Producer Sought for BlogTalkRadio Show
http://www.The-American-Family.com

Starting immediately, a six month old BlogTalkRadio show seeks a talented and enthusiastic individual to join our team as Producer. This is a volunteer position that might turn into an internship if the person was a student in a media, communication, web-based development or similar area.

Position entails producing a weekly one hour radio show by putting 15-20 minutes segments of shows does by other team members into one MP3 file and uploading it for broadcast; developing leads into and endings for each of many regular shows; carrying out any other tasks of a technical nature. Individual will also manage and grow our considerable technology storeroom into show introductory and ending pieces, developing and securing audio and music clips that may be incorporated in to these shows and the Special Series underdevelopment. Individual may also develop his/her own subject area and do regular 20 minutes shows on target and go to social events. Will manage extensive Social Media Contacts. After experience with our national project, the producer may negotiate an expanded role including the writing and recording of one’s own show.

For further information, see http://www.The-American-Family.com and call Dr. Dennis Cogswell 540-577-5730 or email to TheFamilyForever1@gmail.com

Posted by: dcogswel | February 15, 2014

A Moment of my Time, by Squire Bin Forever

Romancing the Squire: Christina. Then Me.

Squire Bin Forever Circa: 1720-NOW

 

“New to You, But Not to This World.”

 

I have known many women in my four centuries of relationships. Here tales my first—Christina.

My pa and mum, Joseph and Dorothy, were good parents but both only lived thirty-seven years

at the Isle of Wight in the Old Dominion colonies. I was around fifteen when they passed, well

into my manhood in those times. I was left to function on my own. I do not know to this day

what happened to my brothers and sisters.

After some wandering in The Old Dominion, I became crew on a sailing ship and made my way

to Bristol, England, and then on to Boston of the New England Colonies, the center of trade and

that which followed it. It was there I met Christina, in a way that was not becoming to a Squire. She was a bar maid in a

New World tavern, the Boston Green Dragon tavern, as was her mother. That was the only way I

would meet a woman in such a place as they weren’t invited into that part of a mans domains in

the 1600’s.

I took lodging at the Green Dragon, as this was the center of news and commerce. It also was known for its great stout and hard cider. I did not expect romance. It came, was intense, and left. My remembrance of the start of our romance is cloudy, like a poorly brewed ale but I think it went like this. I was thirsty immediately upon entering the Green Dragon. As was the practice of the uncultured, roughly cut men who frequented the tavern, I yelled out:

Wench, another pint of ale.

 

It came alright, slammed down in front of me, spilling unto my tunic. I immediately realized:

 

This is not right. It isn’t what she does with others who command her.

 

Nor is it fitting of a Squire, a man of position and honor. . .yet, why was I treated differently?

She likes me and expects more from gentry, especially a Squire!

 

It was then that my love for her began . . . yet how was I to regain her trust and respect and most

importantly, her attention? I was afflicted from then on. What a beauty she was, whirling from

2

patron to patron, swishing her skirts, flirting quickly, without intent, and moving on to the next order. Christina was the only bar maid close to my age. But that wasn??t the attraction for me. I think it was mainly her eyes that attracted me, enough to forget the ales and ciders. They were flashing, intense, dark blue and I thought, beautiful. After two pints, served by this bar maid with a whirl, I knew I was close to love, lust certainly. She lived with her mum (mother) in a smallhouse two blocks from the back of the tavern. Her paw was deceased. Her mum knew aboutyouth lusting, although there was no adolescence back then. It did not matter that I wasseventeen and Christina, only thirteen, a common difference. Back in the 17th century, male-female age differences were not the issue they are in the 21st century. Christina, a young barmaid—I did not realize how young until it was too late, was of a woman??s figure. She dressed to

show as much of it as was permitted in those Puritan times. However, as lustful of that from mymale view, it was her eyes that really brought her into my focus.—blazing blue, intense,intelligent, amorous.

She was well-tipped as all her patrons became suitors, not just of her ale but of herself—whatfantasies must have been experienced— I glared at my compatriots, now my competitors. Howcan I rise above them in her eyes so that she only notices me?

A plan came to me quickly. I triple tipped her, with my brightest coin. When she paused to tellme of my error, I arose from my stool, bowed and caught her hand.My maiden of the Green Dragon . . . forgive my earlier outburst. . . I realized not what a

maiden I was approaching . . . from now on, as your patron Squire, you shall have my respect-You have my attention. . . I order henceforth the finest ale from the finest bar maiden!

 

My words were not the only passing between us that paused her on her rounds. It was the meeting of our eyes, hers flashing curiously, of a feminine nature—mine kind, steady, strong andbeholding— that spoke the most of our sudden mutual interest.

From then on, I made sure that only she got my ale orders. She began stopping longer with methan others to chat of daily events. I learned much about her and began to make sure I was here

3

when she ended her shift. Then we could sip of ales at a side bar, away from others. Our romance and the wonderful chase of it was on! I was in love, or at least lust.

Because of Christina, I became a Green Dragon regular, slowly sipping hard cider for hours at atime. I took in all the news and followed up many ideas that were broached, knowing thatdrunken thinking was not reliable. Later on, this Colonial meeting place gave much to me as itwas in the green Dragon where I met John Cogswell, who had such an influence later to my life .I wrote little in my journal during the first fortnight of our relationship as it was a time ofChristina. I was smitten. After a week of spending as much time together in the bar, especiallywhen there were few or no hang-on-ers, we borrowed two horses for an afternoon in the country.

We stopped in a meadow along a stream for a lunch which she had packed. I remember not whatit was as the main course was eye gazing, kissing and as much touching as we dared in thatmeadow by the stream.

After our wonderful meadow afternoon, I was soon invited into her home where she lived withher mum. That visit began with Christina??s busying herself their small kitchen as her mother andI talked. Mum wanted to make sure of my intensions, once Christina’s interest was steadfast. She talked about their Puritan family values that were strict and unbending. They were not what I hadheard about those Puritan??s Yes, they were devoted to God. Socially, they understood society’s emphasis on male’s dominance. Yet in their marriages, they believe in equality. She told me right out that good marriages were based on strong physical attraction and attention, but onlyupon taking marriage vows. She inquired about my employment plans? I had no answer formyself, let alone her.

Her mum seemed to follow the Puritan code but also understand human biology. She told me not to confuse Christina’s tavern role with her family role, now and for the future. With my evening visits, she would retire early to leave us alone, something I appreciated. I always left before the new day was announced, going back to my Green Dragon lodging. It did not help that I could see Christiana’s window from my window; that view only produced much longing—except when one or more of the three other men lodging with me were also there.

4

Two things happened that greatly influenced our relationship and resulted in my temporary vowof celebrity.

Three evenings after the weekend of the meadow, a rainy one, we three had been at the familyhome, playing cards. It was miserable outside and I would be walking to my abode, as usual. Her mum shocked me by suggesting I spend the night. Christina??s eyes told me she wanted that verymuch. I accepted, with much amazement & excitement.

The Puritan practice of bundling was introduced to us both. Christina and I were led to the one bedroom, shown the bed which was to be ours for the night, and then, fully clothed, after all toiletries had been taken care of outside, were wrapped in many feet of a long cotton sash that went on forever, with a bundling board made of Colonial pine, put between us. We were helped to make it together to the common bed, where were to spend the night. Her mum slept in the other bed, about 10 feet away. At first, this was exciting but when I discovered that my arms were pinned to my side by the sash, I knew my dreams were unlikely to be. It was going to be a

long night. . . Then:

􀂳Bin, are you awake? 􀂴whispered Christina.

Yes, my love. . .I am quite wrapped up in you.

We can talk as Mum is asleep, thanks in part to that ale I put in her tea.

I long for more . . .my hands are so close to your warm and bending curves, and yet empty. . .

This confounded board. . . I would duel it if it were a man.

I too want you. . . I smell your sweetness. . . my mouth seeks yours. . . my tongue remains alone.

This is our night to share bliss . . .& yet, we are left with this. . .this damned board & sash.

Christina, come to me.

Bin, but how?

5

I knowth not. . . I am empty without eruption. . .

Christina. . . 

Bin, my love. . .let us dream together as no closer will we be tonight.

Christina. . . 

Bin. . . Christina. . . Bin—

Sadness prevailed.

Somehow, we both drifted to sleep. I dreamed of nothingness, which I had achieved. Mum awake first and with a smile, I was unwrapped and given a spot of tea and a Crum. I left to go to my lodgings & Cristiana and Mum went to work. I felt quite confused, thought-wise, & emotionally, and with a great amount of 􀂳testy􀂴in my veins. I only saw Christiana once more in Boston, in the tavern, when she told me a sad tale:

Bin, we have to be away from each other for a while. One of my widowed, Puritan neighbors, whose husband had been a church leader, has been watching me for some time and noting the young men who come by to court me. She knew that you didn??t leave our abode that rainy night and has told many of her fears of what our Tavern Family did that evening. Mum and I have been told that I am soon to be cast as 􀂳a witch􀂴and threatened with being stoned or burnt at the stake.

She ended this terrible telling by crying out: I fearest for my life—we have to go from here!

She then ran away.

I left The Green Dragon as well, hurt and puzzled, as this was not the way I had been raised in the Southern Colonies. Shortly thereafter, Christina and her mother left their Green Dragon positions on a boat to England. We saw each other depart and our words of that blessed, terrible night repeated.

Christina. . . Bin. . .Christina. . .Bin

Tears rolled down my checks again. I was devastated. Becoming a man of the cloth appealed to me—but only briefly.

6

Word came to me that they sailed to England and then on to the Southern Colonies, to Virginia and Williamsburg. My Christina is thought to have become the owner and operator of the Campbell Tavern, which is still in operation in the 21st century in Williamsburg. Although Ivisited the Tidewater often and even lived in Williamsburg for a while, I never could take myselfto venture to the Campbell Tavern—thus I know no more of Christiana, my first love.

§ § § § §

It was the hardest thing I had done in many years, perhaps the hardest since learning of my parent’s demise.

That hard thing was to have Christina leave me. It took me back to when I was four and the little girl in the cottage next door decided to play with her dolls than me. I took that very hard and remember the feeling today. That is the same with Christina. How could she? Who

am I to be? Am I to be lonely for life?

I did what most seventeen year olds in Boston would do. I comforted myself with every English ale that I could. I felt so bad, I also consumed French wine, enough to make King Louie happy.

Eventually I woke up. I knew that I had at least a decade or better left of my life.

7

I didn’t want to drown for that long—so somehow, I went cold turkey and gave up drinking. 􀂴

2

I became an “X” man to allow me to eat and to get a room of my own. That involved spending much time in taverns which made my absence very difficult. I was aided by other patrons and the bar tenders as they let me drink hardly English tea in ale

1 In the 17st century, the mean life expectancy was only to live into one thirties. Although many did live to the ripe old age of

sixty+

2 The role of 􀂳X􀂴man finally became institutionalized into the role of notary public. This role exists today, held mostly

 

by women—which is true for many things.

7

mugs. 􀂳X􀂴men got their names by doing many things. Back then, many people could not read nor write. Some could only read but not write. Often they needed a reading-writing third party, and an 􀂳X􀂴man filled that bill. I also did many other things, such as being the second in a dual.

My pay there was often the loser??s pearl handled pistol and any change in his pocket before he was hauled off to Potter’s field3

. I wrote letters to families everywhere and knew how to find the postal service office4 or more often, knew which ship captain and stage coach driver you could trust to deliver the important document—all for a fee, mind you. I also learned to advise people on all matters pertaining to where to live, whom to rent from, where you could stable your horse and many other essential things in life. All for a fee, mind you.

As my patrons often did not live long, and had no known family, I became a friend of undertakers and the pawn shops, cleaning out the deceases abode of their material possessions. Being paid this time, by what I could sell them for. The better I got at this, the more money I made as people often had treasures that they didn’t know about.

I also spent a lot of time looking for myself and finding my self-esteem. I surprised myself by staying away from the women, far more preferring the company of a male. In the twenty-first, Iwould be labeled and accused of being a gay, a sin to many who really don’t know. Back in the seventeenth century, the word 􀂳homosexuality􀂴was used only by a few and was unknown bymost of the commoners. The idea of having persona of being a 􀂳gay or lesbian, was mainly usedby those with a religious fervor. To them, it was an act of act of physically loving a member of

3 Potter’s field in the universal English and American name for the burying grounds for the poor.

4 The United States Postal Service (USPS), also known as the Post Office and U.S. Mail, is an independent agency

of the United States federal government responsible for providing postal service in the United States. It is one of the

few government agencies explicitly authorized by the United States Constitution. The USPS traces its roots to 1775

when Benjamin Franklin was appointed the first postmaster general. The cabinet-level Post Office Department was

created in 1792 from Franklin’s operation and transformed into its current form in 1971 under the Postal

Reorganization Act. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Postal_Service

8

the opposite sex through genital contact, instead of what many said God had proclaimed was to

be, was taken very seriously. In many of the Colonies, such an act was a crime, a felony,

punishable by death. However, it was not a personality characteristic.

For some unknown reason, I desired no physical or genital contact with either sex; I just preferred the company of men.

The man I most preferred the company of was me.

5

I spent much of my off X-man􀂴time visiting social clubs and the taverns and markets. I loved to talk about clothes and being well-dressed. I admired the human figure, but only of the male variety. The curvature of muscles and the strength that went with it was so attractive to me.

I was educated in the ways of life but possessed no formal education. Being in the right place at the right time matters, so when William and Mary College was founded in 1693, right in the town of my abode, Williamsburg, which also soon became the Old Dominion’s capital

6

, I became a student there. All study & no play make for dull students and I learned that lesson well.

Clothing myself in the Colonies finest, which I could now afford, was first a past time and then became a way of life. My basic wardrobe, that of most Colonial males, was soon greatly expanded. My bed shirt, woolen for warmth, was moved to being only a bed shirt. It was

replaced with a silk one that felt so good against the skin. I wore it often when awake and home.

I had two favorite set of breeches. One was leather that I wore on most days. It made me look 5 In the 21st century, I likely would be known by many and self-acclaimed to be a Metro-sexual, especially if I

resided in California.

6 Jamestown’s loss.

9

rough, ready to ride with the Indians, let smooth to the touch. I had a second pair, a silk pair, to be worn on the frequent 􀂳holiday􀂴occasions. Correspondingly, my everyday stockings were linen and my 􀂳party-time􀂴stockings were also of silk. I acquired a variety of frocks. I admit some were acquired in the most unusual of ways. As an 􀂳X-man􀂴, I learned that many men

dressed up in their best on their way to their dual. When they left this earth, sometimes their frocks were not touched by a musket-balls ripping. As I was one of the last to let them down, I knew they would want their best to become pasted on to someone who would wear it well. Iended up with well over four dozen frocks in my wardrobe, something I have never admitted until today.

I had three favorite haversacks. One, made of leather was used for the time of work. The second, made of the finest Southern linen, was used in social events with a few people. The third was saved for the big Balls, when those watching me dance the minuet would whisper to each other “what tailor in Europe doth he visit?􀂴as they examined my wardrobe, almost entirely of silk.

I had a cobbler friend Alexander, who delighted in giving me buckles for my partying shoes. He too, was into himself and we often appeared together at the best balls. Those that knew us well, knew that we were joined together by our love of clothes and of other people. Nothing else. We did have our intimate moments; they were spent talking to each other about life, fashion, and the

pursuit of justice for all.

