Sometime the Story Just Won’t Be Told

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I’ve talked a lot about telling stories. About how important it is to tell your story, because no one else can. But, something I haven’t really discussed are the stories that can’t, or won’t be told.

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Some stories just won’t be told.

I’m not really talking about stories you can’t tell for legal or moral reasons. Really, those are kind of self explanatory. I’m talking about the stories you can’t tell because…well you just can’t. Maybe they’re too personal. Or too emotional. Maybe you don’t even know where to begin. Maybe even the thought of putting words down just makes you anxious. Well, I’m here to tell you, that’s OK too.

Right now I’m in one of those places. There is so much going on, so much happening (and none of good if I’m going to be totally honest) that I can’t get the words out. My usual approach to stress is to write about it, but right now I can’t.

I can’t write. I can’t talk. All of it just swirls around in my head and I can’t really grasp a single thought that I can use to start with. Normally I can put something down about what’s going on and impart some positive wisdom at the end. The light at the end of the tunnel.

But not now. Not yet. Maybe never.

Maybe one day I’ll find the words. Maybe one day the story will want to be told. Maybe I’ll find the happy ending and I can turn it all around. Today is not that day.

And you know what, I think that might be alright. Maybe some stories are just not meant to be told. Some stories are so personal, so overwhelming, so…big that they just can’t be told.

SO, today’s advice on storytelling: if you have a story that just won’t be told, a story that you just can’t tell, give it time. Give it space. Today may not be the day to tell that story. Don’t give up though, there are lots of stories out there waiting to be told. So hang on, grab the next one and don’t let go.

 

Respect One Another

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I’ve stepped away on purpose the last few weeks. There is so much heartbreaking news out there, and I didn’t feel I had anything to offer the conversation. But, ignoring it somehow seemed wrong. Today I intended to post something fun as a get our minds off all of sadness. But I can’t do it. hands-683950_960_720

Instead I’ll say the one thing that keeps running through my mind. Can’t we just respect one another.

I’m not saying we should put aside all of our differences, hold hands and sing Kumbaya. I’m not even saying we should like one another. It would be nice, but let’s be honest…that’s never going to happen in my lifetime. Some of the differences are a really important to who we are and deserve to be focused on and discussed. It’s the differences that will help us as a society learn and, one day, move forward.

But today is not that day.

Asking people to love one another is impossible until people learn to respect one another. So that’s what my message is today. You don’t have to love thy neighbor. Hell, you don’t even have to like them. But try a little respect. They are a human being. They have hopes and dreams. They love someone, and someone loves them. They are someone’s child. They may be someone’s sibling or parent. They have friends. There are things that make them laugh and things that make them cry. They will bleed. They will die.

They are a living, breathing human being. The color of their skin, the person that they love, the higher power they believe in – or don’t believe in, their sex and sexual identity is all secondary to the fact that they are a living, breathing human being. Just like you. Just like me, and the person down the street. Just like every person of color. Just like every cop. Just like every gay man and woman. We are all living, breathing human beings.

Maybe I’m just stupid or naive, but shouldn’t that be the most important part? If you can’t find a way to respect someone for any other reason, can’t you at least respect the fact that they are a human being? They are here trying to live the best they can, and when they’re gone someone will cry for them.

I know that even asking us to be nice to one another at this point is probably a lost cause. So, can we start with respect? For one day, don’t just automatically go on the attack or on the defensive. Respect the people around you. You don’t have to get carried away, just…I don’t know…say excuse me when you walk in front of someone. Hold a door open. Say thank you and your welcome. Acknowledge that the people around you, even the people who say you hate, are PEOPLE. Human beings. Living, breathing, feeling beings just like you.

For one day try to respect them. And then tomorrow, try doing it for another day. And the day after that…and the day after that…and the day after that…And maybe one day we’ll find that we really do respect the people we’re different from. May that day we can move on and find a way get along.rainbow-436171_960_720

Did I Ever Tell You About…My Con Experiences?

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First let’s go back to the early 90’s….

With all of the news and nerdy goodness coming from San Diego Comic Con last weekend, I’m reminded of the cons I’ve been to. I’ve only been to three, but I had a blast. So, did I ever tell you about my con experiences?

Now before you, “Pix or it didn’t happen!” me, there are pictures from at least one of the first two cons, and a video on VHS of the second. Unfortunately, it’s been a lot of years and a bunch of moves since the last time I saw them. I think they’re in storage. I’ve slowly been sorting through boxes and I swear on my autographed Marina Sirtis picture I will add them to the post when and if I find them!

