Tag Archives: writing

We can fix society, one story at a time

The screen is cracked. The screen of my cell phone, which I’m currently using to create this post, that is. Like a hideous spider web, it obscures my vision. Already used to the broken fragment, I swiped on.

With cell phones being so fragile, I’ve seen many a person walk 🚶 around with the same kind of blemish. Odd how quickly we adapt. We accept as normal. And I’m not just talking about the inconsequential cracked cellphone screen. Obvious. Maybe not.
After all, if everyone is doing it – then it is perfectly acceptable. I’m not just talking about drugs here. So if everyone comes to work late, it becomes perfectly acceptable to be late, each and every morning. Before your boss has whipped out his eyes, the company culture has changed.

child blowing bubble earth

What’s the big-y about culture?

Culture is something which governs our actions. What we find acceptable. What shocks us. How we react to things. This is why buzzwords such as ‘rape-culture’ are so big in our online discussions. What’s more, culture is formed by the collective experiences. I.e. What we believe, how we react to life is filtered by our past experiences. 

Did you know that storytelling creates experiences? Yes, and not just from a writer’s perspective. It only takes two different stories with a similar outcome to convince someone to rethink how they react towards that type of outcome. Two similar tales spun, and someone has gained a different experience. This in turn will not only determine his own perception, but changes the way others in the community think and act.

Think about that, for two tics.

Your stories, whether written or spoken can influence how someone else perceives the world. I’d like to hope all of us aren’t that impressionable. While stories may be used for the force of good, often they are used for the dark side.  How quickly your mind can change really depends on our point of reference. Your upbringing and your experiences.

Let’s say you are a woman. You hear from a friend about a guy whom you have never met, let’s call him Joe. Joe charmed your friend out of her socks, but got bored pretty quickly.
A few weeks later, another friend tells you she went on a date with Joe, but after a great night he never returned her calls. A random night out, you meet this Joe. Would you not approach Joe with caution? Perhaps avoid Joe altogether? What about if you met someone completely different who reminds you of Joe?
You get where I’m going here. Your friends shared experience, has become somewhat your own.

See how easy stories influence us?

If one guy gets away with a certain conduct, the next one will try a similar thing. Soon it becomes common.
Like my cracked cellphone screen, as a society we all too conveniently find some things acceptable.
I really don’t want to go into all the heartbreaking things this world has found acceptable. As mentioned, it’s sometimes the little things, such as coming to work late which rob us.

Sometimes, it takes some real strong-willed determination, not to do what everyone else finds perfectly acceptable.

The impact these stories of such strong-willed determination have on our society is sometimes the only thing that stands between us and degradation, impoverishment of the human condition.

Why? Because these uplifting stories give us a new point of reference.

While I’ve been terribly philosophical with this post, which certainly would have benefited in me being more specific, I hope it has at least given you some food for thought. Now, go forth and shine.

This post has been the tenth day of it does not need to be perfect a series I’m currently writing on this blog.

*child blowing bubble picture courtesy of pixabay.

About the Author

profile-pic-2Sarina often sat on the peaks of the dunes of Southern Africa watching the ocean tide drift in. A daydreamer, often dreaming up stories for lands somewhere over the rainbow. She is a mother, a wife, a blogger and an overall creative spirit. Above all, she is a human being.

Find her here:


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Why blog? The answer may surprise you

They say that life is a lesson, you’ll learn when you are through. Similarly, they say, life is a journey. Blogging can take you on a journey too. I’ve often been asked why I spend time doing something that earns me no money. Sometimes I ask myself that question. After all, by now, it seems like wishful thinking that I will ever earn an income from blogging.

How I started blogging:

It was the year 2013. The economy had started seriously slumping as too my emotions. Mother to a toddler, finances weren’t looking so fabulous. When do finances ever look fabulous?

When you raise a child, you really start noticing the cost of things. More than anything, I wished I could somehow supplement my income. At the time, getting another job was out of the question. Parenting will do that to you. Where will a new employer understand that your toddler is sick and you need to take her to the doctor, again? For a woman, I receive some good benefits and should not complain. I earn better than many other women I know. Then again, some more women I know also earn much more than me, but those are the ones who actually had the opportunity to go and study at a University outside the country.

