Monday, November 23, 2015

Tigger, The Muffin Man, and Me

By Pam Hillman

Tigger bounced into the front office, hand outstretched, an infectious grin on his face. “How are you today, Ms. Johnnie?”

The receptionist couldn’t help but respond to his energetic step, his jovial manner, and his wide grin. He even kind of looked like a Tigger. He was tall and lanky and middle-aged, and just bouncy. But the similarity ended there. He was a cardboard box salesman.

But he acted like a Tigger, and he brought a smile to the entire office as he peddled his wares. And over the years it became apparent that he wasn’t friendly and bouncy and interested in us just to sell boxes. No-siree!

He genuinely cared about people.


These two adorable babies aren't Tigger, but goodness, if anything reminds me of Tigger, they do!

One time my husband had a life-threatening injury that kept him in the hospital for ten days. Tigger dropped by the office while I was out. He was so concerned for my husband (whom he had never met), that he got the number to the hospital and called to check on us. You don’t forget Tiggers like that. I haven’t seen Tigger in several years, but I will never forget him, and I’ll always think of him as Tigger, and when I do, I will smile.

The Muffin Man was another one of our favorite salesmen. I dubbed him The Muffin Man because he brought us to-die-for muffins from The Beagle Bagel Café.

Oh.My.Stars! 

They were the size of dinner plates and so moist, they just melted in your mouth. One would hold you all day…if you could manage to stop at just one. If The Muffin Man visited in the morning, forget about lunch. I just skipped the healthy stuff altogether and ate a Beagle Bagel Café blueberry muffin with a fresh-brewed cup of coffee. Yum!

The Muffin Man shared pictures of his beautiful daughters, his latest hunting escapades, and his turkey calls and always asked about my boys. Eventually we got around the purpose of his visit, talking about stainless steel.

Good men, good salesmen who took the time to get to know their customers, who sometimes came bearing gifts, and always came bearing smiles, the gift that keeps on giving.

I’ve met more Tiggers, Muffin Men, and friendly Winnie the Pooh types over the years, but I’ve met a few Eeyore types as well. Don’t get me wrong, Eeyore is so cute and cuddly, and we want to fix him, and make him feel better about life.

But in real life, having an Eeyore around who never, ever has a good thing to say about anything would put a damper on things for sure. I don’t know about you, but I like to be encouraged. A bit of encouragement goes a long way. But on the flip side, discouragement and a toxic attitude does as well.

The very un-remarkable un-memorable salesman who replaced Tigger was the exact opposite of Tigger. He talked slow, he walked slow, and he acted like he was selling something as bland and unappetizing as a cardboard box. Well, he was selling boxes, but still, he was the closest thing to an Eeyore salesman that I’ve ever seen. I literally dreaded to see him coming. No personality, no excitement about anything. Just ho-hum, do ya wanna-buy-a-box boring.


Now, I’ll be honest. Having a hard-core Tigger bouncing around me all the time would drive me insane, but on the flip side, I’d go bonkers and have to be in a strait-jacket with Eeyore as a side-kick as well. In the words of Goldilocks, I relate more to someone with a “just right” personality. Maybe someone more like Pooh Bear.

If our attitude is so easily swayed in one direction or another by someone else, then it stands to reason that others react to our attitude the same way. One character can be swayed by another. Our readers can be swayed by our characters. A good story has a well-rounded cast of characters, some Tiggers, Eeyores, Pooh Bears, Piglets, and even a few Muffin Men. Are the Tiggers in your story that way simply because it’s his personality? Is there an underlying reason Eeyore seems depressed all the time?

Those characters need concrete reasons for being that way. So give ‘em reasons. And your readers will love your stories just as much as they love Winnie the Pooh and the Hundred Acre Wood.



CBA Bestselling author PAM HILLMAN was born and raised on a dairy farm in Mississippi and spent her teenage years perched on the seat of a tractor raking hay. In those days, her daddy couldn't afford two cab tractors with air conditioning and a radio, so Pam drove an Allis Chalmers 110. Even when her daddy asked her if she wanted to bale hay, she told him she didn't mind raking. Raking hay doesn't take much thought so Pam spent her time working on her tan and making up stories in her head. Now, that's the kind of life every girl should dream of. www.pamhillman.com

104 comments :

  1. I'm not selling a thing. But there's free coffee!!

    Interesting analogies, Pam. Thanks.

