Wednesday, January 31, 2007
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!
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
Monday, January 29, 2007
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
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
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
Thanks Fabby, you're Fabulous!
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
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. :)
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
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
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
Where's my glass again?
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
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.
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
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.
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Monday, January 15, 2007
Sunday, January 14, 2007
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.
Saturday, January 13, 2007
Friday, January 12, 2007
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.'
Thursday, January 11, 2007
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.
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
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!
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
Friday, January 05, 2007
Thursday, January 04, 2007
Stop by and pay her a visit, and tell her not to be so hard on her poor old editor.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.