A Bit About Me

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Along with my daily duties as founder and head writer of HumorMeOnline.com, in 2003, I took the Grand Prize in the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest (also known as the "It Was a Dark and Stormy Night" competition). I've also been a contributor to "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" and the web's "The Late Show with David Letterman". I also occupy my time writing three blogs, "Blogged Down at the Moment", "Brit Word of the Day" and "Production Numbers"...and my off-time is spent contemplating in an "on again/off again" fashion...my feable attempts at writing any one of a dozen books. I would love to write professionally one day...and by that I mean "actually get a paycheck".

30 October 2011

NaNoWriMo aka "No, it's not Orkan"

It's no big surprise that I'd love to be a "real live writer"...you know, one that gets paid and can count up the words and divide them to see just how much money each one of them made -- kinda like the really rich sports people and how much they get paid per game...or hit...depending on which sport you're calculating.

Anyway, I am not a quilter...I'm not a cookie-baking mom...and I'm not a coffee-klatch type of person, partly because I detest the smell and taste of coffee...but mainly because I'm not going to go and hang out with perky early-risers and shoot the breeze about things like quilting or Girl Scouts.

I have no family really and certainly none around here...being that I'm a Jersey chick doesn't help in the grand scheme of things as, if you're not aware, the Montgomery area seems very cliquey...the women much more so than the men...and my seventh circle of Hell was drawn in the sand by someone with a cheerleader mom mentality. (If you are a nice cheerleader mom...disregard that previous comment...if you aren't, you know exactly what I mean and you do it all the time...and it's not nice.)

So, here I sit. I sit here. I sit here and type...hoping one day the words will miraculously string together in some sort of profitable fashion like they have done for J.K. Rowling and Stephen King...and all the others who rank in their...well, ranks.

I sit, sit, sit (like Dr. Suess might have said)...and I get discouraged for lots of reasons -- but one main one is I don't have a lot of encouragement to write. Having a loving relationship with a spouse or significant other probably helps many of these unknown writers get known...but I have neither.

While my two children prod me once in a while, saying things like "Uh, why don't you write that book already" and "Um, why don't you write that book already"...it's clearly not the motivating factor that's working for me.

Consequently, about six or so months ago I joined some Alabama Writer's Guild or Group or Gathering or some type of what I undoubtedly initially perceived as a "Mutual Admiration Society"-type of thing. Well, it turned out to be a dud. Neither are they admiring anything nor are they being very mutual. I've gotten one monthly email from them - and unless I travel to Birmingham or Fairhope to go munch on a sandwich with them at the nearly ungodly hour of noon (factor in drive time)...well, I'm back to where I've always been...

...sit, sit, sit.

Then, the other day, flipping through the virtual pages of the Montgomery Advertiser's website, I happened upon something called the "National Novel Writing Month" - and lo and behold they're having a meeting in MY town and it's not at 8:00 a.m. It's not even noon. It's going to be at 6:30 - and that's p.m. That's "Post Meridiam"...or, as I refer to it: "Prime Morning".

I'm hoping I will find an "in town writing buddy" - and we can encourage each other to write. And I'm hoping it will last more than a month.

The reason I say that is because this event challenges you to write a novel in a month...hence that "November" in the title.

While I'm sure many novels were written in a month's time...I'm sure most weren't...and that's where MY encouragement and challenge goes out to my online writer friends who have much more potential than I think they imagine. And you know who you are -- Mark, Chris, Sully, Mike, etc., etc.

I'm asking if they will consider joining in with me...or at least checking out the website at www.nanowrimo.org -- to see what it's all about. Plus one day I really, really want to read your books. I want you to sign them and send them to me...and I want you to introduce me to your editor -- but...only after I introduce you to MINE. ;)

So, with notebook and pen in hand and no laptop in sight, I will venture this Tuesday to "Books-A-Million" where this kick-off meeting will be held...and...

...even though there's going to be coffee involved...no one's going to force me to drink it.

And with that, I just brought it back full "circle". ;)

03 October 2011

What Would You Have Done?

