Monday, April 30, 2012

As Written: Robin Thicke

Last night on Centric, I discovered a show called As Written.  This week's episode featured one of my favorite artist, Robin Thicke.  It didn't come on until 11:00 so I decided to stay up. I know I know, I should have been in the bed.  I couldn't go to sleep anyway.  He mostly talked his career thus far and inspiration of his latest album, Love After War.  I learned a few interesting facts about him.  I didn't know that his mother Gloria Loring song the theme song for the TV show Facts of Life.  Of course, I knew that Alan Thicke from the 80's sitcom Growing Pains is his dad.  I didn't finish watching it because I was interupted by my brother.  Maybe they will rerun it. 

In case you don't know who Robin Thicke is, this clip show help.  This is the one of the first songs I heard by him about six years ago. 

Friday, April 27, 2012

Getting Out of the House

As I get closer to Monday, I am having mixed emotions.  I am excited to be headed to work, but I still feel anxious.  What will my first day be like?  What will my workmates be like?  As shallow as it may seem, what am I going to wear?  I have tops and skirts which will be office appropriate.  Since I will be doing tests deliveries for Student Disability Services, I am going to need to wear comfortable shoes. 

This sort of reminds of the first day of school.  One year, I could not go to sleep the night before.  It was nice to meet new teachers and classmates, eventhough some of them I knew since elementary school.  Even in college, the first day of class was interesting.  I had one instructor who introduced himself and gave his bio which included his travels around the world.

During back to school season, I looked foward to buying school supplies. That may sound strange to some of you, but I guess this makes me a nerd.

Speaking of getting out of the house, I was reading Kelly James-Enger's blog: Dollars and Deadlines.  Yesterday's tip for writers was to get out of the house.  She suggested that writers change up their work space and work at the library or a coffee shop.  For me this is a problem.  For starters I live in the rural and I don't drive due to my vission impairment.  I am about ten minutes driving distance from the library, but its not close enough to walk.  Starbucks, Spill the Beans, Coffee Underground are in downtown Greenville.  So for now, I will have to do the best I can.

This is a great tip because you can to actually interact with people, observe your surroundings, and easedrop on conversations.  There was this one time I was eatting at Zaxby's and an adult (I'm not sure if it was the young person's mother or aunt) was telling them not to befriend strangers on Facebook.  A few years ago, a little boy was like, "Stephanie Myers is awesome!"  The adult sitting with this kid grumbled about Twilight.

The downside of working from home as a writer is you stuck in front of the computer pretty much all day.  Sure you can make phone calls and send emails and text messages.  Yeah, there is social networking sites like Facebook.  Its not the same as actually talking to someone.  In my case, I am reading words off a screen most of the time.  Since I deactivated my Facebook account, I have no idea what's going on.  Has technology made us lazy?   I have noticed that I am doing more texting than actually talking on the phone.  I welcomed texting, emailing, and social networking because I don't have to chase people down on the phone. I always felt like I was calling people at a bad time.  Its just a thought.

I have some writing that needs to get done, but I am barely getting anything done.  Atleast I can't blame Facebook since I am on hiatus. I have two more articles I would like to post on Knoji formerly known as Factoidz.  I have been focusing my energy on this site for some time now.  Knoji is one of a handful of writing sites worth writing for.  You can choose your topics to write about or pick assignments from their product reviews and articles.  The good thing about Knoji is that you are paid every month no matter what.  If you write for Suite 101, you have to earn $5 and at Helium it's $25 in order to receive payment. If its $0.60 or $60, you will be paid monthly. When you publish an article, you will receive an upfront payment. The ammount varies and this is left up to the editors. In addition, you will generate revenue for your articles.  I have found that product reviews are worth writing, because they tend to get the most traffic.  If you enjoy writing and looking for ways to pick up extra cash, visit and sign up at Knoji.  You won't make big bucks over night but its worth a try.

I think some time away from the house and the computer will do me some good.

As for Flashback Fridays I will leave with Duckie from Pretty Pink and his version of Otis Redding's "Try a Little Tenderness."  You are probably thinking what?  Don't worry, I provided visual aid. Last year, Kanye West and Jay Z put their own spin on this song simply titled "Otis." 

