Friday, September 28, 2012

Bullying = Senseless

Bullying. It has been getting a lot of press these days, but it has been around since we evolved/created (don't want any drama). Has it gotten any worse as the years go by? I believe it has. Society has changed over the years. Today's society is not as wholesome as it is. Our society now runs on violence, sex and money. There isn't any kindness to our fellow man. Everyone is out for themselves. (This is a generalization, don't take it literally because there are people out there with heart). Bullying has taken on a more sinister effect. Kids who haven't even experienced life are cutting it short to escape the madness caused by bullying.

I decided to reflect on my past. There are many things I don't wish to discuss, because it was very colorful, but I do remember I've had many distinct experiences with being bullied. Never were violent but the psychological type. I decided to open up and discuss them in this post. Maybe someone can read it and take something from it.

I'll start in elementary school. I would get teased mercilessly on my body. You see I come from a very voluptuous family; both sides. All the women have ample boobs and butts. I was not an exception. However, even though I was skinny, my butt was more pronounced. I remember the girls would grab my butt and ask if I stuffed tissue in my panties to get a butt like mine. The more this happened, the more I felt ashamed of it. I would beg my mom to buy very baggy pants. Nothing really covered it. So I was pretty much doomed. I remember telling my mom that when I get enough money that I was going to get a butt reduction. My butt has been my sore spot most of my life. I've never really embraced it. I now tolerate it and can deal with it, but I still have the nagging inner mind telling me that my butt is an eyesore and it should be removed. Will I ever embrace it? I don't know. It's all the rage today to have a big butt. People are even going thru cosmetic procedures to get what I have naturally. This still doesn't make me feel any better. Try finding a pair of jeans that fit perfectly.

Next is growing up on my block. There were many of us the same age growing up. I used to hang out with a lot of them when my mom permitted me to play outside. There was a set of fraternal twins, boy and girl, who everyone believe to be the most pretty. Everyone wanted to be their good friends. Let's call the Kiki & Ken. Kiki was close to my friend who lived across from me. She was nice to me. I usually played a lot with 2 other girls on the block. I remember Ken always made faces at me or said mean things to me. I never really played with him because he was mean to me. I did play with the other boys on the block. A new family moved onto the block who had 2 boys. They were cute, but I wasn't interested in them like that. Ken came up to me one day and told me that neither of the 2 boys would want to be my friend because I'm ugly and have "N---a naps". Of course that hurt me deeply. He would hammer that point in every time he saw me. I hated him so much. I still don't care for him. In JHS I started seeing this Puerto Rican guy who everyone in school clamored after. How I got him is still a mystery to me. Well he came home with me one day to meet my mom. We were pretty close. I would say he was my 1st love at that point if time. He was there for me thru a lot. Anyway, I digress. After Ken saw my boyfriend, he decided to confront me after he left. He never did say anything to me when my boyfriend was around. He said he doesn't know how the idiot liked me. It must be because I was breaking him off a piece. I was a virgin and only thing me and my boyfriend did was kissing. How could Ken say that? My sister told me that he was just jealous. I don't believe that he was. If he wasn't putting me down, he never paid me any attention. He was just mean spirited. His remarks and behavior really did take a toll on my esteem. I felt ugly and unlikable. I never understood why the guys I dated liked me. I wasn't gorgeous. I still don't see what my husband sees in me either. This is the lingering effect of Ken constantly telling me I'm ugly most of my childhood, my most impressionable time. We all set up how we view ourselves in adolescence.

I was deeply scarred growing up. I was the ugly girl with a big butt. This self hate has been deeply etched into who I am. Could I do without it? Yes. I wish I was more confident about my look and my body. I wish my mom help instill me with self confidence. I had to learn to be confident on my own. It's a struggle that I have to this day.

I just learned that somebody almost killed my nephew at college because if bullying. They put baby oil on the floor in front of his place. When he came out he slipped ad banged his head really hard. Could've killed him. This didn't faze him. He's never let bullies take away his confidence. We've raised him to be confident and self assured. If your meet him, you'd fall in love with him. Everyone remembers who he is where ever he goes.

I understand the torment our youth are facing daily. What they are experiencing can last in their psyche for the rest of their life. Once a youth is bullied, as a parent, all you can do is try to make them overcome them and hope that all the torment they've endured will make them productive and not let them turn into despair. Make them feel special and loved.