The first two cons I attended were in Pittsburgh, PA in the early 90’s and had a heavy Star Trek slant. If memory serves they were staffed by a local Trek fan group and most of the guests were Trek related, but there folks from all sorts of shows and movies there. I was in my senior year of high school, and while I had been a HUGE fan of Trek and Star Wars and Buck Rogers and other show and movies, I was a little more under the impression geekiness was family thing. I talked about it with a couple of female friends who liked that kind of thing but not as much as I did, and I didn’t really know any guys who like any of the shows I liked. My cousins and extended family could be counted on for conversations, but most of the time it was just me and my brother talking about episodes of ST:NG and whatever other geeky thing he would decide to introduce me to next. (I should make a note here: Yes, I firmly place all blame for my geeky ways on my big brother Ron Gindlesperger. Thanks Bro!)

Going to my first con was a huge eye opener. We weren’t the only ones! Remember folks, this was the days before that big beautiful web was stretching around the wide world bringing geeks together and helping us find our tribes and reach our fandoms. This place was like another planet! People were in all kinds of costumes (we never even thought of that)! They were talking Klingon walking down the hall! The vendors’ room was filled with things we’d only seen in magazines or on TV. It was breath-taking!

My parents paid for the tickets for my brother and I to have the full experience, we could get into main hall for the presenters. I think that my parents and sister just had access to the vendors and other areas. It was something special for just us. Money was often tight, so this made it an even bigger deal that we drove all the way to Pittsburgh and got to do something as unnecessary like a Sci Fi convention and spent money on gas and food and tickets. It was pretty huge deal for me.

Marina Sirtis as Deanna Troi

Marina Sirtis as Deanna Troi – Not the picture I got autographed, but will post it when I find it. Picture Credit: StarTrek.com

Marina Sirits was big name there that year and I can still remember some of what she talked about. Obviously it made a huge impression because 20+ years later and I still remember where we sat and where she stood and her talking to the crowd. We stood in line and I paid the extra $8 or $10 for an actual picture to get autographed (other wise I think it was free with the ticket purchase — my how those days have changed!) and I was so nervous. It was the first time I met a real life celebrity. Well one that I actually knew who it was (I met Jack Ham in our home town when I was a kid, but I didn’t know who he was then). It was amazing!

I went back the next year with a boyfriend, I think he paid for my ticket but my parents drove us and paid for my sister to come with. I took a video camera and mic from the school and said it was for a school video production class project and asked some people in costume questions…like I was trying to pass off to my parents that the only reason I went back was for an education experience. Don’t think they bought it. I had a lovely conversation a nice, albeit hairy, gentleman who told me he was Vincent’s cousin (from the popular TV show at the time Beauty and the Beast) who talked about being there because it was much nicer than the sewers, but it was a little odd for his taste and he didn’t care for the smell.

George Takei running in Los Angles

Don’t know if these are the missing shoes, but Takei looks happy to be running in them. Photo Credit: GeorgeTakei.com

The wonderful George Takei was the big guest and he was a great speaker. What I remember most was that someone stole his running shoes. He came back from jogging and left them outside the door (I think they were muddy and he didn’t want to track it through the room). He went back out for them and they were gone. We were waiting in line for autographs and heard him say, “But who would want my old, stinky shoes? Whatever. I hope they enjoy them.” The line was cutoff before we could get to him for an autograph, but a good time was had by all.

Then life happened and I didn’t get back to a convention until this year when I got to take my two daughters and my husband to their first. The oldest daughter is nearly 16 and the youngest 9 (for my husband’s sake I’ll leave out how old he is). The girls cosplayed as Castiel and Lilith from Supernatural for Sci Fi Valley Con in Altoona, PA in June. It was a pretty small con by most standards, but it was enough to give the girls the bug to want to go to more. They’ve already started planning on costumes for next year. One of them may have already enlisted help of a grandparent on their handmade long bow….yeah they’re kind of serious about taking home a prize in the costume competition.

Cosplaying Castiel and Lilith fighting in the parking lot at Sci Fi Valley Con

“Castiel” and “Lilith” fighting in the parking lot at Sci Fi Valley Con

They had a lot of movie vehicles there. More recognizable vehicles than recognizable people, but hey they’re in their 3rd year and have more than doubled in size each year, so awesome for them! There were a lot of graphic artist there too – one of them was a guy I used to work with, it was kind of neat to see his work (even more amazing than I remember). There was still a lot to see and do, neat vendors and games and definitely doable in one day for us. It was also the day after our latest move (yeah us for putting together the cosplay costumes for the girls the day of a move so they could wear it the next morning!) so we were all tired and probably wouldn’t have been able to handle a huge event. This was the perfect place for their first con!