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  2. So, are you writing an in depth Winnie The Pooh and 100 acres? I'd love to read it, if you do, Pam. I just finished Julie Lessman's Isle of Hope today and now, there's a story. I loved it, and the review is going up this week, I hope!
    Thanks for an inspiring post, Pam. It's a keeper.
    Coffee and cinnamon rolls are here!

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  3. Marianne, I'm fine. Just dealing with things.

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  4. Love the Winnie the Pooh analogies. Unforgettable characters.

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  5. Hi Pam! I love the Winnie the Pooh analogies! I've met a few Tiggers and Eeyores in my life as well. I loved he Tiggers and always tried to help the Eeyores.

    I have to share, our poodle is named Pooh Bear, but he loves to jump and bounce on his hind legs like Tigger. Guess we should have waited to name him. :)

    Have a blessed week!

    Blessings,
    Cindy W.

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  6. Helen!!!!! I love you!!!!!!

    Pam, this is a wonderful analogy. We can learn a lot from Pooh and the Hundred Acre Wood characters!

    I'm drinking Helen's coffee and dreaming of dinner-plate sized muffins.

    :)

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  7. Well said, Pam. Frankly, at this point in life, I run from the Eyores. I admit it.

    Did Pam actually bring muffins today? Can I please have a muffin?

    Muffin? Where are you, muffin???? Come to mama.

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  8. Oh, Marianne brought cinnamon rolls! God Bless you!

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  9. Great post, Pam! Working in an office environment for 20+ years, I've learned that unhappy people like to make those around them unhappy. I try very hard not to let others determine the type of day I'll have.
    I love those twins! :)

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  10. Morning Pam Tiggers and Poohs, what a lovely way to start the day. And Marianne's cinnamon rolls. Yum.

    Thanks for the coffee Helen. Praying things go better for you.

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  11. Pammers Great analogy and yes, we do need to give those characters in our books reasons for their attitudes. Thankfully the Lord understands the reasons for ours. smile

    And encouragement is so important which is why I love Seekerville, the Seekers and our dear friends who join us. Yippee!!!

    Oh what a beautiful morning!!!1

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  12. Good morning, Pam! What a thoughtful reminder about life in general, not just in shaping realistic characters and a dynamic plot. We are in the middle of moving my daughter two blocks away and I was in the middle of an Eyore moment when looking at all that needs to be done. You reminded me that if I were a little bit of Tigger, the moving would be as sunny as our cold day in Tennessee.
    "If our attitude is so easily swayed in one direction or another by someone else, then it stands to reason that others react to our attitude the same way. One character can be swayed by another. Our readers can be swayed by our characters." Pam's pithy quote!
    Thanks for the word of wisdom and encouragement for a long absent seeker fan.

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  13. Hi Pam,

    And to make your story EVEN more fun, readers could find out "The Tigger or Muffin Man" character who seem to be so happy, fun loving and friendly, have faced tragedy in their lives, perhaps the loss of parents at a young age and live in the foster care system or a sick child yet they choose to have a positive attitude.

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  14. What a fun post, and you gave me something to think about. Thanks for sharing!

    Rose, you're right. Choosing to have a positive attitude goes a long way. Saturday at work one of the techs came in saying she couldn't wait for the day to be over. I patted her shoulder and kept telling her it was going to be a good day. Then the next tech overslept and when he rushed in, first tech told him it was going to get better. I won't say we sailed through the next eight hours, but we encouraged each other through every challenge.

    Wow, I think I said too much. Sorry. Have a great day everybody! It's going to be a great day!

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  15. Lovely post, Pam. I once had a friend who was negative...about everything. Poor dear. She'd had a rough childhood and carried her baggage on her shoulders and into every situation. I still pray for her. That's a tough way to go through life.

    Your Tigger sounds delightful! Upbeat people make the day brighter. Any day!

    Great message about our characters. Each should be unique. Lots to ponder as I enjoy breakfast. Reaching for a cinnamon roll to go with my coffee!

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  16. Hii Pam: Loved your post. You made me relive the many years I worked at the law firm and the characters I came across, attorneys included. We had one gossipy lady. I have used her in a story I wrote. Then there was the Federal Express guy and you are so right, some people really can be so upbeat and positive and funny. He made golf clubs out of wood and sold them too. The bank courier was so special to me, I always gave him a gift at Christmas. Thanks for sharing.

