So what about that Manuscript thing… ?

Oh. River Fork?

I had planned a coming of age, YA story. With a bit of fantasy aka paranormal.

Why did I write it?

tbwavestandbyjo-2017-72dpir

As a former teacher, I encouraged my high school students to write. Several of my students had dealt with a major loss. They wrote about it, but no one talked about it.

Neither did I—Mother died in a fire. My sister and I witnessed the event. I was five, sister was seven. We never forgot. We never talked about it. Nor did father. Assumptions and rumors spread.

During my teaching career, a story slowly evolved in my head. Picture book? Children’s book? Family story book? My brain cranked out scenarios. It was a morass of imagery. How would I best present my idea? I wasn’t a writer. I wrote poetry. Still do and tuck it away in a briefcase. But writing a book?

I’m an artist. So, I started with cute pictures and poem-like stories.

The story grew. I dropped the cute — loss is not cute.

I needed a plan, feeling, a theme, a plot, etc… . What did I get myself into?

My head said, put it into words. I began writing, finishing the Manuscript the year I retired because I had more time to myself.

Then I researched the writing craft, improved my writing skills and investigated publishing options. Needless to say, publishing  surely changed from when I first put pen to paper.

The story:

  • Timeline: 1956-57
  • Theme: the loss of a parent.
  • Setting: River Fork. A farming and logging community. In the mountains near the Saco River.
  • Characters: Three neighboring friends: Tim, Charlie and Roach. Tim will be 13 in three days. The others are teens.
  • It is about coming of age, death, forgiveness, hope and faith. Oh, and there is a budding romance.
  • There is a bit of paranormal (no magical potions, witches, vampires, violence, etc…)

 

So, Has Anyone Reviewed It?

tbwavestandbyjo-2017-72dpir

The Manuscript has been line critiqued and gone through lots and lots of revisions.

A year ago I found three beta readers.
Results:
I did not write to the YA audience. It is suitable for the Middle Grade audience. Disappointment for sure here.
Okay. I asked for an honest review.
I received three great reviews. Two people pointed out what didn’t work and what could be done to make the story more interesting. One Beta Reader recommended a few resources. With expert advice and suggestions, I learned a lot. I am grateful.
So. I’m doing lots of editing, developing my characters and setting a bit more. And DUMPING stuff that was kind of iffy even as I first wrote it.
  • If it’s IFFY for the writer – It most certainly will be IFFY for the reader. DUMP IT. Ahhh. Yes. You’ll feel better. I did.

Once this latest revision is complete, I’ll need a couple of Beta Reader(s) again. Then on to an editor and publishing—self-publishing.

tbwavestandbyjo-2017-72dpir

For those who work with me in this endeavor, your name will be mentioned in the credits and you will receive a free digital copy of my novel once it is published.

The sequel—Roach’s story—sits in my laptop. Waiting.

Please like, comment and share this post.
Thanks.
J.M. Orise

So what about that Manuscript thing… ?

Oh. River Fork?

I had planned it as a coming of age, YA story. With a bit of fantasy aka paranormal.

Why did I write it?

tbwavestandbyjo-2017-72dpir

As a former teacher, I encouraged my high school students to write. I found several of my students had dealt with a major loss. They wrote about it, but no one talked about it.

Neither did I—Mother died in a fire. My sister and I witnessed the event. I was five, my sister, seven. Needless to say, we never forgot. We never talked about it. Nor did our father. Assumptions and rumors were spread.

During my teaching career, a story slowly evolved. Picture book? Children’s book? Family story book? My brain cranked out scenarios. At first it was a morass of imagery. How would I best present my idea? I wasn’t a writer. I wrote poetry. Still do and tuck it away in a briefcase. But writing a book?

I am an artist. So I began with cute pictures and poem-like stories.

The story grew. I dropped the cute — loss is not cute.

I needed a plan, feeling, a theme, a plot, etc… . What did I get myself into?

