Friday, July 29, 2011

Work Ethic

What is acceptable behavior when it comes to your job?  I think it would be difficult to work from home or be a successful business owner, if the work ethic wasn’t high.  What are your top three pet peeves when it comes to co-workers or subordinates?

I do not like someone who isn’t prompt or is habitually late.  I’m not talking about the occasional five minutes late that happens to all of us.  I’m talking about the person who strolls in ten minutes or more late every single day.  People are expecting you to be there to do the job you were hired to do. 

I do not like someone who is willing to allow others to do the tasks that need doing.  I hate filing.  Okay not hate.  I am annoyed when filing is made more difficult because whoever was in the files before you screwed things up.  And to be honest if I had to file things all day, I’d be looking for a different job.  However, if filing needs to be done, I do it.  There are tasks in every job that you do not like to do.  That doesn’t mean that you shove that work off on someone else.  It means you find ways to do the job quickly and efficiently so you spend the least amount of time doing it.

I do not like someone who tries to tell me my job.  Okay so I’ve only been in my job ten months and I still need assistance with some things.  However, if I know how to do something than I really don’t need someone to bump heads with me and say do it this way. 

Even if the job you are in isn’t your dream job, it is important to perform to your highest ability.  One could say why?  I’m not going to be here more than a year or two.  One could be very wrong.  You could end up stuck in that job longer than you expect.  Also at some point you may need a reference from that job.  Also any job can lead to a bigger and better job which means you should be putting your best foot forward. 

If you develop a strong work ethic early in life then it will carry you through no matter where you want to go and what you want to do.  Without a strong work ethic it would be difficult to work well from home or have your own successful business.  

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

More Rejections

I’ve had a bit of success with getting a few things published.  However, it seems like every time I open my email I’m looking at more rejections.  I know they are a part of writing.  I know it usually isn’t the style and quality of writing but some days it is hard to take.

I’ve let the pile of rejections (if emails can be a pile) accumulate in my email account.  This weekend I spent a bit of time noting it in all the places I track the rejections.  I checked off the poems and short stories that were rejected.  It was almost cleansing to finally get rid of all the crap in my emails.  I spent almost two hours cleaning up emails and dealing with the rejections.

The rejection is hard but I’m trying to look at it as an opportunity.  I have several dozen prospective publications where I can submit my work sitting on my desk.  I just need to get through the stack.  These rejections allow me to send those items back out into the world and see if someone else is interested in them.  This is really not a rejection per se but an opportunity to place them somewhere else.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

MIGRAINE

If you suffer from headaches you know how bad they can get.  If you suffer from migraines you know they are a hundred times worse than headaches.  For four days now I’ve been dealing with a migraine.  I don’t take regular meds for migraines mostly because I don’t want to try new drugs.  However, this week I’m nearly to the point where I’d take almost anything to get rid of this puppy. 

My brain feels like someone has it in a vice grips and it is about to pop like an overstressed balloon.  I started out taking Tylenol.  I’ve graduated to Excedrin Migraine.  I’ve had nausea all week to go with this.  I’ve also been dizzy and light headed.  Light has been like a knife point through my skull.  Staring at a computer all day makes everything worse. 

I can’t even write mostly.  Doesn’t stop my brain from trying to move forward with a story I’m working on (two of them actually).  I just want to get the information down but every time I sit to work on my computer my head throbs worse so I return to my recliner and darken the room.

Next step for me is to start drinking Coke and eating chocolate even though I don’t like the first and I’m avoiding the second.  Sometimes that is the only thing that breaks my headaches. 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Political action

I'm very worried that the politicians in office now are going to ruin our economy and society.  I've spent the morning contacting every one I could with the message below. 

Here is a web site you can use to find out who represents you:
http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml

I wrote the following that I sent to both my senators and representatives.  I also sent pieces of it to the President and Vice President.  I have no idea if this will do any good.  However, I feel like I should speak out.  I'll at least have voiced my opinion. 

I urge anyone who feels the same way to do the same.  If you want to copy what I have below - feel free.  If you have additional ideas - add them in and post them here.  Maybe if we all start talking one on one with them - flooding them with our beliefs then they will start to listen and act appropriately.

