Madness in America

I got up in the dark to begin my day. My little dog insisted she could wait no longer. I turned off the alarm before it went off and stumbled outside with her highness on a leash. She began to bark. What could she see in the dark that I could not? There were two or three people walking on the opposite side of the sidewalk. Oh . . . they had bookbags . . . heading to the corner to catch the school bus. This early? In the dark? I’m sure they do this every school day. I’m just not usually up to see it. I have no idea what time they get back home, but isn’t this madness? If they are now headed out to school, that means they got up earlier than I did.

My dog and I saw one school bus stop at that corner. Then we saw two adults headed back. I guess the two elementary age children on this block catch their school bus even earlier than the high schoolers (or are they middle schoolers?). It doesn’t seem right to me to make anyone, especially children, walk in the dark to catch a bus. Then in mid-afternoon, they are sent home again.

Isn’t the dark the time for sleeping? Doesn’t the sun start our days? Is this madness all over America?

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Washing Dishes Brain Storms

When you are doing mundane tasks, like washing dishes, that is when many writing ideas come to you. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because your hands are wet and you are busy and it’s the most inopportune time to write . . . all I know is when this happens, you need to dry your hands, grab your keyboard or writer’s notebook and jot down what you’re thinking about.

This is called gathering ideas. You may not write about every idea you have, but you will have plenty of ideas to write about, if you make a note of them when they occur to you. Washing dishes, vacuuming the floor, sweeping . . . when the muse appears, make note of it.

The Devaluation of Intelligence in America

I just saw an article about professors – adjunct professors – who qualify for food stamps.

I’ve often thought about how much Special Ed kids get so much attention in schools while the truly brilliant are left to daily boredom.

I’m a member of Mensa.

I often feel devalued myself. My ideas are not embraced and frequently I’ve been told “they will not work”.

And then this morning I read about this:

http://www.salon.com/2014/09/21/professors_on_food_stamps_the_shocking_true_story_of_academia_in_2014/

Article Pitch and Five Unpublished Poems

I received an email asking me to pitch an article, and it also included a request to view five unpublished poems for possible inclusion in a book. I was able to do both today. I worked on the article pitch last week, edited it and got it in the right format and off it went today!

I have written many poems and went through my files and found five that might be suitable, or might not. That’s the thing with writing and submitting. You never know what’s going to be bought. It’s possible none of them will be used. It’s possible the article won’t be requested as well.

But it’s fun to me to try.

While I was in my poems’ file, I found some haiku that I had written. They are really quite good. I added a couple more. There are notes on the haiku which indicate someone wants haiku for a book and that’s why I began to write some. It appears I wrote them during the spring. Now it is fall and a couple more join the group.

I never know what I can write until I sit down and try. Some things require research; others do not. It’s usually a pleasant surprise when I’m done. Sometimes things turn out differently than expected. Some things write themselves.

I’ll let this blog know how it all turns out – the submissions I sent off today.

An Ungrateful Child

There is nothing more heartbreaking than an ungrateful child.

There is nothing more wasted than love and attention given to an ungrateful child.

I have sacrificed greatly for my own children.

One of them is an ungrateful child.

He has a mean spirit and cares not for me.

I do not care that I am posting something that perhaps some feel I should not post. I do not care anymore. I have cared for thirty years and given and sacrificed for an ungrateful child. I want to be able to come back and remind myself of how he has made me feel this day and for many, many days in the past couple years.

If you have an ungrateful child, you know what I speak of. If you do not . . . let’s hope you never do.

Be Careful From Whom You Seek Advice

I’m very bad about asking for advice. I’ll get an idea in my head and ask those around me what they think. Sometimes after I change my mind because of the negative advice I got surrounding my idea, I regret not doing it. Other times I regret going ahead with a bad idea that someone encouraged me to try anyway.

Some people don’t want to see you succeed. They may not be aware of these feelings themselves. How would you recognize or expect their motives?

Be careful from whom you seek advice. You’re better off without some people’s views on your ideas. Believe in yourself and use your own mind. After all, you are the one who has to live with the consequences.

Writing As A Learning Tool

Writing can be used as a learning tool, as I saw yesterday in a workshop I attended.

We began by writing what we already know about a topic (Critical Thinking Skills). Then we wrote some comments about an article about the topic as we read it. We also considered things we might not know, but might want to know.

It is possible to think of a topic, list the things you know about it, the things you’d like to know, do research and write the things you learned from the research. In school, this is done with a KWL chart – The K stands for what you know; the W stands for what you want to know; and the L stands for What you Learned.