Yesterday was an off day for me. I’d fallen asleep in the most uncomfortable recliner, waking up at 6:30 am. My decision was to make my upstairs and either crawl in my bed, or get a start to my day. Sometimes, if I look at my email, Twitter, and Facebook I can get the blood pumping and my brain somewhat functioning. I am so not a morning person. Yet since I’ve been away from my previous job, I wake up earlier than I did then.

I chose to walk into my home office. Sitting down in front of my computers, (yes, I have two computers set up in my office,) I made them suffer my own fate and come out of hibernation. Blinking several times, I saw nothing intriguing in my email. Perusing Facebook, I noticed a young second cousin had written.  “He’s in a better place.”

Whoa, the adrenaline rush! Who was in a better place? That usually means someone has died. His grandfather, my uncle, has been really ill, but surely I wouldn’t be reading about that on Facebook! Scrolling down, I found a post by my cousin. Yeah, there it was in obituary fashion, news of my uncle’s passing.  I found my cousin was on Facebook, and started grilling him for some answers, but he really didn’t have the information for what I wanted to know.

I grabbed my cell phone and called my mom. Maybe someone had called her and she was trying to let me sleep. *sigh* No, that wasn’t the case, I ended up waking her up.  In tears, the debate started in my head. Do I go halfway across the states? Will I just be in the way? I didn’t  get to say goodbye when he was here. Even now, the tears are starting to well up again. I think for now, I just want to reminisce.

I loved my uncle. My earliest childhood memory is of him. When I was very tiny he’d bundle me up into his car when I wouldn’t go to sleep. He’d take me driving and we’d go to my favorite road. The Long Curve. It always seemed to calm me, I remember, and I’d go to sleep. I would often dream about those drives through the years. 12 years ago, I found The Long Curve. I was thrilled that it was still there. I wasn’t looking for it, I just stumbled across it as I was driving in Wichita, Kansas.  I instantly recognized it, the old feelings came rushing back and I smiled. I didn’t have a lot to smile about in those days. I’d just moved to Kansas from South Carolina after a divorce with three young boys in tow.

Uncle Rocky, I love you and will miss you. You were a great American, serving your country in a time of war and then stateside for so many years in the Veteran Affairs department. You served not just locally, but for the State of South Carolina. I know the men and women you helped loved and appreciated so much all the things you did for them.

We didn’t agree on our politics, nor would you share your recipe for chicken stew because I was a female,  but that didn’t stop me from loving you. Your laughter always made me smile and a hug from you was one of the most marvelous things to me.

As Tucker said, “he’s in a better place.” I’m looking forward to seeing you again one day and maybe we can find another long curve.


Ugh, I am such a newbie at this blogging stuff. It’s not as simple as writing down your thoughts and plopping them on the interwebs.  (Interwebs is what a group of friends call the Internet.)

…wait. It can be that simple. It’s a matter of choosing what you want your blog to be. Hmmm.

I’ve always wanted my blog to be about me.

*wicked grins*

Okay, not because I’m so wonderful and awesome, although I’ve been told that. I don’t really believe it, but still I’ve been told that. It would be nice to believe it, I suppose. Although if I did believe it, would that make me narcissistic? Ugh.

No, I want it to be about me because I learned long ago that I’m not the only person going through the things I go through. Some of the trials, journeys, and discoveries can be, should be shared with others. When I sit with friends and talk about what I’m currently experiencing, they are like “Wow, that’s really interesting, I need to know more about that,” or they say, “I’m about to go through something similar, let’s keep in touch.”

Now that I’m restarting my blog with this particular adventure of figuring out what the heck my next journey is going to be, I have even more people wanting to see where this path leads, as they will be embarking on a similar journey.

Okay, that’s all well and good, however I’d like a lot of people to be part of this than just my little circle of friends and acquaintances. Once more, I’ve been working on figuring out how to connect. I want to see if my suspicions of others finding a connection with me are correct. What I plan to do now is to figure how to get connected. That’s my job in the next couple weeks. Getting connected with other folks via the Internet is my current goal. Prior to the launch of my series, I would like to have some of these connections in place. Sheesh, what a lousy paragraph. I’ve used a version of connect 5 times, now six.

