Free Writing, On My Soapbox!, So...You Think You've Got an Opinion..., Veterans

To All of My Readers Thank You For Your Interest and Comments


Dearest Readers:

This will be brief, due to an eye infection, I must not be on the computer for any length of time; however, since I’ve had so many readers inquire as to how difficult it is to blog, write…etc…I would like to respond.

Many of you have stated you keep a journal. As a child and a young woman, I did the same. Writing in a diary or journal was a family tradition, until my dad died. After that date, July 6, 1999. I stopped writing in a journal. It simply broke my heart to follow that tradition so I chose to write – on my computer instead. Now, that I blog, I usually write in my blog, sometimes freewriting, other times, using a topic I have chosen. If something ruffles my feathers, you can bet, I will vocalize these incidents in my blog. Just read some of my topics and you will discover.

Is setting up a blog difficult? Many have asked that question. My simple answer is no. I enjoy using WordPress.com; however, I do find adding images or photographs difficult. Perhaps I need to upgrade. Who knows? I am a bit skeptical adding my photographs anyway, because they are my professional images and I do not want others to copy or steal them.

But what do I write, you might ask? Just open a ‘vein and let it bleed.’ If something ruffles your feathers, write about it. If something ticks you off — write about it. A few years ago, after a disturbing incident at Ralph H. Johnson Veterans Hospital, locally in Charleston, I wrote about a rude nurse who told me, and I quote, “If you don’t like our service, you can go elsewhere.” I spun quickly on my heel, and I inhaled…exhaled…and then…I used my Julia Sugarbaker style to let that young, inconsiderate RUDE nurse maybe she could go elsewhere. I came home. Opened my blog, and I wrote about that incident. Yes, it is still here on my blog…Let’s just say, before my letter could get to the appropriate departments at the VA Hospital, I got a phone call. In fact several phone calls.
Apologies…This only proves how quickly the Internet is to vocalize your opinion. However, I caution you to be correct…don’t embellish and make certain you are writing the truth.

I suppose I am from the old school of writing. I research and confirm my facts, I do not embellish, and I encourage others to do the same.

They say to write what you know…and that is what I do here — on my blog. If I can assist you, just leave a comment or e-mail me. I have a web presence, so I am fairly easy to locate.

Thank you, all of you for reading my blog. I hope you will continue. And now, I must close this and rest this silly eye. Funny, just before it got so red, I noticed that I could see better without my contacts. I think God has healed my sight. Isn’t that wonderful!

Goodnight world. I look forward to your comments. Meanwhile, just write. WordPress.com is a great place to share your thoughts. May God bless us everyone!

Free Writing, So...You Think You've Got an Opinion...

When Customer Service Makes Your Day


Dearest Readers:

After my last post, maybe I should write an update. Yesterday was a bad day for me…one where I wanted to simply crawl into the woodwork and NEVER come out. Today, I am happy to report is a good day.

At least it has started off better. Yesterday, I had one of my emotional meltdowns, right in front of a complete stranger. All I could do was cry, like a baby, as my husband would say.

Yesterday, when I had my meltdown I was at Gerald’s Tires, attempting to get an estimate on brakes and one more tire. I suppose I wasn’t communicating correctly since I was so stressed, but a kind and gentle guy at Gerald’s suddenly became my guardian angel. While I was struggling to communicate, between sighs and tears, a guy named Greg entered the area. He touched my hand, told me everything was going to be ok and they could get me an estimate on these repairs. Well, you guessed it — I burst into tears.

Why? I don’t know. Somebody turned on the water works and I could not stop.

Today, my car is at Gerald’s, to receive the final new tire and brakes. Now, when I travel alone, I will be safe. No monster will find me broken down, or with a flattened or blown out tire along the road. Thank you, God! Thank you, Gerald’s Tires — most especially, thank you, Greg! You were my knight in shining armor yesterday, and today on the phone. There is something to be said about customer service, and I must say, Gerald’s Tires in Mount Pleasant, SC is doing the right thing with their customer service! No Good Ole Boys — just GREAT CUSTOMER SERVICE and they appear to understand the frustrations from a woman’s perspective! Now, I feel better — my writing day can begin!

