Tag: cat

Good Writing

Good Writing

Good Writing

There are too many books that I have trudged through in my life to tolerate bad writing.  Too many good books exist and let’s face it, how many books does one have time to read in the very short time that we have here?

As a writer, I craft the story much like so many other writers in that there are twist and turns, and I try to throw predictability out the window.  One of my friends compared my “style” to Stephen King!  I am not sure that is a good thing but, it is what it is.

I try not to worry with technicalities as I write.  Those will get sorted out in the editing phase.

When I write a story, it is as if someone somewhere out in the “ethos” is dictating it to me.  As I write, I too am enthralled with the story.  The story takes on a life of its own and therefor interruptions cannot be tolerated.

When I craft the words, I am painting a picture.  As an artist I know all too well what has to go into a painting to make it interesting so, when I paint with words, I too know how to create a picture that will form in the readers head.

From the dead flies in the windowsill, the flickering fluorescent light that comes to life with a snapping buzzing sound, and the smell of an un-flushed toilette; you suddenly remember each and every “not clean” bathroom that you have been forced to use, at some time in your life.  

Even my beloved muse, a Russian Blue who has yet to learn the meaning of “no,” has to leave as he too disturbs the process, by trying to chase the words as they trudge across the screen.

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One of my writer friends goes off to remote cabins and waits for “the mood” to strike, and then sleep will not get into her way, as the thought process gels, the pages turn into marching characters and symbols that systematically stop and start as the process of transformation of thought to text, occurs.

Many of you here who follow me are writers, and it is to you who I am addressing the following.

We share a common bond and while we don’t personally “know” one another, we do know each other through this medium.

“If you want to get to know someone, you read their book.”

While the story may be as fictional as “Never-Never Land,” it is also, to many of us, our “happy place.”

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Character development is a struggle for me.  As a man I can develop the female character and paint a nice picture.  Realistically, I have developed her from what I “see” and know of women.  Doing so for the male character is somewhat of a challenge as I don’t look at men, as women do.  I can however; capture the logic and thought processes of men much easier, as I am one.  The emotional side of the female is a stretch for me.

There are all kinds of readers out there, so character development should be such that whoever is reading your words, should be able to “know” your character.

As a writer, I feel a personal loss when I “kill off” a character.  As a reader, I feel that same loss when the book is over.

Currently, I am working on a trilogy and it is because the story material is that entertaining to me, that I could not end it with one book.  The characters have taken a life unto their own; and I suspect most of the writers out there know exactly what I am talking about.

Writing cannot be forced. 

Mechanically you can write and if you remember your English class’s where that was the case, the stories that you wrote were for the purpose of dissecting your usage of nouns and verbs and punctuation, not for creativity.  Sentence structure was so damned important! 

Screw the rules!

Weaving a tapestry of intersecting thoughts, while making it all grammatically correct is to me a true Rembrandt.   I don’t think being a grammatical and creative savant, is something that you can simply ask of someone, who does not share the passion of writing.

Painting is much the same way.  When painting, I am lost in the painting.  Each and every brush stroke has to be perfect.  The smaller the painting; the more flawless the brush stroke must be.

Write to please yourself.  Making it grammatically acceptable is something that can be accomplished after the creative process is done.

Painting and writing is “me time.”

Sometimes, I feel a little selfish when I carve out “me time.”

As an artist, you will not get rich by your efforts, unless of course you are doing it for some large publication and it is mechanical.  One of my Artist friends has her work re-produced on greeting cards, puzzles, and other things that people purchase in gift shops around the world.  Every so often a check will appear for a few hundred dollars.  She has no way of knowing how many actual unites were actually sold however.

I have also concluded that many feel that if they can just finish their book, they will get rich.  Too many out there “self-publish” and the only people making money “for the most part” are the folks who offer that service.

Lastly, and why I write this is; “write to please yourself.”

If your end goal is money, your writing will be forced and not genuine.  Much like doing a story for some professor to “grade.”

Immersion into the story, taking time to reflect, re-read and edit, and re-read again for the flow of the words is tantamount to making the story your own.

  • I will offer one free tip on the editing process for you, a trick that I figured out.

There are “services” that will edit your manuscript for you for who even knows how much money.

Purchase the latest version of Dragon Naturally Speaking with the text to speech option.

One paragraph at a time: have it read it, to you.

Go and edit that paragraph until it sounds right and then go onto the next.  When reading your own writing your mind tends to skip over the “you” instead of the “your” or the “the the” mistake that I see too often.  When writing, your words are punctuated with gaps as the thought process starts and stops.  That is when the “the the’s” occur or other anomalies that your professor in college would have a hay day with their “Fucking Red Pen or F.R.P.!”  Of course, there were no computers in my day so possibly, this process would be easier.

I don’t mean to belittle writing classes.  Don’t get me wrong.  Finding a professor that is passionate about their job, and what they are doing is a true goldmine.  Finding someone that will constructively criticize your work and offer suggestions is great.  Finding folks who are genuine, and are there without the need to equivocate for their personal aggrandizement is a definite plus.

