Thursday, May 3, 2012

Facebook Etiquette That You WISH People Would Use

Most, if not all, of us use Facebook.  Let's face it: it won't be going the way of Myspace anytime soon either so that means we will continue to deal with those people. You know the ones. They drive you nuts daily or make you roll your eyes in a mixture of embarrassment or horror... depending on the offense.  So why don't we go over some things you know we are ALL thinking, shall we?

1.  Don't post where you actually are. This means you are definitely NOT at home which tells people it's okay to rob you. Or better yet, don't post you are at home... alone!  Really? Do we have to get into all the problems that THAT can cause you? Honestly, where do these people leave their common sense?

2. Don't post things that will come back to bite you in the rear.  If you are going through a divorce, I highly suggest not posting crap about your current boyfriend or lover that you got CAUGHT with. It's not that helpful in the court room, I promise!  If you are having custodial issues, then please, use some sense and don't post about the drinking, partying or stripping you may have done at your house or at the latest bar you went to. None of us want to know, really, we don't. The judge might find it interesting though... just not in your favor.

3. Please, on the comment section, don't ask if someone is mad at you. Really. Not only does that make you stalker quality, it makes you look like a really bad stalker. ( Are you mad at me?  No, why?  You haven't texted me in four days. OMG, are you serious? )

4. Do you not know how to type correctly? I can understand being on a cell and hurriedly typing out something. I can. But people, we can tell if you are on a phone or not- HELLO, it shows the mobile sign under your comment! If you are NOT on a cell, please type correctly. If not, it just reinforces your inability to spell and makes us question your parentage.

5. Don't post things that you can't handle. You know what I'm talking about. Someone posts a funny picture or something racy and then gets upset if a person comments negatively about it. If you cannot handle the negative remarks, don't post it! Pretty simple, really.

6.  If you start a new group or page, know how to post thelink of it BEFORE you tell everyone. Copy & Paste is not that hard to do. Really, if you can make a new group, you can definitely copy the link and post it on your wall.  Don't type out the name because, most of the time, other people will not be able to find it in the search engine.  Not only does it make you look bad, it makes the people looking for it aggravated and then they decide it's not worth it. This makes you lose customers, readers pretty quickly!

Now, we all do at least one of these things sometimes. Don't forget the first stone and all that. This is for all the people who do this... ALL. THE. TIME.   The ones that, even if we point it out in a general outlook, they don't get it. And if you say in terms that they understand? Your uppity.  Your annoying. All because we just want a little common sense on our pages. Go figure.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Chicks, Rabbits and Goats, OH MY!

Living on 73 acres, you learn pretty quickly that farm animals are really a necessity and not just because they are cute, fluffy and you have extra money to spend.  We live roughly 15 miles from our town (small though it is) so we need to keep the basics on hand. In fact, you could almost consider us preppers. Not that we expect the world apocalypse or the nation's economy to fall, but we do live in an area with tornado activity. (Plus, I have no desire to run to town daily b/c I forgot to buy it the day before.)   What does this have to do with animals? Let me explain...

Chickens. We have 24 right now (12 adults, 12 chicks) and I am incubating more. I can't say they are great for keeping the bugs away because I don't let mine free range. Now, before I get lots of peta comments, they get treats daily and I always make sure to throw grass clippings, meal worms,etc... to them so they have lots to do and eat. My chickens think if they are allowed OUTSIDE their coop, they should lay their eggs outside the coop as well. I became tired of playing Easter egg hunt every day to be honest.  Plus, if you garden, it has to be enclosed completely because chickens do not care if your squash or green beans are almost ready to harvest, they will scratch and destroy the plants to find the teeny-tiny bug in the center of the plant... just because they can. Our hens do quite well in keeping us supplied with brown eggs and we have 2 roosters to continue the line. The rest of the roosters? Well, sorry but in the pot they go, which only adds to the farming experience.