Making money online, is all too easy – or is it?

Life is hard when you feel anxiety at the mere thought of going out and doing new things. Earning an extra income on the internet seemed like such an easy thing. After all, all those online adverts were telling me it is so, so easy making bucket loads of cash if I just sign up here or there.

Online surveys – yay or nay?

Even then, I was not that naive. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it. Most likely online swindles! I was looking for something legitimate. At some point, I signed up with several websites for doing online surveys.
While this may be an ideal supplementary income if you live in the U.S. of A. or Europe, none of the offers was for my region. I was never what they were looking for. I soon found out that each and every survey I clicked on was not one I could get paid for doing. How frustrating!

Eventually, I signed up with another website. This website was a bit different from the others. Among other things, they advertised that if you put their button on your blog, they would pay you for that. The idea was born. Blog!

What is a Blog, anyway?

First I needed to figure out what a blog actually was. Yes, I was that green. I googled “what is a blog”. At that point my idea of a blog was some famous person such as an author or actor, telling their fans all about their life. After all, I was already following the ramblings of one or two of my favorite authors.

Who would ever be interested in reading my ramblings? Ordinary, not famous girl, living in Africa! What in the heck, would I even blog about? My life is not all that. So I researched ‘blogging’.

I read that a blog was similar to a website and that many websites I visited were actually blogs. The blogging professionals told me to find a niche. A topic I knew a lot about. At the time there were two main free blogging platforms. One was Blogger and the other was WordPress.

So, in February of 2014, I started a blog on Blogger. It was about Office Administration. At that point, I’d been working in the field of Office Administration for ten years. I thought I would have several things to say on the subject. Indeed, coming up with content was easy. However, I was not the only one blogging on that subject. Many established blogs already existed in the field of Office Admin. I soon started thinking; how can I be more interesting than all the rest?

A month later I also started a blog on WordPress. I mainly wanted to see the difference between these two platforms and promote my Blogger blog on WordPress and build better Social Media connections.

As they say, the rest is history. Both of the blogs I started have since been shut down.

woman-typing-blog

Blogging is a good teacher

While I’m yet to earn anything from blogging, I’ve found it to be a useful tool for personal growth. Apart from the obvious expansion of knowledge that looking up information brings, reading and writing blogs opens your eye’s to many a thing you’d before not taken notice of.  Experiences by other people can teach you many things while documenting your own is very illuminating. In a world where personal growth is a multi-million-dollar industry, this one free tool really does wonders. Of cause it all depends on how you use the platform, and like anything in life what you make of it is up to you.

You learn the strangest things about yourself and the world you live in. In my opinion, this is priceless.

I’ve learned that I don’t really like Google’s ‘AdSense’ nor the WordPress counterpart, ‘WordAds’. While there are other alternatives, none of the ones I’ve discovered work for my country (typical).

The problem I have with these programs is that you have little control over what kind of ads are placed on your blog. I’ve come across ads for fake news websites, fake celebrity gossip, diet scams and other websites with dubious intentions. Rest assured that if you see an add on this blog, it is because I’ve not upgraded it to a premier account. In case you have not read my disclaimer, in no way do I endorse any of these ads.

In trying to figure out how others monetize their blog,  these days I approach new websites differently. I evaluate a site by what it seems to be trying to sell me. I also find that I’m doing the same with new people I meet online and offline. Trying to figure out if someone has a hidden agenda was never something I used to consider. In this way, blogging has made me a little less naive, which in my opinion is a good thing. Don’t get me wrong, people still tell me that I’m very gullible – since I try to see the best in everyone, but still … a little less green.

I’ve learned that there are some posts, that, even if you paid me, I’d never publish them. For example, I can’t endorse a money lending business on my own blog. I hate debt. While I do find that it is necessary sometimes, we often loan money for unnecessary things.

I’ve found websites and social media platforms, which I’d never have used and visited on my regular surfing trails. I’ve learned that especially on social  media platforms we ought to not forget our manners (even though many do). You can’t really erase anything you have published online.

I’ve learned that while I may be good at Office Administration, writing about it on a regular basis is not mentally stimulating enough. On the other hand, I’ve found that writing as a creative outlet is something I enjoy doing. It was a discovery that really surprised me, about myself.

