Sunday, April 26, 2015

Government Interference in Gay Marriage

I just read an article online that really distresses me. Don't get me wrong, I have no objection to same sex marriage--that's a personal choice. It's also one in which the federal government has no right interfering, but apparently President Obama thinks it's HIS business and has recently signed an Executive Order requiring everyone to attend a gay wedding every year. In addition, they must file proof with their taxes in the form of a napkin or other trinket from the wedding (not sure how that's going to work for those who e-file). Failure to prove the taxpayer attended a gay wedding will result in the taxpayer being forced to purchase a $500 gift to be included in the government gift registry. 

My problem with such a thing is first and foremost, I don't even attend a wedding every year--in fact, the last one I attended was when my youngest daughter got married in 2008, and secondly, I don't know enough gay people, singles or couples, to attend a wedding every year. Most of my gay friends I know are from Facebook, and as such they live all over the country. Is the government going to pay my expenses to get there including meals and lodging? I didn't think so! 

Another thing that crosses my mind here is for many people, complying with this new order would mean attending the wedding of strangers. Let me ask you: would you want people at your wedding you didn't know outside of family members you never met and the guests of attendees? I know I wouldn't want strangers to attend my wedding just because the government said they had to do it. Those who don't attend should not be forced to purchase a gift, and certainly not one so expensive--I haven't even bought that expensive of a gift to those weddings I have attended simply because I don't have that kind of money. 

I think it's time the government, and especially President Obama need to stay out of people's private lives. The choice of guests should be up to the engaged couple, the government and president do not have the right to demand that people attend who are not specifically invited by the couple. The choice of whether to allow same sex marriage should be up to the individual states, not the government. As citizens we have lost our rights as a result of government interference, especially under the current administration. It is my hope when the new election is complete we will find the new administration will be more compassionate to the needs and desires of the people it is there to serve. 

I am not saying I agree or disagree with same sex marriage because that is irrelevant to the issue at hand. The issue here is government interference into something that should be private and at the discretion of  the government. We're lucky President Obama can't run again because I fear he would next be telling us where to live, work, how many kids to have, and who knows what else!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Be Careful When You Do Favors

I am both a writer and copy editor. In the latter capacity I often try to do favors for people I know by charging way less than I normally do, and up until now I've had no problems with providing this service. In the summer I offered my services to someone I thought was a friend and had been taken advantage of by a previous editor. When she approached me and said she would like me to copy edit the book, I made it very clear to her that I had another project I was working on and that I also had difficulty sometimes because of my back, but she told me she was not in any hurry. In July we did the contract which stipulated we would agree on a date later. I also gave her the option to pay up front or to pay 25 percent down and the balance upon completion; she chose to pay up front.

Initially, there were no problems with our arrangement, but as time went on she started to pressure me for completion even though she had initially told me there was no rush. Not only was she pressuring me for completion, but she had begun to make accusations such as she was afraid to see what I did to her manuscript, I had better make sure she can undo any changes she doesn't want, etc. This was in spite of the fact I had told her many times I would only make grammar and punctuation changes, the rest would be noted in comments boxes in the right margin. She accused me of being dishonest because it is not October, and she had paid me in July with no stipulation about payment. One day she was fine with it and a few days or a week later she was back to complaining again and throwing accusations around.

Before today the previous email had been okay, and she had told me to "try to finish by Halloween." Then a few days later I got another email that was again slamming me. Now you want to keep in mind this manuscript was not edited by the previous editor for grammar at all. It included misplaced commas, missing commas, unnecessary commas, sentence fragments, extra long sentences, dangling participles, and tense inconsistency within a sentence. I notified this person of this problems and told her they were taking longer to fix because they were so numerous, and while I didn't tell her this, I will honestly say if I had known the former editor had not done any grammar checking, I never would have agreed to do the work at such a cheap price.

Now today I woke up to find out I cannot get into my Windows profile which has all my documents because there is only one administrator account on my computer. I emailed her to ask her to send me another copy of the book after I explained what had happened. Instead of being sympathetic to my turmoil, she went on another rant, demanded I return ALL of her money even though I had already done a substantial amount of work on the book. She tried to accuse me of a Breach of Contract even though there was no date set forth in the contract, and she clearly told me "no rush." This is the first time I have come across anyone who told me "no rush," so I trusted her word and did what I could when I could as my health issues and other projects allowed. In spite of that, she attempted to file a complaint with Pay Pal for the return of ALL her money even though I had already told her I don't even have it right now.

In the final email she accused me of being a scam artist and claimed other people had warned her about me which I know cannot be true. If they did, they are surely not people with whom I have ever worked. I have told her numerous times if we had set up a definite date I would have worked around other things, but when you tell me "work on it when you have time," I take you at your word. This is a lesson well-learned; I will never again agree to work for anyone below my customary fee nor will I agree to provide a contract that does not clearly spell out the terms. Sadly, it is an experience I will not allow to repeat itself, but in the meantime I have to live with someone telling lies and her claims that others told her the same kinds of things.

So much for trying to do someone a favor...

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Life is Short--Enjoy it While You Can

I know the topic of this blog sounds rather morbid, but the truth in since I last posted I have lost several good friends, mostly to cancer. It makes you stop and think about how precious life really is, especially when it comes to your relationships with your friends. All of us only have a limited time on this Earth, and we need to make the most of it. This short time begins from the time we are born and will continue as long as our lives continue.

What brought on all these thoughts of immortality? As I said, I lost friends to cancer, a terrible disease for which we still don't have a cure. Even worse I recently lost a writer friend for what appears to be no apparent reason. He was a good person who helped everyone and often went out of his way to help not only other writers but many others in the creatives arts industry: writing, art, music and much more. His death was unexpected and to those of us who knew him, shocking. Why did this happen to such a good and loving person? It's a question to which we will never have an answer--that is for certain.