I also spent as much time in the presence of Continental Congress. Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson, fierce rivals in the chambers and drinking buddies at the Raleigh Tavern on the weekends were my favorites. George Washington seemed often to be alone although widely respected. He too, along with Burgess George Wythe, frequented the Raleigh as well. Although

10

man for each one when they needed a most discrete and trusted courier. All of the valued leaders of our country counseled again and again to seek moderation or the center ground on all issues. Avoid extremes, of any kind. They frequently spoke out on the six essences of a sound and healthy American life:

Government, Education, Religion, Business, Labor and Health. I will journal on these areas in a later posting.

I favored the men but was intrigued to be able to spend with Colonial ladies. For some reason, they desired my company although that did not occur often as most were preoccupied with the running of huge Southern Plantations.

The United States of America was positioning itself in the world as being the most and best democratic country and government while maintaining the stratified society that England was. Indeed, if one was not gentry, nor poor, one was considered to be 􀂳

middling􀂴as long as they were able to afford the trapping of gentility and speak according.

Gentry have their own language or at least version of English. This language always started out with a reference to male

gentry, as they were the one’s most seen at parties and balls. In the 17 & the 18th , one frequentlydid not attend the best of parties to see how the women dressed. It was the Sire’s dress that mattered.

Males, of all strata7 , were addressed as 􀂳Sir􀂴when they were in conversation with gentlemen or even men of the middle class. Madam, alone, was used to address gentry women, married or

7 Excuse me; I miss- spoke. 􀂳Sir􀂴was not a term used with poor males.

11

unmarried, young and old. Whether or not the middling used that term, I do not recall. Gentry

children called their mothers Madam. It was appropriate to call adult female visitors Madam.

 

8

The beginning and ending of conversations were very ritualistic and would often start with one

of these phrases:

􀂳Sir, . . .􀂴

􀂳How does your lady, Sir?

􀂳Sir, if you please, may I speak with you a moment􀂴?

Conversation in between depended on the real interest one had for the other party. I learned

quickly how to 􀂳turn a phrase􀂴and became a delight of many ladies and the amuser of their

counterparts. Speaking of clothing became a specialty. 􀂳My lady, what cloth have you stroked

this week? I myself recently found Taylor??s to have some new silk—it was said that he

purchased it for one of our Sire??s lady??s petticoats. Do you prefer yours to be of linen, wool, or

silk—perhaps that does vary with the season. As I live solitary, I know only of preference, not of

experience.􀂴

􀂳

My lady, have you noticed the gentry in the Commons lately. They seem to be of places to the

south. I know they are gentry because their hats are three cornered and some are made with

straw, for the summer heat, although it takes a close look to determine that.􀂴

􀂳

I have recently begun to experiment with Banyan, instead of my common nightgown. I prefer

the one’s made of patterned materials and have several. They vary in thickness from light and

cool for summer sitting to quilted for our Williamsburg February??s.??

􀂳I am studying at William & Mary the change in our male’s coats. They have changed as we

have become more fashionable. Pleats have been added and one can often know the tailor from

its width. I love to conjure whom designed such beauties. The best tailors have moved from coats

8 I learned this through experience, way back in the 17th century. I realize that you do not have that opportunity so I

reference you to this source. http://history.org/history/teaching/enewsletter/june03/english.cfm.

Romancing the Squire: Christina. Then Me.

Squire Bin Forever Circa: 1720-NOW

“New to You, But Not to This World.”

I have known many women in my four centuries of relationships. Here tales my first—Christina.

My pa and mum, Joseph and Dorothy, were good parents but both only lived thirty-seven years

at the Isle of Wight in the Old Dominion colonies. I was around fifteen when they passed, well

into my manhood in those times. I was left to function on my own. I do not know to this day

what happened to my brothers and sisters.

After some wandering in The Old Dominion, I became crew on a sailing ship and made my way

to Bristol, England, and then on to Boston of the New England Colonies, the center of trade and

that which followed it.

It was there I met Christina, in a way that was not becoming to a Squire. She was a bar maid in a

New World tavern, the Boston Green Dragon tavern, as was her mother. That was the only way I

would meet a woman in such a place as they weren??t invited into that part of a man??

s domains in

the 1600??s.

I took lodging at the Green Dragon, as this was the center of news and commerce. It

also was known for its great stout and hard cider. I did not expect romance. It came, was intense,

and left. My remembrance of the start of our romance is cloudy, like a poorly brewed ale but I

think it went like this. I was thirsty immediately upon entering the Green Dragon. As was the

practice of the uncultured, roughly cut men who frequented the tavern, I yelled out:

Wench, another pint of ale.

It came alright, slammed down in front of me, spilling unto my tunic. I immediately realized:

This is not right. It isn’t what she does with others who command her.

Nor is it fitting of a Squire, a man of position and honor. . .yet, why was I treated differently?

She likes me and expects more from gentry, especially a Squire!

It was then that my love for her began . . . yet how was I to regain her trust and respect and most

importantly, her attention? I was afflicted from then on. What a beauty she was, whirling from

2

patron to patron, swishing her skirts, flirting quickly, without intent, and moving on to the next

order. Christina was the only bar maid close to my age. But that wasn??t the attraction for me. I

think it was mainly her eyes that attracted me, enough to forget the ales and ciders. They were

flashing, intense, dark blue and I thought, beautiful. After two pints, served by this bar maid with

a whirl, I knew I was close to love??lust certainly. She lived with her mum (mother) in a small

house two blocks from the back of the tavern. Her paw was deceased. Her mum knew about

youth lusting, although there was no adolescence back then. It did not matter that I was

seventeen and Christina, only thirteen, a common difference. Back in the 17th century, male-

female age differences were not the issue they are in the 21st century. Christina, a young bar

maid—I did not realize how young until it was too late, was of a woman??s figure. She dressed to

show as much of it as was permitted in those Puritan times. However, as lustful of that from my

male view, it was her eyes that really brought her into my focus.—blazing blue, intense,

intelligent, amorous.

She was well-tipped as all her patrons became suitors, not just of her ale but of herself—what

fantasies must have been experienced— I glared at my compatriots, now my competitors. How

can I rise above them in her eyes so that she only notices me?

A plan came to me quickly. I triple tipped her, with my brightest coin. When she paused to tell

me of my error, I arose from my stool, bowed and caught her hand.

My maiden of the Green Dragon . . . forgive my earlier outburst. . . I realized not what a

maiden I was approaching . . . from now on, as your patron Squire, you shall have my respect-

You have my attention. . . I order henceforth the finest ale from the finest bar maiden!

My words were not the only passing between us that paused her on her rounds. It was the

meeting of our eyes, hers flashing curiously, of a feminine nature—mine kind, steady, strong and

beholding— that spoke the most of our sudden mutual interest.

From then on, I made sure that only she got my ale orders. She began stopping longer with me

than others to chat of daily events. I learned much about her and began to make sure I was here

3

when she ended her shift. Then we could sip of ales at a side bar, away from others. Our romance

and the wonderful chase of it was on! I was in love, or at least lust.

Because of Christina, I became a Green Dragon regular, slowly sipping hard cider for hours at a

time. I took in all the news and followed up many ideas that were broached, knowing that

drunken thinking was not reliable. Later on, this Colonial meeting place gave much to me as it

was in the green Dragon where I met John Cogswell, who had such an influence later to my life .

I wrote little in my journal during the first fortnight of our relationship as it was a time of

Christina. I was smitten. After a week of spending as much time together in the bar, especially

when there were few or no hang-on-ers, we borrowed two horses for an afternoon in the country.

We stopped in a meadow along a stream for a lunch which she had packed. I remember not what

it was as the main course was eye gazing, kissing and as much touching as we dared in that

meadow by the stream.

After our wonderful meadow afternoon, I was soon invited into her home where she lived with

her mum. That visit began with Christina??s busying herself their small kitchen as her mother and

I talked. Mum wanted to make sure of my intensions, once Christina??s interest was steadfast. She

talked about their Puritan family values that were strict and unbending. They were not what I had

heard about those Puritan??s Yes, they were devoted to God. Socially, they understood society??s

emphasis on male??s dominance. Yet in their marriages, they believe in equality. She told me

right out that good marriages were based on strong physical attraction and attention, but only

upon taking marriage vows. She inquired about my employment plans? I had no answer for

myself, let alone her.

Her mum seemed to follow the Puritan code but also understand human biology. She told me not

to confuse Christina??s tavern role with her family role, now and for the future. With my evening

visits, she would retire early to leave us alone, something I appreciated. I always left before the

new day was announced, going back to my Green Dragon lodging. It did not help that I could see

Christiana??s window from my window;

that view only produced much longing—except when

one or more of the three other men lodging with me were also there.

4

Two things happened that greatly influenced our relationship and resulted in my temporary vow

of celebrity.

Three evenings after the weekend of the meadow, a rainy one, we three had been at the family

home, playing cards. It was miserable outside and I would be walking to my abode, as usual. Her

mum shocked me by suggesting I spend the night. Christina??s eyes told me she wanted that very

much. I accepted, with much amazement & excitement.

The Puritan practice of bundling was introduced to us both. Christina and I were led to the one

bedroom, shown the bed which was to be ours for the night, and then, fully clothed, after all

toiletries had been taken care of outside, were wrapped in many feet of a long cotton sash that

went on forever, with a bundling board made of Colonial pine, put between us. We were helped

to make it together to the common bed, where were to spend the night. Her mum slept in the

other bed, about 10 feet away. At first, this was exciting but when I discovered that my arms

were pinned to my side by the sash, I knew my dreams were unlikely to be. It was going to be a

long night. . . Then:

􀂳Bin, are you awake? 􀂴whispered Christina.

Yis, my love. . .I am quite wrapped up in you.

We can talk as Mum is asleep, thanks in part to that ale I put in her tea.

I long for more . . .my hands are so close to your warm and bending curves, and yet empty. . .

This confounded board. . . I would duel it if it were a man.

I too want you. . . I smell your sweetness. . . my mouth seeks yours. . . my tongue remains alone.

This is our night to share bliss . . .& yet, we are left with this. . .this damned board & sash.

Christina, come to me.

Bin, but how?

5

I knowth not. . . I am empty without eruption. . .

Christina. . .

 

Bin, my love. . .let us dream together as no closer will we be tonight.

Christina. . .

 

Bin. . . Christina. . . Bin—

Sadness prevailed.

Somehow, we both drifted to sleep. I dreamed of nothingness, which I had achieved. Mum

awake first and with a smile, I was unwrapped and given a spot of tea and a Crum. I left to go to

my lodgings & Cristiana and Mum went to work. I felt quite confused, thought-wise, &

emotionally, and with a great amount of 􀂳testy􀂴in my veins.

I only saw Christiana once more in Boston, in the tavern, when she told me a sad tale:

Bin, we have to be away from each other for a while. One of my widowed, Puritan

neighbors, whose husband had been a church leader, has been watching me for some time

and noting the young men who come by to court me. She knew that you didn??t leave our

abode that rainy night and has told many of her fears of what our Tavern Family did that

evening. Mum and I have been told that I am soon to be cast as 􀂳a witch􀂴and threatened

with being stoned or burnt at the stake.

She ended this terrible telling by crying out:

I fearest for my life—we have to go from here!

She then ran away.

I left The Green Dragon as well, hurt and puzzled, as this was not the way I had been raised in

the Southern Colonies. Shortly thereafter, Christina and her mother left their Green Dragon

positions on a boat to England. We saw each other depart and our words of that blessed, terrible

night repeated.

Christina. . .

 

Bin. . .Christina. . .Bin

Tears rolled down my checks again. I was devastated.

Becoming a man of the cloth appealed to me—but only briefly.

6

Word came to me that they sailed to England and then on to the Southern Colonies, to Virginia

and Williamsburg. My Christina is thought to have become the owner and operator of the

Campbell Tavern, which is still in operation in the 21st century in Williamsburg. Although I

visited the Tidewater often and even lived in Williamsburg for a while, I never could take myself

to venture to the Campbell Tavern—thus I know no more of Christiana, my first love.

§ § § § §

It was the hardest thing I had done in many years, perhaps the hardest since learning of my

parent??s demise.

That hard thing was to have Christina leave me. It took me back to when I was

four and the little girl in the cottage next door decided to play with her dolls than me. I took that

very hard and remember the feeling today. That is the same with Christina. How could she? Who

am I to be? Am I to be lonely for life?

I did what most seventeen year olds in Boston would do. I comforted myself with every English

ale that I could. I felt so bad, I also consumed French wine, enough to make King Louie happy.

Eventually I woke up. I knew that I had at least a decade or better left of my life.

1

I didn??t want

to drown for that long—so somehow, I went cold turkey and gave up drinking.

That was hard as to support myself, I became an 􀂳X􀂴

2

man to allow me to eat and to get a room

of my own. That involved spending much time in taverns which made my absence very difficult.

I was aided by other patrons and the bar tenders as they let me drink hardly English tea in ale

1

In the 17st century, the mean life expectancy was only to live into one thirties. Although many did live to the ripe old age of

sixty+

2

The role of 􀂳X􀂴man finally became institutionalized into the role of notary public. This role exists today, held mostly

 

by

women—which is true for many things.

7

mugs. 􀂳X􀂴men got their names by doing many things. Back then, many people could not read

nor write. Some could only read but not write. Often they needed a reading-writing third party,

and an 􀂳X􀂴man filled that bill. I also did many other things, such as being the second in a dual.

My pay there was often the loser??s pearl handled pistol and any change in his pocket before he

was hauled off to Potter??s field3

. I wrote letters to families everywhere and knew how to find the

postal service office4 or more often, knew which ship captain and stage coach driver you could

trust to deliver the important document—all for a fee, mind you. I also learned to advise people

on all matters pertaining to where to live, whom to rent from, where you could stable your horse

and many other essential things in life. All for a fee, mind you.

As my patrons often did not live long, and had no known family, I became a friend of

undertakers and the pawn shops, cleaning out the deceases abode of their material possessions.

Being paid this time, by what I could sell them for. The better I got at this, the more money I

made as people often had treasures that they didn??t know about.

I also spent a lot of time looking for myself and finding my self-esteem. I surprised myself by

staying away from the women, far more preferring the company of a male. In the twenty-first, I

would be labeled and accused of being a gay, a sin to many who really don??t know. Back in the

seventeenth century, the word 􀂳homosexuality􀂴was used only by a few and was unknown by

most of the commoners. The idea of having persona of being a 􀂳gay or lesbian, was mainly used

by those with a religious fervor. To them, it was an act of act of physically loving a member of

3

Potter??s field in the universal English and American name for the burying grounds for the poor.

4

The United States Postal Service (USPS), also known as the Post Office and U.S. Mail, is an independent agency

of the United States federal government responsible for providing postal service in the United States. It is one of the

few government agencies explicitly authorized by the United States Constitution. The USPS traces its roots to 1775

when Benjamin Franklin was appointed the first postmaster general. The cabinet-level Post Office Department was

created in 1792 from Franklin’s operation and transformed into its current form in 1971 under the Postal

Reorganization Act. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Postal_Service

8

the opposite sex through genital contact, instead of what many said God had proclaimed was to

be, was taken very seriously. In many of the Colonies, such an act was a crime, a felony,

punishable by death. However, it was not a personality characteristic.

For some unknown reason, I desired no physical or genital contact with either sex; I just

preferred the company of men.

The man I most preferred the company of was me.

5

I spent much of my off X-man􀂴time visiting social clubs and the taverns and markets. I loved to

talk about clothes and being well-dressed. I admired the human figure, but only of the male

variety. The curvature of muscles and the strength that went with it was so attractive to me.