Among the millions of bloggers out there, I still wonder how I can be fascinating enough for anyone to follow.
It is still beyond me that anyone would be interested in reading anything this girl, who lives an ordinary life in Africa, would have to say. Regardless, I love the voice blogging has given me.

What about you, what has blogging thought you?

P.S. This is the third day of ‘it does not need to be perfect,‘ a series I’m currently running on this blog.

 

About the Author

profile-pic-2Sarina often sat on the peaks of the dunes of Southern Africa watching the ocean tide drift in. A daydreamer, often dreaming up stories for lands somewhere over the rainbow. She is a mother, a wife, a blogger and an overall creative spirit. Above all, she is a human being.

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#Book Review: Memoirs of a Dilettante Volume One by @HHBasquiat

When it comes to sarcasm, there is a fine line between rude and witty. That line is even harder to walk when it comes to writing. Helena Hann – Basquiat and her co-conspirator Penny seem to have it down to a fine art. This is what I enjoy most about the writings of this author. She seems to be able to take everyday situations and turn them into enlightened forms of sarcastic humor.

memoirs-one-cover

Her memoirs have a sense of ‘je ne se qua’. Sophisticated and artistic pop culture commentary. Relatable stories, which seem to be inspired by real life. The blurb on the back of the book explains it well:

“Most – okay, some – of what follows is true.”

It was really hard to believe that a man (since the Author uses a female pen name) wrote some of the more painful stories, stories which seem too feminine of an experience. Perhaps men and women are really not very different after all.

Among my favorite in the collection of memoirs is the one titled:

Gotta catch ‘em all! (the modern young woman’s guide to choosing friends)

Sincerely, if you were to buy the book to only read that particular chapter it would have been money well spent. It is an excellent piece of sarcastic commentary on how shallow our society seems to have become. How labels have replaced human beings and us as a society seem to take offense with everything.

I recommend this book for anyone and everyone. It’s something a little bit different. Most likely it is not like anything you have ever read before. Defiantly something that will make you think about the world we live in. It’s charming, it’s painful, it’s fiction, it’s fact.

I give this a five out of five stars.

You can read my review of Memoirs of a Dilettante Volume Two here, which I would also recommend to everyone.

Find it on Amazon.

Find it on Goodreads.

Author links:

Author Blog:

 About the reviewer

profile-pic-2Sarina often sat on the peaks of the dunes of Southern Africa watching the ocean tide drift in. A daydreamer, often dreaming up stories for lands somewhere over the rainbow. She is a mother, a wife, a blogger and an overall creative spirit. Above all, she is a human being.

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To the blog posts I did not write

You were there lingering

At the forefront of my mind.

Complete with opening lines,

Title names

And formatting options.

 

But before I penned  a word

Made a few bullet points

Or powered up my computer

I shot you down!

 

Not because you were not good

Or worthy of composing

But the sudden pulse of life

Needed attending.

 

A home needed cleaning

Cloths and dishes needed washing

Diapers needed changing

Hugs needed giving

Lessons needed teaching

Hygiene needed applying

Food needed eating

 

Before I knew

You flew out the door

Blissfully flung

Into the mess hall

Of my conscious thoughts

Which linger in obscurity.

 

There you are still,

Hoping I may

Once again, stumble

Across the crumpled bit of nonexistent parchment

 

A reminder that,

It all does not need to be perfect.

 

So in my unreadable script

I put you down

Into my little pink notebook.

Unorganized thought.

Not resembling any structure.

Un-edited. Impulsive. Raw.

 

Where you are allowed to be

As you are.

Un-judged.

notebook-pecil-vitage-camera

 

This post is: the first day of it does not need to be perfect. A series of blog post I’m currently writing.

About the Author

profile-pic-2Sarina often sat on the peaks of the dunes of Southern Africa watching the ocean tide drift in. A daydreamer, often dreaming up stories for lands somewhere over the rainbow. She is a mother, a wife, a blogger and an overall creative spirit. Above all, she is a human being.

Find her here:

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12 Days of it does not need to be perfect – Is the pursuit of perfection blocking your creative blogging outlet?