Unfortunately, many of us don't stop and think about how short our time is here, and we live in our fast-based world without taking time to enjoy the things that are important to others. How many times have you failed to pick up the telephone and call a friend because you are too busy? I remember thinking that a few years ago when I lost my sister. I was busy with so much at the time, and my sister could keep talking for hours even after you tried to say "goodbye," so I just stayed away as much as possible. Now I wish I could hear her voice again.

I guess the point I am trying to make here is not to let life get in the way of spending time with friends and family. Take some time for those things that are important to you because they may not be there the next day--or even the next hour. Things change too quickly, and once those things slip away from us through death, there is no way to bring them back.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Another Scene from Beyond the Smile

I tried to do this on Sunday, but Blogger kept telling me it couldn't post HTML--HTML I didn't include, so I don't know what's up with that. I never had the problem before, so I am assuming it is something to do with the formatting in Word for Mac--I solved the problem by finally telling it not to show messages about HTML errors in the body of the post. WHEW!

Angela had begun to suspect Joey Spinelli was not what he professed to be, so she began some reearch. She first discovered the address he gave had housed a shopping center for many years while the school he claimed he attended only opened recently. She took the information to Bill Winters, her brother's roommate who was also a Florida state trooper.

It took him a few days, but he discovered more than they had expected and called her on Thursday morning with a request to come to the station after school that day. When she entered the station, she was greeted by a tall, burly police officer whom she had met a couple of times at Michael’s apartment.

“Angela, it’s good to see you again. What can I do for you?”

“Bill called and asked me to stop by.”

“Oh, yeah, the research on Joseph Spinelli. I don’t think you’ll like it.” He buzzed her through the door where she found him waiting for her with computer logged on and a file so thick it looked like a book.

In short, Angela discovered some very disturbing information that would later lead her to become in fear of her life. She also saw other things in Joey that she had not previously seen and became much more cautious when she was around him.

The saga continues, and I hope you will follow me along until we discover what Angela found out and what she did with the information. Read some of the other stories by others on Suspenseful Seven Sentence Sunday as well.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Delay in Posting

Just a short note to everyone that this week's post will be delayed. I attempted to post it last night but Blogger kept giving me an error message about Meta tags which I didn't add. As soon as I find the problem I will be posting another blog.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Suspenseful Seven Sentence Sunday -- Dealing with Change

Angela was excited by Joey Spinelli and was beginning to show signs of rebellion by coming in past her curfew. Her parents were not pleased by any means but placed the blame on Joey rather than Angela. The first in a series of confrontation is the topic of this week's blog.

“Angela, we are really concerned about your relationship with this boy,” her father said one evening when she came home a half hour late. “He isn’t the kind of boy we want you to date, and the fact that he has you coming in past your curfew tells us he is irresponsible.”

Angela ran upstairs to her room, loudly stomping her feet on each step as she ascended. Her voice was full of anger when she yelled down the stairs to her father.

“Why blame everything on Joey?” she said. “Did it ever occur to you that I have a mind of my own and didn’t tell him what time I had to be home? You always want to blame someone else when I do something that doesn’t meet with your approval.”

At the time of this initial confrontation with her parents over her relationship with Joey Spinelli, Angela had not yet discovered his true colors. Her parents had seen right through him and knew he wasn't the kind of boy they wanted their 17-year old daughter to date. At the same time they were like many parents and wanted to give her an opportunity to make her own decisions.

As we continue to follow the story you will discover that Angela is not as vulnerable as she appears to be in this early scene from the story. She is not blind to Joey's faults nor will she put up with the kind of person she finds out he really is. With the help of her best friend, Diane, her brother, Michael, and his roommate, Florida state trooper, Bill Winters, she finds out the truth about Joey Spinelli, and the truth goes far beyond her wildest suspicions about the real Joey Spinelli.

Please continue to follow me on Suspenseful Seven Sentence Sunday to read more of my Work in Progress not only about Angela Massetti and Joey Spinelli but also my novel in progress about an aspiring writer and her rock star boyfriend. Until then Good Night and Sleep Tight.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Suspenseful Seven Sentence Sunday -- Another Scene

I'm sorry I missed last week, but it was actually for a very good reason: I was in the middle of a writing project. As much as I love my fiction work, it is the non-fiction articles and blogs that currently help me pay my portion of the bills, so I have to stay busy. I wanted to go in earlier and find out how to schedule the posts, but I haven't had a chance to do that yet.

At any rate, these seven sentences pick up in the story after Angela was able to escape from the stalker. This is where she first meets the hero who will later make her life one of torture. He puts on a good act for her during the early part of their relationship, but then he turns into someone she doesn't even know.

“Hi, gorgeous! Wanna go for a ride?”

He put the kick stand down to stabilize the bike and leaned back on the sissy bar with his feet propped on its frame.

“I don’t ride with people I don’t know.”

Her heart began beating faster and her rapid breathing almost caused her to hyperventilate. She had one hand on the panic button of her key ring while she held her purchase and purse with her other hand.

“Name’s Joey Spinelli. What’s yours?”

This initial meeting causes Angela to do something that is completely out of character for this level-headed 17 year old honor student, and her relationship with Joey creates havoc at home and causes a great deal of friction between Angela and her parents. As we move forward you will be able to see how Joey begins as a very attentive boyfriend but quickly reveals his true personality beginning with the need to control every move Angela makes. On that note, I will close for this week.

Please continue to follow me on Suspenseful Seven Sentence Sunday to read more of my Work in Progress not only about Angela Massetti and Joey Spinelli but also my novel in progress about an aspiring writer and her rock star boyfriend. Until then Good Night and Sleep Tight.