Tag Archives: bully

Only Child on kick-starting memoir using sound

Only Child age 9 to 10 in the Holy Cross Elementary school jumper and blouse

Only Child age 9 to 10 in the Holy Cross Elementary school jumper and blouse

Do you want to write a memoir but don’t know where to start? You can use your senses (all six of them – Intuition is the sixth sense) to bring back memories and the feelings you had back then. Let’s look at the sense of hearing.

Merriam Webster (online) defines hearing as “the process, function or power of perceiving sound, specifically: the special sense by which noises and tones are received as stimuli.”

Bells can conjure up so many memories. The sound of an ice cream truck travelling on your street can remind you of ice cream when you were a child. For me that brings memories of going into Ron’s Smoke Shop and buying a vanilla or chocolate ice cream cone (I didn’t like strawberry). The ice cream wasn’t like the scoops of today. Ice cream (at Ron’s anyway) came in longish (maybe four or so inches) cones that had wax paper wrapped around them. So Ron or his wife would remove the wrapping and place the ice cream in a cone.

The sound of an ice cream truck also brings back memories of the few times my mom made ice cream from some sort of a machine. I don’t remember what it looked like (and here is where I would do research on the Internet) but besides vanilla ice cream, Mom made some lilac-coloured ice cream, which I suspect was huckleberry because she grew huckleberries in her garden and made a mean huckleberry apple pie.

You can see where that ding-a-ling sound can go.

Then there is the school bell. I have a small bell that looks a bit like a school bell but is smaller and sounds a little different. But when I ring this bell it reminds  me of the teacher coming out the front doors of Holy Cross Elementary School in Toronto and ringing the bell for the school day to start or to come in after recess. I think of the school grounds and playing ball (rubber ball thrown up against the window or baseball), or Red Rover.

Here are the details of this workshop.

Kick-starting Your Personal Memoir Using the Six Senses Workshop

Memoir is not only the story but is also the emotions the story brings back to you. Join author, editor and Canadian Authors Association Toronto branch Writer-in-Residence Sharon A. Crawford to get started writing your family history or life story using the senses to draw out emotion and memory.

Upcoming:

Tuesday, July 16, 2013, 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Location:

Agincourt Toronto Public Library Branch

Program Room

155 Bonis Ave., Toronto

More information and to register: 416-396-8950

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

Only Child Writes

http://www.samcraw.com

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Filed under 1950s, classmates, Friends, Memoir writing, Only child memoir, School days, Sharon A. Crawford

Only Child takes the middle road

Only Child's late Mom who had a streak of diplomacy

Only Child’s late Mom who had a streak of diplomacy

As a child I used to go for the happy medium in any crisis, problem, etc. I’ve since learned that I did so because I wanted to please everybody and not get into hot water. It didn’t always work.

Today, I often hit the middle road but the reason has evolved. Sometimes this sitting on the fence is the only way to go when it comes to your health or dealing with pushy people – clients or friends and family.

My late mom taught me well. Julia Langevin could often be tactless but sometimes she showed a streak in diplomacy. The Bully, the “girlfriend” I grew up with (to age 11) would alienate some of my other friends on the block. But one of The Bully’s younger sisters would have none of that. She would come over to play with me and we would do girl stuff with our dolls (yes, back in the grey ages, little girls played with dolls). On one of these occasions my mom let me continue playing with her even though I was supposed to come in and help with the dishes.

“You need to have one friend,” she said afterwards. “That’s why I let you play instead of calling you in to dry the dishes.”

Today, with all the conflicting research in heath matters often the only way to go is along the middle road. Take the issue with calcium supplements versus heart attack risk. The latest research shows that taking calcium supplements can be a risk to heart attacks, so the preference is to get your calcium from food – calcium-fortified orange juice, milk, cheese, yogurt, etc. and only take supplements if you have a bone disease risk. What is a person to do if you are allergic to dairy (I’m not, that I know of) or if like me, you have malabsorption issues in your digestive system? Mine is partly caused by IBS but also by just getting old. Many people are going to run into the latter situation.

Do we have to choose between various arthritic conditions and heart attack risk? No.

Take the middle road. One of these studies (http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/may/24/calcium-supplements-heart-risk) provides the pros and cons and other medical experts say that as long as your daily calcium intake is under 2,000 mg. you should be okay. I’m keeping my daily supplement dose just under 1,000 and hoping some of the dairy, etc. will actually get into my system. However, I am still back up to my 4500 UIs a day for Vitamin D now that the grey days of winter have settled in. I don’t want a repeat of my arthritic-like pains in my leg bone from last winter.

