Esperanto

Communication is vital, bottomless in importance to the world and possibly beyond. Communication is also ever changing, one of the least stagnant things we have. New words are created, used and some are adopted into everyday language, even accepted into our dictionaries. The world is full of different languages, different cultures and endless groups of people with endless interests and goals.

Esperanto was started as a way to link people with different cultures and languages. If everyone could understand one universal language then we could all communicate no matter what part of the planet we are from or where our cultural background takes us.

Would you learn a new language? At least a few words? Would you like to be able to give a friendly greeting to anyone in the world, anywhere, no matter what languages each of you use to communicate day to day? 

From Wikipedia:

Esperanto (help·info) is the most widely spoken constructed international auxiliary language. Its name derives from Doktoro Esperanto (Esperanto translates as ‘one who hopes’), the pseudonym under which L. L. Zamenhof published the first book detailing Esperanto, the Unua Libro, in 1887. Zamenhof’s goal was to create an easy-to-learn and politically neutral language that would foster peace and international understanding between people with different regional and/or national languages.

Esperanto was created in the late 1870s and early 1880s by Dr. Ludwig Lazarus Zamenhof, an ophthalmologist of mixed cultural heritage from Bialystok, then part of the Russian Empire. According to Zamenhof, he created this language to foster harmony between people from different countries.

After some ten years of development, which Zamenhof spent translating literature into Esperanto as well as writing original prose and verse, the first book of Esperanto grammar was published in Warsaw in July 1887. The number of speakers grew rapidly over the next few decades, at first primarily in the Russian Empire and Eastern Europe, then in Western Europe, the Americas, China, and Japan. In the early years, speakers of Esperanto kept in contact primarily through correspondence and periodicals, but in 1905 the first world congress of Esperanto speakers was held in Boulogne-sur-Mer, France. Since then world congresses have been held in different countries every year, except during the two World Wars. Since the Second World War, they have been attended by an average of over 2,000 and up to 6,000 people. Zamenhof’s name for the language was simply La Internacia Lingvo “the International Language”.

Resources:

Quotes from a Soap Opera

I laughed at a line spoken by David Vickers. I don’t know if I have it typed exactly, I tried to be quick while it was circulating around in my head. Then I picked up a few more when I tried to find the first quote, to see if anyone else had picked it up and had it the same way I did.

“I’ve been conducting a survey in my own head and there apparently, I’m legendary.” – David Vickers, from the One Life to Live soap opera, talking about his Ninja skills and intelligence.

Todd Manning: “Must be nice living in a world of newspapers; all your people in black and white. ”

Sad that All My Children and One Life to Live are ending. I began watching both of them sometime after Another World was cancelled. I had watched Another World with my Mother and Grandmother over years and years. It was very hard when Another World was cancelled, about the same time my Grandmother died. Anyway, now I’ve gotten attached to All My Children and One Life to Live. I’ve got favourite characters. I’d like to see them go on an on and eventually get old. Now I won’t. There is some talk about the shows getting another chance online. But, no guarantee that will happen or, that we will be able to see it in Canada. Already the online videos for past shows only work if you are watching from the US.

My little redheaded sister is getting married today. I should be getting ready, deciding what I am going to wear… but I’d really like to crawl back into bed and nap awhile instead. I hope I can nap in the car on the ride out there. (I’m not driving).

Does a Personal Assistant Sound Like a Glamorous Career?

What does a Personal Assistant do? I imagine they are a second-hand to whoever hires them. The job could be anything from picking up dry cleaning, making coffee to writing a speech and beyond. It seems like a never-ending job of running errands and performing personal services like walking the dog, grocery shopping and booking appointments.

There are times when I’d like a Personal Assistant but it’s just not in the budget. Also, how would I explain everything I need done, exactly as I want it to be done? By the time I sorted out the details with someone else I could have done at least most of it myself. So, not practical for me in any case. But, what a neat career. I bet the pay is more than a department store cashier makes, with more time for coffee breaks. It may be they stand in line and have a lot of customer service to do, but they can do it with a coffee in hand.

Would you want to try the job of Personal Assistant for a day? Who would you choose to assist, assuming you get to choose of course? Likely it would be someone famous, after all those are busy/ wealthy people we know to choose from. But, a Personal Assistant could work for anyone overwhelmed with things to do willing/ able to hire someone to help them.

You would have to be bondable, very trustworthy and competent under pressure too.

Personal Assistant Pro.com

Dream Careers: Personal Assistant

As a personal assistant you have to be a good communicator, a “get things done” kind of person, and cool under pressure. Ask yourself how you handle challenges and crises in your own life. Do you fly off the handle, or do you normally take a step back and think before you react?

