What I know

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Exploring the nuts and bolts of keeping one’s WP site functional and modern. (Image courtesy of Google)

Hey.

I know that in the grand scheme of things in the technical world, I don’t know much at all. Truth be told, I wish I was about 10 years younger just so that naturally I’d have the aptitude to be able to understand some of the technological things that baffle me as of now.

What exactly can my computer do?

It’s almost midnight and I’m trying to tell myself after an hour of trying to modernize my WordPress site that most people are probably confused as well doing this very thing. My attempts to ‘modernize’ include linking my Facebook author page to WordPress and Twitter to mainstream everything so that I’ll be able to send mass emails to people that are interested. I added a few widgets (and discovered I don’t really like the name ‘widget’) to help the modernization. Hopefully you’ve seen the invite to signup for my email list because I hope to better inform those who are interested and hold contests and giveaways once I get my ‘shit’ together and Affliction is published.

I dream of giveaways for Afflction: branded t-shirts, mugs, pencils- you name it. I’ve even thought about tagging a few pigeons for advertising. I’ll feed them too, don’t worry. ūüôā

I’m doing this all on my own because I’m independent now. I like being independent.

I’m also ready to bang my head against the wall but I’m glad I’m doing this all on my own because I can and because I don’t want to suffer the defeat of being in my thirties and the natural abilities I had with Windows XP doesn’t mean squat right now… I’m starting to fossilize, I can feel it.

Anyways, I do hope you sign up for my email list- as it states, I promise not to sell your email to anyone and I’ll definitely not bother you unless I feel it’s something you can benefit from because I, too am among many email lists that I hope won’t abuse the privilege.

Happy Sunday to you!

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Image courtesy of Google images.

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Introducing Author Shellie Blum (An Author Spotlight)

Hey.

Many moons ago you may recall my interest in doing book reviews and¬†other related topics here¬†on WordPress. Being an author myself, I want to always share what I’ve learned about ‘authorship’ and the good things I come across.¬†Writers tend to be a cool bunch of people-¬†we¬†interact often and thus¬†the chances of coming across fantastic individuals runs high. Here’s a fantastic lady I’d like you to be aware of.

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Courtesy of Shellieblum.com

 

Shellie Blum is her name and Waterski Girl Wonder is the memoir she’s pinned about her upbringing and life around the sport. I’ve been friends with her on Facebook for a few years now, having the privilege to view her throwback¬†videos of when she and other ladies would perform years ago in the 80’s. Shellie is¬†one of the most positive entities in my friends list- posting only the cutest of animal photos and clips. Unfortunately¬†in 1989 Shellie suffered a career ending injury-¬†a Hangman’s Fracture and a broken jaw during a practice run. Up until that point Shellie was living her successful dream. At the moment of injury though, she would spend years coping with¬†what it means to truly¬†survive. Below is a brief Q&A session I had the privilege of having with¬†whom I can only describe as a humble¬†and kind lady:

 Where were you born and where do you live now?

I was born in Jacksonville, North Carolina on the military base Camp Lejeune. I now live in Lake Wales, Florida.

When did you decide to write Waterski Girl Wonder? How long did it take to complete it?

I was being called crazy on the Judge Alex TV show facebook page and was banned from it. This was in January of 2012. Around January 19th if I remember correctly, I was so angry I started writing my book, and 25 days later I had my first draft completed and sent off to a proofreader February 15th, 2012.

What can readers expect from Waterski Girl Wonder?

I’m hoping readers will feel like they’re on a roller coaster ride of my life- and that they will have to metaphorically keep pinching themselves that, indeed this really did happen.

You’ve obviously overcome a tremendous injury- I’m glad you survived! Are you still dealing with any health issues from that incident today?

I have several health issue but feel extremely blessed that I’m still alive. And I realize how lucky I am compared to other people so I try not to complain too much.

What words of advice would you give to yourself if you could go back in time to visit yourself as a child?

Perhaps to be more patient. I’ve always been in a hurry about things, you know trying so hard, moving too fast. It’s something I’m still working on today.

Speaking of children, you have a lovely set of twins, are they fans of the waterski sport?

They are both very athletically inclined and are 2nd degree Black Belts in Tae Kwon Do. Yes, they are fans of all watersports but I don’t push them in any direction. I let them decide what they want to do, and mostly they like to see if their old mom can flip them off our inner tube from behind our Seadoo.

What are your other hobbies?

