Haiku Friday: Early Spring

Here’s my haiku for today, on the topic of Early Spring:

daffodils giggle
forsythia laughs out loud
pussy willows pop

It’s Haiku Friday again. For the past twenty years or so, it has been my practice to write one haiku every day. Every Friday I share a haiku here, about whatever topic I happen to choose. I invite you to write a haiku on this topic too, and share it with me and the readers of this blog. Just write it in the Comments below. The only rules are: 1) your haiku must be about the named topic; 2) you must follow the 5-7-5 syllable format; 3) no obscenities or hate (I will delete those). That’s it.

At the end of each month I’ll gather up the haikus in the “Haiku Comments” that meet the criteria and pick one at random in a drawing, and send the winner of the drawing one of my e-books: your choice of Haiku for the Seasons I, or Haiku for the Seasons II.

Technorati Tags: haiku, writing, syllable, spring, daffodils, giggle, forsythia, laughs, pussy willows

Sharing History: Women in Space

My teleclass, “Playing Your Part on the World Stage”, which is based on my book “Making History: how to remember, record, interpret and share the events of your life,” explores how each of us contributes to “big” history. (By the way, I’ll be teaching this 6-week teleclass series again this spring, starting March 18th, through www.namw.org.) I love teaching this class because I hear such great stories, and they spark memories of my own. Here is a story about the space program from the 1950s to the 1980s:

The Space program continued into the seventies and eighties, with significant achievements such as the first space station Skylab, stunning photos of possible life on Mars and the rings of Saturn, and many more, ensuring that humans would continue looking into the skies. Sally Ride became the first American woman astronaut and a heroine to many American girls and women.

One of my students, “Victoria,” had dreamed of being an astronaut in the mid-1950s, when she was a teenager. But girls didn’t become astronauts then, and Victoria became a teacher instead. She forgot her adolescent fantasy until one evening in 1983 as she was watching a TV program about Sally Ride with her granddaughter. “I want to go to Space, Grandma,” said her granddaughter, giving Victoria a bittersweet thrill as she realized that what had been impossible for her had become possible for her granddaughter.

If you’d care to share a story about this topic, please leave a comment here. At the end of each month I’ll gather up the Sharing History comments and pick one at random from a drawing, and send the winner of the drawing my e-book: your choice of a Making History Workbook.

Technorati Tags: history, teleclass, making history, women, space, teaching, stories, memories, Skylab, Mars, Saturn, American, astronaut

Compost: Goody Beagle on Letting Go

Bella Puggle had puppies not too long ago. Her nipples drag on the ground. But the puppies are gone now, out on their own somewhere. Contrary to what humans imagine, Bella is not sad about this. She is not even the tiniest bit upset. She is, in fact, thrilled. She has her freedom back. It’s not like she wasn’t a good mom – she says she was, and I believe her. But her attitude now is “been there, done that, time to move on.” Humans don’t seem to understand that there is a time to let go.

There’s my bit of wisdom for the day.

Love, Goody Beagle

Technorati Tags: compost, Goody Beagle, puppies, nipples, thrilled, freedom, attitude, move on, letting go, wisdom

Haiku Friday: Wisdom

Here’s my haiku for today, on the topic of Wisdom:

sometimes it is wise
not to see how far it is
across great waters

It’s Haiku Friday again. For the past twenty years or so, it has been my practice to write one haiku every day. Every Friday I share a haiku here, about whatever topic I happen to choose. I invite you to write a haiku on this topic too, and share it with me and the readers of this blog. Just write it in the Comments below. The only rules are: 1) your haiku must be about the named topic; 2) you must follow the 5-7-5 syllable format; 3) no obscenities or hate (I will delete those). That’s it.

At the end of each month I’ll gather up the haikus in the “Haiku Comments” that meet the criteria and pick one at random in a drawing, and send the winner of the drawing one of my e-books: your choice of Haiku for the Seasons I, or Haiku for the Seasons II.

