FAWM Day 2: My Red Dress (#poem)

The writing prompt for this week is to write a song about clothing. So, as I usually do, I thought I’d start with a poem.


Candle Apple red shoes I craved when eight
Black and white saddle shoes for ankle strength
Cathy and I sold yearbook ads both wearing a red dress
Why guy yelled “Where’s the festival?” we could only guess

Pink was the color for baby doll PJs and canopy beds
Red was my color and why I wrote “Real Women Wear Red”
Sandy and Cyn and Millie were women of three
Wearing red on a cruise ship in the islands of the Caribbean

Bikinis and pedis and cocktails for sure
Flip flops and shorts and stilettos with formal wear
Vlogging and social media may be ruling the world
But a woman in pink is still just a girl

#Blogtoberfest Day 26: Unplugging in November

Instead of doing #NaNoWriMo in November, I’m going to unplug – at least somewhat. What I will not be doing (or trying not to):

  • Blogging
  • Reading on Kindle
  • Watching travel videos on Youtube (okay, maybe once a week)
  • Sleeping with my iPhone
  • Playing gin rummy on my iPad

What I hope I will be doing:

  • Practicing the keys
  • Writing songs and/or fiction
  • Reading paperbacks and/or hard cover books
  • Going to Barnes & Noble
  • Visiting the Guitar Center

I also plan to delete my LinkedIn account. I only returned because the old Lynda.com was now part of LinkedIn and they forced me to rejoin LinkedIn to access it. Each time I renew for another month, they change how they work. Now you have to use iTunes to manage your payments, which I try to avoid as often as possible. iTunes – ugh! I”d like to delete LinkedIn immediately, but I still have access to classes for most of November.

Except for Twitter, I’ve deleted my other social media accounts. Even the word “social media” creeps me out – lol!

Ah, but then there’s YouTube. I subscribe to several travel Vloggers, but I’ve noticed that by watching their travel experiences, my travel experience is diminished. It’s helpful to read about places you might visit, but YouTube vlogs kinda take away the surprise, those things you stumble upon which make your experience so much richer.

And I really dislike all the begging to subscribe and share and donate money. I definitely think I need to avoid travel vloggers. At first I thought that might be the hardest thing for me to give up, but it’s getting old and I’m not enjoying the videos as much.

I have no idea how November might change me, but I hope to update you all in December.


#Blogtoberfest Day 3: Post Traumatic Social Media Disorder (PTSMD)

When I first started blogging in 2005 or was it 2004, I don’t remember any more, but it was an empowering opportunity to express myself.  I really hadn’t been “allowed” to do that in my life experience. At first it was terrifying. Then it was liberating! Sharing your deepest thoughts and life’s experiences seemed to be the point of the blog. After all, a blog was supposed to be an online journal – not a marketing tool.

But just as I was thriving by blogging, social media took center stage, and blogs were shoved to the side. And now people feel free to express not only their deepest thoughts, but their deepest hates, prejudices, anger, political opinions, I mean, we all know how ugly it’s become because it’s not just an honest expression, it’s an attack on everything people disagree with.

I deleted Facebook and Instagram. Except for posting blog posts on Twitter, I mostly ignore it. I use LinkedIn only when I want to take a class on what used to be Lynda.com. Unfortunately, Facebook ruined Instagram when they acquired it and LinkedIn ruined Lynda.com when they acquired it and Youtube was much better before Google acquired it. But after 23 years in Silicon Valley, I can tell you that’s how Silicon Valley works – companies grow by acquiring other companies.

Anyway, I also stopped blogging. I retreated. I began to repress my thoughts and feelings online. I turned to poetry. Poetry felt safer. I sat down to write today’s blog post but really had to push myself to write something. I’m going to have to take #Blogtoberfest one day at a time because I’m not sure I’m up to blogging every day for the month of October. That’s 31 blog posts. I  jokingly told myself that maybe I have PTSMD – Post Traumatic Social Media Disorder. 🙂

(photo from The Effects of Social Media on Depression)

#Blogtoberfest Kickoff, Day 1: The Hazards of Social Media

I’ve noticed several vloggers out there kicking off a #Vlogtoberfest for the month of October and I seem to recall that this was once also a thing in the blogging world. So I’ve decided to do my own #blogtoberfest by blogging every day for the month of October.

I’ve missed blogging on a regular basis and when my aunt and I were working on her new blog together, I remembered how much I enjoy it, especially now that I’m really cutting down on social media.

A fan of #deletefacebook and #deleteinstagram, my life has improved greatly. In case you haven’t seen this, check out this link to this guy’s comments on how social media changes our behavior and not in a good way. Or go straight to the source and watch this video with Jaron Lanier. He has some especially insightful comments about how Trump’s Twitter addiction has changed him for the worse. There’s motivation right there to get off.

One of the blessings of getting off social media (not entirely – I’m still holding onto Twitter and was forced to return to LinkedIn when I wanted to take some classes on what was once Lynda.com. Ugh!!

But I don’t find either of these addiction or even compelling – they’re just there. But soon after the founders of Instagram left Facebook, I could see Facebook all over it. Instead of leaving Instagram as it was, which was kinda fun, they’re ruining it by making it more like Facebook. Dudes – if Instagram is supposed to save Facebook, why not leave it alone instead of ruining it, too?

Anyway, one of the blessings of leaving social media is that surprise has returned to my life. Instead of people browsing predictable news feeds on social media, thinking they’re all caught up with your life, they actually surprise you with a text or email or even a phone call – maybe even a visit or meetup. Imagine that!

Getting of social media is the path to sanity, my friends!

(From 5 Legit Reasons to Delete Facebook...)