Rabbits.  We have A rabbit currently but are getting a few more so we can start breeding them. Not because they are cute and fluffy. Not because I planted too many carrots. They are production rabbits and will be culled at 8 weeks old. Now, again, no peta comments. Our doctor told us that rabbit meat would be GREAT for our twins' digestion problems since the medicine isn't really working and I see no point in buying the meat at the supermarket for an OUTRAGEOUS price when we can raise them much cheaper. For anyone with digestion problems ( heartburn, acid reflux), rabbit meat can be used as a replacement in any chicken recipe (I swear it almost does taste like chicken...) and you will be amazed at the difference it will make.

Goats.  Okay, I have to admit: I love our goats. We have a Nubian and a Nubian/Brush Goat mix that have been in our family (between us and my hubby's parents) for the past 8 years.  They are GREAT lawn mowers! In fact, I haven't mowed our backyard in over a year since we brought them to our house. (In-laws are sick and couldn't take care of them any longer). Not only that, goats' milk is also GREAT for digestion problems. It has made a HUGE difference in our kids' issues and I can honestly say that I actually dislike using cows' milk for anything but cooking now.

That's all the animals we have so far... well, unless you count the 2 dogs, 2 cats and 2 fish. And the guineas in the incubator. But next year, we're adding 2 horses,  2 steers and maybe (if I can talk the hubby into it) a pig or 2.  I figure that if we own this much land, we might as well put it to use! lol

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Living & Writing About Life

My life has been pretty busy insane lately thanks to doctor visits, plumbing issues ( we're talking having to redo almost the ENTIRE system under our house. Seriously, people... that was NOT fun), and the beginnings of the end of the school year marathon. That last one? Yeah, it's been awesome.

We do supplement school work year round (shout out to all my homeschool friends HERE!) but our kids are back in public school and we are glad for it... sort of. Do I miss the not wanting to do the work? No. ( oh wait, that happens doing their homework now)  Do I miss setting up teaching plans? Meh... I do it weekly, especially for summer work so that one doesn't really count.   Do I miss waking the kids up at 8 am instead of the 5:30 am schedule they are on now? OMG yes! lol   Do I enjoy being able to work on my manuscript with all 3 children now in school? Most definitely.

The life of a writer isn't normally wrapped up in an office working 9 to 5. We normally don't do the whole Monday thru Friday routine that most others are forced to do.  Sitting in our pajamas with our hair sticking up in all directions (courtesy of  the 6 yr old hiding my brush as a joke... thanks sweetheart!) while I have my characters making out? GREAT!  Kicking back with the laptop with a bag of almonds while I shamelessly murder another victim?  RELAXATION at its finest....

Uh huh...  We have it hard in many ways, especially people with hyper issues (Ahem... sorry, I had to get a drink, let out the dog, check my facebook,  work on editing my manuscript). The ability to not only focus but to actually sit down and write out the words can be difficult. Life happens. We answer our phones, feed the animals (chickens, rabbits, dogs, cats, fish... omg WHERE did they all come from?), feeding our families, pay bills, get bored... you see where I'm going with this? lol  The cool thing is that we can take all of our family "stuff" and use it. Put it out there so others can enjoy it (except the chickens part, Fabreeze anyone?). So, get out and enjoy your life. Live your life then come home and write about it. Whether it's a blog, a journal, or a manuscript on how you live- just go do it... after checking facebook, email, ummm... yeah.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Importance of SAVING your work...

So, let me just say that everybody knows to save their work. I know this. You know this. It's not a hard thing to do. Right? Yeah, how we about talk about saving your works in more than one place?

I know. I admit it. I saved my work on a flash drive and only a flash drive. In my mind, I was thinking that by keeping it on the flash drive, I wouldn't have to worry about losing anything if my laptop was hacked (which it was), if it was infected with malware (which it happened), or if the hard drive crashed (Oh God, where's the wood for me to knock on?) Okay, so the last one hasn't happened yet.  YET.

