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Well, the week was NOT productive in my writing....but pay a babysitter for an hour and a half today and ....  WOW!

I got to read the whole week of posts and this week they were AMAZING!  I have several pages of notes, a list of activities to work on (buy a notebook for my purse, purchase some index cards and index card boxes, rethink my daily goals, etc.), and added some actual picture book ideas to my incredibly short list (no, I do not even have a list of 14, but I have quite a few more than I did when I woke up this morning).

So I've decided the babysitter thing just may need to be a habit.  My son had a blast.  My only restriction to them was no TV.  I can plug him in front of that brain killing machine myself if I need to.  But a mere $8 got him total undivided attention.  While a little distracting since I placed myself in the dining room (in the middle of the rooms where they were) I also got to listen to him be creative and laugh- a LOT - which is music to a mother's ears and pretty inspirational for a writer to boot!

I can't decide on my  favorite post for this week like I did last week.  But I would say that the words of Janna Matthies, Denise Fleming and Julie Gribble were the most helpful to me at this point in my writing.  All for various reasons, though perhaps it's the insight of Denise Fleming that might keep me going for the long haul....  she reminds us that not only for every good idea are there probably about 50 'stinkers', but that we really should keep EVERY IDEA-- even the ones we think are bad or totally ridiculous.... because you never know where even years from now, that ridiculous, bad idea may lead to the inspiration of your best idea ever. So hold onto them- and keep going back to them to revisit and you may just be surprised one day.

I've been thinking more about the whole twaddle vs. living books as I discussed again in last week's post.  I spend much too much time on Facebook, and have been gradually cutting back (I do not want the most vivid memory of me by my children to include me holding my phone to check Facebook, Words With Friends, or even PiBoIdMo) on using my phone-  but if I do find myself on Facebook, it's usually to check out what's going on at the Ambleside page.  So many really good discussions. One constant discussion topic is the whole twaddle vs. living books debate.  Obviously this is tied into my writing life.  As I discussed last week- I worry about the children's market being so much more geared to twaddle and 'entertaining' kids rather than truly filling their minds with living books - quality books that feed the mind and ignite their passions.

Always on the Ambleside Online page there are questions posted stating , "Is this book twaddle?  What should I do if my child loves to read twaddle?  Should I let my beginning reader read these books she loves if it's twaddle?"  I am always a little shocked at the tone of those telling these mothers to take all the twaddle away.  These kids, they say, will not develop good taste for real literature or a sound vocabulary if they fill their minds with twaddle.  But personally, I'm thinking, why would you take away a book that makes a child WANT to read???  Why would you risk killing that desire to read a book by FORCING them to only read the books that YOU consider LIVING?  Isn't one of the concepts of a living book is that it entices the mind of the child?  If a book is enticing your child to read....makes them hunger for more words on the page....why would you ban it?  If it's not filling up the mind with something immoral, why would you take it away?  Wouldn't it be better to make sure you are reading them living books and giving them choices that include living books rather than insisting they never read something that YOU consider twaddle?

I will not read Scooby Doo to my son.  But I will allow him to bring one home from the library for him to look at himself (or allow someone else in the family to read it to him once in awhile).  Nor will I  buy a book that I consider to be totally twaddle...well- there might be an exception here and there. But if there's a book that makes my child WANT to read on his own (and it's not immoral in any way) then I WILL allow him to read it.  It does not mean that's all he's ever going to read.  I'm not going to go through my bookshelves and immediately throw out all that might be considered twaddle by the ladies on Ambleside.  I think they mean well....but I also think they are missing the point.

Well- enough of my ramblings on twaddle today.  I need to throw out my cold coffee and get some things done (including revisiting my PiBoIdMo notes and my idea page) now before my Movie Night with my youngest son today.  It will be the first time he'll get to watch The Wizard of Oz - my desire to offer him classic movies rather than the twaddle of today and reinforce his infatuation with tornadoes!  Pray with me that the green faced witch and flying monkeys are seen as funny and not scary!

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I believe the phone should always be answered.  It's just common courtesy, right? If someone is calling our home, they must need something...so SOMEONE should answer it - it just shouldn't be me.

I DON'T like talking on the phone.  I thought it was just me.... but then my son came along and I realized that he hated talking on the phone possibly more than I did. It was like this PHOBIA with him.  And I thought, 'well, this can't be good' - so we actually instilled it into his 'homeschool objectives' one year that he had to answer the phone 36 times, essentially once per school week.  It was a long year.  He did it.  So I know he has the skills.  He still avoids it like the plague.  I avoid it if at all possible as well.  And you know what?  I found out we're NOT the only ones.

