Feedback is a Gift

Once upon a time, I was a new quality manager.  My job was to oversee the auditors and provide a monthly summary to our executive.  WT was a very approachable fellow who always joked around.  Taking liberties one month, I sent my summary email with the tag line:

Feedback is a gift and today is your birthday!! 

The next morning my boss, CJ called me into his office.  Well okay he called me over to his desk because he didn’t have an office.  He gave me feedback on my email.  Apparently it was MY birthday.  My tag line did NOT go over well.

I was embarrassed.  I wanted to clear the air.  Go apologize to WT.  I meant well, I was trying to soften the blow of the month’s less than stellar results.   CJ told me DON’T do anything else … just to NEVER do that again.

Mind you I didn’t modify the official report.  My lame attempt at humor was in the cover email.  Ha!  I still laugh … today is your birthday … because it’s funny.

Years later … or maybe fast forward to June, I saw WT in the hallway at work.  Though I no longer work with him, I brightly smiled and said “Hey W.  Happy birthday! Wink wink.  Get it?”  Surprisingly he did.  We had a good laugh.

And that’s the back story.  Because I’m rambling.  I save my one-liner posts for Wednesdays.  Today is Friday.  Haha.  I slay me.

Okay!  Here we go, here we go now.

I participated in Write Club 2019.  I didn’t place but this year they did something different by offering feedback.  I got about eight word docs with my 500 or less story followed by critiques.  I’m in heaven y’all … hog heaven that is … or I’m high on cotton … lol.  That ain’t right.  I’m something else … tickled pink.  Yep, I am tickled pink.

The first critique was good.  I made his or her top 45, not top 30 but man y’all that’s close when the top 30 compete for reader votes.  My entry was written in an hour-ish, rough draft, not polished.  Yep I’m telling on myself.  I joined for fun with zero expectation of placing.

Guess what critique #2 said?  It said and I quote “this looks like a draft and not a polished piece or perhaps part of a larger story??  Maybe with more context this would make sense.” Winning!

The remainder were neutral.  Several said I had grammatical errors throughout.  Did I think this was #SoCS?  uh ya!  That’s my style.  And I did a head hop thing at the very end.  “Just how did Missy know what Stella was thinking?”  Well geez Louise, mind reading of course.

But I jest!  I LOVE my feedback and I’ll do better next time.  I know what to work on.  Not being facetious either.  Constructive criticism makes us better.  Now I am off to eat b-day cake and ice cream. Maybe play a little pin-the-tail on the donkey.  Hit that pinata.

As always, more to come.

 

 

#FlashFiction

Miss Goodie Two Shoes, always giving advice as if the world would just fucking collapse if she didn’t have something to say about every damn thing.  Know-It-All.  Gives the rest of us girls a bad name, servant goddess to men. Kissing up and batting those big eyes.  I wonder if she believed half the Betty Crocker bullshit she dished out.

As always, more to come

#FlashFiction

She could end her with the words left unspoken

The opinions conflicted

What to do?

The so called experts had told her for years not to say anything

To stand back and watch

To support without conditions

They did not understand how hard it was to watch someone die

The longest, slowest, most painful death of indifference

Of self-loathing and hatred

She turned the words of the one person to ever suggest a conversation over in her brain

Not saying it doesn’t mean it is not true

Deflected truths added to the lock box

She knew speaking the truths would not change anything

She knew her subject was in deep denial

The kind that can lead to psychosis

As always, more to come.

#flashfiction

In twilight, she woke. At 4 am the alarm clock finally blared pulling her back to life. It was then she realized she was already living.

She missed him dearly. Gone too soon. He always told her “it’s not insomnia. If you wake before the alarm, get up, you’re done sleeping. There’s no right or wrong/no magic number”.

This trick worked as well as any other. Things like not looking at the time, not drinking caffeine after 3pm, and her deep breathing techniques.

The peace and comfort despite lack of sleep was something she wanted to share. If everyone had a bed, covers and pillow … a soft place to land. What a wonderful world it would be.

As always more to come.

Okay I Lied But You Have To Read & Comment Puhleese

One more post … Turned into … One more post … And this time I mean it!

I am done.

Until this afternoon

When I will be crying in my Post Toastees

I read this yesterday How Much Do Dreams Affect You?

Well yesterday my time, versus 3:03 a.m. the author’s time which is how my comment is displayed.  At 3:03 a.m. Central Standard Time (CST), I was snoring.

Rabbit hole alert!

I am no longer sure I am on CST.  Dayum daylight (non-plural) saving time.  Oh how I loathe thee.  Also aren’t you awed and amazed at how connected we’ve become across geography all the while shrinking into ourselves and becoming hermits?  I mean really y’all.  Well the latter is what I do.  I diminish into my head.

Anyhoo …

This was my comment – I think dreams are our subconscious at work. I don’t always remember mine. And even the ones I remember don’t affect me all day.

And don’t cha know that I remembered my dream from last night for the first time in ages. Or a short while. Or forever.  I forget. Okay, I lied.  I am the dream whisperer.

Lulu woke me at the pinnacle scene/dream sequence which might be why I remembered.

