Writers write

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Recently I seem to have had several conversations with family and non-writing friends who wonder why I write even when I don't have a contract in hand when I could be doing something "fun" like visit them. I've been known to say: "Writers write; everyone else makes excuses." This prompts some unpublished writers to present me with eloquent discourses on the demands on contemporary women and usually concludes with them saying they want to write, but they don't have time. I listen to all the commentary, but deep in my heart I wonder if what mystery author Sharyn McCrumb said about the subject is true: “I just don't believe it. All they're doing is validating my advice in that they are making excuses.”

Since I wouldn't want anyone to use my personal motto as a reason to feel guilty for not writing and because I basically am a non-confrontational person, I decided to elaborate in writing (also I think better on paper, so to speak).

Yes, sometimes real life does interfere, and we can't write. Our creative energy is consumed by the need for surviving the tragedies in our lives. I know that during the year before my father was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease, I was so completely caught up in the confusion and tragic circumstances of each day's downward spiral that I could hardly write my name, much less an article, essay, or part of a book. The same has been true of much of the last decade with my daughter's health issues and more life excrement than anyone should have to handle. I doubt I'd have written another word if I hadn't realized that writing can be an escape from life's harsh reality. Every chance I could, I slipped into another world where I could make things come out right. I kept writing and finished five books even though I didn't have the time or energy to submit them. So let me give you some advice that may help you through "normal" or tragic times.

If we're lucky, we all have a "normal" life of errands, children, chores, and other responsibilities and pleasures. Prior to the publication of my first novel, I agonized over the fact that I didn't have time to write because of the housework, the volunteer activities I was involved in, the responsibilities of four children, and the delightful demands of a loving husband who wanted time with me. Sometimes I felt as if I'd given everyone and everything a part of me until there was nothing left for me! How on earth could I find the time to write? I hardly had the time to breathe!

One day, I sat back and realized that those demands on my time were not decreasing, but increasing with each month that passed. Often, I wondered if I'd ever have the time or energy to write the books I wanted to write.

Time has a way of slipping away. We waste minutes here, an hour there. You must realize that it takes time to make a dream come true. Minutes add up to hours, and hours add up to days. Don’t wait to make time - use the time you have.

You can begin slowly the way I did. Set aside a definite time of the day that will be writing time. Years ago during that time, it was my husband's responsibility to handle everything. If one of the kids wanted something, they knew to go ask Daddy. It wasn't easy, but over a period of time I trained them to respect Mother's writing time.

I personally think that it is probably harder for a woman to succeed than a man. Men go to their job and come home and, generally speaking, believe they have fulfilled their duties for the day. But women! We may devote the same number of hours to an outside job, but we aren't finished when we get home. There are meals to cook, kids to bond with, chores to be done. We see the dust on the dining table; we feel the loads of laundry in the hamper as if they were strapped to our backs. We know the unpaid bills and the letters to be answered are probably going to be done by us. Then there are the thousands of other details that inevitably wind up in our lap.

However, if you want something - if you truly want it with every breath in your body - then you will find a way to negotiate with your family for the time to make your dream come true. That's what "Writers write; everyone else makes excuses," means.

We find those compromises that we can live with. We negotiate with spouse and children for the uninterrupted time to write. We organize our lives to make writing possible in the spare minutes by putting a flashlight on the bedside table next to a notebook. We carry a recorder during the commute downtown or on the carpool to soccer. We plan our days and nights. We cook massive quantities of food that we can divide up to freeze so there's always something for dinner. We teach the kids and hubby how to use of the washing machine, the dryer, the dishwasher, the microwave, and other necessary appliances. All my kids can put a meal on the table, take care of laundry and ironing, and clean a house. Children can be responsible and self-reliant if they are trained to be.