Here is what I wrote:

This year has been a difficult one for our country.  There is a great deal of divisiveness in our country and especially in politics.  This divisiveness is part of what is hurting our economy.  The public does not trust our politicians to do what is best for the country.

I am a state worker and a union member but I don’t necessarily vote the way my union wants.  I look at each candidate and determine how closely candidates’ beliefs are to my own beliefs.  I look for someone who is willing to do what is right and what the people want rather than what they or their contributors want. 

I realize I’m one voice.  I am one person in a sea of constituents who are diverse and have as many opinions as there are people.  However, I cannot in all good conscious remain silent about what I feel needs to happen to make our country better and stronger.

Business is important to our economy.  Without it we are back to an agrarian society and we have too many people to go back to the family farms.  Business needs to have a level playing field.  However, this does not mean they have a free ride as I feel they are getting.  It means that we make sure there aren’t monopolies and that they are able to do the business they are in – provided it is legal and safe. 

They do not deserve tax breaks so they can billions in profits while the majority of the people cannot make their bills.  We may be a global economy but we certainly aren’t preventing companies from taking their business elsewhere.  It has happened repeatedly and to the detriment of our economy.  American workers are among the best educated and the hardest working.  Yet business doesn’t value that because they have to provide a safe working place, work with unions, and pay a higher wage. 

While it may be cheaper to use Chinese workers, the quality of product is substandard.  The safety of the products is below par as we’ve seen from all the recalls. 

With gas prices hovering between $3 and $4 a gallon, the regular person often has to choose between food and other essentials and the ability to get to work.  I do not work in the same town I live.  I have to drive 19 miles to my work five days a week.  This gets to be costly.  There are not any buses or trains that allow me to commute or I would.  My husband has to commute the same distance.  We cannot afford to upgrade our cars nor can we afford one of the hybrid cars.  Therefore, we are stuck paying the outrageous price for gas while the oil companies make billions in profits each quarter.  This means I have less money to spend on other things. 

Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security have been under threat by political players.  These programs help those who are either unable to work or have worked all their lives and are now in retirement.  My mother is 80 years old.  She was widowed in her 50s.  She’d been a farm wife her entire adult life.  Because of the many factors she sold the farms, file for bankruptcy, and had to start over.  She went back to school, got a degree and started her career.  She worked well into her 70s retiring only a couple of years ago.  She was a Certified Nurse’s Assistant working with Alzheimer patients at a county home and then at a private facility.  She contributed to retirement and social security. 

Her retirement barely covers her expenses and she is already living with one of my sisters.  Now there is a threat that social security won’t be able to be paid out because the politicians can’t seem to grasp a concept that most kindergartners do.  Cooperation is key to solving our problems.  If my mother does not receive her social security, she will not be able to pay her bills.  This means that she and my sister may not be able to stay in the house they are in.  They could lose the house and their financial stability.  They won’t have money for food, electricity, and other essentials.  Will the politicians be going without their paychecks until the budget crisis is over?  If not then I suggest you find a way to keep Social Security payments going out.

As for cutting these services, don’t.  It is wrong.  Most of the people using them have been working their entire lives, paying in to get this benefit.  They are relying on this as their retirement.  If you take it away then they are without a safety net.  Incomes are not such that most people can afford to put away money for retirement and medical care.

Perhaps politicians would understand this better if they had to utilize the same benefits rather than getting a special retirement fund that gives them benefits based on nothing more than being a politician.  Politicians are not above the American public, they are the servants of the American public.  Therefore, they should not have any benefits the American public doesn’t have.

Planned Parenthood, birth control, and abortion are key issues for me.  I’m a woman with three daughters, four sisters, and five nieces on my side of the family and many more on my husband’s side of the family.  Women make up 51% of the population.  Yet we are underrepresented in politics.  As far as I’m concerned, men have no say in what happens to women’s bodies.  It isn’t your body that is wracked with hormones and the severe and drastic changes that occur during a pregnancy.  Women have three choices when it comes to being pregnant.  If the pregnancy is unwanted, none of these choices are easy to follow through with.  No one should have any right to say what happens to a woman’s body except that woman. 