My head said, put it into words. I began writing, finishing the Manuscript the year I retired. Then I researched the writing craft, improved my writing skills and investigated publishing options. Needless to say, publishing  has surely changed since I first put pen to paper.

The story:

  • Timeline: 1956-57
  • Theme: the loss of a parent.
  • Setting: River Fork, NH. A farming and logging community. In the mountains near the Saco River.
  • Characters: Three neighboring friends: Tim, Charlie and Roach. Tim will be 13 in three days. The others are teens.
  • It is about coming of age, death, forgiveness, hope and faith. Oh, and there is a budding romance.
  • There is a bit of paranormal (no magical potions, witches, vampires, violence, etc…)

 

So, Has Anyone Reviewed It?

tbwavestandbyjo-2017-72dpir

The Manuscript has been line critiqued and gone through many revisions.

A year ago I found three beta readers.
Results:
I did not write to the YA audience. It is suitable for the Middle Grade audience. Disappointment for sure here.
Okay. I asked for an honest review.
I received three great reviews. Two people pointed out what didn’t work and what could be done to make the story more interesting. One Beta Reader recommended a few resources. With this expert advice and suggestions, I learned a lot. I am grateful.
So. I’m doing lots of editing, developing my characters and setting a bit more. And DUMPING stuff that was kind of iffy even as I first wrote it.
  • If it’s IFFY for the writer – It most certainly will be IFFY for the reader. DUMP IT. Ahhh. Yes. You’ll feel better. I did.

Once this latest revision is complete, I’ll need a couple of Beta Reader(s) again. Then on to an editor and publishing—self-publishing.

tbwavestandbyjo-2017-72dpir

For those who work with me in this endeavor, your name will be mentioned in the credits and you will receive a free digital copy of my novel once it is published.

The sequel—Roach’s story—sits in my laptop. Waiting.

Please like, comment and share this post.
Thanks.
J.M. Orise

I Had To Put It Into Words

What is River Fork?

A coming of age YA story.

Why did I write it?

As a former teacher, I encouraged my high school students to write. One  particular assignment required an autobiography titled: “Fact, Fiction or Fix-it Autobio.”  Over the years my students, because of the title, felt comfortable enough to share stories I would never have been privy to.

tbwavestandbyjo-2017-72dpir

comment to beta read

I empathized at how much some had suffered in their short life. In particular was the loss of a parent, sibling or  a friend.

My mother died in a fire — my sister and I witnessed the event. I was five, my sister was seven. Needless to say, we never forgot. It is indelibly etched in my memory. So much detail for such a young mind.

Being aware of my students’ stories, a story evolved in my head for two years. My brain cranked out scenarios. At first it was a morass of imagery. How would I best present my idea. Picture book? Children’s book? Family story book? I wasn’t a writer. I wrote poetry and still do and tuck it away in a briefcase. But writing a book?

Since I am an artist, I began with cute pictures and stories. Then the story grew. It didn’t need to be cute — loss is not cute. I needed honesty and a theme, a plot, etc… . What did I get myself into?

I had to put it into words. As I began the writing process, I adjusted the length and breadth of the story. Years later, I found time in my retirement to finish the MS.

These last four years were devoted to researching the writing craft, improve my writing skills and understanding the different publishing options. Needless to say, the times have surely changed the publishing process since I first put pen to paper.

The story:

  • Timeline: 1957
  • Theme: the loss of a parent.
  • Setting: fictitious town of River Fork, NH.
  • Characters: Three neighboring teens who live in  a farming community.
  • It is about coming of age, death, forgiveness, hope and faith, budding romance.
    • It contains a bit of paranormal (no magical potions, witches, vampires, violence, etc…)
      tbwavestandbyjo-2017-72dpir
Are you a beta reader?

The MS has been line critiqued and gone through several revisions

Presently, I need a critique from a few beta readers willing to give me an honest review. Comment if interested.

If you wish to work with me in this endeavor, your name will be mentioned in the credits and I will gift you a digital copy of my YA novel once it is published.

 

I’ve since begun a sequel—Roach’s story.

