Education vs. Technology


These days I look at our education system with a deep sense of sadness and befuddlement.

What are the cornerstones of our educational base now?

At one point they were reading, writing & arithmetic .

Why are they no longer ‘teaching’ children these fundamentals?

They are not teaching children how to write any longer.  They are not teaching them how to spell.  Children have iPads now that they work off of with calculators to assist in the math areas.

A recent article spoke of children coming into school not having developed the muscles to hold a pencil or pen in order to write.  Here are the two schools of thought that currently seem to exist.

“One school believes that learning handwriting is important for children because they think fine motor control and how you organize your thoughts develops with your writing skills. But the other camp believes that we’re moving into a world where [everything] is done on computers, so learning how to write by hand is an outdated skill.”

I believe and know for fact that the first school of thought  is based on proven theory and writing should never be considered an outdated skill.  It should be an absolute necessity.  Now more than ever!

I am absolutely appalled though that schools are moving toward technology at such a rapid pace without any thought as to how this will impact the youth of today years from now.

One person bemoaned on their blog how ‘dangerous’ pens and pencils are and that they should be banned from the classroom!  The reasoning was infantile at best.  The writer of that blog post insisted that pens and pencils can and have been used as weapons.

It is not the pens and pencils that are the issue.  It is the children’s behaviour.  I cannot recall throwing pencils at other students.  That is not to say it didn’t happen.  The children that did partake in this type of behaviour were quickly reprimanded.

And if a child displayed such disruptive behaviour there were usually underlying and more serious issues at play that would require further investigation to help the child.

And as we know, technology has created some major hindrances in child development and brought about things such cyber-bullying.

As a child I loved getting school supplies.  I would get a new pencil case, pencils, erasers, rulers, geometry kits, pens, binders, and packs of loose-leaf paper,  We had the duo-tang folders to put the paper in and I would label each folder with the subject matter that it would contain.  This was based upon the colour of the folder as well.

I loved the smell and newness of everything.  In elementary school we were given ‘scribblers’ by the schools. This was how you practiced your penmanship and spelling.

So the big thing was having a cool lunch kit.  I do believe the last one I may have had was a Partridge Family one.  I also had a book bag made from a cheap vinyl and yet these items gave me a sense of belonging.

We were given projects to do and book reports to prepare.  There were certain things the teacher looked for.  One was indeed penmanship.  And I worked at this.  My mother and oldest sister had beautiful handwriting and I aspired to write as they did.

Writing and reading were the two things I loved most about school.  Arithmetic…well, it scared me a bit back then.  Being that I am someone who learns best by visualization, those early math books weren’t very good at allowing me to do this.

Still the problems presented such as (i.e. a train traveling 45 mph arrives at 10 PM.  Another train travelling 65 mph arrives at the same time…what distance did each cover?) always gave me pause to think.   And while they often confounded me at the beginning, they eventually became the ones I really like.

They were like a mystery to me.

What I liked about them is they assisted with critical thinking and they helped in terms of developing the brain’s cognitive and figurative functions.

Being able to assess and determine a variety of issues is a good thing.  And it is the lessons from my youth that have helped enormously to shape the person I’ve become.

I feel children are being robbed of an education if they are not being taught to read, write and spell.  If they are not being taught to calculate math manually as well and are solely reliant on technology then what happens ? For example what happened to play?

Parks and playgrounds now sit empty. Why?

Here is another excerpt.

“Of course, there are so many other concerns when it comes to kids and devices with regard to social interaction and the development of emotion.

“Whilst there are many positive aspects to the use of technology, there is growing evidence on the impact of more sedentary lifestyles and increasing virtual social interaction as children spend more time indoors online and less time physically participating in active occupations,” Karin Bishop, an assistant director at the Royal College of Occupational Therapists, told The Guardian.

Flanders echoes those concerns, and points to emerging literature that indicates that extended screen time may be creating problems for children, including an increased prevalence of ADHD, a lack of good interpersonal skills and an expectation of instant gratification.

But he also doesn’t think that it will result in scaling back on tech in the classroom.

“Right now, schools are still emphasizing learning the alphabet by tracing the letters with their fingers and writing them out with pen and paper,” Flanders says.

“But I think 30 or 40 years from now, that’s going to be a thing of the past.”

I really believe that schools need to have a concise educational plan.

