Don’t you find that no matter who you are, to make a marraige work, humor is required? Today is my husband’s birthday. He was out of town (and still is) but sent me a little note this morning that sent chills all through me. Married fifteen years and I still adore him in every way–that’s got to be a record.
Not to say every minute I bat my eyelashes at him or anything, there are plenty of days where I want to black his eye out, but most the time, he makes me laugh and makes me feel good all at the same time. There is something to be said for a companion that fills life with wonder and joy. Mine does that. What brings all this on isn’t the fact that it’s his birthday and we’re older and looking older too, but this wonderful little little write up he did for me:
Just so you know, this isn’t a real paper . . . it’s a joke thing you can go online and write up anything you want. Check it out . . . it’s kinda funny: http://getclippings.com/
And just for the record . . . I never said all that. I merely reminded him he conveniently forgot to take out the garbage . . . and I said it sweetly while batting eyelashes . . .
According to research (and isn’t everything according to research nowadays?) authors have the fourth most satisfying jobs. Check it out here: http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=1141115
I find itÂ interesting that theÂ least satisfying jobs areÂ those dealing with customer service? I’m in “customer service” with eBay . . . it’s not very satisfying, entertaining sometimes–definitely. Satisfying? No.
See the difference in the two spectrums of satisfied and dissatisfied?Â The people who are happiest are clergy. They’re in the service business, but they serve humanity . . . God . . . something they believe in. They are happy doing what they’re doing because the people who come to them, do so wanting the higher morality wanting betterment and believing that their clergy can give them something better.
The people least satisfied are waiters. They’re in the service business too, but they serve people with less lofty expectations. They want their burgers cooked all the way through and hey! Where the heck is my refill? And Excuse me I asked for this *without* mayo! I was a waitress once . . . I made good tips. I did well (although I think the flirt factor played into that) but I hated my job. I hated the whining. I hated smelling like cooked meat when I kicked my shoes off before falling into bed at night. Restaurants smell good. People smelling like restaurants do not.
I was a laborer once too (and I’mÂ not talking about having babies) I worked at Sweets candy factory for three miserable days. I only went in on the third day to hand in my apron, so maybe IÂ should count that as two days. I made candy canes. I hate candy canes now. That job nearly ruined Christmas for me. Thirteen bucks an hour back in 1990 was good money for a kid in college, but I couldn’t do it. As I burned my fingerprints off on those hot sticks rolling down the conveyor belt, I realized that I didn’t really mind the taste of ramen noodles. I could eat ramen noodles every day for the rest of my life so long as I never stepped foot in Sweets factory again.
I’m glad that they mentioned that construction laborers weren’t on the least favorite list. I love construction work. I love the smell of wood after a saw burns through it. I love the feel of a hammer in my hand, even if it does blister at the palm under my thumb sometimes. I love the stretch of my muscles as I swing the hammer back and forth. I love knowing that at the end of the day I can look at what I built and feel good that I’d made something where there wasn’t anything before.
Maybe that’s why writing is so satisfying. At the end of the day, I can look and see something there that didn’t exist before. Yep . . . I am very satisfied as an author. Nice to know those researchers get it right sometimes.
I’ve seen two movies this past week. This is an absolute astonishment because it’s really hard for me to find the time to do nothing but let my brain lie fallow when there are things I should be doing. The first movie was The Holiday. Loved it! The scripting was brilliant, character motivation believable, enchanting all the way around and Jude Law is adorable in every way. I loved it for the fabulous feeling I had long after the movie had ended. I truly feel jealous of Nancy Meyers for her ability to write. I loved it . . . I can’t say it enough.
I also watched Children of Men and , well . . .Â didn’t love it. I felt like I’d been slapped upside the head with someone else’s political agenda. The movie left me with no hope. It left me doubting in the integrity of mankind. It left me seriously considering curling into a ball and rocking back and forth. I wanted to watch this movie because I am writing a novel for teens about infertility in women. It’s a sci fi book and I worried that this movieÂ (which came out AFTER I’d outlined my novel, may I add) would have too many similarities and therefore nullify my novel. I am happy to report that the movie is NOTHING like my novel. My novel ends with hope and excitement for the future and there is a lot of entertaining throughout.Â This movie was nothing but violence and depression. Why bother with such a world as that?
