My bed is calling

There will be a blog post here. Eventually. I actually already have it written but it’s on paper and in my messy handwriting. I just got home from work and the kids attacked with “Mom can you…”

I was tired before, now I have passed the tired line drawn in the dust and moved on to exhausted. My brain is too much like mush for me to compose something that makes sense. Or even to copy something already written. So I am going to bed. Maybe when I get up I will sit down and write a blog post.

If I don’t do it this afternoon, I will do it tomorrow. However, if for some reason I miss the tomorrow deadline, there will definitely be a post on Wednesday. A blog post is coming. The timing is just a little iffy.

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Tell the story. Then let someone else read it.

boring_bookRecently I was reading a book of short fiction by an author with more experience and success than I. The stories had interesting ideas driving them but then they fell flat. This author has been published traditionally and has marched the independent path. This particular work was indie published.

I am a big supporter of indie publishing. It gets more of what I like to read in my hands and provides writers with another way to get there stuff out there. It is a tool for the tool box. However, I am not sure I can finish reading this book.

It isn’t bad. Not really. I see some of my own mistakes made by this author and it irritates me. Also I doubt the author uses beta readers. That is a mistake I try not to make. (Not saying I’ve never made it, but I try not to get impatient and toss out stuff that isn’t ready.)

Beta readers are one of the most important tools a writer can have. You really do need thatYou_Keep_Using_That_Word_Meme_FP_Wide second pair of eyes. I know I have written about this before but it is still true. Fresh eyes and a fresh brain see things you will miss. If you spell the wrong word correctly, spell check isn’t going to catch it.

Often writers will read what is supposed to be there rather than what actually is. So get a beta reader. Two or three if you can. Bribe them. Beg them. Whatever it takes. I find coffee, the occasional lunch, or a free book work well for mine. Some will even do it just because they love to read. Make use of your bookish or grammar Nazi friends.

Those personality quirks that may annoy you in everyday life will 6a00d8341c630a53ef013488af5745970c-800wibe indispensable for your writing world.

Labor Day

gear-408364_640This Monday begins a new month and also marks a turning point in history. In the United States, during the industrial revolution, work weeks were often 12 hours shifts, 7 days a week. Children, barely more than toddlers, were working in factories and mines instead of playing games. No kindergarten for these kiddies. The whole family had to work to make sure mouths were fed. Working conditions, especially if you were poor or new to the country, surpassed dangerous and sometimes were just plain deadly.

Labor Unions began to form and began protesting the poor working conditions. In 1867 the government signed into effect a law regulating working hours for federal employees and Illinois workers, changing their shifts to an 8 hour day.  May 1, 1886 there was a movement to include the rest of the nation.

The thing is, they never actually enforced the law. A shorter work day and better pay work-384745_640sounded great to overworked, underpaid employees. So union banners were taken up and the peaceful protest marches began.  Some employers feared a “workers revolution” so they quickly signed on for shorter work days.

May 4, 1886 a rally was organized in Haymarket Square to protest the shooting of striking workers by the Chicago police the day before. The turn out was less than what was expected and the speakers either didn’t arrive or were late. Rain began falling toward the end of the rally which sent some of those who had hung around scurrying for home.That was when the police showed up to disperse the rest and chaos erupted. Someone from the crowd threw a bomb, shooting began which led to the deaths of seven policemen and four workers.

No one was sure who brought a bomb to a peaceful rally, but blood had been spilled so someone had to answer for it. Eight men, (*Cough, Cough, scapegoats) were rounded up and charged. Seven of the men were sentenced to death and the last one was give 15 years in prison.

matchstick-20237_640More strikes and more rallies happened over the next eight years, but it wasn’t until the American Railway Union began a boycott of Pullman railway cars and brought the nation to a stand still, that notice was finally taken.  Pullman Palace Car Company, maker of railway cars, had cut hours and fire union representatives. The workers went on strike and the boycott began. Things got so bad, troops had to be brought in. Which, of course, outraged many and started a wave of riots in Chicago.

In 1894 Labor Day became a Federal Holiday.  So now, on the first Monday in September, we sit around the barbeque with our friends and family enjoying the holiday.  Kids don’t have to go to school and the banks are closed so everyone can have a day off.  (If we aren’t scheduled to work.)

