Do you love your Smartphone?


Earlier this summer I was relaxing at a friend’s house. We were watching a movie, eating pizza and living the good life.

Suddenly a situation occurred that was far more entertaining than the movie. My friend lost his smart phone.


Honest officer, it wasn’t my fault!

Smartphone 2

I was sitting on the couch nestled between a dog, three cats and a plate full of pizza. My friend was reclining in his favorite easy chair complete with an excellent armrest perfect for all smartphones.

From my vantage point I saw what happened. Somehow his smartphone slid off the edge and landed safely in the side pocket of his chair. I could have easily pointed this out and within seconds his panic would have ceased.

But where is the fun in that?


Nicotine – Smartphones – Oh My!

Smartphone 4

A long time ago when I was a young boy I witnessed a scary scene. My three pack a day uncle lost his cigarettes. As I sat and observed my friends frantic search I was suddenly reminded of that fascinating day.

With the movie long forgotten my friend tossed throw rugs in the air, pillows and cats to the side. He even checked under the pizza box and the dog.

Thankfully I was left alone.


Angry wife and cats galore!!!

How he missed his phone’s hiding place I’ll never know. But I’m glad he did.

I grabbed another slice – Spicy Sausage, hamburger and pepperoni – and settled in for the scene.

My friend moved from the TV room to the kitchen. His voice was high, his mood agitated. He yelled at his kids, the neighbor kids and the dog. For reasons unclear he decided now was the perfect time to bring up a two year old argument with his wife that I’m guessing was unresolved.

With my friend and his wife bringing up bad memories, the dog barking and the kids disappearing to the neighbors, I calmly plucked his smartphone from the chairs comfy pocket.

I found an old shirt rolled up in a corner and laid part of it over his phone just beneath his chair.

With his wife in tears and the dog joining the neighbors I called out and pointed to the half hidden phone.


Memories of my Uncle

smartphone 3

The relief in his eyes matched the memory I had of my uncle when his MIA cigarettes were discovered.

So I ask – where are we in this world? Are smartphones the new cigarettes?

I will confess if smartphones were available when I was a kid I would have been knee deep in everything they have to offer. In fact my entire generation would.

Don’t let them fool you. We were just as bad or worse.

It’s easy to see the addiction. They look cool. They give you instant gratification and they give the user a sense of importance.

I have a lot of use for smartphones but at my age there’s a balance. I like them but I do not love them.

I wish I could see the world in a hundred years. I truly believe we are in the infancy of stranger things.

We love our gadgets. They are exciting and earth shattering but for some they turn into addiction.

I dodged a bullet.

The future will be fascinating but somehow we’ll survive. We always do. Every generation is convinced the next one will destroy the world but if you notice it hasn’t happened yet.

But just in case I’m wrong, please hang on to those damn things. Trust me, you don’t want to lose them and if you do some guy like me will keep them hidden for all the wrong reasons.


Happy Friday Everyone!!!

Smartphone 5

What kind of reputation do you want?

Mandy Hale

About a month ago I went to a message board and started a topic. The board belongs to a novel and short story site where one can add their work for critique. It’s also a great place to learn the craft of editing.

I rarely reply or start a topic. Not that I don’t want to, it’s simply a matter of time. Not enough hours in the day as they say. But in this particular moment I saw something missing.

A simple little thing that I felt needed to be filled.


Walking the tightrope of etiquette

My topic was all about giving thanks to others. A simple thank you when others critique your work. And another thank you if they felt your critique helped theirs.

I’m big on acknowledging a person’s good work or act of kindness and I’m not alone on this. For the most part we all think the same. Don’t believe the news you hear on the state of the world. People are generally kind and helpful.

Yes, I’m talking to you.

I didn’t think too much when I created the post. We’re all at fault for expecting things and sometimes we need to take a step back and realize how good we have it.  

By the end of the day my topic hit the twelve page mark with each page containing at least a dozen replies. The results you might be thinking were positive, sadly they were not.

reputation 1

Sorry I drowned your puppy

After reading just a few replies one would have thought I had called their mother wicked names or worse…an offering to drown their puppy.

Most of them accused me of stepping over the line. To them I had walked into something far more personal than needed to be. After a few replies defending myself I stepped away. I’m pretty sure my days of creating topics on that board are over.

One of the first lessons I learned in our world of writing is proper etiquette. A simple thanks or a like on a page goes a long way. 

We have chosen a profession where reputation matters. Going an extra mile or two does wonders for us all.

I’m a friendly person by nature. I was taught to give everyone a chance and to be nice. Not everyone appreciates the kindness but most do.

Creating a positive reputation is gold. The last thing I want is for anyone to think of me as high maintenance or demanding.

I have received a handful of rejections from agents and publishers in my days and I have replied to all of them with a thank you. I am not thanking them for turning my work away, I am thinking them for their time.

It’s the professional thing to do.

I’m not sure why I upset so many people. Maybe it was the guilt in them coming out. Whatever it was we need to pack the negative remarks in a box and open up a can of the good stuff. It’s all about the long term. Every now and then ask yourself a question:

What kind of reputation do you want?