Please like, comment and share this post.
Thanks.

 

The Promotion – part 3

English: Female Jogger on Coleman Avenue in Mo...I read somewhere that jogging is a great way to solve problems. Well, let’s see if that works. Lots of traffic—Monday morning is always worse. After a weekend lots of people wake up late.

Wonder if Betty will show up. Five-day weekend. Hah! Three months as a supervisor and she sneaks out like that. Where does she get off doing that? Do I tell George? First thing—you bet! Problem solved.

Cool morning for August. Great jogging weather. Now for a tall glass of o. j. to keep me going. No cinnamon roll—Gotta lose weight.

7:05 AM, George was back. Already in his office—early as usual. “Is the coffee on?” Eve asked. Sandy turned from her receptionist desk pointing to the cafeteria as her other hand picked up the phone. The room bustled with fellow employees and department supervisors as each grabbed a quick coffee before going to their stations. The table was laden with pastries! “What prompted this terrific offering of calories this morning?” Eve laughed. No one responded as they picked through doughnuts, and turnovers. “Aw-w-w, dang, I promised—no cinnamon roll this morning.”

“Ain’t any cinnamon roll here, Eve. So go for it,” Jeff, the assistant manager, grinned as he bit into his powdered, jelly doughnut.

“No. That’s not the point. I promised myself to stay away from… . Well, actually, I meant ‘cinnamon roll’ to be any kind of pastry. You know what I mean?”

Jeff chuckled, “I understand. But c’mon. It’s free! Enjoy! Make you feel guilty as hell, but then you’ll be in good company. George bought ’em. Got to please the boss. Right?”

2006-06-27 - VeganDonuts-0002“Speaking of George, have you talked to him lately?” Eve said.

“Yeah. A few minutes ago. Why?” Jeff licked the jelly from his fingers as he eyed the remaining pastries.

“Oh, just wondered. He mention anything about—Betty?”

“Your new supervisor? Nope. How she doing? She sure looks happy these days. You know, she was the cr… .” Jeff leaned over and whispered, “Uh, don’t repeat this, but she was one bitch of a crabby gal when she worked in the plant. Never happy—about anything. But that seems to have changed since she got that job. How in hell did she become your supervisor? But as long as she’s happy… . Even the way she is, I like her—some looker for her age, the way she walks and talks to us guys—well, I mean, the way she, uh… . Well, it ain’t important, but she sure is something, ain’t she?”

“She sure is.” Can’t believe it! Jeff! Falling for Betty?

The crowd dispersed and very few pastries remained. Eve found a seat at the table—an effort to dismiss Jeff. She inattentively picked up a glazed pastry.

I don’t want to hear about Betty’s charm. What am I doing? A turnover! Blueberry. I can’t put it back. Not sanitary. Well, maybe I’ll eat it instead of lunch. She placed it in a napkin and caught Jeff’s smile as she walked out, “You’re in good company!” Eve nodded without a smile and retreated to her desk.

She turned to the window as a car sped through the parking lot. Betty’s new car. Purchased two days after her promotion. “Got to look the part,” she had said and insisted on showing Eve her “new toy” at lunch time.

My car, old “bondo-buggy”, serves me well and I’ve been here five years. Just how much is she being paid? No matter, I gotta talk to George—later.

High-Heels - Made in Italy

High-Heels – Made in Italy (Photo credit: Fashion Unlimited)

Betty burst into the office with one minute to spare. “Hi, Eve. Got that quarterly report for me? Hope there’s coffee out there! Got to get my caffeine fix! I’ll be back!” She scampered across the hall in six inch heels, and a new suit accompanied by a see-through blouse with a delicate, lacy bra peeking through, emphasizing her cleavage.

