Monthly Archives: November 2012

The Death of Courtesy

I believe that 2012 will go down in history as one of the ugliest years ever. At least as far as politics goes.

(Oh no! She’s gonna talk about that now that it’s all over!)

No, I’m not. Well, not technically. At least I’m not going to talk about candidates, or the election, or the results.

What I want to talk about is my fellow man. The people who share this country and planet with me. The normal, non-politician-type people. The regular Joe’s (and Josephine’s) who work hard, try to live decent lives, and pay their taxes.

Many who caused my jaw to drop –repeatedly– over the course of the most vicious, mud slinging excuse for a campaign that I have ever the misfortune to witness. And as our political candidates went, so went far too many of their supporters.

Who I supported, and who I voted for is no one’s business but mine. I did not feel that social media was the proper venue to air my opinions. And I truly wish that everyone I know had felt the same way.

The Facebook account I use for family and close friends turned into a battleground…with ‘virtual’ blood splattered everywhere. It got to the point where the first thing I did when I signed in was to start hiding posts. Because very few of those posts were a ‘support my guy because he did a good job with this (whatever this might be).’

No, they were almost always a ‘support my guy because the other one is a miserable piece of dirt who doesn’t deserve to live’ kind of post. Early on, I would research what some of them said, only to find that they were either out-and-out lies, or something taken out of context to put the worst possible light on the ‘enemy.’

The saddest part of it all was the horrible things family and friends said to one another…if they had the audacity to disagree with their political opinion. All I could do some days was to watch in horrified fascination as relationships dissolved…over a politician.

Politicians who don’t give a damn about anything except getting that all important vote. Politicians who don’t care about any of these people in any significant way. Yet I watched long-time friendships crumble. I saw family wounding family with words that can never be recalled.

There is just no way to describe the hatred I’ve witnessed during these long and tortuous months. Because of an election

And I’m not the only one. I’ve had enough conversations with others to know that this was extremely widespread. And all I can is ask….why?

When did it become acceptable to spew hatred and half-truths to support a cause? More importantly, when did it become acceptable to treat the people in our lives like so much trash because they disagree with our political stance?

Politicians will come and go. And I suppose that some family members and friends will, too. But most of them will stay in our lives forever.

Shouldn’t they be more important than a stranger who will say and do anything to get wherever it is they’re trying to go? Shouldn’t we treat friends and loved ones with more consideration, courtesy and respect than we give to strangers who honestly couldn’t care less about us?

This song brings tears to my eyes every time I hear it. He’s singing about wonderful memories of people he cared about, and used to be close to. And he’s singing about regrets. He lost track of them, one died, the times he cherished are over, the people he loved out of his life.

We can lose the people we care about so easily. Just drifting apart, accidents, wars, illness, misunderstandings. And now we can add political differences of opinion?

I’m sorry… Losing them over an election? I just can’t imagine, twenty years down the road, realizing I’d driven someone I truly cared about away…because they didn’t like the politician I chose to support.

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Filed under Politics

Secret Ballots? I Don’t Think So.

Okay, so I know I said I was going to cut back on my posting through December, and likely through the holiday season, but I’m just really offended right now. For several years now, I’ve noticed something when I vote in any election. It might be easier if I just lay out the process my district has set up.

1. Walk in the door, fill out short form with name, D.O.B., and address. Sign the form.

2. Show driver’s license (but no voter’s registration card), head to next table…where information from card is verified, something is entered in the computer, and my ballot number is assigned. Short form I filled out is tucked in the pocket of the folder covering my ballot.

3. Fill in circles of people, proposals, and any millage I wish to vote for.

4. Take my assigned ballot, and folder…with the short form I filled out when I entered the building…to the final table.

5. Watch the volunteer tear the ballot number from the top of my ballot, lay it in a pile with all of the others. Watch as he or she then takes the short form out of the pocket, lines up the two little holes, and puts it in the little binder…directly on top of the short form the person ahead of me filled out when they entered the building.