Raise your children to know that mother's writing time - whether fifteen minutes or longer - is sacred. My personal motto was created by me as a reminder that we always make priority for the important things in life and that writing should be a priority - right up there with family, God, and country (sorry, but I'm terribly old-fashioned). It's not another means of heaping guilt on ourselves because we aren't writing. It's merely my reminder that where there's a will, there's a way.

Houseguests = no blogging

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Houseguests for several days = no blogging, no writing, no energy.

So here's a link from my Magic Tricks file posing as a blog entry.

Monkey Email

Tune in tomorrow for a real entry.

Sling Words out.

Writing as a profession

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Welcome to Trivial Thursday. Taking a quick break from writing to blog.

Got On The Border by the Eagles currently on my playlist. Nice snappy rhythm, good lyrics.

Here are two of my favorite quotes about writing as a profession.

Moliere likened writing to another old profession: "First, you do it because you like it. Then you do it for a few friends. Then you do it for money."

Jules Renard provides all the validation one needs for "wasting your time writing" when he said: "Writing is the only profession in which one can make no money without being ridiculous."

To blog or not to blog?

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That is the question. Actually, the question is blog or write on work in progress.

Answer: work in progress. Blog later.

I suggest Spring Break for Parents

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Who invented spring break? I can imagine some retired New Yorker who bought a motel in Florida saying: "Why don't we advertise on college campuses for kids to come to Florida during Spring Break? We can use pictures of girls in bikinis and guys drinking beer. Yeah. That's the ticket!"

In any event, I think there ought to be a spring break for parents when adults can emulate kids. Can't you see it now? "Adults gone wild," coming to a video store near you.

We can drink concoctions with poetic names like Bahama Mama or Knock You Naked Margaritas, eat hard to digest, high fat, high carb, calorie-laden food, and forget our worries while we, coated with 50spf sunscreen, frolic in the sun.

Oh, well, it's nice to dream. In any event, spring break is over, and school is in session tomorrow.

Cautionary tale for writers

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Today may be Trivial Thursday, but there's nothing trivial about today's blog entry.

I want to call your attention to Bill Crider's Popular Culture Magazine. On Wednesday, Bill had a short blog entry called Mystery File about author Gil Brewer with a link to take you to the full article about Gil Brewer.

By all means read the full article. I suspect the tragic end to a talented writer's life can be told of too many equally talented writers. It also reads as a cautionary tale for writers: save it while you're making it, watch for changes in readers' taste, and avoid abusing alcohol and drugs.

Kicked off

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Wow. I don't know what's been wrong with my (insert profane descriptive word of your choice) home network, but for days I have been unable to maintain an internet connection longer than a couple of minutes.

I'll probably be kicked off in a few seconds. If you've been looking for a new post, I apologize. Once I get this sucker fixed, I'll be back with a new entry.

Sling Words out to do more trouble shooting.

Change your life

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Every day you wear a perfectly tailored set of clothes. The clothes, chosen by you, have been made to your exact measurements. They fit like a second skin. Time passes, and you begin to think about changing this set of clothes. You have found a new set of clothing that you want to put on, but it's not easy because you're still wearing the set you've worn for years. Periodically you try to wriggle into this new set of clothes, literally forcing them over the ones you already wear, but gradually you realize you can't don the new clothing until the old clothing has been removed.

Though simplistic, this explains clearly why you can't change a habit or modify your behavior simply by deciding logically that you wish to do so.

How many times have you tried to change a habit only to fail? You recognize certain habits are holding you back from achieving your goals. You even recognize self-destructive behavior patterns. Yet no matter how much effort you put forth, you can't stop those bad habits. You just can't seem to change. Are you lacking in will power? No, you're merely human, acting and reacting in accordance with your brain's programming, and, by the way, you were the programmer.

Habits and behavior are so closely intertwined with self-concept that the brain, out of self-protection, seeks to maintain the status quo. The human brain can't simply erase all its previous programming and begin to function under a new set of parameters simply because you say: "I'm going to stop smoking. I'm going to stop over-eating. I'm going to stop negative thinking." To the brain, wiping out its programming would be the same as annihilating the identity you've created, your self-image.

