Archive for May 2014

COMMUNITY, CLOSENESS, AND RESPECT   21 comments

Not a big deal, or maybe it is. No, it really is petty, but I have a gripe today – well, I have it often, but it was evoked today with my trip to Curves. I’m so far from being athletic you could say I extend the normal curve like a snake way off to the left. But I do try to get to Curves three times a week for what amounts to a workout.

If you’re familiar with the place, you know there is a large circle of workout machines. (I think 12. Next time I go I’ll count them.) In between there are “recovery stations” where you can do whatever you want – walking or jogging in place, flinging your arms around, bending and stretching – whatever. And it’s all timed. 30 seconds on a machine, 30 seconds on recovery.

For most of us who pay the small extra fee, the intensity of our workout is recorded on a computer which, at the end of two plus cycles, tells us how we did. Something to strive for. As for me, the hard part is getting myself there. The joyful part is seeing the end.

So, about community and closeness. If I were doing a more serious blog, I’d be ranting about the importance of encouraging community, cooperation, empathy, working together, appreciating each other’s differences, overcoming greed. In other words, I think community is our hope for the future and appreciation of things past.

But It also means respect for our individuality. And that’s what set me off today. When I arrived this morning, there was one other person working out, so I chose to start on a machine at a distance from where she was so as not to crowd her. I was happily (well, dutifully) working my way around the circuit when another woman arrived and started her circuit right next to me. Now, if there ‘s a huge crowd there, options are few. Bu she had plenty of room.

What it meant was I had to stand and wait for her to finish, or work my way around her to a different spot – not the best way to keep the computer informed.

Actually, she seems to be a lovely lady. So what is it when people seem not to be aware they are crowding others?

Now that I’m on a roll, how about the light at the intersection of highways 41 and 5? (Or wherever your example may be.) Those of us who drive there often know the green light lasts just long enough for three, maybe four cars to get through. I’m OK with that. It’s a busy intersection. But I do try to be alert if I’m first in line so I move as soon as I’ve taken a quick look left to make sure no one is running the red light against me. I’m not perfect at it, but it seems to me like an act of respecting other people’s need to get through the intersection. My gripe? Folks who are first in line who seem not to be aware that the fate of others depends on them and, for want of a better word, dawdle for one reason or another. Leaving those a few cars behind them waiting again through the whole cycle before they can get through.

One more example of failure to respect personal space. The person whose own personal space is minimal, so he or she drives you into a corner as you try to maintain your polite distance in a conversation.

I know. I know. Cultural differences. Even neurological differences. For my classes when we were on the topic of personal space, I often cited the difference between my Swedish heritage of greeting people with a handshake that produces a separation of approximately three feet. (Try it) Compared to my welcoming Italian heritage in-laws who greeted me with a kiss on the lips – or at least in the vicinity. I learned to appreciate the closeness, though I suspect they never understood the Scandinavian stand-off-ish-ness (literally.)

But why couldn’t the woman at Curves have chosen to start a few machines away from me this morning?

p.s. I’m almost positive the woman in question will never see this blog, and wouldn’t recognize herself if she did. Therefore I feel safe in making this public.

 

PURCHASE AND CHALLENGE   4 comments

Want to test your copyediting skills? I’d like to suggest a deal that might help both of us.

“Figs & Pomegranates & Special Cheeses: a Biblical Love Story” will be a moderately edited version of “Mrs. Job.” Adding a little more action to meet the needs of  TM Publishing who, in the end, ran out of money and didn’t publish the new edition.

So, anyone buying “Mrs. Job” at the reduced rate will be getting basically the same story. And I want to be sure the new version is as error-free as possible.

Therefore, here’s my challenge. Buy “Mrs. Job” and search her for typos or other obvious errors. Just don’t mess with the “g” or “G” in “god/God” because that’s intentional to reflect Dara’s conflict in struggling to accept Job’s one jealous God.

Also, please don’t quibble about things like using colons, or dashes, for example. Things that are a valid matter of choice.

For every error you find, e-mail me and claim a $1.00 rebate to the limit of the cost of the book (without tax and postage.)

If it should happen you find none, you can feel free to let people know how good a copyeditor I am.

That’s it.

Mona

MRS. JOB – INVENTORY REDUCTION   4 comments

Soon I’ll be rolling out “Figs & Pomegranates & Special Cheeses: a Biblical Love Story.” The layout is ready to go, just waiting for the new cover art to be finished. I’ll be meeting next week with the artist.

If you’ve been following me, you know that.” “Figs & Pomegranates & Special Cheeses: a Biblical Love Story.” is a newly edited version of “Mrs. Job.” (It has been through content editors twice and through copy editors the same number of times. To say nothing of my own perfectionistic editing and copy-editing.)

So now I’m offering my inventory of “Mrs. Job” at a reduced rate. Just click on the cover photo to order through PayPal:

Soft Cover   $10.00 plus postage and handling (and tax for MN residents.)

Hard Cover $15.00 plus postage and handling (and tax for MN residents.)

Let me know if you want it signed in a particular way.

 I’m including a copy here of the back cover comments. (click to make it larger.)

