Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Connect through commonalities, learn through differences

Please welcome Karen S. Elliott — the Word Shark today. As I promised last week, Karen is sharing her wit and wisdom here. I appreciate Karen taking the time to stop by. Thanks.

Now, take it away Karen:

I have been connected with Stacy for so long, I cannot honestly remember how we connected or when. The important thing – we connected.

She recently posted A few tips from a blog groupie on my blog - a great post about getting around on blogs, how to connect with others, how to share (and be shared).   

Stacy invited me to write a post for her blog. So I blasted over and dug deeper into Stacy’s blog, wondering, “What should I write about?”  

I revisited her About Me page. I know I looked at it back when, but as the extravagance of blogging and tweeting and Facebooking shows us, we can sometimes lose that personal touch.

By visiting that About Me page, I was reminded what we have in common.

The early years – At 8 y.o., Stacy liked skating, biking, and eating mustard. I liked skating and biking. I did not like mustard. I wore the old metal skates, the ones that pinched your toes and fell off only when you were screaming along at five miles an hour. I have the scars to prove it. What’s with the mustard? Pass the mayo.

Teen years – In high school, Stacy was voted “Most Likely to Succeed.” I was the captain of my Color Guard in my senior year, an honor I still flout to this day. I consider that a success even though it was barely written up in the yearbook.

Study and Experience – Stacy studied journalism, worked at a Newspaper, was an Editor – for two decades? I thought she was my son’s age. She must have an awfully good photographer. I studied Gregg Shorthand, typing, and was happy to work at a steno job with a huge corporation on the east coast. But I was a secretary extraordinaire and department VPs came to me to sub for their secretaries.

Languages – Stacy has studied Italian – In Italy! I studied German and went to Germany. Since, I’ve collected books and dictionaries for Swahili, Russian, Swedish, French, Thai, Welsh (my roots), and a couple dozen other languages. I learned American Sign Language working at the NM School for the Deaf. On my bucket list is to spend a month or two in Wales and really immerse myself in their language.

Publishing – Stacy has been published all over the place – no wonder there. She’s a great writer, and she knows how to edit. I’ve been published, here and there.

Writers’ Club - We have both been associated with the SouthWest Writers club! She won an award for a Memoir Category, and I won an award for “Best Hook.” See? Our affiliation is destiny.

Travel – Stacy has been in Italy, Africa, the U.K., and Puerto Rico. I’ve been in Germany, Mexico, Canada, on a cruise through the Virgin Islands.

Through the U.S. – Stacy is a native of Georgia, lived in North Carolina, Texas, and now Colorado. She’s been in WA, OR, ID, CA, NE, MS, FL, SC, VA, SD, NM, and a lot of states in between. Whew. I’ve been in Maine numerous times, all up and down the East Coast (born and raised in Delaware), through to Florida, all over the SW, all over California, the Midwest, through Nevada, Utah, Arizona. I’m now in the nether regions of North Dakota, spitting distance to Canada.

Stacy lives in Colorado Springs – I’ve been there (thanks to my son’s service the U.S. Air Force). What a wonderful place. The Air Force Academy and their chapel is the place to see.  

Family – Stacy has one boy. I have one boy and two grandsons. She has a husband … uh, moving on …

We all have commonalities, we all have differences. The sameness draws you together; the differences are surprising rewards and help you grow.

What commonalities and differences do you notice in your best friends? Your closest confidants? Your writing associates?

Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success. ~Henry Ford

The most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart. ~Elisabeth Foley

Karen was raised by a mother who wanted to be an English teacher and who worked for Merriam-Webster as a proofreader and an aunt who could complete the Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle in a day. Their favorite expression was, “Look it up!” Karen reads punctuation and grammar manuals for fun. Her favorite book is the dictionary.

Karen is an editor and proofreader, blogger, writer, and grandmother. You can find her at Find her blog here. Connect with Karen on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+


  1. Thanks Karen for stopping by today. As a twin, I find a few quirky things in common with my best buddy. For example, last week, we both woke up and wore the same T-shirt. In writing associates, a desire to learn, think and evolve with changes.

  2. Stacy:
    Commonality: I'm a twin!!
    However, we are as opposite as twins can be. I tell people are only similarity is that we are both females.
    I loved Karen's post because she made it all about you (and her in a fun "all about you" way).

  3. What a very interesting and stimulating blog with Karen. I enjoyed how she used you to show commonalities -- that way I got to know you both better.

    I was studying journalism when you were born. We have some things in common. I've been married 30 years and have two grown children. I have spent many years working on a variety of newspapers as both writer and editor. Also spent much of my career in public relations. And, I was a figure skater in my youth and college years. I'm a wimp at hiking. I also like mustard and mayo.

    I like meeting new people, and just know when I connect or don't. Doesn't mean I step away, I just have a different relationship with them. I think I'm drawn to friends who are open-minded and seekers. Trust is important.

    Will check out Karen's blog, as I like how she thinks. Thanks Stacy for sharing the interview.

  4. I used to belong to South West Writers (even though I live on the opposite side of the US!) and my story Not Yet, Rose won their picture book contest many years ago which is how it ended up getting published. So that's something we all have in common :)

  5. Liked both of your posts, especially all the blog tips! I am still trying to figure out the best way to respond to respond to comments. Sometimes it seems best to hop over to the person's blog after i read their comment, but then my comment sections are left looking like i don't reply.
    Anyway, thanks for the tips. Btw I loved roller skating when i was a kid too!

  6. @Beth - Yes. Twins are all different. And, Karen has lots of fun posts.
    @Patricia - Trust is very important in real and online relationships.
    @Susanna- That's cool about Not Yet, Rose winning! Maybe there is hope for my second place entry.
    @Coleen-I know people appreciate you stopping by after they comment. There was some interesting comment feedback on Kristen Lamb's post about comments/interaction on Jane Friedman's site. Both Jane and Kristen have huge followings, but I took some of their comments as "food for thought."

  7. I am happy to see all the comments on the blog I'm visiting (you do not have to go to my blog, my feelings won't be hurt!). I'm happy to read all the posts here and respond here. Found another set of twins - cool! And we all see to have some string of writing or journalism running through our veins. Wouldn't it be a fun experiment to read more of the "About Me" pages of the people you have worked with or guest blogged with and write an article like this?

  8. I love the commonalities. Thank you for such a great post. It's nice learning more about both of you.

  9. This was so much fun! I bet if we tried, we would find tons of commonalities with most everyone.

  10. Thank you for your comments, Maeve and Peggy!

  11. @Karen - Thanks again for stopping by. I think I might need to put this idea in my "writing prompt" file for future use.
    @Maeve and Peggy Thanks.

  12. I love Karen Elliott as a writer and as an editor. I bet the biggest thing we have in common is a love of words!

  13. @Dr. Clune - Yes I agree with you about Karen, plus the "love of words."


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