Life in progress


Wanted: Sleeping Companion

As many of you may remember, I fell while delivering papers last December during an ice storm (I’m stupidly dedicated to my job) and received a concussion when I hit my head on a concrete step. (That was a fun post: you should read it.) When I went down that fateful day, I also landed with a concrete step across my shoulders. Since then, I have suffered with shoulder pain.

You might be wondering by now what the title of this post is all about.

I have a hard time sleeping because of my right shoulder. If I lay on it, it hurts. Same thing when I lay on my back – and that’s not a comfortable position for me anyway. If I lay on my left side, I have to try to keep my right shoulder straight. If I leave my arm resting on my body, it falls off. If I prop my side up with my hand on the mattress, my wrist hurts, and if I put my arms together with my elbows touching, my shoulder still isn’t straight enough.

I finally figured out the solution this morning. A sleeping companion!

No, not a man. Get yer minds out of the gutter.

What I need is, a teddy bear. One big enough that if I keep it close to my chest it will keep my shoulders straight. Seems the perfect solution! So today I’m going to go through the boxes from my failed garage sale of a few weeks back and dig out an old stuffed animal. I have an appointment with the doctor on Monday. Hopefully a more permanent fix is somewhere in my future. I’ll let you know how it goes.


Re-spinning your Posts

I was talking to Jason at HarsH ReaLiTy the other day, as I do, about re-blogging or “respinning” blog posts. Jason does it all the time these days and he swears by it as a practice which allows his new followers to enjoy his older posts. I follow HarsH ReaLiTy by email but I don’t receive notifications for his posts when they’re old ones–respun ones–which makes me happy because I’ve already read them. So it does have that going for it in regards to the possibility of an annoyance factor.

It still concerns me that I might get on people’s nerves if they see posts in their readers that they’ve already read. I don’t have as many new followers on a daily basis as Jason does. BUT, for the new followers I do have, it may give some insight on what I’m talking about half the time.

How do you feel about it? Would you consider re-spinning or re-blogging your posts? Have you done it and, if so, how did it work out for you?

Finally, just for fun, if you were to re-spin your favourite post from the past, which would it be? Feel free to attach a link to it in the comments and maybe you’ll get a whole new audience to read it. Assuming this works and lots of people link, I encourage everyone to check out the other commenters’ blogs. :)


One-Liner Wednesday – Sleeping In

Sleeping through my alarm in the morning and waking up late ruins my whole day. ~ Me, today.


Anyone who would like to try it out, feel free to use the “One-Liner Wednesday” title in your post, and if you do, you can ping back here to help your blog get more exposure. As with Stream of Consciousness Saturday, if you see a ping back from someone else in my comment section, click and have a read. It’s bound to be short and sweet.

The rules that I’ve made for myself (but don’t always follow) for “One-Liner Wednesday” are as follows:

1. Make it one sentence.

2. Make it either funny or inspirational.

Have fun!


10 Random Hows

1. How is it that today went by with only four hours in it? Because I could swear I just finished my Rice Krispies and it’s already 10:37pm.

2. How close does one really have to be to the curb when they parallel park on the street? I think three feet is fair, don’t you?

3. How many times can a person listen to “Let It Go” from the movie Frozen before they require admittance to a mental facility?

4. How long does it take for a kid to grow up? I’m talking boys here.

5. How now brown cow?

6. How does Twitter work? Seriously. Is there anyone on the planet who really knows?

7. How much money would it take to send all the spammers and bots into outer space?

8. How can you put the words “into” and “outer” together side-by-side in a sentence? See above.

9. How did someone come up with the saying, “There are easier ways to kill a cat than to choke it with butter”?

10. How will you decide which one of these questions to answer? I dare you to answer at least half…


What is a Troll?

Yes, I’m jumping on the troll bandwagon. Not because I’ve been trolled, but because I’ve seen people I care about victimized. I’m writing to define the troll – to go through it in black and white for not only myself, but for those who have been trolled and may not even realize that’s what’s going on.

You see, the troll can and usually does, start out very subtly. And indeed, there is a fine line between trolling and stating one’s opinion most sincerely. I’ve been on that edge and though I was never labeled a troll, I believe it was a close call.

A troll, as I see it, will pick on a nuance and run with it. Take a blog post that is clearly about Point A. Point A is written about in great length with small details to back up the facts and/or story of point A. One of those details, X, is introduced as a sentence or even a phrase. The problem is, detail X is not entirely accurate. In comes the troll.

The troll will focus on detail X and make it a matter of greatest importance, and major insult to his (or her) or someone else’s person or group. He will introduce paragraphs of facts to back him up. He will make the writer regret jotting down detail X without checking the facts or worse, regret writing the post in the first place. But the kicker? The troll will end the discourse by finding something to agree with the writer on, thus causing the writer to wonder if the troll didn’t have the best intentions. This throws the writer off balance and, in some cases, the writer will allow the troll back in.

