Monday, January 12, 2009

Hooray–National Safety Council Proposes a Ban on Cell Phones While Driving

Posted in Life tagged , , , , , , at 9:11 pm by Elaine Petrowski

Who would have thought that the National Safety Council would make my year? And on only the 12th of January?

To my way of thinking, drivers who insist on talking on their cellphones are, and have been, a menace and a scourge on our society  for the last ten years. So  I can NOT begin to tell you how thrilled –no– make that ECSTATIC  — I am at the news  that the U.S. National Safety Council  is proposing a ban on cell phones while driving in all 50 states!

I wish the NSC as much success with this program as they had with seat belts and infant car seats.

I am,  after all,  the woman who sports a bumper sticker that reads “HANG UP AND DRIVE”.  I refuse to answer my phone while driving. And no, I really don’t think that hands-free is any better. ( And neither do the NSC studies.)  I don’t know why, I can’t explain it.  I just know I can carry on a conversation with a person sitting in the car and that’s not half as distracting as talking on a cellphone. It’s long been my view that cell phones and cars do not mix, kind of like alcohol and cars do not mix.

ALLELUIA… where do I send my contribution for this campaign to begin?

Now please excuse me, while I  write to Jon Corzine, the current governor of New Jersey, who, in case you do not live on the East Coast and did not hear,  was very NEARLY KILLED about 18 months ago when the driver of his official car was TEXTING as he drove the UNSEATBELTED governer to an event, going an estimated 90 MPH, in the left lane of the GARDEN STATE PARKWAY. Perhaps the good governor (who I happen to like very much)  was spared by the powers-that-be  for this exact purpose …so that he could be THE FIRST to sign the proposal into law?

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Monday, October 6, 2008

Would you accept this offer?

Posted in writing tagged , , at 10:35 pm by Elaine Petrowski

These days lots of people seem to be starting  up online businesses, web commerce sites,  business blogs etc. Because they need content to fill these sites, many are seeking freelance writers.

Good news for writers, you say? There’s just one hitch. Have you noticed that more than the occasional ad  says something like  “We’re a start-up and don’t have a lot of money, so we pay little or nothing. But we do offer great exposure”.

Since when did freelance writers become the tool with which others hope to take their potentially high-trafficked, income-generating sites (great exposure, right?)  to the top of the heap, for free?

As a freelance writer, I learned long ago you can’t take “exposure” to the grocery store. Or pay for necessities like fuel and clothing with clips or links.

Why do people insist that writers should be willing to work for little or nothing? Freelance writing is a BUSINESS. Perhaps even a CAREER.  In fact,  a business just like the aforementioned blogs or web commerce sites.

Here’s a thought. What would happen if these same entrepreneurs suggested the “great exposure” idea to their auto mechanic? “Fix my car for free and you’ll get some great exposure when I drive it around town? ”  Would they have the nerve to try that idea on the house painter, dentist, hairdresser, dog groomer etc.?

Am I ranting?

Fear of blogging? You betcha.

Posted in blogging tagged , at 6:31 am by Elaine Petrowski

How does a working writing woman explain her reluctance to blog?  Isn’t blogging the way to make contact and to converse in the 21st century? Blogging is, after all, a showcase for your work and a way to connect to the wider world. The ability to blog shows you are still of this universe and can keep up with technology. And everybody’s doing it. Just today I learned that there are something like a billion blogs currently posted.

So why not me?  Simple. Because I learned the hard way, and at an early age, never to put anything in writing that I didn’t want the whole wide world (or at least my mother) to potentially see. According to my life rules, that means you do NOT pour your secret, tender, intimate thoughts into a diary or a journal, even if it does have a cute little brass lock and key. Nor do you even consider writing of your broken heart  and shattered dreams (not to mention self-esteem) in a letter to an ex. And you do not pass hastily scribbled notes in a crowded, Catholic school classroom in Queens, NY.

I think my mother might have been the first adult to utter those wise, warning words to me.  But they didn’t mean a lot until a shining, glorious spring day in eighth grade when I disregarded them and put something in writing. “Something” being the name of the one boy in my class who set my 13 year- old heart aflutter.

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