Thursday, April 17, 2014

Mr. Allison

After work this evening, I went straight over to Kinsmen Lodge to visit my dad.

I opened his door and walked in. He was laying on his lowered bed, fully dressed (black leather jacket, red shirt, turquoise bolo, blue jeans, belt, socks, shoes).

Me: Hi Dad!

Him: Oh hi! Did you get a good price?

Me: From when I sold my house? Yeah. Pretty good.

Him: Is Drew going to take over Langley Concrete and Tile?

Me: He sure thinks so.

Him: Who died?

Me: No one this week.

Him: Alot of my friends are dead.

Me: Not dead. They're still alive. They're in heaven right now. Waiting for you to join them so they can get the party started.

Him: I'm not going to die. I'm not sick. I feel fine. No pain at all.

Me: I know.

Him: You used to have a plum tree.

Me: Yup. You loved those plums. But I sold that house. I live in your basement now.

Him: You dooooo?

Me: Uh, huh. In that bedroom across from your pool table.

Him: Ohhhhh right. I have a pool table.

The music that is playing on his CD player is skipping so I get up.

Me: Dad, this CD is scratched. Should I put a different one on?

Him: OK.

I open up his drawer and see this:

(Haha. Someone is color coding his DVD cases. Just like my bookshelves. I love this...)

I grab a stack of music CD's and push aside his tower of recently viewed DVD's when he interrupts me...

Him: That movie that you touched, I was single when I saw it....

He keeps talking but I've sort of tuned him out because I'm taking the above photo.

Him: ... and she was single and wanted to see a movie ...

Me: Uh huh.

I'm now looking through his CD's, deciding which one I should put on.

Him: ... and it was a date ...

Me: Uh, huh. A date...  Hey dad, do you want to listen to this?

Him: No, that movie that you touched, that was the first one I took Hil to. It had Robert Mitchell in it.

Now I'm confused. I have my phone in my hand, so I google Robert Mitchell. There are many. None are actors.

Me: Do you mean Robert MITCHUM?

Him: (excited) YES! Robert Mitchum. It was a Robert Mitchum movie.

Me: (scrolling through movies that RM made in 1958 (when my mom was 18 and dating) and later. I list them off.) Thunder Road? The Hunters? The Angry Hills? The Wonderful Country? Home from the Hill?

Him: No. No. No.

Me: (Wondering how I'm going to get out of this whole train of thought we've found ourselves on, I got back to 1957. But doubt my mom would've been allowed to go to a movie with her 21 year old boyfriend at that age.) The Enemy Below?

Him: No.

Me: Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison?

Him: YES! THAT'S IT! I was single. And she was single. And she wanted to see a movie. She's never been to a theatre before. So that was the first movie we saw together! We were on a date!

Me: I never knew that. Wow.

I put all the CD's back in his drawer when I notice, there on the cabinet, on the stack of previously watched movies, Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison. Ohhhh. That's why this is on his mind. I've never seen this movie before, so I ask, "Dad, do you want to watch?"

Him: Sure!

So I turn on the TV and DVD player and it resumes where it was left off.

Me: Whoa, THAT'S Robert Mitchum? Man. He's good looking, eh?

Him: Yes, he is. And he falls in love with Deborah Kerr. She's the nun. And he wants to take care of her. He tells her she is special. And she almost got an award for that role.

Me: No kidding.

Him: Do you have this movie?

Me: Nope. I've never seen it before. Looks like a great movie.

Him. It is! I took Hil to see it on our first movie date. She liked it. She'd never seen a movie before.

Me: Well, that Robert Mitchum sure ...

Him: (interrupting me) Yes, and he has a son that looks just like him.

Me: Interesting.

A few minutes later, the movie ends.
I feel somewhat ripped off.

Me: Oh, we just watched the ending. Is it OK if I put it back on? I'd like to see the rest of it.

Him: Sure! It's a good movie. I was single and Hil was single and she'd never seen a movie before. So she asked me to take her to one on a date...

Three things I'm thankful for:

1. My dad's memories.
2. Gentle visits like this one.
3. I am loved.


Wednesday, April 16, 2014


I can't even.

Last night I went to the Amy Grant concert. Accompanying her musicians? The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.

