Friday, January 25, 2013

Too Connected to Reply

Being kind to others through good manners seems harder to do these days. The social graces we used to employ now take more time or more effort or more brain power. I refer to the social grace of answering notes and being kind in responses. I refer to Facebook and Twitter and email and texting.

In an age when our technology keeps us in touch with each other more than ever before, a new phenomena occurs: ignoring others. Now that we can easily rely on word messages, we no longer have to answer phones to talk to people. Now that we can instantly message one another, it's easier and easier to ignore messages. Now that we have all the power in the world to connect, we seem to be falling into bad manners way too often. We ignore.

I'm guilty. If a message comes in at the wrong time, I can easily ignore it. If an email is lined up with 100 others, I can ignore it. I don't text...yet...but I'm guessing I will be able to ignore that, too, when I have the technology to do so.

I asked myself why I am prone, why we all are prone, to doing this? Why do we ignore others?

Often it is a matter of time. Too little time. We fill our days from morning until night with all kinds of time users. Some is work. Some is family. Some is maintenance of home or possessions. But let's be honest: sometimes, we just waste time and don't feel like being nice or bothering to answer.

We are making ourselves more selfish. We pick and choose. We hesitate in order to go on to something that may be more exciting. Sometimes we don't know how to answer. Or we're tired. Or we're not sure of the person contacting us. It boils down to being selfish with our time and our manners.

But really: It never takes too much time to frame a polite response.

Sometimes we have legitimate excuses: we miss messages and we do forget. Sometimes messages do not arrive in time or get lost in the mix or the sending. But many times, we ignore because we just plain don't want to deal with others.

I don't know about you, but I'm feeling bad about the amount of time I spend ignoring others. I'm not talking about ignoring mass mailings. Those are annoying time wasters. But when dealing one on one with each other, I know I need to be nicer, kinder, and more open. In a word: polite. Acknowledging my fellow human being should not be sloughed off, no matter how busy I am.

I think I'm going to try harder not to ignore. I think I'm going to try harder to be polite. I think I'm going to try harder to let someone know their written communication is a good thing, and not an annoyance. I think I'm going to try harder to reach out and...connect. Being polite is never wrong.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Dusting Off the Blog

When I was in elementary school, each morning the principal would blow into the sound system to let us know he was ready to make morning announcements. It was like he was blowing the dust off the microphone. That's what I should do:  Puff. Puff. Puff.

There. Now that  the dust is off this blog, maybe my readers will finally see something posted on here. Being a writer is a delicate thing. At least for me it is. Life can easily get in the way. Through December, my family decided to cut back on internet time so I didn't do much writing. Being sick, too, brought more time with the Kleenex box than with anything or anyone else, but I think I'm baaaaack.

Here's an update on how things stand with all things writing related:

  • The Miting (Amish fiction book 1)- working on chapter 11 revisions--headed for finishing the revisions within a week or two. After that, the edits will begin with the publishing company I'm contracted with.
  • The Powerful Odor of Mendacity- ready to begin edits, and when those are finished, I will put together a book proposal to send to my agent, Terry Burns.
  • The Way Out (book 2 of Amish fiction series)- Outlined and half written.
  • Falling Off the Belief (book 3 in the Amish fiction series)-in my head and being simmered. The basic story-line is set, but I have to get it on paper and outlined.
  • Prairie--Six thousand words written and clamoring for more attention from my pea brain.The manuscripted family hasn't made it out of Ohio yet, but at least they have joined a wagon train. *smile*
I am still writing Dee's News for Mission to Amish People, and am also getting our little church's weekly bulletin together for each Sunday. So I guess I AM still working, but the going has been like treacle: thick and slooooow.

I hope 2013 is the year I finish many projects and get started on new ones, too. Happy New Year, readers! And thank you for being patient and continuing to read my stuff!