Brevity Pulls

“I would have written a shorter letter, but I did not have the time.” — Blaise Pascal
Where do you fall on the brevity/verbosity spectrum?


 

As I sit here and contemplate where I stand on the scale of brevity versus verbosity, it becomes quite obvious that I tend to be more on the verbose side of things. After all, I did just spend the last couple of hours creating an outline – that is right an outline – that ended up being 5,000 words. The outline was probably far too detailed, but I guess hopefully this way writer’s block will not be an issue.

There are times when I fall more towards brevity. If I do not wish to be talking, which sometimes is during verbal presentations, or if I’m tired or angry I tend to be more clipped with my words.

Whether it a person speaks or writes with brevity or verbosity, it does not make one better than the other. Sometimes brevity works and the same can be said for verbosity. The real talent is finding out which works under the situation. If you can combine the right amount of brevity and verbosity into a story then you will have a true impact. After all, it’s the difference between show and tell in a creative environment.

~J. Spade.

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Beholding Beauty

We’ve all heard that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Do you agree? is all beauty contingent on a subjective point of view?


 

Beauty can come in many different shapes, forms, colors, and sizes. The most piquant aesthetic of beauty is that it is not limited or confined. It can be a million different things or it can be one thing; but all in all it is something that draws the heart and eye.

It is because beauty is so variant that is said to be ‘in the eye of the beholder’. There is definitely a lot of truth to the phrase. What one person finds beautiful another may not.

Jealousy is an emotion that can twist beauty into something untrue. If, per say, a person was jealous of another person for being more beautiful than he or she, then they would not perceive the former person to be beautiful. Though jealousy is a very powerful stimulant in terms of beauty, it is not necessarily the only one. Just because one person doesn’t find something to be physically compelling does not mean they are jealous of it, it just means it does not hit their particular fancy.

Nature versus nurture can be called into question in terms of beauty, as it can with many subjects. The environment a person grew up in might make them see certain things as more beautiful than others, and the genetics they hold might also influence their feelings.

Beauty is profound because undeniably there is not one thing on this planet that someone somewhere does not find beautiful.

~J. Spade

Introduction

Blogging is like the balm to the soul. It allows an individual a platform in which they can talk about the things they are passionate about, and it gives readers the opportunity to find others with interests similar to them. There is a community feel to blogging, a family in a way. It is a helpful tool to everyone, both writer and reader, that participates in a blogging forum.

Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?

I am an avid writer; from journaling or storytelling, I’ve tried it all. My 2014 New Year’s resolution consisted of journaling every day for a year, and I’ve kept that up so far, but as I was writing in my personal journal I found that I had things I wanted to share. There are so many opinions residing within me, and I felt that maybe someone else could gain positive insights through my personal experiences. I began my public blog in hopes that whatever I post, be it creative works or opinion pieces, will inspire someone in whatever avenue they so choose.

What topics do you think you’ll write about?

Since I do not have one hobby, I can already see that my blog will be quite the eclectic mesh. I will be writing reviews in regards to the books I read and shows/movies I watch. Certain posts might deal with strong opinions I have and would like to discuss. There will even be creative pieces that I simply want to share with people that get posted here. I’m not going to limit myself on my blog, because I don’t limit myself in my life.

Who would you love to connect with via your blog?

I want to connect with everyone. People from all different backgrounds, with varying interests. I want to see new things, hear their opinions about things, and just experience as much as I can. Since I do not have the money or the means to travel all over, one way to do it is through the experience of others. Maybe it will be the fuel I need to start a fire to my dreams of travel.

If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

There is nothing more that I hope to achieve through the success of having a year long blog than a feeling of personal growth. During this new adventure I hope to make new friends and learn new things. Perhaps I’ll even expand upon my hobbies. Since I have such a passion for writing, I am hoping that I will become even better at it during this journey. If there is one growth that sticks with me during this experience, I hope that it is confidence in my voice as an author and a blogger.

 

~Johana Spade

Stumped

When was the last time you were completely stumped by a question, a request, or a situation you found yourself in? How did you handle it?


