Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Stand Up For Yourself

Sometimes it seems that if you don’t advocate for yourself, no one else will. I know that sounds rather pessimistic, there are a few who go out of their way to help others — mostly people are just trying to make it through their own days and their own woes. There really isn’t blame to go around.

Bosses don’t understand when the customer rep takes a little more time to do extra for someone, most times there is an allotted amount of time to spend on each customer no matter how dire their situation. For people unable to look up the right information or communicate their specific needs, well, they wind up being forgotten. So often an elderly person living alone realizes how alone they are when pushing for themselves just gets to tiring to continue the fight. It’s sad when benefits or services they need so much seems beyond their reach.

Loved ones who want to help and ensure that their family is taken care of are sometimes across the country or too busy with their own lives and immediate household; maybe they are busy because their priorities don’t make it convenient and sometimes they have genuine concerns of their own (sickness, money problems, children who depend on them…), and it’s hard to be there for everyone.

It’s frustrating to make repeated phone calls to a doctor’s office only to reach a receptionist each time who tells you they’ve taken your message and yet no return phone call has been made. Everybody is busy. And then there are those special few who go above and beyond to help. There’s the doctor who makes personal phone calls to other doctors to help a patient coordinate the care he/she needs. There’s the insurance representative who actually believes that his/her job description IS CUSTOMER SERVICE. There’s the neighbor who drives someone to the doctor’s office and picks them up after a hospital stay.

The elderly, children with developmental disabilities, returning vets, and those living on meager incomes are all too often the ones who are left to fall through the cracks because there are too few resources, from budgets to time, to help them. Too often we might mimic the cry of Blanche from Streetcar Named Desire and say we must “depend on the kindness of strangers”, but like Blanche, is that kindness actually kind or self-serving? Too many people grasp at whatever help might come their way and sometimes find themselves scammed. It can be heartbreaking.

We need to find some way to advocate for ourselves and our loved ones, it can be terribly exhausting. If the need arises because we ourselves can’t manage the things we need, or because our loved ones need more attention than we can provide, there are (for the elderly) Geriatric Care Managers, but that does cost money and not everyone can afford it — than again can you afford not to get the needed help? That is something that truly needs to be considered.

Learn to advocate for yourself and your loved ones. Get information, ask, research, attend seminars (check out local libraries) and share that info with your friends and family (it might help someone else as well). Understand your rights as a patient, as a renter, as a business customer, and as a human being. Don’t be afraid to speak up for yourself and make yourself heard, if you need help making your feeling clear ask someone to help you. Make notes especially who you speak with and who told you what. Try to keep your emotions at bay, all too often people don’t have the patience or compassion to listen to someone else’s tears or anger. Be firm in your resolve and know that you are worth the effort.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Should I be insulted?

A Pennsylvania based library (not the local one I patronize) recently held a fund-raising event featuring what they called “Bad Romance” books. According to the news report the event “had all of the looseness of a cabaret show”. Excerpts of books were read to an audience, many of whom later contributed to the library’s efforts to build a bigger and better library.

I don’t know WHOSE books were selected as “some of the most poorly-written passages ever published in the English language” or if the authors chosen were even aware of their notoriety. I have no idea if any of my books were part of this exhibition, so I really don’t know how I would feel about it if one was read. Would I be insulted that my hard work was, well, insulted? Or would I chuckle and brag “Hey, at least somebody is reading my book, YAY!”?

Parodies are a popular thing in movies and songs; think of well-known parodies like AIRPLANE with its non-stop laughs based on the original air-disaster movie AIRPORT or think of "Weird Al" Yankovic whose song EAT IT poked fun at Michael Jackson’s BEAT IT. Professional literary organizations have  often made fun of words; the annual Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest challenges writers to come up with the WORST opening lines. “It was a dark and stormy night” has often been referred to as an example of a bad opening line, more for its clichéd use than its actual literary contribution.

“A parody (/ˈpærədi/); also called a spoof, send-up, take-off, lampoon, play on (something), caricature, or joke, is a work created to imitate, make fun of, or comment on an original work—its subject, author, style, or some other target—by means of satiric or ironic imitation. As the literary theorist Linda Hutcheon puts it, "parody ... is imitation, not always at the expense of the parodied text."” (Wikipedia) So is imitation truly the sincerest form of flattery?

Would I be flattered if one of my works were used in jest? I would assume my feelings might be colored by which of my books was being made light of. A few of my novels were written (in my intentions anyway) as more than love stories, for example two of them try to look seriously at the incidence of sexual assault, another is meant to open the conversation about hate and prejudice. In the end I guess most of my work is intended to create thought as well as entertain. So would it be entertainment to use my words to make people laugh? I DON’T THINK I would be insulted…

A library spokesperson is quoted in the news article, “Even though this event is incredibly irreverent, it’s still about literacy. It’s saying that you can still have fun with words and that not everything in literature has to be serious. Not to sound cliché, but the library is what you make of it, and you have to be the one to utilize it.” This is one of several fundraising efforts to build a bigger and more complete library, “We are definitely limited in our capacity, but not in our imagination.”

Personally, I think this is a NOVEL idea!

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Politics ...ssh!

Politics… some would call that a dirty
4-letter word twice over. Campaigns and elections have historically brought out so much ugliness, attacks against each other, name-calling, manipulation, intimidation and sometimes even violence. It is not a pretty time in our society. During primaries and even election night itself there are often horrible displays of apathy, disappointments, name-calling and insinuations, tears for some and jubilation for others — and even that jubilation is sometimes guarded.