I was educated in the ways of life but possessed no formal education. Being in the right place at

the right time matters, so when William and Mary College was founded in 1693, right in the

town of my abode, Williamsburg, which also soon became the Old Dominion??s capital6

, I

became a student there. All study & no play make for dull students and I learned that lesson well.

Clothing myself in the Colonies finest, which I could now afford, was first a past time and then

became a way of life. My basic wardrobe, that of most Colonial males, was soon greatly

expanded. My bed shirt, woolen for warmth, was moved to being only a bed shirt. It was

replaced with a silk one that felt so good against the skin. I wore it often when awake and home.

I had two favorite set of breeches. One was leather that I wore on most days. It made me look

5

In the 21st century, I likely would be known by many and self-acclaimed to be a Metro-sexual, especially if I

resided in California.

6

Jamestown??s loss.

9

rough, ready to ride with the Indians, let smooth to the touch. I had a second pair, a silk pair, to

be worn on the frequent 􀂳holiday􀂴occasions. Correspondingly, my everyday stockings were

linen and my 􀂳party-time􀂴stockings were also of silk. I acquired a variety of frocks. I admit

some were acquired in the most unusual of ways. As an 􀂳X-man􀂴, I learned that many men

dressed up in their best on their way to their dual. When they left this earth, sometimes their

frocks were not touched by a musket-balls ripping. As I was one of the last to let them down, I

knew they would want their best to become pasted on to someone who would wear it well. I

ended up with well over four dozen frocks in my wardrobe, something I have never admitted

until today.

I had three favorite haversacks. One, made of leather was used for the time of work. The second,

made of the finest Southern linen, was used in social events with a few people. The third was

saved for the big Balls, when those watching me dance the minuet would whisper to each other

􀂳

what tailor in Europe doth he visit?􀂴as they examined my wardrobe, almost entirely of silk.

I had a cobbler friend Alexander, who delighted in giving me buckles for my partying shoes. He

too, was into himself and we often appeared together at the best balls. Those that knew us well,

knew that we were joined together by our love of clothes and of other people. Nothing else. We

did have our intimate moments; they were spent talking to each other about life, fashion, and the

pursuit of justice for all.

I also spent as much time in the presence of Continental Congress. Patrick Henry and Thomas

Jefferson, fierce rivals in the chambers and drinking buddies at the Raleigh Tavern on the

weekends were my favorites. George Washington seemed often to be alone although widely

respected. He too, along with Burgess George Wythe, frequented the Raleigh as well. Although

10

all could read and write, I was honored to serve as a 􀂳X􀂴man for each one when they needed a

most discrete and trusted courier. All of the valued leaders of our country counseled again and

again to seek moderation or the center ground on all issues. Avoid extremes, of any kind. They

frequently spoke out on the six essences of a sound and healthy American life: Government,

Education, Religion, Business, Labor and Health. I will journal on these areas in a later posting.

I favored the men but was intrigued to be able to spend with Colonial ladies. For some reason,

they desired my company although that did not occur often as most were preoccupied with the

running of huge Southern Plantations.

The United States of America was positioning itself in the world as being the most and best

democratic country and government while maintaining the stratified society that England was.

Indeed, if one was not gentry, nor poor, one was considered to be 􀂳

middling􀂴as long as they

were able to afford the trapping of gentility and speak according. Gentry have their own

language or at least version of English. This language always started out with a reference to male

gentry, as they were the one??s most seen

at parties and balls. In the 17 & the 18th , one frequently

did not attend the best of parties to see how the women dressed. It was the Sire??s dress that

mattered.

Males, of all strata7 , were addressed as 􀂳Sir􀂴, when they were in conversation with gentlemen or

even men of the middle class. Madam, alone, was used to address gentry women, married or

7

Excuse me; I miss-

spoke. 􀂳Sir􀂴was not a term used with poor males.

11

unmarried, young and old. Whether or not the middling used that term, I do not recall. Gentry

children called their mothers Madam. It was appropriate to call adult female visitors Madam.

8

The beginning and ending of conversations were very ritualistic and would often start with one

of these phrases:

􀂳Sir, . . .􀂴

􀂳How does your lady, Sir?

􀂳Sir, if you please, may I speak with you a moment􀂴?

Conversation in between depended on the real interest one had for the other party. I learned

quickly how to 􀂳turn a phrase􀂴and became a delight of many ladies and the amuser of their

counterparts. Speaking of clothing became a specialty. 􀂳My lady, what cloth have you stroked

this week? I myself recently found Taylor??s to have some new silk—it was said that he

purchased it for one of our Sire??s lady??s petticoats. Do you prefer yours to be of linen, wool, or

silk—perhaps that does vary with the season. As I live solitary, I know only of preference, not of

experience.􀂴

􀂳

My lady, have you noticed the gentry in the Commons lately. They seem to be of places to the

south. I know they are gentry because their hats are three cornered and some are made with

straw, for the summer heat, although it takes a close look to determine that.􀂴

􀂳

I have recently begun to experiment with Banyan, instead of my common nightgown. I prefer

the one??s made of patterned materials and have several. They vary in thickness from light and

cool for summer sitting to quilted for our Williamsburg February??s.??

􀂳I am studying at William & Mary the change in our male??s coats. They have changed as we

have become more fashionable. Pleats have been added and one can often know the tailor from

its width. I love to conjure whom designed such beauties. The best tailors have moved from coats

8

I learned this through experience, way back in the 17th century. I realize that you do not have that opportunity so I

reference you to this source.

http://history.org/history/teaching/enewsletter/june03/english.cfm.

12

to frocks and now to those with collars. I not only have a full wardrobe, I have them arranged in

periods and enjoy dressing in many of them in one evening.􀂴

􀂳

I believe I have stayed my time and do not want to experience bad will so will depart.􀂴

Then began the wonderful games of goodbye rituals. . . 􀂳With your permission.􀂴􀂳By your leave

Sir.􀂴(the first reply of the youngest Sire. He then would be upstaged by the next eldest who

would add a qualifier: 􀂳Your servant, Sir.􀂴

The most educated would add French phases such as 􀂳Adieu??. The coup de grace often was

􀂳Good evening to you, Sir/Madam/Friend. I wish you a good evening.􀂴

This is how I began to learn the joys of rubbing elbows with the wealthy, the gentry to me. The

ritual of our conversations was joyful to me, a middling. At the gentry??s many parties, an 􀂳X􀂴

man like myself, especially one educated at William and Mary, was highly sought out. I loved

these affairs; the food and ale I took in easily comforted this single of males.

What my identity was, seemed to me to be mostly my issue. However, that changed when I

became very known to Benjamin Franklin and began to spend time in his domain of

Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love. Ben, loved by many, but not all, especially his

common-law wife of many years, Deborah Read. He was known as the great communicator,

especially as being the ambassador to France where he aided gender differences issues among

individuals as well as assisting greatly with France’s pivotal role in our American revolution. My

conversations with Benjamin Franklin revealed a patriot with many voices on different topics

and one who speaks many languages. He was knowledgeable about issues and value preferences

of many in extreme. He thus was able to bring together people of diverse position on sexual

13

behavior to common ground. It thus became his fate of being unable to escape the negative and sexual labeling that many bring to such diversity.

9

§ § § § §

It was a year to the date when I last saw Christiana, although I only realized that after my next encounter. . . It was market-time in Williamsburg, which meant that it was either Wednesday or Saturday. For me that narrowed it down greatly as I had no regular schedule. I had picked out my apples from Winchester, peaches from some groves in fertile land on Isle of Wight, and was

looking at sweet potatoes from locals. Grandmum had always said 􀂳buy colored􀂴and she wasn’t

 referring to race, only knowing what all wise mums know and that what was good for the constitution. I had intended to get green beans, my favorite to go with my fat back when I backed into someone. Thinking it was a lady of gentry, I bowed deeply, professing my apology, only toarise looking into a young face that I knew so well. . . We both starred, looked away and then

back with common startles. “Bin.”      􀂳Christiana.􀂴􀂳     Bin, can that indeed be you? I never expected to see you again.”

With that they both hugged. Genuine, loving hugs that ended when they realized what they were doing in public.

Bin, what are you doing her at market—in this woman’s world?

Bin noticed then that she was not alone. However, her accompanying person was not who he expected. It was a little baby, all wrapped up in cloth and positioned across her chest, in the front of her body.

9 To read extensively on Franklin’s role on what was eventually labeled as being a gay friendly man, go to:http://washingtonblade.com/2011/10/28benjamin-franklin-writer-inventor-statesman-and-friend-to-gays/

14

I can’t believe it. . . Oh, you have noticed my son Benjamin; you know I named him after you. . . Ben—Bin.”

You don’t mean he is mine? But we never did it? How can this be?

No, silly man. I am married, to the best husband. He is Stephan, and he is a Harbor master over in Newport. I met him on the boat when we fled from Boston. We had a lot of time together then, although none of it was alone. When we finally got to Norfolk, he proposed. I

accepted. The ship captain married us and I went with Stephen to his home in Newport. Mum went to Williamsburg to run the Campbell tavern. Have you not been there? It is popular with the commoners.

Bin, quite dazed, nodded 􀂳No􀂴and let Christiana lead the conversation.

And you Bin; are you with lady?

. . . after a silent stammer, “No, although I too do reside in Williamsburg. I work a lot in the

evenings as an 􀂳X􀂴man. It??s very interesting work—I haven’t found anyone since you. There

hasn’t been an available female who interests me. I have some friends; they are all male. I think

that now, without family, I am my own best friend.”

“There is Alexander, he is a boot maker and very skilled in his trade. We have a lot in common. .”

.”The truth is Christina,”􀂴Bin said in a pleading, low tone, 􀂳”I haven??t even wanted to look at the

fairer sex since you. I am rather stuck on me.􀂴

They exchanged other pleasantries, and then Christiana took his hand, just as they began this

time. Bin, what could of been! But it wasn’t too be. Their eyes met in passion on the first

15

sentence and then dropped away on the second. Christina squeezed tightly and he returned the squeeze.

Both turned away and soon lost each other in the crowd. He bought some peaches, as they were forced upon him and he couldn??t remember what else he desired. He finally sat on a bench, behind a large barrel and wept.

The Squire spent the evening with his friend Alexander, recounting the unexpected encounter with Christina. Somehow he knew that it would be his last.

Alexander was a good listener and he knew lots of people. After the third go around about the encounter, he said: 􀂳My good friend Bin. Some ale we need. Go around the corner to the stand on the common. Ask for Winnera; tell her I sent you. She will know what we want. Do you have the right bills? I have a tab. . . I??ll broast some beans with an old hen that I have her, mix in a bit of whiskey to liven her up and we will toast your future.􀂴

Bin left, did what instructed but came back with more than the ale. He brought Winnera. She was a Mullato10 , very much a woman and very friendly. The three all talked until long after dark. Bin offered to walk her home and she accepted, but only to the corner. 􀂳Watch for me here; I will turn in the third doorway and then I will be home.􀂴

Bin tried, but with little conviction: 􀂳Winnera, may I call on you?􀂴She didn’t hesitate. Perhaps, . . . I know how to find you. Alexandria is friend to both of us.

With that, she too disappeared.

§ § § § §

10 Mulatto is a term used to refer to a person who is born from one white parent and one black parent, or more broadly, a person of any

proportion of European and African ancestry. In the broadest sense, it is applied to persons of any mixed ancestry.

16

My time is short so I will leave you to ponder this tale. I will post again, about another love, this time in a well-developed United States of America. It was the nineteen century where I learned that my male gender and sexuality blessed, formed the most basic core of my identity. That included my social/political standing, my relationships and as always, American freedom. It was in Washington, in the late eighteen hundreds, that I met 􀂳 Jasmine􀂴, my love for a decade during America??s Victorian era.

-Jasmine. Finally True Love will be excreted from the Squire??s journal soon-

© 2014 Dr. D.’s Domains

 

Posted by: dcogswel | February 15, 2014

Back in Circulation

I have been absent from this blog for a long time. I have been pre-occupied with the starting of a national blog talk radio show: The-American-Family. Then. There. Now. Information on it will come here very soon and may be found at http://www.The-American-Family.com.

 

Un the meanwhile, the Squire has been busy. He has excreted the latest version of his Colonial loves and it will be posted next. 

Families are Forever: Those Rascal Feelings.

Foreword

 

Squire Bin Forever

New to You But Not to the World!

A Survey was taken and Six out of Seven Dwarfs were not Happy.

I’m too busy to be manic.

Feelings are like the icing on a cake.

They make the cake look attractive and taste good but they are not the cake.

Dr. Dennis Cogswell

It is unreal that I would be writing the Forward to Book Two. Then again, I am unreal as is my life. Perhaps it all is unreal?

It is true that I am a composite Squire but then are we not all composite persona, with many elements coming from many sources? I am based in my values, and feelings, which haven’t changed much in my three hundred ninety three years of life. I greatly value family and relationships, a focuses of Authors Dennis and Nancy Cogswell’s trilogy of books. I have been created from  Dr. D.’s creative sense as he is in a life development creative period of his life. His focus in on writing for the general public and making presentations from a Squire’s point of views. He is learning much,  which is the mantra that his father Robert, left with him.

The Journey

If you skipped the book’s Preface, and have not read Book One, there is information there that be quite valuable to you in reading this book. That information explains about the trilogy of books and what is covered in each. It also introduces the two extended families of characters that make the books interesting. I leave it up to you whether to journey back to that section of the book.

I never dreamed that I would be on a three hundred ninety year journey—the length of my life today ( add footnote about a journey). The experiences I have had and the experience gained are way beyond anything I could have imagined. I have not only been to places unplanned, met people I didn’t know I would meet, but I have learned much that I didn’t even know existed. Thank heavens I made it past age sixteen when I knew it all.

Dr. D., Nanna and Kelly and I talk a lot; the same is true with a good friend of mine, Hobs. He is not as old as I am but is much further along his spiritual portion of his journey. Science believes now in a developmental process and so does all connected here.

In this book, Authors Dennis and Nancy Cogswell focus on feelings, emotions and values  including  the different types of feelings, where they come from and the physical, psychological and behavioral rules that guide them. One focus is on how we get along with ourselves; on our inner self. Recipes are provided on changing emotions one doesn’t want to have at this time.

Another focus is on how feelings and values influence our relationships with others. We humans are relationship oriented, and spend a great deal of our daily time in contact with others. Feelings are key to  interaction in relationships. Relationships exist at different levels with the most in-depth, and shortest lived to be an intimate relationships and feelings of intimacy. Intimacy among mature persons is explored in-depth  in special chapters on spiritual and sexual intimacy.

Another focus is on the philosophical underpinnings and sensuous side of mature relationships I have observed Dr. D. and Nana talking about the lost art of kissing and doing some practicing. Dr. D. usually wants to do things right and there is no exception here. The opportunity will be provided to join all here as your authors recommend kissing and telling.

Two special emphasizes comes out of the concept of “intimacy”. The authors see it as a wide encompassing stage, state or time at a level of relationship, a level of experiencing “being”, a level of valuing and of feeling that is unlikely to be reached by most until they experience life. Spiritual intimacy is one later chapter’s focus. Here, one builds on all one has learned from a chosen religion. In the case of most readers, that will be Christianity, especially the teachings of Jesus. In our religious foci in a Christian America, we use the teachings of Jesus to help us learn how to get along with our fellow humans, and how to relate to others.—If only we would follow Jesus’s teachings. A Spiritual focus helps us move further along in getting along with ourselves. It relates mostly, but not entirely, to our inner selves. Here the authors bring in a wide variety of concepts and recipes from the practice of meditation, Eastern Religions, the Power of Now, the Course on Miracles, New Age Christianity and others that even they don’t know they will be evoking.

