Objects In The Rearview Mirror Are A Mindfuck

A few days ago, a Facebook group claiming to aid in eradicating anti-Semitism decided to start harassing me to an intolerable degree. For the past two years, which is how long they’ve run their page, they would immediately attack anything I said that interfered with their hateful “message”. They are trying to mask hatred under the guise of, “educating people”. It took a few minutes to realize they are malicious AF. Sometimes, it’s important to keep your eye on people like that. They are dangerous and spreading the wrong message. Hate ISN’T faith.

They are trying to malign my name, my work, and how I represent my portion of the Jewish community. They have gone as far as to tell me I can’t possibly be Jewish, as well as be multicultural. 🙄 DNA and genetics don’t lie. I KNOW who I am. I know where my ancestors come from. And I KNOW my faith/spirituality is different and may be confusing for those who aren’t open-minded. But it isn’t for anyone to judge. This is a (relatively) free country.

I have reported them to Facebook, taken screenshots of their harassment, and blocked them. They are still persisting in their harassment, and I feel forced to send them a cease and desist order. I don’t tolerate harassment because that’s when you cross a line. It isn’t acceptable. 

Apparently, being honest in the community automatically labels you one thing or another, and they like to assume it’s all political. It isn’t. Honesty doesn’t automatically make you right or wrong, nor does it make you left or right. Sharing different opinions and views is part of being human.

Let me set things straight: I’m not a hateful person. I am direct. I KNOW my faults. I’ll apologize in a New York Minute if I’m wrong. There’s no shame in admitting you were incorrect, but there IS a problem with attacking a person, name-calling, and threats of physical, mental, or emotional harm towards another person’s friends and family. I don’t know who the fuck this person thinks they are, but they have NO CLUE about who I am am or what I stand for. 

I am an established writer. It’s not a hobby; it’s my full-time job. Not all writers can say that. I’m genuinely blessed in this arena, and no one is going to fuck with that. My reputation speaks volumes. Being on the right side of history means being FAIR to others; not rabidly hateful.

Should you see something negative posted online with any reference to me, please take a screenshot and share it with me immediately. Legal action is a final effort, but they’re making it necessary.

Ultimately, I have decided to remove myself from all of these so-called “groups” claiming to be a “community”. That’s not what they are. They are supporting different levels of hate, and I’m the only person they’ve repeatedly singled out. Radical fundamentalism in ANY faith is taking things much further than necessary. I will be filing a police report locally. I refuse to be told I am lesser than other Jews, and attacked for the perception of ONE asshole. 

In-fighting is disgusting. It’s the side most people don’t know about, or see, in Judaism, but I assure you it exists. I’m making it known in order to protect myself and my family.

Anti-Semitism ISN’T okay. Nor is harassment of someone who is a private citizen who you’re choosing to single out and demonize. Fuck that.

Since they feel safe behind their devices of choice, I am committed to putting them out of “business”. They are part of what’s wrong with the community at large. It’s time to remove that which is rotten to the core.

For the most part, Jews are thoughtful, kind, peaceful, supportive individuals. Most, not all. They are focused, hard-working, and many members of the community are brilliant in their fields of choice. I was primarily raised by two Jewish mothers; my mother and Grandmother. I was taught to excel, to listen, to be independent and kind, to compete in sports I loved, and to always be myself. My Grandmother wanted a silent, pretty, smart doll to show off to her friends. My mother wanted the fierce warrior she gave birth to. It would probably be easier for a lot of people if I was silent and pretty, with very few thoughts or opinions. <Shrugs> Sorry, Grandma, Mom ordered a dragon slayer.

