Retraining myself, and others

This is long, but it addresses some of you. Therefore, this is why it’s not only posted on my blogs, but on Facebook as well. If the shoe fits, wear it. If it doesn’t, don’t worry about it. Savvy?:

Ever feel like you’re shouting into the void and nobody is hearing you? Of, if they are hearing you, they aren’t listening? I feel that way much of the time. Not with every person, but with most.

Until I lose my shit, hardly anybody takes me seriously or listens, and that’s a big pet peeve of mine. It’s unnecessary to become a volcano and erupt. Much easier to listen, understand, and try to do something about things BEFORE the lava flows, right?

I don’t like to erupt. It’s not pretty, trust me. You’ve seen me upset on here, but you’ve NEVER seen me erupt (well, save for maybe a few of you). It’s not healthy for anybody involved, including me, and it leaves wounds and scars afterward. But alas, I AM human and I can only take so much.

If you need or want things from me, I ask that you be respectful and considerate of me in return — that goes for family, friends, FB acquaintances, and strangers. That includes impositions on my time, energy, and attention. Because, just like yours, it’s precious. It’s more precious than money, in fact. I put the value on my time and attention, and from here on, it’s gonna be high.

Unless you put me on retainer 24/7, I’ll respond when it’s convenient for me (this applies to personal communication, not professional communication). Your emergency is not automatically my emergency, either. Not my circus, not my monkeys. Tired of putting myself in crisis mode over other people’s crises.

Also, my immediate family comes first — always. Everybody else stands in line. And on down the line…you get the drift. Believe me, I have more than enough to juggle here on the home front. Husband and children first, then comes my career. Everything else is a lower priority than those two things. It has to be that way.

For most of my life, I’ve allowed others to eat up my time, energy, and attention because I felt I needed to always please them or I needed to bow to their whims. No longer, so get used to it. I’m 50 and I have no idea how much time I’ll be on this plane of existence. I no longer have time to say yes to everything or try and bend myself to the whims or wishes of others.

It’s time for me now. It’s time for my dreams, my goals, my ambitions. And, considering the time I’ve spent giving to others, sacrificing for others, and putting myself at risk to shield others from problems, I think I damn well deserve to draw some boundaries. If I were a man, I wouldn’t have to ask or beg for this. I’d do it, and I’d do it without emotion.

As a woman, society has raised me to think that I need to ask, beg, or justify time for myself. Well, I won’t do it. I’m taking it. People can either like and understand it or not. That’s not my issue, it’s theirs. Men typically don’t have to explain such things, but women are selfish if they’re not there for everybody all the time or waiting in the wings to nurture, support, or encourage everybody else on the planet.

Yes, I do care about all of you. But friends and family, it’s time for me. I’m going to train myself to stop chasing after people, to stop trying to please everybody every single minute of the day, and to stop doing things that others can (and should) do for themselves. I’ve said this before and gotten off track, so this is a reaffirmation of what I MUST do in order to maintain whatever sanity I have left. This is a reminder for both me and all of you.

There’s more, but you can fill in the blanks. If not, Google is your friend. Speaking of which, I will no longer do research for anybody, either. If you’re hooked up to the Internet, you can use the same method I do: type in Google, enter your inquiry into the search box, etc. My time is as precious as yours, after all. Or, find experts and ask them. There’s a website for that as well.

If you have a book manuscript, I do not have time to read it. Are you kidding? With editing and reading for pleasure, when do I have time to read other manuscripts? Same with short stories. I cannot tell you if it’s good enough to be published. That’s up to an agent, editor, or publisher. So submit it and you’ll find out. That’s what I had to do (and still have to do).

Also, don’t ask to give me an idea so I can write a book and split the royalties with you. Really? Ideas are a dime a dozen, and I have more in my head than I could EVER put on paper. When you ask a writer that, you’re asking THEM to do all the work so you can reap the benefits of the results. Not cool. The answer is no. Write it yourself or pay a ghostwriter (and they aren’t cheap).

I’m not being harsh; I’m being upfront about things. If you want feedback, a critique of your work, and one-on-one attention, I have writing and editing courses for $20 to $25 per week. I’m a cheap date, too! And if you don’t think I’m worth $20 a week, I don’t have time to discuss this with you anymore. Because, you see, I am worth that — and a lot more.

I’m tired of devaluing myself for others. After 18 years as a professional in the publishing industry, I sure as hell hope you think my time is worth that small amount. You’d spend a lot more on one dinner and I’ll give you more value for that price. I support my family with my work, and the utility company doesn’t take IOUs (I wish they did!) So please, don’t put me in an uncomfortable position by asking me to things without payment or an equal barter in return.

In general, it’s my belief that people do not truly care about events or situations unless they’re directly affected. That’s true for me at times as well, because I’m human. I have a ton of flaws myself, believe me.

Contrary to popular belief, I’m much more critical of myself that anybody else. I’ve gotten better over the years, but I still struggle with self-loathing in many ways. It’s hard to love oneself, but it’s become clear that if I don’t learn that, I’m destined to destroy myself. I’m loving myself by redrawing boundaries and reasserting them to me, and to all of you.

Anyway, enough with that. Having spoken my piece, the matter is resolved. Now, let’s see what trouble I can get into for the rest of the night *evil laugh*

There is NO excuse or defense for Josh Duggar’s criminal acts

If you think there is a so-called Christian defense or good excuse for Josh Duggar molesting his sisters — or anyone else — then you should re-examine a lot of things about yourself.

As a survivor of childhood abuse by my ex-stepfather, Donnie L., and having some in my family and some of our family friends refuse to believe me or just ignore it and go on about things without addressing it, I can tell you that it damages a person for the rest of his or her life, in subtle ways and not-so-subtle ways.

