Archive for July, 2009

Honest Advice

July 17, 2009

Alright . . . I suppose I can give a FEW more pointers when it come to honesty and asking, but I’m going to borrow other people words to do it:

“It is not without good reason said, that he who has not a good memory should never take upon him the trade of lying.” 

– Michel de Montaigne

“The hardest tumble a man can make is to fall over his own bluff.”

– Ambrose Bierce

“With lies you may get ahead in the world – but you can never go back.” 

– Russian proverb

Honesty And Asking

July 16, 2009

The schools of thought out there seem firmly divided on if you should ask someone for what you HONESTLY want (and honestly why), or not?    My first response to that question is at the VERY least you ALWAYS need to be honest with YOURSELF regarding your wants; this generally requires some practice to get the knack, but it’ll save you a LOT of time in the long run.

Other than that . . . I recommend that if you CAN’T be honest with the person your asking something from, you would probably do well to ask yourself WHY you need to ask them in the first place. 

After that though, you’re on your own.

The Importance of Asking

July 15, 2009

Since I basically ended my last series of posts with the words “Because nobody has asked,” that started me thinking about just how important asking is . . . in general and to me in particular.   I don’t pretend I always do it easily, but I have come to realize just HOW useful simply being able to ASK can be.

Case in point:

During a euphemistically “some time ago” period of my life, I was over at a girl’s house with her family, watching television with her and several of her family members.  Normally I didn’t spend much time with my OWN family at that age, much less someone else’s, but I really, REALLY liked this girl.

So there I was.  This girl’s sister barges in and announces “Mom needs help moving the piano.”

“I can understand that,” I thought.  “Pianos are heavy.”  I wasn’t unsympathetic . . . just watching T.V. like the others, but this also wasn’t my house. 

But when nobody else moved either, the sister says (MUCH more firmly)  “I SAID Mom needs help moving the piano!”  (Let the record show I WAS polite enough to NOT say “Then go help her then!”) 

This time the message was received, and the room emptied out.

But I stayed put. 

I would have been MORE than happy to help, of course, and I KNOW it’s going to sound like a joke, but the reason I didn’t is simple:

I wasn’t ASKED!

Asking

July 14, 2009
“Know how to ask. There is nothing more difficult for some people, nor for others, easier.”

– Baltasar Gracian

(More on this tomorrow.)

Buddha Protect Them (Followup Followup Redux)

July 13, 2009

“You know,” I was told over the weekend.  “You didn’t spell out what you meant in your last followup either.”

Yes, I do know . . . and if I was going to spell it out I would have done so already.

But I WILL spell out why I won’t spell it out.

Some things work better if there’s a revelation on the part of the audience .  . . the “Ah ha! I get it!” moment.  Humor is the most notable of these things because nothing destroys a joke quite like having to explain it (“It’s funny because he’s embarrassed that he’s flatulent, but thinks he’s getting away with it, but SHE wasn’t really blaming it on the dog the entire time . . .”).  Humor NEEDS the “Ah ha!” moment even if it’s just a bad pun and the “Ah ha!” moment is just a groan and a look that says “I can’t believe you SAID that!”

But some serious points need the “Ah ha!” moment even more to reinforce both the point and the strength of the statement with that cognitive leap being taken by the person hearing or reading the point, and this was one of those points.  If you look at the totality of what was said, as well as who was saying it (i.e., me), there is no ambiguity.  If you can’t do that . . . well . . . there’s only one set of circumstances I know of that can help with that:  If you’re curious enough to ask AND do so.  

Even then there’s no guarantee.

In other words, I won’t spell it out any more than I already have because no one who NEEDS me to spell it out (and as I write this I have no reason to believe that anyone who has read the posts so far falls into that category) has asked me to do so.

But enough of this topic.  Repeating myself has been know to give me acid . . . and trust me, there’s little worse than suffering from Acid Redux Disease.

Buddha Protect Them (Followup To The Followup)

July 10, 2009

So yesterday evening I mentioned the essence of what I had posted over the past two days to someone ELSE,  and she heartily agreed with everything that had been said, then added “But . . . you know . . . that last thing you posted could be REALLY badly misunderstood by someone if they didn’t know you.”

I promptly told her she had a good point,  of course, but even so . . . as I wouldn’t be misunderstood by anyone who even knew me casually, and since surely it would take a TRULY special fool (Buddha protect them) to miss my point THAT much, how many of those could there BE anyway?

By way of answer she just looked at me piercingly, and I knew I already knew the answer to that.

Buddha protect us.

Buddha Protect Them (Followup)

July 9, 2009

So today I mentioned the essence of what I posted yesterday to the friend who had recommended I read Shogun

He heartily agreed with everything I had said, then added “And ironically enough, they’re all RIGHT in thinking the other characters are barbarians and fools . . . they’re just not right for the reasons they think they are!”

I promptly told him I was going to steal that thought, and thus I have.

Buddha Protect Them

July 8, 2009

Upon the recommendation of a friend I’ve started reading Shogun, and my time being what it is I’m only 400 pages into or so, but I’m enjoying it immensely.  Lacking better terms for it, the characters are engaging, and the clash of cultures portrayed within the novel is mesmerizing.  So far though, for me the novel has had one profoundly unifying theme:

Provincialism.

It seems like every character in the book thinks just about every other characters is a barbarian, a fool, or both.   It’s kind of funny to me in a way, and helps to lighten up some of the grimmer sections of the novel.

It’s also profoundly sad when you think about it.

Time Enough

July 7, 2009

As I flesh out my outline for Chapter 10 to full fledged draft, I find myself thinking about time. 

At this point in time I’m 6 months into my 1 year book challenge, and I’m only 1/3 done; at my current rate, I’ll need 18 months to finish, not 12.

My current rate also has 6 months to change, be it positive or negative, and I’ve experienced both over the past 6 months (the most dramatic negatives over the last couple of weeks).

But come what may, I’ve come to realize that the amount of time I need to write a book is, from a certain point of view, always going to be the same:  It always has to be ‘enough.’

I’m still in the running, though obviously the next 3 months are going to be key.  As much as I want to succeed, there ARE other aspects of my life that also need my attention.

How much attention?

Enough.

FINALLY!!

July 6, 2009

Chapter 9 is complete enough for me to move on to Chapter 10.

I KNOW there have been outside delays and all that, but STILL . . . SHEESH!

Yeah . . . that’s all I’ve got for today.