Shall We Dance. Into Summer and Eighth Grade we will go.

The School Year is about to come to an end for many. And for my own daughter, I am happy to know she had a fine year. She would say that overall it was a great 6th grade year. And oh how she grew and changed and learned things about herself.

Funny thing, is I don’t remember 6th grade much. I’m sure I was a good student. I have always been at the very least a successful student with grades. And I believe I had at least one friend…(says the me that loves building community.)

She made herself a “wordle” to express how she sees herself and I think it is AWESOME!:

Check it out! Shall We Dance

September

Back to school is in the air, and even those of us beyond school age are feeling some kind of anticipation and expectation. We can put some of the blame on the media and advertising that seem to begin their “back to school” campaigns the day that school gets out in June. Add to this for me the many years in the education system as a teacher, an educator and a Mom. Most of all the feelings come from the memories of all those years as a student. I am sure that this is the case for many people.
I remember clearly those last days of summer vacation. There was a rush to enjoy those last days, to work hard at being lazy; to try to do those silly fun things that you said you were going to do in the summer. There was a bit of sadness as the evenings and mornings got cooler and the chances for going to “camp”, the beach or just to play diminished. My healthy, happy-go-lucky, playful little summer self was headed for change. School, routine and fall were on their way.
What a mixture of feelings that brought! I liked school, but…!
Anticipation and expectation: What class or classes would I be in? Who would be the teacher? What will I learn? Can I work hard and do really, really well this year? Can’t wait to see all of the kids again…but will they like me? Who will I play with? I promise to be on time every day.
Anticipation, expectation … and fear! It was a lot to handle and it really threw me off balance. Those first few weeks of September were really hard.
Years later, as an educator and parent, I remembered those feelings and tried to alleviate some of them for my students and my children. I realize that going through changes and feelings like this are necessary and help to build flexible and ambitious adults. I also realize that when children and students are supported, listened to and accepted during this time of change they learn more than just being flexible and ambitious. They learn how to be healthy and happy with themselves and where they are moving to in their life.

For me, I decided to use this ingrained feeling of anticipation and expectation. I take this time to stock up on books, pens, paints, office and school supplies (great prices at this time of year!) I rearrange/organize my desk, office space, work areas. I consider which creative ideas I am ready to pursue (and which ones from the past that I choose to finish or give up!) I listen to my inner voice and get ideas for classes and workshops to give as an educator and guide, and to take for my personal benefit. It is the beginning of the New Year for my education that never stops, my blossoming creativity, and above all my ever-opening intuition.
©Linda Zeppa www.intuwriting.com linda@intuwriting.com

Campus Tour

….and over here we have the cafeteria.  Pretty big.  You get in any of these lines here and pay over there at the registers.  They’ve got salads, pasta, soup, bread, burgers, pizza.  That line over there does entrees.  Some ethnic stuff over there.  Just pick out what you want and pay, then pull up a seat at one of the tables, or outside if it’s not Juneuary.

And down the hall here we’ve got dry cleaning.  Pretty convenient.  Just drop it off when you come in, and it’s ready in a couple days, swing by, take it back home, you know.  It’s pretty nice.

Then here we have the badger room.  It’s where we keep the badgers.  Might want to stay away from there.

And right down here’s the fitness center.  Precors, treadmills, weights, just about everything.  Need to swipe in with your badge.  Open 24/7.  If you hear anything knocking around the south side it’s probably just the badgers.

You know, I wonder why we even have a badger room.  It’s not like they contribute to the core product line.  Not at all.  I can’t think of one impact they might have.  And it’s air conditioned in there…that’s messed up.  There’s like, 400 badgers in there.  Probably why they’re so noisy.  I wonder what they eat.  Probably new hires, hahahaha.  “New meat, got some new meat here!”  Yeah, stay away from that room.  I’m gonna have to ask about that.

You is Kind…

“You is Kind. You is Smart. You is Important.”

These kind words are spoken to Mae Mobley by Aibileen Clark in the movie The Help. Aibileen, using these words, always made it a point to remind Mae of the value of the young child.

Too often, people loose sight of simple things, me included. And when we do, life tends to go off the rails; it becomes a train wreck. And in the train wreck, with carnage everywhere it is easy to forget, You is Kind. You is Smart. You is Important. It is only when these simple lemmas can be brought back to focus that life begins a return to normalcy.

