Tuesday, June 15, 2010

If You Can't Say Something Nice . . .


Another contest! Pop over to http://wildwickedwacky.blogspot.com/ and leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Shut Up an Kiss Me or a copy of Wild, Wicked & Wanton: 101 Way to Love Like You are In a Romance Novel. Contest doesn't end until June 17th.

Winner! And Winners! (Because it was such a big showing of people I'm giving away five second places.)
THE WINNER OF THE BASKET IS LAURIE SMITH. THE FIVE SECOND PLACE WINNERS: Susanhatler, tetewa, crystalGB, Scorpio, Baileythebookworm. YOU CAN CHOOSE ANY DORCHESTER BOOK FROM MY BACK LIST, OR AN ARC OF WILD, WICKED & WANTON: 101 WAYS TO LOVE LIKE YOU ARE IN A ROMANCE NOVEL. PLEASE EMAIL ME AT Christie ( at) Christie-Craig.com with your snail mail addresses and your choices of books.



***Please join me today at:

BookEnds to read my article, Five Pieces of Writing Advice that I'm Glad I Didn't Take and Romance Writers Revenge. to read my article on The Ins and Outs, and Pros and Cons, of Writing Secondary Characters who aren't so Secondary where one commenter will receive an autographed copy of Shut Up and Kiss Me***




I heard it a lot growing up. It was my grandmother’s motto. “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nuttn’ at all.” And I’ll be honest with you, Grandma’s advice and bits of wisdom were usually right on. I took her counsel to heart. So I spent a lot of my early years, not saying much, biting my lips, burying the truth behind a sweet smile, and by golly, I wouldn’t be caught dead complaining or whining.

If my steak was tough, I’d choke it down anyway. If Aunt Evelyn asked if that orange fall-fashion dress made her look like Two Ton Sally, I’d deny it. Not that it was an out and out lie. That dress made her look like a three-ton Sally wearing a Halloween tablecloth. The pumpkin literally winked at you as it got caught in her hindquarters as she walked. Then it happened. The world changed. And no, it really didn’t have anything to do with Aunt Evelyn or her hindquarters.

Suddenly, it was viewed unhealthy not to speak up, not to unload your stresses and tell people the honest to goodness truth. The hell with the consequences, getting things off your chest was heart healthy. Oh, and whining was not considered a bad thing, it was like vegetables, everybody needed to learn to like it.

And I’ll admit I was all into keeping my heart healthy. So, I pissed off Aunt Evelyn, got my share of free half-eaten steak dinners that could bounce off the wall. And I wasn’t shy about sharing my negative feelings with others. Then it happened.

I got sick and tired of living on the negative side of life. And if that wasn’t bad enough, I’d had it with all that whining, too. Oh, it wasn’t my own whining that bothered me, but everyone else’s. In their defense, they had a right to keep their hearts healthy, too, right? Well, maybe not. What was it grandma said? If you can’t say something nice . . .

Then again, I wasn’t altogether ready to go back to spending two hours trying to swallow a piece of beef that could have qualified as shoe leather. Aunt Evelyn’s wardrobe choices were much easier on the eyes, now that she’d retired several of her tablecloths. That’s when I decided Grandma’s counsel just needed a little alteration to work in my life.

If you can’t say something nice . . . and this next part is what I altered, …at least make it funny! That’s right, humor goes a long way. If someone asks me if those jeans make their butt look big, I just might answer, “Oh, you mean that wasn’t the look you were going for?” If I get that uneatable steak, I just politely ask the waitress “Can you check with the cook and see if the steak comes in a size 5 ½ because since I can’t swallow it, and I’m paying for it, I should at least be able to wear it.” The humor in the truth always softens the blow. People like humor even when you are telling them that their ass is too big or that their steaks could choke a mean horse with a new set of choppers.

As for how I dealt with the whining. Well, it goes like this. Not only do I work really hard to see the humor in all situations, and make my whines entertaining…Hey, you guys have laughed at my whines…but I limit the amount of energy and time I put into whining. And I expect my family and friends to do the same. My non-fiction writing partner and I whom I talk to every day made a pact. We can only whine on Wednesday. Now, mini humor-laced whines can be interjected occasionally during the other six days of the week. Seriously, by Tuesday, you have to let go of a few of them or you just might explode, but for the most part, you have to store those puppies up for Wednesday. And the more humor you can throw in into your Wednesday bitch session, the more whining time you’ll get.

