Monthly Archives: April 2013

Some Words Sunday — Sabbath Day

Rest Time

Rest Time

The term Sabbath has religious connotations to many.  Defined as the seventh (and last) day of the “First Week” when God rested after creating the Earth and Heavens, etc., the Sabbath is often observed with worship and rest to honor God’s gift to his people.

For me…  there are no religious connotations.  I do celebrate the eight sabbats of the pagan (Wiccan) calendar, but the end of a regular work week is not special beyond a chance to get more things done around the house.

So when I took a Sabbath Day today, I’m speaking metaphorically.  I did take a day of rest, but I did so for personal, not religious reasons.

I do think that taking rest days is a good thing for our spiritual selves.  We all hurry around so much these days, especially those of us with passions that we aspire to make into careers (writers and artists certainly but also others).  The business world keeps telling us to move faster, faster!  Time is money, and all that other nonsense…

Truth is, it can wait.  Most anything can wait except dire injury or extreme dehydration and starvation.

You didn’t get your book written today, and now the agent who was looking for it said you missed your chance?  Market it again.  Try again.  If your product is good enough, there will be an audience or a buyer out there.

You will get to the point you want to be at, eventually.  It might take a touch longer without that “break”, but you will do it.  In fact, the harder things are earlier on, perhaps the easier they might be in the long run.  A lot of people who took the early break had to do the uphill struggle later on in their careers when their agents or fans demanded a repeat performance of their first success.

It’s taken me some time to get to this point, time where I came to realize I was actually getting less done when I was pushing myself so hard to do it all.  Now, I’m taking that rest day every week.  It’s not always on Sunday.   Indeed, this week’s Sabbath was Friday.  This coming week, I suspect I’ll be taking my break day on Thursday.

Do you take a Sabbath Day?  If so, what made you do so?

ROW80 Check-in

It’s that time again….  Time for me to say “Ack!  I haven’t gotten much writing done!”

I haven’t.

After taking some time on Friday to rest, I looked at the state of affairs in my WIPs Saturday morning between fits of nausea and a migraine.  Perhaps not the best time to give one’s self a critical assessment given that nothing seemed worth doing, and all efforts felt suck-worthy.

It worked anyway.  I looked over what I’d been doing all month mostly as last month was such a complete bust from the many weeks of family flu-like ick.  Though I haven’t completely forsaken my writing, these past few weeks have been spent more in recouping and refilling than in producing and creating.  Indeed, this past week’s Friday Photo post was the first one where I felt like I was finally hitting my stride.  Wednesday’s post was the first one for a long time where I felt comfortable exploring a somewhat controversial issue and writing an opinion piece on it.

It’s almost the end of the month.

I’ve been reading ravenously lately.  Getting out and about for social events and photo opportunities has been huge for me.

All this activity fills the emotional, spiritual and creative wells…  and oddly enough, I didn’t realize how drained I’d allowed myself to become until I looked back and realized how much more full and at peace I was.  I still need to do more recovery, but now I feel sparks and direction again.  I’ve started to remember my dreams again.

You can’t imagine how relieved I am to have a sense of my dreams once more.

Anyway, that’s really about it.  I haven’t written much… two more handwritten pages since Wednesday.  I’ve dealt with my sponsor duties.  I had a lot of fun visiting not just ROW80 blogs, but also the blogs of the Thursday’s Children bloggers and more.  I learned about the WIPpet posts and will be changing the Wednesday theme from What’s With Wednesdays to WIPpet posts, as they will inspire me more to work on my stories.

I figured out a lot of things, and though I’m completely tanking on my CampNaNoWriMo wordcounts, I’m in a better place for the JuNoWriMo and August camps than before.

It’s been a good few days.  I even got all the laundry in the house done.  😉




Friday Photo — What one sees

This gallery contains 4 photos.

I’m starting to learn that a lot of what makes photography an art is the way one sees things.  It’s not about the subject as much as the photographer’s vision for that subject. Take this image: Nothing remarkable.  It is … Continue reading

What’s With Wednesday — Feeling Secure

Round and round we go, and where we stop, nobody knows.

