Elephant Seals

My new header picture is from our trip down to southern California. This was taken along Highway 1 between Big Sur and San Luis Obispo at Piedras Blancas. When we first saw the seals we actually thought they were white rocks — which is the meaning of  “Piedras Blancas.”  

As we drove closer we realized that the beach was covered with elephant seals. It was an amazing sight and my children were speechless–well, as close as they’ll ever get to speechlessness.  One of the seals had climbed far up on shore and was only a foot away from us–flinging sand all over himself–you know like most people do at the beach.

I thought it made a great header because it makes me smile. I also chose the picture because it reminds me of my source of creativity –the One who created creativity.

A top (4+1) ways to face rejection

I have finally read On Writing by Stephen King. The book was recommended to me by many readers. Over my vacation, I studied, highlighted and pondered the book. Well, actually, I just read it. First, I must admit that On Writing will probably be the only Stephen King book I’ll read. Not because it wasn’t good — no, because, I would never be able to go to sleep again if I read his typical book. I jump at my shadow–frequently. I’ve even jumped at the sight of my hair in my peripheral vision–don’t sneak up on me, you will regret it. My husband asked me the other night if I’ve ever seen a horror movie. I said I had seen Signs with Mel Gibson. He laughed. I was puzzled.

I enjoyed the book, found it helpful, and will re-read it in the future; however, it gave me no guarantees of writing success. Of course, I really didn’t expect it to, but I wanted it to. It did keep me reading and writing so I’m glad I read it. I realized if Stephen King could go on to success after many rejection letters– I guess I still have a shot. So, on the topic of rejection, and how to face it, I give you 5 top responses:

1. You can curse the day that you were born, eat a pint of Ben & Jerry’s finest Chocolate Fudge Brownie ice cream and cry, and cry, and….cry.

2. You can sing “Stayin’ Alive” with Lakisha (American Idol) and the Bee Gee’s.

3. Pick a book from an author you think you write better than, and try to find mistakes in their books. Make sure you take the book with you wherever you go and point out the mistakes to your grocer, mail carrier, mechanic, etc. (please don’t ever do that with my writing I make it too easy).

4. Stalk the editor that rejected your last submission.

5. Keep writing. Keep stretching yourself. Don’t give up, and your time (mine) will come, and then you can eat the ice cream.

This post was inspired by a Problogger group writing project for a chance to win $1001. If I win the prize, that check will be copied, framed, and all loved ones and strangers will be notified. It would be the first monetary by-product from my writing.

I could write 5 ways I would spend the $1001, but I won’t. I have great ideas especially for that dollar at the end.

misery of rejection

Well, my last post was #100 and it’s a bit hard to believe. I would have loved to celebrate with the news of one of my articles being published in a magazine; however, a couple days ago I received another rejection. My first response was — well, I won’t tell you about my first response. My second response was reaching for my ultimate childhood comfort food–tapioca pudding. Yeah, even Ben & Jerry’s couldn’t comfort me.

I read over my submission again. Yes, I’m sure I could have made it better. Maybe I should have spelled words correctly and used proper grammar? Maybe it was so funny the editor was filled with jealousy and had to reject it out of spite! Yeah, that’s it. I’ve made progress though. I used to send in submissions and after 10 years or so I figured I was rejected. This time I got a rejection letter! Now, if I could just get a rejection letter that included ways to improve my writing such as:

Dear RJ Light,

Please take another writing class or two (or more) or consider another profession. You are not funny.

Sincerely,

Ms. Editor

I did check my Standard-Freelancer account and I’ve made 22 cents. I know when I can buy a postage stamp from my earnings I’ve made it as a writer. So, I’ll try harder, and sooner or later an editor will read my latest submission and say, “Wow, this is funny. I can’t wait to publish this –our readers will be laughing for hours! How much money can we afford to pay her for this?”

Well, I’ll keep plugging along and writing because that’s what I do. So the moral of this post #101 is: when life gives you lemons, make lemonade, or in my case, when life eggs you, make tapioca pudding.

Melody Gardot, a talented voice to check out

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a couple of months–when I first started my blog. I was taking my daughter to school one day when I caught the end of an interview on a talk radio station. The announcer was interviewing Melody Gardot, a young jazz/blues singer from Philadelphia. Her voice and story touched me.

