Monthly Archives: September 2014

A New Story is Coming Out!


by Lillian Csernica on September 30, 2014

 

My flash fiction piece, “Following Orders,” is about to become available online at Pithy Pages in the October 1 issue.

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Cyberbullies, Trolls, Mobs & Haters—How to Protect Yourself & Others in a Dangerous World


The WANA blog is a great resource for writers. This particular post is of value to everybody. Please pass it on.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Image via "The Terminator." Image via “The Terminator.”

As the WANA Mama, I am fiercely protective of my writer peeps…like Giant Kodiak Mother Bear Protective. I will and have gone to the mattresses for fellow writers who’ve found themselves under senseless attack.

Yet, as a counterpoint, I choose my battles. I love Sun Tzu, and have read his Art of War until the pages were falling out. When it comes to dealing with a formidable enemy, Sun Tzu is the master tactician. One of my favorite quotes?

The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting. ~Sun Tzu

A few days ago Psychology Today posted an article I found interesting in that 1) this article gives data to support what we all know deep down but 2) don’t want to believe. We know there is something different about trolls. They exhibit what is called The Dark Tetrad Personality—Machiavellianism, narcissism, sadism, and…

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How to Stop Being Your Own Worst Enemy


by Lillian Csernica on September 23, 2014

People of Planet Earth, let’s work together to help each other get out of his or her own way.  How do we do that?  We stop the thought patterns inside our own heads that are self-defeating.  Worse, those patterns spread out and stain the lives of other people with our anger, depression, grief and pain.  If you think it’s a great virtue to clean up litter from the streets, parks, beaches, etc., then you will be delighted to identify and remove all the rubbish inside your own mind.

It’s appalling, how easily we hamstring ourselves.  It’s tragic, the way the trauma of one generation sinks in all the way to the genetic level and predisposes the next generation to susceptibility.  You want to learn resilience?  You want to protect yourself, your children, your grandchildren against the genetic fallout of all the stress and pain going on right here right now?  Read this list.  Read it again.  Take an honest look inside your own mind and identify which of these Styles has taken over your thoughts.

We can change.  We possess brains far superior to the greatest computers.  We have hearts, minds, and souls.  We can overcome these bad mental habits and stop spreading emotional pollution just as corporations who obey the clean air laws can install equipment that will help filter their pollutants and protect our atmosphere.  It’s a relief.  It really is.  Clear and direct communication means the message gets through without all the static generated by wrong assumptions and personal baggage.

Speaking as someone in recovery from Major Depressive Disorder, inasmuch as the condition can be “cured,” I assure you that learning to eliminate these patterns of Distorted Thinking will make your life so much simpler and easier.  You want to lose weight?  Start with the Distorted Thinking.  Eliminate that and you will shed a lot of what’s dragging you down.

Surrenderworks.com / Library / Imports ~

15 styles of Distorted Thinking



 

  • Filtering: You take the negative details and magnify them while filtering out all positive aspects of a situation.
  • Polarized Thinking: Things are black or white, good or bad. You have to be perfect or you’re a failure. There is no middle ground.
  • Overgeneralization: You come to a general conclusion based on a single incident or piece of evidence. If something bad happens once you expect it to happen over and over again.
  • Mind Reading:  Without their saying so, you know what people are feeling and why they act the way they do. In particular, you are able to divine how people are feeling toward you.
  • Castastrophizing: You expect disaster. you notice or hear about a problem and start “what if’s”. What if tragedy strikes? What if it happens to you?”
  • Personalization: Thinking that everything people do or say is some kind of reaction to you. You also compare yourself to others, trying to determine who’s smarter, better looking, etc.
  • Control Fallacies: If you feel externally controlled, you see yourself as helpless, a victim of fate. The fallacy of internal control has you responsible for the pain and happiness of everyone around you.
  • Fallacy of Fairness: You feel resentful because you think you know what’s fair but other people won’t agree with you.
  • Blaming: You hold other people responsible for your pain, or take the other tack and blame yourself for every problem or reversal.
  • Should: You have a list of ironclad rules about how you and other people should act. People who break the rules anger you and you feel guilty if you violate the rules.
  • Emotional Reasoning: You believe that what you feel must be true-automatically. If you feel stupid and boring, then you must be stupid and boring.
  • Fallacy of Change: You expect that other people will change to suit you if you just pressure or cajole them enough. You need to change people because your hope for happiness seem to depend entirely on them.
  • Global Labeling: You generalize one or two qualities into a negative global judgment.
  • Being Right: You are continually on trial to prove that your opinions and actions are correct. Being wrong is unthinkable and you will go to any length to demonstrate your rightness.
  • Heaven’s Reward Fallacy: You expect all your sacrifice and self-denial to pay off, as if there were someone keeping score. You feel better when the reward doesn’t come

 