There are writing “clubs” where others will read your works or have you read excerpts to the others in the group and they all cumulatively have something to offer.  There may be a pearl of wisdom that you can take away, even if you simply listen to their work and what the others have to say.  I have seen some however; who are so haughty, that just about anything that they said was dismissed without taking the time to weigh it on its merits. It was almost as if they were there to build themselves up, at your expense.

-Best

© All Rights Reserved 2015

Staylor at Guard-protect.com

WWW.guard-protect.com

A disaster is one “Event away,” are you prepared?

Leave me Alone!

Leave me Alone!

Leave me Alone!

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Those were the words spoken by an elderly person, in the next bed over from the person who I was visiting.  “G..D!  G..D!  G…D!  Just leave me alone!”

Talking with my friend who had suddenly found himself in the need for assistance, he was put into a room with another elderly man who could no longer care for himself or, his kids got tired of messing with him.

My heart went out to this person. 

Think about this for a moment.  No one ever thinks about the progression of life.  We take for granted that life will simply stay consistent until we are hobnobbing with angels with harps and we hope that when that happens and we are given a harp, that magically we will know how to play it!

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Maybe you think that you will be alive one moment and with former family the next.  Maybe you think you will be with God after the “sting of death” and all of the mysteries of life will be made known to you.

Life runs in-congruent with our ideas of it, most of the time however; as there are no crystal balls that actually do anything other than collect dust.  If there were, there would be no lottery, or gambling of any sort, as the same folks would always be winning. No one other than god knows your future.

Fortune-teller

As the guy in the next bed was fussing at the staff, the reason for the turmoil is that they were forcing him to shave.  The rules as told to the “keepers of the aged” were that they must be bathed, shaved and not appear to be neglected should some inspector come around.  I do not know “who” inspects such places or if they were worried about family actually coming for their obligatory Sunday after church visit.

When do you loose your rights as an individual?

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There is an entire industry that has been created for, “taking care of the elderly.”  What they are really doing is taking care of their bank account or so it would seem.

One elderly man put his wife into assisted living due to her advanced Alzheimer’s.  He was her medical proxy as well as the person who took care of her needs.  He was there every day; he dressed her, took care of her needs and only left for the night after she was in bed.  When the facility where she was had a significant rate increase, he objected.  Not too long after that, he came to visit her to find a multi-page letter on her bed informing him that they were suing to be her legal guardian, thus making all decisions for her and taking over their joint bank account.

This 84 year old man was forced to hire an attorney to fight the home and retain control of her care as well as their money!

This was a protracted court case and the judge found in favor of the husband but not before he was out an extra $10K as well as forced to pay the extra charges that the home went up per month during the entire time of the trial.  How would you like this to be your battle at 84 years of age?!

It turns out that this type of activity is common with “homes.”  If there is money involved, they do everything that they can to get it all!

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There are lawyers who do this type of work, day in and day out and somehow manage to put their head on their pillow at night, and manage to sleep!

We do not know what tomorrow holds.

We get up every morning expecting a day pretty much like the one that we just had and than one day, something is wrong.  There is a new pain, or it becomes harder to bring up a memory or you place your wallet or keys in the kitchen cabinet, or fridge.

If the nursing home is not a sad enough story, we have funeral homes.

Thousands of dollars for a casket, thousands for a simple cremation, these folks are right up there with used car salespeople.

Those people however are not messing over the deceased, they are screwing the folks who are dealing with loss and, when emotions are involved you can be so easily manipulated it is unreal!

When my mother passed, she had gone to the hospital after suffering a heart attack.  Folks if you live in Arkansas, learn from this!  She had subscribed to an air flight service that if you have an emergency and need to be airlifted out; you have already paid for the cost.   One morning after taking a nitro pill and having the pain subside, she knew that she was in trouble.  She called the service that sent and ambulance who then took her to an area where the helicopter could land.  It was obvious that she had suffered a heart attack but was stable.  The care flight people took her to a hospital that did not have a cardiologist on staff.

The ER doctor anxious to perform a surgery badgered her into allowing them to place a stent in one of her arteries.  During the process, they ruptured the artery, which was the beginning of the end for my mother.  By the time I could get there, she had undergone multiple surgeries, and doctors from Little Rock had been flown in.

This was made known to me by one of the witnesses on the form, that they had to really badger her to allow this.

The Cardiologist from Little Rock informed me in the hallway to the ICU, with all sorts of people around, “Your mother is not going to make it!  You need to allow us to terminate life support.”

“In the truest sense of the word, I was Gob-Smacked!”   Her kidneys had shut down, she was bleeding out of every orifice that one has, and if by some miracle she had managed to live, she would have brain damage, lost her legs as the circulation had been cut off from them too long, and would need respiratory care for life!  Now remember that we had an audience as everyone that had family in ICU was riveted to the conversation and I could actually feel their stares!

I asked for a second opinion and walked away!

After a sleepless night wrestling with God, and another round of “what if,” the decision was made to let her go.  A technical description of how this was to happen, was dictated to me by a person of the hospital, which was as cold and sterile as the morgue itself.