Free Writing, So...You Think You've Got an Opinion...

Mother Nature…Chilling Breezes…and the Good Ole Boys!


Dearest Readers:

Someone on Facebook mentioned a freewriting site that is private, so here I am typing away. I suppose it could be referred to as ‘freewriting,’ the infamous writing tasks that writers do to get the wheels in motion so they can write. I am only one of those writers. At times, I struggle to get the words down. Other times, my fingers cannot dance across the keyboard quickly enough. So be it. We are writers. Thomas Wolfe once said, “Writing is easy…you just open a vein and bleed.” How I can relate!

But, one might ask — what is freewriting, and why should I care? Duh! Freewriting is a form of just getting the words down, and that is what I am doing today — just to see IF this will help me to write regularly. Reportedly, when a writer ‘freewrites,’ he or she doesn’t correct the spelling, doesn’t edit, but simply writes. I have the tendency to correct and edit as I write. Maybe that’s why I find freewriting torture!

As a writer, I now hate the task of writing. Years ago, in college, I did not understand when the professor stated that writers HATE to write. I disagreed with him. Well now, older, wiser, and still rejected at times, — a reality that ALL writers face — I can truly share that my professor was correct. There are times I hate to write.

My readers tell me that I can write and that they ‘love reading my stories.’ How I laugh. While I appreciate the kindness of my reading public, I do not share how stressed I get when I cannot write. An example of that is yesterday. I had the day planned, starting with taking my car to the garage to be serviced. I asked the Dodge garage to check my car thoroughly. When completed, they shared that I needed a new tire and my rear brakes were wearing out. The quote for this was almost $400, so I drove to another site, Gerald’s, to be exact. When I told my husband about the quote, of course, he questioned everything. “We just bought you four new tires,” he screamed.

“Nope. If you recall, we bought three tires.”

He wanted to argue, and this set me off. My husband could easily be the king of the good ole boys club! After hanging up with him, I burst into tears. Never does he believe me and he always has to correct me — convinced that I am wrong; however, this time he is incorrect and I can prove it with the invoices from the tire purchases. I ask you — why do men have to ALWAYS be right? Like all humans, they are not perfect, although my husband totally disagrees. He NEVER MAKES MISTAKES. Oh, please! The tears continue to pour and I am so angry I could scream! An ocean of tears that refused to stop. ‘Why am I crying?’ I asked myself. ‘There’s no need for these tears.’

I inhaled. Exhaled. Meditated. Looked up into the gray skies and had a discussion with God. Finally, the stress lifted and I was able to wipe my tears away. When my husband came home, thank goodness his mood improved. He held me close, suggesting we go out for dinner, so I could relax.

“Just go get us something. I don’t want to do anything tonight.”

Later, I sat on the couch, catching up on the stack of newspapers that I hadn’t had the time to read for five days.

Why is my life so stressful? Why can’t I manage my time better? Maybe I’m spending too much time on Facebook, so effective this morning, I am cutting back on my time on social media, I plan to organize and clean out my e-mail system, and I plan to write more.

Still freewriting here.

Today is a new day. The sun is shining brightly on this bitterly cold spring day. According to Weather Bug, the temperature outside in Charleston, SC is a crisp 36 degrees. Normally by this date, I have a nice tan. Not this year. I haven’t been to the beach at all this spring. It is much too chilly for me, and if I’m not careful, I will get overly chilled and get dreadfully sick. Today, I still need to wear tights, sweaters and coats. I have no idea what is happening with Mother Nature and I am curious — just WHO made her so angry that she decided to extend her winter breezes? Maybe this is Mother Nature’s way of retaliating with the good ole boys! As for me, I would love to embrace Mother Nature and tell her it is time to ‘move forward with life…not look back!’ Yes, Mother Nature — are you listening? We have thick layers of pollen flying around, mixed with the bitterness of your cool breezes. This is Charleston, SC. The number one tourist destination!?! Yes, I know — the city better known as the ‘good ole boys’ club…Well, just maybe it is time for those good ole boys to step down and let Mother Nature do her best, like she always does. We need warm weather here — not chilling winter breezes. Besides, I am sick of dealing with ‘good ole boys!’ They have such a 1950’s attitude about women, and this woman refuses to give in to the good ole boys. Grow up guys, and be a real man!