 

 

 

 

 

Technical Difficulties

The normal Monday post on this site has been delayed due to technical difficulties.

Translation: Frickin’ Malware has taken over my computer.

Our highly knowledgeable team of computer savvy professionals is looking into the issue.

Translation:  I don’t know what the heck I am doing but I keep running virus scans and deleting anything suspicious.  The next step is to take the computer to my more technological intelligent ex-husband and let him have a look.

The scheduled post will be available at a later date.

Translation: I will have my typical Monday post up as soon as I can open a tab and not be assaulted by pop up ads or by having the page automatically redirected elsewhere.

Thank you for your time and patience.  Please check back for updates.

Translation:  Thank you for your time and patience.  The post will be up eventually…cross your fingers, say a prayer, or do a good luck dance and maybe it will be posted sooner rather than later.

bangheadhere

 

 

Phone, School, and Pocket Watch

weekSo if anyone has been paying attention, I didn’t really post on Monday. I did post a couple of links but that is supposed to be Wednesday’s shtick.   Surprise! This is going to be backwards week! 😀

Honestly, I was dead tired on Monday and any post I would have tried to make probably would not have been coherent.   I am exhausted right now too, but I know I don’t have to go to work tonight so that makes a difference.

These last two weeks have been more than hectic.  I mean worse than Gozilla meets Tokyo 1994 - God_020hectic.

I have two kids and school started last week.  The day before (1st day eve) I had to go to a parent/teacher meet and greet for my daughter.  On the way there I slammed my phone into the car door and destroyed it. (No. Not on purpose.)

mary-poppins-bagI don’t often carry a purse because I feel inclined to fill it with things.  I seem to think that any bag you carry around should be like the carpet bag from Mary Poppins, even if it is only the size of a small paper back.  On parent/teacher night I was trying to fake being  a responsible adult.  So that meant a little more than my usual jeans and witty t-shirts.  Which meant no pockets, so I had to carry a purse, that ended up getting caught between me and the car door and my phone was in the outside pocket.

It was dead. It was no more. The screen was cracked and black.  It would still ring and broken phonebeep whenever I received a text but I couldn’t answer or see anything.  It took me from then until Monday to get a new one.  I don’t own a home phone so I was unable to contact anyone (except by computer) for almost and entire week.

SchoolHouseThe 2nd day of school, (Day 1 went well except for the kids waking up a 4:15a.m. for some gawd forsaken reason…) they called to tell me my daughter was sick and needed to be picked up, except I didn’t get the message because my phone was broken.  Fortunately, they also called my mom when they received no response from me.

On the 3rd day I gave up on the idea of sleep to take my daughter to Mooch-in-the-Morningthe doctor.  She was running a fever and had a sore throat.  They ran tests, said that she probably just had a virus, and sent us home with the promise that they would call me when the results came in…except my phone was broken.

I did not realize how much of my every day life was so dependent on that small rectangular electronic device.  I couldn’t call and talk to anyone.  I couldn’t text.  Even if I did have a house phone, I wouldn’t have been able to call more that the four people whose number’s I have memorized.  For days my hand twitched as I started to reach into my pocket to check pocket watchthe time or my email.  I bought a pocket watch to at least keep track of the time and the email piled up and waited for me to get off work.  (Wrist watches don’t last long around me.)

But you know what?  The world didn’t end.  Sure it was inconvenient, but that was all. It also reminded of how important it is to have a back up of information. I am going to write down phone numbers and addresses from now on so that I will have a hard copy. I may even purchase a house phone.  Life goes on.

 

The ten minute blog post

Mornings come too early.  The sun isn’t even up yet but I am supposed to be awake and functional.  So far I’ve got half of that covered (mostly anyway) and I am hoping the functional part will come after a cup of tea or coffee. (I haven’t decided which I need yet. Probably the coffee since this morning will be hectic.)

So to get the blood in my brain pumping I thought I would give myself a time limit on this post.   (Also I only have ten minutes of free time left before my day really begins.)  I thought a time limit would also help with those blank moments of staring at the screen trying to put my words in order.   Sometimes you just have to spit thing out.  Even if your word are in print and not spoken out loud.