Sunday, September 30, 2012

Project Ends

As a writer, I deal with projects big and small. With those projects come deadlines and self inflicted deadlines and no deadlines at all.

Small projects come and go off my plate. Most of the time I meet the deadline. Every once in a while, I don't. 'To err is human' I remind myself, but still try to get all things done on time, even when it's not possible.

The smaller projects are easier for me to move through. I get attached to larger projects. I fiddle with commas, periods, semi-colons. I re-write, re-do and re-arrange. The larger projects are harder for me.

So I try to trick myself into believing that these smaller projects are unrelated. 12 projects instead of 12 chapters. Sometimes it works.

I dream about larger projects, they become part of me, a growing process. Larger projects leave me a wreck at the end. I miss them. It's as if a friend has died. Well, not really, but you understand me, yes?

There are these tidbits and remnants that no longer have value. I need to delete, clean my desk, clean my zip drive and move on.

So I woke this morning realizing that a page in the book of my life had turned. Onward and forward into the future.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Shaking it off from the Day

It seems that ‘stress’ is the name of the game. And the dishers are out there dishing extra lately.
When I’m stressed, I do two things 1) drink tea and 2) walk my dogs.

  • I have a little tea ritual that I do that makes my experience a calm moment. There’s the cup, the tea, and the ceremony which includes a survey of the color of the tea for just the right flavorful intensity. Anyone who knows me knows: I love my tea.
  • My dogs get the credit for my exercise program. I highly recommend getting a dog if you want to add walking to your daily activities. Every day they have those moments when they can tell that I need to get away. Whether we walk a long way or a short distance is usually determined by how tense I am at the beginning and how quickly I release the tension.

Resources for dealing with stress: 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Reflections on the water

'Reflections on the water, like shadows in my mind, Speak to me of passing days and nights and passing time...' ~ Season Suite by John Denver

I find calm in watching the reflections on the water. There is something fascinating about the ripples, shadows and reflections that hold my attention to the point of calming my mind.

This is where stories are born...

From the depth of the water, the whisper rises up to the surface speaking of the secrets just below. 'Love,' says a voice. 'Hate,' says another. 'Choose,' says a third. 'Choose' sings the choir and the echo fades.

The choir begins with a quiet song, reaching crescendo before falling silent for seconds until the next song begins.

'Do this,' says one. 'Do that,' follows the next. 'What to do?' say the third. 'What to do? What to do?' they join together.

The beginning of the story comes into view:

A girl looks out onto the water. She sits watching the ducks, the bugs and the water. She comes to know all the creatures living near the pond. She comes to know their habits. She knows them so well, she begins to name them not only by their species name but also by their familiar name.

She began by calling the duck, 'duck'. After studying the duck, she learned it was a Mallard. Mallard became Mr. Mallard which became Mr. Merle Mallard. And when he waddled close to her, she resolved that Merle was a friend.

The story of 'Pond' waits to become real in the not so distant future.

In the meantime, you may like to listen to the Season Suite

Friday, September 7, 2012

Trouble with acronyms: a fictitious story

Steve saw Kay write it on the bottom of the note. It wasn’t much; just two letters.
Steve: What does this mean?
Kay: I saw it.
S: Yes, but what does it mean?
K: What? It means I saw the note.
S: What does the note have to do with Kilo Octet.
K: It doesn’t.
S: It isn’t about football! There’s no reason to mention Kelly Orton.
K: I didn’t.
S: Or the Kick off if you’re not talking about football.
K: Okay.
S: Are you Egyptian?
K: What?
S: You’re referring to Kemetic Orthodoxy?
K: No.
S: Did you attend Keystone Oaks High in Pennsylvania?
K: I visited Gettysburg once.
S: Are you buying stock in Coca-Cola?
K: Not today.
S: Knight Officer, Knight Online, Knock Out & Knowledge Object don’t make sense either.
K: What are you talking about?
S: You wrote KO.
K: Yes.
S: Why?
K: I acknowledged that I saw the note.
S: But what does it mean?
K: Those are my initials.
S: Oh.
The trouble with acronyms is twofold: acronyms are exclusive language, excluding many from the meaning. Acronyms are not clearly understood even by close associates as in our example.
The best practice is to say what you mean and write out the words: name the organization, spell out the technical term or provide a point of reference so that the information is complete for all who may read it.
To view the current level of ridiculous go to:

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Half Marathon

Today was the half marathon at Disney Resort, Anaheim, California. I was privileged to number among the force of volunteers who helped to make the event a great success.

3:30a.m. & I don't see each other very often. It's quite dark at that time, even with the nearly full moon in the sky.

By 5:45a.m. the water station was up and ready for the nearly 50,000 runners, walkers and bicyclists. At the first water station there were participants in all conditions, from 'I'm a runner & 2 miles is nothing' to 'I've got a stitch in my side & this was a very big mistake but I'm not giving up.'

All the runners impressed me. The energy and smiles, not to mention the genuine 'Thank you' put a smile on my face. The enthusiasm was catching even though early morning isn't my thing and running in a large group isn't on my list.

But what I can do is pour water and hand cups to some very nice, health minded people who are great examples of what people can do when they set their mind to it.