So, as a reminder to myself, always remember, You is Kind. You is Smart. You is Important.

Stephen Magladry, your iTechieGuy

Circling around to important questions

At today’s Tuesdays with Deborah session, we engaged topics that are asked by reticent bloggers and often revisited by experienced bloggers.

What is a blog? What is a blog post?

A blog is a collection of web content, usually writing. A readable blog post is about 200 to 600 words long. A good blog post is something that will be found and read by someone who is interested in a topic. What topics do reticent bloggers have in mind?

Where are blogs?

The best place for a blog is high on the list of search results returned to a search engine user. Readers find bloggers who effectively refine their understanding of relevant search terms.

Who blogs?

Writers blog!  Businesses develop, grow, and maintain customer bases through relevant and timely blog posts.  People with common knowledge and information needs find each other through the authoring of, and reading of, blogs.

When is a blog post visible?

A blog post is visible as soon as the author decides to publish a piece.  Writers with experience in printed materials can be assured that a “published” blog post can be changed after it is published.  Each blogger develops an sense of when a piece is ready for publishing. Each blogger develops an individual sense of how often to publish new content.

How are blog posts created?

Blog posts are created using a software tool such as WordPress, the software used for the Tuesdays with Deborah blog.  Blogging tools have features that feel like word processing: writing, formatting, and saving. A key difference between word processing and blogging is a “publish” mechanism for making content visible to readers.

The content of blog posts is developed through each writer’s unique writing practice. When is a good time of day for writing? Where is a good location for the writing process? What gets in the way of writing – distractions? Multi-tasking? The internal editor who gets in the way of first drafts being created? Some writers identify clothing that makes writing easier or harder.

Bloggers discover that developing the content is more challenging than learning software features for creating posts.

Answers to the previous questions of who-what-when-where-and-how all come from the question:

Why create a blog? What causes a reticent blogger to enter the world of blogging?

There are many right answers to the questions of what to write, how often to post, etc. Good approaches for any one blog come from on-going refinement of a blog’s purpose.

Understanding a blog’s purpose is not a pre-requisite for beginning a writing/blogging practice.  Discovering a blog’s purpose begins with an idea, leading to some drafts, leading to some publishing, leading to some feedback, leading to a refined understanding of purpose and how to fulfill the purpose.

The current writing challenge is “Passionate Observations.” Here are examples about New YorkDenver, and our own area.

Reticent bloggers are invited to register for the site, read and comment on posts, try out what feels like a word processing tool for adding a new post, and then take a deep breath and press the “publish” button.

Right now, the editor in my head wants a few things different about this post. But the writer will press the “publish” button, in this safe space, and the editor can have a turn on another day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Devil in Uncle Watt

Uncle Watt bit off the head of a big, fat, juicy, green tobacco worm, peed on his deaf cousin, and poked mules in the ass with a sharp stick just to see ‘em kick. Oh, yes, he was full of the Devil. And my efforts to untangle dead ancestors lured me into a genealogical exorcism.

“Oh my Lord, he done got the Devil in ‘im BAD,” Raffie, a stooped, ancient man who used to work beside him on the farm once told me when I was a young lad. As late as July 2009, Helen, one of my beloved aunts and a Beatnik artist then in her 80s, when reminded of Uncle Watt called him “quite a character.” And so I tumbled down the dumbwaiter chute of a family mystery. Who was this “Devil?”

Continue reading @ http://williamdudleybass.com/MyBlog/devil-uncle-watt/.

William Dudley Bass
2009, 2012
Seattle & Shoreline, Washington

NOTE: This essay was first published in my earlier blogs, revised on my new website, On Earth at the Brink, @ http://williamdudleybass.com. It is reprinted here with my permission as the Author. Thank you.

“Life is an onion and one peels it crying.” French Proverb

“Live est un oignon et un peeling en pleurant.” Proverbe français

“Life is an onion and one peels it crying.” French Proverb

This proverb jumped out at me again today. My onion is definitely peeling! When I am sad, I cry. When I am mad, I cry. When I am lonely, I sometimes cry. When I sense someone else’s dis-ease, I cry. When I am really happy about something, I cry. When I find something really funny, I laugh til I am crying. And sometimes…I don’t know why…but I just cry. It is a good thing that I am living by myself these days, because my onion is definitely peeling.

