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Friday, March 30, 2012

Keep Holding On by Susane Colasanti Preview and Other Book News

I am looking foward to Susane Colasanti's latest novel Keep Holding On  which will be in bookstores and online on June 14th.  This novel is going to be different from Susane's other books.  This time the author tackles the issue of bullying.  She draws inspiration from her own experiences of being bullied in middle and high school.

The other day on her blog, Susane Colasanti posted a link to an excerpt of the first chapter.  After reading the excerpt, I was heart broken.  Noelle, who is the main character gets picked on because of the sandwitches she brings for lunch. And this is only the beginning!  I am sure her school mates torture her for other reasons.  What happens to Noelle?  You can learn more about Keep Holding On by visiting susanecolasanti.com and read the first chapter.

In other news,YA author Sarah Dessen announced on her blog that she will be releasing a new titled The Best After Ever which is expected to be released in May 2013. 

I am looking foward to reading both books. I guess I have a fiction addiction. LOL! Case and point, I recently listened to The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks and like some of his other books, I was immediately sucked in. 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Flashback Fridays: The Carlton Dance

Hello everyone and welcome to another edition of Flashback Fridays. I usually write a post bright and early in the morning, but today that didn't happen.  Its has been a pretty busy fast moving week.  I am currently writing an article about what to do if you are failing a college class.  I just received an email letting me know that it needs some edits.  Ah, the writing life. You are never finished writing.

In other news, I have discovered on Barnes N Nobles's website that you can purchase used books for half the price of the same new book!  The website says that these books are in very good edition and good as new.  I haven't placed my order yet, but I'm dying to know if B&N is true to their word.

Buying  books is a luxury and its something I get to do a few times a year. Most of the time, I would check books out from my local library or download them from the National Library Services for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.  I don't buy books on a regular basis because I am running out of space to store them.  

For those of you who grew up in the 90's and watched the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air starring Will Smith will no doubt remember The Carlton Dance.  What else can I say.  Yeah this is probably the only dance Carlton knew. 


Have a great  weekend everyone.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

First Day of Spring

Hello everyone! I hope you are enjoying the first day of spring.  The weather is really nice.  For the last week or so, it has felt like spring with temps in the 80's. Which is kind of odd for this time of the year.  Yesterday, I saw on the news that it was snowing in Arizona.  Wow! In my part of the country, we didn't see any snow; not even sleet.  Who knows what this summer will be like.   Last Friday, I decided to move all my winter clothes to the back of the closet. Now I get to wear bright spring colors.  As I was organizing my shoes, I found a pair of canary yellow wedges.  To celebrate spring  colors, I have my eyes set on some really cool jewlery made by my good friend at Chibi Lolia's All Kinds of Cute.  I mianly wear jewlery when I dress up.  However, I saw some really cute bracelets that I intend to claim very soon. 

I was going to post some pictures here to show you, but something's not working right.  You can visit etsy.com and follow this link: Chibi Lolita's All Kinds of Kinds of Cute.  Celeste, if you are reading this I intend on claiming the lemon lime bracelet and the multi colored beaded bracelet. 


In other news, over the weekend I was at my local Wendy's.  It was a typical Saturday, where people stop and grab lunch. So we were sitting and waiting; suddenly customers are telling us to evalcuate.  What?  A man standing near by said, "What's going on?"  I looked towards the counter area there's dark smoke everywhere.  The crazy thing about all of this is the other customers were still sitting and eatting; and the workers didn't bother to make announcement.  Fortunately we got out in time.  Maybe this would make a good scene in a story one day.

As far as writing goes, I submitted my review for Queen of Babble Gets Hitched by Meg Cabot to Factoidz.  I received an email this morning stating that my review was rejected.  I am not sure why.  These days, I try to be mindful about spelling, typos, and grammar.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Flashback Fridays: Ferris Bueller's Day Off

Good morning everyone, and welcome to another addition of Flashback Fridays.  This week, we will look at a classic 80's movie, Ferris Bueller's Day Off.  So it is probably clear by now, that I am a 80's baby.  Don't worry I will gather some more current videos for my younger readers.

I must say that this is one of my favorite 80's movies.  It seems unbelievable the lengths these kids go through for a day off from school.  How far would you go to get a day off?  Just ask these guys.