It was amazingly awesome and tear inducing and over-the-top fabulous and I love watching people do their thing with excellence and joy. And there was much excellence and much joy on the stage last night. Oh yessiree bob.

And the sound. SO rich and full and perfect. Especially during Sing Your Praise and My Word. Oy.

But it wasn't just the incredible life-giving sound that seeped into my soul, it was the lyrics of Amy's songs:

"Better Than A Hallelujah"

God loves a lullaby
In a mother's tears in the dead of night
Better than a Hallelujah sometimes

God loves the drunkard's cry
The soldier's plea not to let him die
Better than a Hallelujah sometimes

We pour out our miseries
God just hears a melody
Beautiful, the mess we are
The honest cries of breaking hearts
Are better than a Hallelujah

The woman holding on for life
The dying man giving up the fight
Are better than a Hallelujah sometimes

The tears of shame for what's been done
The silence when the words won't come
Are better than a Hallelujah sometimes

We pour out our miseries
God just hears a melody
Beautiful the mess we are
The honest cries of breaking hearts
Are better than a Hallelujah

So good. 
We? Pour out our miseries. God? Just hears a melody. Beautiful - this mess we are. The honest cries of breaking hearts? To Him? Are better than a Hallelujah. 


But it was more than that even.
It was Amy herself.

She and I are the same(ish) age. We got married, had babies and got divorced at the same(ish) time. Her songs were written during the various seasons of her life, and were born from moments of pain and joy and growth and longing and shame and fear... 

She speaks/sings for me. 
And probably for most women, to some degree, that were born in the 60's. She represents us. And she does it so well.

So, watching her on stage, totally at peace and in her element with that great big sound behind her, and her step-daughter and future grandson beside her ... I just teared up with joy for her.

It is a beautiful thing to watch someone do what they were called/equipped to do. Truly it is. 


What's your thing?
Do it.
Do it well.

With a smile.
And enthusiasm.

And if you can manage, dance at the same time.

We are watching.
And we need to see people being exactly who God created them to be. 


Three things I'm thankful for:

1. Youtube
2. Walk along the Fort to Fort Trail this evening:

3. Easter egg hunt at work today:


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A Tale of Two Movies

There are a couple of films coming to theaters in the next few  weeks that I've been following with an above-average amount of interest:

(Warning. If you are reading this on your phone, the spacing and formatting is going to be annoyingly wonky. Go find a laptop.)

OK. So. Back to the two movies I've been keeping an eye on:

First one is Irreplaceable.

This is a movie that we (at Focus) are highly vested in.  It's a Focus US project, but we're bringing it to the Canadian market. Our team has been involved in everything from designing the creative elements (the posters, trailer, ads, radio spots, social media blitz), to arranging pre-screenings/Q & A's across Canada to negotiating with theatres for it's May 7 showing date.

I've been following Tim (Sisarich) (director and 'star') criss-cross Canada doing interviews, and listening to him share his passion for this project (and how it has deeply affected his life) on the radio, here and here. Plus I've been very aware of our own team, hosting 23 pre-screening events from coast to coast ...

While the hope is that everyone will want to see a docu-drama about The Importance of Family, all marketing efforts thus far are towards Focus-friendly folks.

I'm excited:
  • Because I am a huge fan of movies, I love being 'behind the scenes' for this portion of the project.
  • Because I make a living as list-maker/project manager, I'm finding the process fascinating. 
  • Because my background/education is in Marketing Management, I am appreciating the power of social media. 

The second one is Walking with the Enemy.

Similar to Irreplaceable, Walking with the Enemy (WWTE) is an Indie Film. Liberty Studios was created to produce this, it's first movie. And from what I can tell, the marketing/promotion of it has been very similar to what Focus is doing. Mark (Schmidt) and Jonas (Armstrong) are on an American cross country tour, attending pre-screening events, and doing interviews like crazy this month. They also are using social media; both Twitter and Facebook.  And because of the nature of the story, they too, (at least it seems to me) are targeting a specific audience in these days leading up to April 25.

(I had assumed they'd be tapping into Jonas's fan base during this promotion stage; he is this generation's Robin Hood, after all...

but no. They're not (intentionally) whipping up that particular group of females into a demented frenzy.) They've been sensitive of, and respectful to the material by attending privately hosted events and hanging out at film festivals, and Museums and Embassies. They are promoting the true life story, not the actor in the staring role.

