Friday, February 27, 2009

What You Wear They Wear

I've been noticing that so many popular artists and figures in the public eye like politicians all wear very stylish luxury watches. No, no I know that the elite have always worn beautiful expensive watches but now they are more of a personal statement, they have to reflect a personality as well as simply pointing to wealth. I think the luxury watches of today are so much nicer because of that very fact. It has made me think more about how what my characters wear from clothes to jewelry and accessories speaks about them, their personalities and where they come from. In other words, say someone like me, middle class mid western upbringing even if I 'struck it rich' and made it to the big, big time the types of jewelry and clothing I'd likely wear would be much different than someone from Harlem who rose to fame and/or fortune even though those items would reflect the same wealth and status. They say the clothes (including jewelry) make the man and they make the character too. It is something that gets overlooked at times I think.

New Phone

I got a new PHONE.... I'm so excited. I love it. It's the first texting phone I've ever owned and it is awesome. There are a few little things about it I don't like (or haven't figured out how to work yet) like the text alert won't allow me to put a downloaded ringtone on it. I can put any of the ringtones the phone came with on it but not one of the ones I downloaded, and I found two really cool ones, one is Gilbert Gottfried saying "Important message!" in his nasally voice, lol, and I can't use it! The other is it flips to voice mail really fast.

It is cool though it has bluetooth, a car charger along with the regular charger and a nice carrying case. Here's a picture of it:

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Out of the Normal

Watching the taped 'Burn Notice' episode I missed last Thursday and they are talking about insurance quotes on the commercial leading up to the show in connection with the characters and their probably un-insurability. Made me think about how important it is to fully flesh out characters and bring up certain points that would make them stand out from 'normal'. The creators of the series here did a great job. It isn't as easy as it seems it should be.

Time For Writing

I was reading Mark Terry's blog yesterday, going back over some of the older posts I hadn't read and he was talking about the choice to give up fiction writing or not. For me it really hasn't been a choice so much as a time problem. I simply do not have the time anymore. I know a lot of people who work all day (even long hours) and still come home and write but since my job is writing all day long, typing even one more letter at the end of the day just seems unappealing. I still have my 'stories' running in my head, someday they'll come out, but for now... haven't given up, just run out of time.

King Sized Troubles

I REALLY need a new bed. It is hard to actually do it because of where I live and the fact that I have (and like) a king-sized bed so the logistics of moving it through the small hall, both to get rid of the old and bring in the new is kind of a pain but I've been looking a lot at the sleep number bed ads. I like the fact that you can adjust both sides separately since I prefer my side harder than hubby does his. I like that you can adjust the mattress to the exact degree that is perfect for you instead of settling for whatever a pre-made mattress is. That is a bed that might be well worth the effort and difficulties of changing out the mattresses.

Snoop Dogg's Dog After Dark

Snoop Dogg on Tuesday nights on MTV "Dogg After Dark" Holla! It is a new form of talk show. Snoop collars his guests in a club and has informal chats that are fun. Cool new show of the season.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Tech-nically Speaking

I just bought this computer and have already researched getting an upgraded memory card for it. Since it is relatively easy to install a new chip in computers now it is enticing even for techno-dummies like myself. I'm always scared before I do something inside my computer's 'guts' but afterwards (and after lots of stalling and hemming and hawing, and excuses) I laugh about how easy it was. All this stuff is so virtually 'plug in' now there's no real expertise needed. I remember just maybe 10 years ago when all things computer seemed mysterious and beyond understanding to me. Then again everything back then (okay maybe it was 20 years ago) it was all DOS and complicated methods of inner workings. Thank heavens for the geeks that created easy to use systems and technology for those of us that don't have the time to go to MIT.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Tell Me Somethin' Good - Pt 1

Out of the corner of his eye Mike watched the rusty blue sedan crawl down the street past the alley. He'd been eying him all afternoon. "Sneaky son of a bitch," he muttered as the tail of the car passed by. He'd spotted it just as he left Rowdy's, the little nothing bar he liked to hang out in just because nobody else did. If he hadn't known better he'd have sworn the short, balding little twerp that didn't weigh more than a nickel wearing a raggedy t-shirt with a busted up ball cap pulled down over his brow was a loser from South Central. That's 'if' he didn't know better, but he did know better and no way was he letting another of Jazzy's cryptic dicks who thought they were hard asses bust him.