I do not blame any sect of Judaism for the harassment I am experiencing. This is how the cookie crumbles, and it’s almost certainly coming from someone who is unhappy with their own life above anything else. I mean, who else would have to time to jump on someone every other second? Removing myself from the equation was the best thing I could do, and Facebook can deal with the rest, along with the police. Believe it or not, constant harassment and threats of harm, as well as blatant slander, are considered cyber crimes. Only a true moron thinks all of this is permitted under the first amendment. I’m not one hundred percent certain what country they are in, but it wouldn’t be my first C&D and may not be my last. Knowing the rules,  and adhering to my own personal list of dos and do nots, is important to me. Having integrity and character is important. 

Before you run your mouth on the Internet, make sure nothing you say can be misconstrued. 

copyright © 2020 by Lisa Marino and Poison In Lethal Doses, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. 

U.S. Government Wants to Use Social Media to Decide Who Is ‘Disabled Enough’ for Disability Benefits

https://themighty.com/2019/03/social-security-disability-benefits-monitoring-social-media/

Set your privacy settings on Facebook, if nowhere else. Don’t post anything publicly. Don’t accept new “friends” you do not know personally. Be wise. Also, it’s no one’s business that you filed for disability. Your doctors and lawyer, if you chose that route, are the only people who should be privy to this information. Also, please be aware that they already do this in the United Kingdom. They have people investigate you and your whereabouts. Personally, I find this deplorable beyond words.

 

 

Follow Your Gut, Because It Doesn’t Lie…

A few weeks ago someone friended me on Facebook. Under normal circumstances I only accept requests from people I know in real life or people I have met via a migraine or Fibromyalgia/ Chronic Pain group. I’ve met some great people who have become good friends almost immediately. Sometimes you click with someone and you’re good, despite not seeing them every single day of your life. But every once in a while, someone comes along and their intentions are less than honorable.

Here’s precisely what went down with this particular person.

#1: He friended me and I was busy, so I accepted it thinking he was from my migraine group. When I went to do a little recon, I found that his profile had exactly three photos, and he’d joined in February of 2017. He had the prerequisite photo of “himself” in the desert holding a gun. He claimed he worked “at U.S. Army”. Red flag. Why? He didn’t have a single friend or family member listed. That’s odd, especially when a person is friending you out of the blue.

#2: He immediately messages me. And by immediately, I mean I don’t think it took him thirty seconds. Everything about the interaction screamed “This is not the person in the photos.”, and because I trust my intuition, I reported him to Facebook. HUGE red flag.

#3: Facebook, as usual, did nothing. The profile was deleted for less than a few hours and then he was suddenly back on my friends list. I decided to let it go, as long as the messages stopped.

#4: When he messaged me after midnight and his English is about as American as my knowledge of Indo-Iranian languages, I called him on his shit.

#5: Instead of being honest, especially after I said “Your profile states that you’re U.S. Military, but your command of the English language shows otherwise.”, he tried to maintain the charade. “Sorry! I didn’t understand you better.” Americans don’t talk like that. We know proper tense.

#6: “Okay, but you hardly ever talk to me dear.” How many guys do you know who talk like that? I responded by saying “You are an absolute stranger and I’m not dumb.” He stated “What does that mean?” Even the dimmest person would realize I’m on to them and back off. Someone smarter would have immediately unfriended me. He didn’t. I was very direct with my response. I flat-out said he was not who he was professing to be and he replied “Are you kidding me? I am who I am and no one else is me.” He said a few other things and again, the English was SO off. Instead of continuing the nonsensical back and forth (which I do not have time for), I unfriended him, reported him again, and blocked him.

If someone friends you, do a little background on them if you don’t know them from work, every day life, etc. I attract different types of people because I’m a writer and I’m affiliated with some pain groups, one of which I founded and maintain, as well as some groups for specific interests, etc. But I’m NOT fucking stupid. I speak more than one language fluently and I know how Americans sound, even via text message or Facebook Messenger. There is a distinction to American English that does not translate into or out of other languages. Two of my best friends are German and Israeli, by birth. Each speaks English as a second language. I’ve been friends with both of them for over twenty years. On occasion, one or both of them will say something and they’ll state “This may not translate into English well, but…” They are honest and they own the fact that certain things get lost in translation. I have other friends who are polyglots and they, like me, will be the first to say that a lot of things can get lost in translation when English is your first language.

