Posts Tagged ‘observations’

Christmas 2012 020
Dear Book Buying  Customers;

Books are my passion, and I work very hard to know what’s current (what book is the latest release by your favorite authors), as well as  what would be a good read for your son, your daughter, your mother-in-law and your great-uncle. I love connecting readers with stories that are worth while. But this past week I’ve not only been helping you find the perfect read, you without knowing it, have been telling me stories. And those stories have taught me a something. Let me explain.

Christmas shopping is stressful. A ll those expectations  of finding the PERFECT gift for each person on my list UNDER my budget price and in the right COLOR  are enough to make me  break  into hives.  The media isn’t helping either telling me  that the world is in sorry shape and making me  second guess every cent I spend on myself or someone else. Unfortunately  I can’t change  the economy,  the  expectations others have of me , or the number of parking spots in  lot in front of the stores.

What I can change, and I’ve I know this because I’ve watched you do it, is how I  handle all this shopping stress.

To the dear lady who let the gentleman with just the card to buy cut in front of her while she sorted her purchases and coupons, thank you! You saw that he was upset and running late and gave up your right to go first even though you were there five minutes before him.

To the gentleman who gave up your coupon to the woman in line before you because  you were going to use it on a card  that was four dollars and she needed to get a  CD that was nearly twenty dollars,  you are my hero.  And her hero too.

To the mother who took her screaming, tantrum throwing  child out of the store even though it meant that you couldn’t buy your basket of goodies for your class, you are amazing. You spared the whole store a painful melt down AND set boundaries with your child that will last a life time. If I had enough money I would have bought the things for you and carried them out to the car.  I’ll be here when you come back, and you’d better believe I’ll give you a standing ovation and also help you find what you need.

To the woman whose friend used and the LOST her cell phone in the store, your grace and kindness to her and refusal to become flustered or critical,  made  grin. You were so like Jesus to her, I wanted to clap.  I didn’t, but I wanted to.

And to the grandfather who spent over an hour with your granddaughter looking at Bibles  enduring the squeals, indecision,  and the ‘I want the pink one’ to help her pick out  the Bible she loves even though it was over your budget  by ten dollars; you sir showed me how to buy a piece of eternity.

All of you  have reminded me that it isn’t about finding the perfect gift for the ones that I love, but about being like the Perfect Gift  the Lord has given to me.

So, from behind the counter, thank you for the lesson, even though you didn’t know you were teaching one.

Coriam Deo





This week there have been plenty of  posts on Nanowrimo (try saying that seven times fast without giggling like crazy); posts about how to make the most of it, posts on updates of those doing Nanowrimo,  posts by those violently opposed to the idea.

For those who don’t know what Nanowrimo is, it is  National Novel Writing Month and the links in the names up there will take you to the official site and official explanation which sums it up nicely.  So if you don’t know what it is, go take a peek and then come back here.

Back? Fantastic!

First, the confession: I’ve tried Nanowrimo once, and failed miserably.  I discovered  painfully, it’s  not something that I can do, and  this year I decided this year to skip it entirely.   The qualifier to this, is that I never publicly posted my stats, nor did I go through the website. I had a friend who was “nano”ing and kept badgering me to join her. She made it sound exciting, targeted, and easy.  So, I jumped in with both feet (or at least, a word processor).  It was probably the most traumatic and least fun I have ever had writing.   I still think it’s a good idea, but it’s definitely tweaked towards one type of writer.

That being said, the idea if Nanowrimo is an interesting one and I’ve noticed some interesting effects of it on the Scribes I know, both pro and con.  Here’s what I’ve observed:

The pace (50,000 words in 30 days) is not for the faint of heart.  Those used to writing at least 500 words a day are the ones that are drawn to this contest. They also tend to be  people who are  gregarious, outgoing, and aggressive.  There’s nothing wrong with that kind of writer, in fact I would not be surprised to find out that they are the ones who make a career of writing.  They aren’t the only  kind of writer however, and I think it’s interesting to note that the contemplative and introverted writers  among my friends are almost all avoiding Nanowrimo.

The reasoning is simple;  introverts tend to not want to share their writing and easily get lost in their own worlds. They don’t really care if any one else knows what’s going on them or not. It’s their world, and they’re not over eager to share.  The amount of interaction on the Nanowrimo boards and the posting of work to prove word count as a general rule, wouldn’t appeal to them.  They are more interested in working alone, than joining a group.

Nanowrimo has decisively divided my writer friends in another way as well.

Those who are participating are actively encouraging one another through social media; posting word counts, bantering with one another, and sharing their passion for story telling. Those who aren’t Nanoing, are no-so-quietly grumbling about those who are.  That surprised me a few days ago. Now, however,  I can see why. My status feeds are clogged with notifications that make me feel very much left out.

There is an ” us versus them”  mentality that has taken over, and while it shocked me how quickly it happened, I can’t be totally surprised by it.

What I’m  working on doing in my own little sphere, is pulling the two fractured mini-groups back into one cohesive ball of brilliance.

While Nanowrimo does a fantastic job at keeping those participating in it fired up and encouraged, it has become an irritant to those who aren’t. More on that later in the week as I share some of the techniques I’ve found that help bring the polarized groups closer to where they were before the beginning of November.

For now let me know if you are  or aren’t  participating in Nanowrimo.

If so, how is it going? If you aren’t, what is your biggest complaint about Nanowrimo?