Yet, you know you need to change. Then how can you? Behavioral scientists, psychologists, and other professionals have pondered that question through the years. The short answer is that you must get your brain to let go of the old programming and accept new guidelines you want to live by. But how?

If you've tried to modify your behavior before, chances are you've experimented with some of the more common methods out there. Self-control is the most-frequently tried way. This gives temporary control of your conscious brain, but, eventually, you revert to old habits and end up feeling frustrated and helpless, convinced you lack the will power to succeed.

Drugs, running the gamut of tranquilizers to appetite suppressants depending on what you're trying to achieve, have been used too often. This offers short-term chemical success, but no long-term achievement. Psychotherapy has been used successfully and some claim aversion therapy, wherein the behavior comes to be associated with pain, can be successful. In fact, a few years ago aversion therapy clinics were all the rage.

The only thing everyone seems to agree on is that it's not easy to change your habits. Hindsight, being perfect, tells us that we should make the right habits to begin with. Ben Franklin was so wise when he said, "In the beginning the man makes the habits, and in the end the habits make the man."

How can you possibly change then? Through a combination of techniques.

First, you must make a decision to change. You must look at where you are in life and where you want to be. Make the conscious decision to do something different. Wayne W. Dyer noted in Your Erroneous Zones: "It requires a great deal of work to unlearn all of the habits you have assimilated until now." Yes, it is hard work, but it can be done.

In other words you have to remove your present set of clothes (your attitudes, self-concept, habits, whatever you want to call it) before you can dress in the new clothes (the new habit, behavior, attitude, self-concept).

After you make a decision to change, take some action to achieve that change.

Here’s an easy action to take. This is something I learned from one of the first writing books I read a long time ago. The book was by one of my favorite authors Lawrence Block. He used to teach writing seminars and self-published Write For Your Life. This book has probably been reprinted by a major publisher now.

From the outset, I wanted to create good habits and good attitudes about my writing. This technique I learned from Larry Block's book may help you in your campaign to modify your behavior. What is it? A written affirmation exercise used daily for thirty days. This exercise used in combination with other behavior modification techniques can greatly increase your chance of success.

What is an affirmation? It's simply a strong, powerful positive thought that you introduce to your conscious brain that will seep into your sub-conscious brain. "Affirmations help you let go of negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones," according to mystery novelist Lawrence Block who introduced this process of writing affirmations many years ago in his seminars and book of the same name Write for Your Life.

Written affirmations are easy to use and can produce amazing results in your life. Each day, morning and evening, for thirty days, you write the affirmation you've chosen to work with that day twenty times. The affirmations can deal with anything with which you struggle.

Need to enhance your self-image? Then work with: "I am a wonderful person and deserve the best life has to offer." Want to change your diet? Write affirmations that support this change such as, "I really enjoy eating fresh fruits and vegetables." Want to enhance your creativity? Try writing: "I feel creative and am creative." "Everyday I become more creative."

Working with an affirmation, which is nothing more than a strong positive statement, may help you feel as if you are really accomplishing something, particularly if you tailor the affirmation to a problem area. For instance, if you have trouble finishing projects, perhaps an affirmation, "I always finish everything I start" will help you. Affirmations work because they saturate your intellect with positive thinking.

Trying to begin a fitness program? Improve your chances of starting and staying with it by using a group of self-image enhancers along with affirmations that encourage you to like moving her body, such as, "I like my body" and "I enjoy exercising each day" or "I feel great when I start the day with exercise." After a month, you may find you look forward to a morning walk or fifteen minutes of weight lifting because you feel empowered.

Want to finally finish that novel? Design a set of affirmations that support that goal. One of Block's that is still stuck in my head is "Writing is easy and fun for me." Try, "I write (insert number of pages) every day." "I create fully-realized characters."