Checklist for Hidden Anger
  • Procrastination in the completion of imposed tasks.
  • Perpetual or habitual lateness.
  • A liking for sadistic or ironic humor.
  • Sarcasm, cynicism or flippancy in conversation.
  • Frequent sighing.
  • over politeness, constant cheerfulness, attitude of “grin and bear it”.
  • Smiling while hurting.
  • Frequent disturbing or frightening dreams.
  • Over-controlled monotone speaking voice
  • Difficulty in getting to sleep or sleeping through the night.
  • Boredom, apathy, loss of interest in things you are usually enthusiastic about.
  • Slowing down of movements.
  • Getting tired more easily than usual.
  • Excessive irritability over trifles.
  • Getting drowsy at inappropriate times.
  • Sleeping more than usual / maybe 12 to 14 hours a day.
  • Waking up tired rather than rested or refreshed.
  • Clenched jaws or grinding of the teeth / especially while sleeping.
  • Facial tics, spasmodic foot movements, habitual fist clenching and similar repeated physical acts done unintentionally or unaware.
  • Chronically stiff or sore neck or shoulder muscles.
  • Chronic depression… extended periods of feeling down for no reason.
  • Stomach ulcers.

 

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Filed under Depression, Family, Goals, love, marriage, Self-image, Special needs, Writing

8 Ways You’ll Screw Up a Story as a New Writer, and How Those Mistakes Can Help You (The Full List)


This is pure gold. Please read it, drop Therin a comment, and pass this along.

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The Very Inspiring Blogger Award!


by Lillian Csernica on September 16, 2014

 

 

Well! Today is certainly turning out to be a day for wonderful surprises.  Someone gave me flowers.  It looks like I may be making actual progress with John’s current school difficulties.  Just now I discovered that rgemom, the dear lady who writes Three’s a Herd, has nominated me for The Very Inspiring Blogger Award.  Thank you SO much.  Life is good!

Here are the rules of the award:

  • Thank and link to the person who nominated you.
  • List the rules and display the award.
  • Share seven facts about yourself.
  • Nominate 15 other amazing blogs and comment on their posts to let them know they have been nominated.
  • Optional: display the award logo on your blog and follow the blogger who nominated you

 

Seven Facts About Me

1) I own a handmade, hot pink, thong-wearing felt Hamster that has been autographed by Esther Friesner herself.

2) As much as I hate needles, I have given serious thought to the tattoo design I’d want and where it would be located.  Purely hypothetical, of course.

3. I really don’t see the point of celery.

4)I have a terrible weakness for blue-eyed Irishmen who can sing.

5) My original career choice was Marine Biology.  That came to a screeching halt the day I learned that in the process of dissecting the higher life forms, I would one day be called upon to work on a cat.  Nope.  Sorry.  Not for love or money.

6) Back when I was in high school I owned a Oujia board, the classic Milton Bradley model sold in game stores everywhere.  I no longer own a Ouija board, and I will never go near one again.

7) My middle name is Irene.  How often do you hear that one these days?

 

The 15 Blogs I Consider Inspirational and Award-worthy:

1) Tabula Candida

2) Broadside

3) Writers In The Storm

4) terribleminds

5) Make Me A Sammich

6) Raising 5 Kids with Disabilities and Remaining Sane Blog

7) The Red Pen of Doom

8) Faithmummy

9) Katana/Pen

10) Bitter Gertrude

11) Deidra Alexander’s Blog

12) harm:less drudg:ery

13) Blogging From A to Z Challenge

14) Bone Speak

15) Cats at the Bar

 I hope to live up to the honor of this award in the posts that I write and the comments that I make.  Thank you again!

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Filed under autism, Awards, cats, Depression, Family, Fiction, Food, Goals, history, Horror, Humor, science fiction, Special needs, Writing

The Internet Is Full of Mean People and Bloggers, and the Two Are One In the Same


Ms. Schmidt has made some important and insightful comments. I hope her precise distinction regarding who the “mean people” really are spreads far and wide across the Web.

Everyone, whether they realize it or not, reads blogs. At least everyone that reads stuff on the Internet.

A lot of times I very intentionally try to only read legitimate news articles. I scope out particular sites I know to be traditional media; and then about a quarter of the way in I realize that I’m really reading a blog post. Then somewhere in there I realize I’m a total doofus because it says in bold print at the top of the page FROM THE BLOG. Really, written blogs are just opinion pieces with a different title on them. Facebook Notes are blogs. Tweets and status updates are too; so are Instagrams – whether you people like it or not, pretty much anyone that uses the Internet and social media has in some form blogged, or read a blog of any kind and been like “OMG this person is my…

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“Okay” is NOT Okay


by Lillian Csernica on September 8, 2014

I love history.  I love language.  I love learning expressions unique to various cultures.

I love accents.  Colin O’Donoghue, Captain Hook from “Once Upon A Time,” uses an English accent for his character.  O’Donoghue himself hails from Ireland, and speaks with that lilt to his own voice.  I’ve heard Gerard Butler speak with an American accent, as well as with his native Scots rhythms.  John Malkovich can do a perfect French accent.  Nothing is beyond the talents of Geoffrey Rush.

Few things will grind my gears like hearing a character in an historical movie or TV show say the word “Okay.”

