August 11, 2013

Aggressive In A Passive Kind Of Way

Posted in Writing tagged , , , , , , at 4:30 PM by Dawne Webber

I hate conflict.

I hate conflict so much I will do anything to avoid it. That’s tough because conflict is an inevitable as death and taxes. I usually handle conflict in one of two ways (here I go getting mentally naked in public again. Something in blogging brings that out in me.) When conflict rears its ugly head, I swallow down the anger, ruminate on and exaggerate it until it builds (usually way out of proportion), then I use the momentum from the built up anger to confront or annihilate the “conflicter.” Not pretty or healthy. Sometimes it’s easier to just get walked on; that’s the second way I handle it.

This impacts my writing and not in a positive way. This quote is from one of my pre-conference assignments shows how important conflict is to a novel:

You need tension on the page at all times, and the best way to accomplish this is to create conflict in the plot and narrative. 

In other words, no conflict, no story. But if I avoid conflict in life, there’s no way I’m going to confront it when I write. I prefer writing warm fuzzy scenes because:

  • I like my characters and I want to shield them from trouble. They’re my babies after all.
  • I like the warm fuzzies I get from writing warm fuzzies.
  • I hate conflict.

But I love conflict in the books I read. Gone Girl, The Help and A Visit From the Goon Squad all ensured that I was too busy to do anything but continue reading. I needed to find out what happened next or to put it dryly, to learn how the characters resolved their conflicts.

Flashback to writing my first novel, Unveiled. Oh, the climax was so tearfully beautiful, dripping with its warm fuzziness. I waited with anticipation while my friend read it; surely she’d have nothing but praise for it.  Thank God she was a true friend—brutally honesty— or my writing would never have improved.

“Boy, you sure wimped out on the climax.” Not the first words out of her mouth, but the ones I remember most clearly.

“No, I didn’t.” She was wrong. After all, I knew my characters better than she did.

“There’s no way she would’ve said that to him. You totally avoided the entire conflict.” Maybe she did know them better.

“But if I go there, I’m afraid I won’t be able to fix it.” And the novel I’d worked so hard on would crash and burn.

And that was my problem with writing conflict. After he was such a jerk, how could she possibly forgive him? And after she said such hateful bitter things, how could he possibly forgive her? I wasn’t good enough to get them out of that situation.

But I knew my friend was right so I manned up and, armed with a large glass of wine while my family slept, I rewrote the climax. In the wee morning hours, I realized it was a much better story.

And now, though I’m aware of the necessity of conflict and I even enjoy writing it, I find myself avoiding it sometimes. Actually, readers usually point out my cop outs to me. So thanks to the intrepid writers in my writers’ group who don’t let me get away with less than I’m capable of. And for their great ideas. I have some stuff brewing that I’m really looking forward to writing. Tonight with a glass of wine while my family sleeps.

relationship, couple, marriage, forgivenessThis may be the inspiration for my next novel.

August 6, 2013

The End Approaches.

Posted in Life tagged , , , , , , , at 9:37 PM by Dawne Webber

I’m still working hard to make the dream come true. I’ve been very blessed with the support I’ve gotten, but now with the last week of my Indiegogo campaign rapidly approaching, the clock is ticking and I’m appealing to you.

This is a letter I shared with my extended family. I’m sharing it with you because in a way, I feel closer to you. After all, you visit me here.

Hi Cousin/Aunt/Uncle (I used the appropriate name here),

We need more books by Polish writers from Michigan on bookstore shelves (I’m appealing to their Polish pride because, even though none of our parents were born in Poland, we’re quite proud of our Polish heritage. And I’m appealing to their pride in Michigan, which is a great strategy because the Tigers are on fire right now) and I have a great a way to make that happen (this makes it sound like the fate of all Polish authors from Michigan rests in my hands. Another great strategy) I have the opportunity to share my novel, A Certain Slant of Light, with editors from major publishers in New York.

The board of the NYC Pitch Conference for Writers liked the synopsis and writing style of my book, A Certain Slant of Light and invited me to their conference. Only 65 writers out of hundreds of applicants (okay, this is no exaggeration) are accepted to the conference each year.

