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Weaving Thoughts Together

Indigenous Peoples Day

Losing the ability to use much of my brain off-and-on for the past several years was a blessing in disguise — when I’m thinking positively. I’m connecting more closely with what’s important to me, like being here with you.

You might recall my blog post about Thanksgiving Days. You’re finding me celebrating Columbus Day now as Indigenous Peoples Day and producing a chapter of an audiobook. I’ll post it here when I’ve finished it. It’s a mini biography of Alice C. Fletcher from a collection at Project Gutenberg. She attempted to overpower the Europeans who were harrassing Indians away from valuable lands in the U.S.

Alice Cunningham Fletcher
portrait of Alice C. Fletcher

What do you think of her solution? Do you know of any other ideas?

Image credits:
Portrait of Alice C. Fletcher from Popular Science Monthly Volume 43 via Wikimedia Commons. This work is in the public domain.

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Blogging Goals Update

Linda's Anniversary bouquet

Happy Blogging Anniversary Linda! You got me thinking about how my blogging goals have changed since nearly 2 years ago when I established my first one.

I began my first blog to satisfy a Statistics course requirement. The professor asked us to post updates as we explored our statistical analyses.

A dear friend made recommendations for tweaking the blog layout. Although I agreed with her, I felt frustrated and limited by the options at tumblr. She and another great writer friend recommended WordPress. Independent spirit that I am, I stuck with tumblr, and signed up for an account elsewhere; that sat idle as I hoped to figure out how it worked someday.

Then, Leni began a private WordPress site for a group of writers, and made me an Administrator! I got the most comprehensive book about WordPress, and rose to the occasion. I began my own WordPress blog to learn the ropes before I dared to make any changes or suggestions for the group site.

I was in a personal era of writing research articles. The ones that stimulated discussion about social justice moved me to post regularly, so my blogging goal was to aim for publishing an article each week on a social justice issue.

Many people recommend focusing a blog on one topic, but blogging supported my discovery that focusing on one topic is not in my nature. I flit from one to another, as freely as an expert juggler can throw and catch  bean bags. I considered sharing my recipes like PaleOMG, sense of humor like Little Miss Menopause, recommendations for writers like Anne R. Allen, and favorite authors like Chris The Story Reading Ape.

And I have also been writing fiction. My husband enjoyed it so much (and still does — he’s my favorite editor), he asked me to write a story every day for a while, and prompted me with a few items to get me started, like “your grandmother’s grandmother’s diary, a trunk, and an attic”. Eventually, the weekly prompts at Google+ Writers Discussion Group Weekly Writing Exercises replaced his, and I met Ronda.

Last summer, Ronda invited me to join the Google+ Saturday Scenes Community where writers share work that they are developing, and readers give feedback. After I read for a few weeks, I shared a short story that my husband had previously prompted. My commenters asked me about the character and more of the story, and when I discovered that I had answers to their questions, my River Novel began, which I continue to write.

As Linda continues into her second year of her blog, I send her hopes that it will be full of dreamy millionaires who will whisk her off to the French countryside under the stars for orgasmic episodes, as well as more of the same raw insight that she has been sharing. I put the power of my blessings behind her goal,

“May I have another blissful year ahead of me and continue to love what I do every single time I sit at this laptop, with the screen propped open and may I always embrace the feeling of drowning in the emotions that run through my body and it makes me want to type my entire day away just to share with the world what goes on in this almost always crazy, very rarely beautiful, never too broken world of mine.”

Today is My 1 Year Blog Anniversary! | Never.Too.Broken.

Thanks Carrie Bradshaw for sharing your thoughts as you celebrate.

 

Image Credits:
Composite of images from the Public Domain, by Grace Buchanan, Creative Commons license BY-NC-ND 4.0

Sweating Small Stuff

 

80% of our effort produces 20% of our results

something has to change by at least 5% for us to notice the difference

Consider that less than 20% of our effort might make more than 80% of the difference.

Parroting the Pareto Principle

More than 100 years ago, economist Vilfredo Pareto discovered that 20% of the pea pods in his garden produced 80% of his peas, and 20% of Italy’s population owned 80% of Italy’s land. Other people have found that this Pareto Principle applies to many other countries, and even the world. People are applying this principle to other situations, like resource management, showing that 80% of a person’s effort addressed 20% of the problems, 80% of the products were produced by 20% of the machinery, etc.

Man_in_pelvis_cloth_lifting_weight Man_in_pelvis_cloth_lifting_weightb~3

Weighing Weber’s Law

Nearly 200 years ago, physiologist Ernst Weber discovered that a weight lifter could perceive smaller differences in weight as the weight decreases. For example, when people were lifting 100 lbs., they usually didn’t notice if you added or removed less than 10 lbs.; but when they were lifting 10 lbs., then they noticed a difference of 1 lb. or more. Thus, he found that it took a 10% change in weight for the difference to be noticeable. Many people began applying this Law to other senses: for hearing, the difference is around 5%, and for vision, 8%.

So What?

I wanted to make the most of my time. I understood that I could be like most, and waste 80% of my time chasing after the bottom 20% of my customers and profit. I wanted to apply the Pareto percentages so that 80% of my time built up the top 20%.

Don’t sweat the small stuff?

Then, I kept coming across the idea that we don’t notice small changes, so I considered stopping chasing the small stuff.

Maybe life doesn’t work well that way.

…It’s all small stuff

When I put the greatest amount of my effort into the smallest things, I excel.

In college, learning 20% of the material took around 80% of my effort. It was the difference between C and A grades. I could have shown up for class and done the minimal required, and gotten Cs, but I chose to master the details to get mostly As.

In other areas of my life, I could have done what 80% of the other people did, and fit in. Instead, I addressed details that others didn’t notice, and excelled.

I propose that 80-99% of life just happens. 80-99% of our bodily functions probably happen on their own for 80-99% of the people. My most essential functions require the least amount of my attention: breathing, circulating blood, dreaming. But greater health comes from attending to the optional 1-20%: expanding awareness.

So, I’m sweating the small stuff: savoring 1% of the music that I hear, 1% of the foods that I eat, 1% of the plants that I see, 1% of the words that I read…you get the idea.

What small stuff do you want to sweat today?

 

 

Photo credit:
“Man in pelvis cloth lifting weight” by Muybridge, Eadweard, 1830-1904 [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

Amazon Update

You know how I feel about Amazon. I still have a few used items for sale at their website, but will continue to lean toward using alternative websites when I have another item to sell.

Today I got an email from Amazon stating that if I want to sell a DVD with a MSRP (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) of $25 or more, I will have to apply for the privilege, starting in November. “We are implementing this restriction because these products may have a higher risk of authenticity issues. ” That sounds reasonable. After all, I’m in favor of protecting intellectual property rights. But the application process requires a Professional Selling Plan with a monthly fee of $39.99.

Amazon-update

Call me cynical, but I think that Amazon is pushing its sellers into this monthly subscription program  under the guise of increasing the legitimacy of the products that they sell through their “doors”.

  • another reason why I am supporting alternatives to buying and selling through Amazon.

 

Image credits:
Composite of images by Grace Buchanan, Creative Commons License
This image is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Image Components:
Woman in denim jeans in Paris 2007, by Mark Skipper
I got to pick the film we watched Friday night 🙂 by Lisa Risager
Pirate by Jess
Discarded DVD Cases by Rym DeCoster
Discarded DVD covers by Harald Groven