I’m going to be asking for your help along the way. I want to know how you connect with other people. It doesn’t have to be virtual connections, face-to-face works too. If something strikes a chord with you, awesome, I want to know! Leave comments, let’s talk about it!

Blogger Poster, begging for comments!

I loved this and YES, it's self-promotion!

((I really wanted that little self-promoting picture, but the attribution wasn’t working like I wanted it to. It’s important to give credit to the creators of things you use, in the manner they request. It’s awesome that they’ll allow you to us it in the first place! So, I’m complying, even though I don’t believe they were planning it to look like it does below!))

<div xmlns:cc=”http://creativecommons.org/ns#” about=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/missmiah/4191979465/”><a rel=”cc:attributionURL” href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/missmiah/”>http://www.flickr.com/photos/missmiah/</a> / <a rel=”license” href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>CC BY-NC 2.0</a></div>


Started my morning getting caught up. You know, the usual. Reading e-mail, replying. Opening up TweetDeck since it had been closed during the raid last night. Replying to tweets, retweeting some, writing new ones.

One tweet from @ProBlogger really caught my attention: New at ProBlogger: Consider a Series. Seriously. http://goo.gl/fb/lKB8e #writingcontent

Most of my ideas for the past couple years have been series ideas. I get so overwhelmed with the size of the project. Not to mention the fact that I have several series running around my head. None of them too directly related either.

Kinda reminds me of those aptitude tests they make you take in high school. You know the ones where the intent is to help you decide what you want to do when you get out of school? Yep, it was supposed to give you direction. Any category above 75% was an indicator of something you’d enjoy. However anything in the 90th percentile was definitely something you should pursue.  I was looking forward to getting my results back. I eagerly opened the scoring sheet when it  arrived. Quickly scanningfor the longest bars in the bar chart, I blinked. And blinked some more. Everything was above 75%. Not just that, all but ONE was in the 90th percentile or higher. Yeah, really helpful.

My counselor told me it meant I could do anything I wanted to do! Gah! How was that supposed to help me narrow things down?!

So, here I am, 35+/-  years later pretty much settled on what direction I’m going to take with my blog. Except, these other ideas keep popping into my head!

Fortunately for me, Microsoft created a little piece of software that I’m absolutely in love with. I bought the Home and Student version of Office 2007. It came with OneNote. I looked at it, shrugging ‘cause what I really wanted was Outlook. Then I looked again, then once more. I started to get excited!

Photo the paint droplets.

Plopping! Amazing picture. http://www.flickr.com/photos/chavals/ / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Over the years, I’ve taught hundreds of computer application classes.  One thing I would tell students in most of my classes was that most computer applications were terrific for someone like me. I’m not a linear planner. I have too much going on in my head and I need to get all the ideas out. So, I plop. I plop my ideas in a word processor or spreadsheet or ugh, task list. The great thing is cut and paste allows me to rearrange.

OneNote is so terrific, it allows me to actually plop! Snip a URL here, snag a photo idea there, jot down ideas quickly and even orderly. It’s great for linear planners too, but for those ploppers out there, give it a look.

So, I’m using OneNote to organi… plop out my series and keep track of the other ones. In a week or two you’ll see the fruits of that endeavor. For the next several days, I’ll share with you some of the process. Please share with me in the comments any of your questions, thoughts, or ideas. I’m really getting excited about all this.

Ya just gotta love Twitter…  ((yeah, that *is* were this whole discussion started, kinda))


 

Path of white, purple, and pink roses on a green lawn

A new kind of path. http://www.flickr.com/photos/jurvetson/ / CC BY 2.0

I have had so many changes in my life in the past few months it’s been difficult to manage all of them.  I remembered a stress scale listing life events and I knew many of my own changes in the past six months were on that list. I finally looked up the scale this morning. It’s called the Holmes and Rahe stress scale. I did my calculations and determined that I’m significantly over the 300 mark, and with the changes happening in the next couple weeks, I’ll be increasing that number even more. The scale suggests the likelihood of an illness, based on the scores.

