Tuesday, June 22, 2010


I learned one of my most important life lessons when I was 12 and attended Girls’ Camp for the first time. Every camp is different and has varying degrees of roughness -we slept in tents with cots on wood pallets. Very out-doorsy but we didn’t sleep on the ground. I don’t have to try very hard and I can smell the musty green tent, but oh, how I loved waking up and hearing the birds chatter. The New England morning air had a crisp coolness in it, even in August, and I’d cling to my sleeping bag until the second wake up bell. I could go on, but I think I was trying to make another point. A life lesson.

That first year, I was assigned to a tent with a girl I’d never met, but soon learned was a little eccentric and not at all popular. And there were popular girls at camp. Silly, I know. After the first night, one of ‘them’ asked me what it was like to bunk with ‘her.’ I was 12 and hadn’t learned yet what I was about to learn. I opened my big mouth and described all her strange habits. It didn’t even take two hours before we were sitting at breakfast and fake-friendly popular girl number one started talking to my tent mate. I listened in horror as popular girl 2 and 3 chimed in to the conversation –or whatever you would have called it. They teased and taunted her with the ammo, uh –info, I’d provided. Dumb!

I couldn’t eat. I was sick. My tent mate shrugged it off. I was stunned for days. I wrote in my journal, “Never talk to so-and-so again!” That was a little extreme. I was too young to have the words of the hymn come to mind, “Nay, Speak No Ill.” But I did learn, even if I couldn’t articulate it then, sharing is powerful and it’s one of the ways girls bond and it can be used for good. Or not.

And my point today? What is a blog but sharing – a lot? Let’s face it, there is a lot of blogging and writing and sharing going on in the blogosphere. It is one of the reasons I am glad to be here – on MMW – sharing my thoughts about writing. It enhances my creativity and if I give support – it comes back to me. That is my point in a nutshell. To say it like you’ve heard it before, ‘what goes around comes around.’

I’m guessing if you are a writer you already know this: Words can be powerful and they have a way of coming back to you. So. If you meet any popular girls wanting to dish – do what I wish I’d done –keep your mouth shut and hand over your dirty mess kit. And whatever else you get to do today – send good words out into the world.


  1. So true! I have my own "I should have kept my mouth shut moments". Unfortunately, they are not all relegated to my youth.

  2. I had one of those moments just yesterday...and luckily I held my tongue, though I wanted to "dish" a lot. Thanks for the reminder!

  3. You are so right. Words are powerful indeed and even the tone we use. I've seen people deflect difficult situations by using humor and others use it to ruin a situation. The trick is learning when and how and sometimes to simply say nothing at all. Although my silence has still gotten me into trouble from time to time. :) There's just no winning sometimes when dealing with human emotions. haha. Thanks for the great post! Ahhhh such memories of girl's camp.

  4. I have also had my share of should-have-shut-my-mouth moments. Great reminder.

  5. That's why you're the Word Girl--to remind us GOOD words are important! (Or is that Peggy? Ha, ha!)

  6. Yep that was Peggy's quote, but I don't think she'd mind us quoting her! It's true!

  7. Great advice Tamara. I've had a few "insert foot" moments myself, so totally understand where you're coming from. It's too bad we have to learn some of these lessons at the expense of someone's feelings. :(



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