Wednesday, January 31, 2007

More About Forums

Speaking of forums, even I can't believe how many forums there are just for fish--not only fish but specific species of fish. There's,,, yeah, and communities for all fish like it's unbelieveable! I've learned a lot though. One of the best things about these forums is the help they provide for beginners in a hobby. If it weren't for and the new babies my guppy just had would never have made it. They would have ended up being food for the bigger fish in the tank because I wouldn't have even realized the female was pregnant, much less that I needed to put her in a brooder to have her babies, and more importantly, take her out as soon as she was done so she wouldn't eat her own young.

Thanks to those forums my new little additions are swimming beautifully in their protected environment until they're old enough to join mom and dad, or go to their own new home (yep, new tank). Forums provide a source of great fun, and community, but they can also provide that much needed help when it's most necessary of all.

God Bless the Internet!

Fish Tank Mania

I told you last week that hubby had promised to bring me his old aquarium from storage up North. I really didn't have high hopes for it to actually hold water after being out of commission for about 30 years. Usually old tanks like that are full of leaks from cracked silicon if their glass is still intact. This one did though. Surprise, surprise. After a few hours filled with water in the bathtub we were suitably convinced that there were no leaks and we set it up on Friday. He had some really great decorations for it too. I didn't have to buy a thing for the tank. In fact I didn't even have to buy fish since my first tank was a bit overstocked I made this my 'cold' water tank for the goldfish and one pleco. Here's a picture. The sharp florescent light in this tank makes it much brighter than my first tank lit only by two regular bulbs in the hood, but surprisingly it is worse for taking pictures so the tank looks much darker than it really is.

I think I"m hooked on fish tanks. I'm going to need a third one soon--did I mention before that my female guppy I bought last week had babies two days after I brought her home?

Yep, I'm a proud guppy mom. I have ten itty bitty swimming fleas (that's what they look like... or like tadpoles) that will soon need a home of their very own. :) More fun.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Feminists Cringe, but That's Yesterday's News, For now...

Miss America reigns supreme as it wraps up its 86 year old competition. Hey Liz might be happy about this one... Miss Oklahoma is the new Miss America! I really wanted Illinois to win, just on principle, but Lauren Nelson is the beautiful, poised young lady who won the 50,000 dollar scholarship, and the chance to represent the crown for the year. Illinois wasn't even in the final group. Oh well, we'll get'em next year. Congratulations Miss America Lauren.

Politically Incorrect

Ban on smoking, ban on smoking... that's almost a political catch phrase anymore. It still amazes me. Having worked in convienience stores and gas station stores in the not too distant past I know that the number one seller in those stores is still cigarettes. How can such a large portion of the populace be such a minority? It's like we're societies pariah. I know smoking's not good for you, but there are tons of things that aren't good for you that people do on a constant basis, but what REALLY makes me laugh a bit is the ban on smoking in bars. Now if there were ever two things that went together it would have to be smoking and drinking in bars. The ban on smoking in bars doesn't really effect me at all. I smoke, but I don't drink and I never did care for bars, but that ban sure is effecting someone--the bar owners. There's a plea from bar owners to lift the ban on smoking for super bowl Sunday just so their establishments can actually make some money during that high time of the year. Personally I think the ban was silly to start with. I can understand restaurants. I smoke but I still don't like smelling smoke from other tables while I'm eating. I can understand office buildings. I remember back when I was younger working in an office with ten other secretaries--all of whom smoked. The room resembled a factory smoke stack most days--but a bar, that just doesn't make sense to me. It's not the healthiest place on the planet to begin with, if you're going to attack one evil, why not just bury the lot and close down bars altogether. You might not be far from it with the smoking ban anyway, just prolonging the death.

Monday, January 29, 2007


Blogging and SSP. They've gone hand in hand from the very dawn of blogdom. Well almost anyway. At the very start blogging wasn't much more than teenagers and housewives keeping a daily journal online where all their friends could read it and comment on it. Not a bad start, nothing wrong with that, but soon after and not slowly blogging became a manner of SSP that was equaled by none. What is SSP? For those that aren't up on the lingo it stands for 'Shameless Self Promotion'.

That's not a bad thing either. Soon blogs morphed into journals of the daily trials and tribluations of start-up bands, writers, and even the rich and famous in their daily endeavors in the arts and entertainment worlds. Blogs also became a place for businesses to tout their wares and services. It's rare to find a simple journal any longer. Even those out there that somewhat resemble the blogs of old are thinnly veiled SSP's. Every now and again you do stumble on an everyday diary type journal--and you have to wonder what they'll be promoting when they 'grow up'.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Confused Kitty

I think my cat has some sort of imbalance. One of the two new kittens I got last summer who is now about six months old simply can not figure out how to work the litter box.

Yes that's what I said, work the litter box. That doesn't seem to be something that requires a lot of thought, even for a kitten. Now I'm not saying she doesn't USE the litterbox. She does. She's a good kitty. Here's the problem though. She gets in. She scrapes around in the litter like any normal kitty. She squats and does her thing. Then when she's done--wait, here's the part where she gets totally confused--she scrapes the sides, the edges, the outside edges of the plastic box trying to cover up her 'deed' rather than the litter itself.