I don’t want to get sick.

I determined that at 50+ I needed some changes. My last two sons left for college last August, and my oldest was already in the military and stationed in Afghanistan. Hmmm, I don’t remember seeing anything about children in dangerous situations on that scale…

Anyway, I want to leave the small town I live in currently. My 130 year old Victorian house is on the market. My aunt and uncle helped get the house ready to sell. My mom came to help decorate it some. I am horribly deficient in the decorating area. The house looks good, but needs some work, as you can imagine. It’s a great little town. Perfect for families. I raised three sons here as a divorced mother; who went back to school, had her own business, and taught a full load of classes. The boys were home schooled, but turned out great. All of them are Eagle Scouts and great young adults.

My previous company hired a new CEO about two years ago. Her philosophy going into the job was everything that can be, should be outsourced. Two months ago that was my department. I saw it coming, she’d already hit the entire accounting department.  I thought I was mentally prepared, and I think I was for the most part.

Time for a change, time for me to grow up and do things for me now. Make my own choices, not affecting anyone else except me.

I don’t know if anyone else out there has or will be going through some of the things I am experiencing. I’m going to chronicle my way though my current journey. Share some discoveries I make along the way.

I thought I was ready to hit the job market, but realized that things have changed a lot since I last searched for a job. Normally I get a new job because of a recommendation. Now, I’m searching out a new area to move to. I’m trying to decide if I want to stay in Information Technology, Healthcare or move into training and education. Is there a way to combine them together?

I’m evaluating my strengths, my accomplishments. I am also going to look for a Career Coach to work with me.

Come with me, if you want to follow my travels. Be my companion, share my ups and downs. Be there for the discoveries.


My brilliant writing project is starting to get underway. I’m attempting to get my ducks in a row. I was going to put a row of ducks in the pic up there, but realized we are all different with some things in common…  and I liked that picture. I am thrilled to have the people I wanted agreeing to participate . They are very creative folks. I know this because they are nearly all part of my family. Yup, no bias here!

I was sitting at dinner with my aunt a few weeks ago. My Aunt Sandy is much like a sister to me, as she is only four years my senior. We lived together off and on growing up. We fought with each other, laughed, and cried.  Today we share stories that make us laugh so hard we cry…

Anyway, at dinner I shared with her about mom wanting me to write and how I was humoring her. Then it struck me! Sandy has always wanted to write. My youngest son, Da (pronounced Day, and no his name is NOT a tribute to Felicia Day,) already writes and has numerous characters developed (just found out he has about 17 nearly fully developed characters.) My middle son, Hagardly, writes music and comics; I knew he would be a tremendous creative talent. I was so excited my hands started their flailing in Applebee’s.

My aunt just stared at me, then started to smile. I told her about the Star Wars fiction writing group that I am part of. I explained how we all collaborate to make a story happen. I excitedly told her our litte group of creatives needed to do the same thing! We needed to write a book collaboratively! She listened, but there was something in her eyes. She asked some questions, but I knew she was intrigued by the idea.

Our current stage of the project is being set. I created a Google group for our coordination efforts. I invited everyone. Now it’s time to move forward into character development. *rubs hands together in excited anticipation* 

Everyone can be a part a part of the project. I am going to create a blog chronicling our efforts. Each of the participants will be posting about their own experiences and processes, how well it’s going, what our thoughts are…

Only problem is.. We still need a name for it! Twitter Contest For The Win! I’m going to offer a $15 gift certificate to Amazon.com for the winner of the naming contest. I hope that will entice people to help me name our blog.

Exciting times ahead! I hope you will all join us in our journey, it won’t always be smooth, but I’m thinking it will almost be an internet writing version of reality TV! (eewww, did I really just say that?)


I’ve had one of my great inspirations!

I get them from time to time and often don’t act upon them. Then many months, or even years later, I see someone else come up with the idea I’d had so much earlier. In one case, it lead someone to several book deals. Other times, I’ve written a proposal only to see someone else implement my idea and get the credit.