Seven months of work~ I am almost completely finished with my 2nd book and I am super-excited about it. It is GREAT. I love it....

I can't open the file on the flash drive because suddenly it has become corrupted.

I tried for hours to get it back... and then cried for another hour because I couldn't. This happened on a Saturday night so there were NO computer shops open. I patiently waited (insert the words panic, hyperventilate, insanity... you pick) until Monday morning for the shops to open and was at the door waiting, flash drive in hand.  Thankfully, the pc guy I use is a pc God.  It took him a few hours (he had never retrieved anything from a flash drive before) and he got almost the entire file back. He only lost about three thousand words. 

Don't worry, I had a hard copy of the missing file but the rest of the hard copy was gone. Where, you ask?  Ask my daughter's cat....   Now I am working on editing and finishing up the last few chapters. Just so you know, it is now saved on a new flashdrive... and my computer's hard drive.  My lesson has been learned.  Now I just need to redo my hard copy....

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Favorites List # 1

All of us have a drool um.... I mean, favorites list of actors that we love to  stare at.  Oops, I meant stalk online.   I mean watch their movies! Yeah, that's it....
So, anyway, I am picking just one of my favorites today. It's gonna be a Matthew McConaughy Day!!
 You have to love him in  "Sahara".  Who doesn't love sandy beaches, desert palms and this?

Or better yet, who couldn't love a man with his dog? Honestly? How cute is this one?

So this is my thought for today... Never forget to enjoy the... um... sexy things in your life. Or your computer. lol

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Do You... Or Don't You? Outline, that is!

Okay, I freely admit it to the world. I am a list-maker. I honestly don't think I could live without my lists, in fact.  A list for groceries.  A list of what to plant in our garden.  A list of what I want my sweet hubby to do (fixing things). And yes... I even will ( on occasion only, mind you) write a list of the lists I need to make!  (Sweet hubby threatens to hide them sometimes, lol)

I know, that's just too much at times, but what about in writing?  Whether it is for blogging or for a manuscript, do you keep lists of what you want? The official word scares some people.


Yeah, I said it. Outline.  Do you write an outline for your work or do you just go with the flow? Me? I'm pretty sure you've already guessed my answer. I have to have an outline. In fact, I use notecards to write down special scenes to go along WITH my outline.  And usually? I tend to write my ending first. lol I like knowing the end result and making my words get to that point.  It helps me focus so much more.  Then again, I tend to be very ummm... what are the words? Oh yeah... easily distracted.

So, do you or don't you? If you do outline, do you set it up based on chapters or points of interest only? What do you use to keep yourself from being distracted?  Let me know!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Looking For The Right Cover Page

Cover Art is a PAIN.

Really, it is. I think most Indie writers will tell you that is one of the toughest things we have to do. We don't have a publishing house to help us with all the little details. We don't have a department in our back pockets to do all the work. Nope, we have to think long and hard about how we want the look of our babies to be portrayed.

Does it have the "feel" of our book?
Does it tell part of the story to grab the reader's attention?
Do the models actually FIT the descriptions in our book? ( OMG, that is such a pet peeve of mine!)
Who does the work you need? There are plenty of places online that offer this service... with a nice price tag to boot. Granted, they do GREAT work and deserve to be paid, but, what about all of us little people who are just starting out? We don't have the funds to put into that. All of our money is going into editing and copy rights.

A wonderful place to check out artists is your local college. Almost all colleges now will offer a computer graphics course. The students there can give you absolutely GREAT work with a much cheaper bill. Especially if you make sure to put their names in the copyright for their work. Their name is put out there, showing off what they can do. That is a plus for them since they can put YOU on their resume once they graduate. That's not a little thing to them, especially if you keep them on retainer.

Whatever you decide to do, just remember to get a receipt or, at the very least, make a copy of the check you give them (with the reason for the check written ON the check). You need this for your taxes. It may not seem like much now, but it will in the long run and no matter who you choose to do your cover art page, it is tax deductible.

Good luck!!