Jeff stepped out of the cafeteria as Betty brushed past him. He dropped his sugared crueller and spattered his coffee on his white shirt. “Damn it Betty, look what you gone make me d… ,” he fell silent. Standing in the doorway, he watched her in the cafeteria then barely moved aside as she ambled through the doorway. Betty reached down, picked up his crueller, then slowly pressed a napkin on his stained shirt. He grinned as he took both crueller and napkin from her hand and dabbed at the coffee stain himself. She leaned toward him, just a little, took a bite of his crueller, winked and slowly walked across the hallway back to her desk.  Jeff watched and dabbed, “Have a good day, Betty, don’t spill your coffee on your new blouse. If you do, I’ll be obliged to dab it off for you,” he chuckled.

I see what you mean, Jeff. ‘She sure is something, ain’t she?’ Eve shook her head.

“Got that report ready?” Betty practically sang.

“Uh. Yeah. Somewhat.”

“Oh. Well, that’s better ‘n nothing, I suppose. What you got?”

Eve handed over three days’ worth of printed data from New Jersey. “This is it.”

“Okay. What do I tell George? You got a written report?”

“No. You’ll have to do that yourself.”

“What? Nothing?”

“You got it. That’s your job, Betty. I got my job to do—they don’t pay overtime around here for doing someone else’s job.” Eve sat with her back to Betty and smiled at her calm frankness.

Shucks, I may not have to talk to George after all. That’s a relief. She’ll look like a fool with no quarterly report.

Betty quickly shut the door on her way to her desk.

What is she doing? Eve turned as Eve flipped through the report and began writing on a notepad. With eyebrows knotted, face flushed her hand trembled just so slightly as she lifted a cigarette to her lips. Just then, she caught Eve’s eye, “Eve, I’d like you to… .”

“Excuse me, Betty, I have a meeting to go to. I’ll be back later.” Eve pulled out three folders from her desk, quickly left the room and headed for the plant.

Don’t know what I’ll do there, but I want to get away. Two people can play this game, Betty.

The Promotion – part 2

“How do you like my new hairdo, Eve?”

Platinum? It had been a different blond with streaks of other coloring. What is that called? Frosting… . No—frosted! Coloring to cover little grey hairs. Grey hair? Hair turns pure white, not shades of white.

“Looks nice, Betty. The color is perfect for your complexion. Nice cut too—makes you look— younger.”

English: An office chair that can swivel and b...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Betty’s eyes widened as she smiled. She reached for her compact mirror from her new sequined purse, fingered a few locks and tilted her head side to side with eyes fixed on her reflection. “I been wanting to do this for years. After my promotion, I took the plunge to have it done. It nearly took a month to get the appointment at Chez David’s. She glanced at the clock and wriggled in her padded, swivel chair. “I wonder when George will be in.”

“Is he expecting you? Is there a problem with the report or your computer? If there is, maybe I can help.”

Oh! No, Eve. Everything is fine. But since you mentioned it, there is something I’d like you to do for me. I want you to analyze the hard copy, verify the information and tell me what it says and stuff. You know—what you think about it and the recommendations I should make to George. Stuff like that.”

“What?”

“I said, I want you to… .”

“I know what you said.”

“Oh. Then just do it and let me know what you come up with. I have to go. I’ll be back in a little while.”

“When?”

English: : A mirror, reflecting a vase. Españo...In a little while!” Betty frowned as she stepped to the mirror, which she had installed near the office door her second day as supervisor. She slowly pulled her shoulders back, raised her chin, tugged her sweater down over her chest and walked out the door.

How can she ask me that? Do her work too? When will I have time to do my job? And she’s paid as a supervisor? She’s been here three months. Her performance is dreadful. Most of the time she talks about her ex-husband who works in the other office. They’re friends—so she says. Not from my perspective. What did he see in her? Well, she probably was a looker when she was young—still is, I suppose. And she works that to her advantage. Stop it! Get to work—your work. Betty can go to hell!

George arrived late and suited for a party or a barbecue. Loud, colorful shirt, open collar, sandals, great tan, new haircut.

What is this—new haircut day and no one told me? No briefcase. Maybe he isn’t staying. Vacation with his wife? Maybe entertaining a new client at the beach. We are near the ocean and that makes sense.