It led me to thinking about a recent blog post by Josi Kilpack. She quoted Chris Heimerdinger as saying, “…if LDS filmmakers are going to succeed, they cannot forget that their first priority is entertainment. First and foremost, a movie must thrill, surprise, enchant and keep people on the edge of their seats.”
Isn’t this the same with all forms of entertainment? My job as a writer is to entertain you, not beat you about the head with moral rhetoric or instill my own political agenda into the minds of my readers. My job is merely to make you enjoy reading what I wrote. If I’m a good writer, you will get a “message” out of it without me doing anything extra.
Maybe I’m just a jerk, but I HATE being told how to think and I hate being manipulated into trying to feel emotions that another author didn’t work hard enough to earn. I despise moral and political bludgeoning by artists of any medium, whether it be literary, musical, or any other. I am content to be a writer who entertains. If my readers can say they laughed or cried, then I did my job. Isn’t that art?
I think so.
So for all those “Artists” who want to call me to repentance because I somehow failed to cram my agenda down the throats of my readers, may I just say, “Get over yourself!” If you’re an artist, you’re an entertainer. Period. And if you are good at what you do, people will get your message and instead of feeling manipulated, they’ll feel a kinship with you because you showed them something in a different way. THAT is art.
No, I am not having a baby. But my little brother and his wife just had a new baby. He is cute as can be. He looks a little like a cross between a glo worm and Mr. Magoo.Â I’ve already taught him to say, “Julie is my favorite aunt” but don’t tell my sister I’ve done that.
Since I’m here and writing, I have a confession to make. I am addicted to Postsecret.com. It’s not always g-rated so if you go there on my recommendation, be forewarned. But what it is–it’s always fresh. Sometimes people make me laugh so hard my stomach muscles hurt. Sometimes I cry over it, sometimes I feel like I’m reading about myself. I don’t have many (if any) secrets. I am far too absurd for the prudence of keeping things to myself. But if I did, I’d send in a postcard. I think I’ll start a competing blogsite called the confessional . . . do you think I’d get sued? yeah, me too . . . blasted intellectual property!
Hey, speaking of websites and blogs, Heather Moore just started a really cool blog called http://writingonthewallblog.blogspot.com/Â She asked a few authors to be contributors and I was one of those authors! YAY. For those interested in writing, this is a cool place to get information.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
Wow. I’ve recently read an article shared with me by my good friend Robison Wells. It’s a long article, but here’s a summary: The Washington Post convinced Joshua Bell, one of the world’s best violinists, to go down into the subway, dressed in jeans and a t-shirt, and play his $4,000,000 Stradivarius.Â The experiment was to see if people could recognize great art out of context.In 45 minutes, 1097 had walked past, and onlyÂ 7 stopped to listen.
The article is a fascinating philosophical look at how context determines our level of appreciation for art–and not just art, but to see if we recognize beauty when we see it.
I want to mention that I ALWAYS pay street performers as a rule, unless they really suck rocks. I’ve dropped whatever money I’ve had, that’s easily accessable, into hats and instrument cases of entertainers all over America.Â IÂ acquired this practice long ago because most of these people make my day more pleasant and I hope if I support them . . . they’ll come back and play for me again. My last visit to New York, there was an older Asian man singing opera through the tunnels of the subway system . . . I mean he was really belting it out and it was beautiful–enough so that four years later I remember him. As I climbed the stairs back up to street level, I remember actuallyÂ tearing upÂ for the beauty of the music, but I didn’t stop. I was in a hurry to catch a play on Broadway. I dropped a dollar as I whisked past him.