Still struggling to write the 750 words needed on this site, while I sip another warm cup of freshly brewed coffee. My children are playing outside, barking, wanting to come inside. I suppose they want to be warm. Maybe I’ll stop for now and embrace my children. Maybe it’s time for me to move forward and thank God for another day, even IF it is still cold! Br-rrr! I miss springtime! As for the ‘good ole boys’ I say — who cares! I will let Mother Nature take care of them, and she is definitely a woman no man wants to cross! If you are a good ole boy, please recognize it is time you moved into the Twenty-first Century!!!

Free Writing, Hawaii

March 20, 2014 — Welcome to The First Day of Spring!


Dearest Readers:

Today I awaken to the first day of spring. Living in the South, my absolute favorite time of the year is springtime — when the earth is awakening to new life. Pollen. The blooming of fresh spring flowers. The scents and aromas of freshness. Jasmine. Mimosa. Daisies. Honey Suckle. Azaleas. And how can I possibly leave out the beauty and aromatic scents of roses.

The USA has endured a bitterly cold winter. Some areas still have snow. Many of the schools in North Carolina have nine school days to makeup after the freezing temperatures and snow days. Little did those children realize that when they have a snow day and are able to romp and play in the snow, when the weather warms, they must make up those days. Their reply is a simple one, “Well…that’s so not fair!”

How true! Isn’t life all about change and growth? In the eyes of little children they learn at an early age that life just isn’t fair.

Nevertheless, today is the first day of spring. I awoke a bit late. Exhausted from lack of sleep, I took a sleeping pill last night, in hopes I would sleep. My silly big guy, my giant schnauzer, Prince Midnight Shadow must have a sleeping problem too. He awakens every hour or so demanding to go outside, and so, I stumble around the house to let him outside. When he rushes back to his bed, I scold him a bit telling him “Mommy needs sleep. Please let me sleep little buddy!”

He does not grant me that wish. If ONLY he would sleep longer!

Today is a gloriously beautiful day in Charleston. A day where I would love to walk on the Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge, but I’m much too tired. Maybe the exhaustion is related to such a long and cold winter in the tourist mecca of Charleston. I have worn my collection of sweaters, fur coats and mittens too much. Did I actually say I wore mittens? In Charleston? Yes. I wore them so much I actually placed an additional pair in my glove compartment so my freezing hands would get warm quickly.

I don’t adjust well to cold weather. My sinuses ache, along with my fingers and my right knee. My demeanor on days filled with gray clouds and bitterly cold temperatures decrease my mood. I have threatened to run away from the cold. A friend asked me — “Where would you go?”

Without thinking twice I replied, “Hawaii. I would sell everything and move to Hawaii.”

Now, that’s a delightful thought. Maybe I’ll click on to my photographs of Hawaii and dream about those radiant sunrises and sunsets. The hula dancing and cuisine. The people. If ever there is a place to vacation — to get away from it all — Hawaii is the place!

And so, I awaken to the first day of spring — to face reality once again. Looking outside, I do not see robins in my yard, nor do I see butterflies. I so look forward to seeing them again. Springtime. I confess, Charleston, SC is a BEAUTIFUL city in the spring when the flowers are blooming, the Azalea Festival arrives, along with all of the college graduations and I must mention the destination weddings in the chapels and along the beaches. How I love springtime. Achoo…now –just where are my tissues? Yes, I have allergies and cannot open my windows to enjoy the fresh warmth of the breezes in spring time, nor can my allergies appreciate the thick layer of pollen flying into the house. Regardless, I will tolerate all of the pollen and sinus headaches because — TODAY IS THE FIRST DAY OF SPRING. After my lawn dries out I can FINALLY rake my yard, plant flowers and enjoy this beautiful city….and soon…..SO SOON…I will not only walk on the bridge, I will slip my toes on the sand and walk along Sullivan’s Island, and I will look for the coyotes too! After all, it is springtime. The earth is fresh with new growth and change, and I embrace it all!