Sexual intimacy is the focus of the last two chapters. The approach is both broad and specific. Broad in that the definition of “sex” used is: anything pleasurable. This level of  sexual relationships and personal experience can only come via experience. A focus is on how what we believe and value in terms of our human sexual development changes as we journey on in life—or at least can experience if we are open to that. The chapters focus on psychological and philosophical preparation and experience; they leave the specific recipes often called sexual manuals on gender defined genital parts to others.

From Then to Now.

So that you experience these concepts of feelings and values, let me tell you about my journey and what I feel and value. Remember, my journey is not complete; there is more to come.

I know little about my family of origin. After four centuries of living, my memories here are unclear. The same can be said about our record keeping. In America, we didn’t keep good linage records until well into the 1700’s. I believe that I was born in 1620 to Joseph and Dorothy Abbott.  . My home was on farming lush acreage settled on by my father in the Virginia County of the Isle of Wright. I had several brothers and sisters but when our parents both died in the same year at age thirty-seven, our birth family dissolved. We were left on our own. After all we were all  over ten years of age and clearly adults.

To make my way to the other American Colonies, I  signed on as an indentured sailor and got to Bristol, England where I stayed a while and came back to America and the Bay Colonies and Ipswich, Massachusetts. It is here, around 1640 AD. that I met John Cogswell, who had just come over on the ill-fated Good Ship Angel Gabriel. The Cogswells became my adopted extended family and remain so today, some four centuries long.  

Squires Do Feel

At this moment, more of my history escapes me, as I am chocked with emotions. Even now, I miss my parents and the wonderful family life I would have experienced. My feelings, long repressed, are now very intense.  I doubt that I will ever lose them and as painful as they are: I actually do not want to as they energize me. To cope, I turn up the volume on the positive and seek to experience positive feelings from positive and successful relationships. Those feelings serve me well, but not always. Definitely not now!

Why did my parents have to die at such an early age—thirty-seven?[1]

Why couldn’t  my parents have lived long lives? Ohhhhh.

Why, Why,  Why?

All of a sudden, this is too much. I am really distressed—A moment is needed to experience these  feelings—Although unpleasant, this experience is character building. Is that what I need?

Now other memories are floating upward. Before I was ten, I found myself in love with an Indian maiden, who was not even alive, having died twenty years before my birth.  We lived in the same area and played in the same fields.  In my fantasy, I pined for her then and now; what could have been?

“Pocahontas. . .Pocahontas. . .Pocahontas” I repeated softly, with vivid images returning.

“Sweet maiden, my first love. I know yea not, yet yearn so often, with great passion.”

“Time matters not as you are always on my mind!”

That would be Pocahontas, well known Indian maiden and a Colonial legend. Married at age twelve, she died suddenly at age twenty-two on her way back from England to the land she loved; she left a husband and a two year old child. My young crush was based on my needs at that time. I finally got over  Pocahontas when Christina came into my life when I was twenty. Oh, my—what a time that was. [2]

It has taken a while but I have learned that feelings are a major part of my being. A feeling is meant to be felt and then discharged. As an actual physical, electrical and chemical process within my brain, along with a psychological and social process, it is quite real. It is like water that always seeks to move to the lowest level; feelings are meant to be discharged. We humans don’t release our bad feelings well and often save or repress them which leads to great difficulties in all walks of life.  Dr. D., my adopted father, has shared with me about how the field of neuroscience is writing for the general public about feeling or neuron pathways that get established in our brains based on our experience and how they influence our future feelings.

* * *

Values Always Prevail

 I am proud to have been born an American, of the Old Dominion, of Virginia. I value that as much as I value my great travels.  I have a real sense of belonging which is important. It permeates my whole being. The same can be said for my valuing family. My specific family has changed over the year’s but only in the details. The structure has been altered but not by much. Our family dynamics are constantly changing but in a circular motion. The century determines the specifics of family life as what it values comes to the surface.

It is our value structure that guides and influences all that we do. The ones that are basic and fit most are the values of independence, self-reliance, strength of character, religious faith, importance of place, importance of belonging to a community and the famous ‘life liberty and pursuit of happiness.” However, as I travel through our developing country for the centuries that I have, I am aware that it has become more difficult to be fully independent. All people find themselves today to be more interdependent than independent although they deny that process.

Moral Values

Is there still a place in our world for moral values, the highest ranked of all the different type of values? The Sanctity of Life[3] belief has greatly disappeared for many Americans. Have our wars and our computer games that so many delight in, featuring killing and death, become the new norm ? Do young adults know what death really is like? They have been sensitized to life being a game that you reload and live and die, over and over.

Goodness and purity are also being downsized. Our societies’ political leaders often do not   possess the qualities of leadership of those that have gone before them. Today’s political process is one of negative campaigning and advertising. All are against something and not for anything.

Many of our communities in which we exist and from which we value have become singular entities with all valuing the same thing. We not only live in gated communities with those just like us; and what we do with our time is done homogenously. Differences are not only not valued, they are abhorred. This is so different for me as I spent much time as a young adult listening to Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry actively disagree in public and then meet later on in the week at the Raleigh Tavern over a good pint of ale to see what they could agree upon that was good for the Colonies. They agreed that extremism of any kind was not in America’s best interest and worked to set examples and establish principles for us to follow.

Experience is Valued Here

Some say my musing is that of an old man, always complaining. I don’t feel old, even at age three hundred ninety-three. Or is it the wisdom that comes with experience?  Einstein clearly thought the latter. He stated: “Information without experience is useless.” His point is when one has access to as much information as the average American adult does, this provides them with a great rush of power. Einstein knew that the ability to process that information and to apply it are higher order mental skills that are only developed through experience. Furthermore, it must be the right type of experience and come at the right stage of intellectual development and maturity.

* * *

A Squire’s Leadership         

Like many things, the answers are all right here. Instead of looking to others for answers, I will look not only back at my experience but also inward.—When your journey takes you there,  you will do likewise. I certainly have the historical perspective, as stated Vincent, Dr. D.’s fifteen year old grandson and Vincent’s friend, Ramon. They said to me –“Papa of Papa’s- you have been around a lot and for a long time. What do you think we should be doing with our lives?”

Vincent and Ramon, I start with my heroes—Joseph Campbell says we must have heroes. (Campbell, 1988). My main heroes have been Robin Hood, Presidents Jimmy Carter and William Clinton, Jesus and most babies. The latter because they are pure, untaught by we humans and basic in their response to life. Babies actually don’t overvalue feelings. They feel them, express them to us by crying but when their need is over, they move on. I clearly think that once they get to a certain age it is a contest as to whether we will learn to communicate with them in their ways or they will learn our ways. They eventually give up on us and conform to our communication language and methods.

Keys To Success in Life, in Any Century

 

I have discovered life-long learning. In addition to the specifics that I learned there, I also learned that the more you know, the more there is to know. Learning one set of information or skills opens the ways to others that we didn’t have before. The mark of a real scholar is not how many or what s(he) figures out, but what new questions s(he) can offer to himself/herself and others to be answered. This why I am always telling Dr. D. “Remember, there is more to learn”.

I have seen that a specific period of time or generation values things differently. Contrast the presidential mantra of President John F. Kennedy—“My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” —with that of a later president, President Ronald Reagan—“Are you better off now than you were four years ago?”

I believe in the concepts of  strengths, gratitude, happiness, empowerment, hope and more. I have learned that people will change and that it is inevitable and emotional. Humans change best, from a position of strength. Our main human weakness is greed, especially in the area of wealth, financial and human capital. We have much more than we need and work hard to make sure that others don’t share, even though we speak of being Christian. Our tendency towards violence comes because our emotions are over-valued and we are very scared.

* * *

The Squire’s Last Question

I leave you for now with a familiar question: “If there is a large and deep forest, where there is no live human being or animal present. A tree falls to the ground. Is there a sound?”

I leave it to you to learn enough so you can answer that. As you proceed down that learning path, your journey, you  will change your answer often. 

© Dr. D.’s Domains 2014

 


[1] That was not unusual in the seventeen century but other’s parents lived into their seventies.

[2] See www.SquireBinForever.com Read the posting in the Squire’s journal, “A Moment of My Time” all about his romance with Christina and introduction to the process of bundling.

Posted by: dcogswel | October 1, 2013

Human Communication in the 21st Century

When I have too much information or too many choices, I often get confused.

Posted by: dcogswel | September 26, 2013

“New to You, But Not to the World’

That is the motto of the 393 year old Cogswell family member. He is staying with us while he tours the USA via “the Telle”, as he calls it. You can learn all about him at http://www.TheFamilyForever.com.

Posted by: dcogswel | September 14, 2013

Writing a book review on “Families are Forever: Communication

Short, focused book reviews are being sought on the newly released “Families Are Forever: Communication. 

If interested, read the description of the process below and contact me at thefamilyforever1@com stating that you will do a review, providing the type or brand of eBook reader that you use, and your basic correspondence information. I will then send you a free EBook copy for your use and enjoyment.

Writing a Book Review of

Families Are Forever: Communication

Many people use the reviews that purchasers of a book to decide whether they in turn would like to buy the book.  These reviews become important as approximately 6,000 new books come on the market every week.

It is acceptable to personally know the author. In fact, that is how the beginning of the review process typically starts. It is not accepted that a reader who knows the author will rave over a book just based on that friendship. Often friends feel freer to give contrary opinion. In the first book, read the forward by Dr. Hal Gillespie where at the end he states in the forward itself, that he doesn’t agree with all the author’s approach to matters but that is ok as people disagree—especially in families.

Reviews from professionals are being sought. It however takes months to get on their agendas. They too are influenced by outside factors as they typically will only take books that they think may make a best seller list. No one is without a bias or view.  What you think is what is to be sent out; it will not be edited nor evaluated by we who are writing.

There are reviews that are highly structured and those that are not. The reviews that I am seeking for Authorhouse.com, SBPRA.com, the two publishing companies, Amazon Books. Barnes & Noble, as well as the FamiliesAreForever.com  website, are not highly structured nor do they need to be long. Typically, they include these areas: (1) The title of the book, author date of publication and publisher; (2) A Title for Your Review; (3) What did you like about the book; (4) What use will you make generally of the information; (5) What specific use will you use of a specific section; (6) What do you wish the authors had included; (7) What would you have liked to have the author’s done differently? ( 8) What suggestions would you make for Book Two, which will be on family emotions and values and Book Three, Family Relationships (Both are now being written).

If you would write a review, I will put up on my website anything that you write- positive or not so positive.  Just send me your review in Word format.

With Authorhouse.com. SBPRA.com, AmazonBooks. Com and Barnes & Noble, you will want to go to their website and locate the book and then click on the place where you can write a review. It will work for you to cut and paste it from your Word file.

The book should be listed on these places by these dates: (1) www.Authorhouse.com.  (ISBN 978-1481-764-315)  at their bookstore—it is there now.; (2) SBPRA.net (the paperback publishing company) (ISBN 978-1-62516-829-0) —by November 1; (3) AmazonBooks.com—by November 15; (4) Barnes & Noble—by November 15th;  & (5) http://www.TheFamilyForever.com.  —send  it to me; I will put it up right away.  

In addition to being sent a free EBook version (Just indicate your reader). Reviewers automatically receive an autographed paperback version in mid-October 2013

* * *

We are also seeking Beta readers for Book Two: Families are Forever: Those Rascal Feelings. A Table of Contents and summary of the content on feelings, values with special sections on spiritual and sexual intimacy can be sent to you upon request. What being a Beta reader entails is to twice read each chapter and tell what you think, much like a review but shorter. You will not only be in on the ground floor of writing such a book, but your name will be listed in it in the acknowledgement section. Plus you will get free books. Contact me at 540-577-5730 for more information.

 

 

Posted by: dcogswel | September 1, 2013

Takes on Human Communication: “Buts” and More

In my travels around the Colonies and the States, I have heard many persons communicate with each other, seemingly saying one thing, and then putting the word “but” into the conversation. Here are some of my thoughts about this process.

 

When the word “but” is put into a sentence, that word tells the listener to erase everything that was said before the “but” and pay attention only to what follows e.g. “I do want to see you ‘but’ I am very busy today.”

 

If you hear someone “butting” you all the time in a pattern, be aware that they have an agenda regarding you or the topic under discussion.

 

If you find yourself “butting” someone or some topic all the time in a pattern, you are right in that it feels just like “butting your head against a wall!”

 

If you want to speak without using “but”, check out this approach. Say, “I hear you suggest ____________. As an alternative, I suggest ____________.” Then debate.

Posted by: dcogswel | September 1, 2013

Squire Bin Forever (Circa 1620-now)

Squire Bin Forever (Circa 1620-now)

New to you but not to the world.

Chapter Four

Basic Communication Tools:

Shoulds, Buts and More Questioning

 

I can’t imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects

of his creation and is but a reflection of human frailty.

 

Never do anything against conscience

even if the state demands it.

 

Dr. Albert Einstein

 

An Angry Uncle Charlie

 

It’s hard not to listen in on another person’s phone call when it begins like this one did: “Uncle Charlie did what?” John Bearister yelled into Dr. D.’s office telephone. John had let his cell phone run down so he couldn’t call out, but a text message from his wife said it was urgent that he call her NOW. He had calmed down enough so his end of the conversation could be heard.

“Now Judy, you have this right? Uncle Charlie is in jail for taking his golf clubs and breaking all the glass and the soft drink machines right inside the window . . . What made him do that? Was he drunk? OK . . . I don’t believe it one minute that he wasn’t drinking . . . It was noon time and he went there for lunch and he just went off when they again screwed his order up . . .”

 

John listened for a long time to his wife telling him the details. He then hung up, with his last words being . . . “Tell the Sergeant I will be there in an hour to post bail.” He sat there looking at Dr. D. Dr. D. was very surprised since Uncle Charlie was a retired minister . . . He sat quietly and finally with hesitation asked, “Are you all right? Is your Uncle Charlie all right?”

 

It was quite a while before John looked up from the floor and said, “Yes, we’re both OK. Charlie has never been this much in trouble before because of his temper but we knew it was coming. What can be done for him? What do I say when I go and bail him out?’

“Go to the jail and as soon as they will let you see him, go and either hold his hand or give him a big man-hug and tell him he will be all right. Will he admit that he has a huge anger problem?” The good doctor paused to see if John was following him. He was.

“Yes, I think so. The Sergeant let him talk to Judy on the telephone and he was calm. He said to her; “I have an anger problem; I really have to do something about it now.”

 

“That’s good,” was Dr. D. D.’s quiet and reassuring answer. “After some basic talk, ask him, ‘Are you aware you have a huge anger problem?’ . . . Once you get that admission, praise him for saying so and tell him that he has just taken the first big step towards solving that problem and that is owning it . . . ‘I have an anger problem’ is such a big statement. As he doesn’t have a record, if he goes into counseling, pays for all his damage, plus a big fine, the court will likely hold his ‘guilty’ plea until he successfully completes counseling.”

 

John nodded, apologized for dumping this on Dr. D., and got up to go to the jail.

 

Dr. D. rose, took hold of John’s shoulder, and said: “John this happens. You will be fine and you can help Uncle Charlie. Go to the jail, call home soon so Judy knows you are helping him, then take Charlie home and you go home. Come back here tomorrow morning and we will talk.”

 

I am Dr. D. and so begins a very normal day at the clinic.

* * *

Amy Vanderbilt’s Curse

That is the first family situation John brought to his weekly meeting with the good doctor to discuss. It is clear John felt relieved that he got the phone call there rather than where he didn’t know anybody. Uncle Charlie’s situation clearly was about anger, very inappropriate behavior, and even communication. Charlie will learn during counseling about feelings and anger. He will learn new behaviors to do when he feels an anger attack beginning. He will be taught to control his anger by expressing it appropriately and often. He will learn assertive communication.

