Friday, January 25, 2013

The Friday Round Up

  1. It has been 27 degrees outside all day.  The upside to working from home is you don't have to go out in bad weather unless you have to.  It has been sleeting here in the Upstate region of South Carolina. When people around here hear the words "snow" or "sleet" they run to store for "milk and bread" and other food supplies.  While this is very important, I never quite understood the milk and bread idea.  Another thing that happens when bad weather occurs in the South, people drive crazy and everything shuts down.  Because of these things I am glad I am indoors.  I would like to see some snow and I haven't seen any in two years.
  2. I am happy to report no major computer problems this week.  I was finally able to download the new iTunes.  I really like the new design because it is much cleaner and easy to navigate. I downloaded some really great podcasts from iTunes U on writing. The trouble is, I can't play them on my iPod.  My iPod is five years old and in the technology world, its probably a dinosaur by now.  Should I break down and buy a new one?  Until I do, I will have to play iTunes U downloads from the computer.
  3. I enjoy discovering new music, or songs that are new to me. I wondered if Spandau Ballet had any other songs besides "True".  Well, they do.....some of their earlier work doesn't sound bad.  I couldn't get any other their songs where they tried to rock it up sort of speak.  I have to wonder if the lead singer was ever in theatre.  He has this voice....that I can't describe.  With all of that said, I know someone would roll their eyes if they had my iPod. (Now if I had downloaded Flight of the Conchords, I could understand blank stares).  Was I born in the wrong decade?  I am an 80's baby and proud of it.  I like 80's music, but I have to wonder if I was a teenager in the 80's what bands and singers would I had listened to.
  4.  After much thought and self debate, I decided to relaunch my Facebook fan page.  During the time I the was away from Facebook, I often wondered what was everybody up to. This was primarly they way I stayed in the loop on who's dating, having babies, etc.  Sad I know.   But for the past few days, it feels.....strange to be back.  My writer's page had to be republished but I still have the same fans and pages I liked.  I don't check in like I use to, but this whole social media concept is still growing on me. I still have apprehension.  I have enough to keep up with already.  So to help me to remember to post links, I set my Bloglovin account to automatically post blog updates to Facebook.  So stop by Latresha Byrd Writes, and like my page. You can get blog updates, product reviews, and see my other work all in one place.
Have a good weekend everyone.