    Happy Thanksgiving to all.

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  17. Pam, I love this post. It is a great reminder to develop my characters well.

    As I read this I couldn't help but think of kids I have taught. I have had several tiggers, but I have also had a eeyore. This child is always a woe is me sort. But then he has had some rough things happen in his young life.

    Have a wonderful week everyone and Happy Thanksgiving!

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  18. Hi Pam
    I laughed when I saw the today's title. There was a season in my life (fresh out of college) where there were two guys vying for my attention. One was a Tigger, the other... an Eeyore. I described them both as such to my mom and she didn't believe me until she met them. She tried so HARD to help mr. Eeyore too. It was kind of funny. She'd never met someone so impervious to her attempts to help him see what a great world/life/plans God had for him.

    I became very good pals with mr. tigger (unfortunately for him, not in a romantic sense, but that didn't damper his attitude). mr. eeyore moved on without me.

    Here's to hoping I'm more Tigger than Eeyore - although I'd say I'm more of a Pooh. I am definitely shaped like Pooh. Tubby and stuffed with fluff *sigh*. Wait... that came out a bit Eeyore. Trying again: tubby and stuffed with fluff, ah well,off to find more honey...

    Thanks for the insight into how to integrate the 100 acre woods characters into our stories. Awesome! I love the 100 acre woods.

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  19. You made my day -- I had no idea that there was a Best of Eeyore video on youtube!!!!! I do adore Eeyore. I always felt he never got the same press that Pooh and Tigger did. LOL

    And your salesmen stories reminded me of an Eeyore salesman I knew. In fact, we called him Eeyore. He sold a very expensive library system which my boss and I knew our school board would never buy for our libraries. (I was working at the central board library at the time.) This guy would come in, heave a sigh and start all his sentences with "I don't suppose..." or "I know it's not likely..." or "I almost didn't bother stopping by..." Lo and behold the school board did a major shift in priorities and funding and decided the way of the future was this very expensive library system. My boss was so jazzed about telling our Eeyore salesman. I made her do it when I was there. We were expecting at least a shadow of Tigger to bounce out, but no, after a pregnant pause while he no doubt grappled for something Eeyorish to say, he heaved a sigh and moaned, "I suppose they want it on a tight timeline. That will be a lot of work. For everybody." Well it was a lot of work, but not for him, he'd made the sale. LOL

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  20. I am a particular fan of Eeyore, which is probably a bad sign about my personality.

    PS I just watched babies dancing and a cartoon. I'm feeling pretty good right now.

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  21. Fun post, PAM!

    MARY, I relate best to Eeyore, too. Just not the bouncy Tigger type.

    But those bouncing babies sure bring a smile to my face! I saw this video several weeks ago, and it cracked me up!

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  22. So glad to see HELEN, our coffee lady, again! Missed you! (And not because of the coffee, sweet lady!)

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  23. Good morning, all! Lead me to the coffee. Yawn! I was sleeping like a rock, and my phone rang. I have no clue who it was. I googled it and several comments say it's a telemarketer. Good thing I didn't answer.

    Okay, first cuppa down and I no longer feel like a cross between the Grinch and Eeyore. Trying to swing the pendulum a bit closer to TIgger.

    GOOD MORNING SEEKERVILLE!!! :)

    Hmmmm, I wonder how many cups of coffee Tigger ingested every morning? Or maybe he was a Red Bull Tigger...

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  24. Tina, I agree about running!

    Jill, that's so smart. And it takes effort not to let the negativity affect us.

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  25. Pam, you described your Tigger salesman so well, I can just see him. :)

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  26. Jill Weatherholt, yes. When we let others determine our mindset, we've given up the power of positive thinking!

    And then I have to be careful not to be a jerk about Eeyores, because we're all built differently, but having said that, I do avoid negatives whenever I can. And we all know that's not a given, but if you surround yourself with positives, it just seems easier....

    And that's kind of how we formed the Seekers.... All hard-working, God-fearing women who wanted to be published, and wanted it for others too.

    And then came Seekerville, cause, darlins, you gots to share the LOVE!!!!!!!

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  27. Pam, Tigger has a Keurig, just like mine.

    He's got it workin' from the coffee angle and he loves Helen Gray, too!!!