I was reading Facebook or some blogs the other day - sorry, I really don't recall which or what the original article was - but it mentioned INTROVERTS hating the phone.  Whoa?! What?!  It's an introvert thing?   I DIDN'T KNOW THAT!   I stopped in my tracks.  I went to Google.  It turns out there's a LOT of articles and blogs out there that talk about the same thing.  So pardon me, but I'm joining in.... because I'm SURE I'm not the only one out here that didn't know.

I learned a long time ago that I am an introvert and, quite the opposite, my husband is an extrovert.  But I've never delved into that knowledge deeply.  I knew it meant that I prefer quiet and small numbers of people, while he doesn't mind noise and enjoys big parties and social events.  Beyond that, I had no clue.  Until now.  Now I'm intrigued.  Now I want to learn more and perhaps embrace this thing called introversion because it's not really a bad thing-  being surrounded by extroverts most of my life, one would think it was.  It's not.

Extroverts and Introverts just don't really understand where the other is coming from most of the time.  That doesn't mean either of our perspectives is wrong.  That's important to know in relationships, especially marriage by the way!  So I'm doing a bit of research....

The biggest difference between introverts and extroverts is that introverts draw energy from being ALONE!  Social interactions and stimulating environments (lots of people, activity,noise, distractions, etc.) completely drain us.  Extroverts draw their energy through those human interaction and stimulation.

So apparently, when my husband or children wants to go to some activity and my energy is already low and I say, "Oh? Really? You want to go THERE?  Hmmm... mind if I stay home?", I am not being rude or anti-social, I'm recognizing a physical need within myself to stop draining myself and gain some energy.  It's not rude. It's not anti-social. It's not wrong.  It's actually normal and healthy for an introvert to do.

And when it comes to the phone? I do NOT draw energy from speaking on the phone.  It drains me First there's the physical intrusion of this unexpected NOISE when it rings. There's no time to plan what to say to this person that's calling.  Caller ID helps, sure, but - no, not really. I often do not pick up the phone.  It's not that I don't care- I'm just NOT ready.  I'm doing something else.  I'm in my quiet home enjoying the peace or getting things done. Talking on the phone stops me. And trying to focus on the conversation on this inanimate object in my hand with someone I can't even see and might not even know - well, that's just exasperating.  Yeah, I prefer you leave a message, text me or email me.  Really.  I can focus on the response then. 

And wouldn't you know it?  I'm researching this and trying to write this post and I text a cousin of mine - SHE's ALWAYS trying to text and call me. I love her dearly- but I JUST CAN'T talk on the phone that often.  I text her... "Hey, do you consider yourself an introvert or an extrovert?"  And it happens.  UGH. You guessed it.  The phone rings.

Did I answer?

Uh, no.  Does that make me bad? Rude?  Turns out no.  I texted her later and told her what I had been doing.  I'm finally learning I really do need to do these things that give ME energy - time alone, writing, NOT answering calls.... for my own sake.  It makes me a better person, not a rude one.

It seems, according to the Huffington's post article reporting information from PsychologyToday.com, that most introverts do screen their calls - even from their close friends (and in my case, uh, dearly loved cousins).  An introvert physically can't stand talking on the phone because it forces them to lose focus on a current project or thought and place that focus point on something unexpected (hence my 'unlgued' response to my son interrupting my train of thought in the middle of my very introverted activity of writing). The conversation itself will need a huge amount of focus. In addition to this, a phone call typically require 'small talk' -the type of conversation introverts finds stressful. An introvert will, most likely, allow the call to go to the answering machine and return the call (if they do) at a time they are able to prepare for the conversation and have the energy required to do so.

As for making calls?  Uh, NO thank you.  I'll choose texting over the phone.  Or email. Or....um...."Sweetheart?  Can you call and make that appointment for me? Oh, and call and order dinner? Please? Pretty please? Oh, PLEASE have mercy and make the call!"

So this phone thing is an introvert thing WHO KNEW?? I am so relieved it's not just me.

If you are interested in further information, here's a few of my favorite articles I found while reading more about this.

10 Ways Introverts Interact Differently With the World

23 Signs You're Secretly An Introvert (I got 22 by the way)

18 People Talk About What It's Like Being an Introvert

**As a side bit of information here - rarely can anyone be considered 100% introvert or 100% extrovert - each person falls somewhere different on the scale.  We all just have more obvious tendencies to be more on one end of the scale than on the other.  So it's possible that some introverts like parties while some extroverts might not. And some extroverts might not like talking on the phone, while some introverts might be sort of okay with it.

Are YOU an introvert?  Do you hate talking on the phone? What have you done to avoid it?