 

Effective human communication is much more than the selection of words. It is about relationships, values, and feelings. A different level of a relationship brings about different types of communication. Today, Kelly and Dr. D. will demonstrate some of the basic ways that people use communication, often with hidden messages. Remember, it is impossible for a human being not to communicate . . . Kelly, it’s your turn.

* * *

Before speaking, Kelly pauses for a moment, looking at Dr. D. but saying not a word. After what seems like a long pause, but was only seconds, she said: “Good mid-afternoon to all. In this chapter, we cover many aspects of human communication and start with the difficult area of socially correct behavior.”

 

Dr. D., with a big grin on his face, thinking about what had just happened, says, “In doing so, we start out by making sure that we don’t write anything that will offend anybody . . .”

 

“I think the good doctor is saying exactly the opposite of what he thinks!” Kelly responded.

 

Dr. D. was caught thinking back to his earlier conversation: “You are too quick; that is exactly what I was doing. It is impossible to do and say everything in a pleasing way for everyone. How could you? And yet there is a portion of our population that tries to do that in every relationship.”

 

“I certainly agree. That and diminishing the value of apology by way overusing it are two communication snafus I hear all the time.”

Kelly pauses to sip on her coffee. “I do want readers to know that this column is not anti-etiquette. Etiquette is the way that society has determined things be done the majority of the time. It lists and endorses social norms. Communication protocols help humans not to have to think through everything that they experience. We are not rebelling or endorsing an ‘anything goes’ philosophy either. We give people permission to be themselves to meet their own needs without stepping on people’s toes. We are working to help people develop to their full potential. That is a difficult task as people differ greatly in the way they go through life . . . But let’s work at what we all have in common in relation to some communication basics.”

 

But, It’s a But . . . .

“You just demonstrated one when you put the word ‘but’ in the middle of your sentence,” Dr. D. added quietly. “Anytime you use ‘but’ in a sentence, the ‘but’ erases anything that is said before the ‘but’ and the real message comes after the ‘but’. That you just acknowledged individual difference is often covered up by our common fallacies. Another example will help.”

Roberto, in his mid-twenties, is interested in dating

a new colleague and approaches her: “Joanne,

would you like to go to a movie with me tonight?”

 

Joanne, who doesn’t believe that colleagues should

date, starts off her polite but avoiding sequence

by saying: “I would love to, but I have to do my

homework sometime and it looks like tonight is it.”

 

Roberto, who doesn’t yet realize he is being rejected,

replies: “What about then going out on the weekend;

you could work on your project during the day on

Saturday and we could go to the big game that night.”

 

Joanne: “The big game, that sounds like fun but I

don’t know if I want to get wet if it rains.”

 

Roberto, ‘trying’ again: “Joanne, if it is the weather

that you are worried about, we can go to the movie

you have been talking about instead of the game.”

 

Joanne: “I would love to see that movie, but I am

afraid I won’t get my project done in the afternoon.”

 

Roberto finally gets it and with head down, goes back to work.

 

Now I ask you, what do you think are the odds that Joanne will ever go out with Roberto? She is “butting” him, a passive aggressive way of being polite, leading a guy on when you don’t want to date him. It happens all the time.

 

Kelly is quiet for a moment as she thinks about her first husband and how she often ‘butted’ him: “I’ll start listening for ‘buts’ and hear the real message then after the ‘but.’”

 

Dr. D. “You will be amazed at what you discover when you look at the forest for the trees.”

 

Kelly: “Passive language does help bring communication confusion. What about people who don’t adapt to or try to please others as their top priority all the time, but sometimes speak passively because they think it is the polite way to talk?”

 

Dr. D. answers directly, and quickly. Not only what he says is important, but he is modeling good communication. “A mild version would be this passive inquiry: ‘Would you mind if I stop by this afternoon, I really would enjoy seeing your new kitchen?’” The better, assertive response is: “I have some time free this afternoon and I would like to see your new kitchen. Would it be ok with you if I came by this afternoon to see it and chat?”

 

“What makes the difference is that the first inquiry uses the phrase ‘would you mind,’ which asks for the respondent’s feelings, not whether the person is available to have company. It deflects from the real question which is: ‘Are you available to have company?’

There is an assumption here that the kitchen owner wants to show off her kitchen. I think it is an appropriate assumption that she would like to do just that so that question doesn’t need to be asked. If by chance, she has just shown it off to two other sets of visitors that day and is tired of doing so, in her response to the assertive question she can say: “Actually this is not a good afternoon for me to have more company; would you be available to come over on Thursday afternoon?”

 

Be Aware. Be Assertive.

Kelly: “Doesn’t one always have to be concerned about the other’s feelings? Aren’t you telling people they don’t have to be polite?”

 

Dr. D.: “I hear your question-statements and agree. It works out best if one is aware of other’s feelings; however, that doesn’t mean you have to ask about them every time. The good friend has listening and observing skills and will read the situation to see if s(he) thinks there is something going on with how the other person is feeling. This puts the friend who wants to visit in a thinking mode, not an automatic response mode.

 

“I can give you a counter example to where someone has negative feelings about having visitors but at the same time would benefit from being visited. Jane is a seventy-two year-old new widow. Her husband died four months ago and she is going through the normal grieving cycle. She tends to feel bad a lot of the time. If one just went on her feelings, she would never do anything or go anywhere because basically life has lost its meaning for her. She needs time to adjust; it hasn’t been long enough for that to happen. If you asked just for the way she was feeling today, she would tell you this: ‘I don’t feel good today.’ Her thoughtful friends know that, know about being a widow, are respectful of her feelings. They don’t discount her and say: ‘Come on Jane, Victor is dead. Move on.’ They know that being active, doing things and talking to others will, time by time, visit by visit, help her move on. Therefore their statement-question to Jane is: ‘Tell me if you are going to be home this afternoon and will accept me coming by? I want to see your new kitchen and more importantly, see you.’ This shares the real caring the friend has and lets her know that she is more important than the new kitchen; a question Jane has been asking herself.”

 

Dr. D. is on a roll and without hardly breathing goes on. “The really adapted people use ‘do you mind’ as slang and use it all the time. ‘Do you mind if I call 911; I think you are having a heart attack’ just isn’t necessary. Say: ‘I am going to call 911; I think you are having a heart attack’ and perhaps save your friend’s life.”

 

“Assertive language gives both the message sender and the message receiver the opportunity of knowing what is being asked and of meeting needs at any given moment. It does take practice.”

 

The Science and Art of Asking Questions

Kelly knows it is her turn: “One of the most basic communication skills is the ability to ask good questions. People apologize a lot for their questions e.g. “I hope you don’t mind me asking . . . I know this seems like a stupid question but . . . ‘I strongly suggest that you avoid putting yourself down with needless apologies or discounting your desire to know. It is perfectly ok to ask any question; most people know when to ask and when not to ask. It is the form of their questions that need some work.

 

“There are many different types of questions. One is a close-ended question that has a specific focus, seeking a specific answer. It is good for focusing on an issue and getting clear information. It relates to what the person wants yet doesn’t allow a wide variety of responses. Alternatively, an open-ended question picks a subject area and allows for many responses. When you first meet someone or are greeting an old friend, use an open-ended question, such as ‘Hi Betty, how are things with you today?’ If you ask, ‘Isn’t this a great day?’ you are really stating your opinion and are not asking about the other person. Another frequent miss-statement is: ‘don’t you just hate this rain?’ That is a forced choice, closed-ended false question that is really a statement. If you want to know what the other thinks of the rain, ask, ‘What do you think about it raining today?’”

 

“When you are not sure whether to use an open-ended or a closed-ended question, ask your question open-ended. You can always ask a follow-up closed-ended question if it is needed.”

 

“Skill in communicating starts by being a good and active listener .Listen to the other person, not to yourself. ‘Betty, I bet you don’t like this rain’ is someone who is listening to him/herself.’”

 

An Answer from Silence

Dr. D. identifies another important possible communication snafu: “A frustrating experience is to ask someone a question and not get a direct answer Often the other person will suddenly change the subject, look away, or do something else to avoid a direct answer.

Even the repeating of the question often gets the same pattern.”

 

“Recognize that there is non-verbal communication occurring here; it isn’t what you are expecting, as you requested a verbal response, but it is an answer. Most of the time any of the above would be interpreted as ‘No’ . . . Kelly and I will demonstrate.”

* * *

Dr. D: “Kelly, let’s eat in for lunch today and have Chinese? Ready to go?”

 

Kelly doesn’t answer the question asked as she is thinking about what she wants to do next and doesn’t like Chinese food: “I have some errands to run; I’ll be back in about 30 minutes.”

 

Dr. D., frustrated, yet he started the confusion by making a question statement: “Wait, where does that leave me? Do you want me to wait 30 minutes for you to return or go on without you?”

 

Kelly is now aware of his anger but is still only thinking of herself: “I told Nana I would meet her at the flower shop about now and I don’t want to be late as our favorite florist goes to lunch right at noon. Bye. I’ll be back for our afternoon meeting.”

 

Dr. D. “Well Sugar, X-ray, Foxtrot (a very old amateur radio response). What’s next?”

* * *

Dr. D. comes back to his non-role playing self and continues: “In our ‘do it wrong  demonstration’ Kelly did answer by avoiding the question for some reason, a reason we don’t know. Be aware of almost never judging another’s motivation as the professionals get that right only about thirty-three percent of the time. Focus on behavior, first by describing it and then asking specifically, again and again, for what you want. Now, we will demonstrate a good way to communicate on the issue at hand . . . I start off by talking to myself.”

* * *

“This sort of communication has gone on too long between us. She

has left my office but not cell phone range so I will call her . . .

 

“Kelly, glad to catch you. I really want to know exactly whether you

are going to eat lunch with me or not? Obviously your meeting

with Nana was prearranged and very important. Tell me, ‘yes’ or

‘no’, will you eat lunch with me today?”

 

Kelly is direct and to the point. She does not use the word “can’t”

and uses “will/won’t” instead saying:: “I am very focused on

meeting Nana; the poor communication is ‘my bad.” No, I won’t

eat with you today but will tomorrow. Let’s get a group up

tomorrow and share a pizza.”

 

Dr. D. now has head a direct answer even though it is not what he wanted to hear.

However, having Kelly affirm that she will again eat with him in the future, he responds

with a good feeling:

“That sounds good to me; we will plan it when you get back. Now I know

you won’t be here today and I feel better . . . darn, she hung up on me. That is not like her;

she was really focused elsewhere.”

* * *

“Our next focus will be on a very common argument that occurs often in human communication. Our author wrote this essay a while back for our newspaper. Enjoy the story; many things are not what they seem to be as shown with the “last word.” Read it and

think deeply.”

The Last Word:

Not What You Think Nor When!

All family members engage in conversation. There are many secrets about what and how things are said and it is time to share one of the secrets; that is about “The Last Word.” A family drama often begins with a minor argument. People argue all the time.

Often one person stays the course and keeps arguing, discussing, or collecting information, no matter what is not stated nor whether someone is winning or losing. It is quite common for one person to suddenly proclaim: “You’re impossible. You always want the last word!” They then often get quiet, have emotional time, or quickly move away. The real one in control is actually the person who complained!

 

Who gets the last word depends on the listener, not the speaker. The person claiming the other person always gets the last word allows that to happen by stopping speaking. If they didn’t become quiet, but said something else, they then temporarily would have the last word. For example, observe this sports argument:

 

John Bearister: “My Sea Hawks will beat your team

badly next Sunday.”

 

David Bearister: ‘No way; not if our QB is healthy again!”

 

John Bearister: “Even with healthy QB’s for both

teams, we will clean up!”

 

David Bearister: “No way, our defense is too good.”

This usually goes on for a while and then one arguer gets frustrated and claims:

 

John Bearister: “I’m tired of listening to you; you like to argue too much. You always, get the last word. Well, I’m done. I am not saying one more thing.”

David Bearister says nothing as he is stunned. Who actually got the last word?

 

In this case it was actually John Bearister although he stated just the opposite. What if this happened; after John Barrister’s frustration and false accusing statement, David Bearister simply said: ‘Your right.”

 

Who got the last word then?

 

And if John Bearister responded: ‘I know I am right!’ Who got the last word then?

 

Another optional “Last Word” tactic is for John Bearister to give out a strong emotion such as ‘Darn it, I’ve had it!’ Remember, it isn’t the words with emotions but the tone of voice, loudness of voice, and accompanying body language that count. He has substituted a “Last Word” with a “Last Emotion” although claiming he has been had. A good counter by either person is not to feel or speak about the subject of debate but to say: “Wow, you are really angry.” Then they have the last word. “Probably.” “Maybe.”.

 

Actually this can go on for a long time. Another way to end it is to decide together who gets the last word and then stick by that agreement. However, that is easy violated. By agreement, John Bearister gets the last word, makes a final statement, and David Bearister. says: “Good, It’s over.”

I hope you have caught on by now and know without my saying that got that last word? A better way is to agree for both to count together out loud to five at the same time and then both move away to other places. Families would be better off if all knew about “The Last Word” and could decide to play or not.

 

“One Shouldn’t Should” 

Or is it “Óne Shouldn’t Should Not?”

This is another very common, value driven communication issue. As we have stated many times, values are always with us. A frequently used statement has to do with “should” and “should  nots,” which are one of the most frequently utilized value statements. Should statements in any form (need to, must, ought,) are statements about values that state some desirable behavior related to a value e.g. “you shouldn’t talk with your mouth full”, “you should dress better when you leave the house,” “you need to lose weight.” These are generalizations about someone that may or may not be true as presented. When any of the above statements are made about you, you are “being should on”; that isn’t any fun. Say the phrase “being should on” out loud several times to get the pun intended.

 

There are different ways of dealing with the same issues with less of a value emphasis and more of a factual approach. For example, “you need to lose weight” can better be stated something like this: “Your general health would improve if you lost ten pounds” or “I

notice you are walking slower; would losing some weight literally take some pressure off of your legs and feet?”

 

Unfortunately when people give their concern in a passive manner, the person listening hears the secondary message of “I’m telling you what to do” and often feels negatively. That dismisses an important message, deflects from the concern that is intended and overall doesn’t allow the relationship to grow to its full potential.

 

Health personnel know that weight loss is complicated. There are eating issues, exercise issues, health issues, and economic issues to consider. The statement: “You should lose weight” is about the values of the person saying it, not at all about the issues the heavy person faces in getting back to a healthy weight.

 

Attitude Adjustment

It can be a fun project to set a goal of stopping all usage of the words “need to, must, ought to and should” and their corresponding negatives. As days go by, monitor yourself several times a day as to how you are doing in finding alternatives to those words that are not as judgmental as they are. When you find yourself making a mistake, say “Opps, I just ‘shoulded’ on someone.” You may have to say that word out loud several time to get the intended pun and to offer the right tonal inflection. Instead, say: “‘My Bad.” After about a week, most people avoid those ‘should’ words.

* * *

Dr. D. and Kelly return and Dr. D. promptly interrupts the Author’s narrative: “You have offered much, ‘but’ it is time to end this column.”

 

Kelly: “Oh, no, don’t ‘but’ our boss. He will know he has just been ‘butted’! Let us get out of here. Summarize, as always, and go have coffee.”

 

Dr. D.’s Famous Summary

“Let’s go, ‘but’ first, a quick summary:” Dr. D. can’t help grinning; the last ‘but’ goes un-noticed. “We have identified basic communication snafus and what to do to break the patterns. This book offers things to improve on all those areas as we journey through life. Remember, there is always much to learn.”

