A Change That Will Stick

by Cynthia on July 27, 2017

This year, I’m having a really big birthday. Can you keep a secret? I’m gonna be older than I’ve been in my entire life. But this birthday’s got me, wondering: Have I made a difference?
At home, I have this sign by my door that says, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” I look at it every morning as I leave for work. But nothing about my job makes the world a better place. I count money for a living. At work, if someone says the word CHANGE, they mean the green, silver, and copper kind.
But the kind of change I need comes with growth and new knowledge, and sometimes, lots of chocolate and maybe a little too much wine.
Change has always terrified me.
Right before I graduated from High School, Granny told me, “Cynthia, sugar. All life is is a bunch of changes all strung together. You can’t be afraid. It’s like a box in pretty paper all tied up with a bow. In that box could be the best thing that ever happened to you. OR it could be the worst. If you never look, you’ll never know. But if you hear somethin’ hissin’ and rattling in there, don’t open it. Could be a snake.”

After that, I decided I’d rather help others change than open that box myself. Just seemed like a better plan. That’s when I started writing plays & novels. All these years, I’ve been waiting for my words to make it out into the world, to make a difference. And here they are. Still waiting. It’s not my fault. I did my part. I wrote the words. Do I have to sell them too? I can’t do everything. Unless, I quit my job.Yes!
I am a mess. It’s this gargantuan birthday looming.
I realized last week that if I plan to be the change that sign by my door is talking about, I have to hurry. Somehow, I have to move to the express lane of difference-making.
So I consulted Ms. Google. When I asked her about “Women changing the world,” she had an answer right away.
I wasn’t surprised to learn that a woman invented the Pooper scooper. Or the bra. Somebody had to get us out of the corset, right? But Monopoly? The circular saw? Women invented so many important things and often someone else, usually a man, received credit for their work. That makes the next statement extra sweet. Eat your heart out guys. A WOMAN invented DUCT TAPE! 
Her name was Vesta Stoudt.
It was WWII. Vesta was doing her part packing and inspecting boxes of rifle grenade cartridges. One day she found out that the paper tape they sealed the boxes with was breaking when soldiers tried to pull it off. So there they were, under enemy fire, having to scramble and claw to open those boxes.
Vesta had an idea: A cloth based, water proof tape. She went to her supervisor, and his supervisor, and his supervisor and his supervisor. Everybody kept saying, “The war department’s not going to change the tape.”
So Vesta wrote a letter to President Roosevelt.
I’ll bet those supervisors were surprised when Johnson and Johnson started making army green Duck Tape (When they started making it in silver to close ducts during installation, they began calling it DUCT tape.)
That’s the very same tape astronauts used to repair Apollo 13 and 17.
Did you know, duct tape can double the trade in value of a rusty car. And it removes unwanted hair. And warts. The silver makes an unforgettable prom dress. You can even use it as a strapless bra. Just make sure you have some of that medical tape remover on hand. Okay? OR, ouch.
These days it comes in hundreds of colors and patterns and you can do amazing things with it.

Lexus snack dish

My favorite is a decorative snack dish that fits right into the drink carrier of your Lexus.

I know Vesta would have been so proud, but I wanted to use her tape in a way that would honor the spirit in which she created it; in a way that could be my express lane to difference making, and I found it.

The Vesta Stoudt commemorative war prevention kit.

It includes a 5-inch piece of duct tape that, when strategically placed (in a timely manner), can prevent any argument. In the interest of peace, please pick up a kit today.

Keep one in the dash of your car for family trips. Keep one in the pantry for quick dinner table access. And if you’re under the impression that your family doesn’t need a kit, send some out into the world.
Use them wherever you think they’ll make the most difference.
Join me in seizing this opportunity to be that change in the world. Let’s make a change that will stick.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Email this to someonePrint this page


Write on

by Cynthia on November 2, 2015

2011-10-29 22-53-32.144The show I told you about in my last blog was a wonderful success. I got to know my character so well it took me about three weeks to completely shake her shadow. If you watch the show in the link provided, you will see that Darla Thompson’s depression didn’t creep in “on little cat feet.” The little cat feet carried it away, or at least they eased it.

I wouldn’t call myself a cat person. I have a greater connection with dogs, but I wanted to explore what might emotionally push someone to collect stray cats. I was led by my curiosity, stirred by the memory of an old news story, then I added some cayenne pepper, a spoonful of sugar, and voila. Darla Thompson emerged.
Often, that’s how I write: a little truth, a little fiction, a little spice, a little sweetness. Then I let my fellow writers taste-test the batter. I listen to their feedback and adjust the recipe slightly. When I’m satisfied that it tastes like something I’ve completed, I serve that product to beta readers.
It’s an amazing process.
It’s a process that takes a long time when you have a day job.
Sometimes I think it’s too hard, that I should just give it up.
Have a life.
Then I realize I do have a life.
The life of a writer.
There’s a list of authors who have supported themselves with day jobs. Virginia Wolff ran Hogarth Press. T. S. Eliot worked at Lloyd’s Bank. Frank McCourt taught high school and college. Franz Kafka was an insurance guy. Lewis Carroll was a mathematician, a photographer, and a teacher. William Faulkner was the supervisor of a power plant. Dostoyevsky was an engineer. Kerouac picked cotton, washed dishes, worked as a night guard, a gas station attendant, a fire lookout, a deckhand, and a railroad brakeman. That list of authors is huge and it’s still growing. I’m not saying that I belong with the group I just mentioned, but I am on the list.
Cynthia Rogan is also an accountant.
So there!
Write on.
Thanks for reading.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Email this to someonePrint this page


