To Dump or not to Dump

southbridge landfill

Photo from Umass.edu

Let’s talk about the landfill and Question 3. Tuesday is election day here in the beautiful town of Southbridge, MA. And I do mean beautiful. Yes, there are some areas that could use a little paint and landscaping, but that is no different than any other town or city in the country. Almost every day I walk around downtown at lunch time and I see the beauty of the buildings. I see signs of rebirth for many of these although I still see signs of neglect in others. Continue reading

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A New Chapter Begins

This past weekend I began a new chapter in my life. After a self-imposed exile, I and my way better half moved back to the place I have always considered home, even after 35 or so years of not living there. We are heading one town away from where we are now to Southbridge, MA, the town I grew up in.

I have been thinking about doing this for some time now, especially for the last year after landing a great job in Southbridge. I realized just how much I missed it. Now some people think there must be something wrong with me, and they just might be right, after all, I have been living on the greatest lake in the area, on property that my family has owned for almost 100 years. Some would consider moving back to Southbridge a step down, but I don’t  see it that way at all. Rather I look at it as a coming home.

True, Southbridge is not quite the same as it was when I left. There are many changes, the school system is rated one of the worst in the state, recently having been taken over by the Commonwealth, and it also ranks among the bottom of the list in income. But still it is Southbridge and there are many good people here, of all stripes. There are many people who are trying to make a difference. I think it is time for me to be one of these, I don’t know how or at what level yet, but perhaps it is time for me to give back to the town that gave me my start in life.

  • The town that provided me with the set of values I still hold.
  • The town that provided me with a first-class education.
  • The town that made me who I am today.

Of course, there may be some who might not think I turned out so well, but so be it.

As I have been walking and driving around Southbridge, I see good things and see not so good things. I see neighborhoods that were once well kept with manicured front lawns, fresh coats of paint, porches where people would sit and talk to their neighbors, that are now rundown and unkempt. But I have also seen signs in other neighborhoods of improvements being made. Three-deckers being remodeled, front yards being landscaped, pride being taken in the homes and neighborhoods again.

Southbridge is no different than a thousand other small towns throughout the country. Once burgeoning industrial centers, with full employment and vibrant retail operations, the factories moved out, malls and then regional shopping centers replaced the downtown stores. Towns where personalities take over politics and actually working together to improve conditions often takes a back seat to who is siding with who against another.

Will I become involved in the local political scene? That is hard to say at this time. I will admit I have been perusing the local cable access channels attempting to get up to speed on what is going on. But until such time as I make a decision on how I will proceed, I will be spending my time getting to re-discover my new/old home town, and writing about it here.

Free Advice: Worth Every Penny

Lately, I have taken to signing up for free webinars and teleconferences about writing and marketing. I look at it this way, most of them are an hour, maybe an hour and fifteen minutes long, they only cost time, so if I learn only one thing that might help me, then the hour was worth it. If I don’t learn anything then it only cost me an hour of my time. Continue reading

The Meaning of Life or Something

As I  sit here in my study, pondering life, I have come up with the definitive answer to the eternal question, “What is the meaning of life?” This has been a question that has plagued man for ages. Greater minds than mine have pondered this question and have failed to come up with the answer, yet, here I am, as unscholarly as one can be, and I have found the answer.

Continue reading

5 Bits of Writing Advice From P.D, James

I came across this today while going through all my backed up email. I really need to get my stuff together when it comes to them Any ay it is from the Gotham Writers website and it consists of a list of five bits of writing advice.

5 Bits of Writing Advice

Increase your word power. Words are the raw material of our craft. The greater your vocabulary the more effective your writing. We who write in English are fortunate to have the richest and most versatile language in the world. Respect it.

Read widely and with discrimination. Bad writing is contagious.

Don’t just plan to write—write. It is only by writing, not dreaming about it, that we develop our own style.

Write what you need to write, not what is currently popular or what you think will sell.

Open your mind to new experiences, particularly to the study of other people. Nothing that happens to a writer—however happy, however tragic—is ever wasted.

via P.D. James: 5 Bits of Writing Advice.

Since she has written way more books than I have, and made a little more money, I would say this is good advice.

The One Tip You Need For Writing Success

In my last post, I wrote about the definition of a writer. Let me begin by saying my first book was written and I published it last week. Now whether it is selling or not is a different story, but the point is I put my mind to it, and I did it. I have always had a dream of writing a book, but I always had excuses. Finally, I had no more excuses and it is done. And I learned a very important lesson … the first step to writing success. Continue reading