Life is full of challenges
Some you can face head on
Others you have to decipher
In order to stay strong

There will be a time that you
Don’t know know your way
It will take a lot of thought
You’ll ask yourself questions

When you find yourself stuck
And you think you might come undone
Take a breath in through your gut
It’s good to give yourself some time
~J. Spade

Object Personality

Machines, appliances, and gadgets sometimes feel like they have their own personalities — from quirky cars to dignified food processors. What’s the most “human” machine you own?


In this day and age, gadgets are becoming more and more advanced. It’s no surprise that they even can take on personalities of their own. The iProducts have Siri, a computer that you can ask questions and receive answers from. Androids have “Okay Google”, which offers the same features, and a lot of other products have jumped on that band wagon. No longer are these gadgets things that we solely operate, they can do some of the operations for us.

Despite knowing all of this, the most “human” machine that I own does not have a voice. It has a name, and it can tell me a lot of things, but it does so with a series of beeps and a notification screen. My “human” machine happens to be my car. I’ve named my car Jim, for various reasons that I might state on a later occasion.

I bought this car over a year ago, and in that year I’ve built up a personality for my car unlike anything I have experienced before. Jim has become a part of my family, as weird as that might sound. He gets me from Point A to Point B without issue, and for that I can’t help but to be appreciative. My previous car had trouble doing that.

So while there are numerous objects that I own that do actually have a personality, the most “human” machine I own is known as such not for the qualities that it possesses, but for the attributes I have given it.

Being human is more than just how smart something is, it also has to deal with the feelings equated with it. The more we become attached to the machines, appliances, and gadgets in our lives, the more real the will become in our hearts.

~J. Spade

Secondhand

Clothes and toys, recipes and jokes, advice and prejudice: we all have to handle all sorts of hand-me-downs every day. Tell us about some of the meaningful hand-me-downs in your life.


As the youngest child I spent a lot of my time dealing with hand-me-downs. Toys, books, clothes, and even sports seemed to belong to someone else before it came to me. At the time it really annoyed me. I was the only girl amongst my parents children, it didn’t make sense to me how my mother kept happening across used clothing for girls that were conveniently in my size. Of course, I had plenty of older cousins that helped out with her endeavor to keep me clothed in articles that were well past the point of worn.

Being as young as I was I just didn’t understand. Why did my brothers receive new things when I never did? Was it because my parents loved them more than me? Questions filled my brain and stuck in my mind, making me more confused than I had any right to be. Then one day all of that washed away. All pieces of hand-me-downs that were given to me were not merely objects that had previous owners, they had been cared for and loved in such a way that shouldn’t be looked down upon. The objects had lived, had stories of their own. That was beautiful, that was new, and the fact that I could create my own stories to go right along with the previous ones was an incredible feeling.

Once I had realized that, I ended up being happy with the things that I had. I was able to appreciate the value of them, and even to this day I still admire the quality of life found in hand-me-downs. That’s part of the reason I donate the stuff that I have outgrown, because maybe, just maybe, someone will have a place for that material in their own life.

 

~J. Spade

Royalty

A second #RoyalBaby will soon be joining the Windsors in England. Given the choice, would you rather be heir to the throne, or the (probably) off-the-hook sibling?


 

Royalty comes at a price, and being the heir to the throne puts that much more at stake. At some point or another I am sure that we have all dreamed of what it would be like to be royalty, but it’s very rare to put thought into how different we would be if this were the case.

If I was royalty of any kind, I believe that I would rather be the off-the-hook sibling. I’ve always had a strange fascination with Victorian and Renaissance books that depict the life of royalty, and I have to say the heir never seems all that thrilled. It is the sibling who is essentially unimportant that gets the carefree attitude.

While it is fun to imagine being Queen or King, I would much rather live my life as a princess or a duchess. That way I can still do most of the stuff that I wanted to do without being nagged constantly.

~J. Spade

The One

You’re sitting at a café when a stranger approaches you. This person asks what your name is, and, for some reason, you reply. The stranger nods, “I’ve been looking for you.” What happens next?


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To The Grave

Keeping a secret, while difficult, is not impossible. Secrets are small glimpses into another person’s soul; they happen because you were trusted by that person to help keep a piece of her or him unseen. It’s an act of trust between two or more people, and spilling the so called beans can essentially mean breaking that trust. Reality is harsh, but if you fail to keep a secret that is that big then you might has well have literally thrown your friend under the bus rather than figuratively. The key here is keep your lips sealed to the best of your ability.

