Drivers who own the Road, or so they think

Everyone reading this must have come across these kinds of drivers … You know, the ones that drive along as if they are the only person in the world who exists. They own the road and there isn’t another sole on it but them. They drive along with both hands firmly on the wheel looking straight ahead through their windshield with not a turn of their noggin to the right or left. They don’t even look in their rearview mirror to glance behind them. Why should they? They are the only drivers on the road, aren’t they?!

You know the ones I mean. You’ll see them occasionally when you are trying to enter a highway and they won’t move into the middle lane so you can merge easily, or slow down so you can squeeze in or even speed up so you can get in behind them. They’re the same ones who hog the far left lane when you are trying to get around them because they are driving at 55 miles per hour when the speed limit is 65. And you can bet they are the same ones who come almost to a complete stop when trying to merge onto a major highway.

But, do you know the worst time to cross paths with these drivers? When you enter a highway from another highway and traffic is moving at a good solid speed and there is a massive semi-truck entering from an on-ramp to the second highway which only consists of two lanes. This semi cuts right over directly in front of you and there is nowhere for you to go except over to the left lane. You look behind you to the left and see the lone driver nonchalantly driving without a care in the world. They are there on earth directly behind you one lane over and yet they apparently don’t see the semi-truck about to slam into the side of your car. You have two options … Let the truck crush you or slip into the left lane next to you. Unfortunately, Mr. or Ms. Only Driver on the road won’t help you. They won’t move out of your way. They won’t speed up to allow you to get behind them, and they won’t slow down to allow you to move in front of them.

So what do you do? You step on the gas as hard as you can, veer sharply and quickly away from the truck and slip over in front of The Lone Driver so you can live for another day. However, this lone driver is annoyed that you actually avoided the massive truck because you interferred with their driving by startling them awake making them aware that they are in fact not alone on the road; there is actually another person in a vehicle who is in their way! How rude of you!

So they honk and honk at you and take their rigid hand off the wheel to wave this hand at you and mouth their displeasure with you. What do you do? Lift both your hands up in the air with the attitude of ‘oh well’ and point to the truck that was about to collide with you and crush you like a bug.

Did they really not see this horrific accident that was about to occur? You shake your head wondering if they are truly that obtuse, or maybe they just really are selfish and feel like the road is their own private property and you are intruding.

Anyone that behaves like you just committed a terrible crime because you tried to save your life by encompassing on their space, in my opinion, needs to stay clear of driving because they are a disaster waiting to happen and are most likely the cause of the majority of the accidents on the road.

 

Is your Cell Phone your Best Friend?

Do you know where I’m heading with this? Some of you might, but before you poo poo this, read on.

The idea for this topic came to me when I opened an email from my mother-in-law. She sent me a picture entitled “Visiting with Grandma” or something like that, and in the picture we see a little old lady that could be the spitting image of many a grandma. To her right and to her left, seated on a sectional couch is what we presume to be her entire family. They range in age from fifty something all the way down to a young teenager–males and females alike. Why is this funny? Because there is little old grandma sitting in the middle of this large group looking straight ahead without a smile. Now, why would a grandma not be happy and smiling when she is surrounded by her entire family? Because each one of her family members is too busy looking down at their cell phones and not paying attention to her or to each other. They are in their own little worlds with this little, (or big depending on who you ask) invention called the cell phone.

Since the inception of cell phones, the purpose and use of them has changed dramatically. We were all thrilled when we were fortunate enough to have one of these. Back in the late eighties when they became more available to Mary or Joseph Public it was a treat to be able to call a family member or best friend and ask them where they thought we were while we were talking to them. How exciting to say we were in a car driving to wherever and we were able to speak with them on this thing called a “Cell Phone,” or maybe it was mobile phone, but same thing.

Ah, cell phones have come a long way. What started out to be a wonderful, valuable tool for safety, (because if we ever got stuck on a dark, deserted road alone at night, we had this gadget to call for help), has turned out to be way more than that, and not necessarily for the better. Yes, we can still use it for emergencies and call for help which still makes it a valuable tool, but what about the other uses?

Oh, the availability of the internet. Most cell phone users will tell you this is important. We conduct business on it, but business doesn’t end at 5:00 anymore. When is family time? We get GPS on it, so we can find directions to anywhere. We used to do this with maps, so this phone is more convenient. God help all those people of the generation of only knowing GPS, because if we lost electricity, they wouldn’t be able to open a map, let alone read one. Which means maybe most don’t even need to learn which way is North, South, East, or West.