Would I like to see abortion stop?  Yes.  However, that is not likely to happen.  Men do not take responsibility for where their sperm goes (condoms are the best contraceptive yet so few use them) and they also are not stuck with a child they don’t want.  Many men are able to walk away without one ounce of responsibility.  Until men control themselves, women should have the right to an abortion, free birth control, and the privacy to make the decisions needed when pregnant without stigma or recrimination. 

Society penalizes women for being women.  Our wages are still only about 80% of what men make.  Women are typically the ones responsible for most day care, household chores, and family maintenance.  This is just another reason why women should have access to free birth control, abortion and the privacy needed for decisions about her body.

There are several ways to improve the economy without attacking the m idle class, elderly, and poor.  We do need a balanced budget.  We need to live within our means and stop borrowing or living on credit.  This goes for the individual, business and government. 

Here are the ideas I have for improving the economy. 

Sales tax:  Sales tax means someone is buying something and paying the government a portion of it.  If you buy a stick of gum (because that is all you can afford) then you pay less than if you buy a private jet.  Therefore, let’s have a federal sales tax of 1-2% as well as raising the state sales tax by a ½ - 1%.  This will increase funding based on what people can afford. 

Tax breaks for the rich:  There shouldn’t be any.  They make the most money and should pay the most for taxes.  They should contribute to social security based on how much they make not have a flat rate for those who make over a certain amount.  If you make a million dollars a year then you pay into social security a percentage of that million dollars – the full amount.  If you make $30,000 a year, than you pay in the same percentage on your annual wage. 

Regulate the banks and the oil companies.  These groups seem to be out of control.  Every time the price of gas goes up the economy tanks.  So make them ask before they are allowed to raise prices.  It is done with utility companies, it can be done with oil companies.  As well as these regulation let’s get some decent, safe public transportation.  I’d be happy to let someone else do the driving for my commute – if there were a service available.  There isn’t.  I live in a small city and commute to a small town.  Banks seem to think it is ok to set up fees for their customers.  Fees that are complicated and confusing so a person who already barely makes ends meet is hit with fees that they didn’t even know were on their account.  There needs to be more honesty in the banking industry.

At the same time we are working on the economy we need to be looking out for our environment.  We cannot continue the way we are destroying the natural world around us.  We see in the violent weather patterns that Mother Nature is trying to bring herself back into balance.  This may be a natural cycle as some scientists say but I think we brought this cycle around quicker by destroying so much of our natural world. 

If we destroy our world by polluting our air, water, and food supply, how will we live?  We have to make the environment a top priority.  Instead of destroying our natural environment we need to protect it and find safer, healthier ways to live.  There isn’t one answer that is right in this issue.  No one thing will replace our reliance on oil and coal which are the worst polluters.  However, making solar, wind, geothermal and other environment friendly power sources more affordable will allow more people to utilize them.  This means that we are less reliant on these dirty power sources and more reliant on the clean ones. 

These are just a few ideas can help us go from floundering to recovering.  We need to find our feet and stand firm.  To do that we need to work together rather than acting like spoiled children fighting over whose turn it is to be in control. 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Perfect Sunday

Today is the last day of vacation for me and I wanted it to be relaxing.  I wasn't sure what I wanted to do but I knew I wanted it to be mellow. 

The hardest part of my day was answering all the phone calls and text messages I was getting.  It is funny how when you are into what you are doing everyone seems to want to talk to you.  My day was PERFECT.  Ken, Vicki and I sat in the living room listening to music with each of us reading.  We each had our kindle and were involved in our different books.  I spent the entire day (nearly) reading a really funny, good, sexy, tear jerking, romance novel. 

I answered phone calls, texts, and handled other interruptions.  At one point I turned to Vicki and asked at what percentage did the 100 page rule apply.  For those who don't have this rule it says that if you have less than 100 pages left to read in a book unless there is a catastrophe going on you don't bug the person reading.  She said it was at 75% so I'm going with that. 