As with anything, there are plenty of tips that can help keep a secret remain just that. Some of those tips include:

  • Putting yourself in his or her shoes. Think how you would feel if it was your secret being shared. You wouldn’t want to tell just anyone your secret, so you shouldn’t tell just anyone their secret.
  • Listen to them. Chances are they mentioned at least once that you “can’t tell anyone”. Anyone means anyone. Even if it is someone who doesn’t know them you still shouldn’t let their secret slip. Telling a person who doesn’t know the person is just as bad as telling someone who does know them. It’s a gateway slip, it will undoubtedly lead to future slips. So just don’t do it.
  • Secrets can be soul burdens. If you’re finding a mighty need to tell the secret just to ease the pressure of your soul write it down. Use code-names of course so that if someone happened across it all parties involved would still remain intact. Writing it down is similar to sharing the secret with someone without all the horrible backlash that could result in a loss of friends.
  • Know your limits. There are some people who just can’t keep secrets. If you are one of those people, speak up before the secret is spilled. That way if for some unfortunate reason you were to let it slip later on, then it will not be entirely your fault. You gave fair warning, and they still decided to share their secrets.
  • Understand the difference between secrets that should be kept and secrets that shouldn’t. Sometimes there are people out there who give you a secret that can be harmful: to themselves or to others. If you happen to come across such a secret you will have a lot to contemplate. First you will need to know who you can turn to with this secret, because harmful secrets aren’t always best left swept under the rug.

Those, of course, are just a few of the essential guidelines to follow. There is more to it than that, but knowing the basics helps to lay the groundwork for future tight lips.

~J. Spade

Growing Up

Getting older means that you take on more and more responsibilities; you have to care for yourself and for others. If you’ve ever spent any time as a designated driver (DD) then you know that it is akin to parenting or babysitting. There is something wholly uncouth about being the only sober person amidst a mass of drunkards; especially when you’re in a fairly large city.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my friends and I am glad I could be there for them on their big day and help out; but holy crap can drunks be difficult to handle. Mainly when there is a large group of them. There is nothing more taxing than a group of eight or more drunks each getting ideas in their head, because as the DD you are bound to be pulled in a million different directions trying to wrangle up the lush’s.

Of course, there are different levels to each person. One person might be content to follow you around all night because they “love you sooo much”, whereas another might just want to go make out with someone and you’ll be damned lucky if they mention anything of the sort to you. So not only do you have to search out your friends in the dark, but you have to look for shadows of themselves behind the silhouette of the partner they have chosen. It can get somewhat awkward out on the dance floor, because more than half of the people out there are sucking face and you’ll be lucky if you can see your friend at all.

As a DD you’re not there to snub out their fun, you’re simply there to give them a safe ride home. But shit, is it hard to make sure they get home safe when they’ve all scattered like a bunch of flies at a barbeque.

You’re bound to hear the same story at least ten times, with spastic embellishments that can only make sense to those with inebriated brains. You’re going to get annoyed, your feet will hurt, and the music and smells might just give you a headache. The selling point would have to be the fact that you’ll probably spend more money than you had planned on by buying your friends birthday drinks, and sadly none of those drinks were even for you. It can be frustrating, but hopefully the drunk birthday girl or guy is kind enough to drunkenly declare how grateful they are that you did this for them.

A few tips for surviving a night as a DD would be:

  • Set your guidelines early in the night when they’re still coherent enough to understand them.
  • Don’t plan to leave the bars early. Chances are they are going to want to close it out, and if you had planned to go home early your annoyance level will be through the roof.
  • Be firm, but understanding. They’re drunk and you are not. Don’t be a pushover, but don’t be a party pooper either.
  • Have fun. Yeah, you’re surrounded by a bunch of drunk, horny fools, but that doesn’t mean you have to be angry about it. Laugh, enjoy the embarrassing shenanigans that everyone is partaking in.

And most importantly:

  • Take detailed notes. It’s all going to be worth it when you’re reacquainting your friends with all of their drunken shenanigans.

 

 

Yours Truly

~Johana Spade