Yeah, it might sound harsh, but it’s not a bad thing, it’s even good for you. Humor is better for the heart than whining. Laughing, even when it’s about something slightly painful, is a good way to deal with the stress of whine-worthy situations.

So today, I’ve come up with a perfect prize for this blog. It’s a “You Gotta Laugh” basket. I actually found a cup with my new approach to Grandma’s rule. (See it and the prizes in the picture below.) And because this is still release month, I’m adding a very special item to the basket. A skunk. That’s right. Because I think one of the funniest scenes in Shut Up and Kiss Me deals with the little stinker of an animal, I picked up one to give away. And because I’m all into the value of laughter, I have one more Oops A-Daisy Super Pocket Pooper that I’m adding to the basket. Yes, when you press on this little pocket size cow’s legs, it will crap you out some little balls of chocolate. And because chocolate is another great way to deal with stress, and because I’m not into eating crappy chocolate, I’m throwing in some better chocolate, too.

All you have to do to get your name in the hat is to leave me a comment, you can even whine . . . if you can make it funny. Hey…it’s not Wednesday. The winner will be picked randomly by hubby. And make sure you come back tomorrow to see the winner’s name posted on the top of the blog.

CC


50 comments:

krisgils33 said...

What a great prize! Since I won something not long ago, don't enter me in the contest. Here is my whine: the prize I won from you included the chocolate pooping cow, a pen, bookmark, and the book "shut up and kiss me". There might have been a couple other things, but I really wouldn't know because my 8 year old STOLE it ALL from me! She even wanted the book! (she can pry THAT from my cold dead fingers!!!) Now, I don't have much use for a cow that poops anything other than fine Belgian chocolate, but the book??? It's not like she'd even GET it or APPRECIATE it!! Well, at least I'm not bitter about it.

Zita said...

Good post. I think we had the same grandmother...

BTW I just finished reading Shut Up and Kiss Me and it was GREAT! The scene with the skunk and the fire ants was the absolute funniest. I really enjoyed the read. Thank you!

Christie Craig said...

Hi Kris!

Your eight year old should be mad at you. I mean, she would probably love the skunk!! LOL. Hey . . . wait until that eight year old is big enough to borrow your shoes, clothes, and don't even get me started with the car!!!

Thanks so much for stopping in. I'm tickled you liked the prizes.

CC

Christie Craig said...

Zita!

Thanks so much. I felt so sorry for Jose, but hey . . . I told him when he applied for the job as secondary character that it wasn't a walk in the park. LOL. Aren't grandma's special. I miss mine like the dickens!!!

CC

traveler said...

That saying is so old school that I just love it and I keep my mouth tightly closed, but when others want to let loose they just go at it. I am amazed at the nerve and chutzpah people have nowadays.

Edie Ramer said...

Christie, you and I share the same shoe size. I'm excited, because that doesn't happen often. I just found out today that my 10-year-old grandson is taller than I am.

Love your funny whining post. I wish I'd think of zingers like that.

TerriOsburn said...

I want that basket! You find the coolest things to give away. Was just pimping you and your awesome PR stuff last week on another blog. LOL!

I grew up on that saying but we got it from the movie BAMBI. Gotta love when Thumper says it. In recent years, I've endeavored to be positive whenever possible, but to vent whenever necessary so as to get back to being positive. It's working so far. Now, I just need to add the humor and I'm all set!

Thanks for joining as at The Revenge blog today. You have no idea how much I needed to read your tips on secondary characters. And this is the perfect time to get them, right at the start of revisions!

Scorpio M. said...

Hi Christie,

My coworker is a real Negative Nelly so by default I must be a Positive Polly, which I don't mind on most days because I am generally a happy person. But sometimes I really want to zing Nelly with a good one. There's only so much 'de-stressing' one person can take but I haven't found the right balance of humor & aggression yet. :)

Congrats on the release of SU&KM, just read an A+ review of it yesterday!

Christie Craig said...

Traveler,

Don't you love ol' school! And I love old sayings. I try to put them in my work whenever I can.

Thanks for stopping in.

CC

Christie Craig said...