But as you know (Actually, I’m not sure how many of them know this), I have five children and this trip is beyond our budget (to put it mildly). To get to New York I need your support (Seriously) so I’ve started a campaign on Indiegogo to get donations to help defray the cost of the trip. (A fancy way of saying HELP)

I have less than two weeks left to reach my goal. You can help by:

Making a donation by clicking the A Certain Slant of Light link on the right.

Sharing it on Facebook and other social media.

Letting friends and the rest of our family know about it.

I’ve already reached over $2100 in donations, but time is running out and I need your help. I really appreciate anything (seriously) you feel called to do. (Even if it’s to answer my email in Polish, Scott)

Z Miłości (This means “With Love” in Polish. I thought that would really move them.)

Dawne

family, clip art, five children

A surprisingly accurate likeness of the Webber family. Guess which one I am.

August 2, 2013

I Have a Muse. It’s Dr. Seuss.

Posted in Writing tagged , , , , at 4:41 PM by Dawne Webber

I took a college level course in creative writing over the summer. A few hours of class were devoted to reading poetry. Except for two tokens poems by Robert Frost, they were all free verse.

I liked some of the free verse but personally, I have a fondness for the classics: Tennyson, Dickinson, Frost. Free verse reigned supreme in class though.  A little bit of pompous literary bias going on, but I overlooked it.

Until we were told to write three poems. That was literally the extent of our instruction into writing poetry. I’ve made the foray into poetry a few times on this blog. Actually, it’s fauxetry because I have no idea how to write poetry. Except for the rhyming. I rhyme and meter with the best of them.

But rhyming was frowned upon. So I tried my hand at free verse. Words flowed out of me, oh so prettily and ornately, and to my credit, not one of them rhymed. And I thought maybe I had some good stuff,  until I got this advice from someone who is into poetry:

“Free verse is very complicated and hard to write. You really don’t know what you’re doing. Stick to rhymes and meter.”

Ouch. The message from all corners seemed to be: lesser poets rhyme. And that offended me. So this is the poem I turned in for class, written in bitterness from the depths of my offended heart:

En Vogue

I have a muse:
It’s Dr. Seuss.
His lyrical rhymes
Are not obtuse.

But

Poetry, writing, rhyme

Real poets have stamps.

Poems that rhyme
Can be sublime,
Though not now in vogue:
Tennyson, Dickinson, in their time.

Yet—

Critics claim:
Rhyme’s just a game
For ignorant babes.
So, who’s to blame?

While—

Dr. Seuss
Hangs by a noose,
His genius
Pissed upon.

My poet friend was not impressed.

 

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July 26, 2013

Deadline To A Dream

Posted in Life tagged , , , , , at 8:47 AM by Dawne Webber

writing, publishing, books

Writing a book worthy of publication. The dream that drew me on, but always seemed a long way off. And then BAM, the opportunity of a lifetime arrives in an email:

Dear Dawne,

Hello and thank you for your application.  It is clear you are a serious writer and one capable of writing a manuscript that editors and agents will want to see.  Following a review, we have decided to accept you into the September 2013 New York Pitch Conference…If a publishing house wishes to publish your novel, they will ask that you be represented by an agent; therefore, we will assist you in finding suitable representation.

Sincerely, Michael Neff,
Director-New York Pitch Conference

Before I even catch my breath, my dream is upon me. And even though  I cannot afford a trip to New York, I’m ecstatic. I will make this happen. I only have until August 18th, but I can do it. So I throw myself into it.

I plan, brainstorm, and ask advice. I try to market myself, a wife and mother of five with no marketing skill or experience. It’s a scary thought because I know it’s all about the marketing. But I shove the fear from my mind and I write. I write Indiegogo campaigns, and exercises for the NYC Pitch conference, and upbeat emails pleading for support, and blog posts, and Facebook posts, and thank you’s. Oh, and I make a video. That’s a tale in itself.

Then I wait for my dream to come true. Okay, not wait. I still work hard, trying to grab it with both hands. In fact, that’s pretty much all I do—the weeds taking over the yard and endless dinners of $5 pizzas attest to that. And yet as hard as I’ve been working, it comes down to waiting. To watching my dream tick closer to me or farther from me. I won’t know which until the August 18th deadline of my Indiegogo crowdfunding project.

And suddenly, the culmination of my lifetime dream is three weeks away. I’ll continue to give all that’s in me for it. I’ve bared my soul for the world to see. They’ll see if I succeed. They’ll see if I fail. I feel naked. And as I try to remain enthusiastic and positive, in the back of my mind perches the deadline to my dream, one moment looming threateningly and another moment pulsing with possibilities.