There are all kinds of people out there, but you are my readers and I want each and every one of you to be safe on the Internet. Don’t take anyone at face value until they prove themselves to you, just like you would expect in real life.

I know a lot of people are lonely and they look for people to chat with in chat rooms and assorted forums. IRC is one of the larger forums I know of because my brother has used it since he was a kid, making good friends along the way, but also losing friends because of it in terribly tragic ways. 😦

Be careful who you “friend” and be careful who you talk to. Not everyone is authentic. Don’t be so quick to trust. Trust your intuition and don’t be so willing to give out personal info.

Always, ALWAYS, trust your gut, and even more so if you see a red flag go up. Your gut instinct is the one part of you that will never lie.

There are real people in this world, but there are also fake people and fake profiles. Unfortunately, that is the land of social media.

copyright © 2017 Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Speaker Of Powerful Words

“Speaker Of Powerful Words” was recently added to my professional bio. It makes me laugh because I don’t always realize how much power I put into the words I use. If you heard how I say things in my everyday life, you’d quickly learn it’s not any different from how I apply my voice to the written word.

One of the things I like about myself the most is that I don’t have dual-personalities. The way I write is the same way I speak in every format possible. Be it e-mail, letters, text messages, phone calls; I remain the same. It’s one of the things my closest friends have pointed out to me, and it’s one of the things they most love and respect about me.

Not everyone can handle unadulterated honesty or unfiltered realness. I, occasionally, struggle with the things people say to me when they are said with malice, disrespect, or a severe lack of clarity. 95% of the time, I wouldn’t say something with malicious intent to someone I care about. The tiny back-end percentage would be higher, but you haven’t met my extended family. I’d believe I was adopted if I didn’t know with absolute certainty that I wasn’t. I used to dream of being rescued by my “real parents” for many years, but now I know that the only person who can rescue me is…me.

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Words do have incredible power. It’s important to use your words wisely, even if, on occasion, it turns you into a hypocrite. No one is perfect and there are often moments in life where we don’t always practice what we preach, or follow the path we’ve personally suggested.

People often come to me with problems. They require advice and they need a trusted ear. I almost always find that they’re struggling between logic and intuition. As someone who lives an intuitive based life, I struggle with their issues because no matter what I say, they desperately want to see the good in the behavior of others, even when they’re being hurt and disrespected, or worse. I don’t care what other people may think: Good does not reside in the heart and soul of every single person in this world. Hell, jails are full of rapists, murderers, and all sorts of living proof, but it clearly bears repeating. Not everyone is good, not everyone has good intentions, and not everyone is 100% genuine. It’s sad, but it’s a fact.

In life, I take everything and everyone on a case-by-case basis. I can be a really nice person (No, I’m not kidding. Get to know me.), but if I’m shown the ugliest side of someone, the niceness goes away in 0.1 seconds. If you throw the “bitch card’ at me, you’re showing me an ugly side that isn’t something I respect. If you break it out once and I never see it again, I move on, the relationship continues in whatever form it resides in, but I will NEVER forget that I saw it. There’s a reason Scorpio is attached to my on-line profile, it’s not just my astrological sign; I can and will see through your bullshit. I have the power to sting, and I’m incredibly self-aware. I cannot unhear or unsee red flags, whatever they may be. I attribute that to being intuitive and living my life based on sensory perception.

I don’t understand people who will spit on you and tell you it’s raining. I don’t understand passive-aggressive people who turn the tiniest comment into the issue of the century. Far too many people struggle with difference of opinion. It’s their way or the highway. Unfortunately, they don’t understand that life is full of grey area. I’m a person of extremes, but I spend a lot of time in the grey, so I understand it maybe too well. I am baffled by people who refuse to expand their own minds and learn. How else do you grow? The stagnant life is pitiful indeed.