I’ve always said, not that any politico has listened, please tell me what YOU can do for me/us/our country and NOT what is wrong with “the other guy”. I am tired of voting for the lesser evil, I want to vote for a champion, for someone who will champion our country and all of its citizens. I want to vote for someone who I can take pride and have confidence in. I want to vote for someone who I won’t regret down the road. I don’t want to vote for someone because of their gender, race, religion, sexual preferences or money. And I don’t want the politics to divide families and friends or leave wounds on people who have taken the time to care.

The eligibility of an individual for voting is set out in the constitution and also regulated at state level. The constitution states that suffrage cannot be denied on grounds of race or color, sex, or age for citizens eighteen years or older. Beyond these basic qualifications, it is the responsibility of state legislatures to regulate voter eligibility.”

Our Constitution gives us the right to decide (within set parameters) who we want sitting in the various government seats. Despite the constant
 hue and cry that “my vote doesn’t count” IT CERTAINLY DOES. Even our debatable Electoral College, used in Presidential elections, is based on each state’s popular vote. It has been a very rare occurrence when the elected president has not received a popular vote and in those cases where it has gone differently it has been VERY CLOSE. Yes, YOUR VOTE COUNTS. The President’s spot (and of course the Vice-President’s) is the only election decided by the Electoral College. EVERY OTHER SEAT IS CHOSEN BY POPULAR VOTE.

America doesn’t have a perfect system and there is no denying that dirty politics has reared its head more than once. But when our populace keeps itself informed, THINKS FOR THEMSELVES, and actually gets to the polling place and VOTES, we have a pretty good system where decisions can be made with the best of intentions. It’s also admirable when youth gets involved because, after all, this is their future we need to preserve. Yes, I WILL be fulfilling my responsibility of voting, it is more than just a “right”. You and I may not agree politically, we may vote differently, but it should not be construed that we are opposing one another, it is only with our combined voices that we can effectively keep our government representation on course.

Please do your research, be open to listening to all sides, and think of what is important to you and what you truly believe will be in the best interests of our country and our future. Make sure you vote in primaries and in EVERY general election.

photo credit: John Galt

Wednesday, February 5, 2020


Sometimes it just seems like there is never enough time to get everything done… actually that’s most days for me, LOL. I make my plans in the morning and, well, maybe I’ll get some of it done.

It’s rare for most of us to actually accomplish everything we tell ourselves to do. Too many of us actually, metaphorically, bite off much more than we can handle. Or maybe we don’t know how to organize as well as we should? Then again some of us just don’t know when to say “No”.

If you want something done, ask a busy person.”
~ Benjamin Franklin… or was it Lucille Ball?

Part of the problem with not finishing all of your planned tasks during the day is the resulting frustration and sometimes the feeling of failure. It’s NOT failure if you did manage to accomplish THINGS and you merely optimistically AND unreasonably overscheduled yourself. But then again the next day the cycle repeats itself and the frustration grows. It doesn’t even pay to be a procrastinator, you never manage to get around to it.

And then there is such a thing as life — and somehow life doesn’t seem to stick to a schedule. Something always comes out of the blue to throw all of your carefully planned agenda totally off-track, I mean not even in the realm of completion. Parents may have their offspring’s school suddenly demand an audience. Commuters can’t magically control traffic jams and mass-transit schedules. Sudden family calamities pop up and your immediate response is highly recommended. Office employees may experience their boss’s sudden change of direction. Even home-based workers have to deal with power outages, annoying marketing calls (when you are busy and on the receiving end, it’s annoying!) And then there are always your own personal health issues.

Read up all you want on time-management skills, some of them certainly sound like they would, or should, work, but they are kind of generic.
  •  Make a plan, a list of what needs to be done.
  •   Be realistic as to how long each step should take
  •   Be honest, what are YOUR biggest timewasters?
  •   Allow for needed breaks
  •   Assume a reasonable allotment of time to “work”– NOT all 24 hours.
  •   Prioritize
  •   Try to establish a routine
  •   But if you get “blocked”, move on to the next task.
  •   Organize what you need to work with.
  •   Delegate tasks where you reasonably can.
  •   And finally, prepare to SCRAP the whole plan and write a new one!

Actually that last step is very important. Once you are conscious of your work/responsibilities/want-to-dos and can assess how long something actually takes, re-work your schedule. You’ll probably have to re-work it every week for a few weeks before you even come close to something that works. And if LIFE (that can be one of those four-letter words) changes, be prepared to change with it. You’ve heard the phrase “Man makes plans and G-d laughs”, be prepared and versatile enough to adjust.

But don’t ever let yourself feel like a failure

If it was easy to get everything done for everyone,
there wouldn’t 
be so many time-management courses
or books being sold.


Sunday, February 2, 2020

I’m keeping busy with my blogs, yes I maintain a few, I’d love it if you could take a look and let me know your thoughts…

Please stop on by at The Official Website of Author Chelle Cordero for lots of information about my books, who I am, and links to my non-fiction writing persona

Welcome to Chelle's World


I also maintain an informative blog about strokes — my husband suffered a stroke in 2016 and it has been quite a journey. I hope to help others in the same position wade through some of the difficult spots.

Life Goes On, The Caregiver

I host a site where I post occasional book promos (for other authors),
events, book talk, reviews (sent to me), info and other articles


I used to author an Amazon Kindle blog called Living, Breathing, Writing.
All of the blogs posted to that (now discontinued) Kindle blog are
still available online. I posted weekly “lessons” and writing exercises
to help everyone get their creative juices flowing — please check it out
and get writing today!

Living, Breathing, Writing

Finally I host a blog on behalf of my brother (in-law) and our family’s search for a kidney donor for him. Please check it out, get tested and/or become a potential donor (it’s easy to list on your driver’s license), and certainly pass along our plight to all of your family and friends. Thank you so much.

A Kidney For Del Du-Bois

There’s more ways you can follow me and stay in touch,
I’d love to hear from you!
Thanks so much for coming by.