Indiegogo, dawne webber, writing, nyc, publishing, project

July 20, 2013

The Race Is On

Posted in Writing tagged , , , , at 11:44 PM by Dawne Webber

The New York Pitch Conference builds writers’ careers. I’m a writer. We’re a match made in heaven. But to attend, I need one of the sixty-five coveted acceptance letters sent out each year. So I apply. The odds are not in my favor.

I beat the odds.

Dear Dawne,

Hello and thank you for your application. It is clear you are a serious writer and one capable of writing a manuscript that editors and agents will want to see. Following a review, we have decided to accept you into the September 2013 New York Pitch Conference. 

If a publishing house wishes to publish your novel, they will ask that you be represented by an agent; therefore, if necessary, we will assist you in finding suitable representation.

… We look forward to working with you, as well as admire and respect what you are doing.

Sincerely,  

Michael Neff

Director, New York Pitch Conference

If you’ve spent any amount of time here at my blog, you know how long I’ve been trying to get to this point. But I’ve hit a bump in the road. That’s where Indiegogo comes in. For the rest of the story, go here.

Wish me luck on the race.

March 1, 2013

The Other Woman

Posted in Life tagged , , , , , at 2:51 PM by Dawne Webber

I wasn’t worried when she appeared in my husband’s life or that they had to spend some time together—for work. I didn’t realize how serious it was between them until my husband announced she would be joining us on a trip.

“Are you serious?” I asked. I think I was giving him that squinty look. You know, the one that creases your forehead and narrows your eyes.  The look you give a person when you’re thinking REALLY? Then I said, “We’re only going to the store. We know how to get there.”

But when we climbed into the car, she was there between us in the front seat. My husband’s GPS.  “Her name is Lwaxana,” my husband told me as he handed her to me. Lwaxana? I can’t even pronounce it, but it rolls off his tongue like melted butter.  He even had reason for giving her that particular name. That’s when I realized I had some competition. That smooth talking machine was vying for my position as navigator and who knew what else.

Lwaxana and Deanna Troi Star Trek The Next Generation

Lwaxana and Deanna Troi.

“I know how to get where we’re going,” I said, looking at her slim, black case with distaste. He ignored me and left her on the console. After a few months, I gave in and used her for longer trips. I’d grudgingly hold her and relay her directions to my husband; her voice is too quiet to hear over the noise of the road. “I’d rather use a print-off from Mapquest,” I’d mutter to her. She didn’t fool me; I knew she was expendable. And she knew that I knew it.

I’m a great navigator. I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but after years of living in New York and Ohio, and after our many road trips, I know how to read a map. I have a good internal compass, too. Granted, I screw up occasionally. “The Alibi is on Rochester between Wattles and Long Lake,” I’ll tell my husband confidently when he asks. But after circling the same stretch of a mile for the fifth time, we realize that I’m three miles off, and we’re a half-hour late to meet friends for dinner; I’m remorseful and apologetic. Lwaxana has yet to apologize for her screw ups. And she has made a few.

When we leave to attend a function on Belle Isle in Detroit, my husband hands me Lwaxana before backing out of our driveway. “Start out going south on John R,” she says in her confident, silky voice.

“I’m taking Fifteen Mile,” my husband says.

“She doesn’t like it when you mess her up and she has to recalculate,” I tell him. “She may not say it, but I know she’s waiting to taser me because you’re not listening to her.”

“She doesn’t mind if I change routes.” He defends her. But he’s wrong. She’s a woman and I know she’s planning her revenge on me. I’m not stupid; I read The Help. 

The Help. Kathryn Stockett

Sharpening their tools.

“I think I’m going to write a blog post about her,” I inform him. “Your other woman.”

“That’s a great idea,” he says and offers to come up with a list of our similarities and differences.

Go right ahead, I think. And when you’re sleeping on the couch, we’ll see if Lwaxana can keep you warm.

We continue our ride downtown. Thank God it’s mostly expressway driving, so Lwaxana remains silent for most of the drive. Maybe she’s using this time to plan how she’s going to taser me the next time Dave doesn’t follow her directions.