And my pesky clients, especially those who try for freebies long after the contract work is done and paid for? I follow the Julia Langevin method – be diplomatic. Let them know what’s what but do it nicely. Sometimes I have to wait a couple of days to answer their email so I don’t rush in and vent.

Check out more information on these calcium-heart disease studies at: http://abcnews.go.com/Health/HeartHealth/calcium-supplements-linked-heart-attack-risk/story?id=16413252#.UMdgYqyUzFx

And check out my guest blog post (coming up December 15, 2012) on Type M for Murder at http://typem4murder.blogspot.ca/
An author friend, Shane Joseph, will be featured on Wattpad on Dec 14th at http://www.wattpad.com/8704102-lest-they-be-forgotten-foreword

Don’t forget my author blog http://www.sharonacrawfordauthor.com

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

Only Child Writes

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Filed under Arthritis, Digestive disorder, Health, Heart Disease, Middle, Mother, Only child, Sharon A. Crawford

Only Child: follow Aretha Franklin’s “Respect”

Only Child behind barbed wire and feeling the lack of respect

My hairdresser hit it right about the nonsense I’ve been dealing with from others. In last week’s post, Only Child tumbles into overwhelm (May 3, 2011), I mentioned some of the situations that have thrown me into overwhelm. Well, it’s not just the situations per se, but the people involved in them. While colouring my hair on Saturday, she listened to me rant and grabbed onto the incident about the person who kept phoning me  with questions and comments a couple of hours before a meeting we were both going to attend.

“She’s disrespecting you,” my hairdresser said.

I never thought of it that way, but yes, it’s true. Ditto for the fellow doing the excavation and grading work outside my house. After promising me a new-used picnic table (his idea to remedy his breaking the leg off the old table  when moving it. A new leg on the old table would have satisfied me), he is now incommunicado. He didn’t show up when he said to do the table exchange and refused to return my one follow-up phone call. Note, I said “one,” as I’ve put him on “delay” until the time arrives for him to do the grading.

All this lack of respect got me thinking in two directions. First, there is a lot of disrespect in our actions in both business and the personal. Think voice mail and the dreaded message, “Your call is very important to us.” Think rude e-mails and Facebook retaliations. This may go against what I also said last week – trying to gain control and get out of overwhelm. But perhaps, a lot of the disrespect stems from people believing they have no or little control in their lives – business or personal. My hairdresser says she’s noticed people are very cranky lately and is blaming it on a shift in the planets. Even if you don’t believe in her “why” she is right about people being grumpy. I know from my own state of mind.

The other thing I started thinking about is not just why I may not be getting the respect that I deserve but why I’ve let it happen many times. Growing up as an only child I was bullied by both a friend and a teacher (a nun).  Of course, I had no brother or sister to stand up for me and as a shy person, I was terrified to stand up for myself – unless pushed to do so. On one occasion when the bully friend and I had sharp words, I acted – with a little help from my mom.

I don’t remember the issue, but we’re standing outside on my front veranda. The Bully is letting me have it; I am burning hotter and hotter inside. Mom must hear us because when I run inside to get a knife, she hands me a ruler. The Bully knows she’s in trouble and she runs down the steps. Brandishing the ruler like I’m Zorro without the mask, I tear after her down the stairs, down the street, and around the corner. I’m steaming with how good it will feel to whack her one across the back and head, but she is too far ahead of me. Unlike Zorro, I have no horse, only my short eight-year old legs. I go right up to the side door of her house after she dashes inside. I yell and shake my ruler. I wish I had the nerve to run into her house and finish the job, but what will her mother think and do?

Maybe Mom is trying to protect me by teaching me to stand up for myself.

(Excerpted from You Can Go Home – Deconstructing the Demons, copyright 2011 Sharon Crawford)

Of course I haven’t been Ms Doormat up to now. I’ve learned from practice to be assertive in my work and sometimes in my personal life. Not without fear sometimes. I think the answer is “mutual respect.” Don’t push the person too far. Watch your timing and words when you ask for information or a favour. Mutual respect is offering to give something in return.

And here I have to add one instance in the last few days where mutual respect is happening. One of my East End Writers’ Group members has offered to help me with an area of my book proposal for my memoir because she says I have helped her with her writing within the group. In return I have offered to provide supper the evening she comes over to assist me.

Aretha Franklin had it right in her song, Respect. Spell it out like she does and listen to the words, especially the beginning, the end, and the chorus.  And follow them. Lyrics at http://www.lyrics007.com/Aretha%20Franklin%20Lyrics/Respect%20Lyrics.html, plus several video downloads on Y0u Tube.

Cheers.

Sharon

Only Child Writes

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Filed under Aretha Franklin, Assertiveness, Civility, Only child, Overwhelm, Respect