So, I'm on Facebook tonite...and coupled with the usual silliness and celebrity games/antics (yes, I am now a "friend" of people like Justin Bateman, Paul Rudd, James Franco [altho he did "unfriend" me], Bruce Willis and George Clooney) I ran across a most disturbing post this evening.

A person, let's just call her "Sandy Chatfield", had posted up something which a friend of mine (whom I never talk to - but, you know, everyone's a friend on Facebook) had commented to - which caught my attention. My friend commented "Please someone, go over to her house. Make sure she is ok."

This, naturally, caught my eye as it was scrolling by - and I decided to "click" on what transpired for her to say such a thing. Face it, we've all heard of people killing themselves online...and/or reaching out online for some type of intervention.

I took this as a sign from God...perhaps God wants me to intervene somehow - otherwise I probably wouldn't have seen it at the exact second it was scrolling past - but now I have...and I can't turn a blind eye to it. If this woman shows up dead tomorrow and the list of comments from people such as "I tried to call her and she's not answering...does anyone know her address?" goes nowhere and I'm somehow a cog that gets the gears rolling to stop this...well, I'm going to do what I can to make sure that happens.

With me still?

Anyway, I am not allowed to comment on her Facebook page because I'm not her "friend". So, either I sit and watch as time goes by and everyone isn't taking the action they should and this lady possibly dies...or I dive right in and get involved and say "at least I tried".

I decided to go with the "at least I tried" route. I won't have someone's death on my conscience...even IF I don't know that person.

I private message'd a few of the responders to her initial post...and for the record, no one has messaged me back..even tho it's been a few hours.

Now, bear in mind I'm sitting at home doing homely duties like making dinner and looking forward to a nice glass of wine...while this "plea for help" comes ticking across my otherwise mundane and stupid Facebook page.

Her message read as follows:

"Bye my friends!!! I am done with games etc,,,, about done with everything in life. So tired of trying so hard to get nowhere. It is time for a really long nap!....A very long one!! Love you my friends and angels on your pillows"

This is followed by a couple posts by her friends and then the following exchanges by her:

"so tired of everything honey!"

"Don't think I will wake up!"

Then absolute "radio" silence for an hour or so (and about 100 posts later) while her friends frantically try to call her, scurry around trying to find an address to go with a cell phone number, call the police to no avail, and plead with her to answer, when...finally, this woman comes back online and chortles, "Hey!!!! not trying to kill myself!!! feel like it but It is not my nature!!! Why is everyone thinking this>>>" and "What did I say that makes you think I would end y life???"

Her friends then try to justify their concerns while she is in total "huh...I don't get it" mode.

Then she proceeds to cuss out the person who sent the police around to her door as, according to her, they came by to make sure she was okay. This specific post of hers is now gone as she deleted it -- so I can't quote it verbatim...but it had the words "...to the person who called the police, **** YOU!!" -- or along those same general "grateful" lines.

All I can say is...if she were my friend and played this game...she wouldn't be my friend now. Talk about someone who is appreciative that someone cares, huh? And not just one person cared - but a whole slew of them. Hell, I'd be dead now waiting for Bruce Willis to respond back.

So, I'm wondering now if this was just a silly Facebook hoax she was playing...or if it was real...and if the players in the whole episode are real or if they were just part of some stupid larger scheme to see if someone would take it all seriously. I'm not going to waste any more of my time on someone who "cries wolf" on Facebook to illicit a response.

I wasted upwards of an hour on this woman trying to save her life. I was one step away from calling the Las Vegas police department on more than one occasion in that hour. I Googled, I found an address, I mailed that address to several of her "friends" who posted there, I stopped short of contacting a child she had listed as a family member to see if they could call to make sure she was alive. She basically put me through hell for an hour. Me...someone who will never know her...someone who cared enough to try to make a difference...for her and those around her who might actually care and love her.

I know the odds of this woman ever reading this blog is pretty much nil, but if, somehow, she does...I want to leave her with this thought: If this wasn't a sick game...choose your words much more carefully next time, and if it was...remember those choice words you deleted? I've got a couple for you, "...you, too".

(This was written last nite...but not posted until today.)