I wanted to use the scene where Cameron and Ferris are standing in the garage looking at the car, but I realized that it was uncensored. Yeah, I know its a memorable scene.   However, since this is a family and professional blog, I intend to keep it clean even with the language. I didn't notice this before because I have always watched the TV version over the years.  That's why I am using the trailer clip instead. 

As an added bonus, we all know what happened next after the garage scene.


Have a great weekend everyone.












Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Is It Spring Yet?

Is it spring yet?  Because it sure does feel like it.  Sunday afternoon, I went out for a walk around the neighborhood.  The children were out playing, and a few of my neighbors were out walking for the evening.  This winter has been the warmest winter I can remember.  We didn't get any snow this season and I have coats in my closet that I didn't get to wear. 

So I am debating if I should go ahead and push my winter clothes to the back of the closet or just for a few more weeks. 

In other news, I just finished listening to Queen of Babble Gets Hitched by Meg Cabot.  Again, I wasn't impressed by this series.  (I haven't read the second book of the Queen of Babble series).  Cabot gives background information on the history of weddings and how some the long standing customs came about.  Also, she gives tips on how to avoid wedding day disasters through the naration of Lizzie Nichols.   There is one major spoiler I could give away, but I won't. 

I haven't written a review for this novel yet.  I should have it posted on Factoidz within the next few days. 

For a long time, I have had this obsession with pens and notebooks.  I'm not in school anymore, so why should I justify buying these items?  Well, its kind of a rule of dumb that writers need their tools.  I thought that I was bad about buying and keeping notebooks until I visited a friend of mine.  She has more notebooks than I do.  So I didn't feel so bad.  I like to write down ideas and even at my age I still keep a journal.  However, I don't write on a regular basis. 

I was in Kmart the other day, and I almost bought a new notebook and pens. I walked over to the nearest checkout in the Electronics section, and the cashier was helping a lady with her iPhone.  I quickly changed my mind and put these items back.  I really didn't need these things at the moment.  I just bought a pack of pens  the other week at Office Depot when I only intended on buying envelopes. 

Another example of office supply buying is when I went to Wal-Mart over a month ago.  I purchased the new Sharpie pens and a new USB.  My brother asked me why I was buying one.  So I currently own two.  I have been using this method of storage for six years now.  The ones I have owned in the past either broke or stopped working.  This was very dissapointing because they had all my notes, papers from college, and other documents.  So it won't hurt to keep an extra around.

So what tools should writers keep in their office or writng space?
  • Pens, pencils, and highlighters of course
  • Note pads for writing down ideas
  • Note books or bigger notebooks (If you like writing your drafts by hand). 
  • Dictionary and Thesarus
  • Ecyclopedias for research (You'll never know when you will need it especially if the internet is down).
  • Paper and ink for your printer
I am sure there are other items I have missed but these are just the basics.  I guess I have gained a lttle self control in this area.  I use to be obsessed with buying address books.  If there were too many crossouts because someone moved, etc.  I would buy a fresh new one.  Now thanks to technology, I can save all my contacts in my phone or in my email contact list. However, this does has its down si




Sunday, March 11, 2012

A World Without Libraries

Hello readers, I hope that everyone is having a good weekend.  The other day I was reading Stephanie Dickison's column "Letter From Toronto" in the The Writer Magazine.  I was stunned to read that Toronto's Public Libraries are at risk of being closed.  You read that correctly.....AT RISK OF BEING CLOSED!  I find it difficult to imagine a world without libraries.  You can learn more about this and sign their petition at http://www.ourpubliclibrary.to/

The library has always had a special place in my heart.  From elementary school through college, all of the librarians knew me by name.  It was a place where I could check out books that I could not afford to buy; or glad that I didn't buy once I finished reading them.  I still check out books from the library from to to time.  The library was a place where I was able to research material for school projects and research papers.  This was also a place where I sought solace during a bad day. I am sure that this is the case for many people out there who are avid readers and use the library on a regular basis. 

I also love to see children getting excited about storytime and taking home books that they can't wait to read once they get home.  I believe in putting a book into a child's hand.  So please, don't take this away from them.