Friday, January 18, 2013

THe Friday Round Up

  1. I'm not sure how to describe this week besides the fact that it went really fast.  I must say that I had a scary moment with my laptop.  Tuesday morning, I was up bright and early ready to work, and what do I see?  The  dark blue screen of doom.  I gulped and watched closely as the computer restarted.  Fortunately my computer went into recovery mode.  It took the entire morning to repair itself and disk errors.  For the next few days my  programs acted like they didn't want to open, and the printer didn't want to print.  So I decided to start looking for my printer disc.  I COULD NOT FIND IT.  I started feeling overwhelmed and started throwing away "junk" (random stuff) that I don't need any more.  Fortunately, the printer is back up and running and programs are opening again.  But I can't find my printer disc.
  2. I'm not a TV junkie or whatever the proper term for it is these days.  Over on BET on Tuesdays, there are two new shows.  First up, there's Real Husbands of Hollywood starring Kevin Hart, Robin Thicke, Nick Cannon, and some other famous faces.  I couldn't really get into the show, and I have to wonder if this show is totally scripted to make it look like reality.  After that, there's Second Generation Wayans.  I watched it for a few minutes and turned off the TV.  Maybe I was sleepy or just couldn't get into it.  I'm not sure I will be watching these shows next week and onward, who knows.  I have been watching The Mindy Project which is not too bad.  I have also discovered NBC's Parenthood.  I looked it up and it has been on for several seasons now.  It has a good storyline and interesting characters. I have only watched 3 episodes and the season finale is next week.  I could always check out the DVD.  I'm waiting for BET's The Game to return in March.
  3. Sometimes I feel like I shop like a teenager, despite the fact that I am almost 30.  (I keep reminding myself of that).  I added to my wish list on iTunes and downloaded a couple songs on sale for $0.69 and $0.99.  (Atleast I did some smart shopping).  It's that time of year again for buying books.  Last year I purchased six books not counting the books I bought for a former colleague's little girl as a belated baby gift.  After my last trip to Books A Million back in the summer, I promised myself that I would not buy any more books for the rest of the year.  And I stuck to my promise.  Part of the reason for that is storage issues.  I don't have a bookshelf.  I have a small cabinet   but it only holds small books and it's full.  My leisure books are under the bed.  I have been thinking about getting a Nook.  I also want to buy a new iPod touch, but let's be real.  I don't see myself paying $299 for an iPod.  My current iPod was $145 five years ago, so it is still going strong.  I wish it had more GB on it.  There are more important things that I should be spending my money on.  (Grown up thoughts).
  4. In reference to #3, I started adding books to my Barnes N Noble shopping bag.  I want to read FRIENDS LIKE US by Lauren Fox, MY SO CALLED FREELANCE LIFE by Michelle Goodman, and another book called Perfect on Paper.  I don;t remember the author's name.  I think that if I am going to be spending money on books, I should be buying books that are going to help me as a writer. Maybe I will finally write that novel that I have been trying to write for the last seven years.
  5. I wrote a product review for New York Bar Store this week, and I was so sure that the Knoji editors would not approve it because I was unable to give information on prices.  While reviewing the site, I clicked on every single product section. No pictures of products and no prices.  Every section said "unavailible shop."  I wrote these notes in the review and stated that the online store is working to resolve these issues.  To my utter shock this morning, I received an email from Knoji saying, "Congratulations, your review of has been published."  Thank you so much.  Now if I can just navigate my way through Christian Dior's website, I can breathe easy.
Have a weekend everyone.

Friday, January 11, 2013

The Friday Round Up

  1. I am going to try something new here.  I am going to test out a new feature called The Friday Round Up.  I use to do Flashback Fridays, but I failed miserably.  For one I had trouble coming up with good video clips of songs etc. that would be appealing.  The only popular features of Flashback Fridays were Spandau Ballet's True and of course The Carlton Dance.  Will I bring it back? Maybe.
  2. Life was starting to get boring in the music world.  Lately I have not been keeping up with the latest music, because it is not important to me anymore like it was when I was growing up in the 90's.  I remember as early as fourth grade, the kids would look at me strange if I didn't know a name of a song or artist.  Back then I knew a few artists/songs but that was all.  Around 1994, I started watching music videos on BET and MTV.  Yep, that was my crash course in music.  So to cut a long story short, I listened to the radio more and I started buying cassette tapes and later CD's....and the rest is history.  Within the last few years I became pretty happy with listening to the music of the 80's, 90's, and 00's. I imagine if someone picked up my iPod they would shocked at the randomness they would find. Case and point, I was playing my iPod as I was editing, Matchbox Twenty's "Bent" was playing.  My brother was like, "What are you listening to?"  Which is a question he asks a lot.  I won't go into big rant about the quality of today's music besides the fact that they are talking about hopping in the bed with somebody.  Anyways, I made a new music discover.  I have a group of friends who listen to KPOP and shared some of their favorites.  KPOP is Korean pop music.  I downloaded a few songs and I must say that I like it.  I once tried to listen to JPOP but I didn't like it.  I think you have to have an acquired ear for it.  I had a professor who taught in Japan for a year and he said JPOP got on his nerves.   The thing about KPOP is that the artists will sing a few lines in English and the rest in Korean.  You have an idea of what's going on.  
  3. I have been reading blogs for the last six years of so and recently joined the blogging world.  I have noticed that there aren't many African American bloggers.  I only know of two: my real life friend Celeste at Crazy Beautiful Unique and Ronni at Anywhere Is.  I discovered Ronni's blog on Crazy Beautiful Unique and have been following her ever since. These two ladies write about different interesting topics so please stop by and show some love.  If you like their blogs, you can follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Bloglovin. 
  4. I am in the middle of doing some major editing on a product review. The editor emailed me and asked me to compare the retailer's prices to other competitors.  I have less than 12 hours to finish it.  It won't take long to look prices.  I would have finished it last night if it wasn't for my computer acting up.  I hope I don't have to buy a new computer or put it in the shop. It's bad enough I already have a broke down desktop collecting dust on my desk.  Going without a computer is a big deal these especially when we depend on technology more than ever.  What has technology done to us?
  5. It's raining today, and I had to make myself get up and get to work.  It's a 30 second commute since my desk is not that far away.  Gray cloudy days makes you want to sleep or park yourself in front of the TV.  However, in the world of writing and other jobs if you don't work you don't eat.  Today maybe a good day to sit down and read.  I have so much to get caught up on, I am going to have to sit down and write up a game plan.  

