Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Mirror Opposites

Ever since Konnie visited me last month, all my friends have been commenting on how much alike we are, and it got me thinking about how, being a mirror twin is more about how much we are opposites then about how much we are alike. The definition of mirror twins is after all, “mirror opposites.”

Yes, we look alike but we are different. Though I admit those differences are things that most people don’t notice. I think it might have something to do with how most people depend too heavily on sight, or maybe don’t utilize it enough, maybe a mix of both. Because honestly, people fixate on our face, and don’t see anything else.

Like we dress differently. Oh, we both dress modestly, but we do have different tastes.

Our hair is also different lengths, well it is now, and really for a lot of our lives, just that we can’t ever seem to agree. Though well, technically, this last time I cut mine off, it started with the doctor shaving half my head.

(Let’s just say, he got it all, and leave it at that.)

But beyond that, people do change their hairstyles over time and we’ve gone from me having the shorter hair to me having longer hair and back again, several times. That has annoyed a few people over the years, those few who depended on our hair length to tell us apart.

And that is because too many depend on what they see, and not on what their other senses tell them, like the fact that Konnie is a soprano and I’m an alto. Although to be honest, our blind counselor in high school knew that about us, and still had to depend on our hair length to figure out which was which. And boy was he annoyed when Konnie chopped her hair off!

Anyway, we are different, in a lot of ways, because, after all, we are “mirror opposites.”

Happy writing everyone! :)

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Reading and Living by Konnie Enos

In recent weeks I’ve seen articles about how reading is good for your longevity. Then today I found a list of five suggested books to read this summer and noticed something. Two were plays, two had already been made into movies and the last one; it was about how the internet is making us dumb.
I have in fact heard on several occasions the idea that in the age of instant everything, including answers, we’re becoming dumber. People want instant answers, knowledge, information, satisfaction. It’s becoming an epidemic of a total lack of patience.
Why wait to learn reading, writing, math, when the answers are right at your fingertips on the internet. Why bother to even retain any facts because you can just look it up again online.
When I was in school they at least attempted to teach us how to convert from our system of measuring to the metric system and back again. Who even remembers any of that? Just look up a conversion chart online.
My sister has a book with a perpetual calendar in it, but why bother looking things up in that. Just find the chart online. Let the computer algorithm find the date information you need in a matter of seconds.
Nowadays there is an app for just about everything, even finding trivia.
The problem with all this is it does make us dumber. We stop reading the books. We stop retaining information. We stop learning.
In Ally Condie’s “Matched” dystopia series she creates a world where people are so dependent on the information on the internet that they can’t even write. They don’t even know how to form letters. They don’t compose so much as a note without plagiarizing from what they find online. They literally just copy and paste words and phrases into the order they want to use. When the leading lady learns to actually write her own name, it’s a new thing to her.
You would think something like this was farfetched, but in this day and age, it really isn’t. We are really almost there.
Today’s kids have little time for patience.
They don’t understand waiting for anything, least of all information.
They’ve never had to wait for the slow churn of an ice cream machine to enjoy that cool confection.
They’ve never had to entertain themselves for an entire long, hot summer day with nothing but a park, and maybe a swimming pool, or a bike.
They’ve never had to get themselves across town without a parent to drive them, so it was either hoof it or bike it. No matter how long it took.
This Pok√©mon Go craze was intended to get people out and walking around, but there is apparently ways to get around that. My boys are playing it. My son has figured out how to convince the app he’s gone places like France, Britain, Brazil and Seattle. All yesterday, while sitting in his bed on his computer.
Kids want instant gratification without the effort to earn it.
Personally, I hope that being a reader thing includes reading WIP’s, because I don’t get a lot of time to actually read books nowadays between writing and you know, that busy mom thing I do every day.
I think we need to do better teaching that patience is a virtue and anything worth having is worth working for.
Maybe we need to turn off the tech more. (I say as I type on my computer with five internet tabs open.)
Smile. Make the day a brighter day.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Making it Worse by Bonnie Le Hamilton

Have you ever had one of those days when everything thing seems to go wrong? Well I’m having one of those months, and I think it might be two months.

All my problems actually started on June 24th. I know the exact date because on June 24th I had to drive all the way into I.F. to the airport to pick up Konnie, who was flying in to spend a couple of week with me over our birthday.

Or maybe everything started the day before when I got that call from the doctor’s office, saying the lab test came back and he needed to see me as soon as possible. Dang, yeah that didn’t help any.

But the next day with a bit of a limp, it wasn’t easy getting to the airport at all, but I managed, thanks to having a walker. Getting to my doctor’s office later that day wasn’t any easier because my limp had gotten a little worse, and my left ear was bothering me, that cough I’d developed wasn’t any fun either.