Now, I’m not trying to negate the benefits of cell phones. I have one, too. I love it, but fortunately for me, I obviously don’t love it as much as everyone else. When I saw this “funny” picture of the Grandma, I laughed, but I also commented to myself that I was glad this wasn’t me. I’m proud to say this isn’t me. I’d rather talk to someone face to face if I have a choice, and I certainly don’t want to be on a phone playing games, looking up sports scores, and texting my friends when I have the gift of being able to be in the presence of my grandmother. Sadly, my grandmother and grandfather (Not to leave grandfather’s out) have been dead for a long time, and I’ll never have the gift of them again on this earth. I think a lot of people, especially young ones, forget what’s right in front of them because they think life is forever. It’s hard for them to understand that we are all temporary on this earth, which means are older loved ones are even more temporary. Before they disappear from your view, change your view. Lift your head up from the rectangular picture you hold in your hand and look at what’s right in front of you. Not only will the memories you make be richer, but you’ll make those people happier and prove to them they matter to you.

Most of all don’t forget, YOU matter to them. So, for God’s sake and yours, keep this gadget we call a cell phone, this marvelous, exciting, and fun invention, out of your hands while you are driving a car. The old saying “those things happen to other people, not to me” is just that–an old saying that people have been repeating for decades, and it’s not true. YOU are “other people.” Believe it!

 

“It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood …”

Yes, that’s the forecast here and I hope it’s the same wherever you are.

I’m appreciating it enormously considering I’ve just about been housebound for the last three weeks. Except for hospital, doctor visits, and a very slow stroll around the flattest part of my yard, I’ve been inside recooperating from emergency surgery. It’s amazing how much is easy to take for granted until it’s no longer available to you.

So, yes, I’m sitting outside in the sun relaxing and writing until I choose to take a dip in the pool (something I was banned from doing for three weeks). So, of course, I wanted to do it even more. I bet most of us can remember a time or two or three of being forbidden to do something as an adult, and definitely as a child. Remember how much more you wanted to do it because someone told you you couldn’t? Oh yes, I’m guessing most of us found ourselves in that situation. Especially as a youth … When our parents told us we didn’t have to do homework,(okay, maybe that’s a bad example … None of us ever wanted to do homework so forbidding us to do it wouldn’t work, besides they’d never say that), when we weren’t allowed out to play, when we couldn’t go on that date, when we couldn’t eat that dessert, when we couldn’t attend that baseball game, when we couldn’t stay out until a certain time–all reasons to want it all the more.

It even works the same way when we put restrictions on ourselves: I have to go to bed early, because I need to get up early, and what happens? You find yourself not able to sleep. I can’t eat that piece of cake because I’m on a diet, but we want it all the more, plus ice cream to go with it. I have too much work to do today, so I can’t watch television, but suddenly there’s a program you can’t miss, and you want to watch it all the more. They’re only examples and they may not fit you, but you get my meaning. Now that I’m sitting by the pool and my restriction is lifted, I’m not anxious to jump in. As soon as we close the pool for winter, I’m going to want to jump in desperately. My, how interesting human nature is.

As I contemplate this scenario, I realize it would be a good marketing tool for my novels. It’s a good marketing tool for a lot of products. We always want what we can’t have. If somehow readers think my novel is forbidden to them, or not available to them, they might want to read them all the more! The difficult part? How to make them unavailable, but known to everyone. Now that I think of it, the concept is good, but it just doesn’t fit with the product–a novel. Unless the book was sold out, there’d be no reason for it to be unavailable. Oh well, it sounded plausible for a moment.

Well, I guess it’s back to the drawing board for marketing ideas. As my protagonist Marcy would say, “Everything happens for a reason. You put in as much effort as you can, and let fate take over. If it’s meant to be, it is.”

Smiles being sent your way.

Linda Burson

Author

 

 

 

 

What the Hell is a Blog?

Ah, yes–the above title … that’s most likely the first time you’ve heard those words since the invention of blogs, or since the popularity of them, anyway.

Everyone you know has a blog, right? Or maybe has talked about writing one or reading one, that perfect one to capture their attention–a blog that’s funny, informative, serious, helpful, or just all around entertaining? You have a few minutes so you figure why not? Take those few minutes to read this blog.

Though the popularity of blogs has been around a long time, they’re still new to me. The blog advent may as well have started last night, because that’s how familiar I am with them. It’s not that I haven’t been told to have one. As a matter-of-fact, as a writer, I’ve been told numerous times I should be writing a blog. I’ve had everyone from my children, to other writers, professional mentors, educators, and plain ole advice givers tell me I should be writing a blog. Of course me, in my infinite wisdom of blogs, asked why. My daughter finally explained it to me in words I could understand–“because it helps make others aware of you, Mom.”

