Listening Skills

I’ve been told I have excellent listening skills. Several people have told me this, and I believe it’s true.

I tend to listen more than I speak because I’m interested in other people’s ideas. I wonder if an article on how to listen to another person would be read by anyone, or even published, if I wrote one?

I read the other day that eye contact is becoming obsolete. That is one of the traits of good listening – making eye contact as the other person speaks.

There are many actions that go into being a good listener. I wonder if anyone is interested in listening to anyone else anymore, or in learning how to be a good listener?

The Dumbing Down Of Americans

I’m not a paranoid person, but I do know, after living all these years, that sometimes people really are “out to get you”. I’ve been in the education field most of my life, and I’ve seen trends come and go. However, a couple of the things I see lately disturb me. It makes me ask “Is someone trying to dumb down Americans?”

The most recent idea I read about yesterday is the decision to quit teaching cursive writing in our schools. Do you mean that instead of learning code or a foreign language, all anyone has to do is write in cursive and Americans will not be able to read it? And we are blindly agreeing to this? http://news.yahoo.com/cursive-writing-dead-162632387.html

One of the “logics” in that article is that if you know how to type on a keyboard or can print, you don’t need the additional burden of learning to write in cursive. Really? When many of our historical documents are written in cursive, Americans don’t need to be able to read them? For that is the problem with abandoning cursive writing. Not only will Americans not be able to do this, but they also will not be able to read cursive writing.

I would advise any parent, or grandparent, uncle, aunt, family friend, to find a way to teach their child to write in cursive. Not only is it important for the reasons I’ve stated, but it “may also boost brain activity, according to a 2010 study finding that preschool students who wrote out letters rather than just viewing them showed changes in brain activity when they later viewed those letters.”

The way I would teach cursive writing is to try to find a book, perhaps on Amazon.com, that teaches it. Then I would follow the lessons in that book. Another way, without the book, would be to sit with the child and teach him a letter each time he mastered the one I’d just taught. I’d start with a and o, as they are easy to form, as are e and l. I would be prepared to teach one letter a session. With luck, I’d be able to teach 3 or 4.

The notion that the keyboard replaces cursive writing is absurd. How many times have you needed something just to be told that “the computer is down”? I know you can type on a computer when the internet is down. But electricity also goes off.

It never hurts to know more than one way to do things. In fact, it usually helps.

The other thing I’ve read about recently is how sugar damages your child. Sugar is a brain food. Your child needs sugar. Yes, s/he gets excited about sugar and candy. We all get excited about our favorite foods. I don’t advocate giving a child all the sugar s/he wants. But I certainly condemn the notion that any sugar will hurt your child. There have been studies done showing that sugar increases abilities when given just before a test.

I also read yesterday that they have decided “sugar causes wrinkles”. I am frequently told how good my skin looks for a person my age. I am asked what I use on it. I have always eaten sugar. I avoid the cancer causing sugar substitutes. I function better mentally after a little sugar. It has not damaged my skin. So that’s the second thing to consider when asking if someone is trying to dumb down Americans? First they tried to take sugar from children. Now they’re discouraging Americans – especially us vain women – from eating sugar.

Think for yourself. Consider what I’ve written. Consider what you’re told by whoever tells Americans things through the media. Do your own experiments. Try to do a page of math problems. Now, eat two cookies, or a few m and m’s and try to do another page. Which do you do more quickly? (I did tell you to time yourself, didn’t I? No? I haven’t had any sugar yet today.)

Things are happening in America to change our culture. We didn’t get great by believing everything we were told. Americans thought and questioned. That’s how we gained our freedom and became the great country we are. Question what you’re told. There is such a thing as American propaganda. Begin to notice it.

Eat your sugar, write in cursive. That’s what I’m going to do.

 

Deciding What To Write About

Sometimes I wonder what people really want to read about? I just wrote in my other blog about the dog trying to wrestle the broom from me when I was in the floor trying to use it to get a pair of shoes out from under the bed. Is that even anywhere close to being interesting to another person?

I know different topics appeal to different people. I research the markets before I submit any of my work. I know everybody doesn’t read everything.

Sometimes you can take an article that might appeal to a school teacher and change it a bit and make it appealing to a parent. Other articles can be edited and changed to appeal to more than one market.

