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Archive for the ‘words’ Category

       In a surprising turn of events, a Missouri woman named Ms. Lori Drew is being brought up on charges stemming from a 13 year old girl’s suicide; her name was Megan Meier.  It is surprising because some people in law enforcement believe this area of law to be untried; prosecuting cyber stalking/bullying has not been commonly taken to the legal arena of the court room.  MySpace might mean federal prison for those involved in the alledged hoax.

       Lori Drew, and a 19 year old employee named Ashley Grills, were allegedly involved in creating a MySpace profile of a young man named “Josh Evans” who contacted Megan and initiated a online relationship.  MySpace is a social networking site.  As time went on, “Josh” became abusive online and even went so far as to say that the world would be a better place without her in it …and, that he no longer wanted to be friends with her.  Within an hour of that online conversation…Megan was dead. 

        Not long ago Ashley Grills, the 19 year old employee, did a television interview alledging that Lori Drew was involved in some of the postings.  Ms. Drew denies this…but, she has now been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of conspiracy and three counts of accessing protected computers without authorization.   This whole case is tragic.

          Supposedly, according to Ms. Grills, the whole hoax was set up to find out if Megan was saying anything about Ms. Drew’s daughter.  This hoax has had horrible consequences.  Young Megan is dead, Ms. Grills is probably next in line for some kind of legal consequences unless she has procured immunity for her testimoney; Megan’s family is mourning the death of their child, Ms. Drew could end up in federal prison, and a neighborhood is torn apart as the Drew and the Meier families lived in the same neighborhood at the time of the tragedy. 

        The outcome of this case could have long lasting impact on how people conduct themselves online, in chat lines or in social networking sites.  It is imperative that people monitor their children when they are online for safety reasons.  Words have power to put down or lift up and people are going to be held accountable legally. 

       It might be a good time to remind people that we have impact on those around us…why not make it a positive IMPACT!  Check this out…  http://theimpactfactor.net?id=35.

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         With all of the hoopla surrounding the publication of Barbara Walter’s book called, “Audition” i have to wonder; where is her dignity?  i think she lost it somewhere between bragging on her affair with a married man approximately 20-30 years ago and dishing on the ongoing public tongue lashing of her former co-hosts Rosie O’Donnell and Star Jones.  There is so much more, i am sure, in Barbara’s memoirs but i have to wonder…with all of the truly outstanding news stories she has brought to our attention over the years…why resort to digging dirt?

        After all, the book would have been interesting enough because of some of the all time history making interviews such as Fidel Castro, Monica Lewinski, President Gerald Ford, Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, Rudy Giuliani former mayor of NYC  and the list goes on.  Then there are all of the famous celebrities she has interviewed over the years as well.  Some celebrities doing a PR spin on whatever scandal they were going through at the time…there would have been enough sex, drugs, violence to attract the gossipmongers to the book strickly because of some of those interviews.

        Barbara’s book would not have been short on excitement, intrigue, or interest had she concentrated strickly on those interviews and all of the behind the scenes regarding them.  I fail to see the need to tell us of her sex life and such. She is interesting in her own right just because of her childhood, her professional life, her adoption of her daughter Jackie and the famous people in and out of her life. 

          I wonder if this type of publicity buzz will have a disasterous backlash when it comes to the sale of the book; or, whether it will bring publishing to a whole new level of indigity itself.  The business of publishing has been going through it’s own destructive roller coaster over the last decade or so; regarding making a profit, plagerism, fictionalized memoirs, editors who publisher hop from one company to another; and then, the spector of how digital publishing is affecting printed publishing financially.  When dignity is for sale we all lose out. 

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http://youtube.com/watch?v=pgyuYHXqlO4 

         Randy Pausch is a gifted speaker/teacher. He made the Last Lecture, to teach his children his view on living. He inspires us all to choose to fulfill our childhood dreams…what are any of us waiting for?  He is dying physically; but, he is living fully in the here and now.  After listening to him…i really felt impressed to condense his message to me in three small words…  

 1).  Latitude….Be present where you are…in the here and now, make the most of your time. 

 2).  Attitude…Be aware of how you perceive things…be positive…work hard not to dwell on negativity

 3).  Gratitude…Be grateful for the loving people in your life-friends & family, for your physical and mental well being, for the gift of spirituality,  the ability & creativity to provide dreams for yourself; and, for the wisdom to know, not to waste any of it!  This is the Last Lecture, and the Only Lecture, we need to get Inspiration.

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         For a blog to get noticed on the web some really amazing things have to happen.  I am just learning.  But, really it is all about using words and terms that the crawlers or internet search engine spiders pick up.  Then they put them in some sort of indexing which gets your site more traffic.  It is kind of cool.  There is so much more to learn. 

        Search engine optimization is such a trendy thing in the world of internet marketing…but really, anyone with any kind of website can benefit from learning more about it.  After all, the whole reason for having a website is to get people to view it, right?

        If your site is business related you want to communicate that with your domain name…have the domain name be something catchy that communicates what your business is all about…something they will remember.

        Really, it all comes down to valuable, relevent content and how it is presented.  If you want to get noticed you really just have to follow the old rule of thumb…give them what they want!