Because both movies are being released soon (May 7 and April 25, respectively) the activity on the feeds on my Twitter and Facebook timelines has increased. But by just a little bit. Like, a tiny little bit.

But maybe it's the right amount of increase considering the budget?

And maybe it's unfair to Irreplaceable and WWTE that I am comparing their social media blitzing to the last movie I saw, Noah. But OH MY GOODNESS. Russel Crowe tweeted the crap out of Noah. He has a significant reach: 1,450,000 followers. And he used that reach pretty effectively. At one point he tweeted:

Here's what I suggest...if you want a premiere in Dublin or Edinburgh tweet and state your desires

And then, two days later:

power of the people !!@ParamountUK are putting on premieres in Dublin, Cardiff and Edinburg!! 
All on Sat 29th of March, I'm going to all 3

Whoa Russell. Talk about manipulating the masses. Talk about the power of 140 characters.

(As an aside, Robert Downey Jr signed up for Twitter on April 11. Within two hours he had 200,000 followers. Today? April 15? He has 1,200,000 followers. His tweet:

Please be's my first time. Testament to my trust in that guy who directed .

 ... has me thinking that director Jon Favreau knows the incredible value of having your stars promote your project one sentence at a time.)

And THAT had me thinking about a meeting I had with a publisher a few years ago re: me writing a book. It wasn't so much that I couldn't write. Or that I had nothing to say. The problem was that I didn't have a platform. I didn't have 'a following'. (And, let's be honest, I kinda don't really have anything to say either.) There was no guaranteed audience. Publishers expect their writers to push their own books; through websites, social media, speaking gigs, and so on. It's not enough to simply be a good writer. You have to be a marketing expert too.

I have a feeling that's what the entertainment (movies/film) industry is like as well. It's not enough to be a good actor. You have to be entertaining and engaging and tech savvy and interesting as well.
We've been watching stars promote their films on talk shows for years and years. And we expect them to show up to premieres. But all this other stuff? This business of tweeting and blogging and reddit, and instagraming and tumblring... Is it really going to make or break a movie's success?

It's like most jobs these days; we have to be good at a number of things. For the overall project to be successful, everyone has to do that that one thing they were born to do, plus a whole lot of other little things to make it work.

Those 'little things'? Tweets. It looks like actors and directors and producers are going to have work on their skills at communicating through various social media media platforms. Cuz that's where everyone's hanging out these days.

All that to say, if we want to see more of these smaller budget, independently produced, quality stories then we might have to get involved by doing our part to spread the word. Because these newer, less experienced, unique production companies just don't have the reach...(yet).

And that brings us to THE POINT OF TODAY'S POST:
Two of them - 

1. Buy a ticket and go see Irreplaceable on May 6 (in the USA) or on May 7 (in Canada). It's only in the theatres for ONE DAY. Take some friends. If you can't go, at least LIKE the page on Facebook. And if you're a tweeter - follow Focus on Twitter. (Go on, do the LIKE and the FOLLOW right now. I'll wait.)

Did you do it?

No, seriously. Did you?

Doesn't it feel good to know you've made a difference?
I thank you. You've provided me with one more day of job security :)

2. Support small production companies. Liberty Studios, for example, got into this industry because they want to tell inspiring stories. From their website:

Founder and President, Mark Schmidt’s mission is to deliver inspirational true stories to a worldwide audience. The company’s focus is the triumph of the human spirit over incredible odds, to celebrate outstanding individuals and their accomplishments, past and present.

Walking with the Enemy is their first movie. It opens April 25 in the US at selected theaters.
They have a Facebook campaign going right now ...

Go here and click LIKE. Right now. Even if you're not American. Go on, just do it already.Won't cost you a thing.
And follow Walking with the Enemy on twitter. (They will probably follow you back. Which, is kinda cool.)

(And then cross your fingers that they'll find a theatre or two in Canada that'll show this movie.)

There. Easy, no?
Sometimes showing your support is Just. That. Simple.

