Hurricane Isaac Whips Through Louisiana

Hurricane Isaac Makes Landfall Seven Years To The Date of Hurricane Katrina:

 bench at the edge of Lake Pontchartrain as Hurricane Isaac approaches.
 Hurricane Isaac Whips Storm Surge on Path to New Orleans

It's not Katrina, but being on the east side of the so called weaker storm allows the water to flood in. 

It is so big and it will be so slow to wind down, it looks like we are in for some pummeling weather.

This is not a post about the hurricane. There is a plethora of news about the hurricane on every media outlet.  It is going to be pretty rough here in Louisiana,  for the next few days.  Isaac is slower moving so the rain, wind and tornados will be around for a while. This storm is so not over.  There is horizontal rain beating down. My son just told me that the rain drops pounding down really hurt his head, but of course he still wants to be outside. It is going to be a wild ride. Schools are closed tomorrow, and Friday. Over one half of  the state is without power. I don't know how long the battery will last on my laptop but I have a backup and hopefully the power will be restored sooner than later because the state was better prepared for this go round. 

Getting Re-Acquainted With Blog Followers


I don't remember who it was, but one of your awesome bloggers did something over the summer that I  thought was pretty cool. You know what it is like when you see or read a post and think to yourself, wow- I wish I would have thought of that?  Have you ever read a blog post and made a mental note to do something similar or to follow up on later? Well that happened this summer. One of you made a commitment to visit the blogs of each and every one of your followers. I wish I could remember who it was, because I loved the idea. I don't remember why they decided to do it or any of the specific details like whether they started with their first or last follower or whether or not they had a self imposed deadline. I just remember thinking it was a good idea.

When we first begin blogging it is easy to follow the blogs of all of our followers. I don't know how he does it, but Alex Cavanaugh, has over 1600 followers and racks up hundreds of comments each time he publishes a post and he still manages to stay connected with his entire army. I think he posted a while back about his system of compartmentalizing his followers so that none are ever overlooked.

As our reading audience grows it becomes more and more difficult to stay really connected with everyone. We all have different ways of responding to comments but we all make a good effort to stay connected. We have our favorite blogs that we tune into daily and their blogs often encourage or direct us to other blogs. There isn't nearly enough time in a day to visit every follower, read their blog and leave comments. I wish there was.

I have noticed a trend (or habit may be a better word) in my method of reading blogs. Of course I try to visit the blogs of those who left recent comments on my latest post and then I usually hit my favorite blogs and then I jump around following the suggestions of other bloggers.  Looking back at my list of followers it seems that I visit groups at a time-meaning groups who are friendly with each other or groups that happened to start following my blog around the same time as each other. This is not intentional on my part. I just stumbled upon this little pattern of mine quite by accident.

Is there a point to all of this? Yes!

I think it is a good idea to get re-acquainted with all of our friends and followers from time to time. I was reading my comments today after being away for a while and one of my comments was from a blogger I have not been in contact with lately. Just seeing their name stirred up that old nostalgic feeling and got me thinking, how many other bloggers have I neglected or lost contact with simply because we are both busy and the timing hasn't been exactly perfect?

So my goal for the month of September is to reconnect with every single follower. No pressure. It is not a challenge or a blogfest, just something I want to do. 

Congratulations, Shell Flower. Shell is the first of ten winners who I am selecting randomly from the comment section of my next ten blog post . The winner receives a copy of Jennifer Hiller's latest thriller Freak.

Another winner selected from the comment section of this post.


Life Without The Internet

What Would Our Lives Be Like Without The Internet?



After a lengthy absence, I have many tidbits and announcements to share.


It feels like forever since I was last here. I posted my IWSG post and my family.and I left two days later for a ten day family vacation in Perdido Key, Florida.  My parents have a beautiful condo right on the beach with has all the luxurious amenities a person could ask for, with one small exception.

