The Ebb and Flow of Relationships

Seventeen years later, I remember 9-11 as if it were yesterday. I shared the exchange of emails between my dad and me in the hours following the attack on our homeland. Today, please stop for a moment and remember the three thousand plus citizens who lost their lives, as well as those who sacrificed their lives to prevent more deaths from keeping a plane from carrying out their attack. Many continue to live with nightmares and survival guilt, as do some who feel responsible for not being prepared to prevent the attack.

Book Reviews & Musings

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“We return to each other in waves. This is how water loves.” – Nayyirah Waheed

When I chose to write this blog post on the ebb and flow of relationships, I did not stop to consider the raw emotion I would experience while writing my way through to completion. The idea came to me as I was reading emails my dad and I had exchanged immediately following the events of September 11, 2001, more commonly referred to as 9-11.

Our email exchange began on 09/11/01:

Dear Dad,
My day started at 0400 this morning with a phone call from the base Executive Officer calling to tell me that our nation was under attack. Linda had also called from Pearl Harbor while I was on the phone with the XO, and left a message for me, “Donna, Get up and turn on your TV.” But I had…

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Feel Like Giving Up? Read this.

Whether you will admit it or not, there are some of you who question yourself when it comes to blogging. You battle with the same issues or excuses as Cristian Mihai addresses in his blog. I know, I’ve been there myself, but I took a step back and thought about what it was I wanted and I asked myself why I needed to blog to get what I wanted. That was all it took for me to “do the hokey pokey and turn myself around.” Pardon the cliché, but it’s what I did. Minus the hokey pokey, I turned myself around.

I am currently an unpublished writer because I spent twenty-eight years serving my country, but I began writing from the time I could hold a crayon, and I knew one day I would be a published author. I still believe this. However, most professionals will tell you to build a following on social media long before you publish a novel. Yes, there’s Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc., but I believed I needed more than what these platforms could offer me, so I thought, “I’ll blog!” I jumped before thinking and started my blog, so don’t feel alone if you did as I did. I felt as if I failed and all the other feelings that Cristian talks about on his blog.

After I stepped back and considered what I wanted to blog while building a following, I said to myself, “Hey I’m an English major, and that has to count for something” so I decided to become a NetGalley Professional Book Reviewer. Becoming a book reviewer was a win-win for me. Everyone knows the better writers are the well-read writers, so I felt I had the opportunity to discover what works and what does not work as a writer. Yes, it all becomes overwhelming at times keeping up with Twitter, Facebook, reading and writing my book reviews while still finding time to work on my manuscripts. It’s perseverance that keeps me going. I picked that up during the twenty-eight years I served my country.

I am nowhere close to where I want to be, but I am progressing because I did not give up or quit. My perseverance personality would not allow me to give up, and I will continue to stick it out as I learn along the way. And oh, by the way, there’s always something new to learn. I don’t think about competition, or the number of followers I have because I know they will come in time.

The Art of Blogging

I launched my first blog in January 2011. I had released my first self-published novel on Amazon. I was very excited, and I was sure that I’d soon conquer the world…

I quit after three posts, no views, no comments, no nothing.

Five days into my career as a blogger, I grew bitter and remorseful, felt invisible, decided it was all for nothing, and quit.

This disappointment was so strong that I did not give blogging another try for a solid year. And then, it happened again: I spend the first month posting on a daily basis only to get around 500 views total, and almost no comments at all. Something like 30-40 followers.

This makes you ask yourself questions. You try to find reasons. Your mind plays tricks on you, the same way it would if you would find yourself stranded on a deserted island.

Maybe you are just…

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Remembering Our Loved Ones After They Leave This World & Sharing John Pavlovitz’ Blog Post on When We Forget They’re Dead

July is an emotionally charged month for me to navigate and I suspect it will remain so for as long as I live. It's an excessively long month due to the many loved ones who have  passed during the month of July. I lost an Aunt on July 18, 2014, who was so much more than … Continue reading Remembering Our Loved Ones After They Leave This World & Sharing John Pavlovitz’ Blog Post on When We Forget They’re Dead

Bleeding Heart

Art by Michal Boubin. today you destroyed me; my laughter ceased. i felt the pain driven deep within my heart, as you lashed out against me in a furious rage. i stood before you rendered powerless, struck by your ardent emotional outburst. your words, like daggers - were stabbing, were slashing; tearing violently through my … Continue reading Bleeding Heart

The Nuances of Twitter

twitterimageI initially wrote “The Nuances of Twitter” in 2015, but after personally encountering, on several occasions during the last couple of weeks, the practice of Twitter users following and then unfollowing me to increase their number of Twitter followers while decreasing the number of Twitter users they follow. I decided to reblog with an added message in an attempt to get through to some of those who abuse Twitter.

