Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Smarty Girl - #FridayFlash and Writer's Pets Contest Entry

This is an early #FridayFlash to remind people of the last day to enter the Writer's Pets Contest. Check out the rules here. ;)

My entry is called "Smarty Girl", which I reproduced below for your delight, and the picture that goes with it is the one on the side. Care to share your opinion on it? :)   (No comments on the nose's size, please. I'm aware of that! :P) 


She sniffed the air. Something had changed, she could feel it. Yes! Beloved was coming home! Tale sweeping the air, she ran to the top of the stairs and lay down, looking expectantly at the front door. When Beloved put the key on the hole, she shouted her warm welcome waggling so hard that her whole body moved along with her ventilator-tale.

But as soon as the door opened she stopped barking, letting her borrowed sister do the job instead. Of course Beloved didn’t like the noise, she never did. She went up the stairs ignoring the excited dogs and shushing the white little sister, who kept calling out despite the firm commands. Beloved went up to the second floor, left her bag on her room and came down again, going to the back of the house where she sat in a chair and looked down at her lovelies. They were still panting with those round shiny eyes, filled with infinite love, earning for her attention.

Beloved couldn’t resist anymore, she stretched her hands, each to one small hot head and smiled broadly at the moans of pleasure. The dogs soon sprawled on the floor, giving their bellies to be stroked. After everyone was fairly satisfied, Beloved got up and went back inside leaving the dogs behind. She snorted at her older sister; Beloved would never know that she was the one calling out behind the door.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Story Up at the #amwriting blog! Endure - #FridayFlash

Picture credit
I'm thrilled to announce that my story "Endure" is up at the amazing writing community's blog :D

Please go there and tell me what you think.

After you do so, I suggest you check out the blog for some excellent writing advice and great flash fiction from our #fridayflash folks. 

Here's another link: Endure

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Something Good: Rescue Doggies

Someone shared this gorgeous and well produced 2-minute video on Twitter, which made me feel great, so besides RTing it I'm sharing it with you. *smiles*

Now, have you noticed the message at the very end?

If not all, most of you know that I'm a dog person. In fact, I have not one but two rescue dogs (that are my inspiration for the #FridayFlash Writer's Pets Contest).

My dogs are lovely. They got even lovelier (if that's possible :P) after I came in contact with Cesar Milan's teachings. Have you ever heard about the show The Dog Whisperer?

If you haven't and you have a dog, you're considering getting one, you simply like dogs, of even if you're afraid of them, I suggest you take a peek. The man is amazing! What he did for me and my lovelies just through his show is incredible, and what he does for the most troublesome dogs I've ever seen... Ohhhh! 

"What does he have to do with the video, besides the obvious fact that there's a dog featuring in it?" you ask.

Well, Cesar has many campaigns to promote rescue dogs adoption, but this one called my attention the most: To Hell and Back - The Story of Micheal Vick's Pitbulls

Let me ask you something: when you think of pitbulls, is aggressiveness the first image that comes to mind? If your answer is "yes", you're not alone. But you know, this is not necessarily true. When people say that dogs are just like their owners, they're more right than you imagine. But not because their natures are the same, but because it's in dogs nature to make themselves what their masters want in order to please them.  

So, if you care to see things under different perspectives, check out that article about pitbulls. 

And to add to my opinion about human-dog relationship, check out this other article about non-verbal communication between humans and dogs: Beyond Words: Human-Animal Interaction. It's mind-boggling!

Now, after seeing the movie and reading the articles, tell me you don't want to adopt a rescue. Impossible! You might even consider getting a lovable and submissive pitbull like Cesar's rehabilitated ones, eh? ;P (Well, not unless you're a cat person, in which case you're forgiven, heh.)

Oh, if you ever decide to adopt a rescue dog (or any dog for that matter), will you let me know? :)

Psst, check out Cesar's tips for getting a new dog. ;)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Spotlight Time! Kristin Neff

The Spotlight Time series was created to showcase people's work I feel deserve a special attention. The book  Self-compassion - Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind, by Kristin Neff, certainly falls into that category. See why.


I've come across this book through a newspaper article named Down With Self-Esteem? At first, I was intrigued but suspicious, but as I read, all suspicion vanished. In her book, the article explains, Kristin Neff, PhD makes a good point of differencing self-esteem from self-compassion. 

The former is based on narcissism and excessive competitiveness, which lead people to feel constantly unsatisfied with themselves, their egos frequently hurt. Their behavior and life stile consequently reflect these feelings, as well as their interaction with others. The latter means accepting that we are all human thus fallible, not only in theory but in practice. 

My reaction to this general idea was the same you're probably having: "Okay, that's a nice thought, but how the heck do I do that?" 

First of all it's important to mention that Kristin doesn't say that we shouldn't have any self-esteem, but that there shouldn't be a reason for us to like ourselves. The moment we question that, we start comparing ourselves to others and things go downhill. We should care for ourselves no matter how many mistakes we make, how fat we are, how better we'd like to be. This is where self-compassion comes in. 

Self-compassion doesn't mean to settle with less than we'd like. Of course we should strive to be better people, to have good things and to feel good about our bodies, but we shouldn't compare ourselves and "our things" to others('s). Self compassion means not judging ourselves when we make mistakes, means being gentle with ourselves when we're in pain, caring for ourselves instead of punishing ourselves for not being (or looking) as successful as our neighbor. 

So how do we do all that? We start by paying attention to how critic we are about ourselves. If you're scratching your head now, you can test your self-compassion level on Kristin's website. Look how coherent are the criteria:

  • Self-Kindness
  • Self-Judgement
  • Common Humanity
  • Isolation
  • Mindfulness
  • Over-Identification
  • Overall Score

After having a first "self-criticism x-ray" I suggest you take a look at her website, where you'll find lots of information on how to start treating yourself better (and others by consequence). Then we can all read her book and put this beautiful thinking in practice.

Don't you think we could make good use of this self-compassion thing in our writing as well?

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