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  28. Helen, your comment about "not selling a thing" made me laugh. Uh... did you call me by chance???? :)

    Marianne, it might be fun to write out a story using the personality types of all the 100 acre woods characters. But who would be the hero? Pooh is a little too "Oh Dear'ish" to come across at a hero in a romance. lol

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  29. DebH said: Here's to hoping I'm more Tigger than Eeyore - although I'd say I'm more of a Pooh. I am definitely shaped like Pooh. Tubby and stuffed with fluff *sigh*. Wait... that came out a bit Eeyore. Trying again: tubby and stuffed with fluff, ah well,off to find more honey...

    Deb, I'm laughing so hard. You're so cute. :)

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  30. Terri, there's a lot to learn from Winnie the Pooh. Not the least that honey and jam on a thick slice of toasted whole wheat tastes YUMMY! Here, have a slice! :)

    Cindy, your poodle sounds adorable. A Pooh-Tigger cross. Too sweet. :)

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  31. Oh, Kav, that is hysterical!!! I guess you can't change an Eeyore spirit. :)

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  32. Oh, and I read a piece about how TIggers try to help Eeyores, and Eeyores try to get Tiggers to tone it down, saying "nobody's that happy all the time", etc. The author, Gretchen Rubin, says that when either party tries to "convert" the other party, they just dig in deeper. Not sure, but it sounds logical.

    Here's the link to her post: https://gretchenrubin.com/happiness_project/2010/10/quiz-are-you-a-tigger-or-an-eeyore-plus-a-few-points-to-consider/

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  33. Pam, fun post! You had very different personality types going in and out of your office and they haven't left your thoughts. Variety is the spice of life and can add a lot of zest to our books. :-)

    I put a Tigger secondary character in Courting Miss Adelaide. He was a lawyer, all chirpy and bouncy, bringing astonishing news that upset the hero and baffled the heroine. I loved how his personality heightened the emotion of his message.

    Eeyore's gloominess and Winnie-the-Pooh's optimism are so over the top they make me laugh. What a great way to add humor to our stories. I'm going to think more on the Eeyore and Tigger types and see if I can find a spot for them in my wip.

    Love the dancing babies!

    Janet

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  34. Me, too, Ruthy. Dreaming that is. To whet your appetite, we have an assortment of muffins this morning... blueberry cream cheese, poppy seed, banana nut, apple cinnamon, chocolate, and pumpkin-spice in honor of Thanksgiving!

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  35. Tina, your wish is my command. The BBC is about 50 miles from me, so the round trip took a couple of hours, but they are HERE!!! :)

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  36. The Beagle Bagel Cafe - http://thebeaglebagelcafe.com/locations/index.php

    Yum!

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  37. Jill, nodding vigorously about the office. Been there, done that for many years. While I wasn't the worst Eeyore of the bunch (not by a long shot), I found myself whining way too often.

    Now, the following isn't necessarily an Eeyore trait because I've never heard Eeyore bad-mouth anyone other than himself, but the "woe-is-me" attitude can quickly turn into pointing fingers, even if it's just inside. During one particularly stressful season at work, I realized I was putting a damper on my closest co-workers by whining about this situation, that particular person, or just work in general. And I didn't know how to STOP doing it. It had become second nature to blow off steam with them.

    Around that time, a friend gave a devotion at church where she talked about stones, how words are like stones, and how we hurt others and bring them down when we throw stones. She brought small flat rocks with crosses and hearts painted on them. She said when we felt the urge to talk about someone or just when that steam was about to blow, to grab our rock and pray for them or for the situation.

    That tiny rock sat front and center on my computer monitor for the next 4-5 years. It's in my home office now, even though I don't need it as often. Before long, my whining became less pronounced as I stopped and prayed before letting things upset me so much.

    Nothing had really changed outside of ME, but I sure felt better about the way I was reacting to the pressure cooker. :)

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  38. Sandra, I'm so thankful for the encouragement that is Seekerville. :)

    Olivia, bless your heart, dear! Moving day is tough, but you can do it! Why don't y'all find a nice diner (preferably one that sells AMAZING muffins!!!) and take a break mid-day. And... do some fun stuff... hide sticky notes or some pieces of candy .... shucks, or some of those muffins among the stuff to lighten the load. Now, that would make me run around like Tigger to load it all up so I could find the prize first! lol

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  39. What a fun post, Pam. Tiggers are fun. One of my boys is a bit like Tigger, and I have to be careful not to squelch his seemingly random exuberace. :) My other bot has Eeyore tendencies, and I'm learning to let those moments work themselves out.