From the dim alley where tall buildings prohibited any sunlight from entering Mike sauntered out putting the swagger back in his step. He frowned a bit realizing he'd been shaken enough by the douche-mobile the PI was driving to have stiffed up. "No sense walkin' like a white boy, just 'cause you in Beverly Hills," he scolded. He glanced over his shoulder to be sure no one else had noticed his momentary uncertainty and headed to the address on the card in his pocket. It would be a good afternoon now that he'd shaken his tail.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Making them Live

When you research your plots, characters, or events in your work do you actually find situations or places where they might go in real life? Or do you let your imagination just do the 'investigation for you? If one of your sub-characters is a Seattle injury lawyer do you check out personal injury lawyers and see how they work, what their descriptions of their services entail? Or do you just let it be enough to know they are a personal injury lawyer that lives or works in the Seattle area? Do you Google Map Seattle? Do you Google Seattle tourism to see what points of interest there are? Research for ficton writers used to mean getting in the car, on a bus, train, or plane and going to the areas where their characters walked, lived and breathed. It isn't necessary anymore, your fingers can do the work for you and it is all online but it is still necessary to 'travel' and experience the areas to make them live on paper.

IZ a Cat

If you haven't caught onto the fad of the 'cat speak' pictures IZ you have been missing something. It's like micro social commentary from a cat's point of view. Some are downright hilarous. See IzCheeseburger for some adorable pundits.

Here are a few more found around the web:

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Covering The Bases

For those of you that create your own covers how good are you at creating the barcode spaces required for the publisher to place the codes on? I've gotten better at it but I confess it is tricky. I know there are even ways to create your own barcodes and I think that might be easier in the long run, doing it myself rather than just making sure the appropriate space was there. I know that having a barcode scanner makes it easier for stores to do inventory, keep track of sales and re-ordering stock as necessary but it sure doesn't make it easier on my end.


I commented on my SEO freelancer blog that distractions are the number one killer of careers for work at home writers and I have one such distraction crawling around on me right now. Simon (my sun conure) just LOVES to provide adequate distraction. Here is a Tube Vid of him being annoyingly cute and distracting.

Naming Characters

What is your favorite way to name a character? Do you choose exotic names or go with more mundane common choices? I have to admit I rarely use extremely common names unless it reflects a commonness I wish to portray in a character. I only had one Karen and that was as common as I usually get. I prefer feminine characters with names like Kia or Sferra. For male names I tend to go with more ordinary (as a rule) but strong names such as Michael, Gabriel, and the like. I rarely use Bob or Joe unless it is a secondary character that needs to be portrayed as a blue collar regular guy. What is your preference?

Twitting as a Social and SEO Concept

I've taken Twitting back up. The act of posting on Twitter. I stopped for a long time and once you stop you wonder what the attraction ever was but just go back for a minute like I did--and you'll be hooked again. As a social platform it's pretty unique and very engaging. Does it work as a networking tool? From a SEO standpoint or a method of drawing in customers to a product I think it has good and bad points. Most of the bad points are in regards to how it is done. No matter if it is an author or any other product pusher on there if that is the only reason they are there it will soon fail. It is as annoying as spam even if it is not strictly speaking spam. If, however, you go on there and truly engage followers and become a part of the system I think it has a very high rate of success. Give it a try. You'll be twitting, tweating, and re-twitting before you know it.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Dieting is Work Too

I'm still looking for a diet pill that works. I'm stuck. My work life is going great but my physical side of life is suffering a bit. I am currently blaming it on perimenopause but I think that's a bit of an excuse too. It's sort of an easy way to ease my mind for feeling like I'm failing at something I am working at. I'm simply not used to failing if I work at something. I've always been able to accomplish anything I truly set my mind to and this is frustrating to say the least. I do need help though. I've pretty much made my mind up on that. I am not going to get this done simply on my own. One thing is for sure, for some of us dieting is work too.