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Whenever I see “Speaker Of Powerful Words” on my bio, I feel as though it comes with immense responsibility. People talk a lot about athletes being role models for our children, but WE should be role models for our children and our children’s children. We should be the teachers who inspire them with words and actions to be better people. There is an exceptionally long list of ways to go about that.

I believe it’s important not to treat children like babies and talk to them like they’re morons. By all means, allow them to have their childhood, but do not be afraid to tackle the tough stuff. Uninformed children, or children that spend their entire lives being lied to by their parents, become insecure and completely unsure of themselves with age. They lack much-needed self-confidence. I have seen this carry over into adulthood, so please, avoid the bullshit and be real.

No one ever spoke “baby talk” to me, so when I started speaking, I spoke in full sentences. That was one of the ways I knew that adults took me seriously. I wasn’t encouraged to be the “next President of the United States” (who the hell would want that job?! No one sane!), but all of my talents were fostered.

My athletic ability was not ignored. I spent a huge chunk of my life as a gymnast, starting at age 4. Later on when my voice teacher called my mother and told her that I could sing, really sing, and that she wanted to tutor me privately, I got voice lessons. To this day, I still sing.

When my writing ability became my voice, it was not ignored. I was enrolled in a performing arts school at the time because of my singing, but every English, History, and Science teacher was completely blown away by me. I have incredibly fond memories of them and how encouraging they were of me. They all wanted me to move on and shine.

When I moved on to major in journalism and creative writing, that’s when I came upon my first real critic. When a professor tells you you’re “ruining the class” because of what you write and tells you he will continue to fail you until you drop the class, you can either keep going or you can laugh. I did both. He’d belittle me three times a week and I’d go home laughing because I was being published for thinking outside the box. In a room full of roughly 30 of the best writers in that part of New York City at the time, he singled me out constantly. Nothing I wrote was ever “good enough”. It only made me better. It gave me incredible vision for the future.

The years have come and gone and I have yet to meet someone who agrees with him. And if I did…I’d laugh.

I may not be everyone’s cup of coffee or tea, and that is perfectly acceptable to me, but at the end of each day, I am a speaker of powerful words. I salute you for reading my work and clicking LIKE.

Enjoy the updated bio and by all means, feel free to follow me on Twitter. Anyone that would also like to connect with me on Facebook can message me.

Thank you to #ChiropracticDaily for featuring my second article on migraines. It is most appreciated.

copyright © 2015 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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It’s Friday, Let’s Celebrate!

We know where you live Mommy, and it is not beneath us to display our utter cuteness for you to gain food, treats, or head scratches.
We know where you live Mommy, and it is not beneath us to display our utter cuteness for you to gain food, treats, or head scratches.

I have no idea why Friday, Saturday, and Sunday have become my favorite days of the week, but lately, I just can’t handle week days. Does anyone else feel like this?

I’ve had a rough week. I’ve been in a lot of pain and have required way more sleep than any single person my age should need (Still young, still fabulous. 😛 ). I work and then I look at the time, realizing that I’ve done a lot in short bursts of time, but that now that I’ve gotten work done, it’s time to close my eyes “for a little while”. The next thing I know, the day is over. I wake up from that brief little “nap”, check the time, and my cat and kitten are wrapped around each other. Apparently some kind of love fest goes on when I’m down for the count. I almost always have to be in bed and half asleep or completely out of it before they go into “love mode”.

Passive, sweet cat. Troublesome, but incredibly loving kitten. (You can see their photos on my About page.) They’re good for each other and they’re good for me, because without them, I wouldn’t get out of bed at all. There are many mornings when they’re both pacing around me, marking my face with theirs (kitten does this), to encourage me to go downstairs and give them breakfast. If that doesn’t work, they start bringing toys into the bed. I have no idea where either of them are, but I know that if the food is not delivered in a timely fashion, they will try to curry my favor with gifts. I can’t tell you how many times they’ve both placed gifts in my bathtub as a reminder, as if I’ve ever forgotten to feed them.