Hello, Mother Springtime. It’s about time you arrived!

Free Writing, Hawaii

Another Gray Day — In My Dreams I Live in Hawaii!


Dearest Readers:

Today is Monday…another day of rain and gray clouds. I am so sick of this rain and the grayness. It is so depressing. Winter is a time where the sun appears to choose to stay within the clouds, instead of beaming with rich colors and warmth. On days like today, I simply want to run away. I spoke to a dear friend earlier. She resides in North Carolina and they are getting ice again. Will this weather EVER improve?

Yes, we have had a few days of sunshine, but not many. Last week I noticed a robin in my back yard. The first sign of spring. My dad and I played a game every year to see who would see the first robin. Usually, he was the winner. He was retired at the time and took his ‘daily strolls’ so he managed to see the robins. I, on the other hand, was practically married to Corporate America, so my days were spent recruiting students, writing speeches and other unpredictable demands of my life in Corporate America. Let’s don’t even discuss weekends. Corporate America demanded ALL of my TIME!

Now, as a writer, I have the time to look for robins and I must say, seeing that beautiful robin in my back yard, directing his look at me sitting by my window, I felt the presence of my dad and I knew, springtime is just around the corner and I want to embrace it tightly! Last week, I planned to work in my yard. To rake the leaves and place them in my compost pile. When I went outside to do that, the lawn was still too wet, so I chose to do some spring cleaning instead. The weekend, it rained. Today, rain again — it is STILL RAINING while I write this. Will it EVER stop? Normally by now in Charleston, SC the azaleas are blooming along with other flowers. This year? Every thing is still soaked, or just beginning to bud. Saturday, when I stripped the beds, I removed my electric blanket. Today, it is 44 degrees at the moment. How I wish I’d left that warm and toasty blanket on my bed. Oh well. I’ll simply have to snuggle up close just to get warm. It has been such a cold winter for us here in Charleston. I’m ready to sell everything and move to a warmer climate — maybe Hawaii!!!

At least a girl can dream, and in my dreams I live in Hawaii and I stroll along on Waikiki Beach daily. Never did I feel threatened or unsafe in Hawaii.

I suppose this gray, wet day is getting the best of me because all I am doing today is rambling. Oops…make that is freewriting instead! Heaven forbid if I rambled! How I wish I was back in Hawaii again! Yes, walking along the streets to International Market Place, dressed in shorts, a T-shirt, my camera and phone nearby.

Oh, how I’d love to get a trip to Hawaii again! The climate is magnificent, and even when it rains, it is only for a short while. Later, the sun comes out, and the day is beautiful! Incidentally, I have photographs to prove it!

Aloha!!!

Free Writing, The Oscars

Resurrection – the New Show That Has Me Hooked!


Dearest Readers:

I am happy to report the sun is shining beautifully today. I awoke early to beaming sunshine just breaking through and I wanted to kiss it – instead, I blew it a kiss. Aren’t I silly! Since daylight savings time arrived, I have difficulty with sleeping once again. Just what I needed! Nevertheless, I recognize mornings will start earlier, but the day is longer, and that I welcome. I cannot wait to take a long walk on the beach again. I have missed it so much.

Yes, spring is in the air and I am so pleased to welcome it. Last night I watched a new shop that debuted — RESURRECTION. I admit it — I am hooked on it! Even though I fell asleep while watching it, and I was so thankful that I recorded it — to watch later — in the event I fell asleep. This morning, I watched it, and I think it is one of the greatest, new shows I have watched in a long time — with the exception of Nashville, that is!

Unlike Nashville, the characters are not sleeping around — yet! http://abc.go.com/shows/resurrection/video/most-recent/VDKA0_g7ijsaiu
Let’s hope that continues!