On the 12th day of Christmas …, oh wait Christmas is over! So is 2016. Wait I think I missed the gap to put up my New Year’s resolutions. But before January completely ticks by and I like totally miss that too …

Writing consistently, keeping a blog supplied with regular content is not as easy as it seems. Life is demanding of a mother, wife, woman, employee, … . What with so many things demanding to be done right now, is it really such a surprise? Yesterday I did not even get time to make proper lunch or dinner.

That is not the only problem. Don’t worry this is not going into a long rant about my problems as to why this blog does no receive more regular content. The only reason I mention it, is, that I know I’m not alone. I know t as a blogger and writer to grow an audience; you need to connect with your reader on a personal level. The only way to do that is to be human. i.e. be relatable. That sounded really technical, boring, and somewhat manipulating.

what-writers-want

You see, I know quite a few things about building an audience, writing better blog posts, etc., etc. . I subscribe to several blogs which blog exclusively on this subject. And these would be major blogs with hundreds of thousands and even millions of readers. I go to the Pro’s when I look for blog advice. Not that I’m judging any regular ol’ blogger for posting blog advice, as many do. I too used to write much on the subject. We each have our own blogging goals, methods to our own personal blogging madness etc.  but I’m not going to go into blogging tips and tricks, or even writing tips here, because let me face it; after three years of blogging I have very little to show for it. My only accomplishment so far has been that I’ve not yet quit this hobby.

I’m getting side tracked. It is not often that I allow my thoughts free rein. Don’t you just hate being interrupted every time you try to string together two thoughts? If it’s not my own thoughts getting in my way, my children interrupt me at every second sentence. All of which is not the point of this post.

Learning as much as possible about writing, blogging and all other things that go along with that, such as Social Networking, SEO, correct grammar, etc. etc. (I’m using that abbreviation way too much in this post) as I can muster in my limited time over the last few years; has pulled a plug on my creative spirit and basically drained this blog of content.

That entire paragraph has been way too wordy. Did you even get the jest of it?

Suddenly it has not merely become about writing a blog post, but about writing a super excellent blog post. A blog post so divine it’s better than death by chocolate cake.

take-over-the-internet

It is the kind of perfection, which takes hours to compile. After all, one does not simply take over the internet by compiling dull blog posts.

No, that one is too short. That’s too unoriginal. That’s too long. That’s too boring. That’s too mundane. Who’d even be interested in reading five words of that? Wait I’ve got to go do this, that, that, and that other thing. Tick, tock – no writing published for this week the next week and the entire moth.

You get the core of the problem?

To overcome this little hurdle, I’ve come up with my one and only blogging New Years resolution.

I’m calling it:

12 Days of it does not need to be perfect.

While in school, I took five years of art class. My teacher (who was also art shop owner) once told me that I have a really unique talent. She hoped that I would not quit art after school, but that I would continue.

To me, my abstract works looked like rubbish. Pale in comparison to the fine art my mother is capable of. There is no market for art in these parts. I’ve never been able to put it too much use. Don’t get me wrong you learn a lot when you study art, and not just which colors go well with each other. You learn, problem solving, to think outside the box. The creative part of your brain gets a workout. However, my artwork will never be perfect. My still-life’s will never look like the real thing. My self-portraits don’t even look like me.

My writing will never be perfect either. Writing like art is a creative outlet. And part of blogging is not to compile works of perfection, but to develop your own unique writers voice, to see what connects with people, to have fun.

Hence, I will schedule 12 posts this year, one for every moth. In other words, one for January, one for February, one for March – you get the idea. I should be able to schedule 12 posts this year – I hope. In an ideal world, I’d have typed them all up already and have scheduled them. Nevertheless, this is called 12 Days of it does not need to be perfect, for a reason. I can’t manage the blogging ideal.

These won’t be part of any blogging prompt or any other link up.

These random posts, while seeming perfectly sound, normal and acceptable will fit into my category of:

It does not need to be perfect. At the end of each post, I’ll ping back to this one.

I’m just blogging here. It could be poetry, prose, You Tube videos, memorable quotes – you get the picture.

Once I’ve scheduled my December post – and I find that I still have more time and ideas etc. I’ll just post it.