I’m VERY lucky, they’re relatively well-behaved and sweet. They’ve got attitude, but mostly, they know that they are loved and safe. When I’m in a terrible amount of pain, one or both of them will get into bed as soon as I’m comfortable and either lay by my feet or by my head, and they do not move until they see me calm down and fall asleep, and even then, I still wake up with them close by. There is a sweetness to that which makes me emotional at times. My cat is a lot less openly loving than my kitten, but I have a bond with both of them and I see how they call for me and come to visit me when I’m working. Basically, I get treated like one of them. Perhaps this is why they often place toys under my butt and then try to bite me awake. Sassy’s been doing this since she was a baby, and at 19 months, it wasn’t that long ago that she was the ruler of the roost and tiny, aggressively shoving me awake and demanding food constantly. Now that there are two little beasts, I have them on a schedule. She’s no longer interested in most games (my little one wants to play, but also self-entertains), but is happy to bite my feet or grab my ankle for a nip if she’s feel froggy.

Now that Miss Sass has a constant playmate, she’s no longer ripping me to shreds and biting me. Her breed isn’t known for a lot of verbal communication, so she spent ten months aggressively hurting me several times a day until I found her the perfect little companion. It was NOT love at first sight. It took about a week or so, and they slowly became obsessed with each other. Mini is also incredibly obsessed with me, but she’s still a baby.

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What else is going on? Oh, yes! Because I’m a total hypocrite (And honest enough to admit it.), I am back on Facebook. My original account is still up in the air. Facebook and I have exchanged countless e-mails, and nothing has been worked out, so I waited a while and established a new account. I intentionally linked it to my cell phone which somehow authenticates that I am indeed a “real person” and not the countless things I was accused of in all of their e-mails back in January. If you want to pal around with me, let me know and I will send you my new hypocritical info.

Speaking of which, Facebook has changed quite a bit since I was gone. I am pretty sure someone peed in everyone’s coffee this morning because for every 30 people who liked something I said, I had one person go ballistic. To avoid future problems, I’m keeping a low profile. However, when subjects are open for discussion and you don’t know a person, I think it’s crucial not to call them “OCD” or “rude”, especially since you’re clearly not understanding the context. I was called both this morning by two absolute idiots. Mind you, gutless wonders like to hide behind their computers and spew horse shit.

My first thought was “Go fuck yourself!”, but I decided not to lower myself to their levels. Second, throwing obsessive compulsive disorder around as some sort of joke or insult is incredibly rude, and when one is not a healthcare professional, one has no right to say that to someone they do not know and have never met. That actually IS rude. Disagreeing with someone isn’t rude, we’re all entitled to do so.

I’m a supportive writer. I’m going to be honest, polite, and concise because that’s how I am. I’ve NEVER been rude on Facebook or any form of social media that I am aware of. If anyone has ever read my work and deemed me rude, then that was YOUR perception and not the facts. I’m not Ms. Sweetness & Light, I do not throw rainbows at you, nor do I shoot sugared unicorns when one deserves venom.

There is a fine line between sharing thoughts and being a bitch. I don’t bring out the bitch side unless it is warranted and I don’t do it on Facebook because I have a professional reputation to uphold. If I wouldn’t say something to your face, then I certainly wouldn’t say it behind your back or in a public forum. That’s not how I operate.

People like to throw my astrological sign into play in their “defense” quite a bit, but the truth is, I’m a pretty controlled Scorpio female. I might not always have been, but I learned a long time ago to get the negative aspects under control or they would control me. Lesson learned, and once broken of those habits, I did not return to them.

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” That’s a load of shit. Words can hurt, they do hurt, and people throw them out there like it’s no big deal. I’m known for my “say anything” policy, but there ARE things I absolutely won’t say because I have morals, dignity, manners, self-respect, and boundaries. Some things are so below the belt that you simply don’t go there. You can think them, but then you must let them go because that kind of negativity breeds more negativity, and it’s unhealthy.