No Internet Service

I was like, What? You gotta be kidding me? Is there anyone in today's time that doesn't have Internet? I mean they have a top of the line MacBook Pro in the den and in the kitchen. What do they use them for? The answer was simple. They don't. My mom and dad are older and are two of the only people I know who have not either eagerly joined or at least reluctantly been harpooned into the information age. So we called the cable company and scheduled an appointment for them to come out and set up wireless Internet. Unfortunately this did not happen until our last day and by then we were kind of enjoying our beach vacation - sans Internet.

We got home the night before the kids began school and of course the first week back is always a bit hectic. I missed out on some important events and  blogfest and the release of Jennifer Hiller's second thriller, Freak. I bought the kindle edition and read it on my cell phone in two days on the beach. Another breakout thriller for Hiller.

I announced earlier in the summer that I would host a give-a-way with awesome prizes in recognition of having 400 followers. Yea! I turned on the computer today and discovered that I have reached the ---milestone.  I spoke too soon. One of my followers is no longer following me, so I am back to 399. I originally intended to include Hiller's book, Freak along with some other blogger/author friends books in my give-a-way, but I am going to do something different.



I will host a 400 follower give a way through rafflecopter beginning very very soon. I hope to reach the magic number this week.  I will simultaneously be giving one copy of Jennifer Hiller's newest thriller, Freak, to one commenter every day for ten days.

I am going to promote a different blogger/friend/author's book each month by giving away free copies simply for leaving comments. Now that's an easy way to win a book!

I was about to go into the tragic tale of the missing manuscript (well several scenes that have been handwritten, but not yet transferred to my computer), but that is another post . Suffice it to say, my husband is in the dog house. I have remained positive. I am a firm believer in the old saying that when something bad happens in our lives we can find comfort in knowing that something good or better always emerges.

Those of us who have developed good coping skills or even those of us who utilize our natural instincts, often know how to make the best of a bad situation and with some positive thinking and hard work, we can even turn it into a better one. That is what I am doing now.  I'm not sure of the exact wording, but it is a saying, phrase or proverb about looking for the sliver lining or believing that everything happens for a reason.





"Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together." ~ I cannot remember who said this, but I like it. 


What do you do when something bad happens or when something happens that you think you cannot recover from?

Do you think we have become too dependent on the Internet?


Don't forget: I will draw one random name starting today from the comment section and the lucky recipient will win a copy of Jennifer Hiller's latest thriller, Freak. I will draw a new winner from the comment section of my next ten blog post. Winner can choose either the Kindle edition or a hard copy of the book. It is incredible. If you liked, Creep, you will love Freak.



Insecurity: An Equal Opportunity Stalker

Insecurity: Is He Or She An Equal Opportunity Stalker?


Yup! She is.


 Once again it is the first Wednesday, of the month. And we all know what that means. It is the day that we post about our insecurities as a writer, for Alex Cavanaugh's Insecure Writers Support Group. On the first Wednesday of each month we release our fears and share our vulnerable side with our fellow writers.



Today I am going to talk about insecurity in general. Of course, as writers we have our moments of insecurity, but as humans we have it as well. What makes us Insecure? Is there a direct link to something in our childhood? Who knows, but I am not going to get into the whole nature vs. nurture thing. I do believe that as we mature, we become more secure. Or maybe when we get older we just don't give a shit about the little things that once bothered us?

Let's define insecurity:


in·se·cu·ri·ty

  
[in-si-kyoor-i-tee]  Show IPA
noun, plural in·se·cu·ri·ties.
1.
lack of confidence or assurance; self-doubt:

One dictionary explains it as a feeling of inadequacy, uncertainty or doubt, heightened by a sense of helplessness, rejection, no purpose, and blame.




Both definitions imply something negative. Sure, insecurity can be a negative quality. An insecure person who thrives on negativity can inadvertently invite more despair into their life. The negative characteristics of insecurity become unnecessary burdens in our lives unless we identify why we have such  poor or low self esteem.  A normal person has many insecurities . As writers we worry that our book may not get published, we won't land a top agent, or that people will not like and purchase our books. Men and women of all professions feel insecure at one time or another.