I really don’t have any hobbies, unless of course you consider my obsession with Social Media. Somewhere along the time line of me writing my book and trying to garner the attention of traditional agents and publishing houses, I was told I should build a book platform. I didn’t even know what that meant, but apparently Social Media is the ticket. I would go after building my Social Media presence and book platfrom like I’ve done everything else in my life… Balls to the Wall! Maybe it will pay off, maybe it won’t. Only time will time. The powers that be told me to build a book platform, so I built it. Still no help from traditional sources, so I’ll go it alone.

Are you doing any additional writing now? Can readers expect more titles from you in the future?

I am not. But I am being encouraged by some of my fellow writers who have read my memoir and think I should. Isn’t that great? I truly appreciate the camraderie of the Indie writing world. So, yes, I feel like I might have another book in me.

When/where can we buy Waterski Girl Wonder?

The official book launch date is December 16th, 2015, but you can get the hard cover book right now on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, you know, the regular outlets. I am fighting, er, uh haggling with Amazon to discount my book, so that process is happening just now. Hopefully, by December 16th, 2015 I will have gotten the price down where it’s a little more competitve. Just google my name Shellie Blum or Waterski Girl Wonder, my book and website should pop up.

If you’d like to pick up a copy through Amazon, I’ve included the link here.

Shellie is on Twitter.

She is also on Facebook.

Follow and/or friend her, you won’t regret it.

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Courtesy of ShellieBlum.com

 

 

Not Taking a Stance

Image courtesy of Google.

Image courtesy of Google.

Hey.

Democratic/Republican

Protestant/Catholic

Bad/Good

Hot/Cold…

How about lukewarm? Or nothing at all?¬†There are an infinite amount of comparisons and truthfully I’m just fed up with always seemingly having to align myself with something. Particularly, so¬†I can be judged or ranked¬†for some reason or another. How about being set free from all that? It’s not at all that I want to stop caring about things, but what I’m finding is that there are too many things that need ‘caring’ for, which are ultimately out of my hands. Football games, elections, contests- they’re all good at getting your attention diverted from the more important things going on in your life (that coincidently they don’t even know exist). It’s all energy¬†draining and it detracts from¬†one’s quality of life. If you like that kind of excitement¬†(and eventual disappointment)- fine, have at¬†it. You’ll have plenty of things to get riled up about.

As I’ve heaped over more than¬†half of the decade in my 30’s,¬†I’m again finding that things are either important or not important and thus if they fit into the latter, should require much less energy and time than what they may demand. Not taking a stance on¬†certain things does not mean I no longer care about¬†(seemingly) larger issues- it just means I’m reeling in the lasso and starting to take a fuller interest in the things that are most important to me.¬†After going through unexpected, major health issues in my mid-20s I was already¬†given the gift of clarity but again, nearly ten years later,¬†I’m feeling the need to tighten things up a little more. I encourage this kind of housekeeping within your own life as well.¬†Think about it, you know too there are simple ways to de-clutter your mind, emotions and time.

Living our lives to be happy.

Sounds good, doesn’t it?

Photo courtesy of Google images.

Photo courtesy of Google images.

I almost feel the need to break out my Eastern philosophy books but then again I’m already well aware of what they will say.

The Golden Rule… A Lost Trait?

Hey.

Do unto others….

Do unto others….

We all know what the rest of the phrase is, but nowadays few seem to remember it as the world goes about its daily activities. Some seem to avoid it on purpose while others have forgotten this because they have become consumed in this world that’s often a rat race. Competitive instant gratification is our world’s new and permanent address where only winners are acknowledged and catapulted to the front of the line. Most times, no one wants to back down. No one wants to be perceived as a ‘loser’. We don’t want to lose to the people we know and we certainly don’t want to lose to a complete stranger. Captains of our own industries…

I can’t help but think of the improved condition of the world if everyone put forth this old principle and lived by it every day.

Do unto others….

Do unto others….

Forgetting What You Want to Blog About

Courtesy of Google images.

Courtesy of Google images.

Hey.

Have you ever had¬†three or¬†four things you mean to get to WordPress¬†to blog about but as soon as you have the time and sit down to blog, you’ve forgotten what it was? That’s me right now. Yesterday and particularly today, 12 hours ago from the current time I wrote this- I had so many things I wanted to get to my laptop and discuss with everyone but at the time I was preparing to go to the job and had no time to blog. “I’ll remember what it was, no problem,” is what I say to myself with confidence- which sometimes is actually¬†true. The good news is I’ll think of the topics¬†again sooner or later- it’ll probably result in my waking up in the middle of the night but at least then,¬†I’ll write¬†it down and go on to blog about it as soon as I can.

Here’s to all of our memory capacity remaining at it’s fullest.