The dream was about things that have been stressing me … my lack of wardrobe (not that I am a diva, the opposite, my clothes are tattered) AND my health.  In this dream, a dear sweet BFF from work was helping me find clothes that fit.  I was telling her how I felt bad with my diagnosis of osteo-everything.  She reminded me to give her the deets on the pharma and she’d ask her nurse sister (life imitating dream as we’ve discussed this before).

Next she was gone.  Poof!  And I was going to the doctor.  A new one.  Maybe has something to do with my rheumatologist appointment in April. My dream doctor turned out to be my nephew (who has distanced himself from all of us lately).  Surprise!  His office was atop a craggy mountain.  I made my way to the precipice; then I saw him and started crying.  He hugged me and looked over my shoulder commenting Who is he?  I turn and to the right was my dearly departed brother but alive and well.

Dr. Nephew: Is that you I smell?

Bro: Maybe? Let’s try this again, shall we?

Deep inhale …

Me still crying: I know the smell is coming from me.

Dr. Nephew & Bro: Yes, Jill, we smell your disease.

Then I am AWAKE! OMGee!!!!! What can that mean?

Years back before Dan was officially diagnosed with lymphoma, his breath gave off a sort of sour yeasty smell.  We often wonder if the diagnosis had been made then, would he have survived?  And of course, now I am sure I am dying. Well what else is new?

Rhetorical peeps.

This house is clean.

As always, more to come.

**** P.S. as an aside, would you have voted for this?  Or is it a crap fest? Or somewhere in between? ****

I am gauging my appeal (or utter lack thereof).  I am NOT breaking WRiTE Club rules.  Cuz I am not promoting myself or any other writer.  Also, I cannot not use this anyway since you can’t have posted the story anywhere else before, even on your blog.

 

 

Today Is The Day!!! Must Read

Today is a day, maybe not the day :).  Actually I guess April 16th is the day but without today there’d be no need for April 16th.  AND i CAN HEAR YOU PEOPLE.  Telling me once again to land the plane.  The screaming was accidental I tell ya.  Stupid CAPS lock.

WRiTE Club opens for entries March 12 to April 1st.  In following the 2nd RULE: You MUST talk about WRiTE CLUB, I share this link: WRiTE Club 2018 Information

And that is all.  Go back and click the link.  See all the deets.  Then get ready to rumble.

As always, more to come.

 

Destiny

#flashfiction

Annie was the baby of the family. She was deeply loved and wanted.  Standards of perfection were forced upon her from the moment of conception.

The family curse was also part of her DNA.  Addiction runs in the family.  Both sides.  How could Annie escape her destiny?

Somewhere along the way she quit trying.  “Who cares?” she wondered.  “We’re born alone, we die alone”

She Simply Existed

#FlashFiction

For years Celeste simply existed.  Her routine was as ingrained in her DNA.  The fiber of her being.  The blood coursing through her veins.  The rituals made her tick.  She powered through the work week doing everything for everybody with few exceptions.  Going to work expended every ounce of her energy.  She couldn’t cook or keep house.  She believed to her core that she had failed as a mother and a wife.  As an employee, she hid it!  She was compelled to go to work and excel while she was there.  She had not taken a “sick” day in over two years.  But it was all a sham.  She wondered when they would find out.  Each day closer to Friday at 5 added to her pending relief.

Upon arriving home on those blessed Friday evenings, she shed her costume and wiped every trace of that other woman from her face.  She became a hermit.  Exhaustion pulled her to her bed.  The twins would fend for themselves or hubby would step in.  Celeste would not come out again until Sunday afternoon.  Then the panic would set in.  The fear of facing another week.  Another 5 days of the grind.  With all the strength she could muster, she’d prepare.  The tasks needed to get ready and to steady herself.  The night would be fraught with twists and turns, this she knew.  Yet she could not stop the cycle of simply existing.

As always, more to come.

Only In Private

#flashfiction

Shelly kept an eye open every time she went out.  Didn’t matter the reason or place.  Validation could be hiding around every corner.  And validation she craved.

She was a shy sensitive child who grew into a doormat.  Always concerned with everyone else’s feelings. Forever the empath. This is how she got stuck in the place she was at now.

When Shelly met Mark sparks flew immediately.  They became quick friends first.  He loved to talk and she loved to listen.  The friendship blossomed. The small cocoon of their world allowed love to flourish.  He claimed her and she claimed him!

Their relationship was not destined to survive the real world however.  Everyone else had a say.  You’re too young.  Your backgrounds are too different.  Most often the comments were what could he possibly see in her?  She’s too round, plump, big, fat.

Those comments pelted her but she accepted her lot.  He loved her.  Had grown to love her deeply.  He would show that time and time again. But only in private.

You see Mark was a stand up guy.  He stayed no matter what, long past his change of heart.  Long past the loss of spark.  The comments pelted him too.  Could he do better?  His heart knew there was no one better.  If only people could see Shelly the way he could.  If only her image could be improved.

He thought long and hard about what he should do.  There was nothing tethering him to her.  Yet Mark was confused and acting out.  He made no move to leave.

And Shelly continued looking for examples of star crossed lovers who stood the test of time.  Real life examples of oddball pairings.  She knew validation could be hiding around every corner.  And validation she craved.

#flashfiction