Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Of Harassment and Such Things by Konnie Enos

With all the accusations of sexual harassment and assault flying around nowadays there are of course plenty of memes on the subject to be found on Facebook. Not long ago while I was scrolling through one such meme caught my attention. The title was “How to not be accused of sexual harassment”. Then it showed a pie chart.
I thought of several ways you should protect yourselves from such things. What does this show? Exactly one color, only one suggestion. And what was that one suggestion? “Don’t sexually harass.”
Well, that’s the first step. But, sorry, no cigar, that’s not going to guarantee anything.
Not doing it at all should be helpful in not getting convicted of doing it, but it’s not much help against being accused. Yes, I’ve heard that nobody is going to lie about such things, but guess what? The evidence is there to say otherwise. People have lied about rape, assault and harassment only to have their stories fall about when the evidence was looked at. Or they later recanted their story.
I once had someone I know tell me that my brother-in-law had at the very least been very bold and forward in a sexually suggestive way with her. (And yes, she was/is married.) This person wanted me to admit he’d behaved similarly towards me.
My brother-in-law was so shy around me he barely ever said two words to me and I don’t think he ever touched me, not even for a hug, which I made clear then let it drop. But a few years later my own husband was accused of inappropriate behavior with some of his female clients while he was working as a home health aide, not once, but twice.
The first time his boss thought it was actually one if his clients and even took all his female clients off his list, only to have each one of them ask to have him back. The second time she told him he had someone out to get him and to watch is back.
We moved.
A few years later we figured out who’d been making those false accusations. The same person who had tried to get me to accuse my very innocent brother-in-law.
You see all it takes to be accused of sexual assault or harassment isn’t doing such things but rather coming into the crosshairs of someone who has no problem with bearing false witness. So while your first defense against being accused should be not doing them in the first place, it can’t be your only defense. If it is, you’ve got your head in the sand. And that’s the last place you want your head to be.
No, I think your second defense should be never being in situation alone with someone who could then later say, “When they got me alone they did…” Then you get in a I said/they said situation and you’ve got no witnesses to your defense.
In our church we have this saying (I think other churches have it too) “avoid the appearance of evil”. So don’t put yourself in situations where someone’s false statements might find enough footing to be taken as fact.
Food for thought.
P.S. Happy 18th Birthday to my oldest son (tomorrow).

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Goals by Bonnie Le Hamilton

Okay, National Novel Writer’s month is now over. Time to get on with life, and catch up on the things that went by the wayside while I was frantically writing all those words, and I did a lot better than I thought I could!

I’m proud of myself for that but now is the time to think up some goals for the coming year, and maybe even set some deadlines to get them done. And it wouldn’t hurt if I could figure out how to do them without letting the chores go for a month. 😊

I have a niece, who is also a writer and she’s set the goal to publish six of her books this coming year. A goal I find rather ambitious even though most of those are already written and it isn’t like she has to find a publisher willing to take a risk on her, she self-publishes, but I doubt I could manage that kind of output in a year and unlike her, I don’t work!

Then again, I’m a slow typist. I’ve mentioned this before. I can’t win a word war – wait, I actually won one this year. Shocked me – shocked everyone. I usually don’t unless it’s against Konnie, and I suspect she had a lot of interruptions on her end while we were writing. She usually does.

Anyway, setting writing goals is a good idea and I’ve been thinking about some goals I could set, not just in writing but in life in general. Now I just have to set what the goal will be and how I would achieve it. Though I already know my writing goal is to get my manuscript Forbidden Connection ready to shop out to publishers and I’ve already started on that one, its with the editor right now.

Next, I have to work on the synopsis and the query and research the best agents and publishers for it.
Okay, I have a lot to do this coming year.

How about you? What kind of goals are you planning for this coming year?

