Tag Archives: perseverance

Romantic Shorts v. Facebook

I have a confession.

I, unlike a happy half-billion other people on the planet, including most of my own household, cannot, for the life of me, master Facebook. Apparently, I did not inherit the gene that makes that facet of the Internet clear to me. I don’t understand the draw. I can’t make sense of the interface. I have no envy for those who have conquered the realm in any way whatsoever. I am not in denial of the fact that I have so few friends that I must catalogue them online. Yet I have lived a full and productive life without ever ‘liking’ or ‘friending’ anyone, much to the embarrassment and consternation of my husband and teenagers.

Until now.

I have discovered my achilles heel and, given my now excessive ineptitude, flagrant mistakes, and hopeless potential, I am now confessing publicly to my humiliation.

Because now, this matters. And it matters because, though I never personally had any interest in participating in the Facebook phenomenon, my position regarding Romantic Shorts is a complete contradiction. I recognize the value and necessity of presenting Romantic Shorts via Facebook. I understand, and truly desire the benefits of such an interaction. I have every intention of introducing Romantic Shorts to the world through its very own FB page, and welcome the potential and possibilities that can result.

Unfortunately, for all of the learning I’ve done over the past almost two years – SEO optimization, HTML coding, WordPress.com/WordPress.org, site migration, posts, comments, ping backs, stats, tweets, domains, media files, CSS, tags, and ram – none of it has adequately prepared me for the world of Facebook.

Surely, I cannot be this stupid. How – head in hands in frustration – could my kids, at the age of eleven and twelve, with such a diligent mother as myself, not only conquer Facebook, but keep it all a big secret from me? Okay, wrong question – duh. How then, can my husband, who asks my help with every single document, file, photo, download, and song, have such a rich and fulfilling Facebook experience, while I struggle so painfully?

Do you see my point? He is an online dud. I am a master by comparison. And yet I cannot seem to match his proficiency. And though I detest the use of the ‘F’ word – I warn you, here is comes:

It’s not ‘F’air!!!

He doesn’t need Facebook! I do!

Okay, enough whining. But I did need to vent.

And so, I commit to my attack. I will win this little war that Mr. Zuckerberg has forced upon me. I will prevail, and Romantic Shorts will enjoy a long, happy, and productive Facebook life. I will look back at this obstacle and laugh. Out loud! And I will wonder why and how I could have been so very challenged by what will inevitably become a mere hiccup in my journey. And all of Romantic Shorts’ friends/fans will surely think that I am just a writer with a keen sense of humour, since, obviously, Romantic Shorts will then have the most amazing Facebook page ever! Ahh ha ha!

I am off now, to learn more about my problem so that I can succeed where I have yet to be successful. Time is no barrier. I will keep at it until I win. I am strong. I am woman.

I will go warm my cup of coffee first… This will likely take a while.

(In the meantime, if anyone has any suggestions, I am certainly open to a little guidance?

I started a FB ‘page’ – (blue logo) –  because I didn’t have a personal ‘profile.’ And a company – Romantic Shorts  – must have a ‘page.’ The ‘page’ (blue logo) did not seem to be ‘doing’ what I expected it to do… So I finally created a personal ‘profile’ – (Alexandra Brown) – and then attached a ‘page’ – (Romantic Shorts – red logo) – to that. That seemed okay, but it’s terribly confusing as to whether I’m using ‘Facebook as Romantic Shorts’ or ‘as Alexandra Brown.’ I was going to delete the ‘blue logo’ ‘page’, until I realized that I then lose the 24 ‘likes’ it has – which would allow me to create a Facebook name (or almost). I also just happened to Google Romantic Shorts today and discovered a whole bunch of links to the ‘blue logo’ page, and a new ‘purple logo’ page that I don’t recall ever setting up but seems to be part of The New Writers site and pulls my Facebook feed from the ‘blue logo’ ‘page.’ So I cancelled the delete on the ‘blue logo’ ‘page.’

Now I have three bloody pages and no clue as to what to do with them. Is it any wonder I’m confused? Really, can you blame me? And, if you do have suggestions, while I welcome them, please keep in mind that the mere mention of the words Facebook, page, profile, like, and friend, have the same effect as someone pointing a gun at me. Complete shutdown of all things rational. Except that I’m pretty sure I would lose my self-control and bitch-slap the guy with the gun…)



Filed under For Readers, For Writers, Just a Thought, What's New @ R.S.

Learning To Be Flexible

So much of the past year and a half has been saturated with change.

A major crisis with son number one brought my focus to Romantic Shorts and finally funneling some serious energy into a productive and worthwhile venture.

But that direction has been plagued with the most ridiculously obscure distractions. I expected challenges; I would be too much of an idealist to think otherwise. But the challenges that I expected to stop me in my tracks were the related problems: things that actually had something to do with what I was working on.

And I wasn’t disappointed. Learning the lessons of website design, online marketing, social networking, e- and digital publishing, advertising, and branding had me spraining tired old brain cells on a regular basis. But never – surprisingly! – did these things stop me. I’ve been pushing through and succeeding where I never thought possible. My self-confidence is soaring, my pride is humbling, and my hope is now unlimited. (The challenge in such emotional satisfaction, however, is in not being able to share these accomplishments with friends and family who feel neither the surprise nor the importance of my feats. This is supposed to be a compliment to me.)

The challenges that have  pestered the most – often not only stopping me in my tracks, but causing a great deal of sidestepping and backpedaling – are the most unexpected, annoying, and frustrating interruptions! (Not that I haven’t benefited greatly from them – I just take issue with the timing…)

A ceiling repair that should have taken two or three days to finish, turned into a three month renovation that had me working in a construction zone, using the dog crate as a desk.