For example:

Grades 1-4:  No computers in the classroom.  (All learning  is based on the tried and true methods of working with paper, pencils and pens along with text books.  The use of reference materials, such as dictionaries, thesaurus’ and encyclopedias should be encouraged. )

Grades 5-7:  Begin to introduce computers into the classroom as a tool, nothing more.

The emphasis should be on developing children’s skills and abilities to become engaged and plugged in adolescents.  The formative years are critical in terms of assisting our children to develop such skills.   To think that writing is going to be an ‘outdated skill’ is damn well frightening to me.

The page has been the one thing in my life that always listened.  I could pour out everything and anything onto that page.  It was now purged from my youthful soul that was shattered at that time.  Had I held all of that in, had I never been able to express the hurt, the angst, the fear that existed…I’m not certain I would even be here.

A counselor told me that they had encouraged a female patient to journal.  She hedged at the idea.  Later it would be discovered that the girl did not know how to write.

Writing gave me a voice.  It enabled me to express the feelings that were locked inside  that verbally I found so difficult to share.  Even if no one else ever saw the words written they were there.

Don’t take these skills away from children.

Read below what is replacing paper and pen.

‘Written communication among kids and teens today has morphed into such a confusing mixture of acronyms and emojis that it can almost make hieroglyphics more easily understood. This is why it’s important for parents to be up on the latest text slang.

“Text lingo practically changes weekly and a lot of the times, parents have no clue what their kids and their friends are saying,” says Titania Jordan, chief parent officer of Bark, a software program that monitors, detects and alerts parents to potentially dangerous conversations on their kids’ cellphones, and email and social media accounts.

“I’m surprised at how many parents still don’t know what ‘Netflix and chill’ means.” (For the record, it refers to hooking up, not actually watching Netflix.)’

And yet we readily hand our children cellphones and tablets that connect them to what, I am no longer certain.

Read Ray Bradbury’s book released in 1953 for ‘Fahrenheit 451’.

Below is a summary of the book as written by The New York Times.

‘Ray Bradbury’s internationally acclaimed novel Fahrenheit 451 is a masterwork of twentieth-century literature set in a bleak, dystopian future.

Guy Montag is a fireman. In his world, where television rules and literature is on the brink of extinction, firemen start fires rather than put them out. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden.

Montag never questions the destruction and ruin his actions produce, returning each day to his bland life and wife, Mildred, who spends all day with her television “family.” But then he meets an eccentric young neighbor, Clarisse, who introduces him to a past where people didn’t live in fear and to a present where one sees the world through the ideas in books instead of the mindless chatter of television.

When Mildred attempts suicide and Clarisse suddenly disappears, Montag begins to question everything he has ever known. He starts hiding books in his home, and when his pilfering is discovered, the fireman has to run for his life.’

This has a chilling ring of truth to it.  The T.V. has now been replaced by iPads and Tablets.

Will there come a time when books are no longer necessary, when their value is no longer worth the pages they’ve been written upon?

I for one certainly hope not.

 

 

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A Story To Be Told


Top o’ the morning to all of you!  I’ve been away for a couple of months now.  That is quite a stretch, I know!

Still, I’ve been busy.  I have a new job in downtown Vancouver that I am just loving.  It is great to be part of team.  I am excited and delightfully taking in new information on a daily basis.

I’m working on my second book.  Oh, I’ve got six on the go and for quite some time ‘Insomnia’s Dream‘ was occupying my attention.   I hit the wall in Chapter 15.  I had lost some of what I’d written one night as I poured out a chapter that I thought was fabulous.  And exhausted I didn’t save it.  Oddly this incident seemed to really bring me to a complete halt for that particular story-line.  I began to consider the direction I was going in the telling of the tale.  I read back through the previous chapters and I liked how the story that was unfolding.  In fact there were a few stories developing along with sub-plots.

I didn’t want this project to become a jumbled mess.  And sometimes when I’m in the emotional write state, my sweet little imagination runs just a bit wild.

The idea for this story had changed a few times already and while the plot had pretty much crystallized  I found myself now in a bit of quagmire.  This is a pivotal part of the story and I need to work out a few things so that it will all tie in at the end.

I’ll go back to it in a few months.  By then I’ll know which way I want to go with it.

I looked at my next project.  This was going to be a trilogy.  Still I had some indecision about this one as well.