Soon Betty returned to the office with a broad smile. As she reached for a cigarette from her desk drawer she giggled, “How are you doing on the report?”

“Betty, we have to talk about that.”

“I know, but I forgot to tell you, I have to leave early today. So we’ll talk after I get back. I’m meeting an old girl-friend I haven’t seen in years! Flying in from California. We just have a ball together. Can’t let her down. You know what it’s like. So, we’ll talk after.”

Just then, George rushed by, smiled, waved, spoke with the receptionist and left the building.

Ashtray

Ashtray (Photo credit: @ARRGch)

After I acknowledged his greeting, I turned to Betty who quickly picked up her purse, pulled a large L.L.Bean bag filled to the brim with packages and what appeared as a champagne bottle from under her desk. She dropped her unlit cigarette into her ashtray, now filled to the brim with old butts, and rushed toward the door. “Got to go or I’ll be late. See you Monday!”

“What? See me Monday? That’s—five days.  A five-day weekend!” I stared at her desk reflected in the mirror. An old girl-friend? Bet they’re drinking buddies! Does George know about this? She waited for him to leave so she could skip out. That’s why she wants me to do her work so he won’t find out and fire her. She should be fired. I’d fire her. No, George, I don’t want to help Betty that much.

“We gotta talk, Betty, we gotta talk!”

The Promotion – part 1

Ashtray

Ashtray (Photo credit: @ARRGch)

Betty? Promoted? She never worked in an office. She doesn’t understand computers. Heck! She probably never saw one. This is 1979, the age of computers! Telecommunications and computing.

“The black phone is not for personal calls, it’s a modem.”

“Oh,” Betty hacked a smoker’s cough as she sat at her newly assigned desk—the former supervisor’s desk. “What’s a modem, Eve?”

Harry up and left for what? A better job? Left me here to manage. I managed for three weeks. I can do his job—Harry’s assurance as he balanced his heavy box of stuff out the door. He had a degree in business and experience in data analysis. Betty’s credentials? Production work in the plant for how many years? How old is she? Her generation never used computers. She’s looks 40-ish.

Eve inhaled, smiled and touched the black phone sitting on her desk. “Modem is an acronym for Modulator/Demodulator. It’s a phone line dedicated to communicate with another modem connected by a network.  We send digitized bits of data from a computer to the mainframe at head-quarters through this dedicated phone. The signal is modulated into electrical signals for transmission over phone lines and it is then demodulated by another modem at head-quarters to receive the digital data.” She sipped her coffee to hide a smirk.

Betty coughed “Oh—I see.  Headquarters. That’s New Jersey. All the way from Maine over to there? By phone? Without talking to anyone? Hmm. It can’t take too long for me to understand all of this computer stuff. I been working production for fifteen years here.  Done some quality control and shipping too for about six years. So I’ll be able to learn how that acronym equipment works. You agree?”

“Ever work with computers?”

“Never.”

“Are you from around here?”

“Yep.”

“So you graduated from a local high school?”

“Uh, not quite. Well—yeah.”

“What is it? Yes or no?”

“I quit when I was sixteen—going on seventeen!”

“So you quit in your junior year?”

“No—freshman,” she mumbled, pulled out a cigarette then reached for the ashtray. Betty bared her teeth as she grimaced. “You didn’t clean the ashtray.”

“I don’t smoke—I don’t do ashtrays.”

“Never smoked, Eve? Or quit?”

“Never. A waste of money. Bad for the lungs,” Eve paused as the plant manager rushed by the door heading for his office.

Betty stood up quickly, “So it is. So—it is. Uh, excuse me, will you? Gotta wash this out before I use it. I hate filth.” Betty pulled her shoulders back, lifting her chin high as she daintily held the offensive ashtray with forefinger and thumb and sashayed out of the office.

“Don’t you think we better get started first—Betty?”

Betty disappeared around the corner.

Eve’s smirk changed to a sneer.

So Harry had a falling out with the manager. Two strong-willed men and the subordinate makes a bad move. Never argue with the boss, Harry.