Nothing exciting happened.  Nothing dramatic happened.  The music was on the tv and we all had our kindles.  We lopped in our chairs and on the couch to read with each other.  Who knew that reading could be a group event?

It was definitely a great lazy Sunday and the perfect ending to a really good vacation.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Final Stretch

I'm on my last two days of time off.  It has been a good one.  I actually feel like I accomplished what I needed to and had down time.  Now I have to start acclimating myself to sleep hours  more conducive to working - i.e. going to bed before 2 am.

We are getting rid of the evil Charter on Monday so this weekend we need to clear off the DVR.  That won't take long.  I've been working on crocheting while we do that and Stephanie's afghan is coming along nicely.  It is getting to the point where it takes me quite some time to go around the edge of her afghan.  I've also got a book Vicki got me from the library to read as well as several books that have been downloaded. 

This week I've gotten a several things submitted and some writing done.  I still have more to do (don't I always?) but I'm good with the progress I've made.  This vacation has definitely been a good one.   

Friday, July 8, 2011

Tarot

Last night I went to a friends to read her and her daughter's tarot cards.  We always have a good time while we do this.  We talk, read tarot, and just enjoy being together. 

It's been nearly a year since I read tarot for myself so I also did a reading for myself last night.  I was a little suprised by my reading.  It told me things I've been pondering.  All three readings we did last night were spot on.

The interesting thing for me is that I've been reading tarot for a while now and the cards are always spot on.  My friend had a specific question.  It answered that question loud and clear.  I'm not saying it said - pick these numbers for lottery or anything that specific. 

For my reading, I had a lot of major arcana.  This is not unusual for me but at the same time there were some cards I don't normally get.  It gave me a couple of clues as to directions and stage that I need to work on.  Some of them I was contemplating and some not.  It was a good reading.

I do a Celtic Cross layout which is ten cards.  Sometimes I'll draw an extra card or two because they jump out at me (or the person I'm reading for).  Mostly I just like the completeness of this layout.  It is fairly easy to see how the layout relates to each other and you can draw parrallels and see conflicts within the reading. 

I still don't have the meaning of the cards memorized.  When I read regularly they sort of stick in my head but otherwise I look at my book and the answers are right there.  One other thing, when I read for myself I almost always get a word or two that comes to mind for a card when I turn it over.  I try to keep those words in mind as I'm analyzing my spread because sometimes they are in conflict with the meaning of the card.  Last night I got a specific word on nearly all my cards.  When we read out the meanings - they were spot on with the words. 

This is an area I guess I need to do more often.  I've been thinking about developing my own spread (it probably is already out there but...)  I have an idea for one and I need to try it out to see how well it plays out.  I should probably also look in my book of layouts to see if there is already something similar to go with it.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Writing Week

Yesterday I got a lot of writing stuff done.  I finished a short story and  four essays.  I also got four essays submitted and three poems submitted.  This morning already I got one more essay submitted.  I did try to drown my laptop yesterday but fortunately Vicki and I were able to save it. 

I spilled a glass of water and got a flood around my computer.  Fortunately, I had a towel handy to stop the flood from reaching the huge pile of papers on my desk.  For the computer, we tipped it up so all the water ran out.  

It was a relaxing day as I got so much stuff done for writing and I also got to spend some time with Vicki.  We watched the DVR stuff and hung out a bit.

Today I'm working on writing again.  I've gotten stuff organized this morning.  I'm going to work on getting more items submitted and revising a short story or two.  I'm looking forward to having the time to do as I please.  Vacations are definitely a good thing.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

More Published Items

Well it has been a good week for me.  Here is the link for the second place I've been published. 

cc&d magazine
http://scars.tv/ccd

Click on the link.  Then click on writers which should have another screen popping open.  On that screen scroll to nearly the bottom to find my name and click on it.  You will see the two poems that have been accepted. 


Last night I worked on a fictional short story till about one in the morning.  I had intended to get up and go to the pool today but didn't because I was still sleeping when mom called.  I finished the short story and went to bed.  While lying in bed trying to go to sleep I realized I wanted to say more in my ending.  The great thing about this is that I could say to myself I'll do it in the morning and I am able to do it this morning. 