So for about three weeks I really took a look at all my projects.   I streamlined them, deciding how these tales would eventually unfold, created characters and developed in point form the basic outline.  Yes, they all have a few chapters written at this point.

Still the trilogy was something of a puzzle.  This was the project I had chosen to work on next and I was doing research to ensure my fictional story was authentic, genuine and told with passion for the subject matter.   The subject matter of this story is the written language and our desire to communicate, to record our lives, to tell our truth.

As I slipped off to sleep a few months back the story came to life in my mind’s eye.  I was in that place where I wasn’t quite asleep but not really awake either.  Yet, my awareness was such that I knew this.  And I played out the story-line in those moments. Cemented the idea then drifted off into a blissful slumber.

When I woke in the morning, the trilogy idea was no longer an option.  This would be one story…one book.  At the moment I am still doing research and I am creating chapters.  It’s coming together and I am enjoying the process immensely.   The first draft should be finished by October 2017.  That’s what I’m aiming for.

Stay tuned!

 

Time Be Flyin’ and the Beloved Characters on ‘Game of Thrones’ Be Dyin’!


 

time flys

This year has quite literally ripped past me with the speed of somethin’.

I think I had it in my head that by June 2015 I would surely have sold at least 100,000 copies of my book!  I would be getting ready to retire and devote myself to writing on a full time basis and begin the process of publishing others and building a giant of a company built on free thought, passion and creative genius!

I don’t expect much, do I, considering that I released the book in February 2015.

I am, of course, being a bit of tool here.

Realizing that public speaking was going to be a part of this journey that I’ve chosen and having done it a couple of times and in that process became a pool of human slush while I trembled and quaked before the masses (I’m exaggerating, of course), I joined Toastmasters.

I am trying to discover the key to distribution in book stores.  I have expanded distribution online and a small book store in New Westminster is carry a few copies of my book.

Now I contacted Chapters who referred me to iUniverse and everyday for close to two months Jessica Abbney has left me a message.  I will call her back, but what this iUniverse thing is appears to like an Authorhouse type thing where you pay them to publish your book.  I’ve published it.  Now I just want to distribute it.

My hot water is back on, though it’s still rather tepid.

Tyrieon

I am finishing up physio and beginning active rehab to assist in recovering from the accident.  At this very moment, I’m exhausted.

I’m getting out and going for walks and end up being in absolute agony as the hips have a tendency to lock up on me these days.  Oye!

Also I’ve been practicing my writing of prose and poetry.

Have I mentioned I’m a little tired?

Brienne

Keeping a clear head is paramount these days.

In the meantime I’m ordering and selling books on my own and I’ve been humbled by the gracious comments that the book has garnered and I’d like to share this with you from the Amazon site.

Most helpful customer reviews

WTIM Cover

 

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Arlene on April 26 2015
Format: Paperback

Nancy writes a powerful account of survival, being a child in an abusive upbringing and her long and uphill fight to find her true worth and embrace it as a grown woman and mother. Her story is well written and compelling!
By Kelly Mitchell on May 12, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase

I truly appreciate being able to read a story that is so bravely written! From start to finish, I felt like a part of Nancy’s struggles and accomplishments. This is such a motivating story and proves how anyone who has been dealt a bad hand can make a choice to make their life better. Thank you for sharing your story with me!
So I will continue on in this vein and try to keep thing rolling along.  Lately it’s the time thing. But I’ll keep the machine going.
Back in March 2015 I did something I’ve never done.  I ‘binge’ watched a TV series.  I initially started to watch ‘Game of Thrones’ part way through the 3rd season.  It was now available to me to watch all four seasons in their entirety then launch into the new season.
Arya
That show consumed me!  Sundays I’d get up early, do my laundry and other relative domestic duties.  I’d clean myself up, kinda sorta, because I had no hot water and dependent upon how my back was feeling…I’d sit to take in an episode of ‘Game of Thrones’.
This series has seriously brought out every emotion in me.  Last night was the finale for Season 5.  And I’m still in shock, still mad as hell, still….
Dany
I’ve not read the books though I will but after the series wraps.  I’m enjoying the ‘shock & awe’ aspect that this series has inspired.
Still, did they have to kill off John Snow?  But…is he dead.  While ‘binge’ watching the show I did pick up on a number of nuances.  What pisses me off is I have to wait another 8-9 months to find out what the writers doth do.
So we were left with Daenerys and a sickly dragon and she is surrounded by the horse people.
Cersei having walked her atonement will either buckle or become incredibly dangerous.  I’ve a feeling next season will see her darkness truly shine.
Cersei
Arya, well I’ve a feeling she’s going to be a killer of sorts, all in good time.  There is a price for everything.
Stannis got what he deserved and the poisoning thing is getting old.
Well, maybe by the time the 6th Season of ‘Game of Thrones’ begins I’ll have sold those 100,000 plus books.
Jon Snow
Dreams are better when they come true.
Peace out.