A Car named Christine

Christine

Man in Superman shirt standing by a TARDIS

My husband wants to know why the “War Doctor” isn’t with his TARDIS

Castiel and Lilith cosplayers with Ghost Busters Cosplayers

Castiel doesn’t like the Ghost Busters, but Lilith does

Castiel and Lilith in front of a Batmobile

I’m not sure if Castiel is more confused by Lilith or the Batmobile

We went to a session about Geek Girls hosted by the awesome ladies at The Geek Girl Project (if you haven’t checked it out you should). It was full of great information on everything from ideas on where to get cosplaying costume ideas and materials to what it means to be a geek and to be a geek girl. And no, it’s not always easy to be a geek girl, but it’s ok because you’re not alone. Which is something I wish I would have know before I went to my first con.

I’d love to hear about your con experiences. I know mine are kind of tame, but I’ve lived a pretty sheltered life. Feel free to share in the comments below!

I’ve got a lot more stories to tell. Tune in next week…Did I ever tell you about….

My Kind of Golf

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There’s nothing like a nice round of miniature golf with the family on a beautiful Sunday afternoon, complete with ice cream, to put a smile on your face. Today’s a huge day for is; the girls start their new schools, and my husband starts his new job-he’s going to work for the first time since he took time off to be a stay-at-home Dad nine years ago. One final summer outing on the mini links was the perfect ending to one chapter, and helped to get us ready for our next new beginning.

Sounds That Make Summer So Special

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Every week across America there are free concerts during the summer. Sometimes it’s a community band. Sometimes it’s a symphony. Sometimes it’s rock. Or country. Or reggae. No matter what the style, it’s a chance for people to get together, enjoy the summer weather and some great sounds.

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Greensburg, PA at twilight

My family just spent a beautiful Friday night in Greensburg at Summer Sounds. It’s a great summer-long event that brings a wide variety of music to an amazing location for people to enjoy for free. As I sat there in the fading twilight watching kids dance, lightning bugs flash, that guy pulling his cat around in a wagon and listening to the amazing  Guggenheim Grotto (seriously a great band, check them out!) I felt really blessed. Here I was enjoying a great show, in a great place, spending time with my family in a family friendly environment for free. And free is awesome for a freelancer looking for full time while trying to support a family.

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Guggenheim Grotto performing in Greensburg, PA July 26, 2013.

But this is only on example. How many communities have events like this? A chance for friends to get together and enjoy music for free is an amazing gift.

Exposing kids to different kinds of music and giving them the freedom to dance and play. How awesome is that?

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Dancing up a storm!

So go out and enjoy these events! Take advantage of them. I promise you the musicians love having an audience to play for. If you know of a great free concert in your community and want to share, I am all for it. The only way to make sure these kind of activities continue is by supporting them, so share your link below!

Share Stories with Your Family this Holiday

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We’re all way too familiar with the tragedy of the last few weeks.  Between devastating storms and heartbreaking violence many of us our coming together at what we traditionally seen as a time of peace and feeling lost. I humbly encourage you to share stories at time like these. Stories help make us feel warm inside, and closer with one another. They can comfort us when we experience loss and prevent us from regretting the stories we didn’t hear.

Like when you wish you would have asked Uncle Bobby to tell you himself about his date with Marlin Monroe instead of hearing about it from his brothers (that my friends is a true story I regretfully will never hear). Or the stories you were too busy to take time to listen to your grandparents tell about what it was like when they were your age. And even, sadly, sometimes the ones you put off listening to your children tell because there are dishes to do or laundry to fold.

So as 2012 comes to a close take a little times with those that you hold dear and share some stories. Listen. Laugh. Cry. Remember. Love.

Have a safe, happy and wonderful holiday filled with amazing stories!

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A Special Edition of Tell Me a Story Tuesday

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Last week marked the 19th anniversary of my mother’s passing. The date doesn’t bring the heavy grief it used to 10 or 15 years ago. But I was still left feeling a little melancholy and out of sorts. Which is part of the reason there was no post last week.

Sunny morning at the beach - boy do I wish I was there.

God bless the characters we’ve loved.

I’m kind of at a lost about this week’s post too. My mother was very shy, and some how a post about her doesn’t seem right somehow. But I thought I would share a few words about the kind of character she was.

Joyce, was short with big eyes and a soft smile. She was everyone’s mom. All of my friends and classmates from grade school to college called her Mom when they saw her. She was always ready to give whatever they needed – a hug, a pep talk or a snack, many times it was all three. She was strict. She was cautious. She had high standards. She was quiet until there was a need to fight for a child, any child, and then she was fierce. Most of all she believed in all of her kids (hers by birth, babysitting or happenstance) more than any of us believed in ourselves.

I would like to invite you to take a moment and share a few words or a story about someone in your life that is gone but not forgotten. Sharing the memories keep them, and us, alive.