Thursday, October 31, 2013

Of disrespect and hope...

So much for my resolution to blog regularly! It's been a busy month, which is no excuse, but the statement stands. Mostly, I just haven't been inspired to say anything remotely worthwhile. Let's see if I can dredge up any interesting tidbits...

The Penelope books have sold 17,461 copies since mid-July. My first royalty checks were a treat. For the first time since I've retired, I've earned money. There's a topic--does earning money make one valuable and not earning money relegate one to the bottom of the barrel? Sometimes I wonder. Example:  On my last doctor's visit (I only go once a year, thank goodness!), the nurse persisted in calling me "Baby". Retired + gray hair + senior citizen = Baby. I didn't say anything, but due to persistent issues with the nurses in this particular office, I'm looking for a new doctor.

Ah, now I've found my soapbox. When I was growing up, I was taught to respect older people. I mean, respect them. It was Mr./Mrs., sir/ma'am, etc. And it wasn't just surface respect--it was real respect. These people had lived and had something to teach me from their experience. What they offered me was a gift, and I took it gratefully. I appreciated them. I really did.

Of course, disrespect is a way of life these days. We don't respect life in general. Inconvenient conceptions are easily gotten rid of. Decisions permanently affecting children's lives are often made with the stroke of a gavel. Children as young as kindergarten are suspended from school under an insane "zero tolerance" policy for things they don't even realize aren't "politically correct". Despite lip-service to "diversity" and cultural respect", certain groups are notably cast aside or, worse, demonized. The name-calling in our nation's capital is embarrassing--or should be--but I have the feeling it's just business as usual.

The bottom line is, IMHO, we can't respect others if we don't respect ourselves--and look at how we treat ourselves. Young girls flaunt their "assets" before they even have them. Boys seem to think sagging pants which show what we all have but shouldn't advertise is "cool". What about the music we listen to, the television shows we watch, the movies we pay big bucks to see? Are they respectful of anything? I think not. I'm appalled at the language posted so casually on social media and found in so-called "best-sellers".

Look at what comedians make fun of these days: moral values, people's intimate lives (it shouldn't matter if they're public figures or not), patriotism. And they get paid for it!

It's like Pandora's box--once it was opened, all the awful, terrible things crept out and infiltrated the world. Ah, but one thing was left, wasn't it? Tucked away in a quiet corner, the one remaining inhabitant of the box struggled to free itself.

It was HOPE. 

I don't want to lose it.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

A Saturday Smile

I woke this morning to an email from a reader who had just finished book #6 of the Penelope series. She told me how much she'd enjoyed the books and how she hated to see the stories end. She finished up by thanking me for a "thoroughly decent" read.

Folks, that's the highest praise I can imagine, and I'm glowing. Others have written/reviewed saying similar things, but the word decent says it all. I've achieved what I set out to do. I've entertained without resorting to graphic language and sex. The values to which I've held fast have proven themselves worthy.

The series has sold 14,496 copies as of this morning. Such sales may never happen again, but I'm motivated to keep writing. Somewhere out there is an audience of readers who want what I have to offer.

It's a smiley day.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Maybe a dictionary would help...or maybe not...

Okay, so the current dictionary has listings for words only written on bathroom walls when I first learned to use said reference book. That fact doesn't mean the words are useable in polite company. Frankly, when I run across someone (FB comes to mind) who can't express shock, anger, surprise, joy, etc. without the use of the F-word, I realize that person and I just have to say goodbye. That's what the 'unfriend' button is for.

Not that I'll be missed, and that's okay. There's an old saying about how the eyes are the window of one's soul. I think speech is the mirror of that soul. I know, I know, I'm just an old-fashioned old lady, a real prude. Good. I'm glad. I sleep better at night.

I remember my first few weeks at college, meeting girls from so many places and backgrounds. I heard a lot of profanity and thought (naively) it was really 'cool'. Come Thanksgiving, when I went home, I tried some of it out. Not cool.

I think that's one of the things I appreciated most about my husband. He had a clean mouth--and it reflected his clean mind. He knew the words, but he chose not to use them.

Usually books with graphic language get closed and returned unfinished to the library and/or deleted from my Kindle. Occasionally I can move past the words when they're used in realistic context (e.g. in a crime drama, for example) and understand why they were used (NOT overused, btw).  Ditto movies I check out because I had my television cut off so as not to have my ears assaulted on a regular basis. (Why pay for a service I don't use?)

In the end, people will spout what they want to. They have that right. And I have the right not to listen.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Our Kids Are Covered

I saw a magazine ad urging parents to have their sons as well as daughters vaccinated against HPV. So now they don't have to worry about contracting a sexually transmitted disease.

Moving right along, the next step is making sure they have access to birth control--best if it's at no cost. Also, they must be able to get pregnancy test kits over the counter.

And, if all else fails, they can always get an abortion, and in some cases, parents don't even have to be bothered with the knowledge of the event.

 No fuss, no bother, no uncomfortable discussions about self-control and self-respect.

Yep, our kids are covered.