Just thought of a third thing.
If you're a person who prays, then, hahaha. Go ahead and pray for these two movies. Don't worry. I have chatted with Him about them already, so God's familiar with the projects and won't be surprised if you ask Him to bless them as well. In fact, I bet He'd love to hear from you.

Not sure what to say to the Almighty about movies?
Try this:

Hi God.
Jane suggested I pray, so I'm going to. (Was it your intention, when you created her, that she turn out this bossy? Because she's certainly excelling at it.)
Thank you for making creative people. And gifted people. And people who are passionate about story-telling.And story writing. Thank you that you made some people really good at acting. And directing. And editing. And photography. Thank you for stirring a passion in some people to investigate families or to research inspiring lives from the past. 
God, this whole entertainment industry exists because of you. It's a reflection of who You are... 
Thanks for protecting the Irreplaceable and WWTE projects so far. Could you keep protecting Tim, Mark, Jonas (and everyone else who is tirelessly meeting people, answering questions, hopping on planes, eating at weird times, and is away from their families) and provide them with energy, good health, and enthusiasm now as they near the finish line? Could you manage these last days for them? Arrange for them to meet influential leaders and passionate movie lovers? Smooth the way for increased exposure?  
Guide them, lead them, fill them with words, and smiles, and bring encouraging people to walk alongside. Both movies are going to receive push-back because of their content - so I pray that you would fight that fight for them, so Tim, Mark, Jonas and others can concentrate on doing what they do best.  
God, could you make sure that unforeseen opportunities would open up for these movies (and their major stakeholders) according to Your purposes for them? Could you figure out a way to ensure they would be unexpectedly successful, both financially and critically and that they would have a lasting, possibly transformational impact on viewers? 
Actually, God? How about this? Your will be done.
That's the main thing. Your. Will. Be. Done.

Three things I'm thankful for:

1. The long weekend is just around the corner. 
2. My niece's clever friends. Check out Amy's blog.
3. The shopping bag of Purdy's chocolate in this house. 

Peace, friends.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Whoa. Super Spring Sunday, Batman.

I was awoken by a voice bellowing down from upstairs: "Auntie Jane? Are you up yet? It's a beautiful day. Want to go for a Real Walk?"

I was, in fact, not even close to getting up. 

"Uh, yeah. I'm up," I grumbled.

"K. LET'S GO," she shouted.

"Give me a few minutes."



"AND YOUR WALLET." And then I heard her walk away. 

Where the heck were we going? I texted her, "Should I pack my passport too?"

She ignored me. 

I don't have shorts that fit. And my legs were hairy. But no way was I wearing pants.

I texted her, "Might need a few more minutes. Going to shave my legs."

That looked after, I found my one pair of shorts. And rolled the legs up by two full rolls. And then rolled the waist band over so they wouldn't slip down. I covered that with a spaghetti-strapped leopard-printed tank top. I tried bra-less, but those years are definitely over. So I put on my new black lacy job. Is it OK to have straps showing?  Probably better than not having it on at all. Besides, her and I usually walk through trails and paths that nobody else frequents. Who is going to see me? 

I grab my breakfast (frozen chocolate bar) and a water bottle. And put my phone, bank card and a $5 bill in my pocket. I'm ready to go. 

She is lounging on the back of her truck, waiting patiently for me. 

This is her gig, so I just follow her lead. 
She takes off for the steep hill.

Half way up, the last bite of chocolate is still in my mouth but I can't swallow it. I can't hardly breathe. I am drooling, because I can't close my mouth or I will suffocate. No way my lungs are going to get enough air through my nose. I am mouth-breathing in a most unattractive way. 

"Do you need to stop?" she asks.

I finally catch my breath, swallow the remains of my breakfast, drink half of my water, and say a prayer. We move on.

We turn right at the top of the hill. Then left onto 156th. And for the first time since I moved to Fraser Heights, I walk UNDER the freeway. 

"I thought we'd be avoiding people today. Where are we headed?"

"Towards Guildford."

"So we'll be walking alongside the busiest streets in Surrey?"

"Yeah. No one knows you. It doesn't matter."

"Mandi? I grew up here. This whole area is part of my old 'hood. See that street, Brad lived there. And the road behind this one, Denise (Bummer's family) lived there."

"Whatever. It's not like anyone still lives around here."

