Tag Archives: honor

What’s in a Word?

I have blogged before about being on a couple of dating sites.  The rough times are, usually, signing up because you have to fill out a ton of questions so they can “find a fit match” for you.  I don’t care much for their tactics.  Most of the sites don’t do much to use your info to match you up.  For instance, I put I would like someone within 50 miles of home, so why does it match me with Illinois or Michigan people?  The fact is that, in my opinion, these sites just want to be able to give you hundreds (or more) people to choose from, whether they meet your qualifications or not.

I trust it more when I set up the search and do it myself.  However, as I said, you pretty well have to do some of this work so that, when you do send a message or a “wink” or whatever, the other person can call up your profile and see who’s asking about them.

Promises made online are, sometimes, “iffy”.

Well, today, I was looking at a “match” and this particular site shows a comparison between about 20 questions you have answered as has the match.  One of the questions caught my attention more now than when I answered it.  The question was:

Do you keep your word?

Always           Mostly              Not at all

Very Important         Somewhat Important             Not Important

That may not be it exactly, but the idea is there.  The question seems simple, but the ramifications are very interesting.  For instance, to be really honest, several years ago, before teaching, I would have answered “Mostly” and “Very Important” as I almost always kept my word and it was very important to me.  What I see now is that “very important” doesn’t go well with “mostly”.  So, it’s not important all the time, just most of the time if I keep my word?  Or, is it very important that I keep my word most of the time?

When I filled it out this time, I stated that I keep my word “Always” and it is “Very Important”.  I know I have forgotten a time or two to do something.  That is my stroke.  I do forget every once in awhile.  However, my efforts are to always keep my word and it is extremely important to me that people know that.  Things have changed for me.  Since my stroke, I no longer try to mostly keep my word or, even better, “technically” keep my word.  Have you ever seen that one?  That’s when you word things in such a way that you can “almost break” your word, but “technically” you didn’t.

For instance, if you will “try” very hard to do something and then you don’t, you can say, “I tried” and not be breaking your word.  The problem is that people usually figure that out eventually and quit listening to you.  I had that happen when my children were very little.  They asked me something and I said, “Maybe.”  My son began crying.  I stopped and asked him what was wrong.  He said, “Maybe means No.”  I looked at him and began thinking back.  He was right.  Most of the time (perhaps, all) when I said “maybe” I didn’t want to argue or fight and that put them off.  I stopped and thought, then said to them both, “Tell you what.  From now on, when I tell you ‘maybe’ I will tell you what will make it happen and what will make it not happen.  Then you will know.”  They were happy and I learned a great lesson:  Keep your word.

When I started teaching school, I would make specific promises to my students.  Then, I taught them that I would honor “the letter of the law” in my words.  Most of the time, I would do that to teach them to say what they mean and to mean what they say.

For example, I had a student ask me if she could write a problem on the board.  If I couldn’t solve it, could she not do her homework that day?  I said, yes, on one condition: that then if I could give her a simple task to do and she failed it, she would do double.  She agreed and began writing a long, detailed problem on the board.  The students watched me as I didn’t even look at the problem.  Finally, she finished.  I turned, looked at the problem, and said, “No, I can’t do that one.”  She was ecstatic.  I said, “Now, wait a minute.  The deal was that I get to give you a simple task to do.”  She said, “Sure.”  The students know enough to watch and learn here (I taught them well.).  I said, “Ok, you have two minutes to put your sweater on by yourself.”

She jumped up and put her sweater on and said, “I’m done.”  I said, looking at the clock, “I said ‘two minutes’, so let’s let the clock go.”  At the end of the two minutes, I said, “You didn’t put your sweater on all by yourself; we were all here with you.”  She was a bit deflated, but took it in stride.  The rest of the class understood the lesson and we continued on.

Keeping my word to them all the time meant that if I said something and they honestly did it, I had to keep my word.  I seldom got caught up in that, but it did happen.  What it did was to create a bond between me and those untrusting students.  They knew if Mr. Vannatter said it, it was true and was going to happen just that way.

I have tried hard to keep that promise to this day.  If I say something, I will do my very best to do it just that way.  Since the stroke, I have increased that by explaining what I will do and all so that, if there are any questions, they are asked and we take care of those concerns, too.

All of this went through my head between seeing that question and now.  It’s important to me and, I think, to others that I keep my word.  I also expect them to keep theirs; it’s only fair.

How do you feel about that ideal?

What is the very important thing you do or don’t do?



Such an Honor!

