Reader Friday: Other Things That Matter

Writers think about writing all the time. Self-publishing writers have to add all the business aspects of publishing, and everybody is on social media. It’s easy to get so focused on writing stuff that other things in life get fuzzy.

So today, take off your writing hat for a moment and talk about something else that matters to you. 

14 thoughts on “Reader Friday: Other Things That Matter

  1. God, Family, Country.

    Sounds sappy, but those are actually the most important things to me…in that order writing and audiobook narration are distant additions to my life’s work.

    As a thirteen year old kid I swore an oath to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob that I would serve him forever. That is the foundation of my life.

    A few months after my twentieth birthday I swore an oath to Mikyong Ma, that I would love and protect her in all circumstances good or ill, as long as I lived.

    On November 26th, 1988I took a blood oath as a US Marine to protect and defend the constitution of the United States of America against all enemies foreign and domestic. I took that oath seriously, and still do.

    Like I said, It may seem sappy, but these are the things that anchor me in life and I would have nothing as writer, or even as a human, were it not for these pillars of my existance.

  2. Not sappy at all, Basil. Well stated, and thank you for your service.

    Family matters. Our first grandchild is due in early July.

    Integrity matters. We seem to be drifting from “Do unto others” to “If I can get away with it.”

    Syndication matters. I’ve been recently watching re-runs of the old TV show, The Rifleman, which is, whattaya know, about family and integrity.

  3. I’m on the sidelines of a legal drama that is breaking my heart and destroying the lives of two people I love.

    A cold case from when someone was 22 was dredged up and my friend is looking at 15 years in prison with his attorney coercing him to take the plea. 16 months in jail and he hasn’t even been arraigned.

    Toss in a DA with a conflict of interest and stir it all up in one of the blood-thirsty states and it is a tragedy.

    He isn’t lily-white, he was peripherally involved, but he isn’t the kingpin they are trying to make him out to be. I did the math, a 5-year sentence is fair, but his attorney won’t even make a counter-offer to the DA.

    Bits of this and my rapidly growing disdain of the contemporary legal system showed up in my manuscript. To back-paraphrase Turow, “I hate falling out of love with the law.”

    Future tales will bring it in even more and the system isn’t going to win in my world.


  4. I’m trying to communicate the importance of healing the environment. I think it’s the most important challenge of the 21st century, and needs to be put higher on everyone’s priority list.

  5. I love teaching. I mean being there to help mold someone — especially the someones who get little to no positive guidance, or a whole lot of negative guidance, at home — and be a significant part of their future being better is amazing. And I get to do that with 90+ kids a semester. I wield the power to improve lives on a pretty large scale, and when I see them learning, it is truly awesome to be a part of it.

    I also hate teaching. With a passion. I am AP and National Boards Certified. My kids outdo their peers across the state every year, not just on state tests (which are a joke most of the time), but in college, where many of my students tell me how bored they are because professors are having to reteach to everyone else what my kids already learned in my class. Yes, I’m arrogant, but that’s because I take what I do seriously, and I’m pretty freakin’ good at it.

    I also do this in a state that is like 46th in teacher pay, and if you adjust for inflation, we’ve actually gone DOWN in salaries over the last 4-5 years. We change things like curriculum standards and evaluation tools and increase the amount of stress and useless CYA paperwork we have to do every 2 years, at least. And teachers are leaving my state in DROVES because:

    1) Students are becoming more apathetic (“I ain’t doin’ that”) and entitled (“You want me to think? To work? You the teacher, you s’posed to spoonfeed me everything!”) every year,

    2) They can get significantly higher pay for the same or even less bullshit in just about any neighboring state, and

    3) We have archaic dinosaurs in government on both sides of the aisle who are directly responsible for educational matters that don’t understand the big deal with teacher pay, because they think all teachers are women whose husbands are rich from the private sector, and besides, they knew what they were getting into when they went to college to teach. I mean, anybody can teach, right?

    Teachers in my state laugh derisively at “Going Postal” jokes because we don’t think the average postal worker would make it to lunch on their first day of teaching. And this is my 12th year.

    • Teachers have long been my heroes, Jake. I tried to be one and couldn’t cut it. Granted, I was too young back then (they ate me alive) and now I am probably too old. But I can only imagine how teachers must feel today…

    • I salute your efforts. I was this close to being an English teacher (while writing on the side) because I love teaching, but I can’t stand the politics, and I can’t stand how these days the teachers are the first to blame, and not, you know, the kids who refuse to do homework.

  6. JSB– Since you ask:
    In ordinary, humdrum daily life, it’s easy to lose track of what matters–until it’s missing. I begin to sense something that was there before but is now slipping away. It has to do with common sense, with ordinary level-headedness as something to be respected and sought-after. How did we get to such a sorry pass? How can there be so many irresponsible, self-righteous people, in and out of government, who wear their ignorance and lack of generosity like a badge? Along with making up fictions, that in the real world is what matters to me just now.

    • Yeah, Barry. No matter which “side” one happens to be on, you’re pretty much ****** in my view. Think what you want. Play you’re favorite movie over and over in your head. It just doesn’t matter..Pessimistic me? Yup.

      Just be kind to everyone and every thing around you. And if you do gotta go “there,” come heavy.

  7. I’m an artist, and having left graphic design in the publishing industry behind me, I now do acrylic painting, teaching, and professional face painting. And I have a lot of fun at it, too.

  8. Setting goals for the next chapter of life. To be intentional and make the most of it.

    The child-raising years were a whirlwind and often felt like we were trying to do too much with too little. The experience and maturity that come with age are priceless, and wouldn’t trade the wisdom I have now for all the skinny jeans in the world.

    Jim, we too have our first grandchild on the way, due to arrive in November. I’m glad to be moving into a more peaceful phase of life and all that has to offer. The ability to support our children as they’re entering the whirlwind phase of life, fewer bills and more money to support worthy causes and help more people, and more time to spend with those family members that may soon be gone.

    We’re blessed with a couple of kids who are grown, happy and healthy,so I consider the first phase of life a success. And I’m grateful for the opportunity to do more cool things with the second half!

  9. What was the question again? What else matters?

    Gardening. Planting trees. Reusing everything. Collecting junk and turning it into something wonderful. Talking with dogs, horses and some cats. Making compost our of grass and leaves. Avoiding doing harm. A healthy woodland forest and streams. Feeding birds.Listening to rock and roll: Hendrix, Satriani, Bonamasa, LedZep, Sammy “Are we having fun yet?” Haggar, Beth Hart,Jeff Beck. Watching birds and bees. Oh yeah, dog walks are huge, too.

    And thank you for changing the Captcha back to numeric. At least it is readable by tired, old eyes. 00

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