Tuesday, April 14, 2009

GUEST: Donna Lee Schillinger

Today's guest is a really cool lady named Donna Lee Schillinger. Her post is fun, and her book looks like great fun, too. She has a great bunch of downloads if you're looking for more info, too, so check here: http://www.onmyownnow.com/downloads.html Now, over to Donna.... thanks for stopping by, too, Donna!

Thanks for hosting me, Denysé! I was looking through the other guests post and getting a little worked into a frenzy because even though I’ve been a writer and editor for more than 8 years, I don’t really feel I have much to teach anyone about the craft. In fact, I’m not sure I know how I do what I do…

Then I thought I could tell you something about myself and before the first sentence was written, I remembered a jolly Danish man I met on a plane five years ago. Have you ever met someone who told you everything significant they had ever done in their life in the first conversation? I was flying to Salt Lake City and I sat next the great Dane, an older man, overweight, could have passed for Santa if he had had more facial hair. The flight was about an hour and a half long and in that time, I learned a lot about him. He was a representative for Oticon, a worldwide manufacturer of hearing aids. He would go all over the world trying to sell hearing aids. He even fit Fidel Castro with a hearing aid! But keep that on the down-low because apparently Fidel thinks it would hurt his image if people knew he needs a hearing aid. This was one of the many tales of his exotic brushes with rich and famous hard-of-hearing people. He also told me about his family. He was quite enamored of his grandkids. He regularly told them bedtime stories and had figured out he had a talent for it, and as a result he was now working on a children’s book.

All of these facts seemed innocent enough and, at the time, it was better than reading the in-flight magazine. It was kind of neat to hear about Castro being fit for hearing aids. But in retrospect, it seems pretty pathetic that this man seized with gusto the opportunity to talk so much about himself – and not just to say anything, but to share every highlight of his life. It says to me that he was insecure, and wanting to be thought well of by a total stranger, he pulled out all the stops.

“What can I say to impress this person?”

I would have been equally impressed with him if we had had an in-depth conversation about the social and economic factors in developing countries that are keeping many hearing aid companies from even doing business there. Or how about some honest dialogue on why Oticon can sell a hearing aid in the developing world at a fraction of the cost they sell for in Europe and the U.S.? I would have been really impressed with him if our conversation had been more balanced – if he had cared to try to get to know me. Who knows, maybe I’ve had a brush with a famous person too!

The Great Dane reminded me once again, people aren’t as interested in my as I might think. Sparing you any more narcissistic details (which incidentally, can be found at http://www.onmyownnow.com/), I thank you kindly for hosting me and wish you much success with your blog!


  1. Interesting guest post, Donna. Listening more and talking less is a skill I've been working on for a long time. My life isn't probably half as interesting to others as it is to me. LOL!

    Best of luck with your tour.


  2. I see a story in this post somewhere!

  3. Thanks for the encouragement, Cheryl and Annette!


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