Affirmations at the beginning of the day also clear your head and allow you to better focus on what you are trying to achive. Work with them before bedtime and they may work into your subconscious and dreams.

You may wonder why do it for thirty days? Most psychologists accept as a given that if you do something for thirty days, you've created a habit. It will be more difficult to revert to the prior behavior than to continue with the new. For thirty days, you saturate your intellect with the strong powerful affirmations, focusing on a change in your habits or behavior. It is impossible not to think of the affirmations even when you've finished writing them for the day.

If you're trying to feel good about yourself by writing, "I am a winner at life," you may have a setback and find yourself thinking, "I failed again," only to have your consciousness surprise you by stating, "Wrong! You are a winner." The affirmation will pop up at the most opportune times.

Use affirmations to help effect a change in any aspect of your life - controlling stress, eating healthily, exercising more, or working more effectively. Here are a few affirmations for you to experiment with or use these to design an affirmation that speaks directly to what you wish to achieve:

1. I let go of the fear, guilt, and resentment that prevent me from attaining my full potential.
2. I am balanced and in harmony with life.
3. Everyday I am more and more self-confident.
4. I am very sure of myself.
5. I can do whatever I desire to do.
6. I am energetic and enthusiastic in all areas of my life.
7. I eat only healthy foods that give me energy and beauty.
8. I live a healthy lifestyle.
9. I enjoy moving my body.
10. I am a winner at all I attempt.

Affirmations are very individual. What may work for one person may not work for another. You are the best source for creating affirmations that will work best for you. Create your own affirmations, just be sure they are stated in present tense in a positive format, i.e., I am, I have, I do, etc. Don't try an affirmation phrased in the negative, such as, "I will not do such and such." It won't work. The brain responds to the positive format stated as a situation already in existence, hence the positive, not negative statement, and present tense.

Don't try to change everything in your life in one month. Pick one area, one affirmation or group of affirmations that affect one aspect of your life. Generally the image enhancers can be combined with any other affirmations. Just don't try to convince your brain to stop smoking, lose weight, start exercising, become a positive thinker, write that novel, and get that promotion you really deserve - all in one month. Be realistic about behavior modification.

Of all the behavior modification techniques, writing affirmations is probably the easiest with which to experiment. It doesn't cost anything. You don't need to lie on a shrink's couch. You don't need a prescription. All you need is pen and paper and a few minutes of your time. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

So what are you waiting for?

Failure To Launch

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Instead of writing today, I went to the movies. First time in a long time even though I keep a movie card to make it easy to get in without standing in lines. Why don't I go more often? Oddly enough, the outrageous price for a matinee isn't on my list. It's all the reasons others have stated: obnoxious fellow movie goers with their idiotic cell phones and/or quarrelsome children. It really bothers me to go to a movie that children shouldn't be watching and find the theater full of kids.

Other reasons for waiting for the DVD release? Movie patrons drenched in perfume or aftershave that makes my allergies go to Def Con 1. Movie patrons who obviously find theaters perfect for having loud conversations. Teenagers who like to make offensive sounds, throw popcorn or soda, and have conversations that would make a dock worker cringe at the language.

I've digressed. I wanted to tell you to see the movie Failure To Launch starring Matthew McConneghy and Sarah Jessica Parker. Not for the two stars who do an adequate job, but for the secondary characters who respectively play McConneghy's and Parker's best friends, and, most notably, Terry Bradshaw as his dad.

Bradshaw absolutely deserves an Oscar nod for appearing nude in front of millions. I always thought a professional athlete would stay in shape, but old Terry has proved me wrong. He's frankly hilarious as is Parker's roommate who wants to kill a mockingbird who keeps her awake at night. Since I was in a similar situation last year with a mockingbird who NEVER SHUT UP all night and all day for weeks, DH and I found her plight particularly amusing.

Yes, it's a lightweight comedy, but it's worth the price of admission. To my surprise, I laughed all the way through.

