Linda G. Hill

Life in progress


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#SoCS – Romance – Caution! This post has nothing to do with romance.

I never wanted to be a romance writer. That is, I never set out to be one. I’m more of a relationship writer. And let’s face it, romantic relationships are something most of us strive for, at some point in our lives.

Being interested in behaviors and the thoughts that make us all tick makes it a bit of a no-brainer that I’d write about relationships. Behaviors were explained to me in a course I took, for whatever reason, to learn about what makes my Autistic son do the things he does, and to learn to curb some of his inappropriate and unwanted behaviors. The most interesting (to me) thing I took away from that course is that we all engage in social behaviors, whether positive or negative. All the time. Every time we communicate with another human — or I suppose any living thing — we exhibit behaviors in order to get the response we hope for in return.

Smiling at a stranger, for instance, is a positive behavior. If I smile at someone, I hope for a smile in return. Okay, stay with me on this – these are just examples. If I stand in the middle of a crowded street and start crying, it might be because I hope for someone to try to comfort me, or ask me what’s wrong. This can be seen as a negative behavior. Manipulative, perhaps. Or maybe it’s a genuine cry for help.

The most important part of this is that our children do things like the last example, all the time. Whether they’re Autistic or not. Knowing, as a parent, what is a genuine cry for help and what is simply a manipulative behavior bent on getting our attention can be tricky, but discerning the difference can be a valuable tool.

Go back to the smiling thing. If I smile at, say, ten people I pass on the street and not one of them smiles back, I’m going to give up. My behavior is obviously not giving me the response I’m going for. Rather, it’s being ignored. Now take the screaming, crying child. What is yelling back at them going to do? Encourage the behavior, because it’s giving them exactly what they’re seeking. Attention. No words, and no amount of negative behavior back at them is going to stop their crying. But if we ignore it… and sometimes it can take ten times before they get it… their behavior will stop.

In the ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) program I was taking, it’s called “planned ignoring.” It’s very simple, and it works. I can attest to that.

Ah, romance. How the hell did I get here? Relationships. Right. All birds of the same feather. And this is why I’m a multi-genre but single-minded author.

This insanely all-over-the-place post is brought to you by Stream of Consciousness Saturday. Find the rules and the prompt here: https://lindaghill.com/2017/03/17/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-mar-1817/ and join in. It’s insanely fun!


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#SoCS – Spring Forward and other ridiculousness

Well, I missed the deadline for my own prompt.  What a loser!! In my (self) defense, I was extremely busy playing Wii Party today, and basically trying to distract the kid long enough for him not to do all the things he does when he wants attention. Ah, what I’d give to have a sixteen-year-old who stays in his room and wants nothing to do with Mom for just a day.

So now that it’s Sunday, it means we here in North America (at least) are into our shortest day of the year. Not because of sunlight, but because we’re “springing forward.” We’re losing an hour of sleep… or are we? When I was kidless, I would have said yes. But kids wake up at the same time, regardless. They don’t look at the clock and say, ‘well, time to wake up because it’s 7 am already!’ No, they get up with the sun no matter what the clock says. So for us parents, it can mean a shorter day tomorrow instead of a shorter night tonight. Which means we can put them to bed an hour sooner and get more time tomorrow… or at least until the sun starts co-operating.

I’m probably not making an ounce of sense at this point. It’s 12:40, which means it’s 1:40… which means I should probably be in bed.

Yeah, let’s go with that.

This post is brought to you by yesterday’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt. Check it out at the following link and read all the posts! You can even join in… late, like me! https://lindaghill.com/2017/03/10/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-mar-1117/


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#SoCS – So-so job

So maybe I just need to drink more wine. Because lately, I’m finding it hard to relax enough to write anything. You know, anything creative. I’ve been working on a story for an anthology, and it’s going… slowly.

I think the real problem is that I never get out anymore. I’m tied to the house all the time now that my Autistic son has finished school. If I go out, I take him with me or I don’t go. Without going out — by myself — I’m unable to gather up any inspiration. I like to observe people. It’s one of my favourite things to do. I can sit in a restaurant for an hour or two and write while I half-listen to a conversation at another table; I get stories that way. Not necessarily about exactly what they say. Most of the time one sentence is enough to get my creative juices flowing.

I need time. I haven’t had 24 hours off from this 24/7 job of being responsible for my kids since the first of October last year. That’s more than five months ago. Since I had a day off…

That’s it, I’m opening a bottle of wine. (I wonder how many other posts are ended this way.) I shall make it so.

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This so-so post is brought to you by So..CS (or Stream of… Consciousness Saturday). Click the link and join in! https://lindaghill.com/2017/02/10/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-feb-1117/


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#SoCS – Hairy

Parenting is fun, isn’t it? Especially when you have to deal with a behavior-challenged child. Like mine. But I got the perfect teaching moment today, so I decided to go with it.

We’ve been having an issue with Alex bullying the dog. Luckily Winston is extremely patient and tolerant to having his ears pulled, his tail yanked on, being pinched, punched and kicked. I have a hard time dealing with it most of the time because it’s difficult to find anything to really punish Alex with that makes an impact. Until today.

He was waiting to go on his beloved bus ride around town. We were sitting together on the couch, both involved in what we were each doing. When Alex thought I wasn’t looking, he reached out and pinched the dog. For absolutely no reason whatsoever – the dog was sleeping beside him. I told him to stop – he looked me right in the eye and did it again. So that was it. No bus ride.