By the time we reach Detroit, it’s snowing so hard we see five cars that have spun out and a semi-truck has jack-knifed. Finally, we cross the bridge to the unfamiliar terrain of Belle Isle. Now the snow’s so thick we literally can’t see more than five feet ahead of us. And I say for the first time, “I’m actually glad we have this thing.” I point to Lwaxana because I’m not about to say her name. We follow her directions through the blinding snow and end up at… gates that are chained shut. Obviously the wrong place.

I wouldn't let her steer my starship.

I wouldn’t let her steer my starship.

After a half-hour, we find our destination with no help from Lwaxana. She does nothing to correct the directions and doesn’t apologize for steering us wrong in the first place.

Later that evening my husband hands me some papers. “Here’s some information on Lwaxana Troi for your blog post,” he says. “I’m working on the list of similarities and differences.”

Dave’s List:

How Dawne and Lwaxana are alike

  • I look to both of them for guidance
  • I don’t always take their advice
  • They both speak softly into my ear

How Dawne and Lwaxana are different

  • Dawne always laughs at my jokes
  • Lwaxana never gets angry when I ignore her
  • Dawne is taller

I guess he doesn’t have to sleep on the couch.

 

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January 10, 2013

The Ties That Bind

Posted in Life tagged , , , , , at 5:43 PM by Dawne Webber

My aunt called over the holidays. She’d invited a few of my cousins over for a “ladies’ night” and wondered if I could make it.  I was looking forward to seeing everyone for a happy occasion. It seemed many of the circumstances bringing us together recently had been tinged with sadness.

My cousins and I arrived at my aunt’s home with a flurry of greetings. After shedding boot and coats, and sharing news of grown children and photos of grandchildren and great-grandhchildren, we settled around the kitchen table.

I sat quietly for a moment, looking at the faces of the women gathered there, remembering our shared past. I felt the tug of connection that had been missing for so long, lost in the busyness of raising my own family and the isolating blanket of grief I’d wrapped around myself. I loved those familiar faces; they made up a large part of my life. Yet for all their familiarity they’d changed, not so much from the passage of time, but from the lives they’d lived and all they’d seen. And I realized we’d entered a new season of our family life, together.

Spring

Red Jade leaves blossoms spring
When I was born, our family was in the midst of its springtime– seven brothers and sisters (of which my mother was the youngest) their spouses and children (thirty-one kids between them). We saw each other often back then. When we got together, it was always a party and I don’t mean a Norman Rockwell-type party. I mean the dad’s in the basement, drinking beer, watching a ball game and playing Euchre. The mom’s at the kitchen table, after preparing enough food to feed a small Polish city and putting it out on a wood-covered pool table, munching on special mom goodies, and gossiping (in a nice way, of course). Then there were the kids— unsupervised, unchaperoned, unfettered and best friends. We were in heaven. Life was good.

Summer

summer leaves sun branches
As the thirty-one cousins grew up, the family remained close. Maybe not quite as close as we had been when we were younger, but we still got together often and when we did it was still a party. And those of us that didn’t play Euchre with the dads were still unsupervised, unchaperoned and unfettered. But now most of us were old enough to drink. That made for more “fun”.

We cousins began to get married, standing up in each others weddings, with the new spouses becoming a welcome part of the chaos that was our family.  And as the summer of the family wore on, babies came and families grew. And we didn’t see each other as much as we had in the early summer. But when we did, it was still a party.

Until one of the uncles died, sending a chill over the summer of our family. And yet even in that death we were together, many of us blessed to be in his hospital room with him when he drew his last breath in this life.

Summer was the era of “Girls Gone Polish”—the cousins and the aunts and the music. The highlight of our summers was the outdoor concert. We’d arrive an hour early to get good seats on the hill at Meadowbrook Music Theater, coolers packed with the usual goodies and exotic drinks like “Sex on the Beach” or “Fuzzy Navels”. I sometimes think we didn’t go as much for the music as we did for the autographs. Can anyone ever forget surrounding Roy Orbison’s bus until we got the zillion autographs we were after (a shout-out here to Aunt Dolores) or, if the bus managed to elude us, scouting out nearby Marriot hotels in search of autographs? Have the Righteous Brothers ever forgotten the late night phone call to their hotel room asking them to send down their autographs on the hotel napkins?

Autumn

Autumn leaves icy frost
Autumn came suddenly to the family during an unexpected snow storm. That was the day the youngest cousin died in a tragic car accident on an icy road. That was the day my brother John died.