The Delicate Balance of a Book Review


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For those who’ve followed me for any length of time on here, you’ll know I share pretty much whatever happens to be playing out in this head of mine at any given time.

And I am entering the realm of a published author now trying to determine how I let the rest of world know that I’ve written a book.  They may want to read it….then again…they may not.

I’ve written letters as of late to ‘promote’ my product.  I’ve set them aside for a week then went back to see if the brainstorming session that had been initiated still held appeal.

the happy face

In the last few weeks nothing has been promoted as I’ve recoiled from first few attempts to try to ‘win’ attention of a media person of interest to review my book.  I’ve got this damn weird sense of humour that tries to slip in between the sheets  and (wow) the recipient of a letter just may feel violated!

Mind you, I did send that letter to Ellen…..hmmmmmmmmm!

Some of what I’ve written has been quite good.  However, closing the letter by saying things like…”my friends will tell you I am a good and dependable person.  They will also tell you I’m a little bat-shit crazy at times with a smile on their face in the telling.”

I then challenge the recipient of the letter (who has never met me…never heard of me) to read the book and decide for themselves who I am.  And this book isn’t really an introduction per se of who I am.  It is telling you the nasty business of how I got here.

Dizzy-Smiley

Oye!

So having pondered the best approach and a starting point I began to look for book reviewers online. Find someone who appreciates and/or has a preference for memoir and submit the book for an honest review.  The other aspect of this is to find credible reviewers.  I mean I want to garner more traffic and interest in my book.

That’s the point of the marketing.

One of the best ways to create interest is by word of mouth.  Get the buzz happening and people will check you out.  Hopefully the product will then entice you to purchase and read.

I’m wearing a different hat these days.  I’ve gone from being the ‘creative genius’ to being the ‘business mastermind’.

Am I not humble? (Insert a glaringly funny and obscene smiley face here).

In all honesty what I’m finding is that due diligence in this area is extremely necessary.

Many sites request a fee for their time and I can certainly appreciate this.  So far I’ve found sites that request $30 for their services and others that ask for $500 and up.

Then I got to wondering…if you paid the $500 then the $30…what type of reviews would you get? Money can be such an influential thing, can it not?

If I paid $500 for a book review wouldn’t I expect it to be decent and favourable?  And I don’t really have that kind of cash to toss into the arena.  The sum of $500 may well be the entire budget I want to invest in publicizing this book.  I’ve already spent $90 approximately on copies to send out for promotion.  The dilemma at this moment is who to send it to.  Who will have the most impact and do they appreciate this form of literature?

book 2

I read one site that guaranteed honesty in their review.  And I wondered how I would react to someone not liking what I’ve written, not understanding and completely trashing me.

Indeed it would hurt.

But not for long.  I’d have to be pragmatic and ask the reviewer where I lost them and what they found so unappealing.  After all there is the business aspect to this.

And besides, what I’ve lived can no longer hurt me. There will be the odd sting or two no doubt.  And I’m not out to convince this world of anything.

I just am who I am.  No more.  No less.

books 1

As I venture into the wide and wild world of publishing and marketing let me assure you in many ways it’s like seeing the sun rise for the first time even though you know you’ve watched it a hundred thousand times before.

There is a beauty that I just love.  And an innocence that,  damn, I wish I could hold onto forever, and a boatload of desire and passion to expose all that is in this heart of mine

And that’s what I must use as a compass point in this venture.

Take nothing for granted, appreciate any and all comments.

And always remember that I’m only human after all.

Peace out!

 

 

Babies and Birth: The Birth of People, Ideas and a Book


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Last Saturday I attended Claire’s baby shower.  I am so very excited for her!  She is totally warming to the idea of motherhood now and getting rather giddy to boot.

I could see that there was a little fear in there too.  I wanted to tell her that this is a very normal response.