Hi Edie!!

Are you going to RWA Nationals? If so bring lots of comfortable shoes. I might borrow a pair. LOL.

Thanks so much for stopping in.

CC

Christie Craig said...

Hi Terri,

I have a blast jumping from blog to blog today. You guys at the Ship are always one of my favorites.

Thanks,

CC

Christie Craig said...

Scorpio,

Be care with those negative people. Negativity is contagious. Bite 'em in the butt and set 'em straight.

Thanks for stopping in.

CC

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

You're right. Negativity is contagious.

No need to enter me, doll -- which is really hard to say, given that there's chocolate in that basket! I'm dropping in like usual to say thanks for the e-mail. I've got this posted at Win a Book for you.

Laurie Smith said...

Christie, I love the motto!! Laughter is definetly the best medicine. Here is my favorite motto, you may have heard it before...
Life is short. Eat dessert first. I will definetly try it keep your motto in mind when I am feeling whiney. It will be my goal this week to look for the funny side of life before the wine begins, OOPs I mean whine. Ha Ha
Maybe I can begin with the wine and add some cheese, I think your motto would really work after a few glasses of wine. LOL ;)

Margie said...

Sounds like a very fun read. Thanks for the great giveaway.
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

tetewa said...

Great prize pack, thanks for the opportunity! tWarner419@aol.com

Christie Craig said...

Hi Susan,

Thank you so much for posting my contests. I hope you have a great day and get some great chocolate.

CC

Christie Craig said...

Hi Laurie,

Love the quote. How about this one. "I'm short and the more desert I eat the shorter I look due to the wide factor." LOL. Ahh, but sometimes desert is just what we need.

Wine is good. With wine, lots of wine, whining doesn't even other me.

Thanks so much for stopping in.

CC

Christie Craig said...

Hi Margie,

Thanks for stopping in. And as they say in the south, "Ya'll come back, ye' hear?"

CC

Christie Craig said...

Tetewe,

Thanks for joining me here today. Come back again.

CC

CrystalGB said...

Hi Christie. I like your attitude. I usually keep my mouth shut but I am thinking some pretty funny comebacks I would love to say.
Thanks for the great giveaway.

Christie Craig said...

Hi Crystal,

Yeah, biting one's tongue is some times better than biting the person giving you crap. Oh, it's so hard to keep quiet, but I've learned something silence is golden and it says more than trying argue.

Thanks for stopping by.

CC

Kara C said...

No whining here. Just wanted to tell you that I finished Shut Up and Kiss Me and LOVED it. Have recommended it to everyone. Wait, maybe I'll whine just a bit. My hubby made me leave the room when I was reading the book. Apparently my laughing out loud was interfering with his serious news show. Oh well...

Christie Craig said...

Hi Kara,

Thanks so much for recommending my book. There is no PR that beats word of mouth.

As for you hubby . . . well, some men just have no taste! LOL.

Thanks so much for stopping by.

CC

baileythebookworm said...

This looks like a hilarious read! Please enter me to win. :)

baileythebookworm[at]gmail[dot]com

Christie Craig said...

Baileythebookworn,

You are entered. Thanks for dropping by.

CC

catslady said...

I can make many things humorous unless it comes to something that is unfair and then I turn into a whiner. I've always been told that quote from my mother and normally I do keep my mouth shut (at least to their face) but I was always taught not to talke about religion, money, politics or sex. Heck, that doesn't leave anything except the weather. I tend to talk about everything and anything - love a good debate. Except my daughter just married into a family that is soooo opposite from me and close minded that I really can only talk about the weather to them. I am so glad they aren't my in-laws and luckily they live about 6 hours away lol.

Refhater said...

LOL, I have a sign on my desk at work that says "There will be a $5 charge for whining!"

Here is my whine. And it's more depressing than funny.

One of the side effects of the med my Dr. put me on is weight gain. So all the starving...I mean dieting and torture (exercise) from the last 6 months was for naught. I gained 8 lbs in a month.

So I have to decide to either continue to take the med, exercise more, and eat less or not take the med and feel like crap..sigh! Dr. says to keep taking the med, but he's not the one who has to wear a swim suit in public (including co-workers) in a few weeks.

Re-reading Shut Up and Kiss Me because I need the laughs. Hope you have a good day!