John had a great love for the family; he was one of those that was always at its heart and core. And even when most of us were too busy to attend this or that graduation or get-together or party, John was there. The death of a beloved cousin, and the youngest on top of that, was painful for everyone. Even so, somehow it made me different from them; I didn’t fit in anymore. I was afraid John would get left behind and I couldn’t bear that. So, I took him to all the family functions with me, and I’d watch the festivities from a distance, with John.

As I sat at my aunt’s table, gazing at the faces it suddenly struck me that each woman sitting there had suffered her own heartbreaking loss since John’s death— the loss of a mother, a sister, a brother, a husband, a father. Yet, I saw a strength and beauty emanating from each of those women that had been lacking in youth. The love we’d always had for each other had deepened and matured. I took a deep breath and settled back into my chair, so grateful for the comfort of being with my family again.

It was a bittersweet moment, because I realized summer had passed and winter would soon be upon us. But I was thankful for our autumn, the most vibrant season of all.

Christmas tree winter outdoors

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December 30, 2012

A Word From Dave

Posted in Life tagged , , , , , at 6:36 PM by Dawne Webber

I was going to write a new post when I came across this (It’s from December 20). Now that I don’t have to write one, I can use this time to make a sandwich for Dave.

Hello all, this is Dave, the other half of the Dawne/Dave marriage (actually, the other 2/3′s based on girth). Dawne is struggling to come up with something for a post, and since Christmas draws nigh she’s very busy (stressed).  She left herself logged on and walked away, and me being the helpful sort I thought maybe I’d contribute – just keep it between you and me.

Since we’re talking about Christmas, I’d like to tell you about a gift I gave to Dawne: the moment I became a far better husband than I was before (and also a better all around person). I didn’t realize at the time that’s what was happening.

Like everyone, when I was growing up, I learned how to do things the way that my family did them. That way may not be the only way, but since they’re the way I learned them, they seem like the “right” way.

The Right Way to Mow the Lawn

The “right” way to mow a lawn.

I learned how to do things like mow the lawn, take out the trash, and make a sandwich. I ate a lot of sandwiches (and still do), so my mom decided to free up several hours a week by teaching me how to make my own.

One of the things she taught me was that if you pull out a piece of bread near the end of the loaf, the bread has a big side and a little side (because the crust is angled, if you’re having trouble visualizing this you need to spend some time making your own sandwiches). My mom explained when the aforementioned situation occurs the little side of the bread slices should be on the outside of the sandwich and the big side on the inside since its greater surface area allows more spread or condiment to be applied thereto, thus increasing the sandwich’s overall yumminess quotient.

As my mom spoke I saw the light and swore to live my life accordingly from that day forward.

Then, down the road, I got married.

Overall, Dawne and I have always been a happy couple. Like any couple, we occasionally have our disagreements, and many times those disagreements are about how to do things the “right” way.

Also, there’s something that happens once you’ve lived with someone for a while– you get comfortable around them. I know that doesn’t sound like a spectacular insight but stick with me on this. What I mean is that you act around them differently than you do around others. You let them see more of what’s inside you, and sometimes what’s inside can be pretty childish.

Not only that, but things about our spouses that drive us crazy, we tolerate in others. Many times we’re far more forgiving of those we barely know. With those we know well we’re comfortable enough to let them see how their actions make us feel, even when those feelings reveal that we’re fairly petty.

Okay, now back to sandwiches and Dawne.

PBJ with love

One day, after we were married, Dawne asked if I was hungry.
“Sure,” I answered.
“Can I make you a sandwich?” she asked.
“Sure,” I said again (I stick with what works).
And then she made the sandwich, applying the spread to the LITTLE SIDE OF THE BREAD!

I lost my mind. How uncouth could she be? Had this woman been raised by wolves? Had I really married a troglodyte?

I don’t exactly remember what I said to her, but it was on the opposite end of the spectrum from “Thanks for making me a sandwich, dear.” Now, here’s the important part: even though I don’t remember what I said, I remember exactly what I was thinking when I said it— I was thinking I was an idiot.

Christmas gift from my in-laws.

Christmas gift from my in-laws.