More and more, people are offended by anything and everything, but they care little for who THEY might offend. They have no manners or coping mechanisms for difference of opinion or basic relationship skills. Junior high school drama wasn’t cute in junior high school, and I won’t tolerate it as an adult. By all means, disagree with me. That’s fine. If you don’t know the context in which I mean something, don’t assume, ask. Judge not lest ye be judged.

Overall, I’m glad to have the account for my cousins and the few real friends I have, and for specific things that I’ve discussed here many times, but outside of that, I realize that I don’t miss it and that it’s a terrible waste of time. Who knew I’d grow to love Twitter?! By the way, thank you Lillian for suggesting it, and for clearly being a friend to me when others are full of crap (Link to her blog is attached to her name.). You go away for less than two months and you actually find out who your REAL friends & family are, both on and off social media. How utterly pathetic. True colors are shining bright and a lot of people are chicken-shit yellow. C’est la vie.

Also, there is a brand new blog, started by one of my best friends, that I am going to be interviewed for. I will make sure the link goes up ASAP.

And on that note, I hope you all have a lovely weekend. If you’re an NCAA fan, I hope you’re cheering for my team tonight in the Sweet 16. 🙂 GO DUKE!

copyright © 2015 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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You Don’t Want A Writer On Your Bad Side

I have just spent nearly seven hours trying to prove to Facebook that I’m a REAL person and not a computer in India. No, I am not kidding about that last part.

This is one of those ridiculous problems people have been dealing with for several years now with this crap-ass version of social media that people are obsessively addicted to.

At first, I was simply pissed off. Then I did a little research, mostly because I vividly remember someone else mentioning this recently happening to her where Facebook up and decided that she couldn’t use the name she has always used because “it’s not her legal name”. As far as I’m concerned, as long as you’re not spewing hate, terror, bullying, party to a serious crime, doing something truly illegal, and/or pretending to be a member of law enforcement or our military, you should be left the fuck alone. If you want to post as Donald Duck, go for it. And as a general rule, if you want your privacy, but still want to be a part of this crap, I truly do not care if you post a photo of yourself or not. It’s not necessary.

Overall, I’m not a social media fan. I do use Facebook for my professional career and for this platform. I am able to keep in touch with people I want to keep in touch with, and remain involved with things that are immediate and/or important to me. Beyond that, it’s not necessary.

Demanding that people provide you with their driver’s license, Social Security card, passport, birth certificate, etc., as “forms of I.D.” is BULLSHIT. On top of being a major invasion of privacy, you’re turning your users into even bigger morons.

You’ve risen because this world is full of followers, but I assure you, you’re preparing yourself for a major fall. If it was 2008, I’d still be with MySpace, which never once invaded my privacy or questioned my honesty as a human being.

If this is not resolved quickly, I will officially part ways with Facebook. There is no way in hell I am going to rebuild what it took me four and a half years to establish. Screw that! 

copyright © 2015 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Thoughts Through Other Eyes

I am tired in a soul-deep, bone-deep way that I can’t quite explain. I know it is borne out of doing too much, too fast, without proper rest. Sometimes I forget that I have limitations due to Fibromyalgia/Chronic Pain and I simply want my normal life back. In turn, I suffer for every move I make in ignoring said limitations. Simply put, it BLOWS.

I hurt from the very top of my spine, which, by the way, is where my tattoos begin (Yes, right underneath my hair down a portion of my spine. Believe me when I say, they did not hurt. The entire experience was very positive. It felt more like being scraped repeatedly as opposed to actual pain, and who better to know the difference than someone who experiences pain 24/7? I sat for close to two hours. I have heavily inked male friends who told me their own ink in the exact same spot hurt like hell and had to be done in 2-3 sessions. They have less on their spine than I do.), all the way to the center of both feet. I’ve done a LOT this week. Now, all I want to do is get this mind-numbing headache and unbelievable stomach pain to stop so I can SLEEP. I’d also like someone to feed and water my girls, so I don’t have to get out of bed unless I really want/need to. What are the chances of the latter happening? Slim to none, and unfortunately Slim is very easily distracted.

