A lot of people have griped about being a middle child. I’ve heard that Mom and Dad trust the oldest more and let the youngest do more. What say you about being a middle child?
If you’re a middle child, I’d love to receive your input for some research I’m doing.
Feel free to make a comment here OR copy and paste the following questions into an email and send your responses to me at firstname.lastname@example.org:
- As a child, did you resent your older or younger siblings? If yes, whom did you resent the most … and why/why not?
- As an adult, do you still resent those siblings .. and why/why not?
- What are the advantages of being a middle child?
- What are the disadvantages of being a middle child?
- Do you think you’re more, or less, well-adjusted than children with a different birth order (i.e., firstborn, lastborn, or only)?
- In an emotional sense, which sibling are you the closest to … and why?
- Provide me with the birth order of you and your sibs, including only gender and age and where you fit into the sequence. For example, I’m the oldest of four, so I’d say: Me/Female; brother/2 years younger; brother/4 years younger; sister/8.5 years younger.
- Volunteer one or two other highlights (or lowlights) of being a middle child.
I will conduct a drawing of all the people who respond to my shout out. If you’re the winner, here’s how you’ll contribute to the first book in my new series–the one with the middle child as the protagonist/lead character:
- You’ll be able to name one of the characters, AND
- You can choose one of the personality traits of the lead character.
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Jackie Swaitkowski is an attorney practicing law in the Hamptons of Long Island. Her client is accused of murdering her late husband’s uncle … and nobody wants to believe her client’s innocent.
The worst winter on record dumps endless snow on the Hamptons, which hampers our heroine’s attempts to discover who really committed the murder. Of course, Jackie’s the only person who believes Franco Raffinni is innocent and she really has to work at it. Also hampering her efforts to solve the mystery are members of her husband’s family and the Polish-American community in which they live, the victim’s widow, and emissaries of a local mob boss whose visits become increasingly more threatening and violent.
As a former resident of Long Island, I found myself skimming over the numerous references to the Hamptons; however, Jackie’s clever, witty, and entertaining personality MORE than made up for that minor flaw and I certainly didn’t skim anywhere else! I laughed out loud numerous times as I read this book in one sitting. Knopf does an excellent job writing from the perspective of his female character and I’ll be checking out more of Jackie’s adventures.
You shouldn’t miss this one.
ICE CAP by Chris Knopf
Available in hardcover on June 5, 2012 by Minotaur Books
Dad and I were having a chat about my writing earlier today. I shared that I’ve never had writer’s block because I can always write about something … even if it isn’t my current project or book.
To this Dad responds, How can you tell when a writer has writer’s block? She has clause-trophobia.
Bonefire of the Vanities, the 12th in Carolyn Haines‘ series about PI Sarah Booth Delaney, needs to be added to your summer reading list. It’s a clever, funny, adventurous mystery you won’t want to put down once you start reading. Chock full of entertainment, this novel’s focus is a religious cult’s attempt to bilk an elderly billionaire of her fortune … and the PI who masquerades as a maid in her attempt to put an end to the scam.
Filled with charlatans, spooks, murder, and plot that’s both entertaining and thought-provoking, Bonefire of the Vanities is simply an excellent read. I was very impressed by Haines’ ability to simultaneously make me laugh out loud and shudder about the prospects of what just might happen next.
I need to go out and buy 1 through 11…
BONEFIRE OF THE VANITIES by Carolyn Haines (ISBN 978-0-312-64187-0)
Minotaur Books; hardcover on sale June 19, 2012
Happy birthday to my granddaughter, Bridget, who turns 13 today.
Thought I’d share with you some of the photos taken in St. Louis at the world headquarters of Enterprise Holdings, the people who rent cars under the Enterprise, Alamo, and National brands.
As one of my clients, Enterprise Holdings hires me to write insurance and training courses and to present seminars, webinars, and other training workshops. Earlier this week, we collaborated for the benefit of American Family Insurance and had a terrific time! (The breakfast burrito was excellent, as were the chocolate chip cookies.)
The gentleman in the photo featured above is Don Ross, Vice Chairman of Enterprise Holdings. He introduced me to the American Family claims professionals and agents who travelled from across the country to attend the two training sessions I conducted yesterday … and earned this place of honor by telling me I didn’t need lipstick to look beautiful. Sigh. Now if he could only pass his people skills along to a few other people I know…
Many thanks to Mary M. for always making my trips to St. Louis special. Thanks, also, to Donna H. for providing me with these photos and to Keith H. for being a wonderful host.
I’m preparing to begin writing the first book in a series that revolves around a family: two parents and four children. I’ve researched birth order in the past and agreed a great deal with the opinions of Dr. Kevin Leman, who wrote The Birth Order Book: Why You Are the Way You Are. I’m using the information gleaned from his book, and other sources, as I create my characters and–more importantly–their motivations.
Although I’m a firstborn, I admire the traits of the middleborn the most but get along better with lastborns. Why do you think that is?
Well, according to Dr. Leman (who’s a psychologist) people get along best with others who are opposites–personality-wise. He claims the majority of married couples he’s counseled during the past 30 years have been firstborns, onlies, or a combination of the two. (I surely fit that demographic!)
Anyway, here are a few of the things Dr. Leman has to say, followed by brief descriptions of traits that are universally accepted to belong to certain birth orders (by people who agree with the concept, of course!).
- In a family, each child is most directly affected by the next oldest child.
- Each child typically behaves opposite the next oldest child. However, if he believes he can compete successfully with the next oldest child (and “overthrow” that child), role reversal takes place.
- All children want attention from their parents and begin seeking it in infancy; if they don’t get it, they seek either power or revenge–in that order.
Firstborn traits: Goal-oriented, seek control and approval; aggressive; type-A personality; responsible; conservative; organized; serious; self-sacrificing; puts self and others under stress and pressure; perfectionist
Middleborn traits: Peacemaker; easy-going; peer-oriented rather than family-oriented; excellent people skills; adaptable; agreeable; may feel overlooked, unheard, ignored; compromising; loyal to friends; secretive; risk-taker; may be cynical or suspicious
Lastborn traits: Creative; charming; manipulative; identifies with underdog; can be too dependent upon others; risk-taker; spoiled; lazy; temperamental; clown or comedian; entertainer; fun-loving; affectionate; reads people well
Only child traits: (Very similar to firstborn): Struggles with parental expectations; perfectionist; doesn’t handle criticism well; critical of self and others; confident; doesn’t relate well to peers when a child; self-motivated; fearful and/or cautions; self-centered
So, what say you?