    I haven't thought about these sorts of charaacteristics for my characters, though I'm sure they're in there, to some degree. :) When I begin my new WIP, it will be fun to be more intentional about creating a Tigger character. Maybe my heroine's best friend. Oh, you just got the creative juices flowing! Thanks for that. :)

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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  40. Rose, I love it! We could write a whole back story on Tigger. What if he and Eeyore were both raised in the same orphanage, and one chose to be bouncy and energetic, while the other went down the other path? What if... :)

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  41. Hi Pam:

    Loved the videos. I must have been culturally deprived (or born too soon) as I never heard of Pooh or Dr. Seuss until after I came back from the military. All I got were Bible stories, year after year after year. Even though I'm a philosopher and my wife goes to Bible school every Sunday, she still comes to me with questions about what is in the Bible and where it can be found. Stories really work!

    I did love to Pooh video and how the narrator entered the story and thumbed back a few pages to help with a character dispute. Very meta-fiction like!

    Trying to hide the narrator is like the Emperor's clothes. Everyone knows they are reading a story that an author wrote. You might as well try to hide the Emporer's nakedness with invisible clothes. Pooh, is right.

    Motivation? Negative people feel good being negative. But they don't like being around other negative people. They want to be the only negative one in the room. They feed off and wallow in the attention of having other people try to cheer them up. Can you show how a negative character really enjoys this attention? How he feeds off it? How he resents anyone who agrees with him? How he takes positive energy from the room when he leaves? There is an Eastern quote about these negative people: "Taking his pain away is like taking bread from a beggar."

    I have found the best way to deal with people, and I've had thousands of adults in my classes, is to look and talk to them with total approval. To think to yourself and let your body language reflect this: "I really approve of this person, this couple, these people."

    These folks get the 'whole picture' of your actions. Be genuine. Some may have gone years without getting such an approving reception. It costs nothing but seems to have the greatest impact on others -- whoever they are!

    Seekerville and all its friends are always a welcome addtion to each of my days.

    Thanks,

    Vince

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  42. Jackie, I love it!!! That's the way to encourage each other. You were AMAZING... you instinctively encouraged your co-worker, and like a chain reaction, she encouraged the next guy!

    Too many times I've been tempted to just join the pity-party. And when that happens, all of us fall into the same "this is going to be a horrible, stinking, no-good day" attitude.

    Just think, your one pat on the back, and "this is going to be a good day" comment turned the day around for all of you.

    YAY YOU!

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  43. Hi Pam
    The two boys, same orphanage story was sort of was done in the cartoon movie "Meet the Robinsons". Well, except that the hero kid wasn't really a Tigger, per se. The villain was an Eeyore though. Of course, the movie wasn't a romance, so that "What if..." is still a pretty cool one.

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  44. Thanks for sharing your story, Pam. Your friend from church sounds like a wise woman. :)

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  45. Debby, I think we all know a few Eeyores. And when we know their backstory, we understand a bit about why they're like they are. Sure, some Eeyore and/or Tigger tendencies stem from personality, but there's a difference in just being a quiet, reflective type, and letting life's circumstances drag you down continuously.

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  46. P.S>

    Pam, I've been thinking of you each time a Hillman appears in Janet's "A Father for Christmas". Yesterday I mentioned how many easy to remember names are in that novella but last night I came across a Moony. A very mean old guy!!!

    To quote:

    The door opened. Vi’s great-uncle Moony Townsend strode in, then stopped at Rafe’s elbow. “Appears this joint will serve anyone that blows into town, even riffraff,” he said, loud enough for all to hear. “How many more young women are you gonna destroy, Rafferty, before you leave for greener pastures?”

    I do much better in Julie's books! : )

    And so it goes!

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  47. Suzanne, there you go! I guess I wasn't the only one to notice the different personality traits in the people I worked with and/or saw on a daily basis during my 28 years in the corporate world. :)

    But you know, I'm thinking back to the hundred or so people I interacted with during that time. Most were very middle-of-the-road people who exhibited Tigger tendencies, and on rare occasions (like a death in the family, sickness, a severe financial crisis), Eeyore tendencies. I'm not saying they didn't feel sad and under appreciated INSIDE, but they worked to not let those issue take over their life and the life of those around them.