Upon reading this article . . . I wonder, are our lives so out of balance? Are we like washing mashines where the towels are loaded all on one side so we never rinse through properly? Sometimes I feel like that. Sometimes I feel like aÂ soaked towel, unable to spin the saturation of the day out because I’m so off balance, I just can’t. I know–lame analogy, but that is how I feel sometimes.
I moved to the country to slow my step, and my step is far faster today than it has ever been, but yesterday I caught myself staring at the sky and listening to the peaceful sounds the country offers. I took a deep breath, the kind where you fill your lungs to their full capacity and exhaled slowly. I hurried on again, but for that moment, I felt balanced. I encourage you all to read the article. It’s long, but in itself is beautiful and therefore worth the time to stop and listen. And if you feel like sharing a moment where beauty transcended the imbalance of our lives, feel free to leave a comment. Here’s that article:
And just because I’m slightly evil (don’t worry my husband knows this) I’d have stopped to admire more than the music! That is one fine looking man!
Josi Kilpack chose nine other authors who are each very well read in this market (list at the bottom of this blog) to send her a list of their ten favorite LDS books of all time. Then she combined the results into this listâ€”102 books recommended by 10 authors. The point is to see how well read people are in our own niche market. If youâ€™ll recall, I did this from another blog recently with the nationally marketed books. If you want to do this copy and paste into your blog and use Josiâ€™s key.Â
She used the following key:
Bold=I read it
Highlighted=Iâ€™ve never heard of it
Italics= A favorite that stayed with me a long time
(I chose to only bold the ones Iâ€™ve read and highlight the ones I hadnâ€™t heard of because so many of my friends are on this list and I canâ€™t choose favorites–but some of you might be braver than me)
1) A Heartbeat Awayâ€”Rachel Ann Nunes
2) Almost Sistersâ€”Nancy Anderson, Lael J. Littke
and Carroll H. Morris
3) Angels Don’t Knockâ€”Dan Yates
4) An Old Fashioned Romanceâ€”Marcia Lynn McClure
5) A Question of consequenceâ€”Gordon Ryan
6) Ariana: The Making of a Queenâ€”Rachel Ann Nunes
7) As the Ward Turnsâ€”Joni Hilton At the Journeyâ€™s Endâ€”Annette Lyon
9) Baptists at Our Barbecueâ€”Robert Farrell Smith
10) Charlieâ€”Jack Weyland
11) Charleyâ€™s Monumentâ€”Blaine M. Yorgason)
12) Chickens in the Headlightsâ€”Matthew Buckley (on my to-read list)
13) Children of the Promise, Vol 1: Rumors of Warâ€”
14) Children of the Promise, Vol 2: Since You Were Goneâ€”
15) Come Armageddonâ€”Anne Perry
16) Daughter of a Kingâ€”Rachel Ann Nunes (picture book)
17) Dead on Arrival–Jeffrey Savage
18) Double Cross–Betsy Brannon Green
19) Dusty Britchesâ€”Marcia Lynn McClure
20) Emeralds and Espionageâ€”Lynn Gardner
21) Escaping the Shadowsâ€”Lisa J. Peck
22) Fablehavenâ€”Brandon Mull
23) False Pretensesâ€”Carole Thayne
24) Faraway Childâ€”Amy Maida Wadsworth
25) Fire of the Covenantâ€”Gerald Lund
26) First Love and Foreverâ€”Anita Stansfield
27) Flowers of the Winds–Dorothy Keddington
28) Ghost of a Chanceâ€”Kerry Blair
29) Gustavia Browneâ€”Alene Roberts
30) Jimmy Fincher Saga Vol. 4: War of the Black Curtainâ€”
31) House on the Hillâ€”Annette Lyon
32) House of Secretsâ€”Jeff Savage
33) House on the Soundâ€”Marilyn Brown
34) In a Dry Landâ€”Elizabeth Petty Bentley
35) Lifted Upâ€”Guy Morgan Galli
36) Love Beyond Timeâ€”Nancy Campbell Allen
37) Mary & Elisabethâ€”S. Kent Brown (Non-fiction)
38) MaCadyâ€”Jennie Hansen
39) Molly Mormonâ€”Tamara Norton
40) Mummy’s the Wordâ€”Kerry Blair