My plan for the day - well fix the ending of the short story.  Then I have to clear my desk a bit so I have room to work.  I have three or four short essays to finish and a couple of other shorter projects in the works that I want to get through the next step.  If I haven't totally used up my day I'll work on submissions.  Tonight after Ken goes to bed I'm going to work on one of my longer projects that has been nudging me.  I swear these projects are like the anxious child in the back of the classroom with their hand raise and wiggling in their seat saying pick me pick me.  Today I hope to get a lot of those anxious children completed and on its way to editors. 

Monday, July 4, 2011

Published...

Horror is not one of my go to topics but I delved into it for a publication.  I actually got a short story published at http://www.demonictome.com/.  It is EXCITING!!! 

If you like horror check it out.  I have a story in the July issue.

Independence Day

Two days of rest and relaxation, you would think I'd be happy as a clam.  Do we really know if clams are happy?  I was for a bit.  I got great news from my daughters in Georgia.  They officially have a new apartment and Stephanie got a brand new car.  Hopefully this will be less worrying about them down there.  The last two days have been wonderful.  Saturday we went to the carnival for lunch and to a movie.  It was calm and relaxing.  Sunday we were vegetables and watched DVR and DVD stuff.  I crocheted on Stephanie's afghan.  It was a good weekend. 

This morning I woke up before my alarm which is never a good thing.  I managed to get back to sleep and got up to play on the computer.  I went from playing on the computer to working on budget.  Starting in August I'm losing about $175 a month.  Somewhere in my budget I have to find this money.  It is a lot to juggle and think about. 

This morning I'm not so relaxed and rested.  However, it is the 4th of July and I'm not at work.  I can do what I want with the day and just kick back.  Vicki has gone off to the parade and carnival.  I'm going to close my budget and hope that I've figured out how I'm paying my bills and getting things organized. 

The problem I'm having is that once I start looking at my budget I start worrying about those who are going to be affected even worse by what is going on with our economics and politics.  There are all these cuts going through with the budget.  What will happen to those families who have two teachers earning money and maybe losing their jobs?  What will happen to the single moms who rely on Head Start and Badger Care to assist them?  What will happen to the libraries and the schools?  So many people are negatively impacted by this budget and by what is going on with the government it is disturbing and heartbreaking.  I wonder if the politicians stop to think about that when they get out their red pens to say - we don't need this or that.

On a side note, I read a friend's blog and it was amazing.  Here is a link to an amazing blog that is well worth reading:  http://lillith3feathers.wordpress.com/2011/07/02/freedom-struggles-part-i/

Friday, July 1, 2011

5 Hours

Today I have to work five hours and then I'm on vacation for a week!!!  I cannot wait.  My plans - well if you've read my blog at all you probably know - are to write.  Okay so the weekend is for the family.  We are going to the carnival for lunch tomorrow.  I won't wander but the rest of them can while I read a book in the car.  Then we are going to go see a movie, probably the new Transformers movie. 

Sunday I have a date with Ken and we are going to clean off our DVR.  Why?  Well we are switching carriers for cable and internet because Charter raised my bill by $60 and I can't afford that.  This means we have to watch everything on the DVR because they come the week after I'm done with vacation.

After that I have no plans.  Ken will be home from work on Monday so we will probably do more DVR stuff.  There are also a few things around the house I want to get done.  It depends on the weather.  It would be great to grill out but again depends on the weather.

I've got four essays to polish up, an essay to get ready for submission to a pub I always submit to, a manuscript which is just crying for me to work on, and a pile of possible places for submitting my work to.  Other than that not a lot of plans... :)  Oh yeah and I want to wade through my books and get my spreadsheet updated and the books themselves organized.  Those are my primary goals for the week.  I have a secondary list but I'm trying not to over plan the week.

Now I just have to get through the last five hours of work and hope that it goes quickly.  I also have to hope that I can get done all the things that need doing before I go. 

Weekend?

Where did the weekend go?  Saturday I was up and dressed but didn't do a lot.  I crocheted.  I'm working on a kitchen set for someon...