Tropes and Other Annoyances (#poem)

Where do you fit in as the years go by
Creating the person you are meant to be
In a world that oppresses you like a swatted fly
Pretending to encourage you with eyes that cannot see

They make up categories, genres, brands, and props
Changing them chasing the thrill of what’s dope
It’s not up, it’s down, it’s not release, it’s drop
And the worse one of all is your favorite trope

They call you out if you resist the latest trend
If you stand up for beliefs, you’re suddenly a hater
And the trends of trends are never your friend
Individuals are suspects, social media is the meter

Everything has changed, your music is dated
When pursuing the arts after a lifetime of work
The stories you write are ignored or hated
When all you have loved has suddenly gone berzerk

When you’re young you feel like you’ve got the world by the tail
Opportunities approach you, tease you, and tempt you
With all that’s ahead of you and with fears you will fail
It’s not youth or age but the boxes that squeeze the shoe

Each age has its challenge whether numbers or years
I’ve seen it come before me, I’m living it now
Those coming after will see it in a mirror so clear
Don’t judge the past by the present values somehow

Social media will be replaced by what’s shiny and new
Those annoying words like trope will be long forgotten
People will adjust and come to their senses, I believe is true
We are the reflection of our Creator and the one who is Begotten

Woz Joins #DeleteFacebook

We watched the movie Jobs last night and my Silicon Valley days all came roaring back to me. So it was interesting to read that Woz is also joining the #DeleteFacebook movement, something I did last year for the last and final time!

The truth is, everyone who uses social media is a content provider and if it’s true that “content is king,” then users should be paid for their contribution. Not just Facebook, but Twitter and Instagram, etc. All social media.

I remember talking with a co-worker at Cadence in Silicon Valley in the early ’90s. We were one of the early creators of online documentation. I remember Barb saying, “In the future, we’ll all be transferring information from one brain to the other.” We also foresaw getting paid for this information, intellectual property. Why not? We were getting paid to deliver documentation.

Facebook CEO says that people would have to pay to use their service if they did not reuse their information. Well, that’s probably a good idea. The internet was much more valuable when web sites were something you had to pay for in order to deliver that content. The internet wasn’t as cluttered because content providers had to pay for a web site.

Once free blogs and, later, social media took over, it was harder to stand out and, not only that, but so much “crap” clutters the internet now, impacting the value of the internet. I use it sparingly now because it is full of useless crap – I won’t even call it “information,” because it’s such a mess. So much of these social media sites are used by political mudslinging and other hate spreaders – what value is in that? If people had to pay to do it, I doubt they’d be all that interested in doing it. As for getting paid for delivering content, nobody’s going to pay you to write that, unless the site is set up for just that, and I would hope that hate cites wouldn’t be allowed.

What we all do know is that something major has to change with Facebook and other social media. This isn’t working for ourselves, our country, our world.

The Long Way (Song of the Day)

Not sure how much more poetry I’ll be writing this month. Even yesterday’s poem was more song lyric than poem. Besides, I’m rushing to get all of my evaluations done from NSAI before this year’s membership expires next month. So I’m pretty much focusing on songs, not poems or novels.

So I’m listening to The Long Way and had to laugh out loud at the line “Your hand-me-down ’99 Impala.” Not only would that be in the category of “who cares” when it comes to classic cars you would mention in a song, but there is no such thing as a ’99 Impala – Chevy took a hiatus from making them from 1997-2000. And notice in the video, they’re driving a ’63 Impala – that’s a classic worth mentioning and I had one.

I’m so annoyed by some people today just making things up. Dude, how hard is it to check your facts on the internet? Facts don’t seem to matter to them.

But I do have hope. The idea behind writing this song was of  “… having a real conversation because we don’t have these anymore…” paraphrasing what Brett Eldridge said when Matt Rogers brought this idea to him in their first songwriting session (Taste of Country). Kudos to them for realizing this and doing their part to, maybe, turn this thing around. (And for those getting wise to Facebook and other social media.)

Technology should be our servant, not our master.


When a Novel Tries Too Hard…

I’m reading a novel that was recommended by a publisher as one to read for style for current submissions. Okay, I get that the setting might call for a bit more media exposure than a normal plot, but, to me, it’s trying way too hard to be current.

Facebook, Twitter, iPads, Youtube – even political issues – are mentioned practically on every page (okay, maybe a slight exaggeration). I know some people think these things should be included in contemporary novels and feel let down if they’re not, but, for me it’s way over the top in this book. Other than that, it’s well written and I’ve picked up some pointers on character development. So perhaps it’s just a sign I’m not that into contemporary reading these days. I may turn to more historical novels and write another one of my own (Letters on Balboa Island takes place in the 1950s/60s).

For one thing, I read to not only get inspired as a writer, but to escape. I’m not a technophobe. I started my career in printing/publishing on my first computer in the late ’70s and 23 of those years were in Silicon Valley. But I do think we’re overdoing it in ways we should not be doing it.

Check out these articles and video – yes, Youtube is my friend and I do some Twitter – best to manage what works for us instead of letting it manage us. Don’t try to do it all. Besides, it’ll all change in the future.

Former Facebook Exec on the Damaging Effects of Social Media

Quit Social Media

Seeking the Lost Art of Growing Old with Intention (don’t have to be “old” to find this useful)



50 Poems in 50 Days

I interrupt my nightly poems to announce that I’m more than halfway writing 50 poems in 50 days (or before we leave our Florida “resort” for our new home).

I suppose I have to thank this transition period for inspiring me to write these poems and for getting off all social media. For the skeptic, check out this guy’s view of social media, which I totally agree with. Younger people might hear him with more authority because (a) He’s a Millennial (b) He’s got a Ph.d. (c) He’s a visibly successful author.

Not that my credentials are all that shabby – I’ve worked with computers since 1976 and in Silicon Valley for 23 of those years – I’m definitely not a technophobe.