41) My Body Fell Offâ€”BJ Rowley
42) My Not So Fairy Tale Lifeâ€”Julie Wright (Great read )
43) No Longer Strangersâ€”Rachel Nunes
44) Nothing to Regretâ€”Tristi Pinkston
45) On a Whimâ€”Lisa McKendrick
46) On Second Thoughtâ€”Robison Wells (laughed my head off)
47) On the Edge–Julie Coulter Bellon
48) One in Thine Handâ€”Gerald Lund
49) One Tattered Angelâ€”Blaine M. Yorgason
50) Out of Jerusalem 1 (Of Goodly Parents)â€”H.B. Moore
51) Out of Jerusalem 2 (A Light in the Wilderness) â€”H. B. Moore (on my to-read list)
52) Out of Jerusalem 3 (Towards the Promised Land)â€”
H. B. Moore
53) The Peacegiverâ€”James L. Ferrell (on my to-read list)
54) Pillar of Fireâ€”David Woolley
55) Poisonâ€”Betsy Brannon Green
56) Prodigal Journeyâ€”Linda Paulson Adams
57) Pursuit of Justiceâ€”Willard Boyd Gardner (donâ€™t shoot me bill, it is on my list and YOU didnâ€™t bring any books to the conference!!!)
58) Return to Red Castleâ€”Dorothy Keddington
59) Race Against Timeâ€”Willard Boyd Gardner
60) Sarahâ€”Orson Scott Card
61) Saintsâ€”Orson Scott Card
62) Sixteen in no timeâ€”BJ Rowley 63) Spies, Lies and a Pair of Tiesâ€”Sheralyn Pratt (I saw the movie, does that count?)
64) Standing on the Promises Vol 1: One More River to Cross
–Margaret Young and Darius Gray
65) Strength to Endureâ€”Tristi Pinkston
66) Surprising Marcusâ€”Donald S. Smurthwaite
67) Tatheaâ€”Anne Perry
68) Tempest Tossedâ€”Josi S. Kilpack
69) Tennis Shoes Among the Nephitesâ€”Chris Heimerdinger
70) The Allianceâ€”Gerald Lund
71) The Book of Mormonâ€”Nephi thru Moroni (non-fiction, if you havenâ€™t read this, you are sooooo missing out!!!!)
72) The Believerâ€”Stephanie Black
73) The Coming of Elijiahâ€”Arianne Cope
74) The Counterfietâ€”Robison Wells
75) The Emerald–Jennie Hansen
76) The First yearâ€”Crystal Liechty
77) The Fragrance of Her Nameâ€”Marcia Lynn McClure
78) The Killing of Greybirdâ€”Eric Swedin
79) The Last Days, Vol. 1: The Gathering Stormâ€”
Kenneth R. Tarr
80) The Last Promiseâ€”Richard Paul Evans
81) The Looking Glassâ€”Richard Paul Evans
82) The Miracle of Miss Willieâ€”Alma J. Yates
83) The single Heartâ€”Melinda Jennings
84) Loved Like Thatâ€”Julie Wright
85) The Work and the Glory Vol 1â€”Gerald Lund
86) The Work and the Glory Vol 2â€”Gerald Lund
87) The Work and the Glory Vol 3â€”Gerald Lund
88) The Work and the Glory Vol 4â€”Gerald Lund
89) The Work and the Glory Vol 5â€”Gerald Lund
90) The Work and the Glory Vol 6â€”Gerald Lund
91) The Work and the Glory Vol 7â€”Gerald Lund
92) The Work and the Glory Vol 8â€”Gerald Lund
93) This Just Inâ€”Kerry Blair (on my to-read list)
94) Time Ridersâ€”Sierra St. James
95) Time Will Tell by Julie Coulter Bellon
96) To Echo the Pastâ€”Marcia Lynn McClure
97) To Have or To Holdâ€”Josi S. Kilpack
98) Towers of Brierley, Anita Stansfield
99) Twelve Sistersâ€”Leslie Hedley
100) Unsung Lullabyâ€”Josi S. Kilpack
101) Wake Me When itâ€™s overâ€”Robison Wells
102) Winter Fireâ€”Rachel Ann Nunes
Contributing authors: Tristi Pinkston, Julie Wright, Jeff Savage, Rachel Ann Nunes, Jewel Adams, Annette Lyon, Heather Moore, Stephanie Black,, Julie Bellon and Josi S. Kilpack
If you’d like to play, copy this onto your blog or into the comment section of this post. Be sure to tell me where you blog it so I can take a peek. Â
The naked truth is a scary thing. I mean c’mon, in the first place . . .Â it’s naked and I don’t care who you are, everything and everybody looks better fully dressed. Plus there is the distinct possibility of getting into trouble for revealing the whole unadulterated truth (great! Net filters everywhere will be blocking my site because I used the words naked and unadulterated in the same post).
