Showing posts with label new year. Show all posts
Showing posts with label new year. Show all posts

30 December 2013

Social Media

Jan Grapeby Jan Grape

As 2013 ends and 2014 begins, I'm finding myself in a somewhat melancholy mood.  Maybe even a bit vulnerable, tinged with sadness. The 29th of December is the eighth anniversary of the day my whole world changed. My husband, Elmer Grape, my first reader, my love and best friend of almost thirty nine years died.

Not using this as a plea for sympathy but just asking the question that occurs to me, every now and again. What and why are we telling people our personal information?
Young people are only now realizing that sending nude photos or sexting information to their heart throb can get them in serious trouble. Of course, adults have been guilty of it too. Think that man in the political arena in NY who recently ran for office again. Yes, I know his name, and so do you, but no sense naming him. Just as soon forget him.

People recently have sent messages over Twitter that they wish they hadn't almost immediately. Sometimes managing to get fired from their job in the process. It's also possible to lose out on getting a job because the person doing the hiring, checks out the applicants social media page. How about your lawyer checking it out when you're getting a divorce? Or your parole officer when you're out of jail and on parole? Not to many good reasons here to broadcast your innermost feelings to the whole world.

Yet I find there is much good that happens when you tell everyone that your pet is sick or has died. Other pet lovers send you encouragement, healing thoughts and reminders that our beloved pet awaits us just over the rainbow bridge. That we'll be reunited with that furry child one day. Or mentioning an illness of your pet, you may learn of a different or unusual treatment. It may be nothing more than helping you feel better until you can report your pet has recovered.

How about discussing with social media when there's an illness in your immediate family. Or a divorce? Or a death? Many writers are basically solitary people who actually don't like talking much to outsiders. Others don't think anything about sharing what's going on in their lives.

Honestly, I think sharing and getting positive responses from others, friends, family or even Facebook friends can be helpful in my times of joy, sorrow or stress.  Sometimes just discussing how you feel, helps you handle whatever is going on in your world. To me that's the good part of social media. These "out there" forms of everyone knowing everything about you is certainly something to think about and discuss.

Let me hear how others feel about being reticent or opening yourself up in this manner.
I'm hoping to reach a middle road… not telling everything I know or feel, but certainly not above asking for a hand of friendship when I feel I may need it. How about you?

I had an awesome Christmas and visit with part of my family in Pigeon Forge and Nashville, TN and am looking forward to seeing more family in the next week or two. And I'm certainly looking forward to what this bright NEW YEAR of 2014 has to bring. Look out Texas, here I come.

02 January 2012

January 2012

Jan Grape Janus

by Jan Grape

Janus. I'd always heard that Janus was a two-faced God. That always made me sad since my full name of Janice derived from Janus and I never thought I was two-faced. And never wanted to be considered two-faced either. A couple of days ago a friend wrote a newsletter and she said January was from the word Janus and it meant new beginnings. I like that better. A new week, a new month and a whole new year.

I'm like a number of people I know, I don't really make New Year resolutions. I quit smoking fifteen years ago. I lost twenty-five pounds this past year on Weight Watchers and am still trying to eat healthier and continue to lose. I don't exercise enough but I try. Taking yoga once a week and bowling once a week helps. I'm going to try to get a walking program going.

One major thing I'll try to do this year is write more. I haven't worked on my latest book in quite some time. Partly because I was trying to get moved and get my office set up. Partly because I had an alien move in with me and seems like I was always running him someplace or the other. Partly because I didn't always feel too good. However, I'll admit none of those reasons are worth a tinker's dam (whatever that means.)

Sometimes you just have to sit down in front of the computer screen and write. Okay, that sounds easy enough, but if the muse doesn't move you then what? You have to set a word count and stick to it. But the muse still doesn't tickle your creative brain.

For me, I'm going to have to set a time frame. Maybe start off with one hour. Try to write something in that one hour. I believe it was Sue Grafton who said this in a talk I heard her give, to start by writing "THE." Then sit there for your allotted time frame, no matter what. Okay, I can write, "The quick red fox jumped over the lazy brown dog."

You must start with an urge to write. An idea that fascinates you or excites you or intrigues you. Then not let everything else get in the way. I know these things, but don't always do them. And I honestly don't know why.

I know writers who treat their writing as a job. They get up, dress as if going to their office downtown then go into their office at home and write from eight to twelve or from two to five. Nothing wrong with that, but I think I spent too many years working at a job and that way doesn't appeal to me anymore.

Oddly enough when I'm writing, I'm having fun. I enjoy the heck out of creating a good scene, having the dialogue flow, getting a character to tell me why and how the scene will go. I've often said it's one of the best highs you can have to write something creative and know it's working and clicking along.

So why do I procrastinate? I have no idea. I don't think I'm lazy. I just have in mind that I will sit down a write after while a little later. Then the next thing I know, I've gotten busy with something and time goes by and it's time to clean the litter box or feed the cats or fix something to eat because I'm starving. Or there is laundry to do or it's time to go pick Cason up from work.

So instead of a new year's resolution, I'm going to try, just for one day, just for today, to set a time frame, shortly after I get up and have breakfast and come sit in front of the computer and write something. Even if it doesn't work as a scene for my latest book. Just write something.

And if I manage one hour then I'll try for two, Or try to write as many words as I can, 250 or 450 or some amount.

Other than writing. I'm going to try to be nicer to people. To help someone in need. To call a friend and invite her to lunch. To smile more.

To just enjoy this brand new year to the fullest.