Technorati Tags: haiku, writing, syllable, wisdom, sometimes, wise, see, far, waters

Writing: Eliciting Details

Another excerpt from my new program Living as a Ghost.

I like doing interviews for books I’m ghostwriting because some people say such surprising things – especially if you tell them to be a blabbermouth and to just say anything that pops into their heads. I tell my clients not to worry about wasting my time. Interviews can go off in unforeseen directions, and some of the most colorful passages in books come from off-the cuff remarks or the spontaneous “oh that reminds me of a story…”

Nevertheless, I can’t just ask general, open-ended questions like “What was that like?” or “Describe your grandmother.” Because most people are not blabbermouths and they sometimes suffer from brain freeze. Then I will usually get answers like “It was nice,” or “She was sweet.”

I must ask specific questions designed to elicit details. For instance, if I’m writing a memoir, I don’t ask the question “What were you doing in 1985?” (Could you answer that question?) Let’s say my client is from Florida. I might ask him this question instead – “Do you remember the Florida citrus crop failure in 1985?” Even if he doesn’t remember the citrus crop disaster, he might have something to share about food prices in his lifetime, crop distribution or the grocery-store system in America, or even draw a comparison with what’s happening with food prices today. Or it might bring up marginally related memories, such as Anita Bryant, who was the Florida OJ spokesperson at the time, and her militant anti-gay crusade. In other words I might get other stories.

When you ask specific questions, you will get specific answers. Details are what make a book come alive.


Technorati Tags: writing, living, ghost, ghostwriting, interviews, colorful, passages, books, remarks, questions, open

Compost: Introverts Make Bad Marketers

Writers are often introverts, and dislike getting “out there.” Many of us are happiest (and feel safest) holed up in our snug workrooms, hunched over our laptops typing away. We are so much more impressive when we write than when we talk!

Of course, introversion is a poor marketing strategy. It doesn’t work for authors, and it won’t work for ghostwriters either. Sorry, but no matter how much you enjoy the background shadows, you have to get out there and let people look at and listen to you – and you must try to be informative, compelling, inspirational, or at the very least, nice. They simply won’t hire you otherwise. And they won’t recommend you either.

Sigh.

Technorati Tags: compost, writers, introverts, snug, happiest, workrooms, laptops, writing, introversion, marketing, strategy, ghostwriters

Haiku Friday: Planting

Here’s my haiku for today, on the topic of Planting:

all been done before
used thoughts circling through the sky
keep planting your beans

It’s Haiku Friday again. For the past twenty years or so, it has been my practice to write one haiku every day. Every Friday I share a haiku here, about whatever topic I happen to choose. I invite you to write a haiku on this topic too, and share it with me and the readers of this blog. Just write it in the Comments below. The only rules are: 1) your haiku must be about the named topic; 2) you must follow the 5-7-5 syllable format; 3) no obscenities or hate (I will delete those). That’s it.

At the end of each month I’ll gather up the haikus in the “Haiku Comments” that meet the criteria and pick one at random in a drawing, and send the winner of the drawing one of my e-books: your choice of Haiku for the Seasons I, or Haiku for the Seasons II.

Technorati Tags: haiku, writing, syllable, planting, thoughts, circling, sky, beans

Sharing History: Girls Buy Hardware Too

My teleclass, “Playing Your Part on the World Stage”, which is based on my book “Making History: how to remember, record, interpret and share the events of your life,” explores how each of us contributes to “big” history. (By the way, I’ll be teaching this 6-week teleclass series again this spring, starting March 18th, through www.namw.org.) I love teaching this class because I hear such great stories, and they spark memories of my own. Here is a story that I shared with the class, about the changes in women’s roles in the 1970s:

In 1974, armed with my college degree, I entered the full time workforce. I had worked part time through college as a secretary, and I looked forward to working in a different role. However, the only jobs I was considered for were secretarial jobs. Most, in fact nearly all, of the jobs available for women in business were secretarial jobs.