"You'd be surprised how many of us stayed within 2 miles of the house we grew up in .."

Regardless, we walked along 104th, then down 152nd, and over to 108th. 

I stopped to smell (figuratively speaking) the flowers along the way:

And whenever I need to stop moving, I take another pic:

We ended up here:

In Fabricland, on 108th Ave, so she could buy some thread:

I've probably been in a fabric store six times in my entire life. So this was like a high school field trip for me.

We walked for another couple hours, and made it back home at 3 pm. 
My hip joints were starting to complain. 

She and I both went into the house, she upstairs, and me to the basement and met back out on the driveway with even less clothes on. (The front of the house faces south. And that's where the sun was. The more private backyard faces north and was shaded.)

The two houses directly across the street from us are for sale and the realtors were having open houses. 

"Way to go Auntie Jane. People come into the neighbourhood looking at multi-million dollar homes, and here we sit, like white trash, on the driveway, bringing down the value of the houses in our area."

(That's her on the patch of grass at the end of the driveway, right on the road, wearing an orange cowboy hat, stretched out on a hotpink towel, reading a book.)

And I sat here,

wearing my black and white polka dotted Costco bathing suit underneath my ten-year-old pink-striped Carebear pajama shorts and a magenta tank top.

I am fairly certain no houses were sold on our street this afternoon.

Three things I'm thankful for:
1. Long walks with talkative, patient nieces.
2. My Mexican pre-tan. Colour just pops right back to the surface, even with the whimpy April sun. 
3.Pizza Hut delivery.


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Three Questions.

1. A blog reader/facebook friend asked me the following question(s):

did you have to deal with anger issues with your sons when they were older teens living at home?

did they ever beat the crap out of each other?

And, well, to be honest, their teen years were a blur, so I asked the three of them to comment on a private facebook thread. This was the conversation:

Hi C, M, D - I have a divorced friend with 3 sons (all in the late teens). She sent me an email asking for help. Her boys are angry human beings that fight with each other All The Time. Very angry. Dangerous fighting. She's worried they're going to seriously hurt/possibly kill each other.
She wondered if I had that experience with you three. And if I had any advice.
So I'm asking you guys. I don't remember you guys fighting with each other as much as you fought with me. Nor can I remember you being out-of-control angry at each other. That too was directed at me
Did you fight alot? How did it get solved? Were you ever afraid/fed up/murderous towards each other? What were the biggest issues? (Someone 'borrowing' someone's clothes/things?)
Any advice for her? You know, from a kid's perspective?

Max answered in less than 10 minutes. And Drew entered the discussion after he got off work. And then Clint chimed in. This conversation will disturb you.Or maybe not. Maybe it's just disturbing to their mother. 

Max Omelaniec
4/2, 12:26pm
Max O

Probably look for some sort of professional help

  • Drew Omelaniec
    Drew O

    Is it possible she's over reacting to a boys fight? I've had the shit kicked out of me before by max and Clint. Anyone who isn't use to seeing kids fight like that would be a little worried

  • Clinton Michael Peter Omelaniec

    Whatever you've never even been given a black eye by us

  • Drew Omelaniec
    Drew O

    Remember that time you ran up to my room, And I falcon punched you in the gut, and you smashed me in the face to the point that I got noodle legs and dropped onto my bed

    Or when max stole the computer from you and you beat his head with a binder?

    Max winded me so bad at school three times, 2 of which I passed out

    Max hit me in the back with a broom stick and I fell over on the top of the stairs and he pushed me so hard I fell down all the stairs

    My friends still talk about the time max pinned me between the wall and the toilet and kicked my head

    I'm not saying it was that bad, but from the outside looking in it would be a bit scary

  • Jane Klassen Omelaniec

    Reading this is making me want to vomit. WHERE THE HELL WERE YOUR PARENTS?
  • Jane Klassen Omelaniec

    Clint and Max? WHAT THE EFF. Why were you beating him up? And Drew - way to take it like a man, I guess. But why didn't you tell me what was going on?
    And, uh. Proud of you all for managing to stay alive and actually like each other these days.
    I sure sucked as a mom. Way to create a positive, safe environment, Jane. Hahaha. Oh man. I will never gloat about my parenting abilities.