Such an Honor!  Blog Hop

After writing and posting to my blog daily for nearly a year, I can honestly say how much I love it and don’t know how I got along not doing it before.

On another note – two of my four purchased stories are, finally, set to be published this week!  I am very excited.  They are expected out in actual print!

I set out to fulfill a lifetime goal of getting published this past spring.  I have written with the idea of being published for many years, decades, but have always been so busy working and just living that I have not given it the time it deserves.

After I had my life-changing stroke in May 2010, I had to settle down more and, by February 2011, I had been forced to stop teaching (another life goal) and adjust into a more home-oriented lifestyle.

I took up blogging and decided to become dedicated to that as a way to spend my time writing and learning and connecting with others.

I have really outdone myself in that I have met such a wonderful group of fellow bloggers.  I am following over 125 now and find myself, often, a bit overwhelmed with trying to catch up on reading posts and doing my daily one and finding time to both write short stories and live my life.  It is exciting!

I do write and have found that, since my stroke, I am better with short stories.  My attention span and fatigue levels seem to work well around something that is from about 3-10 pages long (1500-4000 words).  Looking at publishing, I have decided that online works best for me and the arena of high suspense and horror fiction seems to be something I can excel in.

I also work with the Friday Fictioneers, hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.  This is a group of bloggers who use a photo prompt to deliver a writing exercise of around 100 words (I use 100 exactly) to be shared with whoever decides to write and/or read the post on Friday.  This keeps me writing and allows me to test out different delivery methods and styles of writing.  It also has me reading around 20 other writers each week.

As for publishing a book, it seems to me that, perhaps, an anthology of my short stories and poems might be in order in a year or two.  Reprinted stories and a few new ones would comprise the manuscript with my poetry added in for extra measure.  I might even decide that another section with essays and thoughts would be good to add.

Arianna is the person who put me into this mix of writers.  She has added me to the list of people she wanted to have interviewed.   I appreciate her very much.  She is a wonderful human being and delightful individual who is beginning her new career of helping others and has a book coming out February 1st of this year.  I encourage you to read/follow her blog and purchase her book.

I have also included several other (after the questions) writers who have inspired and taught me.

Now comes the time to answer the 10 questions posed.

What is the working title for your book?

As stated earlier, I have not written a book.  Currently, I have four stories that have been purchased and all four are supposed to be in either online format or in print by March 1st.  Those four stories are:

1) A Word of Advice

2) Sirens of the Undead

3) The Way It is

4) Tiger, Demon Burning Bright

Where did the idea come from for the book?

All of the stories originated from prompts or topics the publishers gave.  One publisher, http://cruentuslibri.wordpress.com/ , found here on WordPress, has purchased 3 of the 4 stories.  They have a new topic about one time each month.  They are a British Publishing Firm.

What genre does your book fall under?

Horror Fiction

Which actor would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Oh, that would be so very cool!  I would love it if Stephen King played a bit part in one.  And, if some of the people who played in “Masters of Horror” series would be in it.  Wow!

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Each story is different, but my general idea is:  A story composed of flawed characters faced with horrible choices in a plot that twists several times before its, hopefully, unforeseen conclusion.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

So, far 2 publishing firms (one for books and the other a new magazine).

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Except for one very inspired story, most of the ones I have written have taken between 4-6 hours to write and, perhaps, another 1 hour to polish.

What other books would compare this (work) to within your genre?

Any collection (anthology) of short (7-12) page horror stories.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I have loved horror stories and movies since I was little (perhaps, too little).  While I am a very loving, caring, nonviolent individual, I do have this quirky imagination that I can turn on (and, usually, turn off) when I choose to work on a story or idea.  I am certain that there are stories and movies I have read and watched over the years that have influenced my ideas; however, I try to take the usual and twist it until it is a surprise to my readers.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

My stories are all unique and varied.  I try to jump around in my subject matter and not stick to the same old recipe.

The writers I tagged are: 

Robin Coyle



Madison Woods

August McLaughlin


Check out their sites and their works.  Each of them has added to my life in one way or another.  They are all great people and have something to offer you.



Beauty lies within yourself

The only impossible journey in life is you never begin!! ~Tanvir Kaur


Philosophy is all about being curious, asking basic questions. And it can be fun!

North Noir


carly books

I read lots of books, from mythology retellings to literary fiction and I love to reread books from childhood, this is a place to voice my thoughts for fun. I also like to ramble about things such as art or nature every now and again.



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Normalising the conversation about Grief.

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