If this idea resonates with you, feel free to join me in my pursuit of non-perfection. You can ping back (or drop a link in the comments) here or to any of the other posts throughout the year. Although I’m not expecting too much of a response. Most bloggers don’t have a problem scheduling these random what not’s. If you do however join me, I’ll at least try to tweet your post.

I don’t really like writing posts merely for the purpose of having created content. I will still pursue the goal of it being somewhat of benefit to anyone who stumbles across the post. Most likely, all these posts will fall into the very broad niche of blogging I am writing here. (You can read all about that on my About Page)

The first day of “it does not need to be perfect” will hopefully be scheduled some time during mid-January. I’ve already drafted something, actually a poem which inspired this entire idea.

If you have stuck with me through these thousand plus words, I thank you. May it be of benefit!

P.S. Happy New Year!

 

About the Author

profile-pic-2Sarina often sat on the peaks of the dunes of Southern Africa watching the ocean tide drift in. A daydreamer, often dreaming up stories for lands somewhere over the rainbow. She is a mother, a wife, a blogger and an overall creative spirit. Above all, she is a human being.

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Rudolf the rednosed reindeer

I was in the shop the other day, when low and behold the theme song to my work in progress played on the radio. Now, I have read one should keep songs out of your books. One should also avoid having your characters talk with a heavy accent. In addition, one’s blog posts should be perfectly grammatically correct. Eish! I cannot seem to keep to any of these pieces of advice.

Due to copyright protection, song lyrics can cause some hefty issues. However, titles do not hold copyright protection. Moreover, no one said you can’t make up your own lyrics – which is what I did anyway.
Halloween has come and gone. In my defense, we don’t really do the “old hallowed night” thing here. Also, I’ve been somewhat pre-occupied. More on that later.

I’ve wanted to share a snippet from my current work in progress. It is somewhat creepy and very Haloween’y. It also goes well with Christmas, which is coming up soon. Obviously, I will re-write this again. Many times. Currently, this is still part of chapter one. I may, however, start off chapter two this way…

Obviously, no guarantees that it will ever see the publishing light of day. I just happen to love this mini scene…. And so here it is:

raven-infront-of-moon

***

It seemed to be dusk. Miranda found herself in a forest. A branch cracked loudly as she stepped on it.

“Rudolf the red nose reindeer” she heard a girl’s voice sing off in the distance. The song vibrated through the trees and stopped when Miranda looked at a black crow, which had just perched on a stump in front of her.
She heard the girl laugh in song as it seemed the child was running through the dense growth.
Miranda would have followed the girl if it was not for the crow which at that point made the most horrible wailing croak.

“ARRRRRR!” its broken voice vibrated through the tree stems. The menacing echo of a flock birds taking flight made her heart jump. She looked at this black crow and noticed its blue eyes when blood started flowing from them. The thick red liquid quickly oozed all over the bird’s face. His wings got drenched. It started fluttering around, trying to take off. As if covered in a thick layer of oil, the blood-soaked bird, could hardly move. As blood oozed from the birds every pour, it fell to the ground in a big messy puddle of crimson. The copper smelling wet patch seemed to grow ever closer towards Miranda. A crack of wood announced someone behind the dense vegetation. A curly blond haired girl stepped out. She was wearing a white dress and white shoes, which were splattered in red as she jumped into the pool of blood.
“Why Santa chose him, not even Death knows” the girl’s clear voice sang. She giggled and ran back into the overgrowth.
“Wait! Wait!” Miranda called after her. She was about to follow when she noticed the lake of blood surrounding her. The scent of feces filled Miranda’s senses. It became difficult for her to breathe with this stench. Miranda tasted the acidic burn of vomit as she tried to fight nausea. She wanted to run, she wanted to scream but she was frozen.

***

2016 © Copy write: All rights reserved sarinasteinlein.wordpress.com

***

image credit: pixabay.com – Alexas_Fotos

***

About the Author

profile-pic-2Sarina often sat on the peaks of the dunes of Southern Africa watching the ocean tide drift in. A daydreamer, often dreaming up stories for lands somewhere over the rainbow. She is a mother, a wife, a blogger and an overall creative spirit. Above all, she is a human being.

Find her here:

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Do authors kill their darlings to torture their readers?