One of the quickest ways of having your account suspended is to play the follow/unfollow game on Twitter. To follow someone on Twitter only to unfollow them when they follow you back to grow your numbers is shameful. You have no interest in who you follow other than attempting to make yourselves look significant for the sake of Twitter. You believe the practice of accumulating a stupendous amount or followers is your ticket to being certified by Twitter. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but your shamefully obtained numbers are not going to earn you the Twitter certification you so badly yearn for. It will, however, may and should get your Twitter account suspended. You are playing dirty and shame on you.

There are multiple services available, both helpful to the honest and the dishonest to monitor the activity of your Twitter accounts. They are useful in notifying Twitter users without an agenda of those who have unfollowed them. However, using these services to unfollow a vast amount of Twitter users is going to get the attention of Twitter and when it does, adios! No one that’s on Twitter for the right reason wants to be a victim of the follow/unfollow scam.

And then there are those who purchase their followers either to raise their numbers exponentially for the sole purpose of impressing Twitter. And let me say that the practice of buying followers is not necessarily a bad thing when purchasing followers through a legitimate company for your ‘targeted audience.’ However, I don’t understand why Twitter users would pay for followers, aside from advertising needs, if you have a commodity to advertise legitimately. But when you purchase followers through the cheap bot sellers, this is a sure sign you don’t care about your followers, or who follows you. You are merely beating your chest to get the attention of Twitter, and that’s only going to lead to adios, see you when Twitter lifts their ban on your Twitter account.

I find it easy enough to identify those that have unfollowed me by occasionally scrolling through the list of those I follow. Twitter has made it much easier and less time consuming by adding “Follows You” without having to open each follower’s page, as it once was. While scrolling through those you are following, if you don’t see “Follows You” then you’ve been unfollowed. I am in no way suggesting that every unfollow is part of the follow/unfollow scam played by those manipulating their numbers; however, in more cases than not, you are a victim of the follow/unfollow practice.

I am selective of those I follow. I am a writer, and therefore I follow those who write, edit, publish, read, blog, tweet writing advise or inspiring quotes by famous and upcoming authors. I also follow artists that are genuine in what they do and why they are on Twitter. Likewise, most of us appreciate humor, and therefore I follow some comedians and funny people. I also follow some advertising Tweeters. My point is, I follow a targeted audience that shares the same interests as I do. If someone follows me, I check their legitimacy before I follow back. I’ve been around a while, and I’ve seen the follow/unfollow game played, which is unfortunate for those of us who play by the rules.

I’m not particularly fond of cliches, but I make exceptions from time to time, and this is one of those times. Remember, “It’s quality, not quantity” that gets the Twitter certification.

Book Reviews & Musings

twitterimagePlease Don’t do that! Please don’t drop your head into the palm of your hand and moan, “Oh gawd, please not another one!” because of this, I promise you, is not ‘just’ another one. I’ve been making mental notes about the activity that I have found disspiriting regarding Twitter for several months, and I decided today, after seeing something that really annoyed me, that it was time to speak up. Although I joined ‘Twitter Nation’ in May of 2012, I did not become a serious Twitter aficionado until the last 18 months or so; and during this time, I have questioned a lot, but I have also learned a lot, and namely the difference between tweeting with and without etiquette.

Some time ago, perhaps a month, or so, I read a tweet that left me feeling disheartened for the tweeter. She tweeted something to the effect that the saddest thing that…

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In Loving Memory of My Aunt Veronica Lynn Parker July 5, 1954 – July 18, 2014

A year ago today, my Aunt Veronica (Ronnie) Lynn Parker passed away from colon cancer after cancer spread to her lungs and her liver. She had just turned 60 on July 5th. My Aunt Veronica’s sister, my Aunt Dana, was in the hospital when my Aunt Veronica passed. Aunt Dana had Stage IV lung cancer; … Continue reading In Loving Memory of My Aunt Veronica Lynn Parker July 5, 1954 – July 18, 2014