Shortly “two hours or so” after her death, I got a phone call from some funeral home demanding instructions what to do with the body.  Time is money after all!  My mothers’ desire was cremation but mine was to bury her.  During the “sole searching,” they embalmed her for $2000.00.   The next day I was informed of that, while I was signing the paperwork to have her cremated for another $3000.00 and then there was transportation from the funeral home to the crematorium that had to be paid for.

Lesson learned, plan for your own funeral so your kids do not have to. 

So, what do you do with an aged family member?

Where my grandfather was concerned he came to stay with us and became part of the family until he passed many years later.  He was actually a blessing as he was a kind man who had been generous his whole life, worked hard and raised his family with integrity.

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Did he cause issues within the family dynamic?  From time to time but, who didn’t?  When there are people involved, there are issues.  Family is family and you just “do!”

My cousins decided that they could no longer take care of their selves so they searched for, found and signed up for an assisted living place.  They had a room, their own bathroom and a microwave, small fridge and of course TV and books.  While there, the meds were dispensed per script, and care was given as needed to bathing and what have you.  There were three meals and the rooms and facility were comfortable.

While visiting one day my cousin pointed to an elderly man who was lost.  He was frustrated, angry and most probably dealing with feelings of deception.  His family told him to get dressed, that they were going to come get him and take him to lunch!  Lunch that one does not have to cook is always a good thing when you live by yourself.

They brought him to this facility, where they sat in the cafeteria and had lunch.  When lunch was over they left him there with his new “keepers” as they went back to gather some of his belongings and liquidate the rest.

My cousins witnessed the spectacle and shook their heads while telling the story.  The man was truly lost and anger was the least of his issues, I am certain that he felt betrayed.

I cannot begin to fathom his anger and feelings of betrayal! The fact that he was upset tells you that whoever he was, he still was.

Another “friend” had to put her mother into assisted living and everything was going good until she was told that she could not have her dog there.  At this, the elderly lady said, forget it, take me back to my house.  Little to her knowledge, most of her belongings were already gone, between the relatives and the Goodwill, her home was a shell; ready for the realtor.  There was no going home.

Working with people who foster pets I have also learned that while the kids are happy to get the car, junk and revenue from the house, the pets are another story.  One such pet was a 16 year old cat that belonged to a lady that went into a nursing home, no room for the cat!  Folks, 16 year old cats do not adjust to new homes very well.  This cat was scared and did not show well.  Had I not already had animals, I would have given her a home just to let her hide under the bed and maybe come out once she felt safe.

m-WOMAN-WITH-CAT-980x645 102 year old women battling to save her cat from being taken away..

During the human lifetime, many animals will go through their life.  The animal’s life on the other hand will only see one owner, if lucky.

What kinds of people abandon their parents?  What kinds abandon their parent’s pets?

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Regrettably, some of these are simply greedy people who see this as a way to rid them of a burden and get their hands on the estate before it is an estate.  The economy is tough so taking your parents home and car and “residual” might look like an answer to some.  

Some of these are people who had parents who did not plan for one reason or another and woke up one day unable to take care of themselves. (it happens)

There are too many ways today where a person can live in their own home until they are no longer alive.  Some on the other hand may want the social aspect of living in a community of people like themselves.  The bottom line is to plan today for tomorrow.

I do not know if there are facilities which allow cats or dogs but, if that is important factor in the life of your “loved one” I would look long and hard for such a place.

Making the transition from home, to an assisted living facility should be made as thoughtfully and carefully as if it was for yourself!  It is easy to be pragmatic when it is not you!  One can only truly honor their loved ones by taking care to make certain that they are well cared for and comfortable.

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Even if your loved one has Alzheimer’s, or some other form of dementia, touch, soothing conversation and a warm embrace will mean something to them.  I know one lady who crawled into the bed with her dying mother and held her for most of the night.  During this time her agitation was diminished, her breathing slowed and her racing pulse throttled back to normal.  Some part of her mother’s addled brain still recognized the comfort and kindness provided her, by her daughter.

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Once a man, twice a child….

As a child I learned to walk and then run

I became a man over night, while chasing the sun.

I straddled the cliffs and the peaks of life

And swam the streams of despair while fighting the good fight

 

Raising children to be strong both physical and of character

While leading by example and prodding, them onward.

 

My hair turning gray and my frame not as sturdy

My gate is for sure, not very trustworthy

 

Thinking back to much simpler times

When someone else led the course, or pointed the way.

 

Is it time to sit back and learn how to fish

Or chase little white balls with others like me?

 

The sounds I now make, sound much like my father

As well as the language, that sometime makes for unpleasant fodder.

 

My God knew me, before I was born

His plans for me however; are still an unknown.

 

The winter of life, I see in the distance; and know not whether to run,

Or simply embrace it.

 

Live life for today, as tomorrow is uncertain.

Learn to forgive and give thanks, for each memory you make

 

Once today is gone, its gone so don’t waste tomorrow

Spending time in the past for nothing can change it. 

 

Worry little, love often, and laugh whenever possible.

Life is but memories both yours, and those that you share

 -Me

-Best to you and those that you care about!

Copyright Timedok 2015 All rights reserved

http://www.timedok.com