Happy birthday, Mickey Spillane

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Welcome to Trivial Thursday. Here at Sling Words we're having a birthday party for Frank Morrison Spillane known to readers worldwide as Mickey Spillane who is a mind-boggling 88 today. Funny, I always thought of this master of the hard boiled detective novel as being the same type of man as his creation, private detective Mike Hammer. I would never have thought hard-living Mike Hammer would make it to a ripe old age so it's surprising to me that his creator has. Still, there is a body of thought that authors live long lives so perhaps it isn't that surprising after all.

Spillane introduced Mike Hammer to the world in 1947 with his first published book I, THE JURY. The hardback book didn't sell very well, but the paperback took off like a rocket and became a bestseller all over the world. Though the character of Hammer would be considered a sexist jerk in today's world, he was created to be an avenger directly opposite popular fictional hero Philip Marlowe.

There have been several movie versions of Spillane's work including a popular television series in the 1960s. Personally, I think Armand Assante nailed the character with his portrayal in the 1982 movie version. The movie itself is not that good because rather than sticking to the original story, the powers that be tried to update it with contemporary ideas. The end result was mush, but Assante's performance was stellar.

Spillane wrote his first book in only nine days. After it became such a success, he quickly wrote six more Hammer novels. Five were published between 1950 and 1952. The Long Wait sold 3 million copies in a single week in 1952. This was phenomenal back then. Even today that kind of sales would be a phenom. His sixth book The Twisted Thing wasn't published until 1966.

One of the most famous lines in popular fiction occurred in I, The Jury. In it, Hammer investigates the murder of his best friend. At the end of the book, beautiful, but bad, Charlotte Manning dances a strip tease in order to dissuade Hammer from killing her. Hammer shoots her anyway, and Manning asks: "How could you?" Hammer replies: "It was easy."

Mickey Spillane, born in Brooklyn, New York, was the son of a bartender. Growing up, he read the classics but was also fascinated by comic books. He briefly attended Fort Hays State College in Kansas, but dropped out and moved home. He started writing in the 1930s. His first stories were published in comic books where he was one of the writers of Captain America, Captain Marvel, and the Human Torch. He also wrote for the pulps.

When World War II came, Spillane worked as a flight instructor for the U.S. Army Air Force. In 1945, he met and married the first of several wives. In 1946, he left the service as a captain and moved back to New York with his wife.

His work has been condemned as much as it has been praised. Critics said he wrote "garbage" to which Spillane replied: "Yeah, but it's good garbage." In 1967, a list was complied of the bestselling books published in the United States from 1895 to 1965. Seven of the top twenty-nine books were Mickey Spillane novels.

Spillane has said that he wrote his text in two weeks and never revised anything he wrote. When critics tried to belittle his achievements, others have leapt to his defense, including literary darling Ayn Rand who said: "...Spillane gives me the feeling of hearing a military band in a public park."

In 1952, Spillane was converted to Jehovah's Witnesses and stopped writing. Then in 1962, he came back with another Mike Hammer novel The Girl Hunters. He had another hiatus from writing in 1973-1989 when he was a spokesman for Miller Lite.

In the 1990s he returned to comic book writing. Finally, in 1995 the Mystery Writers of America presented him the Grand Master award. He's written other books from James Bond type stories to Harold Robbins type sagas. He's even written children's books, but Hammer remains his most popular character. The shamus has outlived all his fictional contemporaries. The last Mike Hammer book Black Alley came out in 1996, but in 2003, he had a new book published. This book Something 's Down There, was an espionage thriller featuring retired agent Mako Hooper.

In an interview five years ago, Spillane said he was still writing and had finished a couple of adventure stories. He was also working on another Hammer book. As a long-time Hammer fan who discovered his books when I was fourteen (which will horrify my mother if she reads this), I can only hope it will be finished and published before he passes to that big bookstore in the sky.