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  48. Wilani, praying for your little Eeyore to find his inner TIGGER. Life experience does make a difference, doesn't it?

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  49. DebH, that is so funny. I can't see myself married to a Tigger or to an Eeyore!

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  50. Kav said, "he heaved a sigh and moaned, "I suppose they want it on a tight timeline. That will be a lot of work. For everybody."

    Oh.My!

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  51. Mary, those babies are the cutest, aren't they? And I always loved the cartoons of my childhood. Not so fond of a lot of the current ones. Maybe I need to enjoy a few of those more often! :)

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  52. Myra, I'm somewhere in the middle, too. Definitely not a Tigger, but not an Eeyore either...well, unless I'm tired, or hungry, or sleepy, or just received a rejection, or got a REALLY BAD 1 star review.... Hmmmm.... moving on...

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  53. The difference in someone with a quiet, laid back personality and a true-blue Eeyore is that the true-blue Eeyore has no filter. They have no qualms about telling the world exactly how they feel regardless of how depressed it makes everybody else feel.

    The difference in a well-balanced happy, energetic person and a Tigger is probably ... Red Bull, ten gallons of coffee, or ADHD.

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  54. Missy, he was just such a perfect Tigger. He even sorta clicked his heels in this little mini-salute and leaned forward when he went to shake your hand, with a twinkle in his eye and a big smile on his face. :)

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  55. Ruthy, I was Eeyore before coffee, and Tigger after!

    Long live the Keurig and Helen Gray! :)

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  56. Janet said: I put a Tigger secondary character in Courting Miss Adelaide. He was a lawyer, all chirpy and bouncy, bringing astonishing news that upset the hero and baffled the heroine. I loved how his personality heightened the emotion of his message.


    Oh, that's good, Janet. Perfect way to inject the mood you were looking for. And, on the flip side, an Eeyore delivering exciting news could be fun. :)

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  57. Jeanne T., best friends make the BEST Tiggers! :)

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  58. Vince, great stuff!

    I know I'm not a good Eeyore type because I notice other's subtle reactions to me when I'm on a bit of a downer. I'm not sure that a real Eeyore really notices that. And, you're right about wanting to be the only Eeyore in the room. I've noticed that, too.

    The same can be said for some the most flamboyant Tiggers.

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  59. Vince, oh, THAT Mooney. I'm sure he's no relation to you! :)

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  60. Pam said: And, on the flip side, an Eeyore delivering exciting news could be fun. :)

    Great point, Pam! That reminds me of the craft tip that suggests the h/h understate trouble, etc. in order to create more of a reader reaction to dialogue.

    Janet

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  61. VINCE!!! I never once thought of you when I named the angry relative Moony. I wouldn't intentionally give an offensive character a Villager or Seeker name. I'm sorry. Moony just seemed to fit. :-(

    Janet

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  62. Thank you, Pam. I tend to be negative and am constantly working on it. A good post for the beginning of the week. When I'm feeling especially Eeyore-ish, meaning feeling sorry for myself and drawing inward, God always brings someone into my orbit that needs to be encouraged, and needs to be encouraged by ME.
    Kathy Bailey

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  63. Hi Pam,
    Thanks for this post and sharing the insights that I missed a long time ago! I was never into Winnie the Pooh. I recall my teacher giving us extra credit if we showed our movie stub proving we'd attended the first showing of the Winnie the Pooh short that came out in (ahem...clears throat and shakes head in shock at how time flies) 1966. I remember my friends and I thought it was a waste of money because the film was too short, lol. Apparently, we all missed the film's message. I never read those books either. I was too tied up in Betsy and the Bobbsie Twins books. Finally, though, you've turned on the light bulb. Now I get it.

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  64. OH MY GOSH, PAMMY, you stopped me dead in my tracks with the video of the twin Irish dancers -- love, Love, LOVED IT!!!!

    And I loved this post, too, because it is soooooo true!! How boring like would be if everyone was the same, and heaven knows I would NOT want to live in a world of Julies because it's hard enough BEING one!!

