Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Changing with the times ...

One thing is certain about life on the Internet: it changes at the speed of light. I've been tooling around cyberspace for about 15 years now, and whenever I think about it, I find myself stunned at the rate of change here. I don't think THIS was what they had in mind when I was studying calculus in college!

Today I decided to create a new blog header. I had some free time on my hands and started fooling around in Photoshop. While I liked my old header with the 'vintage' photos of me and pictures of cameras, I think my blog reflects the changes I'm experiencing in my life. Some changes go with the aging process. Some accompany the rapid changes in technology. I can post to my blog from my 'smart phone,' and that's a feature that wasn't available to me when I began this blog more than two years ago. But, those aren't the only reasons for changing it. A big part of it is staying "fresh."  Same ole, same ole gets old after a while, so I'm introducing something new.

For my cherished followers, I hope you'll like what I've done. And, I hope you'll leave a comment and let me know if you do. Or, don't. I don't do this to please you, but I enjoy it when you notice what I've done.

Like everyone else out here in cyberspace, I'm looking to connect. How else can I leave my mark on the world?

Photo, above: University Drive & Stirling Road ... one of the last remaining cow pastures, some cattle herons and lots of traffic. I can remember when everything out here was agriculture. Now it's all residential development and shopping centers. "The times, they are a changing!"

Friday, June 25, 2010

My contest entry ...

              Me and Samantha, 1989

I love to write.
Sometimes I have to toil to get the words out. And, sometimes they just spill out of me. When they're spilling, I'm grateful that I took typing in high school!

Last week, I wrote a story and entered it into MORE Magazine's "One Amazing Thing" contest. I did submit a story last summer, which the MORE editors posted to the web site, and that was kind of neat. (It's here.) But, this contest ... well ... I really want to win.

I've posted it on Twitter and Facebook quite a bit in my attempts to get someone ... anyone ... to read it and vote for it. I e-mailed it to a bunch of my women friends and asked them to vote and some of them have voted. I think the "registering" part is what spooks people, though. They're afraid they're going to receive lots of e-mail or spam as a consequence of registering. They won't, and I tell 'em that. But, still, they don't vote.

So, here I am, five days from the close of the contest and I've moved up to No. 31 with 15 votes. In order to qualify I need to be in the Top 25. From those 25 entries, the editors of MORE will chose one winner and that lucky person will have a one-hour phone consultation with Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, the author of "One Amazing Thing," described by MORE's web site as a "breathtaking tale of survival."  The winning writer will then expand her story to 1600 words to be posted on MORE's web site and, maybe, Barnes & Noble's web site. That's it. No prize money. Just an opportunity.

The current top entries are about cancer survivors, a night at the Emmys, saving a life, raising a child ... things that are uplifting and wonderful. My story isn't quite so "warm and fuzzy."  It's brutal. It's honest. And, it took me 22 years to write.

Friends who have read the story have written messages or told me to my face that they are so glad to know how I turned out.  If I win, it would give others a chance to find out WHY that experience was, truly, 'one amazing thing 'for me.  It really did change the course of my life forever. And, I'm sure no one will be disappointed how it ends.

It may not be pretty, but it was amazing to live through.
Cross your fingers. And, if you haven't already, go read it and vote.
You'll never be sorry you did.
I promise.