A challenge to my husband to find the perfect house – he goes into search mode every spring, finding many options, but ultimately taking us all through a process we’d all rather avoid – resulted in his proving his resourcefulness to the max. From the day he found the house to closing was three weeks. It took me four months to find my eyeglasses after such a fast and furious packing job!

And as incredible good fortune would have it, we were somehow able to hang on to the old house, keeping it as an investment property. Which had us spending the entire summer – one that should have been spend enjoying our new digs – covered in paint, plaster and dust as we completed an entire home renovation to be able to rent it. (Now, of course thankful for the previously-mentioned ceiling repair that gave us a nice head start!)

All in all, of the last eighteen months developing, planning, and creating Romantic Shorts, eleven have been spent amidst the most  intrusive environments imaginable, against the distraction and stress of hard physical labour, the marital bliss of the renovator, five children who perpetually insist on being fed and attending activities outside of the house – like school and such – and all the while, dreaming about new and inventive ways to pay for the whole mess.

The fact that I’m still here is an accomplishment in and of itself.

But to have come this far with Romantic Shorts intact is astounding!

The biggest lesson I’ve learned from all of this is that Romantic Shorts will succeed. It will become everything I’ve always dreamed it could be.

The catch is that it won’t likely happen according to my timeline.

Give and get, I guess.

I’ll take it.

Dream Big!


Filed under For Writers, Just a Thought

More Than One Way to Interpret a Dream

I mentioned my dream house in my last post. I’d like to explain about that.

My purpose in life is not to build myself a giant house. The thought of having to clean it is not an issue since having the means to build the house would almost mean having the support to look after it.

No, I am a perpetual furniture re-arranger. Barely a week goes by that I’m not flipping a room this way or that, looking for a new feel, a better outlook. Drives my men nuts!

My ‘house’ is a set of floor plans that I designed – or started to design – when I was about 18. Yes, it’s big. But it’s efficient. No wasted space. Rooms and areas for specific tasks and interests. Views and windows, hi-tech features and down-home comfort. There are details that I incorporated long before they were invented – windows that automatically open and close with the weather, in-floor heating, a lap pool in the basement that doubles as the reservoir for the fire sprinkler system. All things I figured would be standard by the time I ever achieved the success I needed to build it.

Oddly, now, so many years later, it’s funny how much of that house has come true.

I designed it with a master bedroom and five bedrooms, some of which connect via bathrooms a la Brady Bunch style. I now have a husband and the exact number and configuration of children to fill all of those bedrooms, perfect right down to the boys sharing a bathroom, the girls sharing another, and the middle child, who shares nothing with anyone, holding her own.

The kitchen shows a table and chairs that you wouldn’t be able to find in any furniture store. During one of those summers that the plans spent packed in a box, I unconsciously built us a new kitchen set that turned out to be identical to that in the plans. It was the kids who pointed that out the next time the drawings made it back up on the wall.

Visitors to our home can’t help but notice the blueprints. They’re out in the open in my office as they enter. It is an impressive house, but it’s the details that grab. It’s also quite a fun place. I have placed post-it notes on Alex’s Office, the Music Room, the Crafting Room, and the Foyer that all say ‘You Are Here.’ (My current ‘office’ also houses the piano, my crafting supplies, and an oversized coat rack.)

The only drawback to having the plans out on display all the time like this is that inevitable comment, “Oh, you’ll just need to win the lottery, then.”

I sigh. “No,” I say patiently. “This is not a lottery house. This is a working house.”

What surprises me then is how many people just don’t get it.

This is a dream. A goal. I can’t win it. Winning it would devalue the entire purpose. This house must be earned.

My kids pout every time they hear me say this. Like there’s a better chance of winning the lottery than of Mommy making it big. Nice.

I’ve come to learn though, that it’s not the house that’s the goal. It’s what the house means that matters. What the house represents is what’s important.

For me to build that house, I had to have made one of my ideas work.

For that idea to work, it had to involve a lot of other people. It had to help other people. It had to make a positive difference. It had to be born, to grow, and to mature. It had to spawn other dreams, and other ambitions, and branch out into other areas of life and learning that I hadn’t imagined when I started. I had to grow and to learn and to evolve.

For that idea to work, I would have had to achieve balance in my life. Balance that would turn that dream house into a home beyond anything I could possibly deserve.

I am starting to realize that the dream house is not the goal, but the journey.

One of my adopted kids asked me one day why I keep the plans out in full view where everyone can see them. “Aren’t you embarrassed that people will think you’re an idiot?”

“No,” I told him. “The plans stay out so I keep working to get that house.”

Quietly he asked what the chances were that we would ever see it. “Mom,” he said, “if we had a hundred chances to get that house, how many times would we get it?”

I smiled at him – proud of his sudden grasp of probability.

“One,” I told him.

He sat in his chair looking completely deflated. He’d moved in feeling pretty excited about that house.

“But think about it a minute. Let’s say I put a hundred cards on the table, face down. 99 cards say, ‘Too Bad, Try Again.’ But 1 card, only one, says, ‘You Get the House.’ Would you start turning cards over?”

He nodded.

“How many cards would you turn over?”

“Until I found the house.”

“Exactly. So maybe you have to turn over 99 cards before you find the house. Or maybe you only have to turn over 2. Or 15. Or 23. But so long as you know that card is in there, you’ll keep turning over the cards, right?”

“Yeah,” he agreed.

“Now, what if I told you there was no ‘house’ card on the table?”

“I wouldn’t even bother,” he admitted.

“That’s why I keep the plans in front of my face. If the house is in my mind, there’s one card on the table. If I put the house away, there’s none. And I stop trying.”

He rolled this over for a minute, finally nodding. Then one last question.

“What if you never find the ‘house’ card?”

“It’s not about finding the card, Babe. It’s about looking for it.”

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Filed under For Writers, Just a Thought