    I actually LOVE to create a menagerie of colorful characters, which is why I love writing family sagas so much. :)

    Great post, Pam!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  65. MARIANNE!!! WOW, you're fast, girlfriend, so THANK YOU for reading Isle of Hope, and I cannot wait to see the review. Make sure you let me know when it's up so I can give you a point in my newsletter contest, okay?

    LOL, VINCE ... you're right ... you DO fare MUCH BETTER in my books ... ;)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  66. Janet, that's an interesting thought, but which character would understate trouble? Seems a Tigger would understate trouble and overstate anything of an exciting nature, but the opposite would be true for an Eeyore.

    Something to think about.

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  67. Kathy, this might be why God gives some of us CHILDREN! :)

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  68. HELLO PAM! Thank you for the great post. I'm bouncing along enjoying this GORGEOUS, SUNNY, Fall day in Texas.

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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  69. Lyndee, I'm sure this type of message is lost on children. And who knows if A. A. Milne intended to include all that? Seems he would have needed a degree in psychology to accomplish all that. But I suppose writing based on gut feeling and a life-long art of studying people (and Tiggers and Eeyores) comes in handy as well.

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  70. Hi Janet:

    You were doing okay until you wrote: "Moony just seemed to fit." Did you mean 'Moony' fits a grumpy, nasty, old man, but just not me in particular?

    I should have also mentioned Mary: She has 5 books with Vince as major characters and Vince is even the hero with his own book! Of course, Julie is the only one with a Vince Mooney. That one would be hard to wiggle out of. : ))


    Vince

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  71. Isn't it fun, Julie? Our characters might not be quite the extremes as Tigger and Eeyore, but some lean more heavily in one direction than the other, usually.

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  72. Caryl, good to see you. We had a nice chilly weekend, but it's nice outside now. I made a big pot of soup today, so dig in...

    Some of us are still munching on Marianne's YUMMY cinnamon rolls and I hid a couple of muffins for an afternoon snack. Fresh coffee and tea coming up. :)

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  73. PAM, what a great idea to compare people and characters to Winnie the Pooh characters. You've made me realize I have a Tigger or two in my stories, and I now realize why their appearances are far between :-) There are some Poohs and Owls and Roos and Piglets and even Rabbits ... but no full-time true Eeyores. My other characters would have no patience with Eeyore.

    I wonder if their aversion to Eeyore types is because they're in the West, determined to build towns and futures even when the odds are heavily against them.

    You had no idea you would nudge me into such deep thoughts, did you? :-D

    Super post!

    Nancy C

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  74. Julie, how could I not get it done? I was living it! Thank you
    Janet Dean, I got the book. Much Thanks.
    i have more cinnamon rolls and there are no calories!

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  75. Julie my review is up and running

    http://reviewingnovelsonline.blogspot.com/2015/11/isle-of-hope-Julie-Lessman.html

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  76. Nancy, I imagine Eeyores are hard to write especially in that time period. But maybe a widow who's just lost her husband... now she'd definitely have reason to be a temporary Eeyore, or a woman living in a sod hut out in the middle of nowhere with the wind howling between the cracks.

    There's nothing that says just because a character is an Eeyore temporarily, that he or she can't come out of that funk. I mean, goodness, just look at the way we feel every time we get a rejection. Ouch!

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  77. Yum!!! More cinnamon rolls! And I just made a fresh pot of Vanilla Biscotti coffee to go with them. Yay!

    Actually, I made one cup, but there's more where that came from. There's also Hazelnut and Hazelnut Decaf if you prefer. It's a little late for a mid-afternoon snack, but I guess it's 3 o'clock somewhere. :)

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  78. Hi Marianne:

    Loved your review of "Isle of Hope"! It does what all great reviews should do: It makes me eager to read the book -- and for the same reasons that made you like it so much. Wow!

    BTW: Your link did not work for me but this one did:

    http://reviewingnovelsonline.blogspot.com/

    Funny, I'm reading Janet's "A Father for Christmas" right now and I feel much the same way you did about Julie's "Isle of Hope". I just love books that you love each and every page along the way -- that's writing so good you don't have to wait until the end to enjoy it.

    Of course, with Sandra's "Love's Dream Song", I don't want it to end so much that I'm down to reading just one page a day to make it last. This is not funny…it is the absolute truth! Can a book be too good for its own good?

