Beth Oliver Author

Maine ParaMystery Series

Moving too Fast

3/07/2022

 

In January, after narrowly escaping what had been a very long and arduous 2021, I found myself excited to move forward. I had a new job at the local animal shelter and the people there were fantastic to me. I had set the goal of surviving for the last year and had ended it that way. Maybe I should have set the bar higher. 

With the usual snow and other wintery precipitation that regularly falls along the coast of Maine, came a another setback. I fell and got a concussion. Now, my football loving son has had multiple concussions (some that I knew about and some that I didn't), but this was a whole new thing to me. One minute I was upright and walking between the cars, and the next my husband was yelling at me to wake up. It seems I had been out of it for about 3-4 minutes. Hubby, who was on the other side of the vehicles, turned to talk to me and when I didn't respond and he didn't see me he thought I had gone back into the house. I was only when he walked around his truck that he saw me laying there with head against the side of the car. I think I took years off his life. 

I did eventually come to, but it was a struggle. Hubby called the ambulance and they were on their way. My daughter-in-law to be came and covered me up since I was in the snow. All of these things were going around me, but inside my head was the strangest imagery. To be fair, I remember the moment of impact and felt the pain. My mind recognized that the pain was too much and it was then that I went out. While out I was presented with the image of an old timey printer connection to the printer. Back in the old days you had to clip both sides to hold the connection in place. I saw both pieces separate and was told by some unseen being that I was being rebooted. 

Now, I don't know if those were my words or just who was speaking to me. I only know that after that a parade of beautiful colored artwork ran before my eyes. They were images that I'd never seen before, at least that I could remember and each of them were full and vibrant and beautiful. Even when I came to and could finally talk again I had only to close my eyes to see these pictures. They stayed with me for about a day and a half. Each image was bound to the next and they ran along like an old fashioned projector film. 

By the time the ambulance arrived I was talking and after getting me out of the snow and into the house they checked me out and asked me the usual questions, to which I got them all. Satisfied that I was going to be okay, they left and told me to call if I needed transport to the hospital. I spent 5 day not looking at the computer screen or watching tv. I did listen to podcasts because... well, I would have gone nuts with no stimulation. And now, other than a few pesky lasting things I have made it through the rough patch and consider myself mended. 

But the whole experience was an intriguing example of just how easy it is to disconnect from this life. A mere moment in time and I could have stayed floating wherever I was. I'm glad I'm back, but it has left me with a great many questions and, of course, a better respect for just the small things in life. I wish it hadn't taken this to make it happen, but I'm not sorry it did. 

I always worry that certain things in my life will take away my ability to write, but the reality is that I wasn't doing anything with that ability, so shame on me. The moments are too fleeting. Embrace them. Revere them. Let them teach you what they are supposed to teach you. After all, it's what we are here for. 

Not So Perfect World

4/16/2021

 


They are called INFLUENCERS for a reason.

Anyone who has more than a handful of subscribers on YouTube, ones that are more than just your relatives should be considered an Influencer. And as the subscriber number grows, so does the strength in the power of the Influencer. There is a reason why Brands are attracted to the big hitters out there. They know that a single good word or bad word from one of these can reach more and have better results than most other advertising options out there. Heck, even those with a few subscribers wield a small amount of response. 


I know... you are probably trying to figure out what in the world I'm talking about. Is this a writer thing? Or has she fallen down another rabbit hole of the weird and strange? Nope. Let me explain. 


At lunch today, I watched a video by a well-known YouTuber that I sometimes follow. I don't always agree with what she says, but I like to keep an open mind about what people offer. Now she has a fair amount of followers, somewhere around the 100,000 subscribers mark. She regularly reports on what works and doesn't work in her lifestyle, but a while back she reported on a problem she had with work that was being done for her (read: purposely vague so not to get in trouble), and after a couple videos about her attempts to get compensation from the company, and after posting reviews on Google and other review sites, she decided it was justified to release the name of the company that she had an issue with. I say justified... because that's how she presented her decision to do so. 


It didn't take long before her video elicited enough of a response to cause issue. In fact, it was reported back to her by the company that the owner of the location was receiving death threats. 


She took the video down and offered a stunned apology, saying that she would most likely not mentioned it again and her intention was not to have people threatened. She did admit that she hoped her followers would contact the company and push for a response, but her intention was never to harm. 


Today, she posted another video. This time, she mentioned how she felt her actions all along were justified and she can't be responsible for the actions people take when they watch her videos. But here's the thing... they don't call them Influencers for nothing... 


If I want to buy a new product I look for reviews online. If I am thinking about how to change the color of my hair I look at inspiration from others. Granted, I don't take it as absolute Gospel, but I do try to review with an open mind. That's my part of the responsibility in the actions.


Her actions were no different than a politician spouting their beliefs and hoping to raise up a following that will move their agenda forward. That was her responsibility. 


Words have power. 


I know that the times in my life when I got stuck in my own justification for believing in the total "rightness" of something was usually the time it came back and bit me in the butt. We are a generation of instant communication. There are no carefully worded letters or columns to the editor. It's all put out on YouTube to illicit that instantaneous response, both from the Influencer and the Influenced. 


When we become Influenced by our own power we forget to be humbled by the very nature that nurtured us. We become so rigid in our beliefs that we can't see that there is always more than one side to a situation. 


Now, you may be thinking that by my posting this I am trying to do the same thing she is... but I'm not doing this to shame anyone. I'm not posting names or channels or even the genre they are in. There are many YouTubers who fit the description I have given and I have no intention of pushing you in any direction or opinion. I had a high school Social Studies teacher (do they still do that?) that preached the phrase Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely. I'm not saying that the person intended on world domination, only that energy reads energy and intention is the same.  


In the end, it is easiest to remember that being nice to each other costs nothing and gives us everything. 


Take it as you will. That's all folks... 




What Happened to Camp NaNoWriMo? #writerlife #campnanowrimo

4/08/2021

And it begins... Again

3/20/2021

 



After much thought, stress, and even a little heartbreak, I've decided to move away from the previous name that I used to publish under. The name Teagan Oliver has served me well and it was fantastic for me, but I've decided that it is Spring and it's time for a new outlook to go with my return to writing. For now, the books are still available on Amazon, but they will be coming down eventually as I decide what to do with them. Thank you to everyone who supported Teagan and I hope that you will join me again as I start back with my publishing journey. I've got some exciting things planned so I hope you will stick around. 

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