Everyone can get more information on bullying and how to protect yourself and their kids at the Trevor Project. Please support our youth and stop insensitive and senseless violence.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Inspirational Weeks

I've been so busy I'm going to have to list what has been going on since my last post. I am going to use the style from a twitter friend to get this post going. I love inspiration in all forms.

1. The book I submitted a story for will be released October 11th, 2012!!! I date you will only experience once in your lifetime, unless you're a vampire. Book is named "All The Lovely Creatures." I'm so excited!!!!

Ni. I have a week off from taking Japanese. My husband and I are taking the class so we can backpack across Japan, plus it's really a cool language to learn.

3. My birthday was this past weekend. My husband took me to the Berkshires in Massachusetts. It was a awesome trip. I love spending time with him.

4. I have gotten back into reading a little bit. I can't read anything substantial though. My brain won't permit it. So I have to leave 2 books unread: Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson and Taken by The Night By Kathryn Smith. So I've picked up Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. It has been holding my attention.

5. I've been looking to move. I want to sell my house and buy condos. I have grown quite tired of taking care of a house. You always stay broke because there is always something to fix. Plus my neighborhood is turning to shit. I want to get some value out of my house before I won't have any. So it's all about getting my house prepared.

6. I am also trying to get my business website up and going. I want to do a Groupon/Living Social Deal for tax season. So my site really needs to be up. I have to look for someone who's not going to charge me an arm and a leg. If you're interested in Tax and Accounting services, you can email me at

That's all for now. There's more things brewing. Will let you know in a future post. If anything interested you in this post, please put them in comments. I will respond. Thanks.

Monday, September 10, 2012

My Time at BlogHer12

[Originally posted on my BlogHer page 9/10/12]

I was invited to volunteer at BlogHer 2012 this summer. BlogHer 12 was held at the Hilton by Rockefeller Plaza. It is a beautiful hotel. I can't really say about the rooms. I had put in my requests to volunteer the minute they were announced, but I wasn't chosen. At last minute they needed volunteers, so I got to go.  I was given a full conference pass for my time. Yay for me. I was able to enjoy the conference for a little bit. I didn't get to do much but volunteer and see the exhibitors. I was only able to listen to the panels that I worked.

Thursday I had volunteer training and picked up my conference badge. I also go to visit the exhibitor booths. It was too late for any panels, so I quickly went around the booths. There was a lot of food and swag. I stopped at some very interesting booths. There was a booth that called (started with J). They are a net software to assist with blogging. It is a browser plug in that helps you find links to items you are discussing in your blog post. There was also a booth on parental control.  They are looking for bloggers to write about it and they would pay up to $200 for the post. I decided to mark up my program for panels I wanted to see and ones that I worked while I had a bit of time. The rest of the evening, parties were held. Since I am a bit socially awkward, I decided to go home.

Friday, by time I got off work, there were only parties so I didn't go. I wish I were more social. I could blame my mom but really I can't.

Saturday is the day I could spend the whole time. There. I woke up early and left to attend a panel I was most interested in; Telling Stories with Pictures: Incorporating Graphics, Cartoons, and Iconography. Due to NYC transit I missed the panel. So I just explored the conference a bit. I found other rooms with swag.

It was finally time for my first panel that I worked; Blogging into Midlife: The Tension Between the Online Spotlight and Offline Invisibility. I was a mic wrangler. You the girl that brings the mic to people who have questions to ask. Yep that was me. This panel was all about your identity as a blogger as you get older. Society doesn't make it easier for older people to be taken seriously or they don't have anything today. It is a bit unfair. I see it all the time in corporate America. Older people do not get hired as quickly as younger people. It's not fair, but it is what it is. This panel was talking about how they can combat this. Some people suggested not to discuss age related topics. That is totally unfair. Bloggers should be able to discuss whatever they want to. Readership should not die because of age. Blogs will and should gain readership based on people's interest. Questions like, "I'm a mommy blogger. what do I blog about now that my kids have left the coop?" we're abundant. I say blog from the heart. Blog of what interests you. If you try to be someone else, readers will know and you will lose readers. Just because you are old doesn't mean you don't have anything to say.  Other questions like "I take offense of the word 'old' in advertising." There was a dislike to an exhibitor's booth that had a slogan saying something like "Are you scared to get old?" (I don't really recall the correct verbiage.) the women in the audience felt that it makes getting older a bad thing. Some people throughout that we should take back the word and own it. More like take it as a compliment so it doesn't affect you negatively. This topic can go on for days. What I took from the panel are as follows:
     * we are all getting older, but doesn't mean we have nothing to say
     * older women rock and have tons of wisdom to share
     * we need, as a society, to not discount what an older person has to say.