Have a good weekend everyone.

Monday, January 7, 2013

New Projects New Year

Hello and welcome back readers.  Things have been pretty busy around here with trying to get product reviews and start new projects.  I was on vacation in Texas for two weeks.  Unfortunately  I was without Internet access for most of the trip.  I have some new and exciting things to tell you about.  In addition, there are things that I want to accomplish this year.  So let's get started.

  1. New Blogs!   If you are looking for my "Places to Shop" feature, it will be moving to my new fashion blog Hidden Fashionista on Wordpress.  Also, I will be launching a brand new book review blog called YA Books Etc. right here on Blog Spot.  I will be reviewing YA novels and novels from other genres.  I wanted to call it Book Worm Cafe but someone already has that title.  
  2. Read More Books  I am not one to make New Year's resolutions, because I don't keep them.  However, there is one thing that I can do and that's read more books.  I have already have books on my 2013 reading list.  I am excited to read Sarah Dessen's The Moon and More, and Susane Colasanti's All I Need which comes out in May or June.  I also want to read Lauren Fox's Friends Like Us.  I read about this author in The Writer magazine.  It seems like an interesting book.  I was in Wal-Mart during vacation and I found The Perks of Being a Wallflower.  I didn't know that the movie was a book.  I didn't buy it but I read the first page and it reminded me of  JD Salinger's The Catcher and the Rye.  I had to read The Catcher in the Rye in my English 101 class in college.  I also want to save up for a Nook or eReader.  I will have to figure out which one will be the best fit for me.
  3. Find New Writing Gigs  I plan to continue building my writer's resume or portfolio.  I have found a new site in which I plan to start writing for this year.  I also hope to be able to start back contributing to Suite 101 online magazine as soon as the new site is launched.  
  4. Getting Organized  There is one thing I need to do this year and that's to get organized.  I need to keep better track of my earnings; and in order to accomplish this I developed a spreadsheet on Excel.   Also, set actual writing hours, so I don't burn myself out and writing at random times of the day.  I will need to better divide my time between writing, blogging, and my personal life.  
  5. Spend More Time With Friends- Here is something that is not always easy.  I have friends who are  married.  On the other hand, I have friends who are working and or going to school. Some even have families. While hanging out is not as easy as it was in let's say high school, I hope to be able to see them more often.  While texting and following them on social media seems easier, it is not the same as actually spending time with them. 
  6. Marketing My Work- I am still learning the rules of the writing world.  One of the biggest things I constantly hear is to promote your work on social media.  Well, I have a Linked In account but haven't updated since November.  I was unable to update for awhile because I forgot my password. Don't you hate when that happens?  I keep up with Twitter regularly, but I am currently not on a Facebook.  I had a Facebook fan page, and I hope to re-launch the page some time this year.  When I was on Facebook I seemed to get more traffic for my online articles.  We will have to weigh out the pros and cons on this one.  I also use Google+.  I update it pretty regularly as well.  How much social networking can one person handle?
Well, that's all for today. I have so much to do and get caught up on.  I will let you know of any new projects   in the works.  Have a good day everyone.