When the idea of a new life being born to this world hits a new mother, it can be a very powerful experience mixed with every emotion imaginable and a boatload of hormones to boot.

Claire will be just fine.

I then got to thinking of all the wonderful people I’ve met since I began writing in earnest, Claire being one of them.

She is one of the first people to have read any of my work.

heads up

I had joined up with the New Westminster Writers Group in early February 2011 which was a critique group.  I hunted about now wanting to find another group that would provide additional information on the whole writing thing.  I found the Vancouver Writers Social Group and joined in March of 2011.  They would get together and discuss various topics.  I liked this and found it was the balance I was looking for.

While I had written all my life I can say in all honesty I really didn’t know anything about it.  When terms such as ‘steam punk, fan fiction’ and the like were bandied about I had no clue what these were.  So I listened.  Claire offered to give me some feed back on the memoir I had begun so I sent her the first chapter then met with her a week later at a coffee house near her home.

I was prepared to be critiqued.  After all this would provide additional guidance on this project I’d begun.  She looked at me rather resolutely and stated “I really like how you write.  You could possibly have a best seller here.”

I was absolutely stunned by her comments.

And it occurred to me then that perhaps I was good at this writing thing after all.

stories

The year of 2011 was a year of major breakthroughs on so many levels.

What I’d previously considered impossible now held merit and plausibility.  I needed to explore this further.

2011 was also a tough year emotionally.  I was stepping up to own those painful truths that I had denied for the better part of my adult life.  I was taking chances and stepping out of my comfort zone in a big way.  I discovered that my ‘comfort zone’ is simply what I’m used to, what I know and what I come to expect.  It can be a very stifling place to remain in.

Stepping outside of this mindset was the best thing I could have done to assist in my personal growth at that time.

I had to break down a few walls along the way though.

There were opportunities aplenty to change my mind and return the mediocrity of what I had known.  I teetered on this point several times.

But finally it was time to find out what was indeed on the other side of the mountain and my curiosity pushed me over the edge.

2011 was the ‘All or Nothing’ year.

Crema's Cruise 2014 271

I just wanted to feel again.  I didn’t want to over analyze or question…I just wanted to experience this life fully and without inhibitions.

And I remember the night I started to write the book in true sincerity and with vision.

I’d chatted for years about penning a book.  There were many starts of fictional novels.  I started a journal back in 2004.  In a light blue duo tang folder I put a package of 200 line sheets in it.

On the over I wrote “Welcome to the Human Race:  With This In Mind”.

It took me seven years to write 100 pages of longhand.

On that January night in 2011 I reached a serious crossroad.   I’d been out with my friend Kathy and we’d had a conversation that would ultimately resonate so deeply that it propel me to change how I was living my life.  That evening I sat in the corner of my bedroom where the computer was originally set up and with a glass of red wine in had and pile of notebooks and such decided it was time.

By July 2012 I’d finished the first draft.

And it was meeting so many other writers, Keith, , John, Gareth, Amber, Jonanne, Perry, Peter, Sonya, Issac….just to name a few that propelled me forward wanting to improve my skill set.

jack

Claire’s initial affirmation was a major boost for my confidence and to continue on.

In the last five years I’ve finished and published my first book.  I’ve posted about 540 articles on this blog of mine and am developing six other writing projects.  A trilogy of the fantasy fiction variety exploring the evolution of the Written Word; an erotica fictional novel with the exploration of how we arrive at our sexual preferences at the core; a murder mystery and of course a romance.

This should keep me busy for a couple of years.  I also started my own publishing company and do hope to work with other writers as well.

Like all newborn’s there will be few slips and stumbles along the way.  That’s how we learn and grow.

I’m looking forward to meeting Claire and Denis’ little one.  Soon…

Peace.

 

The Responsible Writer…


forgiveness

I got together with my writing group tonight.  The topic for tonight’s discussion was a provocative one.  It had in fact sparked a weird conversation on the Meet-up site. I had found the conversation rather amusing in that obscure and animated manner that we at times come across.

The topic for tonight’s discussion was the role of the ‘responsible’ writer.

An interesting notion regarding the ethics of what we write and how they impact the reading public.

Certain things were declared to keep us in the realm of respectability regarding our writing.

One was to not take a real person and fictionalize their life in a derogatory manner.

The second was not to be deceitful. Michael Moore’s ‘Bowling for Columbine’ was used as an excuse as apparently not all the things in that movie / documentary? were factual.

