Thursday, September 25, 2008

Stranger Friends

I’m leaving tomorrow to meet up with some people from the writing forum, Absolute Write (AW). A friend of mine created the picture for this post and put it on a shirt for me. Thanks, friend. I won’t be meeting all the people on the shirt, only a few. This isn’t the first time I have met internet friends, but each time I wonder if they’re like their online persona. Many of us have an online voice different from real life, so of course the online persona is what’s expected. This subject was recently posted on AW. Some people are more reserved online to avoid offending others; some explore behaviors they don’t use in real life, while others act the same.

My family and friends have asked if I’m nervous about safety meeting people from the internet. I tell them it’s safer than meeting someone at a bar, because I already have an idea of how they think, whereas meeting someone at a bar I know nothing about. We don’t even know if the person next to us on the train, or in the grocery store is a murderer. All we can do is go with our gut feelings, and my gut feeling about the people I’ll be meeting is they are nice, talented writers. I’ve read their ideas and opinions, and watch how they interact with others and me. There are a few I haven’t talked with on AW, so I’m looking forward to meeting all of them.

I thank you for reading my blog and following along in my travels. I’m still working on my vacation pictures and hope to have them posted soon. Take care and I’ll see you next week.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Wally Lamb Fan

I can’t even begin to express how excited I am. A friend from Absolute Write writing forum told me that Wally Lamb has a new book coming out on November 11, 2008. It is called The Hour I First Believed, and there is an editorial review about it on I was going to use his book cover, but I'm unsure of copyright laws. Anyways, for the passed few years when I have been in Borders or Barnes & Noble, I asked if he had a book coming out and always left disappointed. Now I get to dive into the beauty of Wally Lamb’s writing and experience the emotions, traumas and revelations with his characters. My favorite book of his is I Know This Much is True, about twin brothers, Dominick and Thomas. Thomas suffers from schizophrenia and Dominick suffers from guilt and anger. Has anyone else read Wally Lamb’s books, and what do you think of his stories and writing?

Before buying a book, I go through a particular process. Many times the cover captures my attention and from there I read the synopsis, the article reviews (writer comparisons), and then the first two pages of the book. Do you have a process you go through when buying a book? His second book intrigued me enough to buy, and I’m glad to experience his voice. Thank you, Mr. Lamb.


Star, you failed
In granting my wish,
Still solemn and frayed,
No smiles from bliss.

The dream has gone
Washed from years of tears,
As the twinkle song
Sung, to settle fears.

How, I reckon
You overlooked me,
To sprinkle ambition
On another’s tree?

I give up hope
For it to happen,
A lifetime to cope
With rags, not satin.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Write on!

This weekend my writing moved along until I completed a short. It’s approximately 2,000 words, and believe it or not I like the story. It came about from a prompt to help writer’s block. A little over a month ago, I was given three different lines to choose from and write for an hour without stopping. No editing just writing. I posted it to a writing forum and received positive feedback, so I decided to clean it up and add to it. The title is Damn, Do you remember when... ? and it’s about recalling childhood memories in old age to keep those we love close. Now all I need is to find someone who will read and edit it, and a contest to submit to. In addition to this story, I wrote a poem titled The Dance; unfortunately I don’t have it with me to post now.

Aside from writing, my football team didn’t do so good this weekend. I don’t think the Chicago Bears heard us ask, “Are you ready for some football?” because what they’ve been playing isn’t football. We played against Tampa Bay and an ex-quarterback of ours, Brian Griese. Our defense fell asleep. Maybe they’ll wake up half-way through the season. At least I can still hope for the Chicago White Sox finishing off their second division championship. Go White Sox!!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Friends from Around the World

Yesterday I was talking to a friend overseas about life, and during our discussion I realized how alike we are in this world. Even though our small corners of the earth are different, we still want and feel the same things. His gentle words about life rings true and the conversation touched me as I became aware of other cultures and knowing that we can teach each other a few things about life.

He looked at my blog and gave me his take on it, which is nice to hear from someone across the pond. I’m a newbie blogger, yet he spoke words of encouragement about defining my goal. I want my blog to be a learning experience with writings and opinions. For anyone to come by, comment on whether they agree, disagree, or need to vent. I’d like to thank my friend for his time.

He walks behind,
Unsure of self,
Or what he might find.

Stirs raw emotions,
Held inside,
For true devotions.

Seems an hour,
Until contact
Sparks, requesting power.

Awakens faces,
Holding hands
Whispered words of graces.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Declining Economy and Faith

A colleague called me today from home after being off work for several weeks due to a back injury. He wanted to thank me for a basket of cookies I sent for his recovery, and we started discussing medical treatment and work, which brought us to our present economy. As of now, he’s on some pretty strong and addictive medication that he feels is debilitating his healing. I told him about a different pain medication and suggested he consult his doctor about it. Last year, my mother was hospitalized and in therapy for many months for a staph infection. Her doctors weren’t sure she would survive, but she did. During those tough months, I learned many things about the medical field. First and foremost, you need advocates who will challenge the doctors and follow your progress. I learned about my mother’s diagnosis/prognosis, her medication, and my sister, aunt and I stepped in when we felt another form of treatment should be implemented. It helped to have a sister who is in the medical field explain things in layman’s terms.