Alex cried. And cried and cried. He tried stroking Winston, he tried apologizing to both of us, but no. I stuck to my guns and told him if he was nice all day to the dog, I’d let him go on his bus ride tomorrow.  So he cried and sobbed, and choked on his own spit… then he kicked the dog, hard enough to make him yelp. No bus tomorrow, and he had to go up to his room.

Now his room is another story altogether. I have to take his little tv and his dvd player/vcr out of there, along with his lamp because I never know what he’s going to break next, and those are the things I can’t afford. The good news is — yes, there is some good news — he has learned the hard way not to break his movies. I have to admit that it hurt to let him do it. I made sure I took the ones out I really wanted to keep (this was months ago) and I just let him smash them. Standing outside his room listening to my money getting ready for the garbage was one of the most painful but teachable moments I’ve ever had with him.

And so I’m hoping this weekend’s lack of bus rides will be as well. The poor dog is such a lovely creature. Suffice to say though, today has been hairy.

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This post is part of Stream of Consciousness Saturday. Click the link to read more about it and to find all the other awesome posts! https://lindaghill.com/2017/02/03/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-feb-417/

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Just Jot It Jan 27 – Extraordinary

I decided today was going to be an extraordinary day, and it was! It started with coffee, and then I had more coffee, and then I took my mother out for coffee… It was extraordinary!

What really made my day, other than coffee, was a rare opportunity to help out a friend by giving her a break from looking after her son this evening. It’s not often I’m in a position where I can do more than take care of myself and my kids, so it was a treat for me to feel like I was giving back for a change.

Here’s to extraordinary days – and to posting before midnight! Gotta hurry up. Luckily I have all this coffee sloshing around inside me.

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Thanks very much to Kelli for our prompt today! If you didn’t catch it, it was “extraordinary”! If you haven’t had a chance yet, please pop over and say hi to her. Here’s her link: https://fortyandfantastique.wordpress.com/about/

You can read all the posts for this prompt here: https://lindaghill.com/2017/01/26/jusjojan-daily-prompt-jan-26th17/ Check it out and join in!


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Just Jot It Jan 23 – Compromise

I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with compromise. It’s the most wonderful thing in the world to be able to come to an acceptable agreement between two people who want two different things. That is when compromise is a fantastic tool.

But on the other hand, I’m a bit of a control freak. Especially when it comes to the things I want for my family and for myself. If anything stands in the way of what my children need, there is no compromise. Until I’m told there is no possibility, I refuse to give an inch. And I’m the same with the things I want to do for myself. My new career(s) as an author and an editor, for instance. I will not give them up, and I will not compromise my chances of success.

And then there’s my blog. I’ve tried negotiating with it, but strangely, it still demands the same number of hours a day now as it did when I began, four years ago. Back then, I stalked visited other blogs, sometimes six hours a day just hoping for follows. Now that I’ve become somewhat successful at it, new bloggers often come to me. I could very easily still spend six hours a day visiting everyone who visits me. To understand my dilemma, please see the previous paragraph.

It’s a tough call. With my kids, compromise is cut and dry. If I want something different than someone I care about does, that, too, is easy. I compromise. But this work/blog thing is tearing me. I hate to say it, but something, one day, is going to have to give a bit. And I need food on the table.

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Our prompt today was brought to you by the lovely Ritu. Please go and visit, and read her Just Jot It January post here: https://butismileanyway.com/2017/01/23/jusjojan-daily-prompt-jan-23rd17-compromise/

And a very special thanks to Judy for hosting today’s prompt! I encourage you to visit Judy at her blog here: http://www.edwinasepisodes.com/jusjotjan-january-23-compromise/

Finally, go to today’s prompt post and read all the other excellent posts here: https://lindaghill.com/2017/01/22/jusjojan-daily-prompt-jan-23rd-compromise/


23 Comments

Just Jot It Jan 17 – Complaint

Let’s see, what haven’t I complained about this year yet?

We had a snow day again today–actually, it was a freezing rain day–but I’ve already complained about those. Seems like a Tuesday thing.

Alex was so upset about not going to school today, he came into my room this morning and started smacking me because of the weather. Then, fifteen minutes later, I picked up the cat to stop him from going outside and he turned around and scratched me. And to top all that off, I was sitting on the couch about fifteen minutes after that, and I sneezed on the dog whilst reaching for the tissue box, so the dog pounced on me because I made him jump.

It’s been a rough day. But not my first this year. I’m sure I must have complained about one of those already, so I can’t do that again.

What else, let’s see… I didn’t go out today. I need to get out more. …aaand I’ve already complained about that.

Next!

I haven’t run out of wine yet, so I can’t complain about that. Oh, wait! I ran out of coffee!!! …but I found some more in the cupboard that I must have bought when it was on sale.

Nope! Sorry. Can’t think of anything new. I guess I’m going to just have to be happy, damn it!

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Thanks very much to our very own Willow for today’s prompt, “complaint.” You can visit Willow and read her own JusJoJan post here: https://willowdot21.wordpress.com/2017/01/17/just-jot-it-jauaryday-17-complaint/

And a very special thanks once again to Shan for hosting Just Jot It January for me! Let’s all give her a round of applause!! And make sure you visit and follow her at her blog here, where you’ll find her latest JusJoJan post: http://shanjeniahslovelychaos.com/lovely-chaos-blog/2017/1/16/i-am-penetrable-mindfulmonday-and-jusjojan-day-16-shanjeniahs-lovely-chaos

Don’t forget to check out all the other posts here, and see how you can join in too! https://lindaghill.com/2017/01/17/jusjojan-daily-prompt-jan-17th17/