Mrs Job Back Cover

So why a new edition? Again, those of you who have been with me know that the big problem with “Mrs. Job” was the title. Everyone, it seems, read “Job” as if it had to do with paid employment, rather than the book of Job, one of the books of wisdom in the Hebrew Testament. Also, given that I left the Ph.D. after my name, people took it to be one of a few things: A self-help book for married women seeking paid employment; a heavy psychological tome; a – liberal, or maybe fundamentalist – rant.

But it’s none of those things. It is the love story of fictional Dara, the wife of Biblical Job, from her childhood and lifelong friendship with Adah, through her marriage to Job, the growth of family and wealth, through the biblical trials and their aftermath.

The cover of “Mrs. Job” is lovely, but “Figs & Pomegranates & Special Cheeses” will be more romantic and colorful, more likely, I hope, to grab the eye and illustrate the basics of the story.

I’ll bet you’re thinking I’m in danger this time that the book will be filed in the cookbook section. I’m hoping not. My expectation is that the visual cover and the full title will help to avoid that.

As for the source of the new title. It comes from her mother’s words in a conversation they have shortly before Dara’s marriage.

 “Oh Dara, I did feel that way

about your father when we first married,

but love changes over time.

I guess you could say at first it is like

feasting on figs and

pomegranates and special cheeses,

and later it is like enjoying the

evening potage. The thrill may not be

so great later on, but each day it fills

the empty hole that would be hunger

if you did not have each other.”

FORGIVING ONE PAGE AT A TIME   2 comments

Push the Forgiving One Page at a Time button/photo to the left of this post and you’ll find the option to buy a signed copy of a modified version of When to Forgive.

Including less detail, and fewer case stories, it provides a way for you to work very directly with your own forgiveness issues.

Amazon..com advertises an e-book version which has one review – mine, which tells you not to buy the e-book. Why? Because it defeats the purpose, and the publisher did it in spite of my objection.

That’s because the book is designed to be your own workbook/journal. After a general introduction, it includes written material on the left hand page, and guides on the right hand page for you to enter your own reactions/situation.

Like When to Forgive it’s purpose is to help you make your own decisions about whether to forgive and how. Like the larger book, it helps you take into account the reaction you can expect as a result of what you decide and do.

If you’d like to see reviews of this book, go to amazon.com

If it’s all the same to you, however, I’d appreciate your buying directly from me.

I’m including a photo below of the comments on the back cover.

One person called me with a report but refrained from posting it on amazon. What he said pleased me, though. He said he and his wife had an argument just before she left for a meeting. Restlessly angry, he picked up a copy of forgiving One Page at a Time which was lying on the table. “I went through most of it,” he said, “and then called her to apologize.”

One never knows what reactions will result when someone explores his or her own distress over a perceived injustice.

Back Cover One Page ...

 

 

 

 

 

I believe clicking on this image will enlarge it. (I hope so, anyway.)n

WHEN TO FORGIVE – Buttons are ready   10 comments

A brilliant guru at Joyful Computing has figured out how to place “buttons” by means of which one can order my books from my blog. Actually, it’s not a button that one clicks on, but a photo of the book included to the left of the post (not the photo in the header). Starting with today’s entry, I’d like to highlight each of my available books, one post at a time.

During my final years on the faculty of Southern Connecticut State University my special area was the Psychology of Women. I’ll talk about that influence in a subsequent blog on “Mrs. Job.” But today it’s “When to Forgive.”

Happily when I retired from SCSU I was in a position to work on another area of professional interest – the Psychology of Forgiveness. The result of that focus was “When to Forgive,” today’s topic.

Not the newest of my books, I’ll alert you up front that it is the most expensive, the price being set by the publisher, New Harbinger. It has been around long enough to move from a price tag of $13.95 to $16.95. (oops! amazon.com is offering a discounted price of $14.34. If you’d like a signed copy from me at that price, please contact me via the e-mail button below the button photos.)

There has also been time for it to accumulate some comments in addition to those offered at the time of its publication. For example the following, which I have been given permission to quote:

Written just for me! Thank you Dr. Affinito. Your book on forgiveness must have been written just for me. After reading just the first chapter, I realized just how much I have been punishing myself with my need to immediately forgive others. Now I realize that I need to go through the process, just like mourning. I went out and purchased a journal and gave myself permission to take the time and energy necessary to understand why I felt the way I do and to discern what I want to happen in the end. I’m buying this book for many of my friends and my wife is already anxious to take my copy – but I think I’ll buy her a copy of her own. Just a great resource to reflect and go back to time and time again”

As for comments at the time of publication, I’m posting a link to the amazon.com back page. You’ll find reader reviews there too.

I believe what sets “When to Forgive” apart from other forgiveness books is just what the comment above implies. It isn’t a “You must forgive” argument. It is, rather, a guide to making the reader’s own decision about whether to forgive, and how. It is also unique in providing a definition of forgiveness. It might not be the definition on which everyone would agree, but for one who works through this book it provides clarity of meaning and goal.

In the process of writing it I sought out, and sometimes just happened to discover, stories of forgiveness of all kinds of offenses. Many of them are provided as examples.

I hope this helps you decide whether you want to click on the “When to Forgive” photo to order a copy.

This would also be a great opportunity to comment on your own experiences with forgiving — or deciding not to.

In my next post I’ll give details on “Forgiving One Page at a Time.”

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