To summarize “Resurrection,” Jason died 32 years ago, but he returned as an eight-year-old child. There are many characters to learn and I honestly cannot list anymore of them in this writing, but I do believe in resurrection and this show is mesmerizing. No profanity! [And that is a definite plus]. The episode appears to move quickly, along with the storyline.

I confess, lately I’ve lost interest in going to the movies and watching TV. I do not watch reality shows since they are filled with bleeps, but you can still read their lips and tell the F-bomb is exploding again. As for the movies, I so hate hearing the F-bomb every other word. Enough of it! My husband says I must just tune out these words, but how can you — when F-bomb is a constant recording that refuses to stop.

Yes, I am an aspiring screenwriter; however, I do not write the F-bomb into my screenplays. Perhaps that is why I am STILL an ASPIRING screenwriter who has won awards — but no options. Who knows. I simply refuse to lower my standards. Perhaps I am from the old school, but I do strive not to curse, and when I do slip up and say a few of the ‘normal’ words, I am told not to apologize. You must understand. When I was a child, I was raised in a Pentecostal, Assembly of God religion. If we so much as said “gosh” we were punished.

Watching “Resurrection” I was taken back to a time when stories were written for families to watch. I do hope “Resurrection” is resurrected for television. We need more quality shows — not ones that are of the ‘reality’ nature where class, quality family life, and standards no longer exist. It’s no wonder I don’t watch much television anymore, and perhaps why I am careful what movies I see. I am sick of F-bombs! As a screenwriter, I do watch those movies nominated for awards, although many times, after a few expletives, I close my eyes so I can sleep. I was able to get through “Dallas Buyers Club,” while striving to shut my ears to the vocabulary used.

Yes, “Resurrection” has me hooked — for now! Let us hope it is successful! Maybe I will actually have something to watch on Sunday nights now, instead of my collection of the “Golden Girls!”

Free Writing, Losing Weight, The Oscars

Happy Anniversary to Me, and My Membership With Weight Watchers — And Screenwriting


Dearest Readers:

Good afternoon. How I hope all of you who watched the Oscars last night enjoyed some mesmerizing acceptance speeches. As a screenwriter, I’ve always dreamed of attending the Oscars, but so far — that dream is not reality; nevertheless, I still write screenplays — even IF I haven’t sent any of them out for representation, competitions, or possible options in a few years. I suppose you could say I got a bit perplexed and stopped marketing them. Shame on Me! This week, I plan to start the research for representation. After all, two of my screenplays have won awards. I simply must get my butt glued to the desk chair and get busy. No one can get a screenplay optioned or sold if it collects dust in a file. Silly Me!

Today is a day of recognition for me. A day I must appreciate since on this date three years ago, I joined Weight Watchers. Walking into the meeting I wished to place a bag over my head so no one would recognize me; instead, I hung my head and did not make eye contact. My heart palpitated when I stepped on the scales and I wished to crawl into the woodwork. The Weight Watchers leaders stopped me from leaving by sharing encouragement, letting me know that ‘we all have walked in those shoes. Welcome to Weight Watchers.”

And so, my journey began. To those who read my blog on a regular basis, you will recall at the next meeting, I hopped on the scales, convinced I had lost weight. OK. I’ll admit it. I did lose weight. Only .06 of a pound. I was furious. I jumped off the scales, collected my things and rushed to the door. My leader stopped me. “Don’t be discouraged,” she smiled. “Remember…every weight loss is a loss.”

I sat down, still hanging my head. Now, three years later, and 36 pounds less, I am happy to say I am still with Weight Watchers, celebrating my anniversary today. No, I haven’t achieved my goal — YET. As a matter of fact, I haven’t established a goal yet. I have committed to making Weight Watchers my new way of life. A 100% lifestyle change. When my friends inquire as to when I will quit Weight Watchers I smile and say, “Never. Weight Watchers is my new and improved lifestyle change and extended family. I have made many friendships there and I cannot quit.”