My colleague thanked me for the advice and then said he was nervous about his position in the company hoping they won’t take it away. I thought how sad it is for him to have to worry about losing his place in the company, but the fact is, he could, anyone could. We talked about job instability and how companies are no longer faithful to their employees. Lehman Brother’s bankruptcy, Merrill Lynch buyout and the unsteady AIG Corporation is only adding to our country’s uneasiness regarding what the future holds for us. It’s hard to understand how an established 108-year old company can get swallowed up by a few years of a bad economy. I believe the greed of upper management in corporations is partly responsible for these company's demise. With the lack of job security, government not intervening over gas prices, along with other issues, we will have more homeless people than those with homes and crime will continue to rise. Our government can step in and close down places for price gouging in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike, yet they can’t do anything about the price of gas or oil?

We ended the conversation wishing each other well, and I hoped to see him soon, yet our topics of discussion left me sad. I wish the best for every one out there, and I’m crossing my fingers that our next President will turn this whole thing around.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

In Memory of 911

I can't believe it's been 7 years since the horrific day when we were attacked on our soil. Everyone knows exactly where and what they were doing when the planes hit. I know I'll never forget the overwhelming melancholy that blanketed my little part of the world, the tears we all cried as we were glued to the television watching the repeated images. Why I sat there letting the media slap me in the face with pictures of the day that truly changed America is beyond my comprehension. Every time I turned the television on, talked to someone, or received an email about 911, I cried. Endless tears I call them because today the same tears and heavy heart exist.

I remember the day like yesterday. I just arrived at work and someone told me a plane flew into one of the World Trade Center towers. It was tragic, but I continued getting ready for work and then approximately 15 minutes later another plane hit the other tower. We had CNN and MSNBC on all the channels at work watching the crashes with wide eyes and mouths while trying to comprehend the reality. My sister and a friend called me telling me to get out of the city. I didn't know what they were talking about as they cried and begged me to leave. My sister said, "You're watching national news stations. There's another plane missing and they believe it might be headed for Chicago." She told me to get out, so without dismissal since our bosses were in the Pentagon Center, I left for the train. They jammed as many people on the train as possible and left. A train ride that normally took 35 minutes took 1-1/2 hours, and I remember getting off the train and not wanting to be alone. I went to the bar I bartended at, and with some of the guys on bar stools, eyes glued to the television with tears streaking their faces, we sat in silence periodically shaking our heads.

My heart goes out to all the lives lost, all those involved, all those who survived, and for all our armed forces that have been fighting the battle in other lands to keep us safe. For them, I extend my gratitude for giving me the freedom to post on my blog. To sit in my living room safe from the horrors that exist in their daily lives. I salute all the men and women, past and present, and thank you for all your sacrifices and I will always remember your gift of freedom.

God Bless each and every one of you.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Sweet Home, Chicago!

Nothing big happened to change the course of my life, but things are different. Where to start. Today was the planned arrival date, but I completed the 15-hour drive yesterday. As much as I love the places we saw and the things we did, I’m happy to be home. I bought a book, The Secret, while in Mystic. I had no business buying another book, although I thought this was appropriate for the travels and the moment in time. I didn’t know they made a movie about this book, and so far, I’d recommend it to anyone wanting to refocus, find balance and be content. I tried the thought process while in Mystic and received positive results.

Our trip was full of activities and relaxation. I’m in the process of putting the pictures together and I’ll post a link here. I can’t help laugh at all 400 plus pictures and videos I took. Outside of my camera’s charge dying out one day, I think I captured every experience and now it’s time to crop, and clean them up. We went to Foxwoods Casino, Gillette Castle, John Edward’s Winery, Stonington, Point Judith, and saw much more.

On our way to Mystic, John McCain announced his Vice President. At night when we were relaxing in our rooms, the media focus was on Sarah Palin. Now I’m not one to discuss and debate politics because it’s a touchy subject, except I’m finding it isn’t so touchy for some. In the past, I’ve learned that people vote for different reasons. Some stick with their party no matter how incompetent their candidate is, some women vote on whom their spouse chooses, and recently, I’ve heard some women and Evangelists voting for Palin because she is a woman Evangelist. In addition, while on vacation, a young girl stated she’ll vote for who her parents nominate. Are you kidding me?

Last year when I was in Europe, I met a guy from France living in England and he brought up the President of the United States. He said, “Everyone hates America because you all voted for George W. Bush.” I couldn’t disagree with him, since George W. Bush is our President, but I also didn’t add that I was disheartened by the reasons people vote. As a woman, I don’t like knowing that a woman will vote for McCain just because Palin is a woman. That’s not using your voice seriously; it’s on the same level as voting for the next American Idol.

This election year is fueled by anger regarding war, economy, gas prices, and assaults against color and gender. With all the media bombarding us about the candidates, I understand how voting can be confusing and frustrating. All I can hope for is that everyone votes with their hearts and beliefs, not what skin color or gender they prefer.

Last but not least, are you ready for some football? Sunday, Da Bears won against Indianapolis, a bittersweet win after Super Bowl XLI. Here’s hoping they keep up their stamina.

I enjoyed my vacation; thank God I made it home safe; hope the Bears have a great season and look forward to voting for our next President. Take care.