Kristi said...

Me, me, me! I try not to whine, but I work in parking violations and get yelled at all day long.

I could use a little care package.

I don't whine a lot any more, but my old boss used to call me Eyeore. lol

Christie Craig said...

Catslady,

That's too funny. But you're right sex, politics and religion are no-nos. And that does pretty much cut out of the good conversations.

And your daugther's family. Well, I feel sorry for her. I know people like who are like that and remaining silent is sometimes the best.

Thanks for stopping in.

CC

Christie Craig said...

Refhater,

Ough!! That's terrible girl. I hate meds that put weight on. I mean, I can do that all by myself, I don't need any help!

Hang in there. Ask about other meds that might help with your issue but not have the weight gain.

And I need one of those signs!!! I love it.

Thanks so much for visiting. And I'm tickled you rereading Shut Up. I hope it makes you laugh and helps you destress!

CC

Christie Craig said...

Kristi,

I'll bet you do get yelled out a lot. LOL. That's terrible. You need some humorous come back that toss at people who yell at you, then maybe they'll just shut up.

Have a great day. Hey...maybe get a button that says, "You yell, I bite."

Thanks for visiting.

CC

Donna Marie Rogers said...

What a great basket...even though I can't eat chocolate, so really, what good would it do for me to win it? Wait, that was whiny, but not very funny. I'll try again...

Hmm...Man, this is sad, but I got nuthin'. LOL Well, when Edie mentioned having the same size shoe as you (and also my mother, who is 4' 10"), I had to go back and reread your post, because I thought the 5-1/2 was clothing size, and I remember thinking, "Huh, that's an odd size..." Okay, so maybe it's more pathetic than funny. :-D

Nicole Zoltack said...

Great post! I loved it.

susanhatler said...

Grandmothers are great for advice. :)

Sandy said...

LOL All this time I thought you were writing humor on your blogs when you were really whining.

Gotcha, CC.

luvs2read said...

a skunk and chocolate - gotta love it! Laughter is definately better for the soul than whining is!Thanks for the give-a-way

Christie Craig said...

Hi Donna,

It'a five and half shoe, girl What size do you wear?

Hey . . . you can't eat chocolate? Oh my, you poor soul!!

Thanks for stopping in.

CC

Christie Craig said...

Hi Nicole,

Thanks for stopping by.

CC

Christie Craig said...

Susan,

You are so right. My grandma was full of wisedom.

Thanks for stopping by.

CC

Christie Craig said...

Sandy,

Darn! Now you are on to me!!! Girl, whines make wonderful humor.

Thanks so much for stopping in.

CC

Christie Craig said...

Luvstoread,

Hey...I agree, how can beat chocolate and skunk?

Thanks for dropping by.

CC

Donna Marie Rogers said...

In a shoe? 7-1/2. LOL Yeah, I didn't get my mom's petite feet, but hey, at least I have good balance. ;-)

Christie Craig said...

71/2? Girl, that's amazon size. LOL. You're too short to have big feet? Of course, I'd give anything if had a size larger. It's so hard shoe shopping. Some stores don't even carry my size. Hmm, I wish I could take a cup from up top and put a size down at the toe department. LOL.

CC

robynl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
robynl said...

Hi and my second time around trying to win the book; will have to buy it(whining)if I don't win. But on the bright(humor)side I just received a GC I won. Yippee, I'm happy.

I love humor in books; as they say humor is good for the soul and I agree.

I have so changed over the years and now usually give someone the benefit of the doubt before I judge.

I love the gift basket so please enter me and thanks.

yourstrulee(at)sasktel(dot)net

Christie Craig said...

Robynl,

I got you entered girl. I'm with you, humor is the best medicine. Thanks so much for stopping in.

CC

Linda Henderson said...

I just received Shut Up And Kiss Me, but I haven't had the chance to read it yet due to my newest grandson. I've been very busy babysitting the other ones while mama was in the hospital. When the dust settles I'll be reading it soon. I love the skunk in the basket, and the chocolate pooping cow sounds like my kind of chocolate dispenser.

seriousreader at live dot com

Christie Craig said...

Hi Linda,

Hope that little one is happy in his grandma's arms. Thanks so much for stopping by.

CC

Scorpio M. said...

Thank you so much, Christie!