Still, sometimes you have to stand back and look at the message….yes?

Drive the point home by whatever means but some felt he’d been rather deceitful in the execution of telling the tale.

A lot of questions sprang to mind as I listened to the views expressed.  We all agreed that journalism is held to a very different standard than your run of mill book.

And it should be.

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The term ‘literal truth’ was a raised a few times and I sat considering what meaning this held.

It is a factual term that cannot be disputed. For example the Moon circles the Earth every twenty-eight days.  It is a literal truth that is a proven fact and cannot be altered.  Now that I had reconciled it’s meaning in my head then came the ’50 Shades of Truth.’

And I say this with tongue firmly planted in cheek.  This particular book was mentioned a time or two as well tonight.

While almost everyone and their dog that I have spoken with will tell you how poorly written it is, I ask you this?  What then was the appeal?

To say that a lot of bored housewives were out there smacks of a certain duplicity and insults women in general.

I read the first book.  Didn’t like it.  It was billed as erotica and in truth it was a poorly written romance.  Nothing more.

But I will take my hat off (if I wore one) to E.L James.  She sold this book through brilliant marketing.  Sex and controversy!  Hell, now that is combination that is irresistible.  Get the public curious and they will take note.  She also used social media much to her advantage as well.

I can recall when Michael Jackson wrote ‘Moonwalk’.  The lead up to the release was hyped to the max and ‘promised’ to give us the skinny on the ‘gloved one’ in his own words.

Personally it was a disappointment for me.

Michael was trying to sell a story he’d been parroting for years and in many ways it read as though he was trying to convince himself as well. I didn’t buy it.  And it made me sad.

bs 1

The responsible writer…provocative.

What if a woman writes about her love and adoration for her husband who happens to be extremely abusive and controlling to the outside world?  Does this set a poor example for our youth?

If a woman is raped in book and confesses to ‘liking it’ what message does this convey?

At the age of 12 or 13 I slipped beneath the covers with flashlight in hand and read my father’s copy of ‘The Happy Hooker” unbeknownst to him until I was caught.  Back in 1970 I wasn’t too certain what much of what I was reading meant, but I can assure you I was not inspired to go out and fuck a German Shepard.

We need to respect that our children are not mindless sheep who will believe everything that they read.  Also we must infuse a sense of kindness and love in them and teach them by example.

Mark Chapman read “Catcher in the Rye”  It triggered something in him and he killed John Lennon.

Is the book at fault?

No.

face pain 1

Mark Chapman was mentally ill and unfortunately the object he fixated upon was a brilliant musician.  I love John Lennon’s music. His gift of song spoke to me on such a personal level.

There are many who condemn him for being and an abusive asshole.

I do not condone this type of behavior.  What  I saw was a man trying to change, wanting to be a different man, wanting to be better.

I have not always been the lovely woman I am today either.

John was not afforded certain opportunities as his life was cut short.

In high school we read two books back to back in social studies.

“Mein Kampf” and “The Diary of Ann Frank”

Quite simply the lesson was ’cause and effect’ intimately woven together and it was an incredibly powerful lesson.

One was the progression of an intelligent and extremely impotent and insecure man who was falling into the obscene and frightening belief of his own myth that he had created becoming the epitome of evil.

The other was the beautiful innocence of a girl hiding in an attic with her family experiencing the tender chutes and passions of youth only to be discovered and effectively killed.

forgiveness 2

I have always been fascinated by the human condition and what we choose to accept or reject.  We can alter our memories particularly those that are extraordinarily painful. We can press them back and deny them simply because they are too raw and savage.

Human kind has a dark history in this regard.  Through the ages the manner by which we’ve killed our own is truly disturbing.

And it continues.  Atrocities still exist.  I see the intolerance that hate has blossomed into and the false bravado these  men try to wear.  Very sad.

Young people are taken at such a young age and fed a litany of propaganda that they later act upon.

Think about this.

cirillo w dog

We tell our children there is a man named Santa that comes every year and flies about the world in a sleigh pulled by eight magical reindeer and delivers a gift to each and every child.  Mall Santas’ sit listening to each child’s wish list and Canada Post will even send a child a letter back if they’ve written to the North Pole.

This is of course isn’t harmful to them, is it?  There is a sweetness to it.  Oh they will eventually grow up and know that it’s not true and when they have children of their own they too will carry on the myth of Santa.