Anyway, long story short, along with having to change some of my regular medications, my doctor informed me my sciatica was acting up, I had a mild cold, and an ear infection. Oh swell. At least Konnie was around to help me while I spent a few days trying to stay off my leg as much as possible, but well, when things on that front got better, I suffered a small accident.

It was nothing major. I have one of those store-bought reusable plastic water bottles, 24 ounces. And I put it, full on my padded footstool while I turned to sit on the couch. I’d barely managed that when my bottle tumbled off the footstool and landed hard on my shin. I even remember telling Konnie I was going to have an almighty bruise on my shin in a day or two.

The only other problem I noted during those last few days Konnie was visiting was that while I had finished the antibiotics, my ear still was “clogged” to the point I couldn’t hear out of it. I made another appointment with my doctor.

Between making that appointment, and it actually happening, I took Konnie back to the airport, even though I was again limping. For some reason my bad ankle was acting up again. Or at least that’s what I thought, until I saw my doctor.

I must point out at this time, that I should have noticed there was only a barely discernable discoloration on my shin, and not the almighty bruise I expected. It hadn’t dawned on me that could be a problem, but it turns out, my shin didn’t bruise all that much because the blood was pooling in my foot and he instructed me to spend the next two weeks with my ankle elevated above my heart!
Do you have any idea how hard that is?

Well let me tell you, it isn’t comfortable to do while sitting up. Promise. But the hazards of lying in bed for two weeks aren’t so fun either, especially when my favored pastime is sitting on my computer, writing. Where do you put a computer while your in bed?

The easy answer is on a bed tray designed for a computer. I don’t own a bed tray of any sort. I grabbed my reader and a pile of books, and despite getting some time to read, I went a little stir crazy. I think the biggest part was that despite living so far apart, Konnie and I usually connect every day, online. We talk in AIM all the time, which of course we couldn’t do while I couldn’t get on my computer.

And believe me I did try, but the only place I could put this thing was on my stomach, and putting this big heavy thing on my belly made me feel like I was about to lose it, if you know what I mean. I couldn’t do it for very long, and I frankly avoided it as much as I could.

Then my ankle started to feel better, I was starting to think I would be able to make my brother-in-law’s wedding even though it fell the day before I was supposed to be up and about again, but well, the day before the wedding my hip went out. Or rather, I should say, my sciatica reared it is ugly head again.

Only this time, after 2 weeks of not sleeping on my side (the best position for my back problems) I was now in a lot more pain than any other time my sciatica had acted up. I, in fact, ended up in the emergency room one night simply because my pain was so bad I couldn’t manage to get myself into my bedroom, let alone my bed.
And, just as I am starting to see improvement on that front, just as the new month has barely started, what happens? For the first time in months, I get cramps. Here I hadn’t done anything more than spotting, if at all, since before Christmas, and suddenly, well until this ends, messes will happen, and I hate this.

And I’m beginning to wonder if someone upstairs is trying to keep me home bound for a reason.

But at least it got me thinking about how in writing we’re supposed to think of the worst thing that could possibly happen, and make it worse. Every time someone has told me this, I have always thought how could you possibly make the worst thing to happen worse? Now I know.

Why did I have to learn this the hard way?

Happy writing everyone!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The Flow of Things by Konnie Enos

I’m going to tell you the honest truth. Last night I had several ideas I could write about for my blog post. I really did. I don’t know if it was the hour (it was nearly 2 this morning) or they simply weren’t good ideas, but I couldn’t get any of them to flow.
I finally scrapped them.
Sleep. I need sleep. Then I’ll be able to think, write.
I went to bed. Then got up way too early to get my son up for school (he’s in summer school). I still had plenty of time to type up one of those ideas I had. I got him going then laid down to get some more rest.
Apparently my son, despite what he said, also got some more sleep. He missed his bus because he wasn’t looking for it.
That debacle at least got me awake. It also took me half an hour to figure out that he’d actually missed it. (I called the bus garage right away, I was on the line that long trying to find out where the bus was.)
So here I am, Wednesday morning less than half an hour before my post is supposed to go up and I’m tired from not enough sleep, plus I can’t think beyond the fact my son tried to get away with lying to me.
And to make matters worse my dear sister is complaining about how she feels every few seconds while I’m trying to organize my thoughts.
I suppose it could be worse.
I could have the rest of my family vying for my attention.
I’ve certainly been there. Trying to write and every single member of my family comes in and insists on talking to me interrupting my train of thought. But of course, I’m just on my computer, I’m not doing anything.
I could go on and on about family members who always interrupt me, who think I’m never busy and always have time since I’m ‘just on my computer’.
And now my post should already be up and I still can’t get the ideas to flow.
There are several things I should be doing.
Getting breakfast. Taking my medications.
Doing the chores I’ve been putting off, avoiding all week.
Doing the finances, because those always need done.
Getting a bath. Getting dressed. Though I doubt I’ll go anywhere today so I probably won’t do the last one.
And last of all, I could be editing my opus. I’ve actually been working on it for the last month.
In the end I just have to tackle one thing at a time and hope too many things don’t crop up to interfere with my plans. Because we all know life happens.
A child gets sick. A pet gets hurt. You run out of milk (ask Bonnie, that happens a lot around here). Someone needs a ride someplace. Or, like today, you have to write something and you can’t get a single idea to flow.
 Some days you just have to grin and bear it.