Faded Glory

Faded Glory

For the second year in a row, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (a.k.a CISPA) has passed the US House of Representatives.  Last year the Bill never made it through the US Senate, possibly because it was under threat of a presidential veto, possibly because of the fairly vocal internet uproar about the Bill’s many flaws.

At present the US Senate is not looking at voting on it anytime soon.  CISPA’s authors say that most of the concerns for personal privacy have been addressed in amendments to the new version.  Others are not so sure of this, and indeed, President Obama has restated his determination to veto the Bill.

So what exactly is CISPA, and what does it mean for bloggers (and writers)?  This short piece by PC Magazine does a nice job of summarizing many features of the Bill.  I’ll let you read up on the details and make your own opinions.

For me, the biggest issue with CISPA isn’t privacy.  The information that would be shared with the government is nothing that they cannot attain already by following due process.  It’s that due process part that is this issue.

CISPA takes due process and tosses it out the window…effectively.

If you look at this list of agencies that will be able to gain access to your information if CISPA passes, do you have the same questions I do about it?  As in “why do these agencies need information to protect us against cyber-attacks from China and Iran?” (Bill proponent Mike Rogers’s (R-MI) words, not mine), among others.

The Bill has been amended so that companies who share information can “anonymize” (yes, I know that’s not a word) data, but there is no real requirement that it be done.  Indeed, companies that just share it all are exempt from legal repercussions for any violate of the Terms of Service/User Agreements their users have agreed to.   As “Time is money” often rules the corporate sector, why would a company invest extra time in safeguarding private data when it gives them little to no extra again?

And speaking of money, let’s look at a newer amendment to CISPA.  Presumably  to ease fears that corporations who have shared data with the government won’t be fully nullifying their Terms of Service and User Agreement contracts with customers, there is now a fine imposed for any other use of this information beyond protection of a cyber-attack.   But how big of a fine?  A look at the recent case where the Google StreetView car accidentally collected personal data (email addresses, passwords, URLs, etc.) as they drove down streets in Hamburg, Germany shows that fines are basically trivial.  In the Google case, it was an accident, and they fully admitted the problem, but when any company can make up the loss of a fine in less than an hour of business (or as [again] in the Google case, 4 seconds), violations can become more profitable than following the law.

Why am I suddenly picturing a Steven Segal movie now?

Sorry.  This isn’t supposed to be me fear-mongering or promoting conspiracy theories to you.  There are plenty of enough sites out there to do that.  But I do suggest you  look up CISPA on your own and see what you think of it.   And try to consider this when you do–most people who go into public service do so because they really do want to help make the world a better place (especially those in the lower strata of politics).  The problems we see in politics usually aren’t the result malicious intent or a wish to harm anyone.  It’s solely a matter of a better place for whom, and how determined are some people to promote their vision of better.

ROW80 Check-IN

As you can see, I’ve been occupied with reading lately.  Reading law wears on me; it’s hard to believe that I wanted to be a lawyer in high school (or that went out of my way to volunteer at a law library in college).

Thing is, one needs to know how to read these documents, because legalese is everywhere and just saying “I agree” can have its drawbacks (you may want to read the comic thread… or the whole comic–Userfriendly makes the ins and outs of IT fun).


A bit of this, a bit of that

Still, I managed an awesome evening of writing and editing last night (turned off the internet distractions and just worked).  I wrote some wonderful notes on Monday and got all my comments done for both my sponsor posts (including my sponsor post–complete with formatting errors–on the Round of Words in 80 Days blog)  and on several others blogs.

I was a busy blogger this week.  Facebook, Google + and Twitter kind of fell by the wayside, and truthfully, I feel better for it.   Less and less of the time, I feel inspired to hang out online.  The exception?  I may resume my reddit hour or so–there is a lot of discussion about current events there and keeping up better would be nice.

So that’s my week.  Hope you all are enjoying your ROW80 journey.  Here’s the new linky.  Go ahead and visit a few more of us.  We love to hear from you.

Photo credit: me (images from my Flickr feed)