I had to write about the dog/broom/under the bed/growling older dog tonight in the other blog. It was enough trouble getting in the floor without having a young dog try to wrestle the broom from me that I was using to reach something and then having my old dog come in growling at the younger one and me lying there knowing if they began to fight over me, I would not be able to get out of the way quickly.

At any rate, I write about what interests me. If someone isn’t interested in it, they can skip that one. Might be a lot of skipping going on around here. I hope not.

Time

Writing takes time. Marketing takes more thought and time. Time is what I have little of these days.

I just got placed at a new building that will put me driving two hours per day to and from work. To me, that is unthinkable.

What I value most is my time. I do not want to give it to a car’s interior. I’d rather give it to my computer screen and words that pour out of my fingertips.

Nanowrimo

I wonder if I spelled that title correctly? At any rate, I’m referring to the writing marathon event some  writers participate in during November. I’m part of the group on Facebook, but until today I wondered why? Today one of the other members posted a question about a site he’d sent a story to. It was an online site. I went to look at it and saw that they pay for poetry. Their rates are fairly high and now I am extremely glad I’m a member of the group. You can always learn something from everyone. Some things you don’t want to learn, but this information is good for a writer to have.

Poetry

I listened to some children read their writing creations today. One shy girl tried to hand me her poem to read aloud for her. “Oh, no, child”, I told her. “Don’t you know a poem is read better by the poet than by anyone else who reads it aloud?”

Shyly she took the poem back and in a hesitating voice, I heard her description of the army, military and how she views wars. It would never have sounded so well in my own voice. She put the meaning in the words as she read them.

The Sugarlessness of America

The Sugarlessness of America

 Sugar is a brain food. It’s God’s natural way to make us smarter. I can do something more intellectual after consuming sugar.

Americans have been told for decades that sugar is bad for them. It rots the teeth. It causes children to jump around and act “crazy”.

Perhaps this grand misleading of the American public has been done on purpose.

I have felt for years that some undercurrent of society is trying to conquer America. It is doing it in a slow eroding of freedoms and thoughts, much as an abusive husband will erode a woman’s feelings of self-worth and confidence through a slow, methodical damaging of her daily.

When was the last time you picked up a newspaper or magazine and read about how bad sugar is for you?

Did you also notice that article telling you that sugar substitutes cause cancer?

Which one affected you the most?

Most people think they can just “cut back on sugar”, but they miss the sweetness and begin to seek something to replace it.

Sugar substitutes is the second prong of the two pronged nourishment fork that is helping to bring America down from her greatness.

There are many more subtle events happening in America today that are working to erode her.

Eat your sugar. Think for yourself. Think smart.

CBC   6/20/13          221 words

Constance As A Marketer

Perhaps Constance as a Writer needs to join forces with Constance as a Marketer. I have a Writer’s Market, and I seriously need to take time to go through it and submit some of my already written stuff.

One of the ways I do this is to read over a manuscript or poem. Then I think what kind of magazine might be interested in that submission. I go to the listing in the Writer’s Market and read their requirements. I look in the index for other magazines that are in the same category. I check my word count. I check whom my piece is aimed towards. I study my market with as much thought and nitpicking as I write my manuscript.

It’s no fun to have something you’ve created rejected. You can limit your rejections by truly knowing your markets. Sending your submission to the right editor helps as well. Study the listing for at least thirty minutes before you decide you want to submit to this magazine/publisher, and then follow their guidelines to the letter. This limits rejections and shows that you are a professional writer.

I need to do this. I will find a publisher for one of my written pieces this week. I will submit it by Saturday. Goal setting is another thing that helps move along a career.

Sadness

This day has brought with it much sadness. So far a poem and a short story have come out of that. When I am feeling very emotional, I write. Usually the things I’m most emotional or passionate about are the writings others find to be my best work.

I’m not in the mood to go into the details of this day’s sadness. Suffice it to say that some time down the line, the poem and story will both be published. Until then the grief is between me and my keyboard.

Topics

I do not think there is a topic I could not write about. Many would require research, but my interests are varied and there’s little I would not mind learning more about.

I do not like porn. I would not write that. Likewise romance novels, or bodice rippers, as they’ve been called.

If you are reading this and you have an idea about some topic that might be interesting to read or write about, let me know what it is. I’ll see if I’m as good as I hope I am.