Happy writing everyone! 😊

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Of the Spirit of Christmas by Konnie Enos

On December 16, 2015 I posted “Tis the Season” about The Spirit of Santa Claus and Christmas. Well, I’m going to revisit the topic. The Spirit of Santa Claus, the true Spirit of Christmas, is giving, not receiving. So in the Spirit of Giving, I’d like to give all my readers something to think about. I want you to focus on the reason for the season.
Focus for just a moment on why we celebrate Christmas.
It’s not trees all lit up with lights and presents stacked under them. It’s not stockings lining the fireplace waiting to be filled. It’s not even big family gatherings or huge dinners.
The reason we celebrate Christmas, is to remember.
Remember what the trees, the wreaths, the lights, the candy canes and the stars represent. Remember why we gather as a family to dine together and exchange gifts. Remember the true reason for the season. Mostly remember the birth that this season is supposed to mark then remember the child born oh so long ago.
Now remember the man as was documented in the New Testament.
The man who healed the sick, lame, blind and deaf. The man who didn’t judge the sinner as beneath him. The man who forgave the woman caught in adultery. Remember the man we celebrate this season for.
If you happen to celebrate Kwanzaa remember the seven principles of Kwanzaa. Christ’s efforts were to bring unity, collective responsibility, cooperation, purpose, creativity, faith and yes, even self-awareness. Remember the seven principles of Kwanzaa.
If you don’t believe in Christ. If you celebrate Hanukkah then think of the miracle of the lights and the reason you celebrate this season. Think of your God and all you are grateful for.
Now if you don’t happen to be Christian. If you don’t happen to believe Christ existed or that he was The Son of God. If you don’t even believe there is an all-powerful god, think of the world you’d rather your children, your grandchild, had the chance to grow up in.
Now that you are all thinking, remembering. Answer one, or both, of these questions. What would Christ do? Or; how can I make this world a better place?
Just think about your answer for few minutes. What can you do to make this would a better place?
Now I have a challenge for all of you. Every last one of you. Do I have your attention?
I challenge you, starting December 1st through December 25th to do something every single day to GIVE. Give friendship. Give love. Give kindness. Give your talents. Give your time. Give your understanding. Just GIVE.
To help you with this challenge, as a means to give you ideas each day on how you can give, I challenge you to go to and look at “Light the World” which is twenty-five days of ideas for giving. Admittedly, this is ideas for giving as Christ would give, but they are universal. Make our world a better place. Be the light the world needs right now.
Let’s see if we can’t make this a truly joyous season for all by basking in the true Spirit of the season. The Spirit of Giving. Let’s make this even bigger. I challenge you to pass it on. Pass this on to your friends, your family, and your neighbors. See how just how many people we can get making an effort to “Light the World”.
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Joyous Kwanzaa and Happy New Year one and all.
(And to those who say “Bah Humbug!” go read Charles Dickens “A Christmas Carol”.)

Smile. Make the day a brighter day.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

On Thanksgiving and Writing by Bonnie Le Hamilton

Have you ever said something, then instantly regretted it? And have you ever done that, then within minutes decide it wasn’t a mistake? I had this happen to me just last month.

A couple weeks before Nano started, I attended a meeting with my local Nano group, where one of our leaders first asked what they planned to write that year. As she went around the room for our responses, I didn’t think about my answer, even though I had no idea what I would write at all. I thought about how Konnie had recently finished the rough draft of a massive sci-fi.

With that on my mind, when my turn came, I announced I was going to break away from my norm and try my hand at sci-fi. Even as I said it I told myself I was being a fool. I never write anything that isn’t romance, and I still didn’t have an idea.

Then our leader presented us with several prompts and a time limit. I was drawing a blank. I still didn’t even know what I was going to write. Sci-fi? What was I thinking? Okay, I was thinking if Konnie can, so can I.

And well, I had started a sci-fi months ago, and set aside because researching and taking notes became too much for me, I’d been overwhelmed, so it was crazy to even think I could write a whole sci-fi, it was too much work.

I did try to work with the prompts, but still nothing, until one of them she gave us got me thinking. What would Nick have on him that reminded him of his missing brother? I didn’t get my answer right then, but it was a spark.

Her next set of prompts included writing a letter from the main character at the end of the book to the main character at the beginning of the book. Interesting.

I wrote two sentences. Two powerful sentences that really said it all. That night I went home, pulled out my computer, dug out my old discarded file, and started writing notes and two versions of an “ancient” tale from the worlds I was creating. I even wrote an outline! Me, the consummate pantser, wrote an outline, or at least a partial one. And I went through the two scenes I did have adding details, and information, I hadn’t had originally.

On November first, I thought I had enough outline to last me the month. I ran out of that during week two, but not ideas. I’ve a long way to go before I finish this story, or rather, these stories. 😊 And I’m already over seventy-five thousand words! Wahoo!

