Not Simon and Garfunkel’s Sound of Silence #JusJoJan

I’m participating in Just Jot It January, a fun word prompt exercise organized by blogger Linda G. Hill. It happens all month during January. And it’s not too late to join in the fun. Check the details out here. The word prompt for today is ‘silence.’

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When I think of silence, I think of how my life has changed over the past forty years. When I was younger, I couldn’t have silence in my life. The radio was on – all the time. I slept with the radio on. I drove with the radio on. I remember one car I had for a few years. The radio was broken, so I carried a little portable cassette player with me, sitting in the front seat, blaring away my favorite tunes. I had a little plastic shoebox with all my favorite cassettes – mostly Led Zeppelin, KISS, Neil Young, some Bee Gees, and even a new fun group called the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Now, I’m…not-so-young…and I appreciate silence. I rarely have the radio on in the car. If I turn music on at home, it’s soft, meditative music in the background while I work – maybe once a week, if that often. And most mornings I try to take five to ten minutes a day to simply sit in silence and connect with myself.

Life changes through the years, including the number of decibels that occupy our existence.

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My Favorite Vitamin – Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS

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Blogger Linda G. Hill, organizer of Just Jot It January, also coordinates a Stream of Consciousness Saturday writing event. The prompts that she uses varies from week to week.

This week the prompt directions are:

Find a word that starts with “oc” and use it in your post. Bonus points if you start and end with your post with an “oc” word.

The rules are simple. The basic ones are:

  1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.
  2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

You can read more about Linda’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday event here.

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Occasionally, even though I’m glad I moved to Texas, I miss my California. Especially the beach. My favorite beach, which has been my go-to beach since after high school graduation (many, many moons ago!) is Laguna. I’m a bit of a beach snob. I don’t like flat, sandy beaches. I like craggy cliffs, rocky shores, and tide pools. I don’t even have to touch the water. I just need to see the vast ocean before me, hear the surf, and hear the sound of seagulls screaming in the air above me.

This is one of my favorite Facebook memes. And it’s true. I need the sea. I need the surf. I need the ocean.

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What My View Should Be #JusJoJan

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I’m participating in Just Jot It January, a fun word prompt exercise organized by blogger Linda G. Hill. It happens all month during January. And it’s not too late to join in the fun. Check the details out here. The word prompt for today is ‘darkness.’

Darkness – that’s what my view should be right now.

Yes, I should be hibernating deep in a cave somewhere, sound asleep and out for the winter.

It was 9 degrees when I woke up yesterday morning! In north Texas. It should not be 9 degrees anywhere. Does the weather not know that I am not a winter person? (Although, on the flip side of this – my gratitude for the day is that I don’t live in Russia where it hit a negative 88 degrees! Yes, I’ll be thankful that I’m where I’m at and I’ll keep that rare 9-degree mark.)

So, if you don’t see any posts from me for a while – it’s because I’ve gone to hibernate. See you in the spring!

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FREE OFFER – FOLLOWING YOUR DREAMS. Do you like reading tidbits about what’s going on in a writer’s life? Like reading story snippets of upcoming books? Like getting free book offers and hearing about free book giveaways? Sign up here for Trisha’s Tidbits, my weekly newsletter, and get a free copy of FOLLOWING YOUR DREAMS.

Predictions about Revolt? #JusJoJan

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I’m participating in Just Jot It January, a fun word prompt exercise organized by blogger Linda G. Hill. It happens all month during January. And it’s not too late to join in the fun. Check the details out here. The word prompt for today is ‘Revolt.’

I was at a loss for today. Then I saw this meme, which I’d seen several times on Facebook and I loved it. It seemed to speak to the current state of our social situations. It’s so frustrating to meet up with friends for an evening out, or meal together, and they spend more times on their phones checking Facebook than visiting with us.

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Fortunately I saw the Snopes link on this and went to check it out. It seems that the quote that goes with this photo, and a few other similar ones, cannot be attributed to the original 1984, written in 1949, but to the more recent theatrical adaptation. (It doesn’t really matter – I still don’t want to spend an evening visiting with someone that looks at their screen more than the people around them.)

Here’s what Snopes has to say about it:

What neither of these reviews make clear, and what the many memes get wrong, is that these words weren’t written by George Orwell in 1949, and do not appear in the novel 1984.