A serious problem arises when we cannot admit that we feel insure or if we let our lack of confidence drive us to commit other acts that only heighten our insecurity. Thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh, we have a place to discuss (without fear of judgment) our insecurities  . We can release our fears without repercussion . This is healthy.

Insecurity rises to an unhealthy neurosis when we are unable to address it, or for people who suppress their feelings or do not have an outlet. We see it everyday. I see it from the petty back-stabbing and gossiping that my teens do to the cut throat co worker who will try and sabotage another's success.

When I see one of my girls compare herself to a friend (or worse, a nemesis) I worry. A little comparison and competition is healthy, but a constant need to compare to another is dangerous; feeling less important in comparison to others is destructive. For example, comparing intelligence, looks, wealth, achievements, education or anything else that could create self doubt.  I do my best to be a good role model for my kids.

 My thirteen year old and her friend saw me tinkering with this post last night and they were like, "No way. Are you crazy? You aren't really going to write about feeling insecure are you? You can't tell the whole world that or everyone will know and then they will make fun of you."


They have a point, right?


After that conversation , I deleted what I had written and changed the focus of today's post. I want them to know that we all feel insecure and that healthy, normal people are not afraid to admit it. It is the people that one of the girls was referring to, when she said, " they will make fun of you", that are the most insecure . People who thrive on putting others down, obsessed with proving to the world (in reality they are trying to convince themselves)  that they are  superior in talent, looks, happiness, wealth, wisdom, popularity, intelligence, etc.

I pointed out that anyone who is compelled to tell the world how pretty they are, how good they look, how many people like them, like their work, how smart or talented they are or anyone who is compelled to tell the world that someone else (usually the object of their inferior feeling) is not attractive, is untalented, stupid, hated by everyone, blah, blah, blah, is someone who suffers from serious and unhealthy low self esteem. Their insecurities have risen to a dangerous level.

As writers, we are fortunate that our chosen profession, hobby, or desire: Writing, provides a natural and creative  release for our pent up feelings. I recommend that everyone , not just writers, use writing as a creative outlet.

My daughter's freshman creative writing teacher required her class to keep a journal to help boost self confidence, minimize feelings of insecurity and offset the influence of negative peer pressure. I took that description from her classroom handout of required reading and helpful resources.

Well put. I could not have written it better.

So, a great big round of applause to Alex Cavanaugh, for hosting this group. It is comforting to know that as writers, we already possess one of the most effective tools to minimize our own insecurities. This is good to know, especially after I read an article that listed the top three most depressing careers. I can't remember where I read it, it was a while back.  I do remember the top three most depressing careers:

1. Attorneys
2. Authors
3. Nursing home Staff

It is not hard to imagine why. It has to be depressing to care for the elder or chronically ill patient. Attorneys are not liked, rated below used car salesmen by most -   c'mon, I know you've heard all the jokes about how we are no different than bottom feeding pond scum. Writing is a lonely job. So it is encouraging to know that we hold in our hands (literally and figuratively ) a useful tool to combat depression and insecurity .

You know what is even better, IMHO?  Communicating and interacting with the friends we have met in this writing community. This is an awesome group and leaders like Alex, keep coming up with more and more ways for all of us to get involved in the community and interact with each other. It is up to us to take advantage of these opportunities .

So hop over to Alex's blog and list of other IWSG participants and make an effort to visit at least twelve other bloggers this month.  Congratulations to Alex, he is days away from finishing the fist draft of his 3rd novel, Cassa Storm.

Oh, and a funny thing happened today while I was googling images for this post. I know, I know, I have to go through my blog and remove all images I found on the web- that little thing about copyright infringement, but that's another post. But, the good news, I found a new blogger that I totally resonated with. Her name is Misty and she is also a lawyer-mom-blogger and you should read her post about feeling insecure. It further demonstrates just how normal the feeling is. Insecurity, as Misty wrote, is an equal opportunity stalker.














   


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