Shadowcall can tell you I’ve had a few where we work. He recognizes when I get them as I’m pretty boisterous and make excessive use of my hands when when inspiration hits me.

Alas, much of the time my ideas don’t get fully implemented and it is a little discouraging.

However, I have been inspired.

My mom has pushed and gently prodded me for awhile now to write a fiction novel. I started writing short stories and playing with a writing group about 3 years ago. I enjoy it, but it is more work than I’d ever realized. I also understand now that writing is often not just the work of a single person. There are proofreaders, editors, collaborators, to name a few.

Early last week my mom attempted again to entice me to write. She said she’d be the editor. My mom is a great editor and an even better project manager. She’s also very much into selling books and is herself an avid reader. I thought I would just *humor* her. I asked her questions about the “book.” Things like settings, characters, and the like.

However, things have changed and I’m actually inspired to write the book. I’ll be sharing more about how it will come into being later. For now, though, I need a new blog site and a name for it. The blog shall chronicle the collaborative effort I’m attempting to create.

I’m considering holding a Twitter contest to name the blog. I wonder if an Amazon gift certificate would be an appropriate contest gift for the winner…

 

FEEDBACK, please!


There is a song in Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog called “Brand New Day”. I love that song. If you listen to the words, the hero… ummm, villain…; okay Dr Horrible, makes his commitment to the Dark Side ((to borrow a Star Wars term)) and begins singing the song with great resolve. When Billy ((Dr. Horrible’s version of Clark Kent)) gets to the chorus he sings:

It’s a brand new day and the sun is high
All the birds are singing that you’re gonna die
How I hesitated now I wonder why
It’s a brand new day

 
I kinda leave out the gonna die part though. I’ll often be found singing it often at the beginning of many of my days and starting my good morning tweets with the phrase, “It’s a Brand New Day!”

Today is a brand new day for me. I had a huge disappointment yesterday, but today I chose to keep on track with my life. I refused to let depression set in. It’s strange, a few short months ago I could feel the depression sitting there, waiting for me to embrace it, but it isn’t there this time. I cried a bit yesterday, howeverI think the crying was cathartic; cleansing; a time of mourning.

But today is… A Brand New Day!

I’m in a great mood; I have a smile on my face. I’m accomplishing things. Yes it is…

A BRAND NEW DAY!!!!

((List of victories are on Something Different))


Holding On…

05May09
 

So… I am facing my first real significant test. Holding On...

I just experienced an enormous disappointment. It’s okay though. I’m going to turn this into a victory, somehow. I am going to stay on my diet, I am going to keep exercising. I will beat the urges. Frankly, I don’t have the urge to binge eat. Overeating used to be what I did for comfort. It was a way to stuff down the feelings. Maybe I am just numb right now and those feelings and urges will happen, but I hope not.

Yesterday had a few disappointments as well, they were really rather minor compared to this.

Thank you to all my friends and family for the support you’ve given me over the months and years. You have no idea how much my friends and family mean to me. This is about all I can deal with right now.

More later I’m sure…


I searched for me and this is what came up first :) 

…is to love, love, love me…~~

That’s a song, from way back when. ((apparently Amy Winehouse remade this.)) 

Lots of people really do like me when they get to know me. Not everyone of course, but most do.

I have friends in:

·         the real world

·         MMO worlds

·         the fiction writing world

·         the Twitterverse

·         Facebook

·         roleplaying realms

·         military mama’s

·         Boy Scouts

Those are just some of the areas in which I’m involved, I have many casual acquaintenances as well.

Here is my challenge; I want to promote my blog so people will read it and comment upon it. I know it seems a little self-serving, but I enjoy sharing my ideas with people. Often I’ll get private messages or email about the blog giving me encouragement and very positive feedback, but that’s not sharing with the other readers.

I really like discussions and forums, so I’m going to begin asking people to join in the topics with comments! I know it’s a little weird because I write about what I’m interested in. This isn’t chatting about me, but instead the topics I’m interested in and passionate about. If you are also interested in them, or have questions, or even disagree let’s talk about it!