Have a good weekend everyone.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

What Season Is it Again? Writer Vs. the Nay Sayers

It may be April, but the temperatures outside are saying other wise.  Yesterday it was in the 50's in my neck of the woods. I was freezing in the house and I was tempted to pull out my sweatshirt.  But I didn't.  I have all of my sweaters folded up nicely and I am not pulling them back until October or November.  Besides I didn't feel like a bunch of sweaters falling out of my closet.  So I pulled out a blanket.  I heard on the news yesterday, that some parts of the country received snow.  Hmmmm.

This weather makes me want to sleep and be lazy. It's a good thing I'm heading out of the house and off to work next week.  Its a six week tempoary job where I will be in an office a few days a week.  Instead of the birds chirping and the ocassional car driving by my window, I will hear phones, computers (other than my own), students, etc. etc. 

Ebooks are really taking off. I have been thinking about writing an ebook.  Actually, I was thinking about doing about doing a quick read as an experiment to see how well I would do.  I have been writing non fiction web content for almost two years now. So I want to return to fiction. 

I have been having writer's block. I haven't been proud of the fiction I've written. I think the real problem is that I am lacking confidence. I have been dreaming of writing a book for ten years now. I would start something and abandon the story when it would hit a wall. 

I had this idea that I would go to school and become a journalist.  The closet I got to studying journalism is when I took a class in college.  I had a high school teacher who once said that I didn't have wants it takes to be a writer.  When I find myself in a writer's rut, these words creep into my head.  For the last ten years, I have been trying to prove her wrong.

Fast foward years later, here I am.  I write for several websites and I have a blog.  Some of these web content sites, you can simply sign up. On the other hand, you have to prove yourself before you are hired to write for other sites.   Yeah, anybody can start a blog, but these are just small steps but I am doing it and I am a writer. So I may not become a famous best seller author or a literary heavyweight in the literary world, but I am happy to reach this point.  I would like to have at least one book, even if critics says it stinks.

Question: How do I go about designing a professional looking cover for an ebook?

Friday, April 20, 2012

What's Going On?

For the last few days it has been in the 60's here in South Carolina....atleast in my neck of the woods.  It doesn't quite feel like spring, but I am not complaining because it will be in the 80's and 90's in another month or so.  When summer is in full force, we are going to be complaining about it being too hot, and running into gas stations, McDonald's etc. for something to drink like juices, sodas, or smoothies.  A strawberry and bananna smoothie sounds good right now, or maybe a frape.  Once, I had a medium sized frape at night. Big mistake, it took me several hours to go to sleep. 

The biggest problem I encountered this week was my new cell phone.  I upgraded to a LG Extravert.  Oh man, its an extravert all right.  I brought it home and put it on the charger.  Nothing happns.  The next day I noticed that I only had two batteries and the phone never charged.  So I decided to see if the phone would charge through my computer.  I plugged it in and it started charging.  But here's the catch; it still won't charge.  When it charges in the computer, the phone screen says BATTERY CHARGING, but when I take it off the charger the phone goes dead.  The only way I can use my phone is if it is hooked up to the computer.  That's not helping me.  There is no way I am hauling my laptop around just to be able to use my phone.

Customer service said that it could be the phone itself or the battery.  I really like this phone, but if it is going to give me this much trouble, I need to get something else or use my old phone.

For the first time in awhile I decided to watch The Office last night. I haven't been watching this season since Steve Carell better known as Michael Scott left.  I read some reviews last year and people were pulling away from the show.  Last night, as I clicked over to the show, I felt totally lost.  It appears that Ryan and Kelly broke up, there is this lady with a British accent working there now, and Jim and Pam try to fix Kelly up with their pediatrician.  I just felt lost.

It's still a mystery why I started watching the show. It all started four years ago when some friends told me that I needed to check out The Office. So I did...and I was like what is wrong with these people?  Does any work actually get done?  Week after week, I kept watching. There were a lot of haha moments and then there were a lot more say what moments.  I guess I liked the quirkiness of it all. I use to work in an office where a lot of stuff happened. But work got done because it had to.  In one of the rooms in the office, there was a TV. Each afternoon people would go in and watch soap operas.  If the room was in use, they would go online and read the recaps for the day.  This was when all the soap operas were still on the air.  It appears that there are at least four currently on the air.