I just don't understand it. Neither does she apparently because she'll turn and look at her little pile -- still sitting there out in the open -- and get this completely confused look on her face and then start pawing at the sides of the box again.

Poor thing I have to keep coming to her rescue and throwing the litter over it so she's satisfied. When she gets in the box she paws at the actual litter to make a 'hole'. I don't understand why she can't figure out to do the same to cover it up.

Anyone have any suggestions for a concerned kitty mommy?

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Spoof Me

'Epic Movie' is releasing this week. Have we not seen enough spoofs? What is it about these silly films that gets to us? I love comedies, but I really prefer them to be of a realistic, or in some way meaningful nature. Now, I'll admit that in the beginning when the spoof movie first started out, films like Naked Gun, Space balls, and such made me laugh. It's kind of out of hand though. Scary Movie and now Epic Movie are just over-the-top in a genre that's whole definition is over-the-top.

The Devil You Know

I like a smart, intelligent, witty devil. In the movies and books some of my favorites have been portrayals in Anne Rice's "Memnock The Devil"--although part of her Vampire Chronicals, it was my favorite volume of that collection. It had less to do with Lestat (definately one of the all time great vampires) than it did a twisting of the age old good vs evil battle. It was a great read. It does kind of make me laugh at her more recent turn towards Christian novels though.

Another of my big favorites Peter Stormare as the devil in "Constantine." He just had a bit part towards the end, but what a good one. He was the perfect 'devil.'

Oh, and who can forget the marvelous Lucifer in "The Devil's Advocate?" There was a terrific example of the devil in a movie played with such panache and skill by Al Pacino.

I like a devil with a bit of a dry sense of humor. Who looks at his part in the world's history with pride and a sense of honor and at the same time a flippant humor towards his perceived end. It's funny how Keanu Reeves so often is the devil's hackey-sack isn't it? He does a pretty good job of that too.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Mr. Fabulous

Oh I forgot to mention one of the highlights from yesterday. I've been sick. Just need to say that again to put this into proper perspective--no that wasn't the highlight. I've been feeling icky and needed a pick-me-up. Well I don't know if you remember a week or so ago but I posted a pick of Brad "Mr Fabulous" on here of him in his wild get up that made me laugh. Yesterday in the mail I got an 8x10 glossy autographed hard copy of it. Boy did that make me smile.

Thanks Fabby, you're Fabulous!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Sickie Me

It all started last weekend. We'd been enjoying unseasaonable weather in Illinois for the better part of December and the first part of January. On Saturday last weekend the temps were chilly but still way above freezing--then Sunday it hit. Like a brick.

Not only did the temperature plumet, but so did the snow. Okay, it was only about 2 inches, but when you have to trudge through it to feed sixteen horses, 2 geese, 10 chickens, rabbits, dogs, and cats that's a mountain of snow. None of the hoses work, that goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway because it's that reason that I have to cart water from house to barn and pastures. The hay wagons won't push, or pull through snow that deep, so hay has to be hand carried to each pasture, although I can feed in the barn with the wagon. Then there's the driveway. For two days I was pretty much snowed in because it took me that long to get even 3/4 of the driveway shoveled (it's about 400 feet and I'm not in that good of shape) until I finally gave in and waited until my husband came and finished the job for me. I've been feeling like crap pretty much since the temperature fell too. I'm praying it doesn't turn into a bronchitis, or resperatory infection that slapped me around last year about this time.

Oh, the good news... Bob says he's going to bring me his old aquarium next time he's here so I'll get a brand new tank to play with. I went to Wally-world (Wal-Mart) and got some new fish today having finally broke free of the snow bound drive, and now my tank's a tad on the edge of being overstocked. They're pretty though. A couple of guppies, a couple of mollies, and a new zebra, and rosie (although I've been informed that my Rosie Barbs are really one of the Tetra family... I can't help but keep calling them Rosies)--oh, and 4 itty bitty neons. It's a colorful grouping for sure, but I think one of the guppies is pregnant--oops. :)

Itty Bitty Fishies In An Itty Bitty Pool

Since I posted my thoughts on what you shouldn't do for fish tanks, and I posted on Miss Write what my new aquarium looked like. I thought I'd post a couple of pictures on here of my favorite new fish.

I have two favorites. One is not extremely active, but it sure is a pretty little thing. It's my Rosy Barb--

I have to try to get a more close up picture of her. (Well, I'm not positive it's a her, but I call her a her.) She's really a very vibrant pinkish salmon color with black points.

Then there's my new Zebra Dano--

Doesn't even look like the same fish, does it? It is though. And really it doesn't show the really cool striping on it's sides and fins. Although called a 'Zebra' Dano, it really has more of a leopard spotting with some horizontal striping. What makes him (yeah, I don't know that either really, but he looks like a 'he') so cool isn't really his color. He is such an active little guy. Always on the move, jumping and swiming and having a ball.

My tank is still cycling into proper levels so I'm adding fish carefully and slowly, but I think I want a few more of those two.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Fish 'Bowl'

I love cool unique things, and I love fish. I have an aquarium now, and when I was younger I had several, so I'm always on the look out for cool things related to fish, or any animal for that matter, and sometimes you have to wonder what they will think of next... but this (and things like this) are bad ideas.

These type of 'novelty' fish tanks are hard to clean, and hard to keep at the right water condition for the fish's best health. Sure they look cool, but we're not talking about an antique phone, or a glass topped table, we're talking about live animals here being used for decoration in an environment that is not good for them.

When you see things like this, no matter how cool you might think they are, stop and think about the animals and just say no.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Open Seasame

Don't you wish passwords were that easy anymore?

With everything we now do online, passwords are like the locks on our doors when it comes to personal security. We entrust these little strings of letters and numbers to keep our information safe. Information that is the key to our entire lives. Hackers, this era's equivalent to Bonnie and Clyde, spend their days trying to figure out how to crack our codes--and they're getting damned good at it.

Bruce Schneier, the internet security guru has a blog that is geared toward helping people stay secure and create hard to break passwords, although even he notes that there is no such thing as a completely unbreakable password.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Is it After Five Yet?

Paperback Writer had an interesting post the other day on productivity. That's such an issue with writers. We don't even need someone else to question us, we do it ourselves constantly. Am I writing enough? Am I writing too much, and possibly going to burnout. What's enough? You don't even have to be 'new' to ask these questions and many more all the time of yourself. Even writers who have written for years and years, have been published several times, and have a reasonable feel for what is right for them ask the same questions. Being a writer we're all subject to the opinions of those beyond our control. Editors, publishers, even the reading public, and what one thinks, or feels isn't necessarily what another thinks and feels about a piece, or a writer in general so you never really know what to think, and of course, very few of us are quite egotistical enough to let our own beliefs and egos carry us through times of questioning. I'm pretty sure that's even true of those who've reached rather stellar heights of popular best selling lists from what I've read fairly recently. So what's a writer to do? I don't think there will ever be an answer to those questions. I think writers will ask those very same questions of themselves until time eternal, just as they have been since the dark ages. Maybe those questions are what keeps us fueled and producing. Maybe those questions stop those that can't handle the pressures--either that or causes them to drink.

Where's my glass again?


I love working from home. There are so many benefits. Setting your own schedule, wearing whatever you want, working as much or as little as you want. There are drawbacks though. It's true you can set your own schedule, and work as little or as much as you want, the drawback to that is you have to be disaplined enough to make yourself work enough that you meet your needs for income or product. No one is cracking a whip at you. No one is looking over your shoulder, and for the most part the only one to 'call you into the office to talk about your work habits' is yourself. It's true you can wear anything you want, but it's also true that you can tend to become somewhat sloppy over time by doing that too. Looking in the mirror once in a while and taking stock of the appearance you have begun to present is a good idea if you've been working at home for any real length of time. The biggest drawback, in my opinion is what I think is the hardest part of working at home--loosing track of days.

I have three (yes, count'em THREE) calendars on my desk, and I'm still occassionally losing a day. I haven't figured out yet why I don't gain a day once in awhile, but that never happens. I always end up thinking it's a day earlier than it actually is when that happens.

It's a very powerful thing to. You can tell yourself over and over 'no, it's actually Friday', and KNOW that it's true and STILL end up doing things as if it were Thursday. I'm not sure if that's a known phenomenon, or if it just happens to me, but I think it's because there are no 'clocks to punch', no office people around to talk to... and for me with kids grown and gone, and being alone almost all the time I have nothing but paper calendars to set my days--they blur sometimes. It probably doesn't help much that I work pretty much 7 days a week, so there's no weekend divider there either.

Hey everyone--it's FRIDAY.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Hot Drinks For Cold Days

I needed this today. It's cold outside and the temperatures don't look like they're going to go up anytime soon now until spring. I guess it's been a nice run of good weather up until now so I can't really complain. December and January until now were unseasonably warm.

Now's the time for new recipes for hot drinks to warm you up though. Check out the tasty new entries like Hot Ginger Lemonade, and Mulled Apple Cider. That's a delicious way to stay warm.

Lindsey In Rehab

Actress Lindsey Lohan just moved into rehab. That's sad, but not to unsual for people in that life. Starting so young in Hollywood almost guarantees a need for drastic intervention at an early age. Not that it's all that unusual in any area of the country, just more of an absolute in that city. What was kind of funny to me was her double take response to reporters on the issue of her rehab. She said: "I haven't had a drink in seven days, or anything." Wow, okay, seven whole days! But that wasn't the funny part, she went on to say: "I'm not even legal, why would I?"

That just made me stop and stare at the screen here. Well, yeah, why would she? She made it a point to say she's not even legal but only had been 'clean' for at least 7 days so obviously it was a problem before that since she's been going to AA meetings for over a year. The 'why would I' part just had me stunned.

Okay, enough ranting over her stupid quote. I feel sorry for Lindsey. Mostly because it's so publicized. Lots of young people around the country have problems with alcohol and drugs, but they don't have to deal with people sticking a microphone and camera in their faces and recording their stupid thoughts about it for the whole world to hear and scrutinize. I hope she finds the help she needs. Maybe she should check out Echo Malibu.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

When The Cover Is Right--you just know it.

A cover can make or break a book. What makes that 'right' cover though? I recently had a time with one of my authors, the cover artist for her book, and the proposed cover that--well it was a good cover. It just wasn't the 'right' cover for that book. I knew it, the author knew it, unfortunately the artist had a hard time accepting it. But now a new sketch (just the rough outline) by a new artist has been present to the author who nearly choked with joy when she called me to see if I'd seen it yet (hadn't, had been out for the evening). What made it right? I couldn't tell you. I know when I see it. (I've seen it now) She (the author) knew when she saw it. There were no words to adequately explain why it was right, but you just know it when you see it.

It's not even to say it's a matter of opinion. Others who were impartial to a degree anyway, were asked and they'd agreed on the first cover's overall decent quality but not quite right for the book in question... so what makes that? Perhaps it has more to do with tone than it does with actual elements. It has to match the style, tone, and feel of the book.

It has to convey a feeling for what you are going to experience. Sometimes even a black cover with a stark symbol on it will do it. Sometimes a bodice-ripping clutch... whatever the book has inside must somehow be conveyed in a picture on the outside. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and in this case it just about has to be... and when it's right--it's really right.

My First Articles Are Up At Associated Content

Wow, I just had my first two articles published today at Associated Content and one of them already is getting comments. That's just terrific. I'm also very impresssed with the amounts they paid for the articles. Their stipulated range is between 3 and 20 dollars per article, and I've heard several folks say they usually pay the minimum, but that's not my recent experience. I received 10 and 8 dollars for my articles which makes me very happy since I was just praying they'd at least be five dollar articles. LOL I have just posted a sidebar content widget that shows my articles on AC. Please stop by and take a look and leave a comment if you like them!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Not Quite The Energizer

Searching for new ideas can at times really stymie a writer--this one in particular. Once I have an idea it is full-steam ahead and I rarely lose pace, but the in between times--the looking for a subject that's new, or that I can spin a fresh angle on takes forever. At least it does to me. Ideas should be as easy as opening an evening newspaper, cruising the net and looking at subject matter. Sometimes it is. More often than not though, a bunny springs to life only to be gunned down by the shotgun of plot entanglements. It starts out looking fresh and fun, only to find it doesn't have enough meat on its bones to make a decent meal much less a full-course meal. I'm at that stage now--ready to shoot some hapless bunnies.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Get Up And Dance---Or at least watch

I really love the 'dance' movies. I own most of them on DVD. Looks like I have a new one to get. I never go go the movies. I dislike the crowds, and the usually dirty conditions, and I'm spoiled rotten by the 'pause' button on my remote control when I have to go to the bathroom, or want to grab a snack. So I wait for DVD. The new movie 'Stomp The Yard' is doing bang up work at the box office though. Shows a couple of things. There are still people that enjoy getting out and going to the movies, and there are still people who enjoy a good 'dance' movie. 'Stomp The Yard' cleared twenty-two million dollars at the box office in it's debut weekend. That's a lot of love for dance in the US.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Jump Up And Shout

One of my favorite movies of all time is RockStar and that song just seemed like the best title for this post. I've seen this happen a lot of times when I've been out and about with musician friends at their gigs and their reactions were usually mixed, but every so often someone will jump the stage and join in with the band. I've never been able to really understand what kind of moxy that takes, but I know it's annoying to the members of the band.

D. Armenta has a good article to read if you've ever had the desire to do something as wild and impetuous as that: Just Don't. There are certain levels of proper introduction that may get you invited to join in on a song or two, and he'll tell you how here.

Aside from that, when you go out and see a band play at a club--just sit back and enjoy the show.

Just Say No

Sometimes in a freelancer's life you have to just say no to a client that wants something you aren't prepared to, or even sometimes qulaified to deliver. Saying no to anything can be tough for some people, espeically with strangers. Saying no to a paying job can be even more difficult on many levels. As S. Thompson says: Few Freelancers are rich. So it can be hard to say no to an assignment that will pay you to do what you love--write. But it's necessary at times. Find out her tips on how to 'Just Say No' here at Associated Content.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Justin Partnerless For the Grammys

Hey, Justin Timberlake needs a partner to sing with him at the Grammys. I'd offer but I can't sing. We can all have a voice in who it will be though. Just go to My Grammy Moment and listen to the applicants who want to sing with Justin. You can vote for your favorite and see if you had the power to choose who sings with him on Grammy night.

Friday, January 12, 2007

A Horse Is A Horse--even when it's not.

Horses have a way of being annoyingly right while seemingly naive in an innocent way. They give you their best 'puppy dog eyes' (or should that be new baby foal eyes?) and bat their long lashes a beauty queen would die for at you--but they're right. Just try to convince a twelve hundred pound beast they're not. If they say there's a tiger in the trees, you may as well believe them because you're sure as heck not going to convince them otherwise, and if you try you'll get the above look complete with lashes.

My latest wip (work in progress) has a horse-shifter. I've incorporated that experience I've had with my own horses into his psyche and it is so much fun to work with. I imagine exactly what my own horses would 'say' should they ever develop the means to go beyond innocent eyes and fluttering lashes. I've never had so much fun working on a character as I am with this one. Fantasy is a genre I've only recently jumped into, but the freedom it allows is invigorating--although I have to admit, my characters are just as obstinant and determined to do their own thing as characters in my other genres. Keeping them in line is requiring just as much effort on my part as ever before, only now it's 'holding the reins.'

Paul and Mariah the next Idols?

Oh wait, they already were (are) idols. Well Paul and Mariah may be the next judges on season six of American Idol. Can the British invade again and take seat next to America's queen? I guess we'll find out. That should make for a fun culture clash.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

P & E's 2006 Publishing Polls

Hey guys, if you have the time stop by P&E's top of the year polls and vote for me for editor at:

Thanks! It's been a fun year. I've learned a lot, met a lot of great authors along the way and spent a lot of time reading really great books from those amazing people. The tears, the frustrations, the stress all fades, but the memories of the good times lives I'll carry with me for the rest of my life.

Thanks for a great year everybody.

Is Big Brother Watching?--From way up there?

Of all things to put a spy device on, an article on Yahoo today says that defense workers are warning about coins--yes, simple pocket change, may be carrying spy devices to track movements.

Of all places to point at for spying though--Canada. Actually they don't know WHO is doing the spying. They think the coins are/were aimed at US Contractors with security clearances. The coins are Canadian however, and supposedly carry itty bitty transmitters inside them.

Well you know what that means, right? I mean what stupid espionage tactics that is anyway if their real goal was to track those contractors. Everyone knows Americans can't hold on to their money. That change has probably changed hands so much that whoever is tracking them is probably watching some little old lady in Idaho do her wash.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

You Gotta Love A Ham

Hey, this guy is one of my all-time favorite bloggers. I have lots, but Mr. Fabulous is fun to read, has a huge following whose comment trails are as much fun as the articles themselves sometimes, and he answers all his comments too--which is a huge plus in my book.

Brad went one step further in his Fabulous personality though, he gave us a image to capture our imaginiations. I'm not sure if this is the image he would prefer to portray on a personal level, but it sure is fun from this side, although I love his avatar image too. So here he is, Mr. Fabulous in all his wacky glory:

Check out Brad's 'Pointless Drivel' blog too!

Too Much Time On Our Hands?

I couldn't get the link due to a technical difficulty, (yeah, big surprise for me) anyway, it was on Yahoo's leaderboard this morning that a man just got into the Guiness Book Of World Records for longest distance running backwards.

I don't think I'd have had a problem with longest distance running--but backwards? How much free time do you have to have to come up with that?

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

For The Despot Who Has Everything

Now you can buy your very own country. The world's smallest country is for sale, and hey, it's ocean front property too! You sure can't beat that. If you have a yearning to rule your world, contact Prince Michael of Sealand. He's selling the family heirloom... well, island complete with stamps, flag, currency... you'll need a passport to visit though. Check it out in this article here.

What Do You Know?

Everyone who has ever picked up a pen with the thought of writing anything at all, be it novel, article, or short story, has heard the adage 'write what you know?' Suddenly the world seems like a huge place and that your boundaries in it are pretty tight. After all, how much scope does the average person have?

Plenty really. Write what you know is a great concept--but don't let it bind you into the feeling that you are trapped inside a small box. One thing is apparent that the reason it takes so long for some new writers to become proficient at their craft beyond the nuts and bolts technicalities that everyone needs to control, is that younger writers often lack life experience.

Write what you know does not necessarily mean what you have a degree in. It means what you've experienced. Sometimes it means what you have in-depth knowledge of. It's hard to write about race car drivers if you've never been one. Not impossible mind you: Good reasearch goes a long way to making a believable story--but it's harder than if you have lived in that circle of life either as a driver, or related to one. It's hard for someone who has grown up in the city and never spent a day around a horse, much less worked with racehorses to write a story like 'Seabiscuit'--but it can be done with proper, long term research. What's really hard to write about is the emotional aspects of certain situations if you've never lived through them. It's pretty hard to write about a battered wife if you've never been one. You may get the facts right, but you'll have a hard time identifying with the character and will probably be off on the emotional issues surrounding such events.

So write what you know in my mind becomes more of a write what you've experienced. Emotional cues are harder to connect to than factual ones. You can research and learn facts, it's harder to research and learn emotional responses to varying situations. As you live life and experience more and more varying degrees of emotional events you will begin to grow your 'knowledge' as well. You may still not be able to write about battered spouses (lets hope not anyway), but you will be able to identify more with the frustrations of many varying aspects that effect most of us on a daily basis, and you just may find out you know more than you thought.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Geekily Speaking

You know, for a brief moment I had given serious consideration to starting up a new blog that was tech oriented. I've developed a sort of bumbling love for geeky computer things and definately a love for meddling with fancy-schmantsy coding elements I probably have no business what-so-ever tinkering with, but it's fun.

However, having just had to talk a friend through something in email I have come to realize that knowing how to do something, tinkering with ways to do something new, and methods of discovery are much different than actually explaining it to someone else who is just as un-tech as you are.

Have no fear, the geek world and those that wish to explore it are safe from me for a little while longer... a little while.

More Ways To Make A Few Extra Dollars

One more tidbit to throw out to you hungry mouths with itchy keyboard fingers out there in blogger land. If you do posts for cash check out Ecashblog for another way to create income producing posts. It's simple, it's easy, and they'll even pay you $2.00 just for submitting your blog to them, so what are you waiting for? Get over there and check it out.

Sit Up And Take Notice--You CAN Make Money On-line.

I am walking... or rather sitting proof of it. Even if you don't want to post on your blog for cash, there are many other options. As I discover each I'll post a little blurb to let you know about them.

This is not a sponsored post, or paid for in any way. I simply felt the desire to share my good fortunes with other struggling writers out there looking for ways to suppliment their novel incomes or non-existant incomes.

Some of you may, or may not already know about Associated Content. If you do then you already know you can get paid for writing articles to be posted to their content site. The pay ranges from $3 to $20 dollars for articles at least 400 words. Most of the articles are in the 800 to 1200 word ranges. There are plenty of catagories to write in so just about everyone has room for a voice. Get over there and check it out today! Simply click on the button below and take a trip into a new realm of possibilities.

Join Associated Content

Am I forgetting anything? Oh yeah... it's FREE. That's right. It won't cost you a cent, so get movin'.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

What's in a Name?

Nothing really, and everything. No matter what you call something, it is still what it is, so the name doesn't really matter much in that respect. Like 'The Bard' once said: A rose by any other name, would smell just as sweet.

So what's the big deal? What does the title matter, and what makes a good title?

First off, let's start with a distinction: What makes a good novel title is not the same as what makes a good magazine title, and what makes a good magazine article isn't the same as what makes a good Internet article, or blog post title.

Novels: Catchy, usually the shorter the better, and although should have something to do with the novel in question, can be something that fits the 'mood' rather than describes what exactly is in the book itself.

Print magazines: These titles are best if they actually convey exactly what is in the story or article itself. They can, and should, still be catchy, and have an artistic flair.

Here's where Internet stories and articles vere off in the title respect. Where Intenet articles and stories are concerned you have two things to be considerate of, grabbing the reader, and grabbing the search engines.

Short and sweet is always a good rule, but flowery and non-descriptive are deadly in good Internet titles. No matter what you are titling you need search engines to find it if you are to reach more than your regular readers. (I'm very bad at this by the way. After years of titling novels and print stories I still have a problem with going for catchy and enticing, without accurately pin-pointing the subject matter... see above title. LOL)

A MUCH better title for this post would have been something along the lines of: 'The Best Way To Title Your Posts,' or 'Giving Your Article The Best Title Possible.' Those are nowhere near as fun, but the would insure a better placement in search engines. Yes, I'm harping on that again. Remember if they can't find you, they can't read you.

Catch words are important to use. While I do attempt to do that to a degree, I still fall short in that catagory. Guys, help me here. From now on when you see a title on my blog that doesn't hit the mark of the above description, let me know about it. It's not that I don't already know, it's that if I hear it enough from others maybe I'll change it. LOL I need prompting too.

The Primal Scream

Today has been a frustrating day. Everything just keeps going wrong. And my Internet is slow. That's not such an usual thing for me with my wonderful dial-up server--yes that's all I can get out here in the sticks, but there are days when even what is 'normal' slowness can make me want to tear out my hair in frustration. I just spent the past twenty minutes screaming at my screen to hurry up. Have any of you ever experienced that type of melt-down. It makes you feel quite insane afterwards when you think about your reactions. It's not like it made anything move quicker, or work better... yet in some small way it makes you feel better. Maybe it's the venting of the frustration in a 'primal scream' sort of way. As I sit here and type this I am laughing because the mental image of myself as I sat here screaming at my computer is quite funny--and I am quite relieved. Maybe there's something to that primal scream therapy after all.

Friday, January 05, 2007

It's UP... it's UP!

January's issue of Erotic Dreams is up and Part I of my first ever m/m LOVE SUCKS is in the line-up there. Go read. You have to join but it's free so check it out now at Erotic Dreams Publishing.

Somebody's watching

Today's horoscope... do these people know me or what?

GEMINI: Get your fingers off that keyboard!

Yeah, that's how it started off. They know me too well. It's freaky. Boy it's a lot of fun though. I'm really loving this cute little service.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Good Friends

Trotting around the internet today on my round of favorite blogs that I must at least get a glimpse of once a day, I stopped and sat a spell at one of my author's blogs. Yes, mine... she's mine. She will always be mine even when she goes off to other publishers and branches out, which she already has some even though we still have a couple of things from her for this year to release. That's a good thing. Growing, expanding, spreading wings, and all... my author's are like my children and I love to see them grown and develope into all they can be. They're also good friends. People I enjoy chatting with and am happy to have come to know. Working from home can have its pitfalls. One of which is isolation. Meeting and learning about people like Cupnjava takes away the sting of loneliness. It is always fun to read her blog whether it's deep insights to how writers work, and see the world, or whimsical fancies about how writers can attempt to slip one by us editorial crones, she has a style and flair that is all her own.

Stop by and pay her a visit, and tell her not to be so hard on her poor old editor.

Stressed Relief

You know, I have a semi-decent sense of humor, but I personally think it takes a lot to laugh at a back-handed insult. I did though.

Yesterday I found a company in my travels on line (this is not a paid post by the way, I just had to tell you guys about what happened). The company is called Celestial Reasonings and for 4.99 a month they will send you daily horoscope thingies via your cell phone.

Okay, it was a free trial offer and the cancelation policy was easy enough so I just figured I'd try it. I think I'm going to be keeping it just for the laughs though.

Get a load of today's message I received a little while ago:

GEMINI: Trying a new look is a stress-release for you. (Okay, I buy that--but then they go on ot say) It's gonna take one helluva look to do the job this time. (OMG, I know I've just been insulted... I think anyway. I'll admit to a lot of stress, but dang.) Then they went on to say--no haircolor though--permanent isn't your thing. (That's true enough).

What a fun little gimmick. Makes you smile that's for sure.

Do Flat Screens...Suck?

Energy that is. According to some researchers now, the new craze in televisions--flat screen tvs suck enormous amounts of energy as compared to their boxy counterparts. The article goes further with scientific mumbo-jumbo about well we say that but it depends on this, and that, and the other thing. I loved one line that said and it depends on how you measure energy.

I measure it by the whopping bill every month.

What they meant was that while it seems electric bills skyrocket when a flat screen is added to the home, it's often because those that buy them, purchased them in addition to their existing sets, rather than to replace them so there were simply more televisions in the house, sometimes running at once.

Well just say that then. They probably don't use any more energy than any other television. BUT, they also say the older models really did use more energy and that new models are constantly being developed to improve on the design so they won't hog so much power. Whew! That's a relief. When I can finally afford one, it won't keep draining my wallet.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Big Money gets the Angel's approval!

You have to know it's going to be a great day when you wake up and find something like this in your inbox first thing. Fallen Angels Reviews just put up a beautiful review of Big Money. FIVE ANGELS! Yes! I was blown away and so happy. Thank you Fallen Angels Reviews and Linda L. who wrote the review. So as not to take up too much space here I'll just post a portion of the review. Please check out the link above to see the whole thing.

Tami Parrington does an excellent job in creating a story that spins around so many events while still moving in a steady pace so not to lose the reader. She shows the ins and outs that come along with the love of money, and the importance of family. This remarkable story, which traces a lifetime of love and memories, is poignant and wonderfully written. Sometimes that pot of gold is not always found at the end of the rainbow and Ms. Parrington fashions a story that, to this reader, is not easy to forget.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Shady Bosses

Ha, who knew? Well, duh, just about everybody. An article on Yahoo's homepage today asked "Are You Working For a Shady Boss?" and the article goes on to say that studies show that 2 out of 5 bosses don't keep their word, and more than a forth bad-mouth their employees. I don't really think this qualifies as news worthy of mentioning since it's not really news to anyone who has spent much time in the work force.

I'll tell you though, articles like this sure make me happy to not have to deal with such things anymore. Having spent the better part of twenty years dealing with workplace politics working from home has never felt better.

Looking back over the year--and a lifetime

All the talk the last couple days about the new year and exciting hopes and dreams for a great year has made me forget to reflect on the wonders and excitment of this last year.

So much has happened and I've grown so much, and learned so much, and met so many amazing new people here on-line that I can hardly even grasp it all. I've even outgrown a computer purchased only about 8 months ago. That's a first. I've outgrown a couple of computers in my life. It usually took several years however. The first computer I ever owned I had for an amazing TEN years before I felt the need, or desire to improve on it. It's funny really. Purchased back not too long after the time computers had just begun to evolve as family playtoys rather than lumbering corporate room hogs my first computer was pretty advanced for its day. Having stalled my hubby off in his insistant demands that a computer would make my writing life easier, and be more fun than my beloved Selectric I finally gave in.

He'd owned a couple of computers prior to my initial foray into the electronic superage. Kind of clunky, extremely limited in comparison to what we now know as the PC his did a lot of rudimentary 'cool' things and even played a few neat games, other than that his first one ran on the old DOS system, then his second had a windows edition that had to be opened up from DOS. After that he got (whispers reverently) a laptop--that really was amazing back then. It was one of the first of its kind--yeah Bob was the pioneer in electronic gadgets in our house. It too ran on a windows shell operated from DOS. A little while back he dug that old elephant out of a closet (pack rat that he is) and tried to power it up. He called me and asked me how my memory was. I asked him why? He wanted to know if I remembered the old DOS commands--as if.

At any rate, it was about the time of that gadget that I acquired reluctantly my first computer. A huge Gateway PC with -- oh I can barely remember now, but lets just say WAY less than a gigabyte of memory LOL but that space seemed HUGE and unfillable. I'd never need anything bigger than that--surely.