There is NO excuse for sexual abuse or mistreatment of a child — and certainly NOT because the perpetrator is a Christian. Because, hey, I can tell you if the perp was a pagan or an Atheist (or anything other than a Christian), people would be calling for his or her head on a stick.

Listen, there are overwhelming numbers of Christian criminals in prison. Atheists account for a tiny percentage — look it up! So, just because you are Christian, it doesn’t mean there’s any special defense or excuse for that type of heinous behavior. Again, I can think of NO EXCUSE or reasonable defense.

I also do not buy that he simply ‘made a mistake.’ Making a mistake is giving in to peer pressure from your friends and cheating on an English pop quiz worth 10 points. Sexually molesting not one, but more than one person — and your sisters, at that — is in no way a mistake. If you think that, you need to examine your morals and/or ethics.

Or maybe it would be okay if Josh Duggar molested YOUR own kids? Yeah…how would you like that, and would you see it as a mistake? If you’re a mother, I hope like HELL you don’t answer that question with anything other than a NO. Because if anybody ever hurt my kids (and mine are grown now), they’d have to get a cell ready for me, because I would be one hellacious Mama Bitch on hot wheels going after the person or persons responsible.

Random fact #15-0524

Another random life fact: I used to be a bank teller for Sovran Bank in Virginia in the late 80s. Sovran Bank eventually became Bank of America.

Most of my traditional jobs (before I quit in 1997 to freelance FT) were in the banking, government, mortgage, and consumer credit industries.

Until I built up my freelance business, I also worked part-time jobs, including one as administrative support for Meadowlake Behavioral Health Services, an extension of Bass Baptist Hospital. I helped schedule the nurses, among other duties.

Meadowlake was a psychiatric inpatient facility. I was required to have keys with me at all times, and every single door had to be locked and unlocked each and every time you went into another wing or area.

Before I became a professional writer, I’d already lived an interesting life. I’d seen a lot of things. Some weird, some mundane, but always interesting. That type of stuff comes in handy when you’re building plots or developing characters.

Standing up for what’s right, even in the face of obstacles

To be honest, I would’ve done EXACTLY what Edward Snowden did. In fact, it wasn’t the government, but I did do the same thing — or similar — back in the mid-80s when I realized an employer of mine was breaking a bunch of laws, including labor laws. I gathered information and went to the media. I did a television interview with my face blurred out and it was broadcast by major media outlets in a large area.

The employer was John Lane (and family) and the company I worked for was Federated Capital Corporation in Grafton, VA. I was a nighttime supervisor there and I couldn’t, in good conscience, keep working there and watch customers lose their homes over illegal practices. I have a conscience, and although it meant I would have to quit my job (I wasn’t fired) and even put myself at risk (see below), I decided to take that risk for the greater good. Nobody else would stand up and do it, so I did. Now, years later, I’m glad I did.

The result? That sleazy employer was brought to court and his sleazy empire was shut down. People told me NOT to do it, because he allegedly had Mafia ties. I did it anyway. Someone had to.

So, if given the chance, I would’ve done the SAME thing Snowden did. Someone has to have the balls, because for most people, they damn sure have shriveled up over the years!

When news isn’t so much Breaking News of note

Couldn’t help myself, so I tweeted Rob at The Gazette and asked him about the Breaking News updates that really aren’t Breaking News-worthy:

@Gazette_RobJ, “is someone there at The Gazette going nuts with the Breaking News updates? Over the past two weeks or so, I’ve noticed some news items that weren’t on the level of true Breaking News in the sense of, “The community MUST know about this NOW because it’s unexpected and it’ll impact them in a salient way.” Example: I sympathize with a dog dying in a house fire (because we own four dogs), but honestly, I don’t think that’s an event that could qualify as Breaking News that would concern and/or affect the majority of this city’s residents or those in the areas surrounding it. However, my condolences DO go to the pet owner. I’ve lost beloved pets and it’s sad. What’s your take? If there’s a deluge of Breaking News that may not always qualify as such, I think readers will become numb to the announcements.”

Mid-Month Meditation: “An Invitation to Contemplation” by Bart Everson

Featured Image -- 931

Originally posted on Humanistic Paganism:

(photograph by Tina Leggio)

If you are reading this site, I suspect you have at least a passing familiarity with meditation. Perhaps you are a regular practitioner. However, I suspect that for many, establishing and maintaining a regular practice is elusive.

This column is for y’all — for those who think they might be interested in meditation, who want to try it, who are curious to see what a regular practice might be like.

In honor of this month’s theme, I’d like to extend an invitation. For the next thirty days, take a few moments each day to meditate. Think of it as a thirty-day challenge, or an experiment, if that’s helpful. Further, let’s join together, as a sort of virtual support group.

Interested? Read on for details.

Overcoming Objections

“Sounds great,” you say, “but I don’t have time in my busy schedule.” This is one of the most…

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Aim To Write: Tips & Tricks for Freeing the Scribe Within — only $1.99 download!

AIM TO WRITE: TIPS & TRICKS FOR FREEING THE SCRIBE WITHIN
eBook version
Length: 98 pages
Publisher: )0( Triple Crow Publishing )0(
Date of Release: July 25, 2014

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In AIM TO WRITE: TIPS & TRICKS FOR FREEING THE SCRIBE WITHIN, veteran freelance writer and multipublished author Bev Walton-Porter shares practical advice for scribes of all experience levels. Beginners learn how to gain confidence and sharpen their skills, while experienced writers discover how to hone their existing abilities.

Written in a conversational tone, Walton-Porter shares tips she’s used over the past 18 years to write salable content, attract readers, increase publication credits, catch the interest of editors, and get published.

Straightforward and easy to follow, readers can implement Walton-Porter’s suggestions right away so they can jump-start (or revive!) their writing careers.

Aim to Write