Despite a thorough search of the 2016 Enrich Spot e-book edition of 1984, we were unable to find these lines in the original novel. However, they resemble a speech from the book, made by O’Brien, a member of “the Party” who works at the Ministry of Truth:

The proletarians will never revolt, not in a thousand years or a million. They cannot. I do not have to tell you the reason: you know it already. If you have ever cherished any dreams of violent insurrection, you must abandon them. There is no way in which the Party can be overthrown. The rule of the Party is for ever. Make that the starting-point of your thoughts.

At another point in the original novel, the protagonist Winston notes: “Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious.”

The earliest iteration of the quotation on Twitter dates to July 2014, during the play’s second run at the Playhouse Theatre in London. (It was first staged in 2013). During the same run, a second tweetattributes the lines to the stage adaptation. However, soon afterwards, the quote began to be falsely attributed to the 1949 novel, rather than the 2014 theater adaptation.

The revival of the play in Australia and then New York during the summer of 2017 has led to a resurgence in social media posts and memes falsely attributing the line to George Orwell’s 68-year-old novel.

Inspiration for the Day #1linerWed

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I’m participating in Just Jot It January, a fun word prompt exercise organized by blogger Linda G. Hill. It happens all month during January. And it’s not too late to join in the fun. Check the details out here. Wednesday’s are ‘One Liner Wednesday.’ Here’s my one line for the day.

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Just Pondering #JusJoJan

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I’m participating in Just Jot It January, a fun word prompt exercise organized by blogger Linda G. Hill. It happens all month during January. And it’s not too late to join in the fun. Check the details out here. The word prompt for today is ‘Contemplation.’

Contemplation – it’s something I do a lot. Probably most writers do. Or is that because I’m an introvert? It doesn’t matter why – the results are the same. I contemplate – or think – a lot.

However, this is one of those actions where I like to fall back on one of the family words to describe what’s taking place. Ponder.

Ponder – now that’s a great word.

I think I’ll ponder on that for a bit.

What ‘cha doin? Pondering.

When I moved to north Texas, I was delighted when I heard the name of a small town nearby. Ponder. We had to go visit. And…I had to get out of the car and stand there and ‘ponder’ for a while in Ponder.

But, I didn’t pick the word for the day. So we’ll cross ponder off the list and I’ll get back to my contemplation. Tomorrow I’ll return to pondering.

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FREE OFFER – FOLLOWING YOUR DREAMS. Do you like reading tidbits about what’s going on in a writer’s life? Like reading story snippets of upcoming books? Like getting free book offers and hearing about free book giveaways? Sign up here for Trisha’s Tidbits, my weekly newsletter, and get a free copy of FOLLOWING YOUR DREAMS.

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Thoughts on Justice #JusJoJan

I’m participating in Just Jot It January, a fun word prompt exercise organized by blogger Linda G. Hill. It happens all month during January. And it’s not too late to join in the fun. Check the details out here. The word prompt for today is ‘Justice.’

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Such a Strong Word #JusJoJan

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I’m participating in Just Jot It January, a fun word prompt exercise organized by blogger Linda G. Hill. It happens all month during January. And it’s not too late to join in the fun. Check out the details for Just Jot It January here. The word prompt for today is Ultimatum.

It’s such a strong word – ultimatum – one that I don’t typically use.

Merriam-Webster defines ultimatum as “a final proposition, condition, or demand; especially: one whose rejection will end negotiations and cause a resort to force or other direct action.”

There are certainly situations that call for this type of final demand. Ex-husbands that have no desire to stop drinking. Teenagers that have no intention of following the family rules. Friends and neighbors that like to encroach on your time, energy, and resources. There are endless examples of when an ultimatum is necessary.

But, you’d better have the arsenal to follow through with what you’re prepared to do if the other party does not comply with the conditions or demands.

I rarely try to issue an ultimatum. But in light of the recent New Year we’ve entered, and all the plans I’ve outlined for 2018, I wonder if maybe I need to give myself a few ultimatums.

Young lady (okay, maybe not so young), you WILL get this submission finished or no dessert for you.

Trisha Faye, you WILL get that essay completed, revised, and submitted by the end of the month or no yoga for you next month.

Listen up girl, you WILL follow through and complete two short stories every month for the year, or no visit to the grandchildren. (Now that one will work. Don’t even try to keep me from my grandkids!)

How do you feel about ultimatums? Have you used them before? Did they work?

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FREE OFFER – FOLLOWING YOUR DREAMS. Do you like reading tidbits about what’s going on in a writer’s life? Like reading story snippets of upcoming books? Like getting free book offers and hearing about free book giveaways? Sign up here for Trisha’s Tidbits, my weekly newsletter, and get a free copy of FOLLOWING YOUR DREAMS.