So, for those of you who are Michael Scott fans and in honor of Flashback Fridays, I'm giving you the best of Michael Scott.

Have a good weekend everyone.

Friday, April 13, 2012

You're Naming Your Baby What?

I came across an article about the hottest baby names of 2012, and parents are naming their children after Hunger Games characters.  Yes, you read that correctly....Hunger Games characters.  I find it hard to imagine naming a child Katniss or Rue.  Can you imagine saying Katniss, stop hitting your brother! Or Rue, please pick up your toys.  Is Rue a girl or boy name?  I've never read Hunger Games, so I have no idea. For some of you who has read the books, this may sound like a wierd question.

Also parents naming their bundles of joy after celeb and other inspirations of Hollywood such as:
  • Blue
  • Blythe
  • Cyrus
  • Ivy
  • Adele
  • Estelle
  • Grayson
There are a few names I would consider, but some sound odd.  If I was to have children....or even get to have children, I would probably name my kids after book characters. Here are some examples.
  • Auden - Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen
  • Rhiannon- Take Me There by  Susane Colasanti
  • Haley- Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen
  • Indigo Summer- Indigo Summer by Monica Mckayhan
I would probably get a few eye rolls on the last one, but you get the idea. My cousin named her son Bryce and my former professor named his daughter Julianna. Both names are different. I would have a harder time coming up with boy names than girls.  So parents, don't be afraid to be different.

Flashback Friday is Back!

I'm back with Flashback Friday.  Since I am having my "say what" moments, I thought I would share this video. I know, I know, why do I keep pulling things from the 80's?  Have you heard of the "Safety Dance"?  The song doesn't make sense and the video puts the icing on the cake. It looks like a renaisance fair gone wrong....that's how it looks to me.

Have a good weekend everyone.

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Distracted Writer

I would like to apologize for missing Flashback Fridays. Hopefully I will be back on track soon. When working on the computer, I tend to get distracted. So in order to take steps to fix this problem, I am cuurently on hiatus from Facebook. How long? I don't know. Along with being distracted, I have deactivated my account for other reasons as well, but not because something bad being hacked.

The downsode to working on a computer with internet is that if I get bored or stuck on something I should be writing or researching, Maybe it is a good thing that I don't have a smartphone. I tend  to jump over to something else. I may check my email, look at books on Barnes N Nobles website, read updates on Facebook, other blogs, or find a game to play. (I'm not a big game player and there are very few games I can actually play or attempt to play).

There are a lot pros and cons when it comes to Facebook and other social networking sites. My purpose of using the site was to be able to keep up with friends easily and promote my writing. It has helped drive a decent amount of traffic to the blog and articles I have written. It seems that these days, its the quickest way to know who's dating, engaged, getting married, and showcase cute baby pictures. I use to wonder if anyone bothered to read any of my aticles that I posted links for. So, last year, I decided to start a fan page, after noticing that other freelancers and authors were doing this very thing.

Sadly, we hear more about the negative aspects of Facebook. There was a woman who met a complete stranger on Facebook. He came to visit her, they went out on a date, and he killed her. The other evening, I heard a story on the news where these women got into a fight at a Waffle House parking lot and gun shots were fired over a Facebook relationship status. (Maybe these women don't need Facebook; but that may sound like a blanket statement. That's my opinion).When people hear stories like these, they decide to stay far far away from social media. On the other hand,  people can't seem to live without it. After hearing these stories and how people go overboard with social media, a break sounded like a good idea. Besides I need to step up my game and be a serious writer.
Whether or not to use Facebook, Twitter, Google +, etc. is a personal decision that should be made between husbands and wives and parents and children. That's my stance on  the matter. Despite these dangers there are ways that you can protect yourself, if you choose to use these sites. I have written two articles on the matter of social media. It is possible to become addicted to these sites. Read about the warning signs in Is Social MediaTaking Over My Real Life? Also, learn what information you should not share nor include on your profile page; be sure to read Personal Information You Should Not Share on Facebook. I hope that I don't come off as preachy and I don't intend to scare anyone. I am not anti social media. However, I am against the abuse of social networking sites.  We must not forget that while the internet is a useful tool, it can be a dangerous tool if we don't use it properly.