Shaped by Experience

December 29, 2012

  Cynthia Rogan will perform her new play, Cat-a-tonic. Okay,  so the director made me take the photo up there as promo for Cat-a-tonic. I was a bit resistant. But . . . here it is, just the same.  And here’s some more about the entire show. We’re in for some fun nights and if […]

Read the full article →

Smiling in the face of fear

August 21, 2012

Raising my girls is the scariest, most wonderful thing I’ve ever done. Publishing Symphony of Dreams is probably second on the list. I must admit it’s neck and neck  with being part of a live improv show which I did last Saturday. However, in an improv show, you work with others in the crew and […]

Read the full article →

Too busy to breathe

July 31, 2012

Lately, I’ve been stuck. Somehow, I over-committed. It was out of love, as usual. Love of words, love of writing, love of friends. Between work, trying to market Symphony of Dreams, helping a friend with his manuscript, working on a solo-performance, and trying to get The Courier ready for publication, I lost “something.” First, my […]

Read the full article →

Marketing, Schmarketing

July 16, 2012

So I say to myself, “Now, Cynthia. How hard can it be to get a little attention for your book? I mean Symphony of Dreams is a great story. The people who’ve read it, love it. You love it. And we’ve all been in Symphony’s position at one time or another. So . . . […]

Read the full article →


June 23, 2012

One glance at my garden used to leave me gnashing my teeth. Weeds were everywhere. If one of my plants wasn’t doing well, it was usually sharing its little plot of the world with a healthy green squatter. From experience, I can assure you that no amount of cursing will kill a weed. I have […]

Read the full article →

Lies, Lies, Lies

April 11, 2012

Mr. Rogers died. Then came the story about how he was a Navy Seal and a sniper in Vietnam with 25 confirmed kills to his credit. And . . . the reason he always wore a sweater was to cover up his tattoos. I was shocked. I always saw him as a sort of bland […]

Read the full article →

We must believe

April 7, 2012

Marie Curie said: “Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all, confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.” So . . . that’s why I spend my spare time writing, editing and, […]

Read the full article →

Going places

October 31, 2011

Mama used to tell this story about how I came home from first grade in hysterics. The teacher said we were going to read the next day and I was horrified. How was I supposed to read? I didn’t know how. I insisted Mama teach me that very night so I’d be ready. She tried […]

Read the full article →

No pain, no gain?

October 27, 2011

Generally, I’m not the girly type. I don’t wear makeup on a daily basis. In fact, I’m sure I’ve gone years without mascara. I don’t own a pair of heels. I wear my hair goopless, shiny, and straight. I’m not opposed to showing a little cleavage now and then, but my breasts occurred naturally. They […]

Read the full article →

On this day, I write

October 26, 2011

Robert Dugoni opened the Surrey conference I just attended. “On this day, I write,” was the ending phrase of his speech. If you’d like to hear it, please click here. It is inspirational. Thanks to Robert Dugoni, I began the conference reminded of why I write. Thanks to Robert McCammon, and Robynn Sheahan, and Russell […]

Read the full article →

I have my reasons and you have yours.

September 16, 2011

We all do what we feel we have to at any given moment and those actions we cannot justify, we rationalize. Notice I didn’t say we always do what we feel is right. There’s a big difference. BESIDES . . . what’s right for you could easily wrong someone else (see my post  What’s your […]

Read the full article →

Mares do eat oats, right?

September 12, 2011

Mare-zee dotes and doe-zee dotes and little lam-zee diveys.  A diddly divey doo, wouldn’t you? Wouldn’t you what??? I never understood this song. I sang it anyway – as it is written above. It has such a catchy tune . . .but the words? Oh well, I figured. Nothing is perfect. But I could never […]

Read the full article →

Checking on the sisters

September 9, 2011

The Himalayas The twins, the ladies, the girls, the sisters, the Himalayas: Whatever you call them, you want to keep them as safe as possible. I went for a mammogram on Wednesday morning. First thing I did was sit down with the intake person. I had to fill out some forms, answer a few questions. […]

Read the full article →

For the good of us all

September 7, 2011

I was in the mall the other day looking for back to school clothes for an eight-year-old. I’m surprised they haven’t added a make-up counter in the girl’s section. Do they make spike heels for children? The dresses I’ve posted can be found right now in back to school sections in malls across the country. […]

Read the full article →

The last night of summer

September 5, 2011

The door squeaked opened. Footsteps approached. “Someone else is in here,” I thought, scrambling up from the cool tile, clunking my head against the bottom of the stall wall. Mama would have been mortified had she seen my pale face resting against that bathroom floor. But where else could I calm my stomach? I wasn’t […]

Read the full article →

Where does the dream stop and the story begin?

August 30, 2011

I awoke this morning in the middle of a dream. I had been re-hired by a firm I worked for fifteen years ago. It was my first day back. Scrambled eggs, sausage links, and hash browns were being served on the over-polished, walnut conference table. Hmmm. Family breakfasts weren’t company policy when I worked there […]

Read the full article →

What’s your point . . . of view?

August 27, 2011

Nothing is black and white… really. All things are shaded by point of view. Most of us have experienced this by the time we’re out of diapers.  You think you should have a toy, another baby is sure they need it, and whoever ends up with the prize ultimately believes they deserved it. By the […]

Read the full article →


August 16, 2011

Remember the 1978 version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers? Well, you know how the clones screamed when they spotted a human? That’s exactly how I sound when I catch my new puppy, Sadie,squatting to relieve herself in an inappropriate place. And where-for the love of God-does all that poop come from, anyway? She really doesn’t […]

Read the full article →