Black Friday – Not for Me

As the Black Friday commercials stream on my television, radio and computer, I’m still confounded as to the point of this weird-to-me tradition. Yes, I find it strange that people would get up in the middle of the night to go shopping just to save some money.  Especially since the last few years of Black Friday literally became Black Friday when people began dying due to stampedes at the door.

I only heard about Black Friday for the first time in 2007 from a friendly co-worker at the time. She asked me how early I’d be up shopping for Black Friday. I, a native New Yorker, had NEVER heard of it.  She was nice enough to tell me what it was about sharing some of her Black Friday tips. As soon as she told me that she got up at 2am to go shopping, I knew that Black Friday was out for me. I wouldn’t get up that early except to get on a plane for vacation.

This year, I decided to do some research on this so-called holiday. Doing a Google search for “where did black friday come from?’ brought me the usual Wikipedia page, but led me to others.  In the Mental Floss archives, the start date  of the actual day is unclear, though it has roots in the early 19th Century. Wow, day-after Thanksgiving holiday madness way back then? That’s crazy to me.

And it also seems that pr companies were hard at work in the eighties to put a positive spin on Black Friday by pushing around the new meaning of the day writing “getting in the black” as a way for retailers to recoup sales lost on Thanksgiving (when people traditionally did NOT do any shopping). Back then, people let themselves be knocked into tryptophan food comas.

On News Blaze, I found a list of various “Black Fridays” full of tragic stories and events from stock market crashes to battles to natural disasters to the assassination of John F. Kennedy (d. 1963). After reading that list, I feel okay with NOT being comfortable with Black Friday as a positive shopping holiday.

Once again, the madness is here and even madder than before as stores are opening Thanksgiving night. Black Friday is not even here yet and already I’m over it. Please be safe out there and remember that Thanksgiving isn’t about holiday sales, but about spending time with family. Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Feel free to share your thoughts about Black Friday in the comments.

This post has a Compensation Level of 0. Read Heiddi’s Full Disclosure here.

Superpowers

Yesterday morning, 1010 WINS announced that Marist College released the results of a poll of 1000 participants asked what superpower they would choose from a list of five. The five superpowers were: time travel, mind reading, flying like Superman, invisibility and teleporting.

As I was listening to this report, I thought about several things. What superpower would I choose? Why does this poll even matter? And how cool it was to think about something other than the craziness of congressman’s resigning, people killing each other, and the protests in Egypt.

I also thought about all the shows I watched as a kid. Wonder Woman with her golden whip, He-man with his sword and other superheros of my youth. As a single mom though, I’d probably choose the ability to teleport.

When I thought of flying like Superman, all I could think about was how cold it would be to fly in this weather. And mind-reading, I wouldn’t want to know what people REALLY thought of me. As for in invisibility, it rates the same as mind-reading. The only difference is that people can’t see you while they’re talking about you. And time-travel doesn’t appeal either as it would change history or simply confuse me.

So teleporting it is. To shut my eyes and travel with the speed of thought. Get kiddo to school on time, travel quickly during my day job or run away to Fiji when I want to escape? Sounds pretty good in my book!

Have a great day!

A Hiatus

Hiya Freshman Writers! Hope this finds you well and writing.

I’m writing briefly to say that I’m taking the rest of June off and hope to start-up again in July. Work and home issues need my full attention for a while. That and I need to get plenty of rest since I’ve been highly overworked and stressed.

Make sure to read past posts here and to take care of yourselves, Freshman Writers.

Happy Writing!

Vacation from Writing

Well, a break from writing has been helping. I’ve never taken an extended vacation from writing, but I really needed it. The day job has definitely been consuming my attention lately and when I get home, I crash. Writing seems to be the last thing on my mind along with sitting at my home computer after staring at one all day at work.

I hope that this break will give me enough time to relax and recharge my batteries. 🙂

Bottled up

Lately it seems I’ve been keeping things inside. Rather than using my writing as therapy, I push my stuff aside. I managed to journal about five minutes today about things that I’m grateful for and things that I’m hopeful for.

To switch gears and boost my ego, I bought a portfolio for all of my print work. I have a couple of newsletters to add to it so my print collection can grow. And as a creativity booster, I also got a travel scrapbook for all of my Winter 2008 cruise memories. Something simple with some lined pages, pages with pockets (like folders) and travel images throughout. Should be interesting to see what comes from that.

I also went to visit some of my friends from the after-school program I went to as a kid. I’ve been throwing around an idea to put together a collection of essays of people who went through the program. I also thought again about my book about my journey as a Catholic. I haven’t written much other than going through my photo album to inspire my writing for each chapter. Yes, I have chapters planned out and organized. Now to get writing. 🙂

Back From Vacation

Hiya writers! I hope that you all enjoyed the break and did something great for yourselves. Did you give yourself a treat? Give yourself a pat on the back? Or did you keep working hard to get yourself published? Please share your writing news here!

As for me, I had a great time on my vacation. I did almost no writing. Only jotted down some new article ideas. But other than that, I was too busy running around the cruise ship and the ports that I didn’t do any other writing.