After this panel was lunch, so I left and went to Chipotle even though BlogHer provided lunch. I was in the mood for a mexican meal. After lunch, I went back to the exhibitors areas. I managed to pick up my BlogHer swag bag. There I met the a lovely woman whose twitter handle is @Uncommonchick. She was the first person to talk to me. We had a nice conversation. We exchanged information. I've tried prior to talk to people and they were a bit snobbish. Thank you @uncommonchick for making my day a lot better. We parted ways but I left with a more pleasant look. I then went to go to the main exhibitor hall and bumped into 2 girls I know outside of BlogHer. I didn't even know they were bloggers. Funny what you find out about people. I hung out with them for a while going thru the hall and to lunch. Katie Couric panel was going on, but I didn't really have a fascination to see her. I'd rather Martha Stewart, but I had to work. My friends and I parted ways because I had to go mic wrangle another panel.

My next panel was called #Blog2012: A Conversation.  This panel was just a panel based on a twitter chat of bloggers. In this panel all topics were sort of discussed:
       - why blog?
       - do I have to have a niche?
       - should I try to monetize?
       - how do I get readers?
This panel was more informative. The panelist were a bit warmer. I liked them immediately. They didn't preach as if they were experts. They took a more relaxed conversation method.  I got a lot more out of this panel. I'm thankful I was able to work it and listen to it. I follow 2 of the panelist on my twitter because I liked them so much. Thank you @schmutzie and @neilochka for a brilliant panel.

After this panel, I made my way to the closing Keynote. I was a mic wrangler for this too. We got front row seats for the event. When I got there, I bumped into my 2 friends again. We spoke for a little before I went to find my place. When I found who was in charge we were told that we didn't need to mic wrangle because there wasn't any Q&A after the keynote. So another mic wrangler mic wrangler and myself sat and listened to the speeches. Towards the near end, we were told we needed to mic wrangle. We were missing one girl so one of the tech ladies had to wrangle with us. We managed to get thru the rest of the speech fine.  Learned a lot listening. They also revealed the location of BlogHer13 and couple other conferences they put on.

After keynote, I went back intoning exhibitor room to see if they were unloading a lot of stuff. It was a bit too late. So at that point I left. For what little I was able to see the conference was okay. I can't really make it sound more enjoyable.  Everyone gets something out of the conference. I worked the conference more than I was able to participate in it. Those who I've met except the ones mentioned here, we're not all that friendly or receptive. I wish I had gotten more out of the conference. I'm an amateur at blogging even though I've been blogging since 2006. I wanted to learn a lot more. Maybe next time BlogHer is in NYC, I will go and not volunteer. Maybe I'll feel different that way.  Until the next BlogHer. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

All the Lovely Creatures

So I've been hard at work writing and editing this month. I'm supposed to finish my BlogHer 12 post but it's just not coming right now. I've been busy with editing. What I've been editing?  That's the reason of this post.

I'm a GoodReads member. You may have seen some of my reviews posted on this blog. Well I joined a group for Paranormal & Horror Lovers.  It's a great group if you are into Paranormal or Horror books. It is here that I have embarked on a project that has been keeping me busy since June. A group of authors from the group decided to put together an Anthology. These great writers allowed me, a novice, to contribute a story to the anthology. [Yippee!! Thank you guys!!!! ]

The anthology is called "All The Lovely Creatures ". It is a collection of Paranormal/Horror stories that include cultural creatures. I contributed a piece on Obeah. What is Obeah? You gotta read my story. The book will be out in October. It will be published by Smashwords. The book has 7 to 8 brilliant writers. I am truly honored to be a part of this project.

As I get the links next month I will post it here and on twitter. If you don't have my twitter, follow me here.

Well I'm going back now and finish up my piece. Looking forward to be telling you more on this in the coming weeks. I'm so excited!!! See you soon.