In recent years when I have visited my local public library, I have noticed that many use it for internet access and or to use the computer.  When interviewing for a library job, I was asked if I check out books.  I was sort surprised by this question, but understood why I was being asked this question.  What I liked most about the librarians I have encountered over the years, I have found them to be helpful as far as finding the books I was looking for, or research materials. 

Due to rise of ebooks, will all libraries and physical bookstores be at risk of closing?  This should give us something to think about.  If you live in Toronto or elsewhere, you can show your support of libraries by signing a petition at Our Public Library. 

Have a great day everyone.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Flashback Fridays: True by Spandau Ballet



I have been thinking and working on some fun ideas to add to this blog to make it more entertaining.  I read young adult authors Sarah Dessen's and Susane Colasanit's blogs on a regular basis.  They discuss fun entertaining stories and videos clips.  Sarah Dessen talks about pop culture and family life aside from her writing life.  So I am trying out a new idea called Flashback Fridays.  Here I will feature a song, TV show, or movie clip. So keep your ears and eyes open. 

A few months ago, I downloaded a popular 80's song called "True" by British band Spandau Ballet.  It has been sampled one way or another over the years.  For instance PM Dawn sampled it back in the 90's for their song "Set Adrift Memory Bliss," and in recent years Lioyd and L'l Wayne sampled it. 

I have heard this song a few times over the years.  The thing is, this song is as old as I am.   But now, since I have played this song practicly everyday on my iPod, and as I listen to the lyrics now, I have to wonder what is the meaning to this song.   

One of my favorite lines in this song is, "Why do I find it hard to write the next line?  Oh I want to the truth to be said."

Maybe the lead singer is talking about getting the courage to tell someone he is in love them, or needs to tell someone the truth about something.  On the other hand, there is another line that I never paid attention to all these years.  "With a thrill in my head....and a pill on my tongue......"  Could they be talking about drugs?   And what does he mean by "he bought a ticket to the world?"  This is just an observation.  Any ideas?

Despite these questions I have been wondering about, I still keep listening to solve this mystery. 

Have a good weekend everyone.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Familiar Surroundings

Today, I had to go to a meeting at my old college.  Next month, I will be starting a temp job there.  When I arrived the buildings looked the same of course, but when I walked inside the Student Center, it was totally transformed.  The whole building recieved a total overhaul and they went green. 

Now, the college has Wi-Fi and even a charge up station for electric cars. When I was in college, Wi-Fi was nothing but a dream.  If you needed internet access, you had to go across campus to an availiable computer lab.  This factor made bringing a laptop pointless unless you were using it to take notes, or work on a paper in the library. 

I was also informed that there has been fires at Student Housing.  Why?  Because someone had the bright idea to deep fry food.  That's right, deep fry!  Who deep fries anything anymore?

I am looking foward to this job, because after being out of work forever, I will have a job eventhough it is tempoary. Hopefully it will lead to something permanent.  I also think that this may give me some fresh ideas for writing.  For instance, taking in the sights and sounds of college and the workplace of course.  To be more specific, grumblings about exams and classes and personal life issues. 

In other news, I received myYahoo Style Guide in the mail.  I totally forgot that the book was comming. When it arrived in the mail, I was puzzled.  I knew I haven't other books or anything.  So when I opened the box and saw the Yahoo logo on the book, I remembered that I signed up to receive a few months ago.  This guide is suppose to get writers get educated on SEO, blogging, how to fix writing mistakes, and other useful tips.  How long will it take me to read this?  I don't know, but I may read and reference the parts that I am most interested in.

Have a good evening everyone.



Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Books, Computer Issues, and Other Random Thoughts

Good morning readers!  I was planning to post a new entry yesterday, but never got around to it.  I spent part of the day trying to figure out what's going on with my computer.  I had to restart it a few times because some programs would stop working.  I checked for viruses, and I found nothing.  I also tried defragmenting and disk cleanup. It helped some.  It probably needs a total tune up.  So I downloaded a tuneup program from AVG.  Of course, in other to completely give your computer a tuneup, you have to purchase the program.  Free trial version only does a partial job. So I always say that free comes with a price tag. 

I just finished listening an audiobook recording of Queen of Babble by Meg Cabot.  It was an okay book, as in light and fluffy.  Eventhough the book held my attention and it actually had a plot, it is least likely to be taken seriously in a literature class unless there was a course on  chick lit. 

It is about a girl name Lizzie who talks too much and her mouth gets her in trouble.  She plans to spend her summer in England with a guy she met in college and barely knows.  Everything doesn't go according to plan and her mouth gets Andrew in trouble and she runs off to France.  I wrote an review about this book on Factoidz, so check it out here: Queen of Babble by Meg Cabot-Book Review.   You know how some books leave a lasting impression on you, well this one didn't.  However, there were a lot of interesting facts about fashion history.  This is only valueable if you are interested in this subject matter.

Yesterday, while I was at the beauty salon, I overheard conversations about  photos on Facebook and this new site called Pinterest.  I haven't visited Pinterest, but from what I've heard it's a place to share photos.  There seems to be so much to keep up with especially if you are into social media and technology.  I don't think I will jumping on the Pinterest train anytime soon if ever. I really don't have many photos to share. I have enough to keep up between writing online,  day to day responsibilities,  social media, etc.  I have a LinkedIn account, and sadly I barely keep up with it. 

February was my least productive writing month.  I only published one product review for Factoidz and too articles.  This month I know I need to do better.  Problem is, I get easily distracted by the computer.  If I get bored or stuck, I may decide to do something else like see if I have any mail worth reading or see what everyone is up to.  If I want to be taken seriously as a writer, I need to take myself seriously.  Case and point, I pulled up the Queen of Babble review and right there, staring me in the face, in the intro paragraph the word ssummer was misspelled.  How could I have missed this?  This is embarrasing! The bad thing is I can't go back and edit it at this point.  That's why it takes more than one read through before you hit the submit button.  Maybe I should invest in a grammar check program or use a live proof reader.

"Sigh"

Have a great day everyone! 

Monday, March 5, 2012

New Beginnings

Hello everyone and welcome to my new blog.   I have tried blogging before, but it didn't get a lot of attention.  I started a book review blog called Book Club of One a few years ago, but I stop posting a few months later.   I was inspired to try blogging again by a friend who blogs at ChibiLolita's All Kinds of Cute.  If you like unique handmade jewlery, be sure to stop by her blog and online store at etsy.com. 

I am currently a contributing writer for sites such as Suite101, Factoidz, Yahoo Contributor's Network, and Helium.  My goal here is to share comments about interesting facts I have learned, commentary on books I've read, and other random thoughts and observations. 

Why do I am calling this blog My So Called Wriitng Life?   I have been publishing online for almost two years.  Sometimes, I wonder when do you call yourself a professional writer?  Better yet, what qualifies a person to even label themselves as a writer?  Writing online has been an adventure for me.  If you are considering becoming a freelance writer or webo content writer, you should be aware that there is a lot of work involved. 

You must be willing to do research and proof read your work.  If you think reading over a draft a few times is going to cut it, you are wrong.  You have to make sure you pay attention to submission guidelines and important details like typos and punctuation.  It is also important to pay attention to grammar and sentence structure.  I had to suffer to consequences of this action last year.  After writing for Suite 101 for almost a year, my writing privileges were taken away.  I was upset, but after calming down, I knew good and well that I had no one to blame but myself.  Missing words, typos, and other small but important details will hurt your reputation as a writer.

Another lesson I had to learn about being a writer is that you are not going to make big bucks overnight.  I would read stories about people who made hundreds or sometimes thousands each month proving content on the web.  When I first started earning money for my work, I barely made lunch money.  Most of the sites I write for pay you residual pay.  In simplier terms, this means you are paid based on traffic and if someone clicks on your ads. 

Now, I have moved up to gas money status so to speak, but still feel embarrassed about how much I earn.  Maybe I just have a hard time explaining.  My goal as a writer is to not only entertain readers, but educate them. 

On a final note, I call this My So Called Writing Life because, not many people know that I write online.  Sure, I share my articles on Facebook and even set up a business page dedicated to sharing links to my latest articles.  However, sometimes I wonder if anyone is paying attention.  Every once in awhile someone will "like" or leave a comment about something I posted.  It seems that people only care about who's dating or cute baby pics.  Don't get me wrong, I love cute baby pics!  

I hope that you will enjoy this blog.

Have a good day everyone.