 

Kelly: “I will drive; come ride with me, but then . . .”

 

© 2013 Dr. D.’s Domains

Posted by: dcogswel | July 25, 2013

Chapter Four “Families Are Forever: Communication”

 

Chapter Four

 

Basic Communication Tools:

 

Shoulds, Buts and More Questioning

 

I can’t imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects

 

of his creation and is but a reflection of human frailty.

 

Never do anything against conscience even if the state demands it.

 

Dr. Albert Einstein

 

An Angry Uncle Charlie

 

It’s hard not to listen in on another person’s phone call when it begins like this one did: “Uncle Charlie did what?” John Bearister yelled into Dr. D.’s office telephone. John had let his cell phone run down so he couldn’t call out, but a text message from his wife said it was urgent that he call her NOW. He had calmed down enough so his end of the conversation could be heard. “Now Judy, you have this right? Uncle Charlie is in jail for taking his golf clubs and breaking all the glass and the soft drink machines right inside the window . . . What made him do that? Was he drunk? OK . . . I don’t believe it one minute that he wasn’t drinking . . . It was noon time and he went there for lunch and he just went off when they again screwed his order up . . .”

 

John listened for a long time to his wife telling him the details. He then hung up, with his last words being . . . “Tell the Sergeant I will be there in an hour to post bail.” He sat there looking at Dr. D. was very surprised since Uncle Charlie was a retired minister . . . He sat quietly and finally with hesitation asked, “Are you all right? Is your Uncle Charlie all right?”

 

It was quite a while before John looked up from the floor and said, “Yes, we’re both OK. Charlie has never been this much in trouble before because of his temper but we knew it was coming. What can be done for him? What do I say when I go and bail him out?’

 

“Go to the jail and as soon as they will let you see him, go and either hold his hand or give him a big man-hug and tell him he will be all right. Will he admit that he has a huge anger problem?”

 

The good doctor paused to see if John was following him. He was.

 

“Yes, I think so. The Sergeant let him talk to Judy on the telephone and he was calm. He said to her; “I have an anger problem; I really have to do something about it now.”

 

“That’s good,” was Dr. D. D.’s quiet and reassuring answer. “After some basic talk, ask him, ‘Are you aware you have a huge anger problem?’ . . . Once you get that admission, praise him for saying so and tell him that he has just taken the first big step towards solving that problem and that is owning it . . . ‘I have an anger  problem’ is such a big statement. As he doesn’t have a record, if he goes into counseling, pays for all his damage, plus a big fine, the court will likely hold his ‘guilty’ plea until he successfully completes counseling.”

 

John nodded, apologized for dumping this on Dr. D., and got up to go to the jail.

 

Dr. D. rose, took hold of John’s shoulder, and said: “John this happens. You will be fine and you can help Uncle Charlie. Go to the jail, call home soon so Judy knows you are helping him, then

 

take Charlie home and you go home. Come back here tomorrow  morning and we will talk.”

 

I am Dr. D. and so begins a very normal day at the clinic.

 

*  *  *

 

Amy Vanderbilt’s Curse

 

That is the first family situation John brought to his weekly meeting with the good doctor to discuss. It is clear John felt relieved that he got the phone call there rather than where he didn’t know anybody. Uncle Charlie’s situation clearly was about anger, very inappropriate behavior, and even communication. Charlie will learn during counseling about feelings and anger. He will learn new  behaviors  to do when he feels an anger attack beginning. He will be taught to control his anger by expressing it appropriately and often. He will learn assertive communication.

 

Effective human communication is much more than the selection of words. It is about relationships, values, and feelings. A different level of a relationship brings about different types of  communication.

 

Today, Kelly and Dr. D. will demonstrate some of the basic ways that people use communication, often with hidden messages. Remember, it is impossible for a human being not to communicate . . . Kelly, it’s your turn.

 

*  *  *

 

Before speaking, Kelly pauses for a moment, looking at Dr. D. but saying not a word. After what seems like a long pause, but was only seconds, she said: “Good mid-afternoon to all. In this chapter, we cover many aspects of human communication and start with the difficult area of socially correct behavior.”

 

Dr. D., with a big grin on his face, thinking about what had just happened, says, “In doing so, we start out by making sure that we don’t write anything that will offend anybody . . .”

 

“I think the good doctor is saying exactly the opposite of what he thinks!” Kelly responded.

 

Dr. D. was caught thinking back to his earlier conversation: “You are too quick; that is exactly what I was doing. It is impossible to do and say everything in a pleasing way for everyone. How could you? And yet there is a portion of our population that tries to do that in every relationship.”

 

I certainly agree. That and diminishing the value of apology by way overusing it are two communication snafus I hear all the time.”

 

Kelly pauses to sip on her coffee. “I do want readers to know that this column is not anti-etiquette. Etiquette is the way that society has determined things be done the majority of the time. It lists and endorses social norms. Communication protocols help humans not to have to think through everything that they experience. We are not rebelling or endorsing an ‘anything goes’ philosophy either. We give people permission to be themselves to meet their own needs

 

without stepping on people’s toes. We are working to help people develop to their full potential. That is a difficult task as people differ greatly in the way they go through life . . . But let’s work at what we all have in common in relation to some communication basics.”

 

But, It’s a But . . . .

 

“You just demonstrated one when you put the word ‘but’ in the middle of your sentence,” Dr. D. added quietly. “Anytime you use ‘but’ in a sentence, the ‘but’ erases anything that is said before

 

the ‘but’ and the real message comes after the ‘but’. That you just acknowledged individual difference is often covered up by our common fallacies. Another example will help.”

 

Roberto, in his mid-twenties, is interested in dating a new colleague

 

and approaches her: “Joanne, would you like to go to a movie with

 

me tonight?”

 

Joanne, who doesn’t believe that colleagues should date, starts off her polite but avoiding sequence by saying: “I would love to, but I have to do my homework sometime and it looks like tonight is it.”

 

Roberto, who doesn’t yet realize he is being rejected, replies: “What about then going out on the weekend; you could work on your project during the day on Saturday and we could go to the big game that night.”

 

Joanne: “‘The big game, that sounds like fun but I don’t know if I

 

want to get wet if it rains.’

 

Roberto, ‘trying’ again: “Joanne, if it is the weather that you are

 

worried about, we can go to the movie you have been talking about

 

instead of the game.”

 

Joanne: “I would love to see that movie, but I am afraid I won’t get

 

my project done in the afternoon.” Roberto finally gets it and with

 

head down, goes back to work?

 

Now I ask you, what do you think are the odds that Joanne will ever go out with Roberto? She is “butting” him, a passive aggressive way of being polite, leading a guy on when you don’t want to date him. It happens all the time.

 

Kelly is quiet for a moment as she thinks about her first husband and how she often ‘butted’ him: “I’ll start listening for ‘buts’ and hear the real message then after the ‘but.’”

 

Dr. D. “You will be amazed at what you discover when you look at the forest for the trees.”

 

Kelly: “Passive language does help bring communication confusion. What about people who don’t adapt to or try to please others as their top priority all the time, but sometimes speak

 

passively because they think it is the polite way to talk?”

 

Dr. D. answers directly, and quickly. Not only what he says is important, but he is modeling good communication. “A mild version would be this passive inquiry: ‘Would you mind if I stop by this afternoon, I really would enjoy seeing your new kitchen?’” The better, assertive response is: “I have some time free this afternoon and I would like to see your new kitchen. Would it be ok with you if I came by this afternoon to see it and chat?”

 

“What makes the difference is that the first inquiry uses the phrase ‘would you mind,’ which asks for the respondent’s feelings, not whether the person is available to have company. It deflects from  the real question which is: ‘Are you available to have company?’

 

There is an assumption here that the kitchen owner wants to show off her kitchen. I think it is an appropriate assumption that she     would like to do just that so that question doesn’t need to be asked.

 

If by chance, she has just shown it off to two other sets of visitors that day and is tired of doing so, in her response to the assertive question she can say: “Actually this is not a good afternoon for me to have more company; would you be available to come over on Thursday afternoon?”

 

Be Aware. Be Assertive.

 

Kelly: “Doesn’t one always have to be concerned about the other’s feelings? Aren’t you telling people they don’t have to be polite?”

 

Dr. D.: “I hear your question-statements and agree. It works out best if one is aware of other’s feelings; however, that doesn’t mean you have to ask about them every time. The good friend has

 

listening and observing skills and will read the situation to see if s(he) thinks there is something going on with how the other person is feeling. This puts the friend who wants to visit in a thinking mode, not an automatic response mode.

 

 “I can give you a counter example to where someone has negative feelings about having visitors but at the same time would benefit from being visited. Jane is a seventy-two year-old new  widow. Her husband died four months ago and she is going through the normal grieving cycle. She tends to feel bad a lot of the time. If one just went on her feelings, she would never do anything or go anywhere because basically life has lost its meaning for her. She needs time to adjust; it hasn’t been long enough for that to happen. If you asked just for the way she was feeling today, she would tell you this: ‘I don’t feel good today.’ Her thoughtful friends know that, know about being a widow, are respectful of her feelings. They don’t discount her and say: ‘Come on Jane, Victor is dead. Move on.’ They know that being active, doing things and talking to others will, time by time, visit by visit, help her move on. Therefore their statement-question to Jane is: ‘Tell me if you are going to be home this afternoon and will accept me coming by? I want to see your new kitchen and more importantly, see you.’ This shares the real caring the friend has and lets her know that she is more important than the new kitchen; a question Jane has been asking herself.”                                                                                                                                                                                   

 

Dr. D. is on a roll and without  hardly breathing goes on. “The really adapted people use ‘do you mind’ as slang and use it all the time. ‘Do you mind if I call 911; I think you are having a heart

 

attack’ just isn’t necessary. Say: ‘I am going to call 911; I think you are having a heart attack’ and perhaps save your friend’s life.”

 

“Assertive language gives both the message sender and the message receiver the opportunity of knowing what is being asked and of meeting needs at any given moment. It does take practice.”

 

The Science and Art of Asking Questions

 

Kelly knows it is her turn: “One of the most basic communication skills is the ability to ask good questions. People apologize a lot for their questions e.g. “I hope you don’t mind me asking . . . I know this seems like a stupid question but . . . ‘I strongly suggest that you avoid putting yourself down with needless apologies or discounting your desire to know. It is perfectly ok to ask any question; most people know when to ask and when not to ask. It is the form of their questions that need some work.

 

“There are many different types of questions. One is a close-ended question that has a specific focus, seeking a specific answer. It is good for focusing on an issue and getting clear information. It relates to what the person wants yet doesn’t allow a wide variety of responses. Alternatively, an open-ended question picks a subject area and allows for many responses. When you first meet someone or are greeting an old friend, use an open-ended question, such as

 

‘Hi Betty, how are things with you today?’ If you ask, ‘Isn’t this a great day?’ you are really stating your opinion and are not asking about the other person. Another frequent miss-statement is: ‘don’t you just hate this rain?’ That is a forced choice, closed-ended false question that is really a statement. If you want to know what the other thinks of the rain, ask, ‘What do you think about it raining today?’”

 

“When you are not sure whether to use an open-ended or a closed-ended question, ask your question open-ended. You can always ask a follow-up closed-ended question if it is needed.”

 

“Skill in communicating starts by being a good and active listener. Listen to the other person, not to yourself. ‘Betty, I bet you don’t like this rain’ is someone who is listening to him/herself.”

 

An Answer from Silence

 

Dr. D. identifies another important possible communication snafu: “A frustrating experience is to ask someone a question and not get a direct answer Often the other person will suddenly change the subject, look away, or do something else to avoid a direct answer. Even the repeating of the question often gets the same pattern.”

 

“Recognize that there is non-verbal communication occurring here; it isn’t what you are expecting, as you requested a verbal response, but it is an answer. Most of the time any of the above would be interpreted as ‘No’ . . . Kelly and I will demonstrate.”

 

*  *  *

 

Dr. D: “Kelly, let’s eat in for lunch today and have Chinese? Ready to go?”

 

Kelly doesn’t answer the question asked as she is thinking about what she wants to do next and doesn’t like Chinese food: “I have some errands to run; I’ll be back in about 30 minutes.”

 

Dr. D., frustrated, yet he started the confusion by making a question statement: “Wait, where does that leave me? Do you want me to wait 30 minutes for you to return or go on without you?”

 

Kelly is now aware of his anger but is still only thinking of herself: “I told Nana I would meet her at the flower shop about now and I don’t want to be late as our favorite florist goes to lunch right at noon. Bye. I’ll be back for our afternoon meeting.”

 

Dr. D. “Well Sugar, X-ray, Foxtrot (a very old amateur radio response). What’s next?”

 

*  *  *

 

Dr. D. comes back to his non-role playing self and continues: “In our ‘do it wrong demonstration’ Kelly did answer by avoiding the question for some reason, a reason we don’t know. Be aware of almost never judging another’s motivation as the professionals get that right only about thirty-three percent of the time. Focus on behavior, first by describing it and then askingspecifically, again and again, for what you want. Now, we will demonstrate a good way to

 

communicate on the issue at hand . . . I start off by talking to myself.”

 

 “This sort of communication has gone on too long between us. She has left my office but not cell phone range so I will call her . . .

 

 Kelly, glad to catch you. I really want to know exactly whether you are going to eat lunch with me or not? Obviously your meeting with Nana was prearranged and very important. Tell me, ‘yes’ or ‘no’, will you eat lunch with me today?”

 

Kelly is direct and to the point. She does not use the word “can’t” and uses “will/won’t” instead saying:: “I am very focused on meeting Nana; the poor communication is ‘my bad.” No, I won’t eat with you today but will tomorrow. Let’s get a group up tomorrow and share a pizza.”

 

Dr. D. now has head a direct answer even though it is not what he wanted to hear. However, having Kelly affirm that she will again eat with him in the future, he responds with a good feeling. “That sounds good to me; we will plan it when you get back. Now I know you won’t be here today and I feel better . . . darn, she hung up on me. That is not like her; she was really focused elsewhere.”

 

*  *  *

 

 “Our next focus will be on a very common argument that occurs often in human communication. Our author wrote this essay a while back for our newspaper. Enjoy the story; many things are not what they seem to be as shown with the “last word.” Read it and think deeply.”

 

The Last Word: Not What You Think Nor When!

 

All family members engage in conversation. There are many secrets about what and how things are said and it is time to share one of the secrets; that is about “The Last Word.” A family drama

 

often begins with a minor argument. People argue all the time. Often one person stays the course and keeps arguing, discussing, or collecting information, no matter what is not stated nor whether someone is winning or losing. It is quite common for one person to suddenly proclaim: “You’re impossible. You always want the last word!” They then often get quiet, have emotional time, or quickly move away.

 

The real one in control is actually the person who complained! Who gets the last word depends on the listener, not the speaker. The person claiming the other person always gets the last word

 

allows that to happen by stopping speaking. If they didn’t become quiet, but said something else, they then temporarily would have the last word. For example, observe this sports argument:

 

John Bearister: “My Sea Hawks will beat your team badly next Sunday.”

 

David Bearister: ‘No way; not if our QB is healthy again!”

 

John Bearister: “Even with healthy QB’s for both teams, we will clean up!”

 

David Bearister: “No way, our defense is too good.”

 

This usually goes on for a while and then one arguer gets frustrated and claims:

 

John Bearister: “I’m tired of listening to you; you like to argue too much. You always, get the last word. Well, I’m done. I am not saying one more thing.”