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        The stinky thing, about having a subdomain, is that others have the title that i thought i had carved out for myself…i, later, find it is plastered all over the internet.   My url doesn’t even rate, unless you are looking for specific topics; then it has pretty high rankings.  Even though my words are out there…my url is not high on the list because it is a subdomain.  I didn’t know about such things when i started my blog…so…i guess, live and learn.   In genereal, I am not knocking subdomains…after all…:) wordpress is FREE; did i mention that?   LOL

       There are businessses out there with Write As Rain prominently displayed in the title of their url…and i can only wish that it were me.  Oh well, I was told in the beginning that it didn’t matter; i have had the subdomain name for quite some time…but, not long enough to be the first with the name.  I don’t have a business, yet, so…i will have to be satisfied with writeasrain.wordpress.com as my url; and, I will be happy with the Write Where You Are, as my tagline.  🙂

        When i am successful with my writing…then, i will apply that knowledge to establishing my official website url!  It just goes to show that you really need to think hard when picking a domain name for your site, product, or blog.  You never know when an opportunity will present itself and you will need to stake your claim on those precious words used to describe who you are or what you do!

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       The power of words has never been illustrated in such an alarming way, until recently.  Today on Good Morning America Ashley Grills, aged nineteen, talked about her part in an internet prank on a social networking site that allegedly incited a thirteen year old young lady, Megan Meier, to commit suicide.

       The horribly cruel prank was allegedly played upon Megan as a way to find out if Megan was talking behind another young lady’s back.  Ashley says that the other young lady, unnamed at this point, was an off again, on again friend of Megans.  The friendship turned sour and the young lady and Ashley wanted to see if Megan was talking badly about her. 

        Ashley alledges that the young lady’s mother, Lori Drew, also was involved in the prank.  What they did was to create a profile of a young man, named Josh, who would initiate an online romance with Megan on the social networking site.  It is important to remember that people can “pretend” to be anything they want online; you can’t read the body language of someone online.

         Megan and “Josh” started up an online relationship.  Back and forth it went…creating interest in one another until; Ashley says she felt badly about the prank.  So, she started saying mean things…and, so did others on the social networking site.  Ashley says that she wanted to end the “online relationship” and told Megan that the world would be a better place without her in it.

          In Megan’s house there was a horrible outcome.  Megan’s mother was aware of Megan’s upset.   They talked but, Megan stormed off and went to her room.  Twenty minutes or so later, Megan’s mother opened the bedroom door to find that Megan had hung herself in her closet in despair over the online words and actions.

          Ashley says that the other young lady’s mother, Lori Drew, was involved in writing some of the verbal interactions with Megan.  The news reports state that Ashley has been given immunity to testify against the other young lady’s mother, Lori Drew, in court.  She says that the mother was aware of the whole process and involved.  For the record,  i have read statements that the mother, Lori Drew, denies any involvement.

           The fact remains that the very young Megan is dead.  Her family is devastated.  Their lives will never be the same.  Their child was vulnerable and was destroyed.  

            Ashley says that she is taking responsibility for her actions.  I don’t know what that means other than admitting her involvement.  I would  imagine it would be hard to live with the knowledge that her actions directly influenced Megan Meiers to hang herself. 

             It would be a very valuable tool, if indeed Ashley is sincere in her regrets, if she was to start some kind of community service going into schools and educating young people about the dangers of online harassment.  The old saying, sticks and stones may break your bones; but, words will never hurt me, is not true.  Words have power to influence others…both in good ways and in bad ways!  We must communicate the dangers in harassing others.

        There may be legal repercussions in the future for the participants of this prank.  Whether they can prove the mother’s involvement is not clear at this time.  However, it doesn’t change the fact that this whole situation has had long lasting consequences for all of those involved; It is sadness personified.

          The next time that you are on a website where comments can be made…it is wise to remember that there is still a standard of accountability to be upheld.  Our words and actions have impact on others…why not make that impact a positive influence on others?  Look here, http://theimpactfactor.net?id=35 and see if you can impact others positively in your personal life, business life, or spiritual life! http://theimpactfactor.net?id=35.  

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      Words are windows into people’s thoughts, lives and cultures.  Reading is a great way to learn, to escape and to explore.  I love to read and I tried hard to get my children interested in reading at young ages.  During the summer we are at the library at least three times a week.  It is a great way to show them all that they can enjoy through books. (more…)

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      I remember that i told you a few weeks back about the importance of finding  a mentor.  I have been listening to audio seminars conducted by Glenn Dietzel.  He really stresses the importance of a mentoring team as well as deep self reflection.  I used to think of writing as the end goal.  Now, i believe with all of the changes in publishing; that you must be thinking, at all times, on the best way to utilize what you write as not only an art form but also a business.  You can’t live on art alone :)!

      I think he is right.  I know that i always have a million ideas floating around in my head; but for some reason, it takes a titanic strength of will just to get them all written down and then another huge wave of commitment to do the rewrites.  I don’t know if it is always this difficult for other writer’s; but, i find that so many things become distractions.  I do my best to weed out the ones that matter little and to prioritize the ones that truly matter in my life.

      I am enjoying the online seminar’s that Glenn Dietzel is doing and i find  that they are very uplifting and encouraging.  If you would like to check it out take a look:  http://tinyurl.com/2fsnbg.

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