  • Clinton Michael Peter Omelaniec

    Because it's the circle of life mom
  • Drew Omelaniec
    Drew O

    That is what brothers do, and I deserved probably 99% of it

  • Jane Klassen Omelaniec

    I just talked to our 'parenting expert' at work about this thread of conversation. Hahaha. Told her it's great fodder for an article on looking back at life through rose colored glasses. Or an article on the ineffectiveness of single moms raising boys.
  • Clinton Michael Peter Omelaniec

    So. Mom. Go compare notes with your friend and see if their fighting is on par with ours

    If not tell em to man up
Jane Klassen Omelaniec

Sigh. I will never understand boys/men. Never.

Drew Omelaniec
Drew O

If anything it's good for them. Especially the youngest, if I hadn't gotten the shit kicked out of me when I was acting like a little shit I would have turned out like a cocky little kid who thinks he can do anything

  • Jane Klassen Omelaniec

    Interesting that Max's response at the start of all this, was to get professional help.

  • Drew Omelaniec
    Drew O

    well yea, cause the way you worded it sounded like they were at the point of murdering eachother
  • Jane Klassen Omelaniec

    Reading your stories it seemed like you guys were hell bent on murder too
  • Drew Omelaniec
    Drew O

    exactly, which is what i realized when i was working. that you parents likely dont realize whats actually to the point of murder and wahts just brothers fighting
  • Jane Klassen Omelaniec

    But. In spite of those rough years, you three like each other? Consider each other to be your friends? Got each other's backs and all that? I can give her hope?
  • Drew Omelaniec
    Drew O

    uh duh. we've had a 3 person chat going on facebook for like 6 months that we talk in every day, and have all gone and hung out at clints place on the weekend

And that, people? Is parenting at it's absolute worst. They are all alive today by the grace of God, certainly not because of anything I did 

"Friend" who asked the original question - hoping this was helpful?  Otherwise I've shared my shame for nothing. 

If you need some words of encouragement or comfort, all I've got is this: God loves our boys more than we do. Whatever happens - He's allowed it. And? We are single women raising boys. We will NEVER UNDERSTAND THEM. They are aliens to us. Just trust that God is at work. Praying for you. Someday, say, 10 years from now, someone is going to ask you about your boys fighting, and you won't remember. So you'll ask them. And be horrified all over again. 

The passage of time. It's a beautiful thing.


2. My cousin's son asked me this: 

I'm not sure what made me think of this, but now I am curious: When you are actually sitting down and writing, as your fingers are on the keyboard and the words are flowing, are you writing to a single person? to a group? to the same person or group every time? to yourself?
I've never written personal stuff for mass consumption.
So, who ya writing to?

Of course I'm writing to someone. Always. 
And, yes, it's always someone specific. Often the person I'm writing to is someone that I know does not read my blog. But I write anyway.
Sometimes the person I've chosen to write to isn't even born yet. (My future granddaughter, for example.)
Sometimes I write to the person I had a real-life conversation earlier. They likely don't know or care. (Very few of my friends read this blog. They're afraid of the internet. And computers. Or just don't care. Or have time.) :)

Sometimes I write to a friend. A family member. A fantasy friend. 
Sometimes I write to someone I hope is reading. 
Sometimes I write to someone I hope will fall in love with me. 
Or want to be my friend. 

Sometimes I write to my future self. Because I want to remember.

And yes, sometimes I write to a group of people.
Like, to that group of 'middle-aged women who live in their mother's basements'. Wait. What? I'm the only one? 

Sometimes I write to the group of 'single women raising boys'. Or to 'divorced women who are finding their way'. Or to 'mothers of recovering drug addicts'. Or to 'Vancouver Canuck fans'. Or to 'women who aren't sure about female friendships'. Or to 'people who appreciate photos of trees'. Or 'people who like reading lists'. 

Sometimes I write to people looking for recommendations on books. Or movies. Or things to do. Or places to visit. 

Sometimes I write to that group of people who've forgotten about appreciating all the little day-to-day things we can be thankful for. 

Sometimes I write to my mom. Or those cousins I barely ever see and hardly know. 
Often I write to my kids. Or my closest friends. Or my oldest friends. Or someone I've lost touch with.