 

David Bearister says nothing as he is stunned. Who actually got the last word?

 

Another tactic is for John Bearister to give out a strong emotion such as ‘Darn it, I’ve had it!’ Remember, it  isn’t the words with emotions but the tone of voice, loudness of voice, and accompanying body language that count. He has substituted a “Last Word’ with a “Last Emotion’ although claiming he has been had. A good counter by either person is not to feel or speak about the subject of debate but to say: “Wow, you are really angry.” Then they have the last word. “Probably. Maybe.”

 

Actually this can go on for a long time. Another way to end it is to decide together who gets the last word and then stick by that agreement. However, that is easy violated. By agreement, John Bearister gets the last word, makes a final statement, and David Bearister. says: “Good, It’s over.”

 

I hope you have caught on by now and know without my saying that got that last word? A better way is to agree for both to count together out loud to five at the same time and then both move away to other places. Families would be better off if all knew about “The Last Word” and could decide to play or not.

 

“One Shouldn’t Should”

 

Or is it “Óne Shouldn’t Should Not?”

 

This is another very common, value driven communication issue. As we have stated many times, values are always with us. A frequently used statement has to do with “should” and “should

 

nots,” which are one of the most frequently utilized value statements. Should  statement sin any form (need to, must, ought,) are statements about values that state some desirable behavior related to a value e.g. “you shouldn’t talk with your mouth full”, “you should dress better when you leave the house,” “you need to lose weight.” These are generalizations about someone that may or may not be true as presented. When any of the above statements are made about you, you are “being should on”; that isn’t any fun. Say the phrase “being should on” out loud several times to get the pun intended.

 

There are different ways of dealing with the same issues with less of a value emphasis and more of a factual approach. For example, “you need to lose weight” can better be stated something like this: “Your general health would improve if you lost ten pounds” or “I notice you are walking slower; would losing some weight literally take some pressure off of your legs and feet?”

 

Unfortunately when people give their concern in a passive manner, the person listening hears the secondary message of “I’m telling you what to do” and often feels negatively. That dismisses an

 

important message, deflects from the concern that is intended and overall doesn’t allow the relationship o grow to its full potential.

 

Health personnel know that weight loss is complicated. There are eating issues, exercise issues, health issues, and economic issues to consider. The statement: “You should lose weight” is about the values of the person saying it, not at all about the issues the heavy person faces in getting back to a healthy weight.

 

Attitude Adjustment

 

It can be a fun project to set a goal of stopping all usage of the words “need to, must, ought to and should” and their corresponding negatives. As days go by, monitor yourself several times a day as to how you are doing in finding alternatives to those words that are not as judgmental as they are. When you find yourself making a mistake, say “Opps, I just ‘shoulded’ on someone.” You may have to say that word out loud several time to get the intended pun and to offer the right tonal inflection. Instead, say: “‘My Bad.” After about a week, most people avoid those ‘should’ words.

 

*  *  *

 

Dr. D. and Kelly return and Dr. D. promptly interrupts the Author’s narrative: “You have offered much, ‘but’ it is time to end this column.”

 

Kelly: “Oh, no, don’t ‘but’ our boss. He will know he has just been ‘butted’! Let us get out of here. Summarize, as always, and go have fee.”

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. D.’s Famous Summary

 

“Let’s go, ‘but’ first, a quick summary:” Dr. D. can’t help grinning; the last ‘but’ goes un-noticed. “We have identified basic communication snafus and what to do to break the patterns. This book offers things to improve on all those areas as we journey  through  life. Remember, there is always much to learn.”

 

Kelly: “I will drive; come ride with me, but then . . .”

 

© 2013 Dr. D.’s Domains

Posted by: dcogswel | July 20, 2013

Some Hurdles of Independent Publishing.

The Hurdles of Independent Publishing

Today, almost every new author has to go the Independent Author publishing route as neither a regular publisher nor agent will even look at a manuscript unless you have a well-developed and implemented Author’s Platform and a publishing record that shows you can sell thousands of books. Of course, if you are a celebrity’s cousin or staff of Dr. Phil, you may have connection power and that will get you a review by a regular publishing house or agent.

I am not talking about getting a contract. I am talking about getting started; getting someone to even look at your manuscript and you as an author.

This entire process has been influenced by the overwhelming drive of capitalism to make a profit at all costs, the influence of EBooks publishing, and the huge increase in Americans who want to become authors.

There are many areas where new learning and skill acquisition are important. Seven of them are:

Staff  Issues

Inexperienced staff will be your contact people throughout the process. There will be many of them, all assigned to your project and working with you as a specialist at any one time. They carry titles such as Publishing Consultant (salesperson for the independent publisher), Check-in Coordinator, Interior Design Coordinator, Page Blocking Technician, Back Cover Coordinator, Front Cover Coordinator, Marketing Services Coordinator and so on. I find that this “specialist” concept has many potential drawbacks to it as everyone has a specific function and you lose having someone who will have a historical and “big picture” view on your project.

There also is another person who you don’t learn about until something goes wrong, as it likely will. This is the Customer Care Staff, a most important person. This is the one position that by design, has your interests and views in mind. S(he)  wants a happy and pleased customer and that to be you. All the other positions may be staffed by persons who offer great customer service, will relate to you personally, and go the extra mile- and then not. Even for this individual, her/his company’s goals come first.

Communication methods

Some publishers will only communicate with you via email. These publishing houses are to be avoided if at all possible. Email is good for one-way communication and the delivery of the publishers information but is not good for issue solving. If you have to send an email, expect anywhere from three to seventy-two hours before you get a reply.

There is a very heavy reliance on email for communication, even with those persons who use a telephone. If there is an item in dispute, expect to have the publishing company use the “ignore you” approach for several days. For example, I was in disagreement over an extra charge and instead of discussing and negotiating with me, no one would return my phone calls nor emails for days. This included the “Customer Care” staff whose job it is to solve problems. I was neither nasty nor anything but civil with a client perspective. So much for the belief that “the client is always right.”

I finally had to pay the extra fee to get the project moving again. I am working on reproaching this issue after the book gets published.

One publishing company that I considered has over 200 staff, spread out all over the United States, many working from home, who communicated entirely via email. Even the staff who were on certain teams did not have telephone numbers for each other.

I have found the classic “outsourcing” approach to be an issue. Nothing as bad as dealing with someone being in India, but many of your technical staff are from foreign countries. I had a page blocker, one who takes your manuscript and transform it into pages for your book who did not comprehend some basic American style issues in publishing. One was that you do not separate a heading from its content. Headings were often put at the very end of a page and I always had to list that as publisher error.

Fee Issues

All the independent publishing companies have a basic fee that you pay. Along the way however, there will be related charges that they will work to get you to agree to. For example, your basic fee is for publishing the book, not marketing it. Since approximately 2000 new  books are released into the market each week, how are you going to get your book noticed?  The publisher will help you do marketing but for a rather large fee.  I will offer a later blog just on fees. For now, plan at the minimum of putting $2,000 into any independent publishing effort.

Set a goal of becoming a good book marketing person. It is a must.

Time Tables

You will always be given deadline on when you need to have something back to the publisher. They are needed as you are not their only client. You need to get materials into their in-basket so they can put you on their schedule to work on your book. However, do not believe their promised publishing date to be accurate. It will be later than promised.

Do Your Homework.

Shop carefully for an independent publisher. Recognize that it is very possible for you to do EVERYTHING yourself as all the software is available in the public domain. However, what those who have done so report is that every step is fraught with difficulties and hurtles. Yes, you can use a generic program to change your manuscript to the format that is used to publish an Ebook. What is reported to me is that there are always many error messages that come with that process. These must be solved before this step is completed.

There are many different methods and degrees of independent publishing. Long before you get to that step, perhaps even a year earlier, do your research.

Even so, when you are offered a contract, review it very carefully. I rejected one because of the major “bait and switch” money amounts that were actually contained in the way they structured the contract. I had friends with legal backgrounds and a lawyer look at my contracts. I became somewhat of an expert on contract.

Publisher’s and Others Websites

Check them all out. See what information you can access from them even though you are not their client. For example, AuthorHouse.com and BookBaby.com have excellent “for the author” resources that you can access without having a contract with them. There are book pricing tools that you can learn how to use. Get on the list of several blogs. I recommend Joanne Penn’s blog “The Creative Penn”, Andrew Ross’s (literary agent) occasional blog, Word Press’s “The Water Cooler” as good places to start.

My “Author’s Writing Place” at www.thefamilyforever.com has much more information. Access and the information is free.

Author’s Platform

Without one, you will not be published. It starts with you having an author’s website. As a long standing do it myself person, I chose Weebly.com and think they are among the best ones out there. GoDaddy.com and Word Presses web services get good reviews.

I spend more than double the time I spend writing, working on my Author’s platform.

After having your own website, and learning all about intra website structural issues such as SEO’s and back tags, learn how to use at least one of the social media forums- Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter. Learn how blogs work. Remember, you will have to join the publishing game, which include these, and put much time into them. Think of them as all being miniature writing projects.

If you are not getting my blogs feed automatically sent to your email account, I recommend it. Just in case this was forwarded to you by a friend, you can access that blog via www.thefamilyforever.wordpress.com  All prior entries are in the archives and able to be read. Note that a blog is a specialized set of webpages.

Purchase web domains early on and get the ones for your Author’s platform early one. It will cost you under $20.00 a year per blog. Few people know that I own six domains myself.

Learn about Goodread.com and start being involved there.

Journey well. More will follow.

Dr. D or Squire Bin Forever  www.SquireBinForever.com   Dennis to you.

Posted by: dcogswel | July 16, 2013

Families are Forever: Communication Chapter Three

Chapter Three    The Family Recipe: A Look at All the Ingredients

Guilt is NOT an emotion; it really isn’t!

Anger is almost never justified, nor beneficial.

We all are always in or related to a family, often more than one.
First from birth to around eighteen years of age; then to an
extended family for the next fifty to seventy years . . . Many have
issues, hurdles, and disconnects to overcome along the way.
All of this is natural.

Dr. Dennis Cogswell

The Bearister Family Puzzle
The Bearister Family are good people. All the families are that you will read about here. Some struggle more than others. All do their best with the resources that they have to provide their off-spring with a better life and more than they have. Sometimes that works to the detriment of the family and its members. However, it is the American Way.

The Bearister Family is puzzled. It is actually good that John Bearister is puzzled a lot. It shows he cares, is alive, thinking, and wants things to be better. What used to be the best of times is now not so good for all. When John and Judy Bearister first got married at age twenty-three, just out of college, they put off buying their own home, kept the cars that got them through college, didn’t have much furniture, and got jobs in their university town which was only one hundred fifty miles away from both sets of parents. This gave them the opportunity to see parents every holiday and some weekends. They delayed having their first child until both were
established professionally and had a good sized nest egg in their bank. 10

By age twenty-seven they felt secure enough to start their own family.They made decisions about spacing out their kids every two years and were able to do just that with David, Michelle, and Ian. All three children were happy family members throughout their first eighteen years of life, but began to change when in college. The oldest two—David and Michelle—did marry after they completed college, which took them six years, including one year off for travel and David switching majors several times. Now David is happily married with three kids of his own. His wife doesn’t see much of her own parents, which in turn influences their infrequent connection to John and Judy.

Michelle lived with her husband-to-be while in college against her parents’ wishes. Their life was interrupted by an unplanned pregnancy that ended late in her first trimester as a miscarriage,
which was traumatic for all. She has not fully recovered from that loss and won’t talk about it or whether she will ever want to become pregnant again.She did finish college. Michelle comes home regularly without her husband since he works weekends as a bartender to help meet
expenses. She gets along well with Judy, her Mom, but not quite as well with John, her Dad, who she thinks is just an old jock. She was very distant from her after her failed pregnancy and Michelle’s preference to get her recovery information from her friends and the internet rather than from her mom. This is still a sore memory for both.

10 Banks used to value the regular family member and pay as much as 7%
on a CD and 5% on a Savings Account.

Ian is the “pink elephant in the room”. Ian sailed right through the first two years of college until the end of his sophomore year when he had to declare a major. Then, things went downhill fast for him. Against John and Judy’s advice, he moved in with some new friends, giving up the friends he had lived with for two years in the dorm. However, those new friends did support him financially and emotionally as he struggled on both accounts. As he had to declare a major, he chose liberal studies, a dead-end major job-wise that as there for the few who were undecided. Ian flunked out the middle of his junior year, couldn’t get a job, and then showed up on John and Judy’s doorstep one evening, announcing he was now a “Boomeranger”. He has now lived with his parents for the last twelve months. He shows no sign of moving out and on to his own
life. However, he is back in school and is pulling “C’s”. All know that the Bearisters extensive support of him is not a good idea. Looking back, John and Judy agree that they spoiled him.
The three kids are heavily influenced by their peers. They now manage their lives and relationships in the same ways as their friends do. This generation frequently follows all the information they mine from the Internet. If they can’t quickly find it on the Internet, they then ask their friends. Parents are left out of the loop until, from experience, their adult offspring learn to value experience. John and Judy have a strong marriage with the only stress and discord coming when they discuss what to do about their  communication and relationships with their kids, especially Ian.

Judy has become much more emotional and doesn’t understand what is influencing her to have those feelings. She gets angry now at the amount of time John spends in his bowling and golf
leagues, something that he didn’t do when his kids lived at home. John doesn’t understand why Judy won’t make Ian obtain at least a part-time job to pay a rent payment. He thinks that Judy may be slipping him twenty dollar bills from her own money.

The Bearister Family remembers the best of times and wonder if good times will come again?

The life experiences and outcomes of the Bearister family are typical for families in this 21
st century. They are neither a problem family nor a dysfunctional one. They do have what some people say are hurdles to get over and have misconnected often. They are not flawed, bad, useless, or slackers— words that some apply to individual family members. They are disappointed; sometimes angry; often puzzled. They do not know what “things are the way
they are” means. Is this “The New Normal”? Does anything ever change for the better?

John and Judy have read books to get un-puzzled. In their reading, they found mostly books about parenting of young children or adolescents, on relationships and on finding one’s spouse. These books were interesting, but  the examples did not help either communication or relationships with their adult children nor help them know what to do about their feelings that were always there. They want to change some of their negative feelings and biases but these books just told them “to do it”, never told “how”.

Conflict was new to them. John had some beginning ideas from a work-based conflict management seminar that he wondered if he could use with his own adult kids. John and Judy, and to some extent, David and Michelle, recognized that “families are forever” and want things to change or forever might not come fast enough.
                                                              *  *  *
As we often do, we share the stories of other family members. Kelly just went to our conference room to talk with two members of the Upp family, who are here from Georgia. We have their
permission to use the discussion for these educational purposes. As we listen in, I suggest that you listen to what the Upp sisters talk about and also note the way that Kelly goes about listening
and replying back. It is this style and content that comes from our beliefs. This is what will guide us and this is what you will experience in working with us.

The Upp Family Rings Out
Kelly takes a sip from her coffee and begins. “Today we share the story of two sisters from the Upp family, Belle, aged fifty-four and Charlotte, aged forth-seven. Their younger brother Sevin
is a college head coach and off on a soccer recruiting trip for the college team he coaches.”
Since Belle is the oldest, she speaks first. “Thank you for seeing us as we just learned about the Forever Family Complex. Charlotte and I are very close, especially now that both our parents are
deceased. We both are happily married, with our own nuclear families.”Being a chatterbox, Charlotte doesn’t stay quiet long: “I echo everything just shared. We came to talk and to ask a couple of questions. We are both active, successful women back in our home
community in Georgia. Yet life there is not a happy one for us. We know that people say we have poor self-identities and do not think highly of our selves. That is half-true because we feel very good about our professional lives, but both of us seem to want to take care of others before we take care of ourselves. People tell us that notion is wrong. We don’t see how it could be since we’ve spent our whole adult lives as professional helpers. What advice can you give us? Tell us something to do to make us whole again.”

