It is really really hard to limit eating sweets.

2.) How much longer can we honestly refer to ourselves as “A Civilized Society?”

3.) How do I get there from here?

 

Oh, hey, but before I turn out the light, have any runaway thoughts you’d like to share? Please do😀

 

 

 

 

 

Keep It To Yourself ?

fighting-2

As stated in the Rules

You know them as taboo topics.  Subjects OFF LIMITS if we have any intention of aspiring to the heights of the non-offending , tolerant, thoughtful, and un-bloodied.

It doesn’t require the mind of Solomon to figure out the wisdom in this accustomed rule.  A few heated venom spewing, flame throwing wars  disagreements are all that’s necessary to get the gist.

Not an especially surprising revelation, since, if we’re being honest, isn’t it true that very few of us encourage, appreciate, or respond well to unsolicited opinions, blatant know-it-all-isms, or bossy-pants directives? We make the effort to play fair with the expectation that the courtesy will be returned in kind. Sure, we waver now and again when logic and passion collide to cloud our thinking with the needling pain of a bad toothache.  But nevertheless, we understand to hold our tongues, barring the occasional lecture served up over the supper table, where our nearest and dearest are obliged held at fork point  to listen to our rants if they have any hope of our passing the meatloaf before hell freezes over.

It all happens so innocently

We’re still nursing the morning cup, scrolling through the recent scoops on Facebook: amusing quips, pet photos, drama queen updates — when all at once –we see it — The Bait.

HUH??? What? What the …. How rude!  And WRONG.  Crap. What a boob. 

You scroll away.

But then you’re back.  You can’t help it. Just for the sake of curiosity.  No harm in skimming through the handful of comments posted by those not so politically correct or courteous as you.

Seriously? Ridiculous. 

Scroll away.

Back.

You’ve got to be kidding? No rational person would ever agree with something so idiotic. Ten *Likes*? TEN people LIKE this outlandish baloney?  What brand of lunacy would inspire anyone to agree with this load of steaming, reeking poo? There must be someone out there in possession of a working brain. So where are they? Why aren’t they saying something? Why isn’t someone responding to this insane realignment of fact?

The truth is

While we might be occasionally successful in stiffing our opinions, it’s our hardcore convictions that consistently pop the lid off the box.  At which point, expressing The Real Deal feels all-consuming essential in the face of  blatantly heinous misconceptions.

Because, no exaggeration, when it comes to _______ and _________, I  personally know my stuff.  Really.  No really, I’ve got it covered. This is my topic, my territory.  I’ve got this–inside out, upside down, full to overflowing–I KNOW THIS!

And yet, I know better

Right?   I know the pointless, rarely won impossible to win, brutal nature of engaging in sticks-and-stones battles in public places STOP! DANGER! Social media ahead.

And  So

Scroll back — this is it. One quick and final look.

YES!!!

At last! The White Knight of Wisdom and Courage, one whose convictions are richer and truer than the cowardice of politeness, has swept in to plant the very words I myself am too non-offending cowardly to offer myself.  At the very least I will “Like” this sterling comment of honesty and truth. A click of solidarity …

Wait …but doesn’t a “Like” rate nearly the same as saying it myself? What if someone–someone near and dear–notices my Like and is offended? Maybe the best plan of action is to wait.  Creep back quietly under cover of night.  While Facebook is asleep and no one is looking.  A quick, drive-by click.

Truth vs Honestly vs Everything Else

It’s all such a confused and slippery slope.  At what point does thoughtfully keeping the yap shut translate as an act of cowardice, rather than stately wisdom.  Akin to backing away with hands thrown in the air when every fiber is insisting we lock-and-load. How much of the urge to respond to another persons “stuff” is a byproduct of our own pride and know-it-all-itis, as opposed to true heart and soul convictions?  The difficult to restrain human tendency of needing to have the last word–slamming headlong with the inspiration to impart life-saving sacred truth in the face of deranged misconception? Just how important or necessary is it to get our opinions and convictions out there for everyone to see?

Sigh…

I’m still working to rearrange the furniture in my comfort zone.  More or less treading lightly, when the better plan might very well be to leap directly into the deep end.  Grab hold of those unshakable-top-tier convictions and hold on for a rollicking ride over a  bumpy road.

And, how are you doin? What’s your tendency when it comes to speaking-up, lending opinion, spouting your fountain of truth?  The spotlight is yours *hands you the microphone…*