Monday, March 22, 2010

Chapter 3- Does time knowing someone influence what you can learn from them?

I was just sitting here thinking. There are many times when you run into someone--maybe at the grocery store, at the gas station or possibly at work or school--and you wonder why they came into your life at that precise moment. That led me to ponder--does the amount of time you know someone influence how much you can learn from them?
In Chapter 3 of my book "Sensitivity 101 for the Heterosexual Male" I introduce you to "Julie" a friend of mine from fourth grade. She had moved from Wyoming to our little town and no one seemed to accept her. After a week of questioning myself, I finally approached her and we became friends. Lucky I did...I learned number 4 of my lessons from her. She taught me to "see the difference in everyone and celebrate it." Julie was only in my life for a few months, but without her I would have never learned that special lesson that I use all the time, even 40 years later. I wonder, how often does that happen to you?
This same basic incident happened just last month to me again. I met a young girl who had just graduated from college and majored in marketing. I met her in a coffeeshop as I was re-writing another one of my manuscripts. She asked to read my book and then decided that she wanted me to be her first client. Without her and her expertise, my book would just be sitting on Amazon getting no playing time...she has helped already with generating a buzz here locally. She is using ideas I never would have thought of. All just by meeting someone in a coffeeshop and starting a conversation. How many of you would have just pushed her aside?
So again I ask, like I do many times in my book, is someone or sonething else running our lives...are we just playing out parts in someone else's manuscript of life? Why do these people continue to "pop up" in our lives and just how many of us really listen to these strangers that come to us from elsewhere?
Listen, I don't know about you, but I look for these special people to enter my life and I thank God everytime one of them does. The time I know someone means nothing to what they can  teach me. Keep your eyes and ears open for those that are sent to help you. They're all you know how to spot them?

Till next week,


Monday, March 15, 2010

Courtesy...Is it a Thing of the Past?

Growing up and referenced many times in my book "Sensitivity 101 for the Heterosexual Male" is a thing called courtesy--treating others with the respect they deserve. You know things like holding open a door for the next person to step through or holding an elevator, possibly using your turn signal when changing lanes or turning, and always walking to the right of the middle. These all used to be common place occurrences you would see every day. But something has happened...where have these things gone?
People seem to be much more "me" orientated these days...gone are the days of helping others or even just being friendly. What I see daily are people fighting over the last sample at a Costco demo cart, sneaking into someone else's parking space and it seems like no one even smiles at each other any more. When is the last time you said good morning to a stranger?
So with all this happening why should I be surprised that business courtesy is also missing--all businesses are run by these same people.
This subject came up as I was discussing book reviews with my editor. He asked how things were going and my reply was "There doesn't seem to be any trust any more in the world. I am getting e-mails daily from "respectable" companies or people who would love to read and review my book. They say they have read the first 25 pages from my website and really would like the opportunity to help promote my book. So I send them a copy, spending $5.00 for a postage fee, and wait...and wait...and wait! One out of every 4 of these businesses never get back to me. Does that mean they never received the book, or maybe read it and didn't like it, or possibly was it a scam just to get a free book? "
I don't have the answers...maybe I don't even know the questions anymore...but all I ask is for a quick e-mail explaining why there is no review done. If you don't like the book, that's fine. If you didn't understand it, no problem, if it just wasn't your cup of tea, I truly understand. What I don't get is why you spend your time e-mailing me in the first place and then never follow through. it a thing of the past? Or am I just ranting on and on about nothing? Come on authors, I am sure you have had this or something like this happen to you. Please share your vents here with me...maybe we can make a difference!

Monday, March 1, 2010

A roller coaster of a week...

Last week reminded me of growing up--there were so many ups and downs, goods and bads, and just plain old emotional stuff that I was finally glad it ended.
To start the week on Sunday, I had my ten year old son call his grandmother in Illinois to wish her a happy 70th birthday. They talked for a while and then it was my turn. As my mom and I hung up I felt the tug of tears come over me and wished that we lived closer than the distance between Illinios and Nevada. After gaining control, I read the parts of my book "Sensitivity 101 for the Heterosexual Male" which pertained to her and started crying again. This time it was more from a sense of happiness rather than a sad reason.
On Tuesday I went and picked up my son from school, stopped for a Starbucks and preceeded home. As we walked into the front door we were surprised by the presence of two ladies sitting on our couch talking to my was my sister and my mom. Nowhere in the converstaion of a few days earlier did she mention she was coming to visit. It turned out to be my sisters birthday present to her...but it also was a gift to me and my son.
After spending a few days together and reconnecting, they left and those sad feelings came over me again. But that was nothing in comparision to what happened on Friday. I got an e-mail on facebook from one of my old friends from back home...she was worried about her ex-husband, one of my best friends. He had just learned that his father had terminal cancer and only had a few months to live. His dad was one of only a handful of men I ever trusted growing up--he was like a second father to me, actually a first father as mine had left years earlier. I called my friend and we shared old times and left with the understanding that his dad would be out of pain soon and that he should celebrate the times left.
I was feeling rather down after these events and it made me think about age and how time never stops passing us by. That took me back to my grandmother and great-grandmother, I talk about them in the book, and again the feelings of depression came over me...actually it was more of a feeling of remembrance.
On Saturday morning I woke up to another e-mail, this one from a lady who read my book and reviewed it. It turned my whole week around. Nicole wrote a great review and asked me for an interview. You can read both of them at Books, Books Everywhere.
It is now Monday and I am looking for an act of kindness. I guess that all three of these times above fall into that category. To my mom and my sister for just being themselves and for coming to see us, to my best friend's dad for being there back when I needed someone and finally to Nicole for making me feel good about my book again, Sometimes I wonder if anyone really "gets" the book, but then someone like her comes along and reads exactly what I wrote. Thanks to you all!

Till next week!