I suppose my friends are surprised. See, they are accustomed to me getting discouraged and quitting — just like I did with screenwriting.

Yes, it has taken me three years – or 36 months to lose 36 pounds. I will not share the inches and clothing sizes I have dropped simply because I have not kept my measurements. My neighborhood Goodwill store does appreciate when I drop bags of clothing by, and I’m certain Goodwill shoppers have enjoyed getting new clothing — many items with the original price tags still attached. Silly me. Rarely do I try clothing on when shopping — until now.

Glancing at a few pictures of me taken two years ago, I am amazed at how different I look. I was fearful that my face would sag and wrinkle, but it hasn’t. I work out on a daily basis and I do my best to maintain my body and face with daily facials and skin care. Yes, it could be considered boring to some people, but for me, this is my regular routine, and Weight Watchers is truly a routine and ‘weigh of life for me’ — no pun intended!

Many of my friends have said that they would’ve given up long ago with Weight Watchers. I cannot. I can see a real and true accomplishment on my part. While I do give the credit to Weight Watchers, I do realize that somehow I found the courage to enter that meeting on March 3, 2011, and somehow, I have remained while I continue to achieve the unpublished, unshaped goal I have recorded in my memory for myself. Fortunately, my brain does not have a microchip, so no one can hack or attack my goal. Will I achieve it? You betcha! And when I do, my blog will be the second in command to read all about it! Just stay tuned, Readers!

Today, I have learned something new. A few years ago, I made files of all of my screenplays, filed them, and closed all of them away in a file cabinet and said, “I quit.” Closing all of my screenplays away in that cabinet will not help me to achieve my dreams. Research. Marketing. Revising. Sending queries…all of these baby steps just might be the best roadmap to help me. I credit Weight Watchers with my newfound confidence. After all, to lose weight one must work hard to achieve weight loss goals and to maintain the weight loss. To get a screenplay optioned, one must establish goals, a plan…baby steps to reach for those stars!

Stay tuned! And now, I must get back to research so this week I WILL start my marketing strategies. I think watching the Oscars last night opened my eyes, especially while listening to some of the most compelling speeches I’ve heard at the Oscars in a while.

See you…at the movies…and one day…who knows…maybe the Oscars! Wouldn’t that be an amazing dream to achieve! As my dad told me years ago, before his death in 1999, “You must reach for the stars to seek your dreams.” Thank you, Dad. This week, I start reaching for those amazing stars once again!

Music Notes, Zumba and More Ways to Work Out

Top 10 Workout Songs – March 2014


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

The Top 10 Workout Songs for March 2014

Fort Wayne, IN – March 1, 2014 – This month’s playlist is dominated by club tracks. Fitz & The Tantrums appeared in last month’s Top 10 and have returned this month with the only rock song to make the cut. Apart from that, everything else is straight from the dancefloor: a fierce new single from Kylie Minogue, a riff on Instagram culture from The Chainsmokers, and a collaboration between Jason Derulo and 2 Chainz.
Here’s the full list, according to votes placed at Run Hundred–the web’s most popular workout music blog.
Stephen Swartz & Joni Fatora – Bullet Train – 130 BPM
Kylie Minogue – Into the Blue – 116 BPM
Dillon Francis & DJ Snake – Get Low – 102 BPM
Austin Mahone & Pitbull – Mmm Yeah – 126 BPM
David Guetta & Skylar Grey – Shot Me Down – 129 BPM
Fitz & The Tantrums – The Walker – 132 BPM
Flo Rida – How I Feel (SCNDL Radio Mix) – 129 BPM
Armin van Buuren & Trevor Guthrie – This is What It Feels Like (Antillas & Dankann Remix) – 131 BPM
Jason Derulo & 2 Chainz – Talk Dirty – 101 BPM
The Chainsmokers – #Selfie – 128 BPM

To find more workout songs, folks can check out the free database at RunHundred.com. Visitors can browse the song selections there by genre, tempo, and era—to find the music that best fits with their particular workout routine.

Contact:
Chris Lawhorn
Run Hundred
Email: Admin@RunHundred.com