Photo courtesy of Google images.

I’ve posted this photo often- as a personal reminder. Photo courtesy of Google images.

Dying to Write

Hey.

I just realized that right now we’re more than halfway through September already.

I hate when that happens.

It’s out of our hands, the flowing of time. The only thing we can do is enjoy it while we have it. Some choose to enjoy it while others choose to wish it passes through quickly. Time will be time.

As time relates to me, I specifically am wishing I could just write with whatever I have left in my day. I feel like it’s a privilege whenever I’m able and allowed to just focus on that task. I can’t tell you how often I’m¬†somewhere and I think of something neat for a short story or a longer story and can’t indulge because something else requires my attention. I then, am able to just jot notes down and hope that the quality can carry itself¬†until I’m able to focus on it- the idea,¬†in its entirety.

I’m¬†the only one able to make a name for myself. I’ll always bring my true self to the table whenever its time…

Just give me the time.

ūüôā

9/11

9-11

Hey.

Yes, here’s another dedication. Well, not really a dedication but more of an offering to my own perspective of it on this day, 14 years after the U.S. got an up-close and very personal taste of large-scale conflict and destruction that goes on in the world. I don’t usually make a habit out of posting something at any given 9-11, but today I felt inspired.

On September 11, 2001 I was a 22 year-old young woman working at the exact same place I work now- at a hospital in Minnesota. Professionally and technically, nothing else changed on that particular day. I still did my job in the exact same manner as any other day- if nothing else we were extra diligent. The mood changed but as a support staff to the operating room, our job was to continue the level of care and expectations as well as comfort patients and family members as they waited on loved ones and watched the news just as we were.

I’ll admit I lost a little more of my innocence that day (along with every else). I was a huge fan of the R&B artist Aaliyah and had to suffer through her unexpected loss and funeral just the week before. By the evening¬†on 9/11/01¬†my young heart¬†was fed up with planes- as I watched Peter Jennings tirelessly give his all to report for 60 hours and give us news as we anxiously watched and waited.

I worked evening shift that day so after I found out that morning around 9:00 am CST, a few phone calls were received and made. After talking to loved ones regarding the whereabouts of a cousin in the NY area (which he was found to be okay) I was nervous about the rest of the people, just as the rest of the country and world was. Its hard to image a young adult being more glued to a TV than ever before, right? Everyone in the hospital who was able surrounded every TV set available at some point during that day.

In the days, weeks and months to follow, I found our country to be more united and more together than ever before. I found there were lesser issues of black vs. white, male vs. female than most other differences we currently have issues with- once again, now. We learned more about the Muslim religion and I learned they are peaceful versus the immediate reaction that they all mean harm/violence.

Years later in 2009 when I was taking and Art History course at St Kate’s- a private, Catholic College, my professor (Amy Hamlin) happened to be doing the dissertation for her PhD. in Manhattan in 2001.¬†Several students must’ve been familiar with her¬†9/11 association and therefore she told us she would wait until the end of the semester to lecture on her personal story.¬†When it was time, her¬†personal story aligned with the that of Michael Richards, an artist who died in World Trade Tower One during the 9/11 attacks.¬†Due to his artistry, Richards often used his own body to be cast in sculpture. One of these sculptures we had the privilege of having available for viewing at St. Kate’s. Richards had cast himself in the likeness of a Tuskegee Airmen and to see his body cast as an airman, knowing he ultimately died in such a tragic manner was humbling and the utmost respect was paid. It was hard for one’s eyes not to water upon seeing this life-size replica¬†sculpture which has now found a permanent home near Taylor’s Falls, MN. My professor, Hamlin went on to give her chilling account of the events of that day which she described as going from ordinary¬†to numbing. She ended up being¬†one of the multiple thousands who had to walk over the George Washington bridge to get to safety. She described her accounts of eventually trying to call her parents and others to let them know she was okay. She described how quiet and numbing the experience was, how no one truly knew how to express the grief and enormity of what was happening at that time. No anger, no sadness, no grief- just silence for the time being.

Just as she won’t- I’ll never forget her account of actually being closest to ground zero. I know how people felt in the farthest reaches of our country as we were all one on that day. Regardless of political association, cause and whatnot- it was the innocent life we identified with. It was my innocence as a 22 year-old who had nothing to do with pretty much anything harmful to anyone-¬†I had to come to terms with hate, once again. I also had the chance and opportunity to learn and display strength and true unity.

If you’d like to describe your ‘9/11 moment’ please feel free to comment. May we never forget the¬†lives of those lost and their families. RIP.