The best personal assistants have an ability to move comfortably in the world of wealth and fame. Your appearance, etiquette skills and even your fashion sense may factor in here. You should be persuasive, a good negotiator, and your listening skills should be above average. You should also be extremely organized, a skilled problem-solver, and understand instinctively what types of information need to be kept in confidence.

Home Staging as a Career

Home staging also known as home redesigning and real estate enhancement is about setting up a home to appeal to real estate buyers. The home staging service can be used by home builders, real estate agents or the individual home owner. Home staging is like public relations for the home selling market.

Home staging plays up the good features, adds some overall polish, curb appeal and downplays the less appealing or unattractive features. Unlike interior decorating, the home stager wants to make the house appeal to new buyers with all sorts of styles and preferences. Part of that is making the home neutral, removing signs of the current owner so that a new owner feels they could just step into the home and belong there right away.

Staging a home involves knowing current design styles and elements, organizing, decluttering, cleaning and repairs. Then you get into staging each room by rearranging furniture, adding accessories like paintings, flowers or throw pillows. Overall, the staging gives the home an ambience, including smell and other details people will take for granted or only notice when they are not done well. Before the job is done, the outside needs to be considered, the landscaping and the first impression the house gives before anyone even gets inside. The idea isn’t to go out and buy new furniture or begin a home renovation, instead home staging takes what is already there and makes it work.

The ups and downs of the real estate market are an important issue to anyone working in the housing industry, including those in home staging. Are homes selling? If sales are quick and easy a home stager will have to work harder to find clients or find those who really need the service. If home sales slow down there will be a demand for home staging, landscaping, renovating and other such services. If home sales trickle down there may be a bigger need for home staging services but the problem will be finding homes which are likely to sell and give the home stager credit for a job well done. In bad times home staging may not be the best career. Especially, if the home stager (trying to win a job or just be helpful) agrees to take payment when the house sells rather than when the job is done.

Resources:
The International Association of Home Staging Professionals
Professional Stagers Network Association
Canadian Certified Staging Professionals

Canoe.ca: Home Stagers Set the Scene

Home staging guru Barb Schwarz coined the term “home staging” from her background in theatre. The house, she reasons, is a stage upon which an ASP arranges the right props — furniture, artwork, sounds and scents — to engage an audience. The critics are the real estate agents and the audience is the buyers.

FabJob: Become a Home Stager
Entrepreneur: Start a Home Redesign Business
About.com: Home Buying/Selling: Home Staging and Staging a House
Househunting.ca: Home Staging Mistakes

Write about a Shipwreck

Think of every pirate and seafaring type movie you have ever seen, now pour all that into writing your own great shipwreck scene.

Are you on the ship, or watching from the shore? Do you end up in the sea, holding a piece of the floating debris, do you sink to the bottom or do you wake up and find yourself lying on a sandy beach somewhere? What happens to the ship itself, how does it sink or does it get stranded on a coral reef, some submerged rocks or was it taken over by some pirates? So much drama for the writing!

Resources:

Flickr: Shipwrecks
Flickr: Nautical Decay
Flickr: Sad Boats
Flickr: Seaside Decay
Flickr: Unlucky Boats and Ships
Flickr: Derelict Ships
Flickr: All Shipwrecks
Flickr: Wreck Diving
Flickr: Vessels in Storms and Shipwrecks
Flickr: Top 40 Wrecks (Underwater)
Flickr: Great Lakes Shipwrecks
Flickr: Ship Graveyards and Boneyards
Wikipedia: List of Shipwrecks
Wikipedia: Shipwrecks of Canada
Wikipedia: Vasa, Swedish warship sunk in 1628.
Wreck Site: Shipwreck database.
The National Underwater and Marine Agency
Lost Liners
Graveyard of the Pacific (Vancouver Island)
Shipwrecks of Nova Scotia
Save Ontario Shipwrecks
Marine History Archive: Shipwrecks
Shipwreck World
The Canadian Encyclopedia: Sunken Ships/ Shipwrecks
Canada.com: Canadian shipwreck discovery surfaces in list of the top discoveries

Entitle Your Autobiography

From Creativity Portal, the Imagination Prompt Generator:

Brainstorm 10 titles to your autobiography.

The funny thing is that I do think about titles for my autobiography. Usually while I am writing my personal journal or blog. I think about the people who may read it. More often (these days) I think about my nephew Zack who is also a writer. I think of him sorting through all the bits I have written which could go into a biography. I think of him being the one to find everything, sort it out and pull it all together. Then I think of the note I left him, somewhere, giving him the title I finally picked out for my autobiography, assuming it would ever be written.

What would your titles be, so far?

