Advice or Advise?

Day 181

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Sometimes the best advice we can give is no advice at all. I am learning (yes, still learning at my age) that we are all at very different places in our lives.

What worked for me when I was a first-time mom 40 years ago simply may not work today. Every recommendation from doctors has changed as far as babies’ eating and sleeping is concerned.

When my newest granddaughter was born, they discovered the five sounds that newborns make. It is pretty amazing and it seemed to prove true. Check our the following video:

They also have an app called Wonder Weeks that maps a child’s growth and development. When babies get cranky, it could mean your child is in a developmental leap which includes ‘storms’ during which the child is very fussy. After the ‘storm’ the child exhibits new skills. It worked remarkably well.

It is all so fascinating. As mom, I still get called on for advice when it concerns the heart. They don’t have an app for that. Even so, I still try not to give advice. I like to be the listener – the sounding board for them to come to their own conclusions. I can advise without giving too much advice.

I am also learning to serve in a similar role for my friends. I will always be there, but giving advice is dicey. Listening, sharing experiences and just being there — those are the attributes that make us good friends.

I don’t know if you should quit your job. I can tell you if I think your partner is abusive. I can share my thoughts on counseling. I can tell you where I stand on moral issues. But giving device, no, that’s not my job.

Listening is key. It makes us better people. I don’t have the capacity or the expertise to dole out advice. I am a pretty good mom and a trustworthy friend, though. And for me, that’s enough.


He Said, She Said

I am happy to reblog this post by Holland Rae. What a great lesson in writing dialogue with really helpful examples. Thank you for sharing and helping to make us all better writers.

Holland Rae, Writer

valentine-candy-626446__340After free write, I begin the creative writing classes I teach with a question – what is stopping you from writing this week? As poets, novelists, journalist, short story tellers and everything in between, we run across a myriad of unique and ever-evolving challenges on the path toward our best stories and discussing what those challenges are is a great way to learn from other writers and find a way through.

One of my students this past week, had a particularly astute question, especially for a young author. 

“How do I make my character’s dialogue not feel like it’s in a white, blank room?”

Dialogue comes naturally for some and last for others, but it’s one of the most important parts of any book and I thought I’d touch upon a few of the most effective ways to nail relatable, informative and readable dialogue.

Use Action Tags

To answer…

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