Despite his self-effacing comments about writing, Spillane has to be considered a writer's writer. He had this bit of advice to writers in Speaking of Murder, edited by Ed Gorman and Martin H. Greenberg, 1998): "The biggest part of the joke is the punch line, so the biggest part of a book should be the punch line, the ending. People don't read a book to get to the middle, they read a book to get to the end and hope that the ending justifies all the time they spent reading it. So what I do is, I get my ending and, knowing what my ending is going to be, then I write to the end and have the fun of knowing where I'm going but not how I'm going to get there."

Here's to you, Mickey Spillane. Happy Birthday and many more.

Crime & assorted punishments

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When the trials of Enron's Skillings and Lay started, someone asked me what I thought about these people. What should happen to them?

Here are possible answers to that question:

A. cover them with honey and stake them out on a Texas fireant hill on the hottest day in July
B. give each of them a pocket knife and drop them into the middle of the Amazon basin with only 1 canteen of water and food for only one then arrest the survivor if and when he emerges from the jungle
C. allow them to volunteer to find land mines the hard way
D. seize all their assets, liquidate them, and distribute the money among all those who lost retirement funds as a result of their actions
E. answer D plus any of the others.

I'll let you choose the most appropriate answer.

Oh, this might make it easier to decide what I think is just punishment. My husband and I lost a big chunk of our retirement fund when Enron went belly up.

Dana Reeve

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I just heard that Dana Reeve died from lung cancer. How sad for her son to lose her so soon after losing his father Christopher. They were both remarkable people. The talking heads are holding forth about how puzzling it is that she had lung cancer since she'd never smoked. They probably wouldn't have to look too far to discover that she lived much of her life in a smoky environment.

I say this because I'm a non-smoker, but I was the child of parents who smoked heavily. Traveling by car when I was a child was a nightmare of breathing a constant stream of smoke.

My first "grown up" job was in a military credit union with 34 other people. I was the only non-smoker. I'd go home with my hair, clothes, shoes, and purse reeking of cigarette smoke.

I sometimes wonder how much second-hand smoke I've endured. I couldn't tell you how many respiratory infections, bronchitis, and pneumonia I've had through the years. I might as well have smoked for all the good abstaining has done for me. With the help of a respiratory specialist, I've done well for the last ten years with the exception of these first few months of 2006.

My dad started smoking when he was 13 and never stopped. Smoking contributed to his death. I lost a friend in 2000 to lung cancer. I think kids who want to smoke should be required to visit hospitals and nursing homes and see what a lifetime of smoking can do. It is NOT a pretty picture.

Fresh Hell

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Dorothy Parker said: "My subjective experience is that each day is some fresh hell."

She must have been remodeling a house when she said that. The remodeling job I've been working on since January is supposedly finished. I say supposedly because some of the work is going to have to be redone. Also, the tenant's son has created a serious wrinkle in what should have been an easy remodel. Throw in a flurry of phone calls from tenant and contractor with escalating emotion, and my simple project is rapidly escalating into something really nasty.

Does this have an impact on my productivity as a writer? Unfortunately, yes, but if you want to be a professional writer, meaning you get paid for it, you have to learn to write despite the storms of life. So I write on, perhaps not as effectively or as rapidly, but I still produce.

Too bad Ms. Parker's not around. I'm sure she'd have just the right thing to say to the people creating the problems in this area of my life.

Fresh hell? You betcha.

Technical services, please hold

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My mom called me the other day with a new computer problem. I'm her tekkie guru so I get these calls fairly often. Over the years, I too have had to make a few calls to so-called experts with various hardware or software problems. I once had the memorable experience of going through not one, not two, not even three, but four new computers before I found one that worked. (Talk about hangovers on the assembly line!)

During that insane two months, I met quite a few people via the telephone, who are employed by Technical Services. Often as I waited on the phone while the computer performed obscure functions that the Tekkie programmed via my hesitant shaking fingers on the keyboard, we chatted to pass the time.