Belle frowns deeply and it shows. “Yes, I am afraid that when you come right down to it, we are damaged goods. We need help from someone just like we help others.”“Oh dear, I don’t like to hear someone call themselves ‘damaged goods’ as that is not how I see you at all,” Kelly says with great feeling: “I will be glad to spend time with you today and to give you some direction. I’ll get you started and you can come back again and again.

“I don’t really need to know much more now about what is not right for you two because we start with ‘what are your goals’? I do not need to hear from you about what many call ‘the problem’
or ‘the issue’ that we call ‘the need’ or ‘the want’. We are a step ahead of the other approach. All approaches eventually have to get to goals or statements about what you want. Once it is clear what you seek for your extended family, then we can move to ‘how’ you could go about it, the actual change plan. What are your thoughts about what you want and how you might go about getting what you want? ‘When’ and ‘where’ come next.”

Belle again takes the lead. “I want to know why I do so well in directing my daycare school and such a poor job managing my own checkbook. I know what my friends are saying about me
and it hurts.” She cries a little bit, but as a true Southern Belle would, reassumes her strong but lady-like manner, using a linen handkerchief, something unknown to most women today.
Kelly touches Belle’s hand briefly and then removes it. “Belle, I’m sorry you are hurting but not that you cried. That was good, both that you cried and that you cried now, releasing those feelings. Crying is a good tension release, for men and women, although some men would disagree. Not our Dr. D., Hobs, or Sir Roger, some of the other Forever Family men. They know that feelings are to be expressed.

“As far as ‘why’ you do so well in one area but not others almost no one understands what makes things the way that they are until they change. Then things in the past become much clearer. We, in the Forever Family, seldom use the word ‘why’ as it brings with it bad vibes and usually is answered unclearly. Instead, we ask ‘what’, ‘how’ ‘where’ and ‘when’ questions. In summary, the first suggestions or recipes for success include: (1) feel what you feel  and move on; and (2) use action words that give you a real chance to figure things out.”

Belle now speaks strongly. “I heard the recipes about the two communication steps and look forward to reading many more. We do want to solve our own mess ourselves with some help.”

Charlotte looks right at her sister. “Belle, it isn’t a mess. That is your internal voice speaking when you talk that way; I have one too and cannot shut it off. What is wrong with us?” Kelly quickly confirms their ‘OKness’: “I know this seems bad to you and you want to blame someone or something, so you blame yourselves. Please stop that. It would be unusual if you didn’t
have an internal voice or two as all humans do have them. What is important is how often they come on, what do they tell you, and have you learned to turn the volume up and down on them? Often those voices are serving as your internal compass and are very important in an emergency when you do not have time to think carefully about things. It is when they are negative voices—telling you what to do—that they’re not good. One way to tell is if you
find yourself ‘shoulding’ on yourself or others . . . That is enough recipes for now . . . I want you to tell me some more about what you want things to be like. After we get some plans underway and
some change occurs, we can go back into your past and connect some things, although that is something you can do. What we do best here is help you learn to fish, not fish for you.”
*  *  *
Nuclear to Extended Families: Birth to 90+

We will leave Kelly to continue with Belle and Charlotte, our two visitors from Georgia. They will talk for a while longer, but we only wanted to have you listen in for a short time so you could get
a sense of what we had to offer and how we will do it with our families.

Dr. D. is such an interesting person, as we all are. As he enters his office, he arranges the chairs in the conference room in just the right order, only known to him. As he talks to them, he likes to
know which chair he is talking to, as some have more experience with him than others. He does talk to the newer chairs as well because it likes their fresh ideas. Then, he goes to the computer
and writes in his weekly blog, read by many. Among other things, he blogs about life at the Forever Family Complex at www.theFamilyForever.com/Wordpress. Here is what he offered:

On my way in, I counted about two dozen visitors in the Visitor Center. Many are downloading the free chapters or listening to the podcasts. I told them there were new recipes in Nana’s Nook in the Deli. Several seemed to know that I was “official”. Perhaps it was my Bearley Bear sweatshirt that gave me away. Many wanted to know where the book title came from. I spoke the truth.
It is because they are indeed forever.

Then he began to ramble about Nana’s Nook, where very good recipes are offered for many of his favorite dishes. We will leave him to his dreaming .Again, Much More Than Expected

We use two descriptive terms about families11 , our  nuclear
family, the family of origin, or the elementary family (Unknown, 2013).  You can be a one person extended family or be a one hundred person extended family when aunts, uncles, step-sisters, your own children are all included. You can have your own nuclear family when you marry
or partner that grows quickly in size when you have your own kids. All nuclear families are short in duration, about 18 years, yet so important to the last sixty+ years of our lives. It will all make sense eventually but not likely now.

We use two descriptive terms about families11, our  nuclear family,  the family of origin, or the elementary family (Unknown, 2011).  You can be a one person extended family or be a one hundred person  extended family when aunts, uncles, step-sisters, your own children are all included. You can have your own nuclear family when you marry or partner that grows quickly in size when you have your own kids. All nuclear families are short in duration, about 18 years, yet so important to the last sixty+ years of our lives. It will all make sense eventually but not likely now.

.Everyone is born into a family and lives there or at least relates to it for approximately eighteen years. Next, everyone who leaves home “joins” one or more extended families where membership is automatic but not free. Although people are focused on family member between the ages of zero and eighteen, and their parents, these persons are only together in a nuclear family zero to twenty years. Most parents and their adult children live into their seventies
and eighties, so the time spent with each other in an extended family is much, much longer than the times spent in their nuclear family.The idea of a nuclear family seems straight forward until you realize that what once was called a typical nuclear family, made up of a mom, dad and some number of kids, and may not be the norm today. Our view of what makes up a nuclear family expanded over the last decade to now include:

•  Blended nuclear families, which are those families where mom and/or dad have remarried and constitute another nuclear family;
•  Three generation extended families with the original parents, their off-spring and the off-spring’s children, either living in the same home or separately;
•  Single parent families, where because of death, divorce or separation, either mom or dad is left to raise the children;
•  Common law families, both intact and those where one partner has moved on;
•  Increasingly among Generation X, Y or Z’ers, gay/lesbian families where two people of the same gender cohabitate and raise the children of previous unions;

•  Same sex female couples who adopt or even give birth to babies through various artificial fertilization methods;
•  Same sex male couples who adopt children so they can have a family;
•  Separated/divorced nuclear families where mom and dad become divorced or separated, and one or both remarry or move in with someone.

Using the terms of extended family and nuclear family is easy; however, nothing else about these two types of families is easy or uncomplicated. It is no wonder things get confused for all and
conflicts become much more pronounced (Unknown, “Family, Extended” Intern. l Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, 2008).
*  *  *
The Family As Always

How far back in human history have there been families to guide and support us? The team member to answer that question is Hobs; he has been dealing with families longer than any of us.
Hobs is not used to being introduced, but recognize that this has just occurred to him. He looked looks around, and then begins. “In most cultures of the world, the beginning of family history is
set in creation myths.12 The ancient poet Hesiod’s second poem
“Theology” describes the Greek gods’ relationship\s and family ties . . . In biblical times, men sought to prove their descent from the family of the prophet Moses in order to be accepted into
the priesthood . . . Roman families would list everyone in the household under the father’s name . . . All the way through history, in all cultures, the family thrives . . . In ancient and medieval
times, the ancestor’s history guaranteed religious/ secular prestige (Unknown, Wikipedia, the electronic encyclopedia, 2013).

“The organization of the pre-industrial family is similar to the organization of today’s family. Post-industrial families became more private, nuclear, and domestic and based on the emotional
bonding between husband and wife, and between parents and children. Today’s families are based on values, and value conflict and/or feeling conflict is a chief cause of family disunity today,
as it always has been (Walsh, 1999). The strength of families is in its values of unity, structure (a family is not democratic, never was, never will be), familiar roles and the ability to adapt, but not
abandon itself, in changing times. Extended families are about communication, feelings and relationships. 12 Required reading is Joseph Campbell’s Power of Myth where he clearly
affirmed life as an adventure. He gave up the pursuit of a doctorate and went instead into the woods to read books about the world: anthropology, biology, philosophy, art, history and religious books. His overriding theme is that all of modern life and through our history, we humans and family members have followed the Mythology of the Greeks (Campbell, J. & Moyers, 1988).

*  *  *
Dr. D’s. Famous Summary

Hobs, ready to turn things over to another, sees an opportunity to do so, and walks out of the conference room to Dr. D.’s office. Dr. D. has his private office on the left, near the Control Center, although he doesn’t spend much time there. He prefers to write in a small conference room close by his office. Nana prefers the right side of the complex and can usually be found around the Deli, again in a small office unmarked. When she can, she goes out into the mountains. Kelly is everywhere, especially if there is a coffee pot. She joins whomever she is writing with at their favorite spot. Right now she is with Dr. D in his office. Acknowledging the wave from Hobs that he was “up”, Dr. D. began to summarize: “In our next chapter, we will talk with John and Judy about what people have been asking them. We will respond by describing how things are with extended families, offering ways to improve family life through recipes as we all journey through life. Remember, there is always more to learn.”

© Dr. D.’s Domains 2013

Posted by: dcogswel | July 15, 2013

Families are Forever: Communication

Communication Final 2013

The first book in the Trilogy is now being published. Families are Forever: Communication is being published in EBook format by AuthorHouse, a division of Penguin Books on 19 July 2013. To order your copy for $4.95, go to http://www.AuthorHouse.com/Bookstore.

The paperback version will be out by 1 August 2013. One way to order it is via www.theFamilyForever.com, my main website.

Various parts of this first book will be shared here on this blog in the weeks to come. sign up to have all the chapters automatically sent to your email address.

We start with the very excellent Foreword by Dr. Hal Gillespie, psychiatrist from Spokane, Washington.

FOREWORD

News alerts of the Boston Marathon bombings jolted my concentration as I started to write this Foreword.  With relief, I learned of the safety of Dr. Cogswell’s daughter and son-in-law, who had crossed the finish line, only a few lifesaving minutes prior to the blast.  The bombers were identified quite quickly but it was much later that cable television news mentioned the possibility of radical Muslim involvement (although it was known the family emigrated from Chechnya, which is primarily Muslim influenced).  The press also delayed posing questions about the family, their dynamics and how these brothers were being supported in a wealthy community.  Eventually both issues were addressed and it became obvious that the immediate family of origin had values that were divergent from our culture and had failed to assimilate. It is concerning that the media could speculate endlessly about possible motives without focusing on the importance of family and values, particularly if they involved religion, whether Christian or Muslim.  Could the media’s stance be explained by political correctness and contemporary cultural beliefs that values do not matter and one belief system is just as valid as another?  Do we not as parents need to examine and test our beliefs and then thoroughly and clearly communicate them to our children and grandchildren, while still supporting their differentiation?  Should we not be able to defend our chosen forms of Christianity and Islam in intellectual and moral perspectives?  Dr. Cogswell does dare to address the issues of values and family communication in the second volume of this series.

Families are forever . . . or are they?  The statement may be “true” in the sense that our primary family experiences determine our subjective experiences throughout our lives.  We may live out our lives on opposite sides of the world from our families of origin, but the family is still within us even if we are engaged rebelliously against it.  Dr. Murray Bowen, a pioneer family therapist, stated:  “Maturation is the process of disentangling oneself emotionally from the craziness of one’s family of origin without giving up the family.”  He defined “craziness” as anything that doesn’t work for you and your life.  But, is this taken too literally in our modern world?  Has differentiation become a process of rejection and alienation as children become more influenced by social networking and communication technology? Are parents failing to impart values, respect and discipline?  A common experience is to see a family eating dinner in a restaurant in silence, as each member is preoccupied with I pads, cell phones or game boys. Even couples can be noted texting or play electronic games on their smart phones during public concerts and plays.  Dr. Cogswell does acknowledge that social media and networking may distort or even prevent family interactions and complicate the process of differentiation.  It is hard to differentiate from someone when you don’t know who they are.  It is not clear how to develop effective communication under these circumstances. The answers may come from someone who grows up in the “wired generation”, who understands the phenomenon from their experience.  Regardless of how it evolves, communication remains essential to individualization and differentiation.

Families may be forever, but family forms or structure may not be forever.  Other pioneering family therapists, such as Salvador Minuchin and Carl Whitaker taught that children are most likely to imitate the behaviors of their parents.  Is that observation less valid for the twenty first century?  With increasing longevity, more families consist of three generations.  The traditional, two parent, married heterosexual households are much less common.  With the advent of numerous new constant stimuli for children are they more likely to choose behaviors and values from outside the family?  If so, the first challenge for the behavioral sciences is to discover how to enable parents to communicate with their children in ways that teach important positive values.  Dr. Cogswell outlines current approaches developed in recent decades to help traditional families.  This is a good place to begin the discussion.  The resulting question is how traditional approaches will need to be modified for our time.  Another challenge, for all of us, is to identify and delineate values that are generally approved across our culture and then encourage their expression in the media, entertainment industry, and newer technological advances.

Utopia may be unattainable; families have always encountered problems and will continue to face problems.  In one of civilization’s oldest historical accounts, the book of Genesis, there is recorded jealousies, deceptions, betrayals, conflicts, and even fratricide in families.  Perhaps these ancient myths also contain principles and wisdom that still apply to families today.  It has been said that as Adam and Eve were leaving the Garden of Eden, one said to the other:  “My dear, we are living in troubled and changing times.”

When we examine our experiences of life, it appears that the only reality is our subjective one.  We live in a world where our sensory experiences are projected onto the screens of our minds through filters of cultural beliefs, values we are taught and the influence of life events and relationships.  This seems to determine one’s own reality.  With this basic condition, we tend to project this personal vision onto others.  Only through communication can the family and the individual members correct these distortions.

No family is perfect.  No parent, spouse or child is completely who we want them to be.  A major developmental task for each of us is to recognize our own projected neediness and to forgive family members for not being everything we want them to be.  In this process we come to love them for being who they are.  Perhaps this is the best opportunity in life to imitate God; it’s the godliness within us.

In these books, Dr. Cogswell shares his experience and knowledge derived from decades of teaching and working with families.  His efforts are applauded as he takes on the challenge of translating theory into everyday language and experience for the nonprofessional reader.  He is a beloved friend and colleague and to use the well-worn cliché:  he is like a brother to me.  It was a privilege to write this Forward.  I certainly do not agree with everything that he says or with all the ways he may approach an issue.  In the end, however, we remain engaged in active and respectful dialogue and in close relationship.  Is that not what “families are forever”’ all about?

Dr. Hal Gillespie. M.D.

Spokane, Washington

May 2013

 

© Dr. D.’s Domains 2013

Posted by: dcogswel | July 15, 2013

Your favorite recipe

Hello to all.

The webpages www.thefamilyforever.com has a section entitled “The Dell”. In it is Nana’s Nook where food products and recipes are featured. The folks at the Dr. D.’s Domains like to eat well.

We are seeking additional favorite recipes to add to what is already up there. I would love to include one from you. Please send me your favorite recipe; I will give you full acknowledgement of it in Nana’s Nook. If you would include a picture of yourself in .jpeg format, I will include that as well.

Simply post your recipe here and I will transpose it to the website.

Dennis

Older Posts »

Categories

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 33 other followers