See what you’ve done to me, Harry? You got a new job, and I got… Betty.

Compose yourself!

Eve used the free time to re-arrange her desk and organize files for Betty. Twenty minutes later, she groaned as she began the day’s data entry due by 2:00 PM, transmitted by 3:00, received and verified by New Jersey by 4:30 then printed on the line printer before 5:00. She gritted her teeth, Where the hell is Betty?

As Eve focused on keying data Betty and the plant manager entered the room. The clock indicated fifty-eight minutes since she left.

“Hello George. Betty. You forget the ashtray?”

“Oh. Uh… I put it somewhere. Maybe I left it in your office, George. Did you notice it?” Betty coughed a chuckle as she placed her fingers over her lips and smiled with chin up and chest out—pointing to the plant manager.

“Oh, bother,” Eve mumbled and returned to the keyboard.

“What, dear?” Betty patted Eve’s shoulder.

2010-02-04 09-42-53 Office Wall Clock - IMG_1560

2010-02-04 09-42-53 Office Wall Clock – IMG_1560 (Photo credit: Degilbo on flickr)

George glanced at the clock and out the door, “I have to go. Eve, teach Betty everything she has to know. She’s got lots to learn. Make it quick. Let me know if you need anything to make it happen.” He dashed back to his office. Betty’s hand rose slightly as if to touch his arm, but she immediately retracted its movement and stuffed the errant hand in her silk, slacks’ pocket.

“I’ll be back. Got to find that ashtray so I can wash it.”

What on earth… ? She’s been here for two hours and hasn’t done a thing. “We got lots to do,” Eve shouted as Betty disappeared around the corner once more.

Damn—I Swear It’s OK

I’ve written my first YA manuscript and a scene comes back to me now and then. One of the characters is angry for good reason, why not let him swear?

Listen to me. I, the writer, give permission for a character to swear? I write the narrative, but the characters seem to have a life of their own. Perhaps they can swear because they really, really feel like it.  Perhaps they dictate the narrative and I just type it.

At first it was a children’s story? Naw. That didn’t work out. I tried different iterations  and each time, it was just too—corny.

English: Cartoon depicting little girl on beac...

English: Cartoon depicting little girl on beach talking to her mother. Caption: Her First Pair of Jumpers — “Am I a little boy now, mama?”. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Then one day, I just started writing. I had a sad scene and lots of sobbing—the protagonist, not me. It seemed okay. But how was I to make this work? First there were two characters ages 6 and 12 and their moms. Add another kid, a girl this time. My own motherly instincts took over. Lots of love and gentle ideas, well brought up kids. The works. Make all mothers proud.

Then one day, it sounded too—corny.

No one is this nice and able to deal with adversity at a young age without blowing a gasket. Young ones have to get mad sometime. And when things just don’t go as planned? Well, they get angry like everyone else. Wouldn’t they want to express it and feel in control? Feel grownup? In their angry sort of way.

SwearI am convulsing on letting little ones swear? Mothers would be not proud.

Then one day, I made the children older: 12 going on 13 and 15. But it had to fit. Chapters, many chapters written and I had to make sure the change would flow through. The protagonist had to sound and act his new age as did his friends. Then I created a diagram and a timeline for each character to make their stories fit.

Karakasa (parasol) in Japan

Karakasa (parasol) in Japan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I remember my first swear—whispered in anger—in my second floor bedroom. I arrived home from school, went to my drawer to fetch a small, silk umbrella. A gift from my uncle. A souvenir from his last naval trip to a land I didn’t know existed. It had a painted picture on the orange silk. I know now it was a parasol, not an umbrella.  I opened the drawer. The parasol was gone! I was aware a distant cousin visited while I was at school, I knew she had absconded with my parasol! In anger I whispered “Dammit” to the bureau drawer. A voice at the bottom of the stairs said, “I heard that. Don’t you swear in this house!”

