You’ve inherited $5 million, with instructions that you must give it all away — but you can choose any organizations you like to be the beneficiaries. Where does the money go?

This was an easy Daily Prompt for me. There are several different causes that are important to me. One such cause is literacy. I have had a lifelong love of books and reading. It saddens me to read statistics on how many people cannot read. But the main cause that comes to mind is the Spina Bifida Association ( I’m sure this is no surprise to a lot of you who know/have read about my physical disability. I want to be the best ambassador/spokesman I can be for Spina Bifida.


The Social Networks

Do you feel like you “get” social media, or do you just use it because that’s where your friends and family are?

This is the question posed in the latest WordPress writing prompt blog. I have pages on most of the popular social networking sites: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn. I find that they are useful for sharing blog posts and sharing and keeping up with life events of family and friends. I would say that I “get” social media. I understand that it’s an easy way to share things online. But I prefer more traditional forms of communication.

I would much rather keep up with family and friends in person, by phone, or mail. Email is also something I enjoy using. But I don’t enjoy sharing the minutia of my daily life online. It seems that so many websites and companies are all too willing to take advantage of all this sharing at the expense of our privacy. If anyone who reads this wants to keep in touch by more traditional means, let me know and I’ll be happy to share my contact information. Also, if you’re not subscribed to my blog, I would love for you to do that 🙂

As somewhat private person (to people I don’t know), I can get overwhelmed from time to time with reading all the things my family and friends are sharing online. As long as I stay on these sites, it is useful for me to take occasional breaks from them. What about you? Are the social networks a useful tool for you?


Third Person Perspective

This is a WordPress writing prompt idea. The challenge is to list at least six things that are unique, exciting, odd, etcetra. A few of these are things I’ve written or talked about on this blog. Feel free to ask or comment about anything that piques your interest, or you want to hear more about. I’ll probably add/take away from the list as I think of more interesting ideas. Here goes.

1) I am a published author.

2) I have Spina Bifida.

3) I am named after my father and grandfather.

4) A few of my closest friends have given me the nickname “Niles” because of my resemblance to David Hyde Pierce from “Fraser”.

5) Several of the students at the school where I work as a substitute call me Spiderman because of a resemblance to Tobey Maguire.

6) I am the only person in my immediate family who can grow a beard. My dad wore a mustache for a long time, though.



Favorite Thing About Myself

By nature, I am quite critical of myself. I am aware of all of my faults before anyone else. I do not extend this criticism to others. I reserve it for myself. But there are a few things that I do well. I am blessed to be surrounded by family and friends who are extremely supportive. They agree with what follows.

One of my favorite things about myself is that I am a good listener. Since I was very young, my contemporaries have confided in me. Sometimes it’s because I let them know that I am willing to be a shoulder to cry on or an ear to listen. But many times I think it was a matter of just being there when someone needed to talk through a situation. I don’t consider myself an especially wise person, so I hesitate to offer advice. In fact, I believe most of the time advice is not what is required. It is the simple act of quietly listening that is valuable at the right time. And I think something that goes hand in hand with being a good listener is the gift of perception. I can often sense what is behind or underneath the conversation, but is not actually voiced.

I think that I was a bit quieter when I was younger, which lends itself to being a good listener. As I have gotten older, I fear that I may be becoming more talkative. I don’t want to lose my ability to listen well, so this is something I am conscious of. I don’t want anything to cause people to feel like they can’t talk to me. I have always considered it an honor that people have shared things, big and small, with me. And I hope this continues.