I thought maybe it would be a good thing to share some of what I learned. After all, no experience should be wasted. Right?

Tekkies love to tell stories on the poor pleading people who call the help lines, especially when those people have done really goofy things. Some of these have been written up in articles containing anecdotes gathered by help-line personnel. The people I talked to swore the stories were all true. As Dave Barry, would say: "This is true, folks, I'm not making this up."

A frustrated caller couldn't get her new computer to power up. After determining that it really was plugged in, the technician asked the woman what happened when she pushed the power button.

Woman caller: "I've pushed and pushed this foot pedal and nothing happens."

Technician: "Foot pedal?"

Woman: "Yes, this little white foot pedal with the two buttons." You guessed it. The foot pedal was the computer mouse.

Even simple computer features puzzle some users. Many people have called in to ask where the "any" key is when "press any key" flashes on the screen. So many have asked this question that some manufacturers think changing the command to "press return key" would be a good idea.

Another customer called in to say he couldn't get his computer to fax anything. After a half hour of troubleshooting, the technician discovered that the man was trying to fax a piece of paper by holding it in front of the monitor screen and hitting the send key.

Seriously, if you think you need to call a software or hardware help line, do this: make sure the power is turned on and that you have followed instructions, item by item.

If you aren't certain what the instructions mean, ask a friend who may have a little more technical expertise.

If that doesn't fix the problem, do this first:

1. write down the problem, then edit what you have written down until it's easy to understand

2. write down the name of the hardware or software that is giving you a problem, complete with serial number, model number, version number, or any other number you might need to relate to the Technical Services representative

3. write down when you purchased it, where, and how much you paid for it

4. set aside a block of time for calling when you can stay at the phone or have someone take over if you need a restroom break

5. get a beverage of your choice, a snack, a note pad, and all the previous information mentioned above and sit down at the phone, take a deep breath, dial for help, and be prepared to wait anywhere from a minute to an hour before you hear anything other than recorded messages and/or music.

6. If you get voice prompts where you have to select a number, write down the numbers to form a trail. This will save time next time in case you get bumped off or have to call again for any reason.

By the way, if you have call waiting, you might want to disable it by dialing *70 then the number. That way, you avoid taking another incoming call only to find yourself bumped off when you try to get back to Technical Services.

That's ALL it takes to get Technical Help when you have a computer problem. Of course, you've figured out the most important element in this equation, haven't you? Make sure the hardware or software you buy has a toll-free Technical Help line which is becoming increasingly rare in today's world.

When you finally get connected, tell them I said, “Hi.”

Women say the funniest things

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Sling Words welcomes you to Trivial Thursday. A while back I posted some of the funny things comic Steven Wright says. Most women have a great sense of humor so today is ladies' day.

I'm not offended by all the dumb blonde jokes because I know I'm not dumb ... and I also know that I'm not blonde. Dolly Parton

You see a lot of smart guys with dumb women, but you hardly ever see a smart woman with a dumb guy. Erica Jong

I want to have children, but my friends scare me. One of my friends told me she was in labour for 36 hours. I don't even want to do anything that feels good for 36 hours. Rita Rudner

My husband and I are either going to buy a dog or have a child. We can't decide whether to ruin our carpet or ruin our lives. Rita Rudner

Never lend your car to anyone to whom you have given birth. Erma Bombeck

If high heels were so wonderful, men would be wearing them. Sue Grafton

When women are depressed they either eat or go shopping. Men invade another country. Elayne Boosler

In politics, if you want anything said, ask a man; if you want anything done, ask a woman. Margaret Thatcher

I have yet to hear a man ask for advice on how to combine marriage and a career. Gloria Steinem

I am a marvelous housekeeper. Every time I leave a man I keep his house. Zsa Zsa Gabor

Duh

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That three letter made-up word is pretty much the state of my brain at the moment. I feel as if I've emptied it of words today so there's no words left to sling into the old blog.

Catch me tomorrow Trivial Thursday.