*Spoiler zone for Harry Potter and other book series*

“Kill your darlings”, is advice given to writers. Seriously, do they need to heed it?

As a reader, it is often frustrating and painful to watch how merciless author’s kill off a beloved Darling character. The first time I actively noticed this literacy trend was while reading the Harry Potter series.

Author J.K Rowling came under much fire for killing her characters in a book series intended for children. Rowling kills off Cedric Diggory in book 4 of the series. If you ask me, this was purely a plot mechanism. Cedric’s death plunges the story forward. It also signals that the story getting much darker. While terrible, the death of this minor character was not all that traumatizing. Quill held high, each subsequent book saw Rowling crossing out another Darling.

People debated whether the death of Sirius Black or the death of Albus Dumbledore was more distressing. Personally, I would go with Dumbledore. He was one of my favorite characters. However, none of this came as a shocker. I was reading all the spoilers (Hey, I had to wait until normal business hours to get my copy of the book). I read the end before the beginning. Book 7 saw several Darlings lose their life. Only Rowling could kill off her own protagonist in such a magical fashion and get away with it. Okay, so she brought him back to life.

What is a story without its hero?

It was while reading another series that the death of a major character really got me down. Author Kim Harrison, killed off one very beloved character in her “The Hallows” series. I, along with all her other readers was confused, angry and very sad about the loss of Kirsten, who was Rachel’s (the protagonists) boyfriend at the time of his death. Okay I’ll admit it, I was crushing on the sexy vampire. Later books in the series revealed that he really did have to go. He was in the way of the story moving forward. Still, it hurt.

Author George R.R. Martin, takes no shame in killing his Darlings. Those who have read the “A Song of  Ice and Fire” series, or have watched the Television Show, “Game of Thrones”, will know Martin’s beloved method. He takes the entire notion of killing major characters to a completely new level. Simply put, I find this disturbing. It is one of the reasons I stopped reading those books.

The question then remains, do authors really need to kill their Darlings?

box-man-ripping-out-heart

From J.R.R. Tolkien to Anne Rice, many authors have killed their Darlings. It’s not for nothing that this is something so frequently found in our literature and storytelling. Sometimes a Darling will stand in the way of the story moving forward. He will stand in the way of the protagonist’s personal growth. It is all part and parcel of plot dynamics. There certainly is good reason behind this madness of, killing off Darlings.

Authors do not only apply this concept of killing off their Darlings to their characters.  This technique is applied to entire scenes, dreaded adverbs and other things that do not serve a book. Some of these things are more painful to the author, than readers will ever realize.

However, when authors kill their characters, they should not expect their readers to react graciously. Sometimes only, the author and his editor will know why a beloved character needed to take a bow. For the rest, there are online forums, discussion boards and even book reviews where readers will take their disappointment out on the coldblooded author.

What’s your opinion on the killing of Darlings?

Thanks to Author Stevie Turner for : #OpenBook blog hop prompt.

About the Blogger

profile-pic-2Sarina often sat on the peaks of the dunes of Southern Africa watching the ocean tide drift in. A daydreamer, often dreaming up stories for lands somewhere over the rainbow. She is a mother, a wife, a blogger and an overall creative spirit. Above all, she is a human being.

Find her here:

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#Weeklysmile where there is never a lack of things to write about…

There is never a lack of things to write about. Seriously.

I’ve been too exhausted (for lack of a stronger word), to even read five sentences never mind string two words together. Pair that with my need to suddenly whip out my sewing machine and try some DIY projects (which were epic fails) – there was simply nothing left in me to even look at the computer screen.

Oh, we are not going to mention the blood pressure, the chronic sinus infection or the fact that I’m in my third trimester. I don’t complain too much about the havoc pregnancy is been having on my body. It simply seems wrong to moan about that, when I’m really happy about having a baby soon. Pair that with the fact that quite a few people in my inner circle have been struggling with conceiving one of their own, or their life circumstances just never added up – I think complaining would be a slap in the face.