I am simply using a very base example of how myth can affect the mind of a child as I can well recall laying in bed on Christmas Eve wondering if Santa would come.  For a time I believed.

Now think of how they take young boys in the middle east and feed them fear, conditioning them to close their minds and only accept a ‘truth’ bound in darkness.  Because to raise a child up believing that by forfeiting their life serves their ‘god’ and a higher purpose is truly tragic.

What I took from the meeting this night was more in keeping with free thought, free speech and the responsibility to ensure we always have it.

 

Peace.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you for this Magic Moment


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I am truly humbled by everyone who has offered up their best wishes and congratulations.

I feel so truly blessed at this moment.

I am recording the facts and etching the beauty of all of the love that has been afforded me through this project and throughout my life by family and friends.

I couldn’t have done the things I’ve done without them.

I was listening to the radio on the drive into work this morning.  Willy and the gang were discussing this oddity that has happened with some ‘A’ listers in the entertainment industry.

Certain celebrities insist on movie sets that no one looks them in eye.

36.

Now this is pure ego…nothing more.  It is also a show of extreme insecurity in my mind.

Holding someone’s gaze is a very revealing and intimate exchange.  So much can be shared in this simple act.

Yet for someone, who happens to be a well known actor / actress, to say that anyone who looks them in the eye should be immediately dismissed for their insubordination smacks of an elevated ego and a weird and convoluted idea of power.

Money can have an odd effect on people.

And the names that were mentioned today are not particularly ‘gifted’ in their field.  If anything, they got lucky.

The thing is if someone scores big in a role, or happens to be stunningly beautiful or both…they are marketed like any other commodity.  The problem is several of them begin to believe the ‘legend’ that they are being sold as.

I hope my book does well.

Magic 1

But you know, I’ve a host of other things I want to do.

A few years ago I got the idea for a fundraiser for women.  I thought it might be beneficial to have an annual event to raise funds and awareness for several non-profit programs that assist women in crisis.  I formatted the letter head, the idea, and took down names of organizations that would participate.

I had roughed out the schedule of events and the female celebrities that I would approach to participate.

I had letters drafted ready to be sent.

I needed to approach the venue that I wanted to use and get the skinny on that.

Then an issue arose regarding my heart.  I muscled through deciding to get myself good and healthy before I continued on with this endeavor.

On the heels of the heart stuff, cancer paid a rude and uninvited visit.  While I eradicated this from my life I made the decision to start my own company and launch the book.

Keep in mind I’m still working full-time and taking care of an engineering company.  Gotta have a cash flow to pay the bills, you know?

Now I’ve got to figure out how to sell this book that’s I’ve just launched.  What has also resurrected my attention is this fundraiser I thought of a few years back.

So I will fine tune that too.

forgiveness

If I sold a million books and made a boat load of cash there is this part of me that knows I would never live to excess.  It’s not me.

It would of course be nice not to have to worry about financial issues but I’m not one who would run out and purchase a mansion and hire a staff to maintain it.

The idea of someone else washing my underwear is a little creepy to me, but then that’s just me.  Perhaps it’s my ingrained independence.  I’ve always taken care of myself…kinda sorta.

And what really is a perfect world?

Perfection doesn’t exist, not really.  As much as we want that physical sense of timeless and youthful beauty with all the perceived accruements that go along with this, understand the cost for this conceit.

And when those ‘beautiful people’ who grace our movie and television screens look down at us meer normal mortals, that is typically when  I  lose interest…fast.

We are all connected.  We always will be.  To think otherwise can be very lonely.

What happens on the other side of world will have an impact on me in some form or another.

When I was invited to run in Rick Hansen’s “25th Anniversary Relay Race”  and was awarded a medal as being a difference maker, I can assure you I took this honour seriously.

I want to make a difference through the power of love and forgiveness.

And I know that I’m just one woman and can only do so much.

But at this moment I feel a certain magic. And at the very beginning when I began this blog I spoke of what magic means to me

There is a radiance, a wellspring of wonder that I’m feeling.

heart

And such a debt of gratitude to each and every person who has ever loved me.

It is this love that has sewn together a heart that was so badly broken and allowed it to heal and expand in a way I could never have imagined even a few years ago.

So thank you to all the people I know and love for encouraging me to find my voice and share it through the written word.

You have saved me.

Peace.