And almost always I'm writing to someone who doesn't know Jesus. And I'm praying that my life/writing will stir a longing to get to know Him better.

I've wondered, over the years, if readers (all 4 of them) can tell who I'm writing to? My language and tone change, depending on who each post is written for... so I've wondered if people question my 'voice'... and how come it's not consistent. 

Did that answer your question?

A tidbit I picked up from my writer's group is this: I assume I am writing to a friendly audience. Someone who is 'on my side'. 
If I were to assume I was communicating with a 'hostile readership', my words and tone would sound defensive. And possibly angry. And who wants to read rants, really? They get old after two or three posts. Plus, people read the yelling in their minds and it gets loud and obnoxious.


3. And the third question was from my friend, Heather. She's a Market Researcher and she asked me if I wanted to participate in one of her studies. I said yes. It was about *car manufacturers. (*not really. But I can't say what it really was about.) (Nothing illegal or immoral or anything.)

Are you wondering what this study entailed? OK, Let me tell you. It would be my pleasure...

It was an online questionaire. 
NOT multiple choice answers. 
Participants were to type out their answers, using up to 250 words.

You can bet I used all 250 words everytime, (at the start) because I wanted an "A".
(My enthusiasm waned, by the end, I would've been happy with a "C". I was getting paid the same, regardless of my grade. WHOA, my kids' attitude about effort is wearing off on me... Who am I becoming?)

You are so wondering about the questions now, aren't you. 
OK. First I was to share a little bit about myself, my family, my friends, my job, my interests, things I love to do. And then sum it up, using only 5 words to describe myself.

So that was easy. To bump it up a notch, I decided to have all 5 words randomly start with the letter C. (Going for bonus points.)

After that, the questions were specific about three different car manufactures: GM, Ford, Dodge. 

1.. A. When you think of GM what is the first thought (colour, image, person, word, emotion, etc.) that comes to mind? The second? The third? Please explain your answers. Thx! 

B. And if you think Ford, what is the first (colour, image, person, word, emotion, etc.) that comes to mind? The second? The third? Please explain your answers. Thx! 

C. And what if you think Dodge? What is the first (colour, image, person, word, emotion, etc.) that comes to mind? The second? The third? Please explain your answers. Thx!

2.. Let’s have a little fun and talk about car mfgs in a way you probably have never talked about them before. Imagine the following car mfgs (GM, Ford, Dodge) as people; and these three individuals are at a party. Now, you know how you have all kinds of people in a party: the social butterfly that walks from one group of people to the next, the person dancing on the speakers, the person that spends his/her evening leaning against a wall and talks to no-one; the person everybody wants to be with… How does each one of our car mfgs, GM, Ford, Dodge, act at the party? And, why so?

3.. Now imagine the same three car mfg, GM, Ford, Ddge, are three kids in the schoolyard. 

What are they saying about each other? 

4.. Now imagine that each of these car mfgs (GM, Ford, Dodge) were rooms at a country inn; describe what that room would be like, feel like. (Tell us about the furniture, d├ęcor, view, people, and ambiance…) 

For each please tell us who/what and why – that is what it is about the car mfg that makes you say this. Thx!

and so on,

I had three days to answer about 10 questions. I could log in whenever it was convenient for me. 

All in all a great experience. 

I'm pretty sure my answers were very valuable to them. Expect great changes in the marketing and branding of certain vehicles in the future as a result of my creative and articulate answers. 

Let me know if you're interested in being on Heather's list. She's always looking for people to participate in her studies. 


Three things I'm thankful for:

1. A day at the lake. A hike in the hills. A walk in the neighbourhood. And Cadbury eggs.
2. By His wounds, I've been saved. Thankful for Saturday evening services.
3. A little tiny God moment. I'd been praying for someone on my way to church and told God I wasn't sure if I should keep bothering. It really wasn't any of my business. I wasn't sure it it was making a difference; He was on it, before I started praying, and would likely continue if I stopped. I told God it felt weird praying for someone I didn't know and would probably never meet and what the heck was I doing anyway? 

And then, in church, I looked up at the screen, just as I was sitting down, and saw one five- letter word that was intended for me. From God to me. 

And I knew. 
I will keep on praying.