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Showing posts from December, 2013

2013 in Review: How I Define Me

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In the past year I have moved my family to the UK; began a Creative Writing PhD program; written a radio comedy series; presented for a reading; judged a creative writing contest; acted as a submissions editor for an academic journal; created, developed and hosted a radio series; written short stories; published short stories; blogged; presented as a blogger; taught; learned; grown; shed; mothered; lectured; loved.

A few years ago I created a Wordle of words that defined my career goals. Today, I created one of words that remind me who I am.

Five Years Later: Divorced or Single?

“I’m not seeing my daughter until after the holidays, “she answered, “ but it’s ok, I’m a single lady,” the cashier continued, “I have friends to see all over the country.”
As she rang up and bagged my items she shared her adventures as a “single lady."
“I’m usually out travelling or seeing shows; I go out a lot, you see, because I’m a single lady.”
We talk every time I visit the store but I didn’t realize we had so much in common: I like to travel; I’d like to go out dancing, to meet new people. It took a good five minutes before I remembered: “I’m a single lady too,” I said.
“You are?” She wasn’t convinced.
“I’ve been divorced for five years.” I don’t usually feel the urge to explain myself but the revelation that I too am a single lady took me a bit off guard.
For the past few years I’ve been “divorced.” “Divorced” is a reminder that I know what commitment is and when it isn’t working; I know when to hold on and when to walk away. It tells people a version of my past and though I h…

Samsung Challenges UK Phone User to do without Smartphone for Two Weeks

Think you can’t do without your Samsung Galaxy SIII Smartphone? Samsung says you can, and you will.
If you’ve recently updated your Samsung Galaxy SIII without any problems then you may be one of the lucky ones. Now that I have attempted the system prompted update, my device doesn’t work. And I’m not alone. Now that my phone only ineptly strobes “Samsung” I’ve searched reviews on the update (Yes, I’ve learned to check reviews before accepting manufacturer updates) and found questions but no solutions. When I called the support number, the technician admitted that his update also destroyed his phone and his phone is out for repair. Why does Samsung know about the problem but still recommend the update? I suppose it’s the same reason they know how to fix it but don’t share the information: Samsung challenges us to stop using Smartphones.
Over the past ten months or so since I’ve had the phone, I have become addicted to checking emails, status and updates. I’ve taken pictures of my family…

Competitive Dating

I’m a competitive shopper. In the past few weeks I have bid on at least three things that as soon as I became the highest bidder, I didn’t want. The information was in the listing: there was no false advertising; no revelation of a hidden meaning or twisted phrase. After the competition of bidding was complete and I was sure of winning, I just didn’t want what I thought I did.
To be fair, I was settling.
I was looking for a laptop and bidding on a notebook or looking for a Rockband guitar and bidding on a Guitar hero one; I even bid on an item from someone with more negative comments in the past six months than items I had bid on. I couldn’t seem to help myself. If other people wanted it, I had to have it.
“Please don’t let me win, please don’t let me win,” I prayed after bidding on items. Thankfully, my prayers were answered. I was able to walk away and watch someone else swoop in without feeling a need to win. But they weren’t my competition; I was.
If only I didn’t also do that in relat…

Lessons from Season 1 of the Writing Life

This year I hosted my first radio series, The Writing Life, on Bailrigg FM. The series is an opportunity for me to interview writers, authors, publishers, and any one making a living with their words or endeavoring to. The platform allows me to share information with a larger population and fulfills part of my teaching passion. Largely, it is an opportunity to converse, interact and engage: to do things I love within a medium I adore.
Presenting is not as easy as some professionals make it look. Thanks to networking and connecting, I was able to garner a list of knowledgeable, personable guests who are willing to share information and were available. I interviewed Kevin Duffy of Blue Moose Books; writer, publisher and Fulbright Scholar Coleen Crangle; space planning visionary and author Jo Kipling; author, student; PR guru Simon James; advocate, lecturer and playwright Royal Shiree; award winning novelist Alison MacLeod; and award winning screen and playwright Daragh Carville. All of m…