Archive for the ‘blogging’ Tag


I know, I’m basically useless as a blogger, and this is just a quick catch-up. I returned last weekend from a Viking River cruise in Russia. As usual, an amazing, eye-opening experience. As always, it wasn’t amazing at all — people are people everywhere you go. Preconceived notions and prejudices can’t help but melt away. If only we could all have the experience.

A few negatives to report

My trusty little old camera froze into deadly paralysis and ended in the wastebasket. My classy new camera was happy to oblige, but I must have done the settings all wrong, ’cause there wasn’t a good photo in the bunch.

My health held up until “the travel cold” hit on the flight home from Amsterdam and emerged full blown the next day to turn me into a hacking, somewhat aching, useless mess this past week.

Now I’m pulling out of it with enough energy to get back to the formatting problem that prevailed before I left for the journey and continues to prevail. I haven’t checked the dates, but I believe I’ve worked on “My Father’s House” for at least five years, reaching the end of the first draft and eagerly beginning the huge (but fun) editing job. That’s when I found problems with the formatting. If I inserted pages. there were crazy empty spaces in the content. Content held stable as long as I didn’t insert pages.  I will say, Microsoft did it’s best to help. I think I got bumped — helpfully — all the way to the top. One tech helper had me remove all formatting and start over. That turned out to make a mess — mostly of my own making, I suppose.

So anyway, here I am, working on a manuscript that can’t be submitted to a potential publisher even after I will have done massive editing, unless the problem gets solved.

Read on if you find formatting of interest. On the trip, I found that if I showed the formatting symbols, it revealed that section breaks had been introduced into strange places. Yay! All i had to do was remove them. Nope!. They wouldn’t go away. I could click “continuous” so the lines came fairly close together, but then other strange markings showed up in different places.

Tomorrow I’ll get back to Microsoft to seek more help. Truth be told, I’m hoping some formatting genius is reading this and can help me. But I fear technical support is right and my document has been corrupted.

So there you have it, my excuse for being a faithless blogger.



Today is the day to start my disciplined control of my time. Already I know I need to make revisions. After a visit to Curves, and breakfast, I set my timer for two hours to devote to reading. Now I know I’ll have to schedule the reading for another time when I’m not so likely to want to doze. I know. I’m surprised too, but apparently working at the computer is more efficient at that time. No surprise, it does a better job of demanding my attention.

At the computer, I’ve had to be severe in not responding to blogs. I do appreciate the kindness of people who have recommended me for awards, but at this point I’m not even sure it’s appropriate to accept and process them, since I seem to be working at retirement from the web. Yes, it was fun, but I’ve got to recognize the importance of the first word in the title of this blog: “discipline.”

So, I’ll keep at it, looking for the best way to balance my time.

In the meantime, I’m sad to say that I’ve figured out why all my “before” photos of the Garage sale were lost. I discovered last night that the data card from my camera was gone. The “after’ photos apparently utilized the built-in data card. It’s not something that would come out of my camera without effort, so all the evidence points to someone’s having taken it when it was lying out on the table. I’m not sure why the whole camera wasn’t taken. Maybe it would have been too obvious. And maybe I’ll discover another answer. In the meantime, I’ve learned another lesson about being careful with my possessions. It’s a good thing making money wasn’t my primary motive in doing the sale.

And I still haven’t cleared everything out after it – a little bit at a time.

I noticed that another blogger who’d also vowed to reduce the blogging connection has apparently been successful in following through. Is this a trend?

Posted June 11, 2012 by Mona Gustafson Affinito in Uncategorized

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Let me say up front that my camera went back on me. I took photos before anyone had come on Friday and more at the end of the day on Saturday, intending a before/after comparison. When I downloaded them, all I had was the photo of the last day’s remnants. So, I’m going back on my promise to upload photos. What good is a before/after comparison when there is no before?

I had loads of women’s clothes at $1.00 each. Obviously, the goal wasn’t to make money. I ended up gaining some $72.00. The main goal, however, was achieved. I cleared lots of space in my closets, and I watched lots of interesting people carefully selecting from the rack as if they were at an expensive boutique. One handsome man carefully selected seven items, leaving me with the impression that he had some woman/women clearly in mind. I saw friends encouraging each other to take a $1.00 risk over things they liked. Especially complimentary for me was a friend who drove purposely to my site based on what I’d said in my blog. “I knew they’d be great clothes,” she said, “based on the way you dress.” Maybe that alone made the whole enterprise worthwhile.

On one table I had put out perfectly good items, mostly obsolete (to me) office supplies, with a sign saying, “If anything on this table is of use, please take it and leave me what it’s worth to you.” The funny thing is, people preferred that I give a price, so I collected lots of quarters. One woman was thrilled to find my collection of paper rolls for an old fashioned adding machine, and labels for file folders. Three boxes designed to hold cancelled checks excited another person, a craftsperson. About craftspeople, one man took a handbag ($3.00) planning to remove its bling to use in making jewelry, The handsome man who took the carefully selected seven items was happy with a couple of boxes of new square computer discs.

The whole thing was, indeed, like a suburban recycling enterprise.

