I have done a lot of different jobs in my life. I have been a teacher, an athletic coach, won prize money as a runner. I’ve worked in human resources and employee development. With the employee development and training jobs I worked in heavy manufacturing and high-tech manufacturing, with building services, in magazine publishing and with call centers and road-side assistance. In each job I made it a point, even if I held a management position, to get out and spend time with the front-line workers. I made sneakers during my years working with Nike and with AAA I listened to calls in the call center and rode along with the flatbed and tow drivers.
The diversity of these occupations gave me exposure to many different lines of work and connected me to a wealth of different personalities and people. Each job provided me with potential stories. As an example, consider a newly-married young woman who worked with me at Nike’s old research and development center in New Hampshire. She came back to work all excited one sunny Monday morning in autumn. Over the weekend her husband had dragged her along on a day of deer hunting with a friend. She had shot a big buck but neither her husband nor his friend had bagged one. Weeks later my co-worker was not as happy. Her success with deer hunting challenged her husband’s self-image. Her marriage was struggling. I converted that situation into my short story The Deer Slayer in my anthology, Finding Our Way.
In some of my stories, I draw on my personal experiences but they aren’t really autobiographical. They aren’t memoirs because I change things. Have you ever had a dispute with someone, maybe a good friend or your spouse? We all have. And did you find yourself hours later mulling the dispute and suddenly thinking of a brilliant response to something they said? “Oh, that would have been perfect! That’s what I should have said,” you think. As a writer I get to do that. I get to change what people say, what they do, even the overall outcome of events and story lines. “It’s fiction. I get to make the stuff up,” I sometimes tell people when they ask about my stories. I make things work out the way I wish they really had.
That said, I was a pretty good marathon runner back in the day, but I was not as fast as Jacob Payne in my story “Running Home” at the end of Finding Our Way. But I know what it’s like to live and train at that level and I’ve had some very fast friends. I also paint with watercolor and have occasionally sold a painting. But I am not nearly as talented as Patrick Chamberlain in The Art of Love. “Running Home” and The Art of Love turned out to be good stories. They’re fiction. They’re Alternative Facts. I made them up.
Peter Stipe is the author of Finding Our Way; a collection of short stories, and The Art of Love, a novel. Peter Stipe.com Facebook: PeterGStipe
IN CELEBRATION OF INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY..
I fed and clothed my tribe, curing buffalo hides
and drying meat over smoldering fires.
I civilized the Jamestown Colony in Virginia,
bringing family life to a new, unexplored territory.
I spoke for women in the Salem Witch trials,
weeping as they were burned at the stake.
I fought for women’s voices to be heard,
as far back as the Declaration of Independence.
I guided Lewis and Clark on their explorations of the West.
I braved covered-wagon journeys to settle the wilderness.
I was arrested for opening the first birth control clinic.
Today I still struggle for a woman’s right to control her own body.
I went to war alongside my brothers.
I fought, I healed, and I died.
I infiltrated congress and the Supreme Court,
bringing fair judgement and compassionate ideas.
I flew into space, exploring the final frontier,
bringing back information to guide future expeditions.
I was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize,
as the battle for education and human rights goes on.
I am resilient and courageous, charming and cunning.
I am woman-the Change Maker.
(You can read more of Sharon’s poems in her poetry books, Tapestry and the anthology, Captured Moments, and also in her memoir, Daughter of the Mountains.)
Sharon Canfield Dorsey is an award-winning poet and author of five books, including two children=s books, Herman, the Hermit Crab and the Mystery of the Big, Black, Shiny Thing and Revolt of the Teacups.
I made the rounds yesterday of all the shops looking for pink socks. But they all said the same thing, peacocks had bought all of the pink socks for a party they are going to.
THE AWESOME ALPHABET ANIMAL PARTY!
Why do peacocks prefer pink socks, why not blue or green or purple? That would match some of the four major colors in their splendid fans. Blues, greens, yellows and browns reflect different wavelengths of light depending on the angle of the light and the spacing of the photonic crystals which can reflect purples into copper colors. The blue peacock came originally from India and Sri Lanka. They are the national bird of India and the jeweled Peacock throne was stolen as a war trophy in 1739 by a Persian prince and has been missing since then. The Green Peacock came from Burma and southeast Asia. Also they are highly prized in Iran, Iraq, and in zoos around the world. They strut their stuff in game preserves and King’s estates for admiring tourists.
But I have never seen peacocks in pink socks except in a new children’s book coming soon from HIGHTIDE PUBLICATIONS. THE AWESOME ALPHABET ANIMAL PARTY, from Poet Joyce Carr Stedelbauer. I do hope you will come to the party so you can see Peacocks wearing pink socks.
Joyce Carr Stedelbauer is a popular speaker, Bible teacher, and author of four popular books of meditative poetry on Biblical people.
HAVE YOU MET EVE?
HAVE YOU SEEN THE STAR?
WHO ROLLED THE STONE?
WHERE ARE YOU ADAM?
I am glad that so many women are speaking out about and against sexual harassment. However, I can’t help but think many are jumping on the bandwagon without a case.
As a female agricultural graduate, I’ve worked with many men and I never endured a harassment situation. This brings the question, why? Was I not attractive enough?
I did have one male supervisor ask me out. He called after hours, made clear that his call was not work related and asked me to join him for a drink. He was in fact prepared to drive thirty miles to pick me up, thirty more miles to go somewhere where we could have a drink (I lived in a dry county) and sixty miles round trip to return me home. I declined, but I didn’t feel harassed, I felt flattered. And I wasn’t totally surprised. We had been at a meeting earlier that day and I did notice his gaze straying to my legs, which were flattered by my favorite red heels. He never asked again and our relationship continued to be cordial and professional.
I have been the victim of sexual discrimination in terms of job applications, loan applications and other life situations, but that is a totally different thing.
I am lucky in that I never had to leave a job because of unwelcome attention. I wonder though, if what some would call good natured teasing might be considered harassment by others. There is a very fine line.
And while I have never been of the “blame the victim” mentality, I do think that one’s attire and deportment can send mixed signals. I don’t think I ‘m a prude, but thigh high skirts and prominent cleavage in the work place cause me concern.
I suspect there are men who have also been sexually harassed by both male and female supervisors, but our culture being as it is, are less likely to come forward.
So I applaud the women who have come forward and try to limit any skepticism as I have not walked in their shoes.