I’m yelling at my wife for buttering the wrong side of the bread? Really? I can blow off all kinds of slights by strangers but I can’t let this slide? Yes, there was the fact that what she did bothered me and I felt comfortable enough around her to let her know it, but on a deeper level, the problem was that what she did bothered me at all. And, ironically, that was the moment I became a better person because at that moment, I became aware how petty I could be. And by being aware of it, and being able to recognize it, I could work on fixing it.

To end the story, I apologized and got my sandwich (with a side of humble pie). Five kids later,  Dawne and I have a pretty good marriage. On my better days I can ignore minor problems. Not just refrain from making a hurtful comment about them, but truly ignore them. I’m not perfect in this area; I’m still a work in progress, but I can recognize when I’m letting the little stuff get to me.

This is something everyone can learn to do, and its one of the best gifts you can give. You give it to everyone, and you give it most to those you are closest to and most comfortable around. It’s not found under a tree and you don’t have to wait for Christmas to give it. And the best part is it’s free.

Giving gifts, present, package, Christmas

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December 17, 2012

The Unthinkable Becomes Thinkable

Posted in Life at 10:03 PM by Dawne Webber

There is one thing every person (there are seven of us) in my family has in common. We are Hobbit and Lord of The Rings fanatics. Our family rule for Tolkien is “You have to read the book before you see the movie.” Through the years, my husband read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy to our four oldest children. And after a few stops and starts, he and our ten-year-old, D³, finished reading The Hobbit just in time for the movie. Everyone was thrilled when we got tickets to the midnight showing for the entire family.

The night finally arrived and I sat in the dimly lit theater next to D³, listening to the hum of anticipation playing through the crowd while waiting for the lights to go out. Suddenly the midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises and the carnage wrought by James Holmes flashed through my head and a feeling of dread came over me. My eyes searched the crowd. Were there any lunatics lurking among the excited movie-goers? I checked out the exits and looked at my daughter sitting next to me. If anything happened should I shove her under the seat or climb on top of her? And I had a quiet thought, deep down in the center of my being—I wondered if I would have the courage to die for her.

The next day D³ confided in me that she had thought of The Dark Knight Rises when we were at the theater and had decided she’d hide under a seat if anyone started shooting. A few hours after our conversation, twenty-eight people were dead in Newtown, Connecticut. Twenty-seven murdered; twenty of them children.

Unthinkable. That’s a word we use to describe such a tragedy. At one time, such brutality in our midst was unthinkable, but if a ten-year-old is aware of its threat at the midnight showing of The Hobbit, it’s not unthinkable anymore.

In trying to make sense of the tragedy we look for answers and that includes finding someone or something to blame. We’ll blame the shooter’s parents, blame the gun-control laws, blame  the shooter’s dysfunction and mental health. We will be carried away on a tide of “Who’s to blame?” ultimately politicizing and demeaning the entire ordeal.

But the truth at it’s core is that Adam Lanza and James Holmes and countless others are the only ones responsible for their actions. Despite their circumstances, their mental health, their upbringing, the weapons available to them, the time spent gaming, the movies they watched and music they listened to, they were each confronted by a choice. And they chose evil. How many other thousands of people in very similar circumstances remain anonymous because they did not choose the evil that tempted them.

As for making sense of it, we will never be able to make sense of the such things because they are ultimately senseless. It’s against human nature to commit such heinous acts against others. It is goaded on and strengthened by malignant forces working on a level that we can’t fathom. We’ve all been furious at someone before but handled it without resorting to, or even seriously considering, murder. Senselessness is a fundamental characteristic of evil and evil is the force behind such violence.  And that is the answer to the ultimate question—”Why?”

In every tragedy, for some reason, God becomes part of the drama. People who never give any thought to God when things are going well (except to mindlessly intersperse “Oh my god,” throughout conversations) begin to think about God. Some pray to Him, some question Him (God, why do you allow evil?),  some blame Him (God, you should not have allowed this. You should have protected those children). But God is not responsible for our decisions or our actions. Free will is ours and God will not override our will with His.