Then, of course, I asked her why others would be interested in me? She patiently explained to me as if she was speaking to the children she babysits, that as a writer of novels, I want to get others to be aware of these novels and hopefully a blog would be a good way to introduce the books I’m writing to the public. Still confused, she further explained by giving me examples. I could write a blog that would tell a bit about the storyline in the novel. I could write my blog from the perspective of one of my characters. Maybe I could take a part of my novel and use it as a learning tool for others if there’s a section where I may be teaching about something. Ah, now, I finally understood. A blog was bringing people into the world of my writing and keeping them interested in my novels enough to keep reading.

Now, the second hard part … what do I write about and how do I keep it going indefinitely? I’m a writer. Yes, that’s what I do. So, you’d think it’d be easy to do this blog thingy. In reality, it’s not. It’s another idea I have to have and maintain. The idea that I could write this blog to be fascinating enough for others to read and then get it into the eye-sights of many others and have it circulate would be yet another challenge. It’s not like I’m a well-known author. As we all know, most of us aren’t interested in reading about writer, Linda Burson. (Actually, as of this coming October, I will be an Author. Yes, there is a difference. A writer is one who writes in a variety of ways, but an author is someone who is published.) Yep, that’s right folks–I will be considered an author as I will have my first book from my first series published and available for eBooks and paperback purchase, (although I believe the eBook comes first). Anyhow, I digress … as I was saying, are people interested in reading about what Linda Burson, author, has to say when you can read interesting tidbits about a famous actor like George Clooney, or one of your favorite well-known authors, such as Stephen King, or Jodi Piccoult? Hell, no one has heard of George Clooney’s new wife, Amaldi something or other (I don’t even know her name) but attach it to George, and people are interested. Even she could sell more books than me, talent of writing notwithstanding.

So, back to the original question of what the hell is a blog?! Are people out in the tech and social media worlds seriously interested in yet another blog? I suppose it’s possible, and those words are my mantra. These three simple words have been known to change a life a time or two, specifically mine … “anything is possible.” Now that my book is scheduled to be published this October 2015, my anything is possible mantra has just been proven.

I’ve had a few people ask me if it was hard to get a book published. They said they heard it was a lot of work. I couldn’t help but laugh. Hard to get a book published? Hahaha, yes, it’s hard all right. If all the work, research, studying, many hours of quiet contemplation and focus isn’t hard enough, if all the research and practice and educating yourself on how to write the perfect query letter isn’t embedded in your face from the hours of lying on samples when you fell asleep at your computer enough of a sign of how hard it is, I tell them this …

“It is easier to commit murder and get away with it, than it is to get a book published.” More so, if you’re trying to go the literary agent/top ten publishers route. Oh, harsh, you may say, but in my warped mind, true. So, if your desire is to write, and write with the idea of publishing, remember my three thoughts …

1. Anything is possible

2. I don’t recommend murdering anyone ever, even if you can get away with it– it’s just not nice (then again refer back to number one

3. Apparently, a blog is helpful if you can figure out how to incorporate one into your life.

Of this I’m not sure I’ve figured out how to do. If you do, I’m not opposed to helpful advice. Then again, if you’re reading this, maybe I didn’t do so badly after all.

Linda Burson, Writer

Author (As of October 2015)

 

Hello World!

photo

What am I doing? I have no idea. This page came up and told me to tell people why I’m blogging and what I plan on doing with it. Well, I can’t do that yet. I haven’t thought about it in enough detail. Or maybe I don’t need detail?

I’m here because I was reading my niece’s blog and somehow when I went to write a comment, I had to register and I ended up here. So I thought, ‘What the hell! Why don’t I start a blog?!’ After all, my first book is on the schedule to be published, and its’ release date is sometime in October. I suppose it’s a good time to try to get my name out there a little. So here I am.

Now, I just have to make sure I stop pushing too many “buttons” or whatever you call all these computers boxes with endless choices. Is it obvious I’m still a novice with computers and their programs and apps or whatever they’re called? I always end up doing something I never mean to do. Hopefully, I figure out sooner than later how to maneuver through this site and others. It may seem easy to most of you, but it’s not for me. Or maybe it is easy, and I’m just making it too complicated. I’ve been accused of doing that most of my life–making everything more difficult than it needs to be.