I survived Thanksgiving, and did every single thing I set out to do in terms of cooking and baking. YAY! Of course now, I am happy to sit in front of my laptop or the TV for the next week, only moving when absolutely necessary.
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An interesting job presented itself recently. I would get to use my little-used Russian in editing a pretty large manuscript. It sounds great, and yet, I need a few days to sleep on it. Yes, someone else could get the job instead, and that can happen no matter what, but it made me take a good look at my list of spoken and learned languages. I’m actually a lot smarter than I let on, but I’ve always had to be.
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When you’re a writer, people judge you based on the work you present to them. I think this is true more so now than ever before, but at times, it doesn’t seem to matter at all if you’re presenting absolute crap, which is insulting to me.

You can walk into a business meeting looking like Stephen King, so long as the material is brilliant, no one will care. They might whisper about you amongst themselves later on, but they’re truly looking at the manuscript above all else. As a woman, it’s different. You have to be presentable enough that when you’re photographed for the inside and/or back cover, you don’t completely disgrace your entire gender. I cannot tell you how many times someone has told me how pretty a writer is when all I could think was “But is her work any good?” Not in a catty or bitchy way, but in a genuine “Unless we’re talking about Angelina Jolie, I don’t care what she looks like” way. I want what I read to be of a specific level of quality. I want it to capture and intrigue me. I don’t care what the author looks like. However, I have noticed that a great many people do.

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The flip side of this particular coin is that more and more authors now attend San Diego Comic Con and New York Comic Con, along with similar types of events all over the world. There is a lot more social media interaction with readers and as much face-to-face interaction as you (and your publisher) see fit. Being comfortable in your intelligence and knowledge isn’t always easy when you’re, technically, competing for the attention of those very same readers because Jennifer Lawrence or Eva Green are also in the building promoting a highly anticipated film. Truth be told, I’d rather sit and listen to Eva Green too, but that’s just me. I’m slightly fascinated by her and have been for a good 8 years or so.

I don’t know a lot of writers that are absolute extroverts. I know a lot of very shy, quiet, introverted writers who can be extroverts for short periods of time, in the right company. While not exactly shy, I am definitely on the quieter side most of the time. If you happen to be discussing something interesting or something I am knowledgeable about, I MIGHT chime in, I might not. However, of late, I’ve noticed I’m getting some odd attention in public settings.

For the most part, but really only face-to-face, women talk to me purely about superficial things. Hair, skin, the nail polish I have on, my tattoos (Because I completely forget that they’re there and that they’re visible. I apply sunscreen to them, that’s the extent of my awareness most days,), make-up, perfume, etc. Men, on the other hand, ask different questions and approach you differently. I try very hard to be focused in my day-to-day life, but there are many days where I truly don’t want to have any type of debate while on line at the bank or discuss the price of gas, oil, milk, eggs, etc. I do not have “Has all the answers” on a t-shirt or my forehead, and yet, this happens to me constantly.

I like for my work to speak for itself, but I absolutely make an effort at putting my best face forward. I’d prefer for someone to judge me based on my work and who I am as a person, but I know that’s not how life works. Women are harshly critiqued on their appearance. It’s not something I’ve ever liked and I like it even less now. However, I realize we are all guilty of it to some extent.

By all means, be disappointed in something that doesn’t screw with someone’s self-worth and self-confidence, but don’t attack others for what is, in all honesty, a quirk of nature. If you’ve ever said something to someone that sent them running to a plastic surgeon to “fix the problem”, maybe you should take a closer look at yourself because raining your issues onto others is one of the most unattractive things one can do.