Why not? My space was violated. I was robbed! I stomped down the stairs and asked my step-mother where the parasol was. “I gave it to Rachel. She visited with her mom this morning, so I gave it to her. You don’t need it.”

I felt devastated. This was not the first time Rachel went home with my toys. My step-mother seemed to enjoy giving away my things without asking me. I swore and I felt, even to this day, justified in swearing. It was my relief valve.

That one swear did not convert me to daily swearing. I survived. As a young girl, I never swore again. Weeks later, a friend kind of swore when she nearly missed the after school bus. She said it in French, but changed the pronunciation a little.  “Maudine!”

I found the word fascinating, but never used it for fear of retribution at home. I knew my  parents were old enough to decipher ‘maudine’ as a play on ‘maudite’, which is French for ‘damned’.

The things one remembers.

Swearing? I do believe it is okay to let my character use one swear. Actually, I may have him say it in French because… . Now here I am enabling him. He is old enough to decide.

So I’ll continue editing my MS and see what happens. He’ll let me know what he wants to do.

Angry – Happy

What makes one happy? And others just so damned pissed off?

Happy Green frog

Happy Green frog (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

I’ve met both.
What is anger? What makes it happen?
A little research can enlighten many.

Gargoyle enhanced

Gargoyle enhanced (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bitterness Street is that shortcut taken to Anger Street. When you get to Anger Street, you notice the lights are dim, house shades  are drawn, nobody sees you and it is so quiet it is deafening. If you ask for directions, residents lie, leading you deeper into unknown territory. Very debilitating. You don’t want to be there, but you are lost and  can’t find you’re way back.

English: Angry cat

English: Angry cat (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Friends want to help but they have no idea what street you’re on. They don’t know what is happening in your head.

Remember when mommy said, “If you get  lost. Find a nice police man. He will help you and bring you home.” Well… ?

We all get angry at times. The trick it to get over it.

Insisting on being bitter with another doesn’t make the victim miserable. You, the antagonist, suffer the most.   Bitterness turns to anger and poisons our thoughts, relationships, and our lives. By refusing to let go of a hurt, we increase the hurt to ourselves. We become toxic.

“Too easily we become bitter. The thing with bitterness or resentment is, it takes control, and it consumes and robs us. Bitterness is more than a negative outlook on life. It is a destructive and self-destructive power. It can be physically as well as emotionally debilitating. Persistent bitterness and resentment makes one angry and confused, and leads oneself deeper and deeper into a jungle of despair. Bitterness and resentment is a frozen anger in latent form. Bitterness is a malignancy that makes a person extremely vulnerable to unwise decisions and destructive thought patterns that infiltrate and affect our bodies as well as our souls. It may aggravate or even cause physical problems. It causes fatigue, backache, ulcers, headaches, and drains our vitality. It is an oppressive and destructive emotion that is the root of resentment, anger, hate and other negative emotions, which when not dealt with may even lead to violence.
Bitterness spreads easily like cancer, we become bitter towards other things and it can spread to those around us. It also comes out in different ways – the outworking of bitterness often include jealously, anger, division, dissatisfaction and hate. It makes us focus on what we haven’t got, rather than what we have got. Bitterness is a trap that the devil puts out and is all to easy to fall down. It will always hurt ourselves more than it will hurt the other person.
Bitterness and resentment starts growing from denial or rejection followed by shock and/or numbness, guilt, shame, depression, anger and grieving. These feelings are part of the normal grieving process over bitterness. Bitterness grows up when people linger over and cling on tightly to the anger and the depression of the grieving process. Bitterness and resentment is a cold and latent form of anger that shows itself through complaining and plotting and scheming and grouching.”
Source and more info:http://www.charminghealth.com/applicability/bitterness.htm