Here are some I am thinking of:

  • Not Quite the Girl You Once Knew
  • Lost in Her Own Mind
  • Leave the Last Rock for Me
  • A Forest Among the Trees
  • Coffee, Tea and Me
  • I Was Born a Dragon
  • Here Be Dragons…
  • That Canadian Grrl
  • Bewitching Vagabond
  • The Closet Exhibitionist

Another Adult Writing Prompt

This one has a name I’m not so sure about posting here. Yes, I do write adult content (mainly for my own amusement these days) but I am a nice girl, a Canadian too. Some things are just not done in polite company. But, because it is a proper name, the name given to the group, I am going to quote it.

Fuck Me Friday is a writing prompt for adult writers, done by Aisling Weaver on Fridays. Of course, you don’t have to read the posts, or participate. But, I do think it is important for writers to stretch a bit, try new things. Even if that means writing sports, horror or adult content – when you have no experience with them. You don’t have to become a professional erotica writer in one story, just give yourself the room and the freedom to explore.

Open File for News Writers

For news writers, reporters, journalists looking to add a fresh credit to your resume or for those just getting started, this looks like a good opportunity. It is a Canadian site but I know there are similar networks/ sites in other countries so you can read along and see if this kind of community journalism is for you.

One thing to note is the use of the word ‘contribute’ rather than talking about money/ getting paid. Chances are this is a volunteer kind of thing when you see contribution used. So consider this as a writing credit, something to keep you working and keep your name in a byline more than a way to pay your bills.

OpenFile is a collaborative local news site.

Qualifications: The traditional role of the journalist has evolved, but it hasn’t diminished. The public still needs professional investigators, truth-seekers, watchdogs, fact-checkers and opinion-shapers—maybe now more than ever. Along with traditional skills and expertise, we’re also looking for reporters who value:

Context: The ability to derive meaning from content and information, not merely produce content and information. To compose an effective OpenFile story, our journalists must understand, appreciate and frame it in its larger and/or smaller context.

Facilitation: The ability to lead and curate discussion and participation around a file, not just report it and move on to the next thing. The interactivity of the OpenFile model means that no story ever goes cold or disappears. Our journalists keep tabs on the stories they write and help drive the discussion around Growing and Reported Files.

All it Takes is a Love of Numbers

Have you added all your phone numbers to the Do Not Call List? Even once you add your number there is a month delay before you can accuse anyone of calling you in spite of being on the list. If they add cell phone numbers to their telemarketing call list (to get calls) that is going to become very expensive for a lot of people. The time to make sure your number is on the list is now. Once your number is on the list you have 5 years before you need to register the number again. Registering was simple. You don’t need to give them any information, just type in the phone number and agree to the terms.

Canadian National Do Not Call List: Important information for consumers

Do not expect calls to stop immediately.

Telemarketers have up to 31 days to update their lists and to make sure they do not call you. You could still receive calls within those first 31 days.

Registering on the National Do Not Call List (DNCL) will not eliminate all telemarketing calls. There are exemptions within the Rules that may allow calls from organizations such as charities, those with whom you have existing business relationships, political parties and newspapers.

You can further reduce unwanted telemarketing calls by asking these organizations to place your number(s) on their own do not call list.

There are many people who try to take revenge on telemarketing phone calls. It’s a bit silly. The person on the phone is just someone showing up for work each day, usually making minimum wage and having their boss breathing down their neck to make sales, perform to some pretty exacting standards too. I know, cause I’ve done it. My time as a telemarketer came when I could not find anything else. My marriage was not going well (we later divorced). I have moved to the US from Canada and didn’t know anyone in town other than my husband’s family. No one was calling me back when I applied at any other places. So I took the telemarketing job.

People get a quick impression of the person on the other end of the phone line when they get a telemarketing call. There are actually a variety of people who take that job. Not all are immigrants or just needing any kind of job they can get. Some of them love the challenge, the sales work and they do very well there.

Write the story of a person who loves telemarketing and chooses to make it their career. Who are they? What do they look like? What do they do on their days off? Have a plan and then write their story.

Cinco de Mayo

I looked up a bit about Cinco de Mayo but the gist of it is a celebration of Mexico and Mexican culture. However, it isn’t the national day for Mexico. If I remember what I read that day is in the Autumn. Cinco de Mayo is May 5th.

Looking for information about a Mexican holiday shows me how little I know about the country and culture. They have cacti, tequila, sombrero hats and a few other things which are thought of as Mexican. Maybe Mexico is a bit like Canada in that we don’t have a real national/ international identity other than moose, maple syrup, igloos, etc. What about Australia? Same boat with shrimps on Barbie, hats with dangling corks and kangaroos?

Could you write about a character from Mexico or could you write a story that takes place in Mexico with the information you currently have about Mexico and Mexicans? Try and see how far you get. Maybe you will find out you actually know more than you think once you get started.

Happy Cinco de Mayo, whatever part of the world you are currently living in.