Obviously, they’d notice the difficult way I get up and the slow manner in which I’ve been walking. It is all good, though. So long as I have a healthy baby I’ll bear it with a big grin on my face. It’s something to smile about.

new-baby-gift-bag

Talking about my friends and family – they recently threw me a surprise baby shower. Whoop! Big smiles all around, because my hospital bag was still lacking in some small items. When my doctor sent me to the hospital for some tests yesterday, I was very relieved to have finished packing the hospital bag. I almost thought I would have to have the baby one whole month early. Sheesh!

Turns out to be nothing that drastic so I was sent home. I should try to rest up before the due date.
I felt somewhat bad and stressed out about that, because I was only scheduled to go on Maternity leave in a weeks’ time. In an abrupt manner, I dumped all my workload on my colleague, for whom I feel super sorry. Such is life and sometimes we need to just roll with the punches.

Alas, Darlings – I felt to drop by here for a quick hello. The Weekly Smile link up hosted by Trent seemed like the perfect opportunity to drop by.
Moreover, since there is never a lack of things to write about, I may drop by a little more (but no promises, though). I have got ,like, so, many things floating about in my head; the abstract roller-coaster in my head is making me dizzy.
And in case you missed it, y’all should listen to Annette’s interview on “Tell me a Story” with Jo Robinson. As a writer, she understands the fact that there is never a lack of things to write about. Jo is an excellent writer, so the interview gave me something to smile about.

 

About the Author

profile-pic-2Sarina often sat on the peaks of the dunes of Southern Africa watching the ocean tide drift in. A daydreamer, often dreaming up stories for lands somewhere over the rainbow. She is a mother, a wife, a blogger and an overall creative spirit. Above all, she is a human being.

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Welcome to an imperfect world. And that’s okay …

I love tomatoes. My husband, not such a big fan. Guess what? We still live in the same house. We hug and kiss, a lot.
Sometimes I drive past a house in my neighborhood and see it painted in some ghastly pink color. Guess what? I don’t go throwing the house with mud or shooting at it with a paint-ball gun.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Style is a matter of opinion. We can’t choose the skin or class we are born into. All of these things, don’t make any of us any less human than the next person.
Variety is the spice of life. Everybody is different. Our opinions and likes differ as much as there are food choices. We are a tribe of multiple races, religions, and whatnots. There are some whacked up crazy folks – who do the damnedest things. You know what? As long as they aren’t hurting anybody I should be able to deal with it.

Here’s the thing; just because these people are different from me I don’t need to dislike them. Just because we have a difference in opinion, I don’t need to get up on my high horse. One can learn a lot about the world if one can respect the viewpoint of another.
And even if I do dislike them – for whatever reason, I don’t have to be cruel. I’m not going to throw some house with mud. Nor would most others.

So, why oh why, do we think it is okay to do the online equivalent by leaving malicious comments on a facebook wall, blog post, website or other social media platform?

woman-looking-at-bridge

In addition, I don’t need to like you to live peacefully in the same neighborhood as you. We don’t need to be the same race or religion to live next to each other without killing each other. We don’t need to belong to the same political party to be civil.
In my street alone, we are from at least four different types of racial/cultural backgrounds. While we don’t sit and barbecue together over the weekend, we are polite to each other when we pass each other. I’d greet my neighbors as I drive past them. Moreover, as long as they don’t plan on opening a shebeen (informal bar) next to me, I don’t sabotage their plans to extend their house etc.

We underestimate the power of words. We miscalculate the destructive power words on an online forum can have. Let’s build bridges not create wars.

I leave you with this YouTube video by Waylon Lewis from Elephant Journal as he speaks about – how to win those Facebook arguments. May it be of benefit!

 

 

About the Author

profile-pic-2Sarina often sat on the peaks of the dunes of Southern Africa watching the ocean tide drift in. A daydreamer, often dreaming up stories for lands somewhere over the rainbow. She is a mother, a wife, a blogger and an overall creative spirit. Above all, she is a human being.

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Time to say goodbye

Say what you say. Do not be afraid. Afraid.

A lullaby to the tune of Andrea Botticelli and Sarah Brightman’s duet: “Time to say goodbye” has been stuck on repeat in my mind. “Say what you say. Do not be afraid. Afraid” is however not part of the lyric. Has my mind suddenly turned into the jester? Or are these kinds of things messages from a “higher realm”?