Just not lest ye be judged. Be true to yourself and don’t worry about anything or anyone else.

copyright © 2014 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

wearehuman

The Power Of Social Media

I openly admit that social media annoys me. You can pretty much guarantee you will never see me using Twitter. I adamantly refuse. If you cannot read and follow it here, you don’t need to see it in an alternate place.

I have a minor addiction to Pinterest, which has waned a bit in the past year, but it’s still a fun form of social media that’s harmless, kind of like Candy Crush Saga, which I play on three different devices- because I’m a nut job! This platform has a Facebook presence, as do I, but that’s as far as I am personally willing to take the madness, outside of Goodreads, which I have been a part of since 2008. Aside from four utter whack jobs on Facebook, I find it all pretty tame, and oftentimes, quite boring and uninteresting.

One of the key issues I have with social media is that it takes away from the time I could spend writing. I don’t just mean writing here, but writing on a whole. Like any other artist, I don’t like being distracted. I can’t always listen to a person talking or even listen to music when I am writing, because I am so focused on what my brain needs me to type, that I cannot divide my attention, nor should I.

I think there’s great power in social media if used correctly. If you take away the cyber-bullying, hate mongers, and negativity, there are a lot of very positive things accomplished via social media. My absolute BEST example would be Stephen Amell.

If you don’t know who Stephen is, you’re probably living under a rock, don’t own a television, and have never picked up a magazine in which he is featured for one good thing or another. For those of you who fall into all three categories, Stephen is the star of the CW’s hit show Arrow, which just premiered its 3rd season this past Wednesday in the U.S.

Stephen is that rare person in the public eye (I’m not going to use the word celebrity, it reeks of douche-baggery.) who uses his position for wonderful things. He runs his own Facebook page entirely, and you can tell because there is an accessibility to him that says so much about the kind of man he is. He, through the power of social media, has helped raise funds for Prayers For Sophie, Saving Jojo, and Fuck Cancer. He auctions all sorts of things off personally on eBay. Don’t believe me? Go and check out his auction listings, they are legit. He takes the time to communicate with his fans via video updates, does Q&A’s, comments on MemeMonday, promotes FanArt Friday, and he does all of this in his downtime while filming, as well as in between seasons. He is a genuine power for good, and I truly respect him as a person for how hilarious and real he is. He’s very clearly not putting on a persona or spewing garbage, he’s simply a man that was blessed with a dream job for any actor, and pays it forward with an immense amount of kindness, courtesy, and respect.

He is the rare social media genius that is more than meets the eye. In truth, he could rest on his laurels, film Arrow, and not extend himself any further, but he is constantly in touch with his fan base, clearly reads what people post, and I think that speaks accolades for him. No, he doesn’t know me and he didn’t pay me to say any of this, it’s all stuff I’ve been thinking for over a year now. He is, 100%, a class act.

Even if you don’t watch the show, which would be terrible indeed, give Stephen a follow on Facebook (Stephen Amell), Twitter (@amellywood), or whatever form of social media you happen to like and feel comfortable with. He has a YouTube page, follow that and allow yourself to laugh. If you love wine and want to try some interesting, affordable bottles, I suggest following Nocking Point Wines. If you don’t see what I see by following him for two months, then I strongly suggest getting your eyes checked and your I.Q. tested.

I do follow other people, like many of us do, but I’m not seeing any of the positivity, warmth, or light that Stephen exudes. I am not seeing the openness of spirit and kindness, and in a lot of ways, I’m glad it’s not universal because it allows me to respect him more.

I write stories, and I write facts and opinions. I’ve done that for 27 years. Stephen tells stories weekly on Arrow as the lead character, doing damn near all of his own stunts, and his reach in that position stretches further than my writing and editing experience does. And yet, I will not deny watching the show, enjoying it, and respecting him as a person when the make-up and the Arrow suit come off.

When a person does good things, they very easily earn your respect. He has earned mine, and he’s also shown me that social media isn’t always an ugly, vicious thing. However, I still refuse to use Twitter.

copyright © 2014 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED