Archive | August, 2013

The process of writing a blog post (from a timey-wimey perspective)

31 Aug

Been there, done this.
A little blogging humor for your Saturday.
Enjoy! 🙂

Creative Writing with the Crimson League

Screen Shot 2013-08-11 at 8.24.50 AMThe life of a blogger is never done! Blogging is a unique and rewarding hobby (or career for some), and I definitely enjoy it as a hobby.Mostly I enjoy it when reflecting upon posts that I’ve already written, because actually writing a good blog post can be pretty tough.

I’ve noticed that writing a blog post follows–more or less–a rather interesting pattern. I’m sure some of my fellow bloggers can relate! 🙂

  1. THE DETERMINATION PHASE. Thirty minutes, let’s do this thing! I am on fire today and have lots of other stuff to do. I can knock this post out in half an hour or less….
  2. THE SLOW START. I can definitely write this in half an hour. I just need something to write about. So, what’s on my mind? Grief, dang it. I’m still not over how David Tennant’s Doctor left Doctor Who. I watched that, what, two weeks…

View original post 280 more words

I Have Scheduled My First Guest Blogger!

30 Aug

 

Wonderful, yummy, calming tea.

Wonderful, yummy, calming tea.

I am sitting here sipping hot tea, thinking about the day I had.

It wasn’t anything unusual. Actually, it was a rather typical day.

I woke up a little later than planned due to the fact that we both forgot to set an alarm. After getting up and putting on my robe I went and let our female Labrador out to do her morning business. While she was out, I too handled my morning business; then swapped dogs and poured myself some cereal.

The other dog got let in and I started eating my first breakfast.

I usually have two breakfasts. One to take care of the morning’s urgent low blood sugar, and the second to provide me with the staying power of lots of protein.

This morning however, I was about half way through my bowl when my phone’s calendar made it’s all too happy little sound. Upon checking what it was so perky about I about did a spit-take. I was supposed to be driving an Aunt and my last remaining Grandmother to a meeting…15 minutes from then.

I mentally took review of my situation.

  • Unbrushed hair
  • Morning breath
  • Half way through breakfast #1
  • No idea what I was going to wear

Let’s do this!

So I scarf down my cereal (at a speed which would have shocked all members of my family, as I am renowned for eating at a speed which would rival that of a sloth’s).

Then it’s run into my bedroom, flick on the light (apologizing to my still slumbering husband), and begin rifling through my shirt drawer looking for something which would be comfortable, but kind of nice looking.

I’m dressed, hair is done, teeth are brushed, and I arrive to pick them up just a few minutes late.

We make it there at an OK time, and have to wait anyway.

Of course.

The meeting went well. Everything was taken care of with good humor and the lady went out of her way to be helpful. It was actually pleasant.

Afterward we did lunch at a local A&W (amazingly none of us ordered root beer…is that legal?).

While dropping them off again, we discussed an upcoming family get-together and decide that we will all go together. It’s a several hour drive both ways, so essentially ROAD TRIP!

After getting home I tool around on social media for a while, do a little reading, then decided to ward off a threatening headache by lying down for half an hour. Well, I made it into my bed, and was technically lying down. But instead of going to sleep, started playing around on Twitter. One thing led to another and I invited Laura Oliva to write a guest post about staying creative in the writing process.

I’m not sure how I got there, but I’m glad I did.

She will be my first guest poster, and if all goes reasonably well, I will most likely start inviting more writers to borrow my blogging mic.

I actually have a few other people in mind, and may be hitting you up for posts on your advice to novice authors, tips for people new to social media, or something just plain humorous.

I’m not sure if it will become something that’s on a schedule, or if they just get popped in whenever I feel like it.

Realistically it will most likely be the latter, since calendars and I seem to have a love-hate relationship (as evidenced by this morning).

Anyway, if I don’t give you a holler in the next few weeks, and you think you would like to write something for my hand full of loyal readers, please feel free to get hold of me. I would be open to posting anything interesting, helpful, or funny.

[Just remember that if it’s even a little off color my readers will be warned, so they can make sure their impressionable little ones are down for a nap before reading what you have to say. I’m not really a prude, but my readers are who they are, and I choose to respect that fact.]

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Here’s hoping this new adventure isn’t as catastrophic as if the Hindeburg crash-landed on the Titanic right next to Krakatoa.

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Video

My Bed is Calling – A Poem

29 Aug

My eyes are tired,

blood-shot and red.

I stare, unseeing,

Thinking of bed.

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The day was long.

No time for rest.

It wasn’t the worst.

It wasn’t the best.

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My bed is calling,

Whining my name.

This computer chair

Just isn’t the same.

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The day is done.

Time for sleep.

Bury me in blankets.

A happy, snoring heap.

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Wednesdays are busy for me. The out and about portion of the day is tiring, then I usually come home to my husband working on something semi dangerous. The wifely need to stay conscious to make sure he doesn’t need medical attention (I’ve never seen it happen, but I’m a worry wart) won’t let me take a nap.

So I end up working through a day of not enough sleep, and going to bed (hopefully) a little early.

Tonight I think I will fight the fatigue just long enough to eat dinner, then get myself under that pile of blankets.

That plan sounds oh, so good.  😀

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This has been me since about 5 o’clock.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fs4cDLfgL4A

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Why do I write so much poetry about a need or want? Especially when it’s being thwarted or delayed?

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Video

When’s the Last Time You Did Something Silly?

28 Aug

On purpose.

When’s the last time you didn’t allow yourself to step on a crack on the sidewalk. Or tip-toed along on alternating floor tiles in the grocery store?

Has it been years since you blew soap bubbles in the back yard? I bet your dog would love it. Toddlers and cats go crazy for those strange floating orbs, too. I can guarantee you will end up laughing at their antics if you blow some bubbles for them.

How often do you stargaze, cloud watch, and stare at the moon?

When’s the last time you danced in the rain?

As long as we’re talking about dancing, have you danced around to your favorite song yet this month? In fact, when’s the last time you did any kind of dancing?

Do you make time to watch the birds at your feeder, or in the hedge around your back yard?

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All writers, artists, and ‘normal’ people should make time for such endeavors. 

I know I should more often.

They are good for the soul.

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Here’s a little something to get you started.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2eQ6AvYit8

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Video

Social Media: The Beginner’s Y.I.C.K.

27 Aug

I don’t know about you, but when I started on this journey toward building an author’s platform I dove straight into research. I tried to learn about how to it all, find tricks to get more people to follow me, absorb ways to simplify my daily routine.

It was mind boggling.

It still is in many ways.

The more I learn, the more I know that I don’t know everything.

What I do know, is that this is a long learning process, and trying to understand it all on one week is just going to give you a headache and sore eyes.

When it all boils down, you only really need to keep 4 things in mind when handling your social media accounts…whichever kinds you prefer working on.

Just remember Y.I.C.K.

Be You. Be Interesting. Be Consistent. Be Known. That’s it.

I’ll try to explain the ideas in just a couple paragraphs each.

Be You

First off, you are the only one of you on the entire planet. Only you have your exact experiences, talents, thoughts and dreams. Use them to your advantage. Tell people that your latest short story came from a crazy dream you had last week. Or that you’ve always wanted to go to Portugal and are secretly saving change in a jar for your trip ‘some day’.

Secondly, trying to keep up a persona, a fake, always happy version of you, would get exhausting (and boring) after a while. Everyone has bad days. Everyone falls behind their writing schedule, drops something large on their foot, or has a crazy day or experience with their kid or a pet. Use those moments to humanize yourself. Don’t complain or whine all the time, and try to keep it in a humorous light, but keep people in the loop on at least one aspect of your real life.

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Be Interesting

Don’t just post links to your latest blog post, or only talk about your writing. Other people write cool, relevant blog posts too. And your friends on social media would love it if you would occasionally Tweet about how much you liked their latest book. Find short quotes which either uplift, are funny, or address one of your blogging subjects. Share silly facts, jokes, or anecdotes.

Go multimedia. I’m not saying you need to hire someone to help you make a video all about yourself. YouTube is your friend! Post the song that you’ve been listening to which really gets you into a certain character’s head. Did a certain video make you laugh uncontrollably? Paste the link into a Tweet. The rest of us could use a good laugh, too. Post photos of your work space, you pet looking innocent, your cover, your writer friend’s new cover (with their permission), your kid sleeping on the couch after a rough war with that chocolate bar they stole from your ‘secret’ drawer.

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Be Consistent

If you say you’re going to do it, do your darndest to make it happen.

Try not to abandon any account for more than a couple days at a time. Even if you only put up a new blog post once a week, go in a couple other days a week to respond to comments, or Tweet it out again.

There are several programs which allow you to schedule Tweets. WordPress has a post scheduler. Facebook will let you schedule updates on your author page. If you have to be out of town, or just need a couple days to relax and regroup, take an hour or so and make sure that something new will pop up at least once or twice a day on each of your social media sites.

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Be Known

It will take a while (a few months at the very least). For a time you will feel as though you’re just sending your blog posts, Facebook updates, and Tweets into a hope sucking black hole. Don’t give up. After a bit others will begin to respond to your thoughts, posts, and questions.

Just wait until you laugh with delight the first time someone (other than a family member) comments on your blog. You’ll be hooked.

I still haven’t reached the minimum of what some people say you should have to be somebody. But I am happy with the progress I have made since last November. Remember to acknowledge the work you have done. Celebrate each new milestone. Dance around the room when you’ve published your 50th blog post. Go get ice cream when you reach 200 followers on Twitter. These things have take a lot of work. Don’t let that grumpy Gus in the back of your mind steal the joy of your accomplishments.

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I got the idea for this post while reading this post:

How to Build a Social Brand That’s a Sweet Orange in a World of Bitter Apples

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Want more on how to move forward with your plans of social media world domination?

Try these posts:

How I Used Social Media to Sell Books | from the One Stop Self-Publishing Conference | Catherine, Caffeinated

Author Social Media – 10 Tips for You! | BadRedHeadMedia.com

Guest Post: Tips on How to Utilize Social Media for Content Distribution Without Being Spammy | Self-Published Authors Helping Other Authors

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Wow! You made it to the bottom of this post! Here’s your prize:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTC9NNg9OBo

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Ksenia has no problem being herself on all of her social media. (She’s a good writer to follow on Twitter! Very encouraging. @kseniaanske )

Hmmm…that may have to turn into another blog post of it’s own. Fun/Helpful authors to follow on Twitter.

What do you think? Would it make a good post?

Who would you suggest?

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The Cover Reveal For Laura Oliva’s What The Body Needs!

26 Aug

Hi All!

So here is the second post which I warned you about.

This one is all about my drinking, swearing, fun on the outside, tough on the inside friend Laura Oliva.

Here’s how she describes her writing:

I write tender love stories about tough people. You won’t find any candy-coating here. The men are men, the women are badass, the dirt is dirty, the whiskey is strong. Things aren’t always roses and sunshine.

But sometimes life’s more fun that way.

I quoted this from her blog Writing In The Night.

She has finished writing her second novel, and received the cover art for it a couple days ago.

Laura is super excited about it, and couldn’t wait another week to get it out there for all her fans to see.

Here it is!

What The Body Needs By Laura Oliva

What The Body Needs
By Laura Oliva

And the blurb! Don’t forget to read the blurb:

Jak O’Mara is a survivor.

 

She’s survived in her father’s construction company.  She’s survived in the boxing ring.  And she survived the brutal attack that left her permanently scarred.

 

For the last five years, she’s tried to convince everyone -including herself- she’s no victim.  But with the apparent return of her unknown assailant, the life she’s rebuilt crumbles overnight.

 

Ex-cop Marcus Cutter has his own scars, they just don’t show.  Following the violent death of his younger sister, he fled his old life in disgrace.  After almost six years, “rock-bottom” feels a lot like home.

 

As Jak’s new bodyguard, Marcus is forced to return to the city -and the memories- he’s tried to forget.  All he wants is to do his job, but Jak isn’t what he expects.  When he’s with her, he finally feels something besides pain.

 

When the danger escalates, Jak decides it’s time to take matters into her own hands.  She’s going to find who’s after her, no matter the cost.  Marcus knows he has to protect the woman who’s made his life mean something again.  But how do you protect someone who’s convinced they have nothing left to lose?

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Laura is all over the internet.

You can find her on Twitter: @writermama

You can also visit her book page on her site here.

Her Facebook is here.

And you can get her first book here. It’s currently available for $1.99 in e-book form only. So far, anyway.  🙂

I think she’s also on pintrest and something else, but my poor old computer is telling me it’s had enough of looking up social sites today so you’re on your own there.

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I enjoyed All That Glitters, and I can’t wait until What The Body Needs is also in my Kindle PC (and on my phone. Cause, really, you never know when that grocery check-out line will last more than two and a half minutes. lol).

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Video

MMM…Pluto Junior and Patti Page

25 Aug

Here it is, another Mirth and Music Monday!

Are you ready for it?

Good.

Dig in.

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=li_UAkm8yio

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2AkLE4X-bbU

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If you would like more MMM, or just want to find some bloggers with senses of humor go check out ReGi McClain’s blog. She came up with this crazy fun meme. She also hosts the linky that lets us all know who else is playing this game. Check out the crazy little blue thing to the right of her post. After giving it a click it will let you see links to the other bloggers playing along.

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Happy Monday!

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P.S.  Stay tuned for another post today. I am helping a fellow writer show off the cover for her new book. There’s also a blurb which describes what the story is about.

See you again real soon! 🙂

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My Blog Vacation Report And An Announcement

25 Aug

It was a very good vacation from blogging. It was kind of freeing to spend a few nights just picking out cool stuff written by other people and telling you why it intrigues me.

But now, we are back to our regularly scheduled programming.

First, I want to tell you a bit of what I did to refill my mental bucket of inspiration.

I started reading Northanger Abby, by Jane Austin

I got back to reading Regency Buck, by Georgette Heyer

I took some photos of an incoming thunderstorm…in a cemetery

I played round after round (trying for perfect scores) of Grub Guardian

I attended our Encourage Meant meeting and discussed a few possibilities and ideas with my girls

I watched a few episodes of Kekkaishi (an anime my husband and I like)

Lonnie and I went to the Senior Center dance and had a blast

I went shopping with a sister and her two little ones, then we all did lunch

I spent hours talking with my husband about random thoughts and subjects

I went over and spent an hour and a half with my grandma and an aunt (laughing most of the time)

I cheated on my diet and snuck in a few frozen fudge bars

I started working out again

Yeah, it’s been a good week. 😀

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Now for the announcement.

Tomorrow I will have two blog posts. The first will be my regular MMM (Mirth and Music Monday). The second will be the cover reveal and a blurb for Laura Oliva‘s new book What The Body Needs. I figure it’s a big enough deal, since she is a very cool friend of mine and I really liked her first book, that it deserves it’s own post. That and the cover isn’t exactly the most…four year old friendly image. But mostly because she has been a good enough friend that I want to help her in any way I can. 😀

On that note: Here’s a link to her first book All That Glitters on Amazon.

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Here are some of the better photos I snapped on Thursday.

I just couldn't resist stopping to take a few photos as the storm started rolling over the landscape.

I just couldn’t resist stopping to take a few photos as the storm started rolling over the landscape.

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Here's that storm from a slightly different angle. It's a little closer now.

Here’s that storm from a slightly different angle. It’s a little closer now.

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These lovely petunias were growing at the base of the flag pole in the cemetery.

These lovely petunias were growing at the base of the flag pole in the cemetery.

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Happy Sunday, y’all!

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#ShortStorySaturday – Keep Your Enemies Closest – Part 3

24 Aug

Yep. Some time in the next day or so I’m going to have to find the time to read the two previous installments of this story. What I’ve read so far seems pretty cool, though.
What do you think?

A Keyboard and an Open Mind

Today’s installment of Keep Your Enemies Closest is a bit longer than most – if I had realised last week, I would have just made the effort to edit the next three paragraphs and then finish that excerpt at the “~*~”.  As it is, it was about 700 words before I could find a good spot to stop. So bonus for you! If you’re new to my Short Story Saturday posts, you can find some background on the universe in which the story is set here, and here are parts one and two.

If you have a short story you would like to share, come hang out on the linky and see what others are sharing as well. Thanks to Ink and Papyrus for hosting us! And now without further ado, on with the story!

enemiesclosest

Now that he wasn’t trying to appear imposing, Captain Gallivan took the time…

View original post 790 more words

TPG reviews: The Ocean At The End Of The Lane, by Neil Gaiman

23 Aug

OK, I read this book review when it came out. It really makes the book seem interesting. Has anyone else read The Ocean At The End Of The Lane, and would you recommend it to someone who is easily creeped out? (although I think some of the creep factor could be toned down if I read it aloud to my husband. Things aren’t as scary with him around.)

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P.S. We will be returning to our regularly scheduled programming on…Saturday.

Tomorrow is just too busy to try and get a blog post together.