It was legal to advertise jobs in the want ads as “Men Wanted” and “Women Wanted.” I answered the “Women” ads for office help, naively hoping that I could use a secretarial job as a springboard to something better. I was offered quite a few secretarial jobs, but when I asked about paths to advancement, the only thing on offer was as an Office Manager or Head Typist. Although young men with the same education as I were considered for management trainees and entry level sales positions, I was told – in these exact words — that women couldn’t manage because their employees wouldn’t take them seriously, and that women couldn’t be sales people because their customers wouldn’t take them seriously.

Eventually I landed a job as a Secretary/Purchasing Agent. That slash was why I agreed to take the job. The company was a furniture manufacturer and it was my job to purchase nails and screws and other small production items. My supervisor bought “bigger” things such as lumber, bedsprings, and mattress ticking. I thought that this was temporary, just until I learned. Then I would be the Buyer for the “bigger” purchases. But when I asked when I would be given that responsibility, I was told — never. I couldn’t buy these products because the purchase of lumber and such was really a man’s job and the suppliers wouldn’t take me seriously.

This was actually true. I learned this the first time my hardware vendor, selling nails and screws, came to see me. He knew my name but had not talked to me. Since Kim is a man’s name as well as a woman’s, he expected a man. He saw me and his mouth fell open in shock. “You’re a girl!” he huffed. “I’m not selling nails to a girl!” Out he stomped. I never saw him again. I had to find another nail and screw vendor, which should have been easy but wasn’t, because I wanted one who wasn’t patronizing.

I was in that job five years, and although by the second year I devoted myself to purchasing and performed no secretarial duties, it wasn’t until the last year of my employment that my company at last yielded to my pleas to drop the “secretary” from my title and promote me to Purchasing Agent without the slash.

If you’d care to share a story about this topic, please leave a comment here. At the end of each month I’ll gather up the Sharing History comments and pick one at random from a drawing, and send the winner of the drawing my e-book: your choice of a Making History Workbook.

Technorati Tags: history, girls, hardware, teleclass, making history, workforce, secretary, men wanted, women wanted, purchasing, agent, nails, screws, vendor

Compost: Goody Beagle on Dog Park Etiquette

Davy Shepherd-Mix likes to chase balls even though he’s not that fast. His human threw the ball for him, but then Mandy B. Labrador joined the game and beat Davy to the ball. Then Mandy ran all over the park bragging about how fast she is, and she wouldn’t give the ball back. Rude!

Sissy J. Russell wore a red harness and a pink leash to the park. It looked a little garish to me, but I didn’t say so. Sissy is stuck-up and ignored me completely when I tried to do sniff-butt. Courtesy is wasted on some dogs.

That’s what I think.

Love, Goody Beagle

Technorati Tags: compost, Goody Beagle, dog, park, etiquette, Shepherd, Labrador, Russell, game, balls, ran, bragging, rude

Haiku Friday: Youth

Here’s my haiku for today, on the topic of Youth:

make way for us now!
crowds of naked hyacinths
poke and shove and thrust

It’s Haiku Friday again. For the past twenty years or so, it has been my practice to write one haiku every day. Every Friday I share a haiku here, about whatever topic I happen to choose. I invite you to write a haiku on this topic too, and share it with me and the readers of this blog. Just write it in the Comments below. The only rules are: 1) your haiku must be about the named topic; 2) you must follow the 5-7-5 syllable format; 3) no obscenities or hate (I will delete those). That’s it.

At the end of each month I’ll gather up the haikus in the “Haiku Comments” that meet the criteria and pick one at random in a drawing, and send the winner of the drawing one of my e-books: your choice of Haiku for the Seasons I, or Haiku for the Seasons II.

Technorati Tags: haiku, writing, syllable, youth, crowds, hyacinths, poke, naked, shove, thrust