6. Stand in line waiting to get to the machine that will suck my assigned ballot in and count my votes. Right behind the guy whose every step has been documented since I followed him into the building….same as mine.

7. Walk out knowing deep down in my heart that if anyone were ever interested to know who I voted for in this election, they could probably find out.

It’s not that I really care whether people know who I voted for or not. For the people who know me, they know I’m a hardcore….independent. I can’t help it. I refuse to stand with any one party, because neither side is 100% good or right. They each have their good points, but they each have an equal number of bad points. It’s my job to research them and vote for who I feel will best represent the things I feel are important.

My problem here is that voting is supposed to be private. Between me and my ballot. Not between me, the first computer, the short form with my assigned ballot number, the binder that holds that short form, and the  machine that records whose ballot was sucked in both before and after mine.

Has anyone else noticed this? If so, am I wrong? Because I don’t feel like my votes are private anymore.

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Filed under Politics

I Wonder When the Withdrawals Will Start?

So… Today marks the beginning of a change in my blog schedule. At least for the month of NaNo (as in National Novel Writing Month-November, aka NaNoWriMo). I’m so used to blogging three days a week, and the last attempt to cut back was not successful. I’m afraid this is addictive, but I’m going to give it another whirl. Mostly because I’ve already written 15,000+ words since the first – and I want to try to get in another 60,000 or so. Gotta free up some time. And then there’s Thanksgiving…

In anticipation of a marathon of cooking and baking…in seventeen days!…I found this…

Because I so appreciate shout-outs from my favorite bloggers, I decided I’d like to start sharing with you some of the posts I enjoy each week.

First up is Colin Falconer over at Looking for Mr. Goodstory. How important is freedom of speech? Important enough that some will try to stop it at any cost. Check out his thought-provoking story about how readers and writers are banding together after a tragedy in, After the Dark, Light is Born.

And I’m loving August McLaughlin’s new series on sexual empowerment for women. She is very open and gets straight to the point, and does so in a way that makes me smile. Read the first installment here at, (gulp!) #GirlBoner: An Introduction. Well…we might not be exactly like guys, but something happens.

It’s been a little over a month since I read Shelly Immel’s 44 Acts of Kindness but, as always, her articles always inspire me…and this one was no different. In fact, it makes me a little more conscious of what I can do to make other people feel better. Maybe the person who secretly paid for my uncle’s meal at a favorite restaurant a few days ago read it, too.

Finally this week… Breeana Puttroff, author of one of my very favorite series, The DuskGate Chronicles, is getting ready to release the fourth of what I hope is at least five books, Blooms of Consequence. Check it out…and then if you like YA Fantasy, you might want to read the first three. Trust me, if you do, you’ll be chomping at the bit for Blooms.

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Filed under Just Stuff, Uncategorized

So Far So….Great!

I was going to post my NaNoWriMo updates right here on Sundays, then decided I would just give them a page all their own, hence the new NaNo Diary tab. I just don’t feel that it’s a blog-worthy subject and, since I’ll likely be cutting back on my blogging, at least for the month of November, it will work better for me…and not flood in-boxes with notifications.

But I did want to brag a little bit say that I not only surpassed my daily NaNo goal by 367 words, I also finished the first draft of my first WIP!!! Yup. Almost 5,000 words written tonight (with the NaNo stuff finished before 8:00 p.m.).  I’m so happy I could jump for joy…except I kind of wore myself out on the treadmill earlier this evening, so I’m just doing some mental jumps instead.

I also decided that I’m not going to work on the second WIP at all. Or at least not much. In preparation for the Christmas holidays, I’m going to do a holiday-themed novella. At least I’m going to give it a good shot. That will bring my word count goal for November from 50,000 (the original NaNo goal) to somewhere around 70-85,000.

If I could continue at the same pace as I managed today, I could conceivably hit 150,000 words in thirty days. But I only want to aim for half of that. Totally doable. IF I can be that disciplined. Guess we’ll see.

Anyway, if you want to see my progress for NaNo, just click on the tab above. That’s the only place I’ll be updating the numbers.  🙂

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Filed under Writing