Melody Gardot was disabled at 19, after she was hit by a jeep when she was riding her bicycle in Philadelphia. One of the attending physicians, concerned about the damage to her brain after the accident, recommended music as a way to improve her cognitive development. Melody, unable to walk, started recording her first album, fittingly titled Some Lessons–the Bedroom Sessions as she recorded it confined to her bed. As I said in my post regarding Jennifer Hudson, I love a good comeback story. Melody Gardot’s life threatening accident brought her to triumph rather than hopelessness. 

Melody Gardot released her second CD in which she demonstrates her wonderful songwriting/singing ability. The CD is titled Worrisome Heart and is worth checking out. After I heard her interview, I had to go online and buy this CD. It has a soft blues flavor and is soothing and romantic–you will just have hear it for yourself. I think it will be hard for you to believe that she is only 22 after listening to a few of her tracks–her emotion and talent go beyond her years. Check out my links and see how adversity can be transformed into beauty.  

Like Writing for Chocolate or Answering to Charlie

What is it with this writing stuff? Sometimes it’s just flowing out of me like promises from a politician, and other times I can’t seem to get out anything that doesn’t make me cringe. Okay, most of the time it’s the latter. And why is it after you write and re-write and proof and re-write again and finally get to a point where you can say, “this isn’t complete crap” it gets rejected? Other times you write rambling junk and your words seem to connect with someone–why? Why do birds suddenly appear every time you are near?

What gets me motivated to get those words out there for someone to spit at or ignore?  More

Improving Communication and Meditation

A day in the life of my son:

 “How was your day?”football-meditation.JPG

“Not good. We lost in football and the other team cheated.”

“How did they cheat?”

“They had 40 kids on their team, football is more like with 9 or so; that’s the school rule.”

“Did you have fun playing football?”

“I was so angry throughout meditation.”

“Meditation? Where do you have meditation?”

“On the floor.”

“No, I mean who leads the meditation?” More

Who Wants to be Like Water?

I’ve been frustrated with my blogstipation today. I’ve been writing, but it hasn’t been “post-able.” I had this great humor idea, but I couldn’t get the picture to be clear enough for anyone to see — because the humor was in the visual it had to be clear or it wouldn’t have been funny. But, let me tell you, if I could have gotten it to work you would have laughed, and laughed, and laughed and — okay, at least you would have smiled or grimaced.

Before my funny attempt, I wrote two paragraphs of I-don’t-know-what. Yes, I hit the wall with a thud. My husband came to the computer in the midst of my angst, and I asked him what he wanted for dinner. He takes that to mean that I want him to make dinner; which he, of course, then interprets to mean he needs to go buy pizza. I went into the kitchen, opened the freezer and went back to my room. It seemed I was fresh out of any ideas on any thing, so I consulted a magazine I had laying around. I didn’t find any recipe ideas, but I read a great article.

The article was in Real Simple February issue (2007) and was written by Gail Blanke, a life coach. She related a story about when she was a little girl and had returned home from a birthday party crying. She was upset because a friend didn’t like her. Her mom told her that the only thing everyone likes is water — because it has no taste. She then asked Gail if she wanted to be like water just so everyone would like her.

A very simple concept I know, but it really hit home to me. I am new with this blog stuff and love that I am writing consistently again. However, I am also very competitive and a perfectionist (which is why writers so often drink heavily and use chemical stimulants) and want my blog to get tons of traffic. I often read different “experts” on blogging and sometimes implement their suggestions. Sometimes I feel like water (only no one needs me to sustain life) trying to please all the potential readers instead of being myself.

Who am I? I’m a little bit country, I’m a little bit rock n roll — oh, no, that was Donny and Marie. I’m a humor writer because that is how I view the world. I also find such enjoyment just out of encouraging and motivating people; sometimes that works through humor and other times it’s in a different type of blog. So, the battle I find myself in is what kind of blog is this? Can I laugh at the world and offer advice and encouragement at the same time? Can I truly be myself in this crazy blogosphere or do I need to be water. I am not water–no way. I’m closer to a smoothie, but sometimes I’m a soothing cup of tea. Hopefully, I am always, a-muse-ing.

What about you? Are you being yourself and what does that look like? There is only one you and, fortunately for the world, only one me!