I have been there. Not a nice place. With much introspection, I realized I had to let go of angry thoughts. I encouraged others to be happy—think positive—it could be worse, etc.  This exercise makes me more positive and happier. You also must walk the talk.
I found it too easy to get sucked into a self-pitying, complaint session. Afterwards, I felt drained and angry to have participated. I was angry at just being sucked into discussing a miserable topic!
I feel sadness for the person who is miserable. I don’t want to reinforce misery so I point out “how fortunate that …” or “aren’t you lucky that…” or search for other points of view not considered. Other times, I am blunt and say, “you know, I used to feel that way, but I found that I got nowhere… and now I’m happier because I think or do this—or that— instead.” I try to make them think of what they can do for themselves and focus less of what they can’t do. Then I end the conversation and walk away.
Constant complaining sounds so absurd when you are in a healthy place. Healthy relationships are impossible when you are angry? Like attracts like, ergo you find unhappy people with whom to relate. These people bond with you, ensuring your unhappiness and theirs. You drain energy from each other and anyone within earshot. People avoid you. You may notice, yet don’t know why. So you become resentful about that too. Does this sound like a self-imposed cycle?

Happy CatHappy people are invigorating!

Today, I met a happy soul who just lifted my spirit. A young man (I’ll call him Hap) drove six hours from up Maine to our home in New Hampshire just to look at a car we advertised for sale.
The car is a 1980 VW Diesel Dasher. The vehicle was a favorite of hubby. I saw it as old and pretty much embarrassing to drive. After having it stored for about three years, the mice got to it and made a mess. The ceiling was now stained and the mice had chewed holes in its fabric. And it smelled.
So what did I do? I whined about this ‘ugly, filthy car’ as I cleaned it out. I resented having hubby’s messy car. However, I knew it truly was a great car with lots of room and the diesel engine guaranteed great mileage—50 mpg.

English: VW Dasher Station Wagon Deutsch: VW D...

English: VW Dasher Station Wagon Deutsch: VW Dasher Variant (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My fondness for the VW Dasher  was augmented in 1991. It served to keep me save from harm when a driver in a big semi tried to force me to stop on a long, lonely highway. He continually blocked my path on route 10 from Chattahoochee, FL to St. Augustine, FL as he swayed from side to side at 10-20 mph. Terrifying. Each time I tried to get past, the rig sped up and pulled in ahead of me. Phones were mounted on  poles along the highway. I was too afraid to stop. No one else was on the road. There were no license plates for me to identify the rig. This started at around 10:00 AM. Finally at sundown, a vehicle appeared in my rear-view mirror. It was on the horizon with headlights switched on.  As it traveled pretty fast, it easily caught up with us. It was a little red pick-up and it was going to pass us! My plan was to be one with that red pick-up. I tailgated the pick-up and passed the semi. It worked! I stepped on the accelerator and passed the little truck. Tears of relief followed.

Hours later, I saw the semi pull off the road—perhaps to refuel. On the other hand, I had plenty of fuel and kept going. Not long afterwards, I realized I was lost. Whatever sign posts there were before, the size of the rig blocked them from me as we passed them. I had an interview the next morning in St. Augustine. I needed to get there on time. So I decided to take the next exit—onto a dark, unlit, dirt road. Now what? First a crazy man, and now if I ran out of fuel—alligators would eat me? I had never been to FL by myself. I just followed my instincts and prayed I was on the right path. At 2:00 AM I was across the river from St Augustine! Laughter, more tears and joy in my heart encouraged me on to the nearest motel. A comfortable bed was my reward. Thanks to the Dasher, I hadn’t run out of fuel.

I felt immense gratitude for my reliable Dasher.

happyguy+VWDasher

Hap is happy with his new Dasher. Nice fellow all around. Everyone was happy and what a nice time we had each time Hap came around. God bless

But this one had to go. We sold it within two days to Hap. He exuded delight at finding a Dasher in ‘excellent’ condition. The liner could be mended and he would give the vehicle a complete cleaning. He even bought the parts-car, which was in similar condition, and all of Hubby’s stored parts necessary to put the Dasher parts-car into driving condition. A month later, Hap came back and purchased our 1987 Mitsubishi pick-up. A prized possession of Hubby and me. Hap was happy! So were we. The Dasher was going to a good home and to a positively happy person. 🙂

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