On the other side of that thin coin, is the commenter who is genuinely taken aback by a point or detail made in a post, as I was. In my particular instance, the gist of the post was that relationships often end because one person can’t accept the faults of his or her loved ones. It went on to say that (paraphrasing) “this is why marriages break up and children are abandoned.” Allow me to note here that the post wasn’t actually written by the poster (note – I didn’t say “writer”). It was one of those copy and paste “pictures” with a quote on it. The person posting it didn’t elaborate, except to say she agreed with what the “picture” said. My point in the comments (I couldn’t help myself) was that no one abandons a child because he or she can’t put up with the child’s faults unless they have serious issues of their own. I was then accused of harping on something that wasn’t the overall point of the “picture.”

So what’s the difference between me and a troll you might ask? First, I could have said, “This part of your picture hurt me because I was abandoned as a child because I cried too much,” which would be a blatant lie. A troll will lie or exaggerate, I would estimate, 90% of the time to either strengthen his argument or to get the full attention of the writer. The troll will make himself out to be SO pathetic that the writer dare not call him on it, just in case it’s true. Second, I could have said, “I would NEVER do that to my two special needs kids – and they have so many behavioural issues that sometimes I could slap them,” which would be the truth. But that statement would have made my comment about me, which is the other thing a troll invariably does. A troll’s main objective is to find a place to whine, either on his own behalf or someone else’s if he can’t make it about himself.

My advice

Trolls attack anywhere and everywhere. They pick on both little guys and big, and while you may be tempted to retaliate, it’s best to politely blow them off, just once, and then ignore them. If your other followers want to get involved, and chances are they will, ask them to ignore the troll as well. There’s no point trying to defend yourself because it only gives the troll a reason to keep commenting and whining – and that’s what he lives for.

You know you are within your rights to make an error and so do your readers. If you want to apologize for it, do so once. None of your followers who know you and care about you are going to think less of you, in fact you are probably your own worst enemy in that regard. Trolling is a psychological attack – have the confidence in yourself to know that you are not the one with the problem. The troll is.

You may have heard the phrase, “starve the troll.” Ignoring him is by far the best thing anyone can do. If he can’t get you to interact, he’ll move on. It’s important to be able to identify a troll, however. Again, the stating of one’s opinion without involving personal issues or those of a cause (i.e. most of the “ism”s) is more than likely just that. An opinion. If you can think of any other characteristics inherent to a troll, please say so in the comments. It’s something I sincerely wish we could put an end to, and something that needs to be discussed in the absence of an actual troll.


SoCS – I Know Funny

My dad had a fantastic sense of humour. Very dry, very British. One of his favourite things to do was string people along with a story. He once, at a party, had one of his friends convinced that he had an awful disease, only to deliver the punchline minutes later that it was the “Dreaded Lurgie.” It’s a wonder anyone ever took him seriously. He also had a habit of making me spit my tea through my nose on a nightly basis. My mother wasn’t impressed.

It’s something I inherited–that sense of humour–though I don’t tend to torture people. I love making people laugh. I’m actually pretty good at delivering some kind of punchline just before I walk out a door. Always leave ‘em laughing. And so naturally my kids have inherited it too. My ex, their father, has a great wit about him. My eldest son, Fred, was on the improv team in high school and the other two, with all their special needs, are sometimes the funniest people I know. Chris, as a matter of fact, just last night was singing “Hellfire” from the movie Hunchback of Notre Dame in the voice of Mickey Mouse, liberally replacing odd words with the words, “chicken” and “clubhouse.” He ended up sounding like Ethel Merman.

Alex is just a ham. This isn’t him at his best, but you get the idea. Especially the bit at the end. It’s a pirate hat, by the way.

Often I use their sense of humour to my advantage. Before a situation can get out of hand I’ll try to make them laugh, and usually it works.

Badge by: Doobster at Mindful Digressions

Badge by: Doobster at Mindful Digressions

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Short fiction collection on sale now!

Originally posted on mishaburnett:


First, Fauxpocalypse is on sale–for the next three days it’s only 99 cents.  It’s a collection of short stories about what happens when the end of the world is predicted and then doesn’t happen.

I have a story (well, a story and a prologue) in it.  It was my idea originally, but a number of very talented writers found their own stories to tell in my world.

It’s a mixed bag of stories, some funny, some sad, but all, I think, thought-provoking.

sinsofthepastbookcoverNext, I have a story in the upcoming Sins Of The Past collection.  I’ve read through it, and it’s an interesting collection of horror stories set in various historical periods.

My own contribution is about a film director in the 1960’s, and it contains references to The Book Of Lost Doors.  You don’t have to be familiar with my novels to understand the story, but I think it’s…

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