It too ran on a DOS based windows platform, what was it called back then 3.0 or something like that? I had that old reliable clunker for 10 years and it served me well right up until its dying day...however, it didn't come with a modem, and as the Internet became more popular, remembering still though that the Internet of that time was still kind of a playtoy where only the most intellectual whispered amongst themselves of a mystical language called HTML which could open up the blocks of servers like AOL communities and expand into the (insert star wars theme here) WORLD WIDE WEB.

Just the name world wide WEB was enough to envoke shivers of awe and fear. It sounded so complicated, and so did its required knowledge in order to get through to it. Still, the gurus of that time promised unlimited capabilities to those who could venture from the safety of the cocoons set up by the few servers at the time that offered basic things like chat room communities and extra games and such.

Back then, though, the Internet was a baby so the fact that my clunky old 3.0 no memory computer was just fine with me. Hubby's laptop did connect, and I really didn't find the Internet all that amazing after some initial fun playing in chat rooms subsided. Hubby had been right though, my big old PC made writing SO much easier and more enjoyable and I could watch the words appear on my MS Word program page like magic, backspacing over errors (wonders of all--no white out needed!), and compiling manuscript size files that could be printed out on my -- don't laugh now -- dot matrix printer with the click of a mouse.

Then it happened -- a trip to a friends house where she'd just gotten a new computer. I had to go see it, of course, and sit down and stare in wide-eyed amazement at the screen produced when she clicked on the connect button. What happened in those 8 years or so since I'd played on hubby's laptop (sounds kinky doesn't it?) The Internet was an amazing place now.

No need to know the mysterious language HTML, it now ran underneath the operating system where you didn't even have to see it if you didn't want to. You were just there. Floating in cyber-space--caught up in the web.

Oh, now, I had to have this. In 1998 I'd found a brand new obsession.

I ran out that day and bought a brand new Gateway PC. To be honest I don't remember how much memory that one had. It had WAY more than my first old clunker but it seemed too much because I hadn't even begun to fill up my old hard drive--there was no way I was going to fill this one up so that was all well and good. Little did I know that with the Internet came all kinds of new toys, obsessions, and knowledge of a world and things in it that would quickly fill up that hard-drive like no amount of manuscript pages ever could.

I had that computer for about 3 years when I had to bid farewell to it and purchase one with a bigger memory. Along with that came a 98SE op system that made 95 look like a toy and room for bigger and better programs. I learned a whole lot on that computer and cherished it for several years until finally early last year (boy that sounds funny since last year was only two days ago) I broke down and upgraded to a 40 gig Dell with windows XP.

I love my new computer, if you can call it new, but I can not believe how limited 40 gigs seems now. Even last spring that seemed like such a huge amount of space, but having come so far in my new obsessions with videos and having so much music available now I've found myself filling it up quicker than I could have ever imagined.

No problem though, just buy more toys. More add ons. Last year saw an additional external dvd burner drive added, a three-in-one printer, copier, scanner from HP added, a digital camera, a new microphone, and just recently a brand new external 160 GIG (yes say that with awe and think no way I'm ever going to fill that up--uh huh) harddrive.

Problem solved, right? I won't outgrow this computer too soon with all that extra stuff on it--well...

I've run out of USB ports.

I can't add a single new thing. (I'm running out of outlets too, but that's another story. I have more surge protector multiple outlet thingies under my desk than I ever thought possible. If I happen to look under there when I clean --luckily that's not often--it's kind of scary looking).

I just found a product on Amazon though... external USB ports. I can expand this computer with up to 7 external ports. My beautiful, sleek Dell is beginning to look like it's on life-support with all the wires coming out of it.

Maybe it's time for a new computer.

Happy New Year.

Monday, January 01, 2007

I've Got It Made

I just LOVE Tess Gerritsen's blog. She has a post here that reflects a little on what I was talking about earlier this week on a common falacy that un-published writers have. It expands on it to talk to those first time published authors who think the world is now cherries and cream. The belief that "I've been published, so now I've got it made," is more common than you might think. In fact, it's almost a knee-jerk reaction even if you know it's not true. Yes, I remember those days. She also highlights what it takes to maintain a career in publishing. Her list is a good reminder even to many of us that already know. Sometimes we allow ourselves to rest when we need to keep pushing. We allow ourselves to stagnate when we need to keep swimming upstream. Take a look at Tess's blog. It's not only a great source of information for writers, it's fun to read.


What better day for a carnival than a day the whole world is celebrating, albeit with a hangover. Today is the day for Hunna's Happenings Blog Carnival. I have two blogs entered in the mix and look forward to meeting lots of exciting and interesting new people.

Thanks for sponsoring this cool event, Jessie.

If you want to check out the carnival, visit Jessie's page at Hunna's Happenings. Have a great New Year everybody.



Today is the day. The fresh start. Everybody's new chance at a bright future. That's what the whole Happy New Year wish is about, isn't it? A friend grumbled to me yesterday, how does anyone know it will be happy? Well they don't, it's a wish--a hope... a promise of possibility.

So HAPPY NEW YEAR to all of you... and to me too.