I want to bring more people here, I want to share things with all my friends and their friends and find new friends!

Here is MY challenge to YOU! At the minimum, leave a comment to this post. If you blog, be sure to leave a link to it, including what you blog about. I want to know what you are interested in. Let the other readers know your connection to me; there are many of us that have several things in common.

C’mon, give a girl a hand!

Also, if you are struggling with something in your life, check out my Something Different tab at the top.

 

((photo link))


LISTS!!!

07Apr09

I went back to college at 40; the class I dreaded the most was English Composition. I discovered I am a very good writer. At one point, my teacher said I was so good at writing because I wrote about what I knew. I do write on things I’m passionate about, or tend to have a strong opinion.

I am working to be a better writer and I want to share what I write with others. My current project is working with problogger.net on their 31 Days to Build a Better Blog. You all get to … ummm, reap the benefits… or suffer the torture… you choose, of what I experiment with for the next 30 days. Yesterday was day one, I haven’t shared that with you yet!

We are being challenged to write a list. I love lists! I try to put most of my work emails and reports and others things into lists so people can read the majority of the content easily. To this end, I’m going to create a list of the things I’m currently passionate about! *wicked grins* although you could just look at my blog cloud to see the same thing.

Ready? Set? GO!

·         MMO’s – Massive Multiplayer Online game. Often it’s MMORPG, with the RPG meaning roleplaying game. I love these games. Why? Not so much for the game, but for the Multiplayer part. I LOVE PEOPLE! I’m a social person. I’ve always enjoyed playing games on computer, but add in the social aspect and I’m totally hooked. Not addictively anymore, but it’s so amazing to see people come together to achieve common goals. I build teams and the principles for real life team building absolutely applies here in MMO’s.

o   Star Wars Galaxies (past favorite)

o   Star Trek Online (looking to a near future)

o   World of Warcraft (current)

·         FamilyI’m 50 now. I am not oriented on raising my boys any longer, but I am interested in their lives and watching them mature, grow, and supporting them (hopefully not financially) to become the amazing young men I know they can be.

o   Hagardly (writes music and is starting a comic series based on MMOs)

o   Da (pronounced Day. He’s a fiction writer who is incredibly intrigued with the psychology of relationships)

o   Mike (In the Army, and has a true artist’s heart. He plays instruments by ear and wants desperately to be an actor)

o   Mom (terrifically smart woman)

o   Extended (so many, and I love them all, even when they make me crazy)

·         Role Playing – This is the area that I get to still make-believe in. I get to be someone I’d not, but it’s not crazy, it’s accepted and enjoyed by me and others. Star Wars is usually my chosen universe for RP, but I’ve dabbled in Star Trek and it has a tremendous appeal for me.

·         Writing – I’m exploring my new found love of writing. I’ve written short fiction stories that have won an award. I’ve writing dozens of boring technical manuals, but now… I want to explore reaching out to others.

o   Twitter (fast, furious, fun).

o   Blogging (therapeutic)

·         Something Different – The clickable tab at the top of the page. This is my current passion right now.

·         Internet and/or Celebrities – I’ve always been a little fascinated with the entertainment world, from the days of my youth.

o   Felicia Day – She is an incredible young woman. I enjoy following her career because she’s utilized the current technology to make her dreams happen. She’s worked hard and is probably the biggest celebrity on the Internet and will be in other media soon as well if things keep going as they are. She’s a writer, actress, singer, director. Those are things I always wanted to do, and so I feel a certain kinship with her. I’m twice her age, but she’s a role model. She is a gamer girl who is loved and adored by so many people.

I’ve spent time explaining my fascination for her here, because many of the people my age have been asking why I’m so intrigued. This is why: She’s an Awesome Geek Chic!

o   Dr Horrible’s Sing-along Blog – Jos Whedon – what an amazing talent. Firefly, Dollhouse. My boys and I all have the DVD’s for Dr. Horrible. If you haven’t seen it, just stop what you are doing, and go watch it now! It’s on the Internet. DO IT! DO IT NOW!

 

… and that concludes today’s list of Zannniee’s Interests!