    How did you like Sandra's "Love's Dream Song"? If you haven't read it yet, you're in for a treat. I can best describe it as being like, 'Tony Hillerman meets Linda Howard's Mackenzies' -- what a way to make the 'dream' romance become a reality.

    Vince

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  79. Wow, Marianne, I have Isle of Hope and have peeked at the opening scenes. You've made me wish I could stop what I'm supposed to be doing and go read it RIGHT NOW! Man, sometimes deadlines just stink. :(

    Vince, I love how you pull so much emotion out of the stories you read. You're amazing!

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  80. Vince, I did make it worse!! Yet you spoke such sweet words about "A Daddy for Christmas" in Home for Christmas. I'm blaming Myra. She edited the novella and should've questioned it. ;-)

    Janet

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  81. Hi Pam. Love the analogies you used with the lovely cast from Winnie the Pooh. Characters makes a good story. So did you start dreaming up stories while raking? Which ones of your published ones derived from the time of raking hay under the sun?

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  82. Loved this post, Pam. Especially the comparison to Winnie-the-Pooh characters.
    My kiddos and I have always loved those characters (especially Tigger and Piglet). When we had our house built (19 years ago) and my children were still quite young, I decorated their bathroom in "Classic Winnie-the-Pooh" - - and yes, it's still decorated that way, even though all my kiddos have moved out. I love those characters so much, I can't bear to change it (no pun intended with "bear" LOL).
    Hugs, Patti Jo

    p.s. Am loving STEALING JAKE now that I have a print copy to read!! :)

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  83. I loved the Winnie the Pooh characters in your post. As a reader it's so much easier to read a book and be excited about the Tigger characters as opposed to the Eeyore characters. I never could figure out why he was so glum all the time.

    Deanne P.

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  84. Vince you tease. Here I was thinking you didn't like my book so you were being polite and not writing a review. Oh my. You made my day. But your comments are rather humbling also. Thank you. I guess I better get busy and finish another book.

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  85. YES, VINCE, that IS absolutely correct -- I am the ONLY one with a genuine Vince Mooney in my book, and I'm proud to claim it! :)

    PAMMY, YES, it is SO much fun!! And I always thought that you and I had somewhat similar styles, which is why I have always loved your books so much. :)

    MARIANNE!!! OH.MY.GOSH!!! Your review BLEW ME AWAY, my friend, and I seriously cannot thank you enough. Hate to tell you, kiddo, but you are permanently on my influencer list whether you want to be or not!! And that review has entered you in my newsletter contest, so do let me know if you post it anywhere else, okay? And you really should enter my Isle of Hope Contest, too, since posting a review earns you extra points. :)
    Thank you SOOOO MUCH, you sweet thing!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  86. Just Commonly, none of the ones I made up while raking hay as a TEEN have made it into print--yet, but I've brainstormed and thought a lot about my stories while helping my husband in the hay field. :)

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  87. Patti Jo, you can't go wrong with Winnie the Pooh decorations. :) And THANK YOU for telling me you're reading Stealing Jake. So glad you're enjoying it! :)

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  88. Deanne, I think if we knew Eeyore's backstory, we'd understand completely.

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  89. PAMMY, YES, it is SO much fun!! And I always thought that you and I had somewhat similar styles, which is why I have always loved your books so much. :)

    Whoo-hoo! I'm so happy I feel like bouncing!

    I think I'll frame this, Julie. I can't imagine ever being a writer of your caliber, but I'll TAKE it, darlin'! :)

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  90. What a fun Monday this has turned out to be! Great start to the Thanksgiving week!

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  91. Pam, as a salesperson myself, I found this fascinating.

    As for what my customers say about me, one of them did say that a phone call from me had replaced death and taxes on the list of the most inevitable things in life. (Yes, I made the sale.) :-)

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  92. Marianne, glad to hear The Bounty Hunter's Redemption arrived! You are welcome!

    Janet

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  93. Marianne, who knew Tigger and Eeyore could be so fascinating! :)

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  94. Walt, that is too funny. Glad you made the sale. Thumbs up!!

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  95. So cute. I had a tigger of my own. Now he's 33 and has tiggers of his own.

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  96. Pammers I agree with Julie. You both really rock. I LOVE your stories.

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  97. I love this comparsion to different people!

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  98. Christine, love that you had a Tigger! I bet his tigers run him ragged! lol

    Sierra, thank you for stopping by. Great character study, huh?

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