This is a Weekly Coffee Share update.
Our get-together is hosted by: Eclectic Alli.
Alli manages a weekly list of posts from any who want to just stay in touch, chat about blogging, writing, travel, photography, children, pets, work or just about anything else that might be of interest.
If we really were sitting down for a relaxing cup of joe for some catch-up time, I would assure you that my life has found it’s way back to normal after my return from successful back surgery. There are bills to pay, chores to see to (still no heavy lifting 😦 unfortunately), stories begging to be written and major customer escalations at work to attend to.
For my friends not in customer support, an escalation is nothing more than a customer with a huge problem with our technologies and they’re crying for help. This week it was a life-critical system that never actually went down, but a redundant portion failed leaving them with a single point of failure between “all’s well” and the strong possibility of many people dying. So, it was all hands on deck to fight the good fight and return everyone to safety – and we did it. Between the customer’s human talent and ours – a whole bunch of folks who trust us to not fail them were not disappointed.
I felt good when the final note of success arrived, but it was several days of life on the edge of calamity.
Why am I suddenly so tired?
All of the above notwithstanding, I’ve had a great week. Success in something like the above always feels good, but I’ll admit it – much of the good feeling is really only the sudden removal of something that was causing distress. Peace really is a therapeutic state of mind.
A peer blogger (and precious friend) has stood up a weekly writing challenge that I like to tilt at. She confesses to enjoying the mischief in my memories of growing up and I get a kick out of finding ways to match my essays to her criteria.
Through the madness of that escalation, you’d be forgiven to think that there’s no way one could carve out time to write a story and give it the attention needed to make it a decent read, but you would be wrong in many cases. My role is not as the technical heavy weight in these situations, because I have only half of the credentials needed. That would be the weight – I have that covered, but my role is to rally the talent and manage our efforts to beat back the nasty failure situations and keep management informed.
Occasionally I find myself stuck on long running conference calls when only my slight attention is required because everything is progressing smoothly. If fortune aligns inspiration during some of these moments, then a story can result despite the apparent chaos around us. It is maddening sometimes doing the time-slicing bounce back and forth between making sure everyone has what they need to solve the problem and using the small gaps between to finish some clever dialog or correct my verb tenses – but occasionally it works for me. But it is certainly slow. This week, it all worked out for me to produce a story matching my friend’s challenge.
It’s cute. It’s funny. It already provoked someone to laugh but regret her part in the larger story because wild animals, in her mind, should never be taken from the wild. Okay, but what about … oh never mind.
Anyway, if interested in a quick fun read that was forged in the shadow of imminent disaster, this might be just the 8-minute literary treat for you today. I invite you to checkout the account of my childhood pet taken from the wild.
- I began writing my stories in 2009, but recorded them as Word docs I kept on my laptop and shared via Facebook or by printing off a copy to share by hand.
- I stood up the early version of my WordPress blog in 2010, but hated the user interface. I had only a handful of stories written and they were a pain to manage from within WordPress.
- One story (My Prom Date Adventure) suddenly became something I needed to be careful with, because the center character was discovered living nearby and did not know this had happened pretty much behind her back.
- I decided to carefully let her know what happened and let her read and approve of my write-up. She was good enough to do so and gave me great feedback.
- Later she let me use her and her father’s name in the story and with this, I blazed the trail I now use for any of my stories that involve other real people who might still be out there running around not knowing that I’d written something about them. Until I secure permission to use their real names, I just don’t.
This last week, I finally got around to a chore related to this story I’d been putting off. I wanted to do an update to her story with all the new skills gained from my years of struggling to learn WordPress and blogging. Anyway, the new and improved version of the story is now posted and she loves it.
And – and, she added a comment that completely embarrasses me because at the time I knew of her and would have told you that she most likely did not know me. Turns out that she not only knew me, she claims to have had a huge crush on me – from afar, because I promise, if she’d made any attempt to get to know me, she would have scared me to death, because, well, if interested, you should just read the story and enjoy the irony of her having this crush. Fun stuff again and a great memory that taught me some very important things that made me a much better person. You can find this revised edition in my collection titled: The Prom Date Adventure.
Finally, something I’m very proud of finally made it to the folks it was intended for. Most of my stories are about things I did or learned. One story is much more about what a bunch of amazing people did for someone caught in a terrible crisis. I was only a close observer and could not do what was needed to pull-off such an act of grace and love. I needed help tracking down most of them, but finally got what I needed and shared my recording of their gift to a young woman with breast cancer. This one might make you cry, but they would be tears of joy. This last week, the folks who made Jacquie’s Story real got to see their good deed in print. I heard that tears were shed and was reminded what an honor it was to have worked with these folks.
So yea! This was a rowdy, hectic, but great week for me. I hope you can say the same. If you post an article to share over our virtual coffee, I’ll be around soon to enjoy it.
Hope this finds you all well and prosperous.