Smile. Make the day a brighter day.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Illnesses and other things by Konnie Enos

Today is supposed to be Bonnie's post, but she is laid up and unable to get on her computer long enough to type anything.
I’d promised her I’d let people know why her post wasn’t up but I ended up working on my opus all night. Yes, I do mean all night, reading and trying to edit my work in progress. I went to bed after the sun got up. I very nearly forgot. I also still need sleep. Food and my medicine would be helpful too.
I hope to see all our reader’s next week and I’m hoping Bonnie is feeling better before she has to post again.
Smile. Make the day a brighter day.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The Case Against Tickling by Konnie Enos

Okay, yesterday I found this post on by Sandra A. Miller (posted July 11, 2016) titled “Tickling Kids is Not Okay”. Well of course I read it.
I’ve never aggressively tickled my children. In fact I’ve never so much as hugged them without their permission and I’ve never ever made them hug or kiss anyone if they didn’t want to.
There are several reason for this.
First, like this lady pointed out, aggressive tickling is abuse and bullying. It IS NOT FUN for the victim. I know. I’ve been there. You may be laughing when it is happening, but believe me it hurts when people are aggressively holding you down and poking at you. NOT FUNNY. On the other hand, I happen to like the gentle tickling my husband gives me when he is being affectionate. There is a HUGE difference between the two.
Second of all, and I believe this is most important, when you show kids by your actions that they can’t control what is done to their bodies, i.e.: they can’t stop someone from aggressively tickling them, hugging or kissing them when they don’t want it, then you show them how to be abused. As I said, I allowed my kids to say who touched them, when and where, even when they were telling me, because they learned they could control who touched their bodies. Most importantly sexual abuse starts by the predator FORCING unwanted attention on the child. If they don’t know they can tell an adult not to touch them, what are they going to do?
I mean it. This includes not forcing a child to hug or kiss a relative they either don’t see much if at all, have never met before or have shown in the past that they don’t want to be around them. Just because that person is family doesn’t mean the child has to kiss or be kissed by them.
Forcing kids to hug and or kiss adults who are veritable strangers to them simply because they are visiting family members tells them they can’t control who touches them, that adults control their bodies, creating the potential for another victim of abuse.
I grew up with abuse in many different forms and I have tried hard to raise my kids without it. That’s why I taught them they could control who touched them when, how, where and how much. I taught them good touches and bad touches, and how to tell the difference. I even taught them where their private parts are and our standards of modestly keeping them covered. I talked about our standards of saving sex for marital relations, and I continue to discuss with them how they can follow that standard. (None of them are married yet.)
My hope is that by openly talking to them, they’ll come to me when they have a question so I can impart my knowledge and beliefs to them. Then, of course, it will be up to them to decide what they will do because in the end, it’s their body. They have the controls.
But I can say I agree with Sandra A. Miller. In my house we DO NOT abuse anyone by forcing them to endure any sort of torture including NOT tickling them when they don’t want it. I’m not saying nobody in this house is ever touched when they don’t want it, but then it’s a fight, and that’s a different matter. I’m still working on that one.

Smile. Make the day a brighter day.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Stuff Happens by Bonnie Le Hamilton

It’s been busy week for me, or should I say us. Though honestly, in ways, I’ve had a different week than Konnie has. For starters, she isn’t the one that started out with her sciatica acting up, and having a cold, and an ear infection, all at the same time. She’s the one who arrived in town looking forward to a couple weeks of not having to tend to the needs of others only to have me barely able to get myself to and from the bathroom.

Of course stuff happens, and things rarely goes as planned, though around my place things usually go pretty quietly, and about the only mishaps happens when I trip and something falls, but its just me. At Konnie’s, just someone knocking on the door causes havoc, and the potential for a lot more, what with all those dogs running and barking.

In our writing we need to remember there is always a potential for disaster, and they can be pretty big, particularly if you add into the picture other characters to stir the potential for disaster. A single character suddenly getting saddled, if only for the day, with several children, or even animals, for whatever reason, is one disaster after another in the making.

Think stories like Mr. Popper’s Penquins. Which was very funny by the way, but it shows how this is done in the extreme. Of course, we don’t need to get into the extreme for our stories, we just need to realize that things do go wrong, and few things rarely go just as we had hoped.

Just like this past week has been more me, nothing like what I planned, not even our birthday, but I’m sure glad Konnie was here to share the ride.

Happy writing everyone.