The classical music ballad consists of entirely Italian lyrics with the English words “Time to say goodbye” thrown in. I don’t understand any of the Italian, so obviously my curiosity was sparked.The English translation of that song is poetic. Profound. Rendering the audience in awe of what they were listening to.

Here is the original in its splendid glory.

The words we use have unknown power. We can use them to encourage or to break down. It is thus we must choose with the greatest care for which purpose we use our words.

How easy is a false rumor spread? Damage done by such a lie can often not be undone. How often can words lead to a climate of fear?

As Yoda said:

yoda-fear-quote

“Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”

 

How often is fear the motivation behind words splattered out into the world? Some throw their muck onto the masses. Use hate to claim clicks and popularity. On the other hand, some will use overly emotional articles to gain their clicks. As writers and speakers of words, we need to think about what motivates us to put what we do out in the world.

Will our words build or burn bridges? Do we create out of a desire to gain ratification, through likes and views?

Now this does not mean we need to bury our personal stories. It is indeed brave to share a part of one’s, journey, however, traumatic it may have been. We must not do this from a place of seeking validation.

We must consider the impact our words have, regardless of them being spoken to someone in real life or written online. This does not mean our opinions do not matter, but rather that they hold more weight if considered carefully.

When it comes to online content, being either on websites, blogs, or social media a good measure is to consider how these words would affect our nearest. Would we want our mother to read it? How would our children be influenced by what we say?

This then leaves the other side of the coin. Sometimes we would swallow our words, even though they hold great importance. We leave things unsaid because we fear rejection. Keep it to yourself. No one cares anyway. It is in these instances that you need to “Say what you Say. Do not be afraid.”

As Marc Chernoff put it:

“To believe that you must hide all the parts of you that are broken, out of fear that someone else is incapable of loving what is less than perfect, is to believe that sunlight is incapable of entering a broken window and illuminating a dark room.”
― Marc Chernoff

Marc-Chernoff-quote-on-brok

None of us are perfect. Some of us don’t know how to use our words perfectly. In our own mind, we are terrible writers. We are terrible storytellers. We believe that our own stories don’t matter because there are just too many other stories out there. Everyone, after all, has a story. What should make me so special?

The underlying truth is, no one can tell your story but you. Would sharing your experience be a benefit to society? Can you do it from a place of compassion? Can you do it from your heart and not your fragile ego?

Remember it needs not be perfect. It needs to be heartfelt. It needs to build bridges. You need not be perfect. You need to be human.

Perhaps we need to say goodbye to words originating from a place of people pleasing. We need to say goodbye to words spoken from a place of hate and fear. When words fail us, let our hearts be open. We must remember for all of us will come a final time to say goodbye. Before we voyage to cross seas which no longer exist, we should leave this shore better off for harboring us.

I close this post with translated lyric from the song “Time to say goodbye” by Sarah Brightman & Andrea Bocelli. Thanks to Jos van Greefen for this translation.

“When I’m alone
I dream of the horizon
and words fail;
yes, I know there is no light
in a room where the sun is absent,
if you are not here with me.
At the windows
show everyone my heart
which you set alight;
enclose within me
the light you
encountered on the street.

Time to say goodbye.

I’ll go with you to countries I never
saw and shared with you,
now, yes, I shall experience them.
I’ll go with you
on ships across seas
which, I know,
no, no, exist no longer;
it’s time to say goodbye. With you I shall experience them.


When you are far away
I dream of the horizon
and words fail,
and, yes, I know
that you are with me;
you, my moon, are here with me,
my sun, you are here with me
with me, with me, with me.

Time to say goodbye.     I’ll go with you
to countries I never
saw and shared with you,
now, yes, I shall experience them.
I’ll go with you
on ships across seas
which, I know,
no, no, exist no longer,


with you I shall experience them again.
I’ll go with you
on ships across seas
which, I know,
no, no, exist no longer,
with you I shall experience them again.
I’ll go with you.

You and me.”

About the Author

profile-pic-2Sarina often sat on the peaks of the dunes of Southern Africa watching the ocean tide drift in. A daydreamer, often dreaming up stories for lands somewhere over the rainbow. She is a mother, a wife, a blogger and an overall creative spirit. Above all, she is a human being.

Find her here:

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