Caution Girl

Wikipedia will tell you quite a bit about the origins of the word “okay.”  That’s nice.  The word has many uses.  However,  given that the first recorded usage was in 1839, it has no place at all in any work of fiction prior to the 19th Century.  One of the best lessons I learned at the Northern Renaissance Faire workshops was the importance of never saying “Okay.”  It sounds modern.  It sounds informal.  It ruins the atmosphere and the ambiance and the characterization.  Two syllables.  That’s all it takes.  Poof!  All that hard work lost.

(While I’m at it, I might as well go ahead and complain about the word “parents” in historical novels.  For most of history, you’ve got Mommy and Daddy, Mother and Father, according to country of origin and the particular dialects thereof.  A Highlander is not going to think o’ himself as wee Jaime’s “parent.”  You will never see a cat fight between washerwomen in the town square started with the cry of, “You can’t talk that way about my parent!”  Our times might be full of sensitive, politically correct, Equal Rights-based language.  That’s fine.  You cannot superimpose those values and that language on a Bronze Age teenager who has no idea where babies come from other than seeing the women’s bellies get really big and then there’s all this screaming.  Must be magic!)

“Okay” also indicates laziness on the part of the writer.  Surely there must be some more precise and historically appropriate term for whatever usage of “Okay” you’re expressing?

From Wikipedia:

OK” (also spelled “Okay“, “Ok“, or “O.K.“) is a word denoting approval, acceptance, agreement, assent, or acknowledgment. “OK” has frequently turned up as a loanword in many other languages.

As an adjective, “okay” means “adequate,” “acceptable” (“this is okay to send out”), “mediocre” often in contrast to “good” (“the food was okay”); it also functions as an adverb in this sense. As an interjection, it can denote compliance (“Okay, I will do that”), or agreement (“Okay, that’s good”). As a verb and noun it means “assent” (“The boss okayed the purchase,” and, “The boss gave his okay to the purchase.”) As a versatile discourse marker (or back-channeling item), it can also be used with appropriate voice tone to show doubt or to seek confirmation (“Okay?” or “Is that okay?”).[1]

It’s a useful word, that’s true, but it’s also a dishwater word.  No color, no depth, no character.  Writing that lacks color, depth, and character is bad writing.  Not worth reading, hardly worth writing.  In the minds of editors, not worth paying good money for!

Here’s another lesser known disadvantage of using “Okay” especially at the end of a sentence.  It makes the character speaking look weak, indecisive, in need of approval or validation.  That’s true in real life too, by the way.

“Okay” can be used as a verbal cattle prod to make sure the person at whom the message is directed has really been listening.  It all depends on who is speaking, what that person is saying, to whom the words are directed, the overt meaning, and the subtext.

Yes, “Okay” can save time and word count and pacing and move the story along.  Modern story?  Fine.  Historical story?  Anachronism.  If you have any love at all for historical literature, fiction or nonfiction, you will know that “anachronism” can be a very dirty word.

The expression “God is in the details” is attributed to either Ludwig Mies van der Rohe or Gustav Flaubert, depending on whether you favor the German or the French.  From this expression arises the paraphrased saying “The Devil is in the details.”  Which one is true?  Here’s my answer.  We hope that God is in our details when we reach for the perfection of our creation.  We know the Devil is in the details when we can’t quite get to the right word or the precise idea.  After all, for a writer it really is hell on earth to know your work is just “okay.”

 

fd7ea-9_29_michaelthearchangel

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Filed under fantasy, Fiction, Goals, history, Horror, Humor, love, romance, science fiction, Writing

The Secrets of My Success


By Lillian Csernica on September 2. 2014

 

 

 

You’ve seen the photos!

You’ve read the blog posts!

Now SEE ME LIVE from the comfort of your own home!

THE NOT-SO-HECTIC ECLECTIC with REGGIE LUTZ

 

But wait!  There’s more!

The folks at AUTHOR SHOUT have just posted their interview with me.

What I write, why I write it, where you can find it, and how much good it will do for you!

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Filed under Awards, Family, fantasy, Fiction, Goals, history, Horror, Humor, Japan, love, marriage, romance, science fiction, Writing

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Pastel Bottle Rocket

Bringing You Posts Every Monday and Friday!

Arrowhead Freelance and Publishing

Making the world a richer place, one story at a time

The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

Here and now, with all of it.

Me In The Middle

a beginning, a middle, and an end…but not necessarily in that order

Sharon E. Cathcart

Award-winning Author of Fiction Featuring Atypical Characters

THE DOGLADY'S DEN

Eclectic Musings, Memoirs, Music & More

Kayla Lowe

Christian Fiction Author and Freelance Writer

Flash 365

"Oh! Take a shit, read a story" - My Mother on Flash Fiction

Possibility & Light

Interesting Things by Cherrie Ali

"The Bransque"

Rejecting the Status Quo & Rebelling Against Mediocrity!!

A Writer's Path

Sharing writing tips, information, and advice.

wordsthatserve

Breathe, read...smile

MY DEAR YELLOW WORLD

Welcome to my written world

Tales from the Cabbage Patch

Because everyone wonders where they came from

518-songofmypeople

A town everyone hates, yet no one leaves...

No Word For Sand

The stories, dreams, and frustrations of an aspiring author

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