Open and honest communication is what keeps society out of war. We may not agree on all points, but we cleared the air and parted with better understanding on both sides.
I’ve found so often in my life that when I tell the truth–even when the truth is tough to tell–I am a happier person.Â Bill Clinton could take a lesson from that. Just admit what you did the first time you’re asked; then you have nothing to defend yourself from. If he’d just shrugged and said, “Yep, I did that.” he’d have saved himself, his family, and our whole country a whole lot of time and embarrassment.
Fortune for the day: Honesty is the best policy–a cliche no longer!
I need to say to the world Happy Easter. I know some people don’t believe in Christ, but I do and it’s my blog. So Happy Easter world! As I’ve thought about how much I miss my grandma, I find myself more and more grateful for the resurrection. What an incredible gift!
I’ve mentioned before that my day job is working at eBay in the trust and Safety and Community Watch departments. I honestly believe that people are basically good and that most people are rational normal, well meaning individuals, but there are some you gotta wonder about . . .
Some days I feel like I’m running a world wide day care for the childish and mentally ill.Â This little collection of actual feedbacks should be a sampling of what I go through as I monitor the world’s greatest marketplace.
with the hopes of not getting myself fired (as my brother assures me I will be if I ever post about eBay) I’ve changed theÂ user ID’sÂ of the guilty and deleted any information that might crop up to disparage some individual.
- Warning! Cheater! Your stuff smells like a corpse! How can you do this?
- This guy threatened to kill our dog! VERY unprofessionalâ€¦DONT SELL 2 him!
- Did not like explaining to my wife a package with hearts near the return address.
- Never received item. He just never came through. However, I did not pay.
- Item was packaged so that I did not injure myself while opening it. thanks!
- DVD set arrived damaged-shipped in TRIX CEREAL BOX! Trix are for kids, not USPS!
- item was wrapped in sock when I got it, not professional
- Totally unprofessional and crass. I pity his wife.
Follow-up by seller:Your welcome to come get her
- The bowls didnâ€™t fit on my head to make a â€œfunny hat” as promised
- bought item to help save cousins life; item shipped late and my cousin died
- Painfully slow. I paid for this in my 20â€™s. Iâ€™m now dead and buried!
- I have recently been scammed, should i worry?
- I cant seem to leave cred.card pmt VISA **************** exp 05/05Mari Linglet (this person actually gave out her credit information in a public forum??? Donâ€™t worry I changed her name and blacked out her card number!)
- There was NO REASON for you to call my house and yell at my children. Still, A+
- BEWARE! Misleading auction titles. Got crap and 2 were bent.
- CROOK~~! I never received product Now I’m OUT $435!
Reply by seller: I was in jail, please ignore this bad feedback
- The “stalking and shooting” info, as promised in item description, was superb!
- The tissues didn’t work very well as toilet paper as per Boy Scout Troop 3214
- This guy is whacked. I suggest some type of therapy, or a Post Office job.
- Seller is a lying, two-faced cheat. Trust me, I’m his wife.