I used to be so stoic. Iiti did not want to waste time crying. I just did something to get over the sensation and moved away from it. I kept myself busy. I believed that it made me strong! It took a lot to get me to cry…and heaven forbid if someone happened to see me cry! I realize now that I was stuffing a lot inside of me. My onion was growing, and the outer peels got pretty tough.

It took a long time and a lot of self-study to feel OK with shedding a tear or two…or two thousand. I decided that if three-quarters of the world is water, and two-thirds of the human body is water, it is just fine to let go of a bit of mine. A total release occurs: physical, emotional, spiritual. It might not change a situation, but something about my perception of the situation changes. It just makes me feel different. Sometimes that different may only be exhausted and re-eyed, but that’s OK. It leads to a good sleep, and things always seem brighter after a good sleep.

Of course, I still prefer to do my crying alone (or as the old song says “in the rain”) so no one can see. Most of the time I choose an appropriate time and place for it. But I have stopped stuffing it down and keeping it deep and tight inside. Crying is a necessity: a natural part of our development in this life.

I am sure that this time of crying a lot will pass, as I move forward on my path. I also am sure that there will be more times of tears. I am OK with that, and accept it in others. And if the urge to cry is there and the tears just don’t come…I will just peel some onions.

© Linda Zeppa www.intuwriting.com
This blog is a version of a post from August 2011. Venus, retrograde and transiting in all of its glory, is working its magic on me. I am sure that I am not alone, as we are guided to use our emotions, creativity and intuition to release and gently move forward, setting up for a peaceful revolution.

Writing session after TwD – Part 1

At every TwD session, I make notes for writing I would like to do Right Away. I know I am not alone. Another group member and I have decided to plan on staying at the gracious space of Friends Philosophy and Tea after the TwD session to do some writing….. sometimes in silence…. right after the session.

Here is the emerging idea, and you are invited:

TwD proceeds from 1 until 2:30. We “break” from 2:30 to 2:45 or so to finish conversations, stretch, refill our tea, etc.

At 2:45 we gather near the fire, perhaps, or at the tables set up for teahouse guests, for an hour. We encourage each other by simply being together in that gracious space.

When I depart TwD and I get involved in “other projects,” I experience a delay before writing a draft of the “great idea” inspired by the TwD session. I want to capture the inspirations. I can see that my writing practice could include reserving Tuesday afternoon from 1 until 4 for the double benefit of the Tuesdays with Deborah session, followed immediately by an hour of writing.

Last Tuesday, my friend Sharon who was at TwD for the first time began to say, “I need to write about the day that…..” I said: “Simply tell me the story. I will capture it, and you will have a first draft to work with.”

Sharon and I enjoyed a chuckle, later, about the results, and we will reverse the process the next time that we are both at TwD – perhaps Tuesday May 29.

If you feel inspired by the TwD process and want to stay with other writers for one more cup of tea, please join us.  It will be a challenge to not chat the hour away, but we are Writers developing Writing Practices.  Wonderful things that we cannot even imagine will emerge from writing for an hour after TwD.

On June 4, I added a post called “Writing session after TwD Part 2”

See, I’m right

This is not a guide to social DIY-ing.  It’s a quick statement.

Late August 2011 I approached some target companies with a proposal to get them up and running with regularly published, internally generated, social content.  I’m going to call it “social content,” because quite frankly, all social content is marketing.

One part of my criteria for targeting a company was that they had to have a physical product: a box on a shelf, a unit in a showroom – – something that their end users could actually touch.

If you would like a very simplified version of my August 2011 proposal, which includes step by step instructions, metrics for ROI, and things like that, shoot me an email and I’ll send it to you. NSA.

Today, I read this article that reinforces my opinions and theories, which I came to after several months of intensive careful research.  Here’s an excerpt (parts of this quotes George Mason U economist Tyler Cowen),

…the Internet is a wonder when it comes to generating “cheap fun.” But because “so many of its products are free,” and because so much of a typical Web company’s work is “performed more or less automatically by the software and the servers,” the online world is rather less impressive when it comes to generating job growth.