I flew out to New Orleans, caught the ship and went to Costa Maya, Mexico then to Guatemala, Belize and then to Cozumel, Mexico where I hung out with a dolphin named Eva. Then I caught a flight back to New Orleans and stayed there for a couple of days before coming home to New York.

I’m still recovering from the jet lag having crossed a time zone twice this trip and not getting much sleep as well. Hopefully, I’ll be fresh and ready to get started on Monday. Till then, check in with writing news and let me know how you’ve been doing.

So Writers ~ got writing news to share?

Vacation’s Done!

Hi everyone. Just got back from my first vacation in five years! I had a wonderful time cruising around to different countries and seeing places so different from New York.

I caught a flight out to New Orleans where I sailed away on the Norwegian Spirit. After a day at sea, the ship docked at Costa Maya Mexico for the day. Next, the ship landed in Guatemala where I took a car ride through the city and sampled a traditional seafood soup dish with coconut. Yummy!

The ship then sailed to Belize City, Belize where I took a tour to the Mayan Ruins there. I climbed to the top of one of the pyramids and almost fell off! Just kidding. I did get a little woozy there and climbed down as fast as I could. After that adventure, the ship sailed out to Cozumel, Mexico where I swam and played with a dolphin named Eva. I had a wonderful time hanging out with her and her trainer Tomas.

After the dolphin swim, I got back on the cruise ship and sailed for a day on my way back to New Orleans to see the sites for two days before catching two flights back to New York. Home sweet home at last.

Reviewing Your Goals

Hiya writers! A few posts ago I wrote about choosing goals. Choosing goals and getting them done will not only give you momentum as a writer, but will also boost your ego. Reviewing your goals periodically will also be encouraging. Whether you check them monthly, weekly or daily, seeing your goals and crossing them off your list will leave you feeling great!

Two of my own Writing Goals for November:

1. Blog twice a weekly at Sky’s Blog. (Did that. It was easy for me to get it done because I put it in my planner.)

2. Update my blog twice a week. (I didn’t do so well with this because of my day job. So I need to scale back or plan more posts ahead of time.)

As you can see from my goals I wrote what I wanted to get accomplished and how frequent I wanted to do them on a weekly basis. The bold writing in parentheses shows how I felt I did with the goal and how it may have been affected by other factors such as my stressful day job. I also set up a plan for working around that day job by deciding to scale back my goals or plan ahead.

Reviewing your goals will allow you to focus on what you can get done, how much time you need to get it done, and other factors that may keep you from writing. You can also see where you can make improvements so that you won’t be pushed off track.

So writers, do you review your goals regularly?

Note: In an effort to keep my momentum going, I’m leaving on  vacation from November 30th through December 10. Please take the time to do something nice for yourself. Take a break or give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back for your hard work. Take care and see you when I get back!

November Goal Wrap-up

Just checked out my goals for the month. And I see that I’ve done okay. Here they are with my November Goal wrap-up.

1. Blog twice a weekly at Sky’s Blog. (Did that. It was easy for me to get it done because I put it in my planner.)

2. Update my blog twice a week. (I didn’t do so well with this because of my day job. So I need to scale back or plan more posts ahead of time.)

3. Write an article about teaching kids how to give for examiner. com. Done with two more ready to post. (I posted all three articles in the last couple of weeks and need to finish one before leaving on vacation Sunday morning.)

4. Draft more articles for the examiner. (Drafted two articles, but I need to get into the habit of doing things ahead of time. I enjoyed being so productive and ahead of schedule.)

5. Continue to map out ideas for The Freshman Writer. (Didn’t do this at all. Again, the day job kept me from focusing on my writing.)

6. Continue networking. (Of course, I got this done. Plurk & Twitter are my friends. Not to mention Absolute Write!)

7. Schedule time to write. (Didn’t do this. Day job was too stressful this month. I’m expecting December to be the same.)

I also have some news. I applied to be a guide at a very popular info site and am waiting to hear if I was accepted. It was unexpected, but I went for it anyway. Something opened up in a topic I wanted before, so I took a chance and applied. I won’t hear back about it for another seven weeks, so maybe for the new year, I’ll be posting great news. ) (Well, I did get a response. My application is on hold because they already had all of the candidates for this round. Guess I have to try again later on.)

I also received feedback on my second assignment. It was a short story about a boy who learns that being nice to others pays off. My instructor liked the content, but I have to improve transitions in the story as well as formatting. I’ve already found a potential market for it so this will be a goal for next month.

Well, I learned a great deal this month about myself as a writer.

1. I need to schedule writing time to include time to rest due to my stressful day job.

2. I can get things done when I’m well-rested.

3. Reviewing goals on a daily or weekly basis (not monthly) might be better for me in the long run if I want to achieve my goals.

So, writers, you can see that I’ve tried to be busy this month and I was but, not writing. I need to make allowances for the day job so that I can get enough rest and get writing.

In the meantime, I’ll be vacationing starting November 30 until December 9. While I’m on vacay, I’ll be having fun and thinking about my goals for the new year. See you when I get back!