Today’s Concerns-Really?

As I watched the news yesterday morning, I realized how shallow we seem to the rest of the world. My heart breaks looking at the refugee children, crying and holding a stuffed animal while standing next to their mothers on the trains to Poland. The rubble from civilian office buildings is a daily image. It generates a real punch in the gut daily.

The next “newsy” blurb lasted longer than the reporting on the crisis in the Ukraine. That blurb subject was about the maternity wardrobe of singer Rhianna. Excuse me? Wardrobe? It seemed to me it was simply a bunch of narrow ribbons draped over her belly with no actual structure in mind. It strikes me it is pure sensationalism and attention seeking. I’m no prude and I have to ask, “Is nothing sacred anymore?”

And don’t get me started on today’s story about the effect of TikTok on young teens’ mental health. Some of us are raising kids to be emotionally immature and too sheltered. They are used to their parents doing too much for them, some are the center of attention in their homes, and their mere existence trumps the marriage as the primary relationship in the home. Google John Rosemond and read. He makes some interesting points. I believe children should be heard, listened to, valued, and know the world doesn’t revolve around them.

Not sorry America, I think the world events are much more important than a celebrity’s baby bump, TikTok, and the new music tour of New Kids on the Block. Sorry, guys.

Pat Sloan wrote an article. I’ve followed her for several years. I like her style, her heart, and her way of honoring people. The quilters of the world are acting. A quilting leader in the Ukraine is heading up the efforts to evacuate the children from Ukraine to Poland. The woman has a quilt shop in both countries. Often, quilts are made for refugees and given to them. After the tsunami in Japan a few years ago, another group of quilters asked for donations of a certain type of block, and led the efforts to sew the blocks into quilt tops, then layer, quilt, and bind them. They went to Japan and into the hands of people who lost everything. I was a good feeling, knowing the blocks helped people.

Pat Sloan designed a block representing the Ukraine, in signature blue, yellow, and white. She explains the symbolism of the double star, representing the strength of the Ukrainian people. For your listening and hopefully action, here is my quilter friend, Pat Sloan, with a call to action; let’s make a difference for the refugee children of the Ukraine. The link takes you to the video. Below the video is a link to download your pattern. There is also information about donating to this special UNICEF fund. Let’s do something we are assured will make a difference for 7.5 million children. When I make the block, I’m putting it on our front door. How about you?

There is a lot to do today! I’d better get to it, and organize my thoughts for the rest of the day. Thank you for listening to my rant, and I pray it spurs it prompts all of us to help those children. Children deserve better. They deserve security, love, constancy. Let’s help provide some of that. Blessings. See you tomorrow!

Fabulous Friday

It is really a beautiful day outside. I swear God sends cold fronts through the humid and hot areas like Nebraska to give us a break and make us feel like living again. It improves the general feeling of your soul and gives your mind a break. Still, I like the four seasons. Four “alleged” seasons. It seems like we skip a lot of spring and a portion of fall many times. Hope there is comfort to deal with the rest of the pandemic we are having.

Where we live in Gretna, it is very close to Omaha. The VFW Post we attend is in Omaha. We have concerns about the possible mask ordinance Omaha was considering. It appears the health department has backed off from enacting one. I say it’s a shame, the legalities were questioned and they asked people to use their best judgment. With those rights comes responsibilities. To me, it makes sense to wear a mask. We do not often make the best judgments. Some use motorcycle helmets as an example. I favor helmets, seat belts, and wearing masks. Yes, it’s annoying. So are helmets and seatbelts. But I’m safer using them.

My asthma doc ordered me to have a COVID test before my appointment with her last week. I thought I would test negative and did. I believe curtailing my social activity and social distancing, which includes wearing a mask when shopping is helping. Please think long term on the outcome, it may make more sense.

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

In addition to working on my Poppies Quilt, I’m devouring a couple more books for writers: Write Great Beginnings, and Point of View. It appears there is more competition than ever to attract a reader who will read a book. It also appears there are fewer who start a book who actually finish one. I have only quit reading maybe 4 books in the last ten years. When I buy them, I think it’s a terrible waste to not finish. One was borrowed from the library, a biography by Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys. Brian is a genius and has had mental illness for nearly his entire life. It’s a very sad story, and one that concludes well. There are better versions written, believe me.

In addition to having a hook to attract a reader, you have to do a lot to keep them reading. Each chapter ending should make them just want to keep reading. I love books that do that. They are easy to read and quick. No time wasted. Now to learn how to do exactly that.

I have some real characters to introduce once I build them. It is such fun to be able to do that. There is something I read to make sure to appeal to the theater of the reader’s mind. What does that mean? Simply put, have you ever enjoyed a book more than a movie? Yes, an author needs to write so well the images in our minds are vivid and our imaginations can take us through the story. That’s the challenge.

Conflict is the center of fiction. Intensifying the troubles that stand in a main characters way. The problems are big, and he or she drive the story with their decisions. Because they chose this, something else happens. I’m told it gets easier the more I understand it. I trust Sam Tyler, my writing coach. She has made this endeavor so good for me. I’m so lucky to know her from the Nebraska Writers Guild. She is a writer and coach. Very good with critique. Asks hard questions. All with good reason. If I can’t answer the questions, how can I write my answers to them?

AHA! There it is! This is also a great living example of why/how to outline everything (major events) in the story you want to tell. Sure, you have it all in your head, but trust me, your memory isn’t that great some (most) of the time. As I write, other ideas spill out and I can end up in a completely different area than I wanted to be. I’m learning to be a planner, not a pantster. A pantster is writing by the seat of your pants. When you think you have a great idea, it’s easy to think you don’t need to plan anything. I can be foolish at times!

Just as maps are not always up to date in Google, our outlines can leave a bit to be desired. We need to be open (always) to modifying the outline. Even if you’re well into the story. Lots to think about. Lots to wade through.

And There You GO!

Off to work on another unrelated issue. I’m helping get information together for the new VFW Post 2503 website. It should be a fun project. The one we have is pretty outdated and cumbersome to work on. I’ll be learning some WordPress tricks I don’t know and will benefit tremendously from it. Thank you for taking time to read the blog today. I appreciate it, and hope to see you tomorrow. Stay Safe, my friends. I want you all with me the rest of this journey. Be Kind. Be Courteous. Be Careful out There!