It’s telling, in this regard, that the companies most often cited as digital-era successes, Apple and Amazon, both have business models that are firmly rooted in the production and delivery of nonvirtual goods. Apple’s core competency is building better and more beautiful appliances; Amazon’s is delivering everything from appliances to DVDs to diapers more swiftly and cheaply to your door.

By contrast, the more purely digital a company’s product, the fewer jobs it tends to create and the fewer dollars it can earn per user — a reality that journalists have become all too familiar with these last 10 years, and that Facebook’s investors collided with last week. There are exceptions to this rule, but not all that many: even pornography, long one of the Internet’s biggest moneymakers, has become steadily less profitable as amateur sites and videos have proliferated and the “professionals” have lost their monopoly on smut.

The internet is free, and the content is going to be more and more self-generated, and catching eyeballs will require being more and more ENGAGING and AUTHENTIC.  And SHORTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Get to the f-ing point in 10 seconds!!!!!!!!!!!   The more you need to tell me about your product or service, the less I need it!!!!!!!!!!!!  Don’t convince me, I’m already doing that myself!!!!!!!!!

As I sat behind the camera taping a 2 hour ppt presentation given by a 70-year-old retiree a couple weeks ago (to be archived for future use….hahahahaha), my one overwhelming thought was, “If I have to sit through something for 2 hours, it better be Avengers quality.”

AND, this comes back around to my current thoughts on the massive culture shift that we’re going to be experiencing in 5 years, stretching for the next 10-20 years as the boomers retire and transition to those pleasant sunny acres in the sky:

  • Creating online content is not intuitive to most boomers.
  • Creating online content is very intuitive to most gen-y-ers.
  • Gen x is the fulcrum around which these two massive generations will transition during this culture shift.  It’s the generation that will allow relevant knowledge and processes to pivot from the old school boomer way of doing things to the new wave of no-attention-span nu skool gen y way of doing things.
Simple example:  right now I have to explain, to clients of a certain age, how to download email attachments, how to properly extract files from zipped folders, those kinds of things.
Technology may or may not change to simplify this sort of task, but the people who will be doing the task will most certainly be changing.

What are you thoughts on the upcoming culture shift?

What are you doing right now to be engaging, authentic, and are you GETTING TO THE POINT!?!?!?

Some additional food for thought:  right now you can have media content online within a couple hours – – or in most cases a couple minutes – – of creating it.  You can have media content on broadcast channels and publications within about a day of creating it.  As long as you have the money to create and the money to pay for the schedule.  Rapid internal ideation is key key key.

If you would like a very simplified version of my August 2011 proposal, which includes step by step instructions, metrics for ROI, and things like that, shoot me an email and I’ll send it to you. NSA.

btw, just for fun, my favorite campaigns right now are on the radio, and the only product name I’m recalling is Cabot Stain:

http://washington.wgu.edu/billboard

Cabot Stain “How did this DIYer turn so pro?”

The hot dog commercial that talks about springtime being adequate grilling weather, and taking off your jacket to: put on a lighter jacket.

 

The Madness of Art

Can’t you see the beauty in it.
Blank in its formless shape a potter begins to mold her creation.
Whisking paint across an already smudged canvas he screams…
Can’t you see the beauty in it!
How can you not. My god!
Pounding, Slamming, Crying out for understanding.
What do you want of me says the singer?
Forcing the melody to a page of lines from the clouded head of creativity.
A hum too faint to be audible becomes a chorus of the first line.
Meanwhile out back in the garage the high pitched whistle of white hot light whispers.
Forged from rusted steel, iron and sweat.
Can you see the beauty now?
Maybe you if you stand back…over there…
How about now?
I understand this madness all too well.
Words coming so fast I can’t think.
The artist knows of this madness.
A madness that can’t be squelched.
Like water from a fire hose it comes through them.
There is no relief from this stream of the unconscious pursuit of the perfect.
For there is beauty in the ordinary that makes things extraordinary.
It comes and it comes and it won’t stop.
No amount of sleep, drugs or therapy will make it end.
It only dulls the din of wanting out of his head.
A self expression so pure only the artist knows the madness of art.
Can you see it now she cry’s.
Backed into a corner slumped down, brush in hand… it is done she smiles.
The torch of molten creativity has faded like a boiling tea pot removed from the flame.
The madness of art stops…only to be torn down and begun again.
Can’t you see the beauty in it!?

 Spoken Words by Gerald Grinter