I even sold a few of my books. But best of all, I had fun getting to know neighbors I had only said “hi” to in the past. And I got to spend time sitting with a friend who came to help me set up – oh my, was she ever good at it!

But, to get to the point, what did I gain? I thoroughly appreciated my vacation from e-mail and blogging. Sitting alone with a magazine I finally got to read (acquiring a sunburned nose in the process) I realized I’d been pointed in a direction. And this is what affects some of you who’ve been reading my blog. I’ve got to put reading and writing first.

I started my blog with the intention of increasing book sales. Book sales have increased not one bit – I mean, not at all. But I have made many wonderful blogging friends, a community which has taken up my time to the extent that sometimes I don’t get to call old friends back in Connecticut with whom I’d like to stay in contact. I’m at the point where I have to choose. Greatly reduce my time on the web and read and write more, or pursue the fun connections I’ve made. I realize I have to choose the former.

So, with great regret, I’m making it known that I will probably continue to read many of the blogs to which I’ve become connected. Terry, for example, I can’t stop following your saga. But I won’t be responding. That feels a little unfair to me, so I’ll thoroughly understand if people who have been following me should decide to “unfollow.”

I’ll also be ignoring many of the writers and publishers groups which I have joined. Again, they are very interesting, but my original purpose has failed. My books have not sold.

So please, wish me happiness and joy in writing more, and reading. I am so grateful to all who have taken time to care about my blog. I wish all of you happiness and joy in return.

Oh, and you might want to make time for one more visit to me on Mona on

Posted June 4, 2012 by Mona Gustafson Affinito in Uncategorized

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“Set your alarm clock a few minutes earlier” and you’ll tap into your creative juices, Jonah Lehrer suggests in Bottom Line Personal, May 15, 2012. “Our minds tend to be drowsy and unfocused just after waking. Drowsy, unfocused minds are prone to wandering, and wandering minds are great at making creative connections between seemingly disparate concepts.” What a neat example of turning a perceived negative into a positive. Being drowsy and unfocused is a good thing.

Personally I need no alarm clock, not like I did when I was young and could sleep until 5:00 p.m. Really. One time when I was home on vacation from college my mother came to my room at 5:00 p.m., to ask if I’d like some dinner before I went to bed. I did, and I did. Right back to sleep, catching up after intense studying for hefty exams in the five courses I was taking – because that was standard.

Anyway, back to this morning. In my drowsy state, pieces dropped into place like some wiggly jigsaw puzzle: Mother’s day, detoxing – as in nutritional program and/or psychotherapy, skin – our outer layer and largest organ, change and fear/resistance to change, internal warfare, Jung’s Collective Unconscious as I understand it, Freud’s struggle to understand the battle between the forces of life and death, even telephones and automobiles and blogging.. Evolution is the right word.

 I wish I were a poet. The best I can do is a kind of bulleted approach, wondering what the ages look like from a God’s eye view, or even to genuine historians who see the context of time. But here goes.

 I was there when my granddaughter was born. So were my deceased mother and my grandmothers, and the women before them that I didn’t know much about. It was impossible to be unaware of the continuity of life that stared into my video camera as that baby was placed on my daughter’s belly. They tell me that she, now twenty-five, looks like me. I’d like to believe it, because she is beautiful. I mean really. But they don’t mean she looks like me. She looks like they imagine I looked at twenty-five. Together we are part of the life and death of cells in the body of humanity.

 I’ve been in a nutritional program for the past several months. First came treatment of the skin, reducing the inhibiting (he calls it blocking) effect of scars. Is it fair to say that’s removing the effects of our external wounds? Hmm, there’s a parallel in psychotherapy.

 Then came detoxing – slowly, because the body becomes accustomed to the bad stuff we carry around and resists parting with it, getting sick in the process of letting go. Many years ago I spent two years in psychotherapy, so painful I described it later as pulling barbed wire out through my pores, one bit at a time. At the end, everything seemed so clear, I wondered why it took me so long to “get” it. Like every cell in my body – every cell in humankind – I was afraid to release what Adlerians would call the irrational ideas that had me in their clutches. Those two years were years of violent internal cellular battle. The years since have not been without their struggles with personal conflict and sadness, as well as mini-depressions watching the world go through the same thing, wondering what my one little cell can do to help detox. But the barbed wire effect is long gone.

Telephones and automobiles? I am in the process of writing a piece about the evolution of telephones, from French phone party lines to bluetooth convenience, producing the effect of general schizophrenia as we walk around apparently talking to ourselves. Automobiles? My parents dated in horse and buggy. ‘Nuff said?

 Blogging. There are separate bundles of humanity coming together as one. Recently I’ve been moved by the rallying of so many in care of one woman blogging about the joy and stress of caring for her brother. We are all one body, rushing to the support of a part of us in need and, in turn, receiving the gift she gives of faith, hope and health.

And so to Jung as I understand him this morning. We are literally all one body, over the generations and right now. I hope this little cell called Mona will have, in some small way, removed some fear and violence toxins from the other cells in the body of which I am only a part. That would be a happy mother’s day theme.

I expect “A View From the Edge” will cite St. Paul from whom, I believe, I’ve stolen the title for this blog.

Happy Mother’s Day! For now and for eternity. Now wouldn’t that please the God’s eye view?


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