But these questions remain: “Where was God?”  and “Why was evil allowed to triumph?” The answers are that God was there in the midst of the massacre and evil did not triumph. Adam Lanza was not the only one faced with a choice. All the adults were faced with a choice that day–”Save myself or save the children.” And God was there when they chose to save others because no matter how good a person is, it is not possible, of one’s own strength, to choose to die for another. Right now, sitting in front of our glowing computer screen, it’s easy to say we’d die for a loved one or even a stranger in danger. And we’d like to think we would. I think I’d have forfeited my life for my daughter’s but honestly I can’t even begin to imagine being in such a situation, much less how I’d really react. Try to imagine for a moment dying. And then imagine choosing your death over your life to save another. Can you honestly say you’d be strong enough to do it?

This supernatural strength the principal, the teachers and the others were given in no way detracts from what each of them did. They were faced with a choice, and they chose good, and I mean good in the truest, deepest sense of the word. And in their choice they will be forever remembered. When evil threatens to overwhelm us, those that sacrificed their lives are the ones that renew our faith in humanity and give us the strength to carry on, for a light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

Holding Hands

 

 

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December 10, 2012

Foetry (Faux-etry)

Posted in Writing tagged , , , , , at 8:33 PM by Dawne Webber

A funny thing happened after I published the following post. I found out the word I thought I made up was actually a real word. I did what I always do in such situations—panic. I “unpublished” the post before the scandal that surrounds the real “foetry” could leave a mark on my permanent record.

After the panic subsided (with a little help from a mug of mulled wine), I decided to publish the post anyway because:
A. I didn’t have a back-up post.
B. Maybe my mistake will teach others to practice due diligence before posting things on the internet that will be available to the entire world to read forever. Unfortunately, I know from experience that I probably have not learned my lesson yet.

Below is the now obsolete post, although I think a vote is still appropriate. After all this hoopla, I’m sure the word will make the dictionary someday. But I think I’m getting ahead of myself…

images-61

A few weeks ago a new word came to me. I’m not sure if it was a humorous inspiration from my muse, or a dig about my poetic posts from my hyper-critical internal editor. The word came to me after I visited the Query Shark and read:

 “Bad poetry is very easy. Good poetry is hard.  Poetry that illuminates and enhances art work, uses language for developing minds, and doesn’t bore the pants off the adults reading it either…well, that’s a real trick.”

-Query Shark aka Janet Reid

Reading that brought to mind the few poesies that had flowed with relative ease out of my head and onto my blog—The Ubiquitous Earworm:A Ballad and Black Friday Blues to name a few. And I felt a tremor of anxiety. It hadn’t occurred to me when I posted them that they might in fact, be taken as serious poetry or even worse, that someone might think I had taken them as serious poetry.

poem, poetry

Robert Frost a true poet.

Then it hit me. What I wrote wasn’t poetry. I wrote foetry. Or was it fauxetry?

Before I could enjoy the new-found word, I encountered the dilemma. Which way should it be spelled? Both rhyme with poetry, and although foetry makes more sense and looks better, it will inevitably on occasion, be pronounced fo-tree, thus rendering it useless. Fauxetry, on the other hand,  is very awkward. But the chances of mispronouncing it are rare, unless one is unfamiliar with the word “faux” and those people won’t care about the spelling anyway.

Blogging foetry/fauxetry sensation

Blogging foetry/fauxetry sensation

I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before Merriam or Collins get a hold of this word. It’s imperative that we, the people, decide the spelling now while it’s in our hands. But in order to make an informed decision some pertinent information, such as the definition, is needed.

Foetry/fauxetry improved upon but still bad.

Foetry/fauxetry improved upon but still bad.

Definition of FOETRY/FAUXETRY

fo·et·ry/faux·et·ry\noun \ˈfō-ə-trē

1a : atrocious metrical writing : poorly written verse
b : the productions of a faux poet : foems
2: writing that formulates words that may or may not rhyme, chosen and arranged quickly creating a specific and positive emotional response in the faux poet only. The response of readers varies from annoyance, to ridicule, to nausea.

Examples of FOETRY/FAUXETRY

  1. Any verse that contains the word Nantucket is an example of foetry/fauxetry.

Related to FOETRY/FAUXETRY

Synonyms: discordant, simple, Roses are red
Antonyms: poetry, literary
dictionary, definition, bucket list

If “bucket list” can make the cut…

Now that you’re well-informed on the subject, make your mark in history by voting for the best word for the job before they decide for us.
Disclaimer: There may be an ad/video visible below or above. I’m not sure because they are invisible from my account, but I know they appear to my readers with annoying frequency. I do not receive monetary compensation for the ad nor do I endorse it.  

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