The Empowered Woman – Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS

Blogger Linda G. Hill, organizer of Just Jot It January, also coordinates a Stream of Consciousness Saturday writing event. The prompts that she uses varies from week to week.

This week the prompt directions are:

When you’re ready to sit down and write your post, look to the publication (book, newspaper, permission slip from your kid’s teacher, whatever you find) closest to you, and base your post on the sixth, seventh, and eighth word from the beginning of the page. Enjoy!

The rules are simple. The basic ones are:

  1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.
  2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

And write to the prompt. And a few other administrative things. You can read more about Linda’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday event here.

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This is the first time I’ve participated in Linda’s Stream of Conscious Saturday blogging fun. In the spirit of following the rules, I grabbed for the top piece of paper on my towering pile. (Readers, forgive me, but she said no editing – so no editing it will be. You’ll just get the words that spew forth from my fingers for the next little bit.)

Okay, to be truthful, I did go with Door Number Two. At first I grabbed the top paper from the right hand pile. It was a library flyer. But then I got hung up on which were the sixth, seventh, and eighth words. Do I count the title? Do I count the header? Do I go straight to the information?

If I looked at the header, it would have been ‘closed January 1st.’ Hmmmm, there’s possibilities there. If I went straight to the information about the first event, the words would be ‘to access private’.

Feeling uninspired with each of these possibilities, I switched to the left hand pile. Ah! ‘The Empowered Woman.’ Much better! I’ll choose Door B, thank you very much.

That page was something I printed out October 24th, the information for a submission for Chicken Soup for the Soul.

The heading reads:

Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Empowered Woman
101 Stories about Being Confident, Courageous, and Your True Self

Right away I knew what I was going to write about. I even started it. The first paragraph. Then life started to overwhelm me. A book release in November, a part time job that picks up hours through the holidays, and the usual Christmas madness. I didn’t get back to this until after Christmas. And I’ve added very little to the essay over the past two weeks.

Other tasks were completed and checked off of my list. But I had trouble coming back to this one.

Being for the Chicken Soup crew, I needed to finish this piece to give myself time to set it aside and come back and edit and polish it.

The next thing I knew, it was the morning of January 10th – the day the essay was due. And I still hadn’t even finished it. I berated myself for not finishing it earlier. I knew that I had to ignore everything else on the list and do this item with a looming cutoff date.

As I started feeling pressured – by myself no less – I finally decided to cross it off the list and not even stress about finishing this item.

You know, once that was crossed off and was no longer a nagging ‘to-do’, my shoulders un-tensed and I eased into the rest of the day working on other items feeling relatively calm.

I got to thinking – isn’t part of being an empowered woman also knowing when to not do something? Isn’t allowing ourselves the option of saying ‘no’, or ‘I changed my mind’ a way of empowering ourselves? The choice to not do something we think we should, or not do something that we’d decided to act on earlier, is also a way of gaining internal power.

So, no – you won’t be reading my thoughts about The Empowered Woman in any Chicken Soup book soon. But I’m okay with that. I’m proud of the other items I did accomplish that day. By crossing that line off of my list, I felt stronger and more in control. I’d make a conscious decision about deleting that item, rather than being wishy-washy the rest of the day and sliding into the end of the day with the essay unfinished and unsent.

Now, about this ‘no editing’ part. Not so easy. It’s like the ugly first draft stuff. I’m okay with that. It’s the pushing that unclean, newly birthed creation out into the public view without any cleaning up. But there you have it anyway. And now I find myself starting to hunt for words to finish, so I’ll simply end it here.

Thanks for a fun challenge, Linda!

The Never-ending List #JusJoJan

Today I’m writing to the Just Jot It January word prompt for the day – aggravation.

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This is Friday morning and I’m looking at the ‘To-do list’ I jotted down last Friday. About half of it is crossed off. I certainly should have made more progress than that over the past week. I find myself struggling with an attitude of aggravation when it takes me this long to cross items off the list. And now that it’s Friday, I need to add some of the routine Friday/Saturday things back to the list.

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Some of the things that were accomplished this include: two books reviews, a newsletter, mailing off a book order, submitting a 53 word story, doing the agenda for our writer’s group, doing my end of year numbers, creating a new tracking document for 2018, updating my queries/submissions form…and more.

But…big sigh…still so much to do. And that’s not even getting to the fun things I want to play around with this year. One is needed for a March birthday.

All is good. At least when I hit ‘publish’ on this post, there’s one more item that can be checked off the list.

I’m curious – Do you ever finish everything on your to-do list?

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