Have you ever been blessed with a story which won’t let go, or which snowballs on you into a massive tome? I know Konnie’s answer, what’s yours? And have you remembered to be thankful for this blessing?

Happy writing everyone!  😊

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Of Being a Grandmother Or Not by Konnie Enos

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it or not, but I’m not yet a grandma even though I have relatives younger than I am who are. In fact, the oldest of my brothers has recently joined the ranks of younger relatives who are now grandparents. My eminent admission into that club has not been announced though I’m clearly old enough to join evidenced in the fact that my oldest is now married.
I have also known for nearly a decade that my three youngest kids have classmates whose grandparents are around the same age as my husband and I are. Not really surprising.
I can remember taking my oldest daughter to a mother/daughter activity at her school one year. I was one of the oldest mothers there. Only one mother was older than me, the one that was there with her youngest of several children. Those mothers who were there with their oldest child were all still in their twenties. At nearly 40 I really stuck out.
Since I am so much older than my youngest children, I have had a few instances where someone mistook me for my child’s grandmother. Once a couple of years ago Royce had to have his new glasses adjusted and went back into the busy office without me to accomplish it. A few minutes later he came out with a perplexed looked on his face.
I led him out of the building while I asked, “What’s the matter?”
“Do I have a grandma?”
Well that was kind of out of left field so I asked what brought it on. Apparently the lady who adjusted his glasses had told him to “go back to your grandma”.
Then just the other day he and I were again in a busy doctor’s office. This one was so busy there wasn’t enough seats to go around in the waiting room. He ended up sitting on the floor between the chair I was sitting in and the door to the office.
When we moved into another room, there was still a lack of chairs and he was, true to his nature, complaining, this time about having to sit on the floor. One of the workers essentially chewed him out for begrudging me the only remaining seat, finally saying, “You have to show your grandma some respect.”
I know I glared at the poor woman. “I am not his grandma.”
I kid you not, it was the next day before it even dawned on me that my father had his first grandchild when he was 38 years old. Now guess how old I was when my youngest son was born.
I’m going to assume that you surmised I was 38, which is a great assumption. My youngest was born two months before my thirty-----NINETH birthday.
Of course there is also when my sister-in-law called to announce the birth of her granddaughter she told me I was finally a great aunt and asked if it made me feel old.
Sorry no. My oldest great niece is an adult. In fact so is her little brother. Though their cousins are still in grade school. Of course all of those are the grandkids of my husband’s youngest sister. On my side I’d have to admit this newest addition is my only great niece. Counting me and all five of my siblings, said brother is the only one who is a grandparent, so far.
Unless of course you’re counting grandbabies with fur or feathers, I’ve got a few of those.

Smile. Make the day a brighter day.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

November 8th by Bonnie Le Hamilton

Its November, and I should be thinking about my Nano project, and adding to those 25,000+ words I already have written this month on my first every sci-fi, but well, today is November 8th and I can’t help but think about what I was doing 31 years ago today.

All those years ago, I was a rather nervous young woman, who was so jittery she couldn’t even set a zipper in a dress. My mother insisted it was just nerves not my inability to do zippers, but frankly, I’m still positive it was my ineptness. She finally took the dress from me and put the zipper in herself, using Grandma’s old treadle machine.

And thus, started one of the most memorable days of my life.
The day I walked down the aisle and exchanged rings with the most wonderful man ever, and we should be celebrating; instead I’m missing him.

And instead of writing, instead of figuring out the next scene in my story, instead of wondering why I finally have a main character that is an identical twin for change, I’m sitting staring at wedding pictures. We were so young, so in love, and so unready for everything that life would throw at us, but we managed to stay together until cancer took him from me.

Sometimes, it isn’t easy to get over a loss like that.

Maybe one day I’ll write a story about that. Until then, happy writing, everybody!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Busy Mom by Bonnie Le Hamilton

Last week when I posted, Konnie recognized that today would be her turn, and it would also be payday, a busy day for her. Sunday she knew she had to get her post written in advance, because there was no way she'd have time this  morning. Then life got in the way and it is suddenly Wednesday morning! 

Be it known she's fine, just very busy shuttling kids hither and tither as well as paying bills and other such chores that always falls to her.

Happy writing everyone!