Friday, October 18, 2013

The Friday Round Up

  1. There is one thing that I enjoy and that is shopping for books.  Last week, I received a payment for a batch of articles I wrote.  Money has been tight lately so I haven't been able to go shopping for books.  So far this year, I have purchased four books.  And that's pretty good.  So after putting the money where it needs to go, I headed over to  I finally purchased ALL I NEED by Susane Colasanti and ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS by Stephanie Perkins.  I decided to pay the extra $5 for expedited delivery.  I have been waiting since Friday and it finally arrived Wednesday afternoon.  The thing about shopping online is waiting for the package.  I  tracked the package all day Wednesday.  I saw the UPS truck coming up the hill.  However, there was no doorbell ringing and nothing on the porch.  I turned the computer back on the to track the package again. It said that it was delivered. I thought, great, I am going to have to call customer service.  Then I scrolled further down the screen.  It said that it was delivered at the garage.  The garage, seriously?  To calm myself down, I decided to go for a walk.  I walked around to the garage, and behind a flower pot, there was my package.  If it wasn't for online tracking, I would probably never found it.  
  2. Speaking of books, my Goodreads to read list keeps growing. I have also created genre lists such as historical fiction, African American, and biographies. Hey, I have seen other Goodreads members do this. I have to pull myself away from this site because it can take up your time.  It reminds me of 2009 when Facebook was new and shiny for me and exciting. I use to play games like Cafe World and Mall World, reading updates, and checking out friends' page.  I remember seeing friends of friends' profiles and asking myself, what's your story?  But now the excitement has cooled off, and now days I just peek in to see what's happening on social media and log out.  
  3. Although I am glad that I allowed myself a small splurge, I sometimes get that I'm spending like a teenager feeling.  After ordering the books, I headed over to iTunes to buy new tunes for the iPod.  I only get to buy music every blue moon. I haven't purchased a CD since 2008.  YIKES!
  4. On a more serious note, I am sure that everybody heard about the cyber bullying case in Florida.  It breaks my heart to hear that a 12 year old girl's life was cut short because of the thoughtlessness and cruelty of others.  The most disturbing thing about all of this is that one of the girls said that didn't care about Sedwick killing herself in a Facebook post.  These girls should be punished.  I have to ask that classic question: Where were the parents?  I am going to step on my soap box and say this to parents around the world: If you allow social media in the home, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE monitor your son or daughter's online activities.  I feel like Sedwick's death could have been prevented. Yeah I know, easy for me to say.  And some may say, well that's why you shouldn't be on Facebook. To me that's a blanket statement. Actually, cyber bullying can take place on other social media sites like Twitter, through texting, blogging, emails, etc.  So you can't put all the blame on Facebook.  People blame technology for a lot of stuff.  This is my long standing stance on social media and technology as a whole: It can be a useful tool and a dangerous tool, it's how you choose to use it.  I also think that sometimes some adults including  some children are not mature enough to handle social media and technology.
  5. In line with #4, it is National Buylling Prevention Month.  Young Adult author Susane Colasanti wrote a novel called KEEP HOLDING ON which takes a serious look into the realities of bullying. The novel is about a girl named Noelle who is relentlessly bullied at school. You would think going home would be a safe haven for her, but it isn't.  Noelle is horribly neglected by her mother.  Reading this book broke my heart and some scenes were hard to read.  However, it opened my eyes to a broader spectrum of this issue. I like to read stories with a powerful and positive message and books that educate and open our minds to the world around us.  I want to be able to write a book as powerful one day. It's up to me to make that happen.  If you or someone you know is being bullied, there is hope. It may not look like it, but there is hope. You can visit the Keep Holding On page on Susane Colasanti's site. Here you will find plenty of resources, websites, and numbers where you can reach out for help.  If you see something that isn't right, do not be afraid to speak up.  It's hard I know, but the worse thing you can do is to sit back and do nothing.  
  6. As I was checking my email this morning, I noticed an email from Smashwords. I received a review notification from a reader.  I was nervous about reading it.  What do readers really think of my writing?  The reviewer just wrote "nice" for Big Brother, Little Sister: A Short Story.  It is nice to